When I used to think about South Africa, the first and the only thing that came to my mind was its diverse wildlife and I thought that’s all there is to watch/do. But then I saw the 2014 movie Blended and I realized that there is so much more in this wonderful country. So, here is my list of things to do in South Africa apart from game watching:
1. Explore the Natural Beauty: Watch the stunning mountains in the Royal Natal National Park including the Drakensberg mountain ranges and the Amphitheatre cliffs which are inhabited by baboons. You can see the beautiful sunsets in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park which gets its name from the golden light cast by the sun on its cliffs. Explore the desert of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the dramatic rock formations in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. You can simply relax on the gorgeous beaches like Umhlanga and Hobie Beach which span from the West coast to the wild, subtropical dunes. And if you still want something more, get mesmerized by the carpet of wildflowers in the Namaqua National Park.
2. Drink World-class Wine: In Cape Winelands, located an hour away from Cape Town, there is a vineyard which will satisfy all your wine cravings. The unique attraction of this place is that you can pair wine with everything possible. The vineyard has many estates where you can sip some of the best wines and enjoy art, shopping, golf, exotic food and much more!
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3. Shop in Cape Town: One of the capital cities of South Africa is a paradise for shopping. You will find many shops, boutiques and markets where you can have your pick from a range of African-themed products. You can buy souvenirs for friends and family or pamper yourself with various treats. You will find locally-produced handicrafts like jewellery, showpieces and products like leather goods from high-end brands.
4. Try Adventure Sports and Activities: You can go on hikes lasting from one hour to several days in the Cederberg Wilderness Area. If you are interested in trying some extreme adventure sports, then South Africa has plenty of options like rock climbing, paragliding, hang gliding, ostrich riding, shark cage diving, crocodile cage diving and sand boarding. And my personal favourite, Blended-inspired, hot-air ballooning.
5. Board the Blue Train: Linking the vast continent of Africa from north to south is one of the most luxurious trains in the world, the Blue Train. You can board it in Cape Town in South Africa and go all the way to Cairo in Egypt. It is a five-star “hotel-on-wheels” and kings and presidents have taken its experience. You will find deluxe suites, elegant lounges, exotic dining, fine boutiques and so much more onboard this train.