Lesser-known incredible attractions in South Africa

Posted on 7 July 2024 By Nomvelo Masango

South Africa is home to plenty of hidden gems. When exploring what the country has to offer, visiting underrated and lesser-known attractions can be an interesting and enriching experience.

From quaint towns to World Heritage Sites, there is plenty to explore and enjoy. Here is a look at a few of the country’s lesser-known attractions which are incredible in their own right.

The Owl House, Eastern Cape

The Owl House, Eastern Cape

Source: Facebook / @The Owl House

Located in the charming village of Nieu-Bethesda, the Owl House is a whimsical home of concrete and ground glass sculptures by the late Helen Martins.

As such, the attraction serves as a testament to her extraordinary vision and impressive creativity. It is also where art and history beautifully collide.

Although the attraction is weird to some and wonderful to others, it undoubtedly stirs the soul and captivates the imagination.

Sani Pass, KwaZulu-Natal

On the edge of Sani Pass. (Picture: Getaway Gallery)

The nearly mythical Sani Pass links KwaZulu-Natal with the kingdom of Lesotho. It is framed by towering peaks and dramatic cliffs as the serpentine route ascends.

Once you clear the border control hut atop the Sani Pass, you’re at 2 876m above sea-level, after climbing for 9km. The spectacular views reflect the area’s reputation as the Roof of Africa. A 4×4 vehicle is recommended for any successful Sani Pass attempt.

Moreover, a Sani Pass experience is also not complete without a stop at the legendary Sani Mountain Lodge which is home to the highest pub in Africa.

Makhonjwa Mountains, Mpumalanga

Located in Barberton, the Makhonjwa Mountains contain an outstanding record of some of the oldest, most diverse and best-preserved volcanic and sedimentary rocks on Earth.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is also home to spectacular scenery and an exceptionally rich diversity of plant species. When visiting the Makhonjwa Mountains, exploring the historic town of Barberton is also worth doing. The destination is not just a historic treasure, but also a natural wonder and a call to adventure which offers a myriad of experiences.

Riebeek-Kasteel, Western Cape

Riebeek Kasteel, Western Cape

Source: Facebook / @Riebeek Valley – Our Piece of Paradise

Riebeek-Kasteel is a charming and quaint town with an artsy edge. It is also the perfect place to enjoy a unique getaway not too far from the urban rush of the Mother City.

Riebeek Kasteel Main Street.

When at the destination, there are a couple of activities to enjoy including thrifting and exploring the town’s interesting art galleries.

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