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Travel

Where to Go in South Africa


Bush, beach or a city break, whatever your idea of an ideal getaway, South Africa is a “world in one country” with a taste, sight and sound to suit any mood!

With all this variety and diversity at your fingertips, it is then very tempting to want to circuit the entire country in one go. Especially with the infrastructure and self-drive friendly road system available to you. But as any local will tell you; South Africa is best savoured in stages. To get the best out of your experience, and in fact any travel experience, it is well worth exploring one segment of a country and fully delighting in a moment vs. dashing through with only a blur of a memory left behind.

The truth is too – like so many before – once you’ve been to South Africa, you’ll likely be back to explore more! So, that out the way, I think a route forward is focusing on one section of the country (or maybe two) at a time. Also, depending on the time of year and your interests, I’d pick either the west or the east to get going. Trust me, either way, each one of our nine provinces has equally spellbinding reasons to visit.


Here’s a bird’s eye view of each of the nine…

Western Province

Western Province

When visiting South Africa, the Western Province and its westerly edge are generally the first on most travellers lips…

KwaZulu Natal

KwaZulu Natal

I was 16 when the English shire-like rolling green hills of the KwaZulu Natal Midlands caught me off guard and left me totally enamoured with this particular piece of South Africa forever…

Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga

The Mpumalanga Province which borders the nations of Swaziland and Mozambique and lies east of Johannesburg was given the Zulu name which means “the place where the sun rises”. Oh, and does it rise here!

Limpopo

Limpopo

The Limpopo Province, which stretches to the far northern reaches of South Africa and borders Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique is characterised by diverse cultures, is a land with a history braided in myth and legend; vast open spaces and wildlife bar none.

Gauteng

Gauteng

The Gauteng Province is Made up of the Witwatersrand, Pretoria and Johannesburg and located on the eastern flank of South Africa. The place we call eGoli (“the city of gold); the divergent and almost entirely urban sibling of the Western Provinces pretty and easy going scene, is the starting point for most.

Free State

Free State

The Free State Province – and staunchly Afrikaner heartland – lies across the mountain kingdom of Lesotho from KwaZulu-Natal and borders six of the country’s nine provinces. Aside from the rose-covered capital of Bloemfontein which acts as an oasis in the middle of a rather arid landscape, the Free State is as striking as it is rural and remote.

Eastern Cape

Eastern Cape

I have an admitted soft spot for the Eastern Cape. Maybe it’s because it is generally used as a go-between for the Western Province and KZN as destination points, and I love backing an underdog. Maybe it is the fact that one of my best mates parents own a farm in the heart of what feels like a semi-arid bliss-filled nowhere. Or maybe I’ve gotten to explore this particular province, it’s quirky towns and incredible coastline a little more than the rest…

North West

North West

The North West Province which extends west from Gauteng to the Botswana border and the Kalahari Desert is by far the least understood of the nine provinces. When most people think of the North West, the opulence of Sun City Resort and the Big Five Pilanesberg National Park come to mind, but not much else. But if you are curious beyond these two well-known attractions and willing to venture further into this region, there are untold gems worth their weight in little dorpies (small towns in Afrikaans) which offer a refreshingly old-fashioned hospitality…

Northern Cape

Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is nothing short of mesmerising. It is a place where your mind could wander in perfect perpetuity if you let it. It offers up a sparse but intoxicating interior, with wide open horizons, switchback mountain passes, shrubby vegetation and outlying dorpies (small towns in Afrikaans). If you have time to wander…

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