7 most beautiful places in South Africa that you must see

South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Cosmopolitan cities, breathtaking nature with changing landscapes and beautiful coastline. Deserts, mountains, culture and wildlife: South Africa really has it all. It is a country where you never get bored and always want to come back to. Once you’ve taken a trip to South Africa, you’ll undoubtedly want to come back to see more. And it should be, because this country is so big and so impressive to do and see it all at once. But what are the most beautiful places you should ever see? We have listed them for you. These are the seven most beautiful places in South Africa!

1. Kruger Park

Kruger Park is a masterpiece of game reserves in South Africa: a gigantic wilderness of about two million hectares, stretching for 350 kilometers. Although the garden is fenced, you will not come across any fence anywhere. In addition to the Big Five, more than 140 other animal species live here in an unprecedented, versatile landscape. The Kruger park consists mostly of extensive grasslands dotted with distinctive trees such as baobabs. To the south, where rivers divide the landscape in two, it becomes more vacillating and hilly. Although you’ll find tourist camps in the middle of this wilderness, fortunately Kruger Park remains untouched by most of it.

In the Kruger Park you can drive to hunt wild animals, but getting out of it is not allowed. As in any wildlife park, you can also take so-called sunrise and sunset game rides where you go (with a group of other people) into nature in an open jeep to spot wild animals. If you want to increase your chances of seeing wildlife – and the full Big Five – you should definitely go for a game ride. The Rangers know exactly where to go and tell each other the locations of the wild animals. The experience is a little less special than if you observed the animals on your own, but when someone points a tiger at dusk to a tiger breaking off in a fig tree, it doesn’t matter anymore, because something so beautiful you forget for the rest of your life. no more.

The Kruger Park is the place to get to know the Big Five in the wild

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Magically beautiful sunset in Kruger Park

2. Drakensberg

In terms of nature, Drakensberg is one of the most beautiful places that South Africa has to offer. The place, the silence, the view: it is a comfort to be here. The Drakensberg is not only the highest mountain range in South Africa, but it is also undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the country. A place where you have no choice, in Drakensberg you have to go to nature. The Drakensberg is about 1,000 kilometers long and forms a natural border between Lesotho and South Africa.

You can spend a whole holiday in Drakensberg and still not see it all. What you shouldn’t miss is the Northern Drakensberg walk to the Amphitheater. You can then hike to Sentinal Peak at 3,165 metres. Via Tugela Falls, you can descend to the trek’s starting point. And this is not just a waterfall: with a height of 950 meters it is the second highest waterfall in the world and also the highest waterfall in Africa. Very cool place you must see it once!

Dragon Mountains
View of the Drakensberg Mountains

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Tip: Discover this beautiful mountain range on horseback

3. Cape of Good Hope

When you are in Cape Town, you should take at least one day of your time to visit the Cape of Good Hope, one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. From Cape Town you are there in a few hours which is also a very nice driving route (Chapman’s Peak Drive) with many private stops along the way (including Boulders Beach, Muizenberg and Noordhoek). At the Cape of Good Hope you will find the famous sign in the far southwest of the African continent. But that is not the reason to go there.

The Cape of Good Hope is seen as the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula and also to some extent as the place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. This is not entirely correct, because it is a little far, but this symbolic meaning of the Cape of Good Hope has been preserved. Be sure to check out Cape Point and the Lighthouse. You can go there by cable car. The view is amazing!

Chapmans peak drive
Via Chapmans Peak Drive, you drive to the Cape of Good Hope

Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope is one of the most beautiful places in South Africa

4. Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the three capitals of South Africa but is undoubtedly the most beautiful city in the country. A city with gorgeous mountains, beautiful beaches and vibrant city life. Cape Town is also a city with a turbulent history and many Dutch influences. You notice this most when you hear South Africans talking: 9,500 kilometers from home you can still understand each other very well. Cape Town has a lot of attractions. The Castle of Good Hope, Company Garden and Robben Island are not to be missed. Like a town tour, Bo-Kaap and District Six Museum. You can also spend days in Cape Town without getting bored for a second.

