Keep your eyes open for these 17 unforgettable sights
1. Experience the incredibly rare sight of seeing a pangolin
A rare and small treat
Revel in the most extraordinary opportunity to see an endangered Temminck’s ground pangolin at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. These solitary, shy animals, protected in a suit of scaled armour, are tragically the world’s most trafficked animal but, on this reserve, they are taken care of and monitored daily, ensuring the longevity of their species – an unforgettable experience in the wild.
2. Myriad attractions of Mpumalanga
Fall in love with these sights
A destination of great beauty, explore Mpumalanga, home to God’s Window, revealing exquisite views from the Lowveld to Mozambique, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, a fascinating sight of massive potholes created by erosion and the Three Rondavels, three mountains named in honour of Chief Maripi’s wives. A must see is the Blyde River Canyon, a lush green abyss and natural wonder, charming Pilgrim’s Rest, a little town that was established in the frenzy of the goldrush days and the cascading Lisbon and Berlin waterfalls.
3. Pull up a chair on a famous mountain
Cape Town’s best dining spot
Be mesmerised by the iconic Table Mountain in the Mother City, Cape Town. This flat-topped landmark brims with biodiversity and an array of plant and floral species as well as wildlife such as cute dassies (rock hyrax) that stare at you and congregate in the rocky areas, porcupines and tortoises. The views are simply sensational as you look over the exhilarating city. You can either go up via cable car or strap on your walking boots for an intrepid climb up and down.
4. A tapestry of bush landscapes
Bushed from all the sights
Nothing prepares you for the impressive sights of the raw, pristine wilderness of South Africa. Absorb the beauty of diverse habitats including lush savannah, dense forests, rolling hills, golden grasslands, rugged mountains, rocky outcrops, arid desert and shimmering lagoons, rivers, streams and waterways where wildlife congregate – simply stunning.
5. Traditional South African clothing
Wear it all began
A melting pot of diversity, unique heritage and ethnic groups, you will love the sights of the vibrant clothing and exquisite jewellery that adorn and embellish certain cultures. See ladies in intricate, sequinned saris with a jangle of colourful bracelets or dressed in short, beaded grass woven skirts or thick cowhide skirts and beautifully decorated aprons with copper rings around their necks, ankles and arms. Certain male tribe members wear traditional attire of animal skins, feathers, and tufts of a cow’s tail on the upper arms.
6. Light your way home
Umhlanga’s light in the night
Take in the sight of the iconic lighthouse, a landmark at Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal. Standing proudly opposite the remarkable Oyster Box Hotel, this lighthouse that was built in 1954 brilliantly mirrors the signature chic red and white of the hotel with its own crown of red. As there was never an official keeper, the Oyster Box Hotel has always been the proud custodian of this incredibly popular photographic spot.
7. Up close and personal with Jaws
Sink your teeth into this
Brave the deep in Gansbaai, the world’s capital of shark cage diving. Get up close and personal to these apex predators as great whites and copper sharks swim past you in Shark Alley, a small corridor of water passing between Geyser Rock and Dyer Island. During your thrilling trip you will also have the opportunity to see Cape fur seals.
8. Have a whale of a time
Splash out on this adventure
Immerse yourself in an extraordinary aqua adventure in Hermanus, particularly Walker Bay during whale season, and watch the magnificence of these creatures of the deep. Hop in a boat and race across the seas for incredible viewings of southern right whales in September and October as they impress you with their acrobatics. You will also be able to see humpbacks and Bryde’s whales and other fascinating marine life such as African penguins, Cape fur seals and gentle pods of dolphin.
9. Walk in the steps of Madiba
An icon to the world, a father to our nation
Celebrate the humanity and greatness of this icon and explore places that reveal his history. Discover the harrowing Robben Island, where Mandela was an inmate, and Nobel Square in Cape Town with a statue honouring this Nobel Peace Prize winner. Visit the Nelson Mandela Capture site in Howick near Durban, a memorial dedicated to where the activist was captured in 1962, Mandela House in Soweto and the larger-than-life statue of him in Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg. Not to be missed is the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill and the Centre of Memory, an extraordinary place of learning and dialogue.
