Confucius once said "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." This quote is certainly true when it comes to planning a vacation in South Africa. With an average flight time of over 18 hours, you want to make the most of every moment you have once you land on the other side of the world. South Africa conjures up visions of going on safari to see exotic animals in the wild, but there is much more to South Africa than just the wildlife.
Before you meet with your travel agent to discuss the things you want to see in South Africa, consider these four treasured spots that are just a little off the beaten path.
The Baobab is a type of tree, and after a millennium, a standing baobab naturally hollows out from the inside. In Modjadjiskloof, there is a baobab tree that is over 6,000 years old, and its owners have put its hollowness to good use.
The Sunland Baobab contains a little bar where you can pull up a stool and have a beer with the owners and other guests. You can also rent a cabin on the property and stay the night if you are worried about having one too many before the drive back to town. There are not too many places in the world where you can comfortably drink a beer inside a tree!
If you prefer your enclosed spaces to be a little larger, then a trip to Sterkfontein Caves is a must add to your itinerary. Located in Gauteng, your travel time from Johannesburg to the caves is less than an hour.
The caves are actively being excavated, so you never know what fossils are going to be discovered while you are on site. Cave tours are the best way to explore the caves, but make sure you have packed comfortable walking shoes for the exploration. After you have finished looking around, relax with a tasty lunch or dinner at the restaurant above the caves.
If you are planning on doing some surfing while on vacation in South Africa, you need to head over to Durban. Durban offers year round surfing opportunities due to its moderate daily climate.
If you head 12 miles up the coast away from Durban, you will stumble across Umhlanga Rocks. Despite its name, there are no actual rocks involved in this sightseeing expedition. Instead, you will find sandy beaches, upmarket restaurants and plenty of watering holes for a nighttime drink. While you are there, head over to the Umhlanga Lagoon Reserve to do some bird watching.
Umhlanga Rocks is the perfect blend of nature and entertainment after dark.
Augrabies Falls National Park
There is little more majestic in nature than waterfalls, and you can find a stunning water display at the Augrabies Falls National Park in the Northern Cape. The falls are 183 feet tall, and make plenty of noise during flood season. In fact, Augrabies is a native word that means "place of big noises."
There is a viewing platform at the waterfall which allows you to get up close and personal with this stunning force. If you want to see an amazing night sky filled with stars, you can camp out in the national park and be far away from the light pollution you experience at home.
At the end of the day, a safari is a fun adventure to include on your South African vacation, but don't let it be the only thing you see on this trip. Your travel agent has plenty more suggestions of treasured spots to explore while you are off on your overseas adventure, all you need to do is ask for some help and they will be happy to provide you with some advice. To get started, contact resources like South Africa Travel & Tours.