Off the Beaten Path: Hidden Gems and Underrated Destinations in South Africa

South Africa is hands down one of the most underrated countries to visit. Each and every part of the country is unique, with something different to see, to taste or to explore. The country is home to wide open spaces of dry desert and sheep farms, towering mountains with lush forests and waterfalls, sandy beaches and clear oceans, and wild savannahs and grasslands. And when you are planning a South African holiday it is important that you add a few off-the-beaten-path gems to your tour itinerary.

When you are planning your tour of South Africa, you need to make sure that you give yourself enough time to see all of the incredible sights that are on offer. With about 2 action packed weeks and a comfortable budget, you can have a memorable trip that will have you mesmerised and leave you feeling relaxed and excited about exploring the world.

To get you going with your holiday planning, and to help you plan a trip that will include some interesting and unusual places, we’ve got a couple of ideas for you to run with. If you can’t find these places included on the South Africa tour you are looking at, ask the travel agency if they would be willing and able to add one of these destinations to your tour.


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The Wild Coast – A Place of Unspoiled Coastal Beauty

The Wild Coast is all mountains, forests, beaches, old towns, hiking destinations, and otherworldly beauty! This destination includes the Garden Route which is an immensely stunning stretch of coast that runs from the Western Cape up into the Eastern Cape, and is a popular place for visitors to go when on a South African tour.

Blyde River Canyon – A Natural Wonder 

The Blyde River Canyon is the world’s third-largest canyon and the only green one. The canyon is a part of the Panorama Route but given its close proximity to the Kruger National Park, it is often overlooked. The canyon offers spectacular views and it is a great place to take in the geological wonders.

The Karoo – A Desert Oasis 

The Karoo is made up of vast untouched stretches of land, and it is mostly desert-like and filled with interesting plants that make up the Karoo’s unique environment. Some of the fun things that you can do while you are here include star gazing (as the skies are untouched by light pollution), a visit to the Karoo National Park, and exploring some of the small towns.

The Waterberg Biosphere – A Wildlife Wonderland 

Going on safari and seeing the Big 5 is what a visit to South Africa is all about for many people. Unlike the more popular destinations like the Kruger National Park, the Waterberg is the place for a more intimate safari experience and it also has plenty of game reserves, lodges and guided tours.

The Richtersveld Transfrontier Park – A Remote Wildnerness 

This is easily one of the lesser-known South African destinations and it is made up of incredible mountainscapes, deserts, and a wide and eclectic variety of plant species. It is a must-visit if you want to travel off the beaten track.