10. All creatures great and small
Take a walk on the wild side
South Africa is world-renowned for its iconic wildlife and the Big Five (African elephant, Cape buffalo, lion, black rhino and leopard). Boasting extraordinary game reserves that protect and ensure the longevity of endangered and rare species, you can visit a plethora of game parks in the country and tick off your most want to see sights. Visit the famed Kruger National Park, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, Pilanesberg National Park, Addo Elephant National Park, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the spectacular &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. See over 230 mammal species, some of which are endangered including African wild dog and the mountain zebra. For the birders, you will be in your element here.
11. Jacarandas – they’re blooming amazing
Painting the town purple
An exquisite sight, you’ll love Gauteng’s tree-lined streets flowering with vibrant jacarandas, a sub-tropical tree that is adorned with petals that blanket the street in a carpet of purple. A wonderful place to see this remarkable sight in the urban landscape is at the absolutely gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg. Sip on delicious jacaranda inspired cocktails on the Flames Restaurant Terrace – simply glorious.
12. Jozi’s iconic skyline
The pulse of Egoli
The City of Gold’s skyline is something to behold! As you scan the silhouette, see the infamous Ponte, now a desirable address, Hillbrow Tower, an advertiser’s dream spot, the posh Leonardo building in Sandton, the once popular Carlton Centre, 11 Diagonal Street designed to look like a diamond, Marble Towers skyscraper, Sentech Tower, known as the Brixton Tower and the Trust Bank Building with one of the largest bank vaults in the country.
13. The lightning before the storm
You have never experienced a storm until you have experienced it in Johannesburg. Our lightning creates its own work of art as it flashes across the canvas of the Highveld night sky. Incredibly exhilarating and terrifying at the same time, these dramatic bolts of electricity are a spectacular sight to witness. Make sure you stay indoors!
14. From the cradle to the grave
Dig your ancestors
Take a step back millions of years at the Cradle of Humankind and discover when life first began. Africa is the birthplace of humankind, and we have the fossils to prove it. At this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can meet the famous fossils of “Mrs Ples” and “Little Foot”. Be captivated by the number of palaeo-anthropological sites, learn about our origins at Maropeng, the official visitor centre, and end off your fascinating journey with a delicious lunch at the Cradle Restaurant, with panoramic views of the Highveld landscape.
15. Going my way, your way, any way?
Always room for one more
Whether you use them to get to work, school, a long-haul journey, going shopping or meeting a friend out, a trip in a minibus taxi is a thrilling event. Seat belts are virtually non-existent, blaring music is an absolute pre-requisite, one hand on the steering wheel and the other handing you your change makes for a hair-raising ride. Forgot to tell your taxi driver to stop at the last taxi rank, no problem. They will stop anywhere, be it the middle of the highway, across a busy intersection or just as they have overtaken that last vehicle. Desperate to make friends easily? Taxis are the ideal place, jam-packed to capacity, you are bound to find you will be getting up close and personal with your fellow passengers. Don’t forget to hang on tight and enjoy the ride.
16. To wine or not to wine? There is no question
Do you have the nose for it?
Tucked in the beautiful valleys of the Western Cape are the magnificent Winelands. They are home to rolling vineyards, sublime wines, succulent grapes, fertile terroir, exquisite Cape Dutch homes, majestic wine farms and charming historical towns. Sip and swirl the finest wines at a number of world-class estates in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Tulbagh, Wellington and Constantia and enjoy delectable pairings with fine dining and chocolate.
17. Waddle onto Boulders Beach
The best dressed birds you’ll ever see
An absolute gem and a must-visit is Boulders Beach, dotted with massive boulders and quirky little penguins in suits. This sheltered beach is home to this delightful colony of birds that are safely at home in this Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area. Enjoy a glorious day on the sun-kissed beach and swim with the penguins, frolic in the rock pools, climb the boulders or walk along the wheelchair-friendly boardwalks that wind their way through lush vegetation. This is a great photo opportunity!