What a Way to Warm Your Bones: 8 Underrated Destinations in South Africa

If you are in need of a warm place to go, put South Africa on your list. There are several other places to visit besides the big cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg. The nation is filled with unexpected beauty that is different from the typical warm destinations like tropical islands and deserts. Check out these eight underrated destinations that you’ll never forget in South Africa. 

  1. Drakensberg Amphitheatre

Contrary to its name, the Amphitheatre is not a place to take in a concert. Instead, it is a geographic feature in Northern Drakensberg. The Amphitheatre is surrounded by waterfalls and sheer mountain faces. This is a top location for hiking, and believe it or not – golfing. Too.  

2. Sterkfontein Caves

The Sterkfontein Caves are a short drive from Johannesburg. Along with the caves, they feature a restaurant and meeting facilities. Visitors can tour the cave on a walkway to see where important historic fossils, including a nearly complete Australopithecus skeleton, have been found. The cave was also home to famous fossils, Mrs. Ples, and Little Foot. This underrated tourist stop is also a World Heritage Site.

3. The Owl House

The Owl House is a Karoo cottage that is now an eclectic museum owned by Helen Martins. Ms. Martins built a statue garden and turned her home into a glass-covered fascination. The museum is open daily. The walls are covered with crushed glass from found bottles, and the yard is loaded with statues of camels, mythological beings, and other unexpected creatures. The museum makes its only money from visitors and their gate fees.

4. Paternoster

Along the Western Cape, you can stay in the picturesque village of Paternoster. The town earned its name from the Portuguese sailors who landed there and said their “Our Father” prayers. The town feels like a New England fishing village set in the Southern Hemisphere. There are over 250 species of birds in Paternoster, along with whales and dolphins, too. Visitors can enjoy several types of water and land sports. Tsitsikamma National Park

This National Park is an underrated destination for visitors. It is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who appreciates beautiful scenery. You can see the Fynbos, indigenous shrubland, as well as the Indian Ocean, and old river caves. If you spend time along the Indian Ocean coasts at the park, you can catch a glimpse of Southern Right Whales

5. The Lake District of Mpumalanga

The Lake District is home to over 300 lakes with Lake Chrissie at its base. This lake is the largest freshwater lake in South Africa and is home to animals like flamingos, butterflies, and frogs. Much of the land is private, so check on availability before you visit. 

6. The Klein Karoo

Klein Karoo is a uniquely South African name for a semi-arid desert that has some farmland, but very little else. It is warm, and the area makes for an interesting drive with plenty of landscapes to see. 

7. Valley of a Thousand Hills

If you want your breath taken away by unspoiled nature and awe-inspiring scenery, go to the Valley of the Thousand Hills. It is in the Kingdom of the Zulu. The hills meet the Umgeni River that flows into the Indian Ocean.