Top 10 Most Famous South Africa Landmarks Travelers Talk About
Africa holds the number two spot in the world both in terms of population and size. However, this isn’t what makes it a popular tourist destination. It’s one of the only places in the world that certain types of exotic and even endangered wildlife can be seen and pairs a subtropical climate with cultures spanning thousands of years to provide a truly unique experience. South Africa is perhaps one of the more popular places for tourists to set up shop on the vast continent, taking advantage of both abundant coastline as well as modern conveniences. However, visitors shouldn’t be fooled by the metropolises that have sprung up in the southernmost African country as most of the famous landmarks in South Africa are still natural, not modern, marvels. Ten of the most talked about are listed below, as if anyone needed more of a reason to cast away towards Cape Town.
1. Kruger National Park: In northeast South Africa can be found one of the largest of all game preserves on the entire continent, Kruger Park. It boasts over seven thousand square miles of dancing savannah grasses and wispy trees along with an abundance of local wildlife. Kruger National Park Safaris are particularly popular for guests because there is little vegetation in the area and as a result, the bulk of it – along with the animals that need it – is drawn to watering holes providing for a spectacular encounter. The terrain is truly the biggest and most important of all South Africa landmarks and one of the most ecologically relevant places in the world.
2. Sabi Sands Game Reserve: Found in the southern portion of the aforementioned National Park can be found the Sabi Sands Reserve, which prides itself on being at the forefront of responsible wildlife tourism. Both endangered species and the big five that the country is known for can be found at the reserve as well as some of the most pampering and luxurious wilderness lodges in the region. An opportunity to view some of the most breathtaking South Africa landmarks as well as a wide variety of its most famous residents await guests to this original safari park.
3. Cradle of Humankind: Almost one half of all fossils associated with the ancestors of humans can be found at this World Heritage Site. However, there is a lot more to discovering Maropeng than exploring archaeological locations. There is a visitor center here as well as a geological trail along with numerous caves for guests to explore. Perhaps one of the most important of all South Africa landmarks, this park built around the fossil remains of past generations of hominids is one of the most remarkable. Surprisingly, the area known as The Cradle is one of the most popular Johannesburg attractions, even though it’s in stark contrast to the bustling cityscape.
4. Voortrekker Monument: North of Johannesburg in Pretoria can be found one of the few South Africa landmarks that is not a natural feature. Voortrekker, which tops one hundred feet in height, a fact further compounded by its hilltop position, pays tribute to Afrikaner pioneers. These natives fled to the country’s interior, and the path they followed, which the monument in part symbolizes, is referred to as The Great Trek.
5. Addo Elephant Park: Of the nineteen or so National Parks found in South Africa, there are numerous opportunities to see an elephant or two. However, for a pack of pachyderms, Addo is the place to be. Aside from an abundance of tiny tailed mammals, birds, big cats, buffalo, marine animals and amphibians can all be found here. Lying near the eastern coast and Port Elizabeth, there are few South Africa landmarks to be discovered in this region, but a wealth of biodiversity and ecological wonder more than makes up for it.
6. Amakhala Game Reserve: In the Kirkwood area, near Port Elizabeth can be found Amakhala, a game reserve that is situated in what has been dubbed a “Malaria Free” zone that is full of exotic wildlife, flowing grasses and of course, luxury hotel resorts. For guests interested in safely exploring the savannah, perhaps the greatest of all South Africa landmarks, with a trained guide without the sacrifice of word class amenities, Amakhala delivers all year round.
7. Table Mountain: Although perhaps the most well known city in South Africa aside from its capital, Cape Town attractions tend to be more natural than monumental, including a coastal nature preserve and an association with great white sharks. But, while considered a bustling tourist town, there is one natural feature that draws guests away from the fine dining and beaches of the sea side city. The mountain is a monstrous, flat topped rocky that overlooks both the coastal city and the waters off the coast. Of all South Africa landmarks, it provides perhaps some of the very best views in the entire country, and comes complete with cable car ride.
8. Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park: A World Heritage Site that encompasses parts of South Africa and Lesotho too is actually comprised of two separate national parks found in the eastern portion of the country, south of Swaziland. Here, perhaps one of the most well known of all South Africa landmarks can be found, its highest peak, Drakensberg. Gold sandstone and unique wildlife await adventurous visitors, along with incredibly important historical attractions like painted caves and shelters made of rock.
9. Valley of the 1000 Hills: Step into the Kingdom of the Zulu and back in time to a valley that has changed very little from the time its first settlements were founded. From Kloof to Botha’s Hill, visitors can marvel in the stunning, natural scenery that makes this area a famous destination. Guests need not worry about “roughing it” while visiting an entire valley’s worth of South Africa landmarks, however. There are restaurants, hotels and other amenities close enough for adventure travelers to still enjoy the comforts of home.
10. Juma Masjid Mosque: An area of shoreline known as The Golden Mile is undoubtedly the most popular of all Durban attractions, but the east coast city has some inland appeal as well and it’s home to one of the most interesting of all South Africa landmarks. The Juma Masjid Mosque is considered the biggest structure of its kind in existence in the southern hemisphere and it’s found in a bustling hotbed of cultural activity in Durban’s Indian district.