Over the past years, tourism has become one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors in South Africa and has become more important for some of the major destinations in the country because they contribute to the development of infrastructure, the creation of new jobs, and contribute to Gross Domestic Product. Some of the country’s major cities have become tourist destinations because of their unique environmental features and diversity of culture. South Africa has multiple different tourism products to offer including natural and cultural attractions.

   Cape Town

Cape Town known as the mother city has been recognized as one of the best cities to visit and has been voted the world’s best city more than once. The city is the home of the infamous Table Mountain in which from the top the tourists can see Robben Island. The destination offers endless thrilling activities and attractions from hiking, ocean vistas, vineyards, and amazing landscapes. This bucket-list worth destination is also home to South Africa’s most visited tourist attraction named Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. There is everything at V&A Waterfront from local designers to international brands, restaurants, museums, nightlife, and two oceans aquariums. Above all, one cannot visit Cape Town without experiencing its breathtaking beaches and South Africa the most popular and interesting coastline – Garden Route.

   Johannesburg

The capital of Gauteng known as the City of Gold, build on the discovery of the Gold mine. It is the biggest and most vibrant city in South Africa with different people from all walks of life, and is the economic center of Gauteng. Gold Reef City is one of the most famous attractions in Johannesburg, the attraction offers thrilling theme parks and tours of the disused shaft of crown mines to get a glance at the gold mines. Opened recently, Wits Art Museum has the best collection of African art, and sometimes exhibitions are hosted as part of the University culture. The destination does not have only one museum, there are more than one museums in the city, one of those is the Apartheid Museum which provides and portray the apartheid history through film, pictures, artifacts, and newspaper clippings, the museum is the place to visit if one wants to learn about the freedom struggle of South African. The other exciting museum is the South Africa National Museum of Military House fascinating for those who are interested in war stories and also gives insights of the African healing methods used during the Angolo-Zulu war.

Market Theatre is a non-racial theatre opened during the Apartheid regime. The place has restaurants, an art & photography gallery, and a bookshop, by showing off the production of the theatre the place portrays the vibrant energy and culture of Johannesburg. The Lion Park is one of the essential tourism products in Johannesburg, apart from the lions being the major interests of visitors and other indigenous animals, the visitors can also indulge in safari expeditions. Above all vibrant experiences, visitors can a breather at the Holy Hill attraction to enjoy the breathtaking sights.

The Drakensberg

The Drakensberg mountains, Barrier of Spears as Zulus call them, are situated in KZN (South Africa) and Lesotho creating a border between them, is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa and is a UNESCO heritage site. Not only do the mountains have a hard collection of rocks but also have flora and fauna making them more interesting for visitors. The Drakensberg also has tourist activities such as hiking and Karkloof Canopy Tour which is about a 3-hour adventure through the Karkloof forest giving visitors a forested valley and birdlife experience and forest ecology. There is Battlefield Route which gives insight into the Zulu, British, and Boer wars during the days of King Shaka. Wanting to experience the natural scenery the Tagela River offers water rafting opportunities in which South Africa is one of few destinations that have clean lakes, rivers, and dams. Besides the natural, historical, and cultural experiences the destination has to offer, the visitors can get pampered at the beauty center, day spas, and health spas with a wide range of treatments and facilities. The destination also has spectacular accommodations ranging from self-catering to luxury resorts.

Kruger National Park

The destination is located on the border of Mozambique and the northern border formed by the Limpopo River and the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe, the park extent across Limpopo and Mpumalanga, it is the largest and the oldest national park in South Africa. Kruger National Pack is the home of the big five (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino, & Leopard), other wildlife, and different species of birds, besides that it is also home to distinct bush veld regions with their own different kind of species and diverse landscape such as Marula veld, Knob-thorn, and Thorn trees, offering visitors all year round unforgettable safari experiences. Visitors are to experience wildlife, birdlife, and plant life and learn more about African ecology and conservation. The Game drive is a must-do activity at the destination whether a sunrise or sunset drive but more beautiful to experience both. The destination has excellent infrastructure making it easily accessible and with plentiful options for accommodation ranging from luxurious 5-star lodges in the bushes to self-catering campsites and visitors can explore on their own or take the guided wildlife activities.

   Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Famously located on the Panorama Route. Blyde River Canyon is one of South Africa’s ecological wonders with red sandstones surrounding a body of water scenically breathtaking and lushly green, it is the third largest riverine gorge after Arizona’s and Namibian Canyons. The destination is most known more its mesmerizing beauty and vegetation. The drive along the scenic Panorama Route gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the vast scale of its nature. Three Rondavels, God’s Window, and Pinnacle Rock are some of the viewpoints the destination has to offer. Hiking, horse riding, kloofing, and white water rafting are activities visitors can indulge in while at the destination. There are also boat trips to the Blyde dams, fishing, and hot air balloon. This destination remains one of the last mountain grassland areas in Mpumalanga with over one thousand flora species, most of which are rare.

 

South Africa is definitely an incredible country with its diverse culture, amazingly beautiful landscape, unique wildlife, and fascinating history, South Africa caters to everyone. The above-mentioned destinations only scratch the surface of what this incredible country has to offer. It will be beautiful if everyone takes the opportunity to experience the beauty and wonders of South Africa.

By: Kgahliso Matsekolene

Email     : kgahliso@timelinetravel.co.za

Website : Timelinetravel.co.za