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Tourist Attractions of the Eastern Cape

Highlights

Tourist Attractions of South Africa

South Africa is a vast and extremely fascinating country that packs a powerful tourist punch. Few countries can match it for variety and diversity in attractions, activities and cultural groups. From art and history to food and wine, wildlife and nature, nightlife, shopping and even places of worship – there is so much on offer to attract, entice and entertain.

The Western Cape with its mountains and oceans offers scenery that has inspired thousands of descriptions. It has great beaches, World Heritage sites, romantic winelands and museums that celebrate a rich cultural heritage. You can’t talk about a trip to Cape Town without discussing the fabulous cuisine and shopping options that draw tourists time and time again.

Gauteng’s brash exterior belies its depth, uncovered at numerous cultural and historical attractions. Places like Constitution Hill, the Apartheid Museum and Soweto feature alongside chi-chi restaurants, funky galleries, shopping malls and fascinating visits to the Cradle of Humankind, where all our stories began.

In Mpumalanga you’ll find a host of nature-related attractions, arts and crafts outlets, country towns, cultural villages and stupendous scenery along the well-known Panorama route. Of course one of the major attractions is the world-famous Kruger National Park.

Limpopo shares this wildlife sanctuary - the size of a small country - and has many of its own nature reserves. It also boasts the fascinating Mapungubwe, where once an ancient kingdom developed a field of influence that spread beyond the continent. Intriguing groups such as the Venda and the Balobedu still practise culturally-rich traditions in the far north of this region.

The North West is all about Sun City, and the Pilanesberg and Madikwe Game Reserves, but don’t forget the mampoer farms and the idiosyncrasies of the Marico, the cultural mélange at Lesedi on the shores of the Hartebeespoort Dam or the little town of Taung where the famous skull of the same name was discovered. From the Margaret Roberts Herbal Farm (De Wildt) to Sol Plaaitje’s house in Mafikeng, there’s much to explore.

Immense skies and enormous spaces characterise the Northern Cape, along with attractions such as the Big Hole in Kimberley, the Loeriesfontein Windmill Museum and the myths and legends as taught by the ancient San. The Augrabies Falls National Park, the Ais/Ais Richtersveld National Park and the Riemvasmaak community all offer interesting experiences and insights.

KwaZulu-Natal has its own brand of uniqueness when it comes to tourist attractions. Here you can visit a Hare Krishna temple in Durban, pay your respects at the Battlefields in the Midlands, come face to face with Zulu culture and celebrate some of the finest beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline. Sunny year-round, the province has great places to shop, eat, and discover.

The Eastern Cape is a place of rich heritage and struggle sites. Here historic monuments find their place alongside fun aquariums and beachside establishments. Malaria-free game sanctuaries and numerous nature reserves thrill adventure-seekers and nature-lovers.

Small towns and homegrown hospitality are the distinctive attributes of the Free State. Visit the Basotho Cultural Village on the way to the spectacular Golden Gate National Park, visit the Choet Visser Rugby Museum in Bloemfontein or the Fertility Caves (outside Clarens). Make your way to the fun galleries of Clarens, feast visually on the sandstone sights of Ficksburg and drink in the fascinating history of the provincial capital, Bloemfontein.

Wherever you go around the country, you’re bound to find a fun attraction, a moving museum, a great place to enjoy the local vibes. Enjoy surfing the Nightjar site for the best attractions on offer in each of the provinces.

 

Articles & Blogs

Hinterveld Mohair

Nightjar Travel 10:30am 20 Feb

It starts warm and smelly, it gets loud and dirty and it ends with the luxurious whisper of the world’s finest mohair against your skin… I’m talking about the Hinterveld Mill Tour, an unexpected highlight on a recent trip to Uitenhage, hosted by Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism. 

With Hinterveld Mohair’s marketing manager Jackie Gant as guide, we explored the world of merino wool and, in particular, mohair production in South Africa. Jackie herself grew up on an Angora goat farm outside the village of Jansenville, where the country’s earliest Angora flocks were established.

From...

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The Donkin Reserve

Nightjar Travel 11:30am 15 Feb

The Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth

At the heart of the city of Port Elizabeth, there’s a very special collection of art and architecture that brings the various elements of the city’s complex identity into stark relief.  It centres around a small space known as The Donkin Reserve. 

At the heart of the reserve, the Elizabeth Donkin Memorial is dedicated to the wife of Sir Rufane Donkin, who founded the city after arriving in the area in 1820. The inscription on the pyramid that looks out over the city to the sea reads: “To the memory of one of the most perfect of...

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Darlington Dam

Nightjar Travel 6:45am 13 Jan

Darlington Dam in the Greater Karoo.

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Do We Have a Mystery Grave?

Eastern Cape Adventures 2:55pm 2 Jan

Do we have a mystery grave?

Living as we do beside one of the world’s more dangerous coastlines, it is only natural that we should find, scattered along it, reminders of various maritime mishaps and tragedies.  There is a true story of John Reid, who was the captain of the British sailing ship, Cromartyshire, which ran aground in 1901. 

They say the ship, captained by Reid, sailed from Leith, Scotland in June 1901 with a cargo of 3 000 tons of coal for Algoa Bay. There was a rise in temperature of the cargo, which was first noted before...

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Vondeling

Nightjar Travel 1:55pm 30 May

We recently came across this gem of an old abandoned train station in the Karoo. Instead of taking the tar road between Klaarstroom and Willowmore, take the dirt road “short cut” (it’s still 94km!). Vondeling is about a third of the way from Willowmore. We only wish we had more time to explore all the nooks and crannies of this establishment. Wouldn’t it be fun to go there with a few pieces of period costume (parasol included) and spend a day recreating scenes from yesteryear. 

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