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It’s easy to fall in love with the majesty of Namibia, or the wilderness of Kruger – but there’s more to travel than that. That’s why, in every issue, we write a guide about a little town in South Africa, and try to find out its secrets and its quirks. Here you’ll find every guide we’ve written over the last year (and a bit) – if you’re looking for a new adventure to enjoy in South Africa, you’ll definitely find inspiration here.

Please note: we’ve included the prices, as a guideline – but although they were correct at time of travel, they’re liable to change at each owner’s discretion. Please confirm with individual establishments before booking.


Betty’s Bay

Penguin bettys bay

Penguins at Stony Point, Betty’s Bay. Photo by Hougaard Malan.

What makes Betty’s Bay the perfect holiday destination? All you need to find the answer, says Adel Groenewald, is a pair of comfortable shoes.

Guide to Betty’s Bay


Locally grown oranges are for sale everywhere; the rustic interior of the Lovely Grapevine coffee shop. Photo by Melanie van Zyl.

Locally grown oranges are for sale everywhere; the rustic interior of the Lovely Grapevine coffee shop. Photo by Melanie van Zyl.

Citrusdal is a thriving farming district by trade but has been dragged kicking and screaming into tourism. It’s well worth the trip because it has so much to offer: rooibos, natural hot springs, as well as the eponymous oranges.

Guide to Citrusdal


Elands Bay

Elands Bay beach

The Southern end of Elands Bay has only privately owned houses on partially tarred roads that eventually lead down to the beach. Photo by Adriaan Louw.

At first glance, there’s nothing to do in Elands Bay except surf and eat crayfish. Yet the same family caravans return to the beachfront campsite each summer. Clearly, doing very little is part of the appeal in this sleepy coastal town.

Guide to Elands Bay



Lifeguards are posted on Glentanas main beach only in peak season

While the sea is invitingly warm, the rip currents are strong and the possibility of sharks rather high, so swim at your own risk. Lifeguards are posted on Glentana’s main beach only in peak season. Photo by Jazz Kuschke.

Glentana is the first choice when George and Oudtshoorn locals go beach-walking. Jazz Kuschke found out why.

Guide to Glentana


Groot Marico

Groot Marico

The magic of the Marico. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

A hearty dorp 
of more than just dops: Oom Schalk Lourens made it famous, but Vuyi Qubeka finds more than mampoer and tall tales in Groot Marico.

Guide to Groot Marico



The tranquil combination of sea and fynbos is what first drew people to Hermanus

The tranquil combination of sea and fynbos is what first drew people to Hermanus’ striking shoreline. Years later, despite development, it still exudes a sense of serenity. Photo by Tyson Jopson.

There’s nothing charming about progress, says Tyson Jopson. What happens when an old fishing village turned holiday hotspot embraces the business of watching whales go by?

Guide to Hermanus



Howick Falls

Howick Falls. Photo by Howick Tourism.

At 120kmph, hurtling down the N3, it’s a case of blink and you’ll miss Howick. Paul Maughan-Brown took exit 103 for a few laid-back days with the locals.

Guide to Howick


Lake Jozini

Lake Jozini

The local elephant herds spend much of their time feeding, drinking and bathing along the lake’s shoreline.

At the foot of the Lebombo mountains, just south of Swaziland, lies a destination that not only resembles Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba, but also rivals it in terms of activities and accommodation. Villiers Steyn and Tabby Mittins soaked up the sun on Lake Jozini.

Guide to Lake Jozini


Mossel Bay

Cape Town surfer Jake Elkington is a regular face at Inner Pool.

Cape Town surfer Jake Elkington is a regular face at Inner Pool. Photo by Jazz Kuschke.

A temperate climate, deep historical roots and a well developed tourist infrastructure make Mossel Bay far more than just the gateway to the Garden Route, says Jazz Kuschke.

Guide to Mossel Bay



Paarl features adventure activities in abundance among them several mountain-biking trails for beginners through experts.

Paarl features adventure activities in abundance, among them several mountain-biking trails for beginners through experts. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

Paarl is frequently overlooked in favour of the refined salons of Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch’s leafy avenues of learning, with its gourmet eateries, sleek art galleries and please-see-me pavement cafés. It’s unfair to a beautiful town that retains its earthy, we-are-actually-here-to-make-good-wine feel, and has excellent restaurants, art galleries and coffee shops that hold their own anywhere. Fred Hatman concludes that Paarl really has it all – without being too pleased with itself.

