• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

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This category includes posts about featured and new attractions throughout South Africa as well as editors’ reviews of popular towns and holiday resorts. Need more info? Visit SA-Venues.com for comprehensive information about all our towns and South Africa’s Attractions.

Monday, 5 October 2015

10 top natural attractions in the Karoo

What the Outback is to Australia, the Karoo is to South Africa.

It occupies 400 000 km²- practically one-third of the country’s total area; a vast, semi-arid region in the heart of the country, bounded by mountains in the south and west, and the huge Senqu, or Orange River, on its eastern and northern flanks.

This area of little rainfall, blue and cloudless skies, and extreme temperatures may have acted as a barrier to the interior from Cape Town for early settlers, but today it has come out of isolation to become a major tourist attraction – its immense spaces, incredible mountains, idiosyncratic towns and promise of escape the reason for its popularity.

These 10 top natural attractions are only a taste of what the Karoo holds in store for you. Continued

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in the Free State

The term ‘free state‘ dates back to South Africa’s early history when, for almost 150 years, the white settlers, who lived between the Vaal and Orange rivers in an area they called the Orange Free State, were independent of British rule.

Today the fundamentally Afrikaans province is also the home of the country’s judicial capital and birthplace of the ANC.

However, the Free State’s major appeal is its natural beauty, open farmlands, and uninterrupted sky, quirky, idiosyncratic towns and villages, interesting road routes, and the vast rocky mountain area of the East Highlands.

For more on the Free State’s history, visit the City of Roses, Bloemfontein. This historical heartland is awash with museums, memorials and monuments.

For natural beauty, visit the Top Ten Natural Attractions in the Free StateContinued

Monday, 28 September 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in the Garden Route

The Garden Route is a coastal corridor between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains – that divide the Garden Route from the Little Karoo – and the Indian Ocean so richly endowed in natural beauty that one is hard pushed to narrow a list down to a mere 10 attractions.

It provides a coastline of some 300 km between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay – one of South Africa’s most popular holiday destinations for its effortless combination of ancient forests, rivers, wetlands, pristine stretches of beach, lakes, mountains and fynbos.

Here are 10 of the most popular natural attractions in the Garden Route. Continued

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Twenty Ways To Tell You Are In South Africa

Every country has quirks and idiosyncrasies that make that country unique, even if with globalisation people and experiences are becoming rather predictable. However, down at the tip of the African continent, things are still very far from formulaic.

When it comes to offbeat, original and distinctive South Africa still has a firm grip on what it is to deliver an experience to the visitor. We guarantee you’ll still be talking about this list for years to come!

Here are twenty ways to tell you are in South Africa… Continued

Monday, 21 September 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in the Western Cape

Africa’s most southern region, the Western Cape is also the country’s most mountainous and, some would argue, most beautiful province (certainly those who live in Cape Town like to think so).

It has more iconic-style attractions than any other province, and the combination of winelands, beaches, mountains and cosmopolitan lifestyle appeal enough to attract over 50% of international visitors to the country (Cape Town’s big six tourist attractions are visited by a higher number of foreign tourists than locals).

Here are Top Ten Natural Attractions in the Western Cape that keep them coming… Continued

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

National Parks Week – Visit a Park For Free Tomorrow or Friday

There are only two days left to take advantage of National Parks Week.

This annual celebration of spring allows South Africans FREE access to most of the 21 national parks across the country, from this Monday to Friday, the 18 or Saturday, 19 September 2015, depending on the park.

This is the tenth year that SANParks has held this week as a way to encourage locals to connect with their culture and heritage (September is also heritage month). Continued

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Limpopo

Named after the river that runs through it Limpopo is the country’s most northern province, often overlooked by visitors who head, instead, to the country’s more exciting provinces like the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

But if you consider that seven of the country’s eleven languages are spoken in Limpopo; that the area has some of the most well established nature and game reserves with a rich stock of wildlife, as well as some of the most breathtaking mountainous scenery – and that’s excluding the Kruger National Park, which functions as the country’s main attraction – then the province has more to offer the visitor than meets the eye.

When next in Limpopo, visit all of the Top Ten Natural Attractions in LimpopoContinued

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in the North West Province

Whether it is renamed Bokone Bophirima or not will do little to change the muddied perception amongst travellers that North West has little more to offer than Sun City and the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve.

Also known as the platinum province, for its production of 94% of the country’s plantinum, this lesser known part of South Africa lies north-west of Johannesburg where it nudges up against Botswana and the Kalahari.

Jostling with Gauteng for claim to the Cradle of Humankind, North West is fundamentally a bushveld playground – great swathes of grassland dominated by nature reserve upon game reserve with little to interrupt the expanse than the Magaliesberg mountains, one hundred times older than the Himalayas. These straddle the province’s eastern flank and function as a bolt-hole for Jo’burgers.

