South African Country Places
Things to Do |Adventures | Attractions | Beaches | Cultural Exposure | Exciting Cities | Family Holidays | Historic Places | Heritage Sites | Popular Destinations | Scenic Routes  | Wildlife Viewing | Other Activities

Escape to the South African country side. A variety and diversity of Country Places offer you accommodation to suit your budget; a variety of activities, peace and tranquility.

Eastern Cape
In the Eastern Cape you can surf the world's biggest waves, ski down the only snow slopes in Africa, go on a `big seven' safari, visit the birthplace of Nelson Mandela and bungee the highest bridge in the southern hemisphere.

* Addo Elephant Park - the most concentrated elephant reserve in Africa
* The Tsitsikamma National Park - offering up a spectacular combination of temperate forest, rocky ravines and breathtaking ocean views.
* Grahamstown - student town is home to the annual National Arts Festival
* World's Highest Bungee Jump - to be found at Bloukrans River Bridge on the Storms River.
* Jeffreys Bay – experience the perfect wave in J-Bay, the surfing capital of South Africa
* The Wild Coast - the largely untamed and extravagantly beautiful Wild Coast - the ultimate holiday destination.

See also the list of towns in the Eastern Cape.

Limpopo province is home to ancient lands and pre-historic secrets. Straddling the northern Kruger Park, Limpopo province boasts wildlife safaris, nature trails – untamed Africa at its finest.

* The Waterberg - The Waterberg Mountains stretch along more than 5 000 km2 of spectacular vistas and scenic valleys
* Mapungubwe - The great ruins at Mapungubwe  show remains of the first and greatest ever South African kingdom to have flourished.
* Modjadji Cycad Nature Reserve -situated next to the home of the fabled rain queen, lies the Modjadji Cycad Reserve – boasting some of the oldest and largest cycad specimens on earth.
* Kruger Park - spot the 'big five' from your luxury safari vehicle, or go tracking on foot in the most famous game park in the world.
* Bela-Bela - known as 'Warmbaths' for a few decades, because of the hot mineral spring at its centre.
* Lake Fundudzi and the nearby Vondo Forests are said to be the sacred burial ground of the royal Venda clan, (and place of birth and creation in Venda mythology). The area is also said to be protected by a python god.
* Haenertsburg - this gorgeous village in the misty Magoebaskloof mountains near the town of Tzaneen is famous for its cherries, azaleas and abundant flora and birdlife. The perfect spot for the ultimate weekend getaway.
* Nylsvlei near Modimolle (Nylstroom) is a 160km nature reserve enclosing one of the most beautiful, wetlands in South Africa.

See the list of towns in Limpopo.

Mpumalanga is home to exquisite panoramic views, mountains, rivers, trout fishing and birding opportunities, eco-tourism, adventure holidays and the rich offerings of the local Ndebele and Swazi cultures.

* The perfect getaway for fly-fishing enthusiasts, Dullstroom and surrounds offer spectacular beauty and its many lakes makes Dullstroom the perfect weekend getaway spot.
* The little town of Pilgrim's Rest offers a step backwards into South Africa's history, complete with themed-museums, restored buildings… and the Victorian-inspired Royal Hotel.
* Graskop - a short drive from Pilgrim's Rest famous for it's scenic waterfall and as stop-off en route to the Blyde River Canyon.
* Sabie - the centre of South Africa's forestry region and although the pace in Sabie is rather laid back, there are a number of activities and day trips.
* One of the most scenic views in South Africa is undoubtedly offered up at the famous Blyde River Canyon – this colossal canyon is famous for its dramatic window on the world.
* Along the Panorama Route visitors love to visit the God's Window ledge, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels – all of which offer breathtaking panoramas. The Mac-Mac Falls and Lisbon Falls are also a keen favourite for visitors to Mpumalanga.
* Explore the local Shangaan culture at the famous Shangana Cultural Village, a short hop away from the town of Hazyview.

See the list of towns in Mpumalanga.

