Twinkl asked four of their favourite travel bloggers (including me) to suggest a hidden gem in South Africa that you can visit. Whether you are looking for a day out exploring nature, lounging in the bush or if you want to visit somewhere with historical significance, these will guide you to the right place.
The Slanghoek Valley
While it is difficult to choose only one hidden gem in South Africa as a recommendation to travel lovers, one of my favourites has to be the Slanghoek Valley in Rawsonville. If you are looking for a getaway that includes exploring nature, tranquil surroundings, beautiful scenery, and superb wine, then the Slanghoek Valley is the place for you. It is also approximately 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 to do but explore nature and enjoy the beautiful surroundings!
Kamoka Bush Camp
Kamoka Bush Camp was recently launched as ecotourism for social impact, this means that it’s not just your normal game reserve. Camilla, the owner of the Bush Camp, came to South Africa from France to volunteer at Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage. She decided to create a unique stay for the typical nature enthusiast who loves wildlife, bush walks, horseback rides, viewing game and luxurious tiny homes. Each tiny home has a King-size bed, fully equipped kitchenette, en-suite bathroom, deck & dining area, braai & a beautiful view of the main water hole where buffalo, giraffes and so many different animals come to drink water.
Kamoka Bush Camp is exclusively partnered with Daktari (NGO), this partnership gives anyone who stays at Kamoka the choice & opportunity of a lifetime to immerse themselves in nature as well as taking part in “responsible activities” such as volunteering at Daktari, taking care of the orphaned wildlife animals, village tours, traditional cooking lessons with locals, teaching local students about wildlife & so much more.
Sanbona Wilderness Reserve
My breakaway trips mostly revolve around time in nature and an opportunity to reconnect with the things that matter. This sees me seeking out remote spaces with big skies and inviting landscapes, ideally with relaxed game adding to the setting. One such hidden gem is the Sanbona Wilderness Reserve, one of South Africa’s largest privately owned nature reserves which stretches over 58,000 hectares. Located in the Little Karoo outside Montagu, just 3.5 hours drive from Cape Town along Route 62, it is owned by a non-profit company that places conservation at the forefront of the experience.
The contrasting mountains, Karoo plains and dramatic rock formations make way for layers of rolling hills that meet the far horizon. Home to an array of closely protected wildlife including the Cape Mountain Zebra, springbok, elephant, giraffe, eland, black-backed jackal and rhino which can be spotted on a nature drive. As for accommodation, you’re spoilt for choice, whatever your preference or budget as there are four lodges to choose from. I highly recommend the privately owned White Lion Lodge in the South of Sanbona for an immersive wilderness experience, warm hospitality, delicious food and an introduction to the flora and fauna that call the reserve home. White Lion Lodge: https://www.whitelionlodge.co.za/
Klipgat Caves at the Walker Bay Nature Reserve
Klipgat Cave is one of a series of caves that were formed in the porous limestone of Gansbaai millions of years ago. The artefacts found in the caves showed evidence of people living in these caves approximately 70,000 years ago, which, of course, makes Klipgat Caves historically significant. The artefacts are on display in the Cape Town Museum, so make 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 the Klipgat Cave that provides an incredible view over Gansbaai. The caves are located close to De Kelders and can be accessed through the Walker Bay Nature Reserve. This amazing site is of World Heritage significance and is well worth a visit!
This September, why not celebrate South Africa’s Heritage Day and World Tourism Day by visiting these amazing sites.