Dream Bucket List: South African Edition

Dream Bucket List: South African Edition

We’ve rounded up ten of the most beautiful places to add to your South African bucket list.

drakensburg instagram pic
Instagram / @agdenicourt

We all have dreams of travelling to faraway places and experiencing foreign adventures, but have you considered that some of the most beautiful places in the world can be found in your own backyard? So instead of booking that next overseas holiday, consider taking a trip around the country and discover a few local treasures. 

Kruger National Park

Curious Cheetahs trying to figure out which way to go! Nicely caught @readysetsafari

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For the ultimate wildlife experience, there’s not much that can beat the Kruger National Park. The surface area of the park is a whopping 19 633km², so you’re guaranteed to see plenty of wildlife on your visit. The best part is you can choose your experience. Whether you want a rustic break or a super luxurious holiday or something in the middle, there’s an option for you.  Visit http://www.krugerpark.co.za/ for more information.

Table Mountain

Cape Town is known for the iconic mountain, which can be seen from all over the city. A trip to the Mother City would be incomplete without a jaunt up the mountain. The views from there are spectacular, and the journey to the top is beautiful whether you decide to hike or use the cable car. A visit to this New7Wonder of Nature is a must. Look out for specials and if you visit on your birthday, it’s free. Visit https://www.tablemountain.net/ for more information.

Midlands Howick Falls

Last stop was at #HowickFalls. Nature at its best 🌿

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The Howick Falls, also known as KwaNogqaza, the 'place of the tall one', is one of the most beautiful spots to visit in the KwaZulu-Natal region. The waterfall is a very impressive 95m high drop is surrounded by spectacular greenery and scenery, and is said to be the place of the spirits of ancestors according to the Zulus. Besides the views, there are a few lovely walks and trails you can follow. Visit http://www.zulu.org.za/places-to-go/pietermaritzburg-and-midlands/howick-falls-P43807 to find out more.

Orange River

The Orange River is the longest river in South Africa and even extends to Namibia and Botswana. One way to discover and explore the Orange River’s beauty is to book an Orange River rafting tour. You’ll have the opportunity to paddle, swim, float while taking in the scenery, while also getting an adrenaline rush from making your way through a few rapids. There are also some hikes available to further explore the area. Have a look at https://www.places.co.za/html/orangeproject.html for more details.

Sani Pass

This one is not for the faint-hearted traveller. The Sani Pass, situated between KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho is one of the most beautiful and most treacherous mountain passes in the country. The summit reaches a height of 2 876m above sea level and the road itself is gravel. Don’t expect an easy drive, and make sure you are driving a 4x4 if you’re planning to navigate it. While using the pass comes with warnings regarding weather and road conditions, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most amazing scenery and views you’ll ever see. It’s considered a once in a lifetime experience by many. For more information, visit https://www.mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za/find-a-pass/kwazulu-natal/item/410-sani-pass.html.

Coffee Bay

Coffee Bay can be found on the Wild Coast of South Africa, and boasts some of the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever seen. If you love the beach, then Coffee Bay will give you the perfect and unspoiled beach treat. There is a plethora of activities available, from hiking and surfing to fishing and diving and beach exploring. You can also visit the world-famous Hole in the Wall landmark and sample some of the best seafood in the country. What are you waiting for? Check out https://coffeebay.co.za/ and plan your trip.


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Just two hours from Cape Town, the Cederberg region is known for its unspoilt beauty. The area boasts beautiful mountains, hidden mountain pools, extensive birdlife and historical Bushman rock art. The Cederberg is also where Rooibos tea is cultivated and grown, so keep an eye out for a tour and treat yourself to a visit to the natural hot springs. Visit https://www.cederberg.com/  to see everything on offer.

Drakensberg Mountains

The Drakensberg Mountain range is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa. Not much compares to this majestic place. Expect views for days and enough tranquil scenery to wipe clean any form of stress and tension. The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Site, is part of the mountain range and protects a natural mountain wilderness area and ancient San rock art. There are plenty of activities for the family including hiking, camping and cave and waterfall exploring. Pack your swimming costumes so that you can cool off in one of the beautiful mountain rock pools as well. Visit http://www.zulu.org.za/destinations/drakensberg/information for more information.

Boulders Beach Penguin Colony

Chilling with friends 🐧🐧🐧

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You can’t visit Cape Town without making a stop to see the African Penguin colony at one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches, Boulders Beach. Expect a cuteness overload with penguins marching in a line between sunbathing beachgoers, or jumping into the water from the high rocks, alongside a few human daredevils. The kids will love it. There is a sanctuary at the beach where you can walk along boardwalks while watching the penguins go about their daily business. It’s great fun and a brilliant family experience. The beach is pretty great too with warm water completely sheltered by massive boulders. Learn more about these amazing animals and their home by visiting https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/attractions.php#boulders.

Cradle of Humankind

Cave missions today 🦇🦇

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About 90 minutes outside of Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind offers not just a beautiful experience, but also an educational one. The World Heritage Site is the world's richest hominin site and is home to about 40% of the world's human ancestor fossils. It could be described as South Africa’s greatest treasure and is well worth a visit. Make sure you pay the Sterkfontein caves a visit as well as the Maropeng Centre. Learn more about this local treasure by visiting http://www.thecradleofhumankind.net/.

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Also read: 8 fun and educational apps to keep kids entertained while travelling

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