Guide to Paarl


Prince Albert

Prince Albert

Long a thriving farming town and a gem on the Karoo tourist trail, Prince Albert is adding new community voices to its more familiar Victorian history.

Guide to Prince Albert



Southbrooms long, clean beaches are perfect for early evening walks with the kids.

Southbroom’s long, clean beaches are perfect for early evening walks with the kids. Photo by Tyson Jopson.

Take a trip to Southbroom, a village tucked between two rivers on KZN’s South Coast that has conservation and recreation as its top priorities.

Guide to Southbroom



Stanford fynbos

The local fynbos more than holds its own in the Cape Floral Kingdom. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

There’s something in the air in Stanford. Amongst the mix of quaint Victorian houses and stooping Strandveld cottages, Fred Hatman discovered that there’s a quite intangible Stanford thing that sucks you in.

Guide to Stanford



Sunset in Umhlanga

Sunset in Umhlanga. Photo by Adel Groenewald.

A small town with a big heart, Umhlanga, on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast, is a spot for everyone to enjoy almost year-round sunshine.

Guide to Umhlanga



Uvongo sunrise

Uvongo sunrise. Photo by Tyson Jopson.

Every year KZN’s South Coast swells with holidaymakers looking for their fun in the sun. In placid Uvongo, however, it’s not so much about what to do than it is about who’s next door.

Guide to Uvongo



Like most towns the NG Kerk takes centre stage in Wakkerstroom.

Like most towns the NG Kerk takes centre stage in Wakkerstroom.

Wakkerstroom is a village with no traffic lights for at least 30 kilometres in any direction. And that’s the way the locals like it.

Guide to Wakkerstroom
Got a suggestion for a little town we haven’t visited yet? Leave it in the comments!

  • Wow, some undiscovered gems we’d like to visit!!

  • Such beautiful places we will definitely visit!

  • Glad you have posted little towns normally very interesting so are their people.I normally visit places in the Northern Keimoes, Kakamas,Pella. such places of interest. Kakamas has a Sushi Bar at The Gateway Hotel,then there,s Riemvasmaak with its own Hot Spring.If you sit at a particular angle and look at the 2 Koppies ahead it looks like the map of S.Africa (the space btw the 2 Koppies.KEIMOES has its famous waterwiel and water canals. PELLA has the most interesiting Catholic Cathedral and yummy dates.Then the area is also well known for its Namaqualand daisies.

    • Duane

      Hi, I visited those towns for the first time on my way to see the flowers down in Springbok – Niewoudsville (?)… LOVED the area, will definitely be back…

  • Jay


  • Prakash


  • Duane

    Kaapschehoop…seems your list didn’t include the Lowveld…Mpumalanga 😉 mmm ?

  • Duane


  • Peter Stuart-Thompson

    What about Haenertsburg, a hidden gem in the Magoebaskloof?

  • Helen

    Lady Grey and Greyton for sure!

  • Brian

    Aberdeen in the Cacadu District Municipality of the Eastern Cape. Quaint with a fascinating array of old houses.

  • It is held every March in the West Coast town of Lambert’s Bay, where you’ll feast on fresh crayfish and get festive at rock concerts by some of South Africa’s favourite musicians.

  • eve isitt

    Fabulous ideas S.A. has so much to offer.

  • Lady Grey,Greyton,Grahamstown, Greytown, Greylinstad, Belleville. OK, so Bellevile is just not a colourful town, a grey town.

  • There are some lovely Eastern Cape towns that should’ve been features Cofee Bay, Cintsa, Komani and many more

  • S.D.Collet-Serret

    Hermanus and Umhlanga are not classified as small towns. What about the magnificent little towns on route 62 I.e Montagu, Barrydale ladismith and Calitzdorp

  • These might already be discovered but – Underberg and Matjiesfontein

  • Nigel Rainer

    Being an Eastern Caper, I would definitely mention Hogsback and somewhere on the Wild Coast, say Hole in the Wall, (although it is not strictly a town)!

  • Belinda

    Sedgefield? Africa’s 1st Citta Slow town.! 5 beaches a Lagoon a fresh water lake……. This place is a Gem of a small town.

  • Sarah

    So few listing up north for Joburgers to easily visit…please do a “northern list”

  • Craig

    This article is clearly written by a Cape Townian

  • Sabie, Mpumalanga is a little gem!