KwaZulu-Natal with its subtropical coastline, sweeping savannah in the east and magnificent Drakensberg mountain range in the west, caters for just about every taste imaginable.

* The city of Pietermaritzburg has a strong colonial heritage, but also has a great mix of Indian, Zulu and English-speaking people. The city is often referred to as the best-preserved Victorian City in the country.
* Some of South Africa's best beaches can be found along the Natal coastline, Umhlanga Rocks, Ballito, Shaka's Rock, Shelley Beach (on the Dolphin Coast), Uvongo and Margate
(on the South coast) – to mention just a few.
* The Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park -a mountain wilderness, bordering Lesotho, is a vast national park boasting the highest mountain range in South Africa.
* Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park is the largest of KZN's reserves and boasts a fantastic cross section of wildlife.
Mkuze Game Reserve and Ithala Game Rsereve are also popular.
* The iSimangaliso (previously Great St Lucia) Wetland Park - an eco-tourism wonderland of beautiful lakes, swamps, forests and marshlands surrounding the estuary of Lake St Lucia.
* Sodwana Bay Nature Reserve – a veritable mecca for those who love underwater adventure. The area is also famous for big-game fishing.
* Battlefield route takes you to where some of South Africa's most turbulent wars took place.
* The Midlands Meander is a picture-postcard country. The area is known for its delightful restaurants and a marvellous arts-and-crafts route.

See the list of towns in KwaZulu-Natal.

Gauteng is a cosmopolitan metropolis; a multicultural mix of people from all walks of life, from all corners of the world.

* Take a tour to the Cradle of Humankind, at Sterkfontein, Gauteng's famous World Heritage Site – where caves have produced nearly half of the world's hominid fossil discoveries. Close to the Cradle is the Kromdraai Wonder Cave, as well as the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve.
* The Magaliesburg area offers a wonderful arts-and-crafts route including fabulous foodie options, country getaways and wildlife. The Crocodile Ramble and the Magalies Meander are two well-known tourists routes in the area.
* Situated 40 km to the northwest of Pretoria, the Tswaing Meteorite Crater is one of the best-preserved meteorite craters in the world, this crater is home to a few stone artefacts of the Late Stone Age as well as an impressive wetland.

North West Province
Home to the fantastic Pilanesberg Game Reserve and Madikwe game reserve, North West province offers up the big five, fantastic bird-life and wide-open African skies.

* Visit the Taung Heritage Site where the Taung skull was discovered.
* A short, scenic drive outside of Johannesburg, Lesedi Cultural Village offers a window onto the traditions of a number of our indigenous cultures.
* The extravagant Sun City Resort with its hotels & entertainment complex remains an icon of family fun and entertainment.
* Next door to the famous Sun City resort is the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, where visitors can experience the 'big five', just two hours from Johannesburg.
* Groot Marico is a town made famous by author Herman Charles Bosman. The spirit of one of his main characters, the feisty Oom Schalk Lourens, still lingers along the quiet streets of this enticing little town. Groot Marico is home to a vibrant artistic community.
* Madikwe Game Reserve -the area is home to the big five and is famous for its wild dog, spotted hyena, cheetah and elephant population.
* Mafikeng - Victorian buildings stand next to a modern-day museum that boasts ancient San works of art and Tswana traditional exhibits in a powerful juxtaposition of cultures.
* North West is jam-packed with towns and artistic communities. Potchefstroom, Christiana, Wolmaranstad,
Vryburg and Bloemhof are certainly worthy of a self-drive voyage of discovery.
* The De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre is renowned for the breeding of cheetah (including the rare king cheetah), as well as the brown hyena and African wild dog.
* Vredefort Dome - a World Heritage Site where an ancient meteorite is said to have hit the earth aeons ago.
* Hartbeespoort Dam is just a half-hour drive from Johannesburg, and is something of a weekend mecca for water sports lovers. The area boasts wonderful picnic spots and an opportunity to windsurf, sail, canoe, body-board and catch some sun.

