The top 80 destinations you fell in love with

Posted on 2 February 2012

We recently asked our Facebook community if they had ever been to a place and instantly fallen in love with it. These are the top 80 destinations that captured their hearts:

Mumbai, India

India’s commercial hub pulses with life and overpowers your senses with a rich array of colours, tastes, textures and smells. It is a city of contradictions, of old and new and extreme wealth living abreast with abject poverty, however, once you grasp the city’s intoxicating beat, you can’t help but let it captivate you.


Cape Town, South Africa

Also known as the Mother City, Cape Town residents continually claim that their home is the most beautiful place on earth. Positioned on the coast, boasting beautiful golden beaches, as well as the famous Table Mountain, exquisite fauna and flora, and a thriving city centre, this city has something for everyone.


Swakopmund and Sossusvlei, Namibia

An arid land, full of mystery and beauty, Namibia is a photographer’s dream. Time seems to stand still as you gaze at the abstract ripples and patterns which fall across the dunes, drawn by the wind, and just before sunset, shadows fall and they turn a golden- red.

Sossusvlei is in the Namib Naukluft Park, which, some say, has the highest dunes in Namibia and houses a vlei (Afrikaans word meaning a shallow depression filled with water).

Swakopmund is a coastal holiday region which offers multiple recreational activities, as well as an array of galleries and shops, all housed in German architecture, that lends to the towns’ timeless feel.


Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj is an active fishing port, boasting beautiful architecture and narrow, winding streets leading to an impressive Venetian bell tower. Get lost among stunning pastel- coloured houses, take a boat trip from the harbor or stroll down to the nearby golden beaches in this beautiful, romantic port.


South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

South Luangwa National Park is 9050 square kilometres and houses over 60 different animal species and over 400 different birds. The famous Luangwa River winds through the park and thousands of hippos can be seen lounging in their pods, faces just peaking up through the water.


Mombasa, Kenya

Mombasa offers beautiful white beaches, the warm Indian Ocean, and remnants of the past, such as the architecture left behind by the Portuguese, Arab and British settlers. The Old Town boasts remarkable Arab and Swahili architecture, as well as narrow winding streets, and a wide array of bustling markets.


Kathmandu, Nepal

As part of the city races to embrace modern times, another part remains rooted in the past, steeped in tradition and an old way of life that seems timeless and continues to delight and fascinate visitors. Kathmandu is rich in history and religious significance, housing many beautiful ancient temples and shrines.


Maui, Hawaii

Famous for its beaches, this volcanic island is an ideal romantic getaway location! White, sandy beaches to sink your toes into, a beautiful, warm sea to swim in, the Haleakala volcano to explore, as well as beautiful architecture, and bustling streets full of art galleries, restaurants and shops, Maui caters for all tastes.


Lake Tahoe, California

Breathtakingly beautiful, restful and timeless, Lake Tahoe has been drawing visitors to its shores for many years. Natural beauty abounds with gorgeous forests surrounding the area, as well as rugged mountains.


Phuket, Thailand

Often referred to as the ‘Pearl of the South,’ Phuket offers stunning beaches with soft, white sand and clear turquoise water, as well as numerous shopping opportunities, entertaining night life, diverse culture and a rich spirituality.

Lago Maggiore, Italy

Meaning ‘Great Lake,’ Lake Maggiore extends for approximately 70 km and is the second largest lake in Italy, lying at the heart of the Lake District. Set against a backdrop of the magnificent Alps, the lake is a spectacular natural wonder, with stunning beaches along its shores, lively towns and enchanting scenery.


Clarens, South Africa

Often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Free State,’ Clarens Valley is situated in the Eastern Free State Highlands. The area is rich in natural beauty, with giant sandstone mountains whose horizontal strata are called the Clarens Formation. The peaceful village focuses on the arts, boasting a wide variety of art and craft shops.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobogo is an archipelagic state that has beautiful beaches, stunning diving, swamps, rainforests and waterfalls on offer. Known for its calypso music, lighthearted, party atmosphere and steel pan drums, Trinidad is also famous for its carnival.


Okavango Delta, Chobe and Moremi, Botswana

The Okavango Delta spans an area of over 17000 square kilometres and is the world’s largest inland delta. It is a vast maze of interconnecting channels and waterways, creating islands which house a diverse range of wildlife as well as over 400 species of birds. Lush, beautiful, and untamed, the delta is a paradise which it is easy to fall in love with.

Chobe has one of the densest elephant populations in the world- they rule the land, and during hot afternoons, can be viewed in herds of hundreds, basking by the river. The campsites are beautiful and distanced from each other to give one the sense of privacy so unique to being in the bush.

