12 secret South African spots

12 secret South African spots most people don’t know about

If you’re looking to get away from the crowds and experience South Africa at her most beautiful, this is where you need to go.

12 secret South African spots

1. Riemvasmaak hot springs – Northern Cape

Just north of the Augrabies Falls lie the Riemvasmaak hot springs – the product of volcanic eruptions. The springs are located in a deep ravine bordered by 80m-high granite cliffs and surrounded by 5,000 hectares of rugged wilderness.

#riemvasmaak hot springs #vansparallel #vans

A photo posted by Dallas Oberholzer (@dallasafrica) on

2. Lady Grey – Noth-Eastern Cape

Located in the foothills of the Wittenberg mountains, Lady Grey is a rural village near the border with Lesotho.

This village is home to a sprinkling of charming country cottages and completely tucked away.

I’m actually going to really miss this place when I’m gone…

A photo posted by Louie-Arné (@luzukogqiba) on

Lady Grey is even more beautiful (and chilly) in Winter.

Snow in Lady Grey with the evening light shining through the trees! Lady Grey, Eastern Cape, South Africa #unimetphoto #ladygrey #snow #sunset #eveninglight #trees

A photo posted by @unimetphoto on

3. Inanda dam and viewpoint – KwaZulu-Natal

The Inanda dam lies within the Valley of a Thousand Hills, approximately 40km from Durban.

For killer views from Umhlanga to the bottom of Durban, head up to Inanda Mountain Viewpoint.

#inanda #dam

A photo posted by Avani Roopan (@avaniroopan) on

4. Calvinia – Northern Cape

There is much more to this Karoo town that a giant postbox. Many of the flowers found in Calvinia are indigenous only to this region.

5. Ndumo Game Reserve – KwaZulu-Natal

Situated in Maputaland on the Mozambique border, Ndumo Game Reserve boasts the highest bird count in South Africa.

The reserve has yellow fever trees, extensive wetlands, roadbeds, acacia savannah and sand forest.

Nothing quite like the ancient twisted roots of an old sycamore. #ndumogamereserve #ndumo #treeporn #southafrica #kwazulunatal

A photo posted by Gareth Tate (@garethjtate) on

Oh, and some wildlife roaming about too.

Caring mother #giraffe and #baby #ndumo #nature #reserve

A photo posted by Ilse Müller (@mullertjie) on

6. Pondoland – Eastern Cape

The former region of the Pondo kingdom is an exquisite coastal stretch between the Mthatha and Mtamvuna rivers.

The pristine beaches and seascapes are enjoyed by locals and cattle alike.

Umngazi to Umngazana #transkei #gopro #pondoland #paradise

A photo posted by David Gardner (@davefrederickgardner) on

In Pondoland, waterfalls drop directly into the sea.

Pondoland – Afrique du Sud #Jovago #beautyofafrica #Afrique #southafrica #pondoland #naturelovers #nature

A photo posted by Jovago Afrique de l’Ouest (@jovagoafrique) on

7. Elim – Western Cape

This moravian mission town features whitewashed thatched cottages, a Moravian Church and the oldest working clock in South Africa.

In fact, the first slave monument in South Africa was built at the Elim Moravian Mission Station in memory of the emancipated slaves who found refuge there.

What a cute little town on the way to Cape Agulhas along the new Fynbos Road. #westerncape #southafrica

A photo posted by Mel & Trinity (@melandtrinity) on

8. Chrissiesmeer – Mpumalanga

Known as South Africa’s very own Lake District, Chrissiesmeer is a wetland district with approximately 270 lakes and pans.

It is best known for bird watching, and in the late summer, thousands of flamingoes stop over for a bit.

It is also a beautiful outdoor venue for forest weddings.

What listening to forest echoes and song birds look like #teammalevris #chrissiesmeer #forest #beautyfulwedding

A photo posted by Chalise Odendaal (@chaliseodendaal) on

9. Quiver Tree Forest – Northern Cape

The world’s largest aloe forest of quiver trees (Aloe dichotomy) form part of South Africa’s rich floral heritage.

The forest served as a gathering place for Khoisan hunters to source quivers in the form of hollowed out branches of the tree to hold their hunting arrows. 

The trees have smooth branches and scale-like bark, producing yellow flowers in Winter. They grow to the age of 400.

Sunset in the #gannabos exploring the #northerncape #namaqualand #southafrica

A photo posted by Kristina C (@kristinachan263) on

10. Groot Winterhoek – Western Cape

This wilderness area is known for its rugged landscape, clear mountain pools and unique rock formations.

The slopes are home to fynbos species and colorful flowers as well as the klipspringer, grey rhebok, grysbok, leopard, caracal, African wild cat, mongoose, and genet.

While the name suggests chilly winters, the summers are usually extremely hot, meaning a lot more time spent in the water.

Amazing weekend out in the Cederberg / Groot Winterhoek area. 10 people and multiple hectares of land to ourselves. The crazy heat meant most of the time was spent in and around water. This shot captured this morning of a future Dusi champ paddling the dam. #outdoors #cederberg #dasklippass #grootwinterhoek #rockhaven #westerncape #paddling #morning

A photo posted by Phil Voget (@philvoget) on

11. Wolkberg – Limpopo

The ‘cloudy mountains’ are a subrange of the Drakenberg punctuated with steep gorges, gorgeous ravines, potholed pools, waterfalls and wide grasslands.

The reserve extends for 22,000 hectares and is a welcome spot for hikers walkers and picnickers.

Saturday well spent #wolkberg #exploring #mountain #toyota #landcruiser #saturdayshenanigans #homeground #mothernature @xyza_stander @noo_hayes @sarah_behr92

A photo posted by Missy Hayes (@missy_hayes12) on

#wolkberg #shaunbreed #africa #alexvans101

A photo posted by @shaunbreed on

12. Mountain Zebra National Park – Eastern Cape

This remote, untouched reserve offers spectacular scenery and an abundance of rare wildlife including the aardwolf, Cape buffalo, cheetah, blue crane, Denham’s bustard, as well as the endangered Cape mountain zebra.

Just another beautiful day in Africa…