Five cool holidays in South Africa
South Africa is a country that is diverse in its people, its landscapes and its culture. It makes the perfect place to visit during the longer December and January holidays. You will need the extra time, there is so much to see! Here are five amazing places you should consider making top destinations for a holiday break to explore this beautiful country.
Take a Cederberg hike
For some epic red sandstone scenery, and bouldering and mountain climbing, head to the Cederberg which is an easy drive out of Cape Town. Campsites are great hubs for all sorts of hikes, from the majestic arch of the Wolfberg to the photographic Maltese Cross. If you are interested in the history of the region, then there is a cave painting walk which is easily accessible for beginner-level hikers.
This region hosts beautiful spring flowers and is where rooibos is grown, so be sure to head to Clanwilliam to sample the different varieties at the factory or the teashop. This is the perfect place to enjoy the tranquillity of nature and relax under spectacular sunsets and star-filled skies.
Enjoy the beaches at Port Elizabeth
Relax for the perfect beach holiday at Port Elizabeth, with beautiful and accessible beaches you can access from the Boardwalk. These are sunbather friendly, and a popular spot for surfers, swimmers and body surfing. There is also marine life to be found in rock pools that rise and fall with the tides. If you’re keen to hit the waves, then there is also sailing for the seafaring traveller.
In addition to the beaches, there is lots of local culture and entertainment to soak up. The local heritage, including preserved architecture and local museums, enrich this port town and there are numerous great restaurants and arts and crafts markets.
Explore The Cradle of Humankind
This rich landscape has homed around 40% of the world’s human fossils. A heritage site, it is located around 90 minutes outside of Johannesburg and has an incredible diversity of fossils, fauna and birds, some of which are rare.
Before you head out and explore the incredible landscape, make sure you prepare properly for your hike. Have suitable gear with you for the hot or the cold.
For the more adventurous, there are thrilling activities such as ziplining, abseiling or adventure biking. Or for a relaxing way to get an unbeatable view, hop in a hot air balloon and soak up the cradle from the sky.
Hang out in cosmopolitan Johannesburg
There is always something going on in this buzzing metropolis, whether it be an art gallery opening, a hot pop-up restaurant, or the hip chic fashion that bursts from the city, you never need to do the same thing twice. Hop on a rollercoaster at the Gold Reef City theme park or experience the delights of the birds at Montecasino Bird Garden.
For local history and culture, you can get a guided tour of the biggest and most vibrant township in South Africa, Soweto, catch a show at the Joburg theatre and pick up some local treasures from the Rosebank African Craft Market.
There is no shortage of beautiful and comfortable places to stay, with hotels all over the city that are easily accessible via the Gautrain rapid rail, Real Vaya bus service, or taxis to get you where you need to go.
Visit the Cango Caves
For an eerie and otherworldly experience, drive out to the Cango Caves which have a range of tours for beginners to more expert adventurers. Each tour is guided to preserve the cave systems and prevent damage. Located in the Western Cape Province, these caves have beautiful rock formations made from Precambrian limestone that will awe you.
Reaching the caves will probably involve a drive and an overnight stay. Prep your car for your road trip, check your car insurance is up to date, book your accommodation and consider a visit to Mossel Bay from there. The Cango Caves are a perfect stop to embellish a longer round trip.
If these great spots leave you wanting more, then South Africa has lots more to offer. There are music festivals for every genre, such as Up the Creek where revellers chill out to live music on a lilo floating in a creek that you will remember for years to come