Moremi is a stunning reserve, with multiple campsites to choose from. Leopard and lion sightings are common, and if one is lucky you can also catch a glimpse of shy cheetahs moving nimbly through the grass.

Wild Coast, (Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall), South Africa

The Hole in the Wall is a spectacular natural feat, caused by the Mpako River eroding the cliff. The Coffee Bay area is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning coastal vegetation, it is a tiny, tranquil town, with much to offer including spectacular hikes and excellent fishing.


Edinburgh, Scotland

A blend of old and new, with gorgeous architecture, historical attractions, fine dining and upmarket shopping, a forgotten world beneath the city, a spectacular castle and a winding network of cobbled alleyways to entice exploration.



The Republic of Seychelles is composed of 115 islands and covers an area of 455 square kilometres . When people think of the Seychelles immediately they conjure up visions of white, sandy beaches, great granite islands rising out the sea, rugged cliffs, towering boulders, and amazing diving in crystal clear water- a paradise that you will never want to leave!



Composed of nine islands, with each one offering something unique, the Azores is known for its breathtaking beauty. Stunning beaches surrounded by rolling hills and mountains, as well as gorgeous lakes and streams make these islands picturesque.


Messum Crater, Namibia

Desolate, secluded, peaceful and timeless, the Messum Crater is an extinct volcano, over 20-km long, which is part of the Gobobose Mountains. The flat, wide basin is an ideal site for photographers, offering inspiring views and a unique landscape.


Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

The islands have a dreamy landscape of white, untouched beaches and rippling sand dunes which are the nesting ground of beautiful black-winged flamingos. The turquoise lakes and gorgeous coral reefs house thousands of fish and coral species, as well as dugong and giant turtle.


Namaqualand in flower, South Africa

Pinks, purples, oranges and yellows dotted over a harsh, desert landscape, transforming it into an intoxicating wonderland. Every year between July and October, the spring flowers grace Namaqualand, enticing thousands of visitors along the Flower Route.


Wilderness, South Africa

Wilderness is a beautiful, coastal holiday destination renowned for its gorgeous beaches, and wonderful hospitality. There is much to do here, including birding, hiking, recreational water sports, mountain biking, whale and dolphin tours and paragliding.

Loch Rannoch (near Pitlochry and the Isle of Skye), Scotland

Pitlochry is a stunning, stone-built town, surrounded by the scenic Perthshire Highland with glistening glens, craggy mountains and tumbling rivers racing through its valleys. The ‘Hill of the Fairies,’ or Schiehallion, towers above the hills and woods below, concealing a wide range of vegetation and wildlife.

The Isle of Skye is often referred to in Gaelic poetry as Eilean a’ Cheo, meaning ‘the Misty Isle.’ Known for its tempestuous weather, and beautiful hill and mountain features, this island has been described time and again as magical. There is a strong sense of pride in culture and tradition, with Scottish Gaelic still spoken.


Patmos, Greek Islands

Patmos is beautiful and well known for its religious history, as it is said to be where Saint John the Theologian wrote the Book of Revelations. It continues to be a place of pilgrimage and great spiritual significance. Its mountainous scenery, crystal clear waters and hidden coves make it an ideal romantic destination.


De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa

It’s one of the biggest marine protected areas in Africa and is famous for its stunning beaches, rugged scenery, Fynbos floral kingdom, animals, and particularly for its whales. Every year approximately 120 whales return to De Hoop to calve and mate.



The islands are home to a diverse landscape of high cliffs, secluded rocky and sandy beaches, hidden coves and an exquisite blue sea. Colour dominates the island, found in elegant Maltese style architecture, flamboyant firework displays, the glistening sea, and the bustling fishing boats in the bay.


Sabie, Mpumalanga

A beautiful destination nestled among the Drakensberg Mountains, Sabie is surrounded by exquisite forests, intricate rock formations, and waterfalls. It is famous for its stunning hiking trails and nature walks.


Paris, France

With a reputation for being one of the most romantic cities in the world, Paris is a charming place of art, poetry, history and intrigue. Stroll down the streets along the river Seine, admire the gorgeous architecture, and stop at one of the beautiful cafés along the way, and watch Paris bustle around you.


Zambezi Valley, Zambia and Zimbabwe

When David Livingstone first saw the Zambezi he cried that, ‘scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight!’ The Zambezi River flows through a flood plain which is rich in natural vegetation, wild life and birds.

