Rethink: South Africa

The Rainbow Nation is a well-worn holiday destination, but hidden delights remain. Nick Boulos has five of the best

Monday 07 March 2016 10:23
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With an almost intoxicating blend of nature, wildlife, history and culture, South Africa really does have it all. And while its most celebrated corners – Cape Town, Kruger National Park, the Garden Route chief amongst them - attract a constant stream of fans, it’s reassuring to know that there are still places waiting to be discovered…

Stargazing in the desert

Tankwa, located in the Karoo Desert around four hours north east of Cape Town, boasts a night sky that will render you speechless. Want a closer look? Head to the nearby Sutherland Observatory.

Warm, shark-free waters

Avoid the ice-cold, Great White inhabited ocean of the Western Cape and head to Langebaan, 90 minutes north of Cape Town. This safe and picturesque lagoon is littered with sheltered bays and beautiful, white sandy beaches. Rent a beach cottage and explore the area by kayak.

The Anglo-Zulu Battlefields

North of the dramatic Drakensberg Mountains – between Jo’burg and Durban – is the area made famous by Michael Caine in the 1964 film, Zulu. Now an area of pleasant, undulating hills, The Battlefields are steeped in history thanks to the intense clashes between the English and indigenous tribes in the 1800s.

Laid-back Umhlanga

Just up the coast from Durban, this fast-growing town is famed for its beaches, seaside charm and varied culinary scene. The nearby lagoon and reserve, meanwhile, will excite birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

Giraffes and waterfalls

With big game as well as the dramatic cascades from which it takes its name, Augrabies Falls National Park, on the border with Namibia, is the South African wilderness you haven’t heard of. The Aukoerebis Waterfall (meaning ‘The Great Noise’) is a must see, as well as a must hear.

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