My “Bucket List” of Places to Visit in South Africa

As you can tell from this blog, I have been to quite a few places in South Africa. But there is still SO much more for me to see! Having grown up on the west coast of Africa (Namibia and Cape Town), there are a lot of inland locations that I NEED to get my butt to! Here’s my South African bucket list of places I’d still love to visit in South Africa (in no particular order):

1. The Drakensberg

I’m South African and even I’M blown away by some of the images of the Drakensberg! The mountains truly look incredible, but I feel like the boys’ choir gets more airtime than the mountains. As South Africans, this really is a location ALL of us should go to. I’m not much of a hiker, but I’m sure they have baby trails for us less experienced visitors (here’s hoping).

2. Phalaborwa

I left my teddy bear in Phalaborwa about 25 years ago. And even though my Godmother replaced it, I’m really keen to visit a private lodge there. The smaller lodges give you privileges that some of the larger venues don’t give you. It’s a more authentic African experience when you can go for game drives in the middle of the night or wake up early for waterhole spotting. I know hunting is big in this area so I know the rangers really know their stuff.

3. Somewhere (far-ish) on a Train

I’ve seen so many people go on a train journey whether it be to Ceres or the Elgin market; my folks even went on a train ride through Namibia and I want in! I’m not sure where to, just yet, but it’s definitely something I’ve got my eye on.

4. Bela Bela

My folks have friends in the Bela Bela area and I’d love to visit. The area is packed full of wildlife, both on the private farms and the surrounds. It also has the Waterberg Zipline Adventures, which I might actually be brave enough to do. Imagine zip-lining over the heads of giraffes! As long as you don’t land in a lion’s mouth, HAHA! Kunkuru, you are on my bucket list!

5. Umhlanga Rocks

Don’t laugh at me, but so many people have spoken about the Durban beach front that I really feel I need to go there! But this is Umhlanga – which I’m not sure is the same thing? I’ve always heard about the area and love this picture of the Oyster Box  Hotel, but have no idea how central it really is. Anyway, now that I’ve been to Mauritius and gotten a taste of warm waters, this has stepped onto my South African bucket list.

6. Clarens

I discovered this town while working on another tourism piece and my goodness, but does it look amazing. I didn’t know South Africa had these weird Australian/American type rock formations; the hills just look so lush and green. Now rock formations don’t seem like much to write home about, but coming from the desert I’m open to geological marvels! I’m not too sure what else to do here but it seems on the way to Lesotho or Durban so that’s good enough for me. #RoadTrip!

7. Robben Island

It’s bad. I know. DON’T JUDGE ME! But let’s be honest. When it’s your off day, do you say to yourself, “Rad! Let’s go to Robben Island and spend the day being super depressed thinking about what an awful and unjust society the prisons had to live through. WHOOHOO!” No. You say, “Let’s go to the Sea Point promenade and gaze across the bay and remind ourselves of the privileges bestowed upon the land while eating an ice cream. I know it’s bad and I will do it…I just don’t know when.

8. Coffee Bay

Massive potholes. Super rural. Low supplies. Lots of hippies. These are the 4 things that come to mind when I think of Coffee Bay. BUT, incredible beaches, green hills, beautiful cows on the sand also come to mind and that’s enough to entice me. I know I need a car that’s more powerful that the ones that make it to Afrika Burn, but I’m keen. One day.

9. De Hoek Country Hotel

The De Hoek Country Hotel kindly invited Mr John and I to come and visit and we’ve just not been up country to make it happen! With the English countryside being some of our favourite visits to date, their hotel looks an absolute treat. Hot balloon, is that you?! #TravelGoals

10. Misty Cliffs

We’ve all been to Misty Cliffs but I’ve never woken up there. Having recently spent the weekend on a beach front in Yzerfontein, it reminded me of this amazing house I found by accident. (I’m always trawling vacation sites due to my travel blog Got the Passports). This Misty Cliffs house is available for rent and is popular with visitors from overseas and Joburg. I’d absolutely love to wake up here because being a stones throw away from the sea is incredible.

11. Bonus Location! Lesotho (Surrounded by South Africa)

So, not “officially” included in the 9 list as it’s not South Africa…but Lesotho, I see you boo. I see you.

Have you been to any of these places? Please leave a comment below and let me know which are the best and what I HAVE to go check out! Will help me flesh out my bucket list even further.



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