10 Hidden Places to Explore in South Africa

Jan 19, 2017

If you are the type of person who loves to travel but finds that you are always directed to the highly over-rated and stereotypical places in a country, this article is for you. South Africa is a vibrant country and just like its people who are known as the “Rainbow Nation” you will see different colors, cultures and captivating scenery; it is your right to be able to see all of its wonders and not miss out!

1 Clarens, Free State

Clarens, better known as the “jewel of the free State” is every artist’s and writer’s hideout. If you enter Clarens you are immediately astounded by the breathtaking beauty of the nature around you and the warmth and vibrancy of the town and its people, making it the perfect getaway from the buzz of your busy lifestyle.

2 Nieu Bathesda, Eastern Cape

Nieu Bathesda is a town rich in artistic history, especially due to the town being famously known for its Owl House. The Owl House has become a museum for South Africans and tourists alike, as it was the house of the reclusive artist Helen Martines who started transforming the house into a visionary environment after her parents died.

3 Mountain Zebra National Park, Eastern Cape

Crisp clear air, breathtaking scenery, peaceful atmosphere and an abundance of wildlife to bring your African experience to a climatic point – this is game experiencing like never before. From Secretary bird and Verreaux’s eagle to Ground squirrel and Cape buffalo, the Mountain Zebra National Park is a true paradise for every nature and animal lover.

4 Calvinia, Northern Cape

Calvinia is a town where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and even the over-stimulating and suffocating atmosphere one usually finds at holiday resorts. It is a town where the people greet you with a warmth that the modern society we find ourselves in has forgotten. In Calvinia, you will be graced with an 80% Kaleidoscope of starlight and various medleys of wildflowers, which coincides with the Namaqualand wildflower exhibition.

5 Groot Winterhoek Mountains, Western Cape

Groot Winterhoek Mountains are famous for the wild and rugged backdrop, with an extraordinary rock formation that is rounded off by the elements found around it. This location is also rich in history as the San’s and Khoi’s – the first native people in South Africa – rock paintings can still be found in some of the caves.

Read also – 10 Backpacking Destinations That Will Be Popular in 2017

6 Ndumo Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

A gratifying location to experience wildlife, wetlands, savannah, thick bush, pans and extensive forest. Ndumo Game Reserve is also one of the most diverse birding destinations in South Africa, with some of 430 species. This is definitely for the African adventurer inside us all.

7 Riemvasmaak, Northern Cape

Put the “spring” back in your walk – pun intended. Riemvasmaak is the perfect location where you can relax and unwind whilst bathing in its hot springs and drowning in the dramatic scenery that surrounds you, which includes a wide variety of wildlife and lunar landscapes.

8 Pondoland Marine Protected Area, Eastern Cape

Pondoland is a remarkable seascape that you find along the Eastern Cape Wild Coast and it is here where you will find subtropical reefs, where estuaries are the play group of young fish and where you will find waterfalls drop directly into the sea. No wonder this coastal zone is deemed “near-pristine.”

9 Wolkberg Wilderness Mountain Reserve, Limpopo

Walking amongst the Wolkberg Wilderness mountain range is any day-tripper and hiker’s dream come true. It is walking where the wild things are that you will be welcomed by waterfalls, rivers, rich bird and mammal life, as well as the perfect picnic spots where you and your family can soak in your serene surroundings and become one with nature again.

10 Tankwa National Park, the border between Western Cape and Northern Cape

This location might not be for everyone, but it is certainly for the dreamer who constantly finds him or herself getting lost in immortal things such as the stars, desert, and mountains. This is most definitely the place to unplug from your life for a second or two and find yourself among the sparsely-polluted, brilliant kaleidoscope of stars and the barren, semi-desert of the Karoo.

Read also – 10 Fascinating Destinations for Adventurous Couples

The writer Lucy Corne wrote an article about why she loved South Africa and whilst the whole article is definitely worth the read, what stood out the most for me was when she went on to say that for most of her life she had itchy feet that led to her traveling to different countries across the globe; that was until she came to South Africa. She goes on to say that there is just some quality in the Rainbow nation that grabs a hold of you and refuses to let you go – and you do not mind.

Perhaps it is your time to get lost and yes, eventually found. Perhaps the place to do it is in South Africa. Let us know in the comment section below if you have ever been to any of these places or if it is on your bucket list. We have this one life, it is our obligation to live it as fully as possible.