1 The Panorama Route, Mpumalanga
When you’re in the Johannesburg area take a roadtrip along the Panorama Route, via the N12 or the N4. There are lots of places along the way to pull over- park your car and take in the natural beauty. You’ll be able to spot multiple waterfalls as you look out onto the lush foliage of the Blyde River Canyon, which is the world’s largest ‘green canyon’.
2 Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area, KwaZulu Natal
If you’re interested in diving you need to head to the little village of Umkomaas. Here you’ll find the Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area, which, as the name suggests, is a safe space for marine life. If you go diving here you’re almost guaranteed to spot ragged tooth sharks (they inexplicably congregate in this area).
If swimming with sharks isn’t really your idea of a relaxing time there are also dolphins, whales, turtles and various fish to be spotted. Also, a shipwreck or two.
3 Dias Beach, Cape Point
Cape Point isn’t just good for watching two oceans collide, there are also some beautiful beaches there. Because it’s a bit out of the way they are usually pretty empty, which is always a bonus. Dias beach is beautiful both from above (while you’re re-enacting that scene Titanic on the Southern-most tip of Africa) and on the actual beach.
It’s just a 20 minute walk along the wooden walkway to the beach (but save your energy because it’ll take you 40 minutes on the way up). Stay out of the water (the current can be dangerous) but take a picnic and bae and bask in sitting in the shadow of the 200m high cliffs around you.
4 Pebble Beach, Port St Johns
Have you ever seen photos of the pebble-covered beaches they have in the UK and wondered what it’s like to have stones instead of sand between your toes? No? Okay, well, it feels pretty cool.
Pebble Beach in Port St Johns is aptly named; it’s covered in pebbles. No need to de-sand your feet before you hop back into your car.
5 Wolkberg Wilderness Area, Limpopo
This is a protected area, meaning you’re sure to see a lot of indigenous flora and fauna when you visit. Ideal for keen hikers, the area is really big and you can choose to hike for a couple of hours or a couple of days.
There are streams to splash in and waterfalls to gasp at as you walk through the densely forested area. Pack a swimsuit and a picnic.
6 Mzinyathi Falls, Durban
Did you know that a breath-taking waterfall is just a 20 minute drive from town (provided you live in Durban, duh).
In the Mzinyathi Gorge you’ll find Mzinyathi Falls, which flows down an amphitheatre of sandstone. It’s a bit of a hike to get there but this little slice of natural heaven is so worth it.
If you’re into rock climbing you will want to give the Mzinyathi Falls crags a go. If you’re not into rock climbing that’s fine; they’re pretty enough to just look at.
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