Twinkl asked four of their favorite travel bloggers (including me) to suggest a hidden gem in South Africa that you can visit. Whether you want to spend a day exploring nature, lounging in the bush or want to visit a place with historical significance, these will guide you to the right place.
The Slanghoek Valley
Although it’s difficult to choose just one hidden gem in South Africa as a recommendation to travel enthusiasts, one of my favorites has to be the Slanghoek Valley in Rawsonville. If you’re looking for a getaway that includes nature exploration, tranquil surroundings, stunning scenery and superb wine, then the Slanghoek Valley is the place for you. It’s also about an hour’s drive from Cape Town, which is ideal! Accommodation options in the area include camping, safari tents, log cabins and luxury chalets. So, if you need to escape the hustle and bustle of ‘life’, the Slanghoek Valley is the perfect option. There is nothing else to do but explore nature and enjoy the beautiful surroundings!
Kamoka bush camp
Kamoka Bush Camp was recently launched as a social impact ecotourism, this means it is not just a normal game reserve. Camilla, the owner of Bush Camp, came to South Africa from France to volunteer at the Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage. She decided to create a unique stay for the typical nature lover who loves wildlife, bush walks, horseback riding, game viewing and luxurious cottages. Each tiny house has a king-size bed, fully equipped kitchenette, en suite bathroom, patio and dining area, braai and beautiful views of the main watering hole where buffalo, giraffes and so many different animals come to drink water.
Kamoka Bush Camp is exclusively in partnership with Daktari (NGO), this partnership gives everyone staying at Kamoka the choice and opportunity of a lifetime to immerse themselves in nature as well as participate in “responsible activities” such as volunteering in Daktari, caring for orphaned wild animals, village visits, traditional cooking classes with locals, teaching local students about wildlife and much more.
Sanbona Nature Reserve
My getaway trips mostly revolve around spending time in nature and the opportunity to reconnect with the things that matter. This sees me seeking out remote spaces with big skies and inviting landscapes, ideally with relaxed play adding to the setting. One of these hidden gems is the Sanbona Wilderness Reserve, one of South Africa’s largest private nature reserves, spanning 58,000 hectares. Located in the Little Karoo outside Montagu, just a 3.5 hour drive from Cape Town along Route 62, it is owned by a not-for-profit company that puts conservation at the forefront of the experience.
Contrasting mountains, Karoo plains and dramatic rock formations give way to layers of hills that meet the distant horizon. Home to a variety of closely protected wildlife including Cape Mountain Zebra, Springbok, Elephant, Giraffe, Elk, Black-backed Jackal and Rhinoceros, which can be spotted while out walking in nature. When it comes to accommodation, you are spoiled for choice, whatever your preferences or budget since you have the choice between four lodges. I highly recommend the private White Lion Lodge, south of Sanbona, for an immersive wilderness experience, warm hospitality, delicious cuisine and an introduction to the flora and fauna that inhabit the reserve. White Lion Lodge: https://www.whitelionlodge.co.za/
Klipgat Caves in Walker Bay Nature Reserve
Klipgat Cave is one of a series of caves formed in the porous Gansbaai limestone millions of years ago. Artifacts found in the caves showed traces of people living in these caves around 70,000 years ago, which of course gives the Klipgat Caves historical significance. The objects are on display at the Cape Town Museum, so be sure to go see them after your visit to Klipgat! The Khoi also lived in these caves around 2000 years ago. Klipgat translates to “stone hole” and refers to the window-like opening of Klipgat Cave which offers incredible views of Gansbaai. The caves are located near De Kelders and are accessible via Walker Bay Nature Reserve. This amazing site is a World Heritage Site and is well worth a visit!
This September, why not celebrate South African Heritage Day and World Tourism Day by visiting these amazing sites.