Tourist Attractions of the Northern Cape
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
The Wreck of the Aristea2:55pm 24 Oct
Whether it was the fault of a tipsy captain, or the notoriously heavy seas and thick winter fog along the shores of Hondeklipbaai, the Aristea ran aground five kilometres south of the town on 4th July 1945 with a crew of twenty-four, suffering one loss of life.
Built in 1934 in Scotland as a fishing vessel for Irvin & Johnson, the Aristea was taken over by the South African Naval Force for deployment as a minesweeper in WWII. It was handed back to I&J in 1944 and used as a coal-engine trawler until it met its doom. Climbing onto the wreck at low tide, it is fascinating...
Windmill2:55pm 18 Aug
If you're looking for the iconic South African windmill and farm dam scene, this one just outside the town of Nieuwoudtville has its own timeless resonance. Striking deep at the heart of the nostalgic spirit that inspired the Windmill Museum further up the road in Loeriesfontain, each timeless, momentary shifting of colours and textures conjures up its own evocative magic here.
This image puts one in mind of a wraparound dust jacket for a novel, with an exquisite font for a perfectly placed title - just a couple of words. What would it be?
Big Hole Trivia11:40am 17 Oct
Who's up for some trivia?
The Kimberley Mine, or Big Hole, produced over 14.5 million carats of diamonds, equivalent to 2,700kg! Even more amazing, I find, is that 22.5 million tons of earth were excavated to produce this! Although the hole is only 215m deep, the underground workings of the mine went down 1097m! Also, we're coming up on the anniversary soon - work ceased in August 1914.
If anyone objects to the 'facts' above, I sourced them from the big sign on the tourist bridge overlooking the hole - I don't think you get more official than that? Hehe :) The Big Hole...