Small wonder then that the top 10 natural attractions in the North West Province are dominated by nature reserves… Continued

Friday, 28 August 2015

Top 4 Snorkelling Spots On Durbans Coast

The best thing about Durban is its warm seas. Durban’s ‘all year round summer’ translates into sea temperatures, even in winter, that hover around 20 degrees Celsius.

Even Durban’s summer sea temperatures are more akin to a bath than the sea, and you can spend hours in the water without feeling the cold.

If this weren’t enough of an invitation (bearing in mind that you may need to live in the sea between January and March as the city’s humidity can get unbearable), the clarity of the water and the phenomenal sea life also make Durban the perfect place to snorkel, particularly along the north coast (Ballito, Salt Rock and Sheffield areas).

Here are 4 of the best snorkeling spots on Durbans Coast… Continued

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Durban’s Ancient Forest – Not Even The Locals Know About It

Jocelyn Sutherland’s hands are full of litter when she meets us at the gate to Hawaan Forest. She’s incensed by the dumping of bougainvillea on the edge of the forest’s perimeter fence, and by the litter. ‘Hardly any one local knows about this magnificent forest, ‘ she shares by way of greeting, ‘it is visitors to Durban who want to know more about it, not the locals.’

We’ve met just off the M4 at Umhlanga, one of Durban’s more privileged neighbourhoods on the north coast. The M4 divides the green forest belt in two, yet there couldn’t be two more divergent forests.

Across the M4 the forest rests on a 2 000 year-old sand dune. Sounds old enough but Hawaan, by contrast, stands sturdy on a sand dune that is 18 000 years old. It’s mind-boggling to think that something that old still exists… Continued

Monday, 24 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Gauteng

posted to: Attractions, Gauteng

Completely landlocked Gauteng may be the smallest of all the provinces, but it delivers a hefty punch of vibrant city life in the form of its dominant city, Johannesburg – the country’s economic powerhouse – and its quieter country cousin, the jacaranda-lined streets of the administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria.

The ‘place of gold’ in the north-east of the country may not have any sea or major river about which to boast, but it is uniquely placed for easy weekend escapes into North West, Limpopo and the Free State provinces. And although small, it has at its heart enough of its own natural attractions to keep visitors content to remain within its borders.

Visit these 10 top natural attractions in Gauteng… Continued

Monday, 17 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is easily described in terms of remoteness. Both vast and under populated, by comparison with anywhere else in the country, it annexes 373 000 sq km – most of it the far-flung, empty spaces of the hinterland defined by relentless heat and desert sand dunes; the landscape knobbly with quiver and Halfmens trees.

Yet this aridness also relinquishes some of nature’s most generous treasures – the richly green wine-producing banks of the Gariep Dam, the legendary Augrabies Falls, dunes teeming with wild life, and spring flowers that oblige a desert mutation from a barren terrain into a latticework of blooms.

To  help you navigate, here are the Top Ten Natural Attractions in Northern Cape… Continued

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Eastern Cape

Perhaps the reason the Eastern Cape has something of a Cinderella complex is because it lies wedged between two of South Africa’s most popular destinations – the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal. Certainly it receives less attention than the Western Cape, yet is more diverse and harbours some of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the country.

It begins where the Garden Route stops, 1 000 km of largely undeveloped coastline (if you overlook Port Elizabeth and East London) with beaches warmed by the Indian Ocean’s waters, its north-eastern corner dominated by the Drakensberg Mountain range and its eastern quarters awash with rural Xhosa villages.

It has one of the country’s best loved national parks, is malaria-free, and is Nelson Mandela’s birth place. For visitors it is a playground of outdoor activities and compelling natural attractions. Continued

Friday, 7 August 2015

South Africas 3 Endangered Cranes – Where To See Them

South Africa is home to three species of crane – the blue crane, grey crowned crane and the wattled crane.

In case you were wondering they’re the tall, willowy birds that you sometimes see in pairs, or flocks, in open grassland or on farms. They appear almost regal. I often see blue cranes in the Overberg where they are now fiercely protected, and encouraged on farms.

When they’re not mating, cranes tend to gather communally in wetlands and shallow dams.

Blue cranes are the most numerous of the three endangered cranes, however they’re also largely limited to South Africa – 99% of them occur only here (bar the 60 or so around the Etosha Pans of Namibia) – whereas wattled cranes, and grey crowned cranes, live across southern-central Africa. Continued

Monday, 3 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in KwaZulu Natal

The coastal province of KwaZulu Natal has just about everything – historical battlefields, architecture and memorials, first world shopping malls, Victorian-cottage shabby-chic suburban living, tribal settlements in rural areas, towering basalt mountains, warm seas, world-class wetlands, wildlife game reserves, hiking and snorkelling opportunities, vibrant markets, an annual sardine run, and a strong Indian, Zulu and colonial influence.

It isn’t short of rustic beauty either, and the top 10 natural attractions in KwaZulu Natal are a good place to start… Continued