Travel Guide: Explore The Colours Of South Africa At These Enthralling Destinations

Travel Guide: Explore The Colours Of South Africa At These Enthralling Destinations

Often associated with iconic destinations such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, the country has so much more to offer if one goes beyond these well-trodden paths

IANSUpdated: Thursday, March 14, 2024, 12:21 PM IST
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As the year gains momentum and travellers embark on checking off their bucket lists, numerous hidden gems await discovery, eager to be unveilled. For wanderlusts, these destinations project new desires to explore the unexplored and charter the roads less travelled. With the landscape of travel continuously evolving, play along and embark on an exploration of novel experiences that transcend geological boundaries.

The essence of travel lies in the discovery of unfound gems and underrated cultures. Enriched by multiple less frequented destinations, the idea of exploring the Rainbow Nation appears ever so appealing. Often associated with iconic destinations such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, the country has so much more to offer if one goes beyond these well-trodden paths.

Trading the familiarity of popular, mainstream destinations with untouched landscapes could be your very first stepping stone to embrace the thrill of the unknown, and when you get there, your camera lens will finally experience the unparalleled beauty that it has been missing all along.

Serenade By the Sounds at Augrabies Falls National Park

Laced with stunning views and opportunities to hike around the free-flowing rivers, the Augrabies Falls National Park is located in the vicinity of Upington along the banks of the formidable Orange River.

Appreciating the incredible sounds generated from the powerful flow of the 56-metre-high waterfall here the Khoi people of South Africa often refer to the park as “Aulkorebis”. translating to “the place of great noise”. While there are no large predators here, expect to encounter Giraffes, Zebras, African Wild Cats, Springbok, and more along with rare sightings of Leopards.

Besides, the park is also home to multiple fascinating rock formations to check out. One can also go against the currents of the Orange River and enjoy water sports such as white-water rafting and kayaking.

Become Captive to The Natural Beauty of Coffee Bay

Tucked away in the Wild Coast of South Africa, Coffee Bay is famous for its prominent geographical marvel – Hole in the Wall. Placed right in the path of Mpako River the elements of the rock stacked offshore have eroded a hole thus creating a beautiful arch. The Xhosa mythology credits the phenomenon to a romantic tale of semi-deities.

Coffee Bay is surrounded by a rich diversity of wild flora and fauna, inviting you to embark on hour-long strolls and become captive to the town’s scenic beauties. Try taking a leisurely break under the canopy of milkwood trees or dive for a swim right before lunch. You can conclude the day driving back along a picturesque road and return in time to sip your favourite sundowner drink.

Gaze The Turquoise Waters of Langebaan Lagoon

Safeguarded within the West Coast National Park, Langebaan is a saltwater lagoon and a remarkable international treasure. A paradise for bird enthusiasts, the intertidal area of this 16-km-long waterbody attracts as many as 55,000 water birds in the summer.

Striking an intense turquoise blue shade, the lagoon is also responsible for supporting a huge population of crabs and snails along with 70 different marine algae serving as a nursery to juvenile fish. What makes it unique is its self-sustaining nature where the lagoon shapes itself by the rise and fall of sea levels. If you are a beachbody, make your way to the coast for a relaxing swim or a comforting picnic or spend time exploring a series of unique salt marshes that make up the biggest salt marsh area in South Africa.

Hide In the Mountains with The Hidden Village of Hogsback

A charming village hidden in the elevated Amatola range, Hogsback is an enigmatic world of mountains and forests. Wrapped in the native Afromontane Forest, the village offers a rejuvenating experience. Posing dramatic natural beauty, the mountains are host to numerous hiking trails attracting adventure seekers from around the world taking them through an exploration journey of glorious waterfalls.

This little sanctuary is also the home to the last surviving Cape parrots and vibrant Knysna Loerie as well as long-crested eagles and crowned eagles. With breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, Hosgback is a haven for wanderers. During winters you will also find the lower-lying parts of the village covered in a blanket of snow.

Stand Above the Valley of Desolation

Offering breathtaking views from the top, the Valley of Desolation in the Eastern Cape is essentially a geological phenomenon that surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet. A national monument located within the Camdeboo National Park, the valley is popular for its Karoo Landscape and the charming Karoo-styled homes of the town it encompasses as well as its historic museums.

Being just 14 km away from the town’s borders, the valley poses a remarkable diversity of plants, mammals, and bird species. The inspiring vertical cliffs and dolerite columns stand tall at 120 meters above the floor of the valley is an unusual feature resulting from the volcanic and erosive forces that have taken 100 million years to form.

If you find yourself strolling the Graaf Reinet, be sure to seize the opportunity to embark on an invigorating hike in the valley for a fun-filled outdoor experience. An enduring force of nature, this majestic beauty provides a momentary escape from the ordinary.

South Africa is abundant with natural beauty and peculiar landscapes and while the above spills the beans to a few, many more hidden gems of the Rainbow Nation await to be unearthed.

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