See the list of towns in North West.

Free State
This tranquil land is the geographic and agricultural centre of South Africa. Famous for its warm South African hospitality and decidedly slower-paced lifestyle, this province has become a draw-card for holiday-makers intent on exploring -town South Africa.

* Bloemfontein - the city of Roses, and the capital of the Free State Province. Enjoy warm hospitality, friendly but diverse peoples, many attractions and cultural sites.
* The Maluti Route follows the scenic Highlands of the Free State and over the border into the magnificent Maluti Mountains of Lesotho.
* A man-made diamond hole at Jagersfontein of 760m beats the better-known Big Hole of Kimberley for size. Also visit the wine cellars of Landzicht and Wilreza in the scenic Jacobsdal area.
* Ficksburg - located in an important agricultural region of the Free State also known as the Cherry Town of South Africa
* The Golden Gate Highlands National Park - famous for its 'Mountains of Gold' – is an area of highveld and montane grassland and well-stocked with eland, red hartebeest, black wildebeest, blesbok and zebra.
* The beautiful town of Clarens is the perfect country retreat. Known as the `jewel of the Free State', Clarens is very popular with the artistic community.
* The Free State has three major watersports venues: the Vaal River (northern Free State); Gariep Dam (the largest dam in the country) and Sterkfontein Dam (near Harrismith).

See the list of towns in the Free State.

Western Cape
The Western Cape is one of South Africa's premier tourist attractions, and home to the famous Table Mountain National Park, Cape winelands, magnificent beaches, world-class restaurants and cosmopolitan entertainment haunts.

* The West Coast offers some of the greatest of town experiences in South Africa.
* Just a 45-minute drive from Cape Town and you're in the mountains and valleys of the Cape Winelands – all gracious gabled Cape Dutch homesteads, cask-lined cellars, oak-treed towns and ultra fine restaurants.
* The Garden Route - this land of lakes, bays, mountains and forests languishes on the southern
* The Klein Karoo - one of the most geologically interesting parts of South Africa with its
towering mountains and sheer gorges. A notable geological feature is the Cango Caves, outside of Oudtshoorn.
* The Central Karoo - a huge area stretching from Prince Albert at the Swartberg Pass to the Karoo National Park, as the largest ecosystem in South Africa.
* The Breede River Valley - forms part of Route 62 that meanders between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn.
* The Overberg - an hour east of Cape Town marked by a coastline of holiday-friendly beaches, picturesque seaside towns, a whale route and the Cape Country Meander.

See the list of towns in the Western Cape

Northern Cape Province
This province boasts a colourful history and a variety of cultural tourist attractions and is particularly well known for its incredible annual floral display that takes place in Namaqualand .

* Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is Africa's first transfrontier game park and one of the largest nature conservation areas in southern Africa, and one of the largest remaining protected natural ecosystems in the world.
* Augrabies Falls National Park - here Africa's second largest waterfall thunders down into a granite gorge in a spectacular display.
* During August and September, Namaqualand and the Namaqua National Park are transformed into a brilliant carpet of wild flowers.
* The province is rich in San rock art paintings that date back to time immemorial.
* Kimberley boasts an excellent museum called the Kimberley Mine Museum. Part of the museum includes the viewing decks into the Big Hole, as well as a number of historic buildings.
* Moffat Mission Station - missionaries tried to convert the local people to Christianity, and Moffat was the first person to attempt translating the Holy Bible into Tswana.
* The Kalahari is home to endless spaces and huge African skies.
* The Northern Cape is littered with towns that are fast growing in popularity with the arty set in search of peace and quiet. Places such as Nieuwoudtville, Calvinia, Poffadder, Carnarvon and Springbok are worth a visit.
* For adventure-junkies, canoeing down the Orange River is one way to get an adrenalin rush in this part of the world.

See the list of towns in the Northern Cape.

Related Links
* Accommodation in South Africa
* Game Reserves & Game Lodges in South Africa
* Southern Africa Safaris & Tours
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