Don’t miss a day at the beach (choose Camps Bay or one of Clifton’s smaller beaches). Just like beautiful climbing: Table Mountain and Lion’s Head are two mountains in the city, and climbing them is not only a good exercise but also one of the most fun things you can do. Does Cape Town really have it all? Yes I think so. You will not find a more complete city anywhere else in the world.

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View of the lion’s head from the top of Table Mountain

Cape Town Beach
For insanely beautiful beaches you have to be in Cape Town

5. Blyde River Valley Panorama Road

Panorama Road is the most beautiful road you can drive in South Africa. It’s not much of a place, but it’s an entire area that you shouldn’t miss. The road owes its name to the most beautiful panoramas you will see in South Africa. The route runs along the Blyde River Valley, a giant green valley considered the largest green valley in the world. There are a lot of private viewpoints: The Three Rondavels is perhaps the most famous. Anyone who wants to drive this road wants to stop continuously because one view after another passes by.

You don’t have to drive the Panorama Road in one go, but you can also stop at nice places like Pilgrim’s Rest, Hazyview, and Graskop. In any case, make sure not to skip this route as it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in South Africa!

South Africa panorama road
View over the River Blyde Canyon
© majonit – Adobe Stock

6. Garden Road

The Garden Route is certainly equally beautiful. It is the road (or rather a mixture of roads) between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Road about 700 km. Most people who drive on the Garden Route stop in the cities of Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, and Plettenberg Bay. And for good reason: they are among the most beautiful places in South Africa. Also on the way is Addo Elephant National Park, which is seen as the most famous theme park in South Africa after Kruger Park. Here you can see all kinds of wild animals. For the Big Five, you’ll have to go to other theme parks, but the variety in animals and landscapes you’ll see here is unprecedented.

You should also not miss Tsitsikamma National Park, which is sometimes called the most beautiful natural park in South Africa. It is a paradise for nature lovers. You can go hiking, diving, kayaking, snowboarding, horse riding and bird watching. And the city of Knysna is wonderful, too. It is where sea water flows inland through giant rocks. You can spot more than two types of fish, including the unique South African seahorse.

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Things to do along the Garden Route: Spotting elephants in Addo Elephant National Park

7. Northern Cape and Kalahari Desert

The North Cape is a region in southern Africa that not many people know how to find. It’s the best kept secret in the country. Northern South Africa is a giant no-man’s-land where wildlife lives, where you can drive for hours through the desert without meeting anyone and where you can see the country’s most spectacular waterfalls. The Northern Cape Province is the largest province in South Africa, but also the least densely populated. With fiery red sand dunes, vast green vineyards and the Orange River flowing through it, it is one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. A place you must visit once.

On the North Cape you’ll also find the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Kalahari Desert. A giant nature reserve with an area of ​​\u200b\u200babout 40 thousand square kilometers (that is, twice the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe Kruger Park). This desert is called semi-desert: there is very little rain to call it a true desert. So you’ll also find more plants and greenery than you’ll find in the desert, for example. This makes it an amazingly beautiful place to look for it. Not only one of the most beautiful places in South Africa, but also in the world.

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So Beautiful: Driving Through Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Kalahari Kgagadi
The North Cape is South Africa’s best kept secret

Travel to South Africa

Have you started wanting to go on vacation to South Africa? Then, these tips may help you book your flight.

Plan your trip

  • It is better to fly from Amsterdam to Johannesburg or Cape town
  • The flight takes about 11 hours to Johannesburg and 12 hours to Cape Town (direct).
  • There is only one hour Time difference between the Netherlands and South Africa.
  • You can find cheap airline tickets on Vliegtickets.nl or via Momondo.
  • Of course, a good car rental is indispensable. Book this through Sunny Cars and you are 100% insured.
  • You can book an entire holiday to South Africa at TUI.nl.
  • Or watch (group) tours of Djoser and Swade.
  • You can book individual building blocks or customized travel for South Africa at VanVerre.nl and at Riksja Travel

Marlos de Hoge

Marlowes is the editor-in-chief of Travelvalley. Author of Bucketlist Travel and Bucketlist City Trips. She is fond of writing, traveling and running. Mail:…

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