Victoria Falls or ‘Mosi- oa- Tunya,’ meaning ‘the Smoke that Thunders,’ is magical. The breathtaking falls roar as they tumble into the river below, with rainbows dancing across the water, and spectacular forests all around.


Vumba in Mutare, Zimbabwe

It is a stunning town, surrounded by spectacular, mountainous scenery, and has the kind of warmth and hospitality unique to the Zimbabwean people. Vumba Castle is a magnificent stone castle, surrounded by beautiful gardens with gorgeous views.


Mount Meru, Tanzania

Found in the beautiful Arusha National Park, Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania at 4,5685 m above sea level and the fifth highest mountain in the world. Its spectacular landscape is world renowned, ranging from stunning forests to heather carpeted fields and moors.


Hermanus, South Africa

Gorgeous beaches abound in Hermanus, a popular destination known for its relaxed atmosphere, stunning scenery, mild climate and of course, its whales! In July people start to gather and an air of anticipation hangs over the town, as the first of the beautiful southern right whales make their appearance. Soon the ocean is full of the magnificent creatures, which come here to mate and calve.


Paternoster, South Africa

As one of the oldest coastal towns in this area, it has a rich history and a timeless feel. White-washed buildings, golden beaches, bobbing fishing boats, and whales and dolphins in the bay have become synonymous with this popular destination.

Central Drakensberg, South Africa

Beautiful mountains reach up to the sky, covered with indigenous vegetation and offering spectacular views. During the winter the peaks are capped in snow and in spring, wild flowers blanket the cliffs and hills.

New York, United States

When you first arrive in New York the famous cityscape immediately feels familiar. It is a fast-paced metropolis with yellow taxis streaking down busy highways, towering skyscrapers, Lady Liberty standing proud, people rushing down every sidewalk and a cosmopolitan feel and vibrancy that immediately infects all newcomers. New York marches to her own beat and its up to you to keep up.


Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires seduces you, her elegant architecture and old world charm entices you, and then her contemporary, youthful vibe draws you in. Up market shopping, delectable cuisine, old- world cafes, colourful markets, beautiful parks, fiery football matches and a frenzied night life await you in this city!


Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mystical, legendary and absolutely beautiful, the Mountain rises suddenly from the flat landscape around it, its peaks cloaked in mist and snow and bathed in sunlight. Kilimanjaro is captivating, and those that reach her summit, Uhuru, will be treated to a view that they will never forget.


Mount Kenya

Tall peaks set among the sky, with glaciers glinting in the sunlight, green alpine meadows and soaring eagles nesting among the cliffs. This is the highest mountain in Kenya, her treasure and her pride, and it is a fitting home for the Kikuyu God, Ngai, who is thought to reside among the rocky peaks.


Mount Shasta, California

Mount Shasta meaning, ‘White Mountain,’ is 4,332 metres high, making it the fifth highest peak in California. It is located in Siskiyou County, which is an area known for its spectacular scenery, pristine lakes and rivers and gorgeous forests.


The Great Fish River Nature Reserve, South Africa

Restful and completely unspoiled, this area offers a bountiful floral kingdom, supporting a diverse range of wildlife, including the endangered black rhino and rare blue crane. The reserve has gorgeous, rugged terrains proffering beautiful views.


Tuscany and Rome, Italy

Poplar trees, set among rolling hills and fields of sunflowers, wooded hills, olive trees, gorgeous pasta, fine Chianti wine and beautiful art, culture and history await one in Tuscany, one of Italy’s most famous regions, birthplace of the Renaissance. Rome is one of the most famous cities in the world, timeless, a blend of old and new, the remains of an empire with the bustle of a modern city. It is the home of the Coliseum, Pantheon, art treasures, pizza, pasta, gelato, crazy scooter drivers, traffic jams, and effortless style.


Garden Route, South Africa

The Garden Route is a stunning stretch of coastline with beautiful mountains, gorgeous forest areas and long winding beaches. Hiking trails abound, and bird watchers and nature lovers will be captivated.


West Highlands, Scotland

West Scotland is a place of history and tradition. The Highland Games are held here as well as a seafood festival, as the area is famous for its seafood and produce. Beautiful walks are found throughout Kintyre, with gorgeous views and scenery.


New Zealand

There’s much more to New Zealand than simply Frodo and sheep. The area is renowned for haunting scenery, festivals, beautiful cuisine and cultural experiences. With its green forests, crystal-clear lakes and snow capped mountains, it’s a magical land fit for fantasies.


Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

‘Bahia Formosa’ means beautiful bay, and was the original name the Portuguese gave to this little piece of coastal paradise. Set along the Garden Route, it boasts gorgeous beaches, a friendly atmosphere, stunning forests and beautiful ocean views.


Stone Town, Zanzibar

Get lost in a maze of narrow alleyways and explore beautiful old mosques and gorgeous 19th century Arab architecture with intricate carvings and stunning brass-studded doors, in this fascinating town.


Sorrento, Italy

Positioned over high, white cliffs, offering spectacular views of the Bay of Naples, Sorrento is a photographer’s dream. Stroll through the orange and lemon groves and let the sweet scent intoxicate you as the sun sets, painting the sky.


NamibRand, Namibia

The private nature reserve originated by joining up former sheep farms, in order to create a sanctuary devoid of fences so that animals could go about their natural migratory habits uninterrupted. The landscape is unique and beautiful, with desert and rugged mountainous terrains.


Nieu Bethesda, South Africa

Nieu Bethesda is a timeless, quaint little town in the Great Karoo, with the Compassberg mountain range watching over it. The main attraction is Helen Martin’s phenomenal Owl House which continues to amaze and mystify all who visit it.


Istanbul, Turkey

A city with a rich history and spirituality, Istanbul was once the center of empires, and still carries much of its past grandeur in its gorgeous architecture, and historic and religious monuments. Now known for its nightlife, fashion, restaurants, museums and galleries, you will never be bored when exploring this city.


Kruger National Park, South Africa

The Kruger National Park spans nearly two million hectares, and incorporates a hugely diverse range of terrain, vegetation and wildlife species. It offers spectacular scenery and a unique experience of nature: look out for the extremely rare Pel’s fishing owl, and enjoy almost guaranteed sightings of the Big Five.


Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana and South Africa

Meaning ‘Place of Thirst,’ the Kgalagadi is largely an arid desert, with rippling dunes dominating the landscape. Black-maned Kalahari lions roam their kingdom while and leopards slink among the trees. There is an abundance of gemsbok, eland, springbok, and blue wildebeest that migrate with the seasons, looking for water to quench their thirst.


Richtersveld, South Africa

This is a vast, mountainous, desert terrain, managed by the Nama people, who live a transhuman lifestyle whereby they migrate seasonally with their livestock. The reserve offers spectacular views and boasts one of the most unique floral kingdoms in the world.


Camdeboo, South Africa

The beautiful, unique Karoo landscape offers a feast for the eye in this spectacular national park. In the Valley of Desolation, dolerite pillars tower over 100 metres high, and cheetah, white rhino, wildcats and sable, amongst other wildlife, roam the arid planes.


Tankwa Karoo, South Africa

Home to a variety of endemic plant species and birds, the Tankwa Karoo National Park is known for its arid, desolate landscape including the rugged cliffs of the Roggeveld Escarpment and the Tankwa Desert moonscapes.


Philadelphia, United States

Philadelphia is a bustling city known for its history, as well as its arts. The most famous attractions include the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The city is renowned for its outdoor sculptures and murals, as well its cheese steak and soft pretzels.


Augrabies, South Africa

‘Aukoerebis,’ or ‘Place of Great Noise,’ is the name the Khoi People have for the 56-metre high waterfalls. The park’s landscape is arid and rocky, sparsely covered in kokerboom (quiver) trees. Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner are some of the best places to view the park from.


Cinque Terra, Italy

Cinque Terra is an area of five villages set amongst the tall cliffs that stretch between Levanto and La Spezia. Trees, olive groves, garlic and other crops cloak the mountainside amidst dry, stone-walled vineyards with winding paths leading over the rocky cliffs offering stunning views of sea below.


Mumbo Island in Cape Maclear National Park, Malawi

Isolated and breathtakingly beautiful, this small island is within the Cape Maclear National Park and the camp only has six rooms, ensuring privacy. The island offers gorgeous clear water for snorkeling, kayaking, and freshwater diving, as well as stunning hikes, hidden coves and forests.


Amsterdam, Netherlands

Famous for its red light district, windmills, clogs and cheese, Amsterdam is a charming city, full of gorgeous cafes and beautiful museums. It’s a city of creativity and open mindedness, with a relaxed atmosphere and a notorious night life.


Ponta do Ouro and Tofo Beach, Mozambique

Ponto do Ouro offers spectacular white beaches, lined with dune forests, with a turquoise ocean for diving, swimming, snorkeling, and deep sea fishing. Tofo Beach is an eight kilometre beach on the southern coast, which features spectacular scenery with rolling grassy sand dunes and wonderful waves for surfing.



