Small towns are affectionately known as dorps (pronounced “dawps”) by local South Africans. While they may be little and tucked away in the mountains and valleys of this multifaceted country, so many of these towns and villages offer a host of exciting things to do and see. Discover the fabulously diverse world that awaits visitors to the dorps of this country.
This tiny coastal town is popular amongst the world’s top surfers, but is known for little else than its epic waves and surf culture. However, adventure awaits those wanting to explore the beaches and dunes. The Papiesfontein Beach Horse Rides provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover the pristine beauty of the Eastern Cape on the powerful back of a well-trained, cooperative horse. These horses climb steep dunes and trot (or gallop) along the vast expanses of white sands to showcase the untouched splendour.
Between Grahamstown and Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, the historical little village of Bathurst is a haven for those wanting to escape city life. It is known for being the home of the giant pineapple – a three-storey structure that is almost 17 metres tall. This tourist attraction has a shop for mementoes and an educational section for visitors and school groups.
Best known for wild flowers and great wines, Darling invites visitors from all over the world to take part in the ever-popular Darling Stagger. This is a five-day hike along the Cape West Coast, and exposes tourists to the magnificent landscapes, as well as plenty of locally produced wines and olives along the way. This is a gourmet experience with a difference.
Another Western Cape treasure, Arniston is part of the Cape Overberg and an old fishing village. Every year, though, scores of whales make their way past this part of the South African coastline. The Whale Trail in Arniston allows visitors that want to experience the beauty of the region on foot to watch as the whales frolic in the chilly Western Cape waters, delighting spectators with their antics; showcasing their mammoth beauty and inquisitive natures.
In the warm humidity of KwaZulu Natal, this little seaside getaway invites coffee-lovers to indulge their taste buds at the Beaver Creek Coffee Estate. This farm celebrates the variety of flavours and aromas of this global beverage, exposing visitors to the coffee-making process from the crop to the cup. Of course, there are cakes and other treats to complement the coffees and round off the experience.
A brandy tasting in Barrydale is an absolute must. This is the hub of expert brandy producers (and consumers) and promises some very special flavours. Pair your premium brandy with a chocolate tasting for the ultimate sensory ecstasy.
The magnificent Nottingham Road is situated in KwaZulu-Natal and in the heart of the Midlands Meander, about 130 kilometres from Durban. This is a haven for those that love the outdoors, and is especially recommended for avid fly-fishermen that want to enjoy the simultaneous tranquillity and excitement of the ultimate catch.
South Africa offers visitors the ideal combination of bustling tourist epicentres that are brimming with attractions and activities and the peaceful retreat of small town and tiny villages in which equally appealing adventures await.