Known for its shopping and glamorous lifestyle, Dubai is a city of development and innovation, where every visitor is treated like a VIP. From indoor skiing, desert safaris and dune driving, to a more traditional lifestyle, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this thriving metropolis.


Leshiba Wilderness in Limpopo, South Africa

Leshiba Wilderness is situated on top of the Soutpansberg Mountains and is known for its spectacular scenery. Open plains are surrounded by indigenous forests, concealing beautiful waterfalls and an abundance of birds and wildlife.



The Maldives originated from ancient coral reefs twisting around prehistoric volcanoes. Known by many as paradise on earth, the white shimmering sands of its beaches, the clear, turquoise waters, and spectacular coral reefs make this region a diver’s dream and the ultimate romantic destination.



The world’s tallest mountains, the Himalayas are a spectacular sight. They are known for their snowy, haunting peaks, tropical forests and valleys, as well as the famous Mount Everest.


Ladakh, India

Ladakh is a mountainous region with walls of rock and ice dividing the areas within it. Human habitation is limited to the patches of greenery clinging to rivers collecting from mountain glaciers. Isolated for much of the year, this area is home to a thriving population of Tantric Buddhists, still living a timeless, traditional way of life, in beautiful, ancient monasteries.


Queen of the Hills, Darjeeling, India

Famous for its tea, the Queen of the Hills is a small hill station that is a beautiful retreat into a world of tea gardens, lush greenery, snow-capped mountains, ancient monasteries and spectacular sunrises.


Mnemba Island, Zanzibar

It’s a beautiful island getaway, with stunning beaches, warm, turquoise waters, coral reefs and a thriving population of turtles. More than 430 species of reef fish have been recorded on the house reef, which is a mere two-minute swim from the beach!


La Digue Island, Seychelles

Visiting La Digue is like stepping back in time: a traditional way of life is very much the norm and the stunning beaches remain pristine and unchanged. The people are friendly, ox carts can be seen meandering by and the relaxed atmosphere makes time seem to slow down.


San Blas Archipelago off the coast of Panama

The San Blas Archipelago is compiled of over 365 islands off the Northern Coast of Panama. Beautiful silver beaches, warm, crystal-clear water and gorgeous coral reefs abound, while the local Kuna people are friendly and hospitable.


Sodwana Bay National Park, South Africa

Sodwana Bay National Park is an isolated park, with a spectacular landscape of forest covered sand dunes, leading into an ocean teeming with a vast array of coral reefs and marine life. Loggerhead and leather back turtles make this their home in summer.


Dahab, Egypt

Gorgeous, sandy beaches, set among rugged mountains, make this an unforgettable location. Dahab means gold in Arabic, which refers to the colour of the beaches. Camel trekking is offered to take one to various spectacular dive sites.

Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

An arid, rocky landscape, renowned for its diving, Sinai is a place of golden, red sands and blue skies. The sun sets from the Sinai Mountains over the red sea, painting the sky orange-red, while underwater, beautiful reefs bustle with a rich array of marine life.


Cornwall, England

Cornwall is a tranquil location in Britain, with a warm, mild climate, spectacular beaches, towering cliffs, beautiful woodlands and moorlands and an upbeat arty atmosphere. It is extremely proud of its Celtic heritage, and association with written and visual arts.


The Cotswolds, England

A collection of gentle, green, rolling hills dotted with quaint, honey-coloured villages, and babbling streams, with 18th Century dry- stone walls separating ancient farms. The Cotswolds have a timeless beauty, and a rich cultural and historical past.


Sintra, Portugal

With fairytale castles set upon rolling hills, this World Heritage site has inspired visitors with its scenery for centuries. The Romans worshipped it and called it Cynthia after the goddess of the moon, while Lord Byron declared it as, ‘The most delightful in Europe’. Sintra is a place which enchants and mystifies you with its aching beauty and rich history.


Grand Canyon, United States

A spectacular canyon carved by the Colorado River, exposing almost four eras of geological time, as well as fossils and caves, in its layers of rock. The light bounces off the steep cliffs, painting them a rich red, glinting off the river’s surface below, creating jaw dropping views.



A magical city, whose medieval centre remains a maze of narrow cobbled streets, with gorgeous old cathedrals and beautiful church spires, and a mix of architectural styles set against a backdrop of the spectacular 9th century castle. It’s an energetic, artistic city, with immense charm and character.



Boasting the cleanest air in the world, fertile soils resulting in world- renowned produce, stunning beaches, snow capped mountains and quaint, rustic villages; Tassie is a top class destination with a tranquil atmosphere.

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