South Africa boasts a plethora of activities and experiences for all kinds of travelers, whether you’re after breathtaking scenery, history, adventure or romance. However, if you’d like to take a walk on the wild side and enjoy some of the lesser known and more unusual things this beautiful country has to offer, look no further.
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Take a tour of Ponte Tower
The Ponte City Apartments in Hillbrow is the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa at 173 meters (567 feet) tall. The building is a hollow sphere surrounded by apartments which have all been revamped to express its previous charm. The Ponte City Apartments made quite an impression on Danny Boyle (famous for directing the film Trainspotting), as he’s been quoted as saying that he’d like to use the building as a film set. Dlala Nje takes visitors on tours of the area, including the notorious Ponte Towers, where you’ll see uninterrupted views of the city.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Visit Adam’s Calendar
South Africa’s very own Stonehenge is found near the small town of Kaapsche Hoop and is among the oldest man-made structures on the planet. As the site is protected by the Blue Swallow National Heritage Site, a guided tour is the only way to see the remnants of this functional monolithic stone calendar. Luckily, Michael Tellinger of Stone Circle Tours and his guides offer exactly that and visitors are guaranteed to be intrigued by the stories, history, and unbelievable facts.
Go on a stargazing safari with Astronomy Africa
Wildlife safaris are a must when visiting South Africa, but don’t forget to look up as well. Head to Prince Albert in the Karoo to go on a safari unlike any other. Hans and Tilanie Daehne of Astro Tours share their passion as astronomers with all who visit. One tour option includes a visit to Sutherland to see the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere (SALT), while others focus purely on star gazing.
Wander the sacred Motouleng Caves
The Motouleng Caves is one of the largest rock overhangs in the Southern Hemisphere and is home to many sangomas, or traditional healers. Locals flock to the caves to meet with them and often end up calling this sacred spot home for the time being. The caves are also known as the Fertility Caves, as it’s a pilgrimage destination for women hoping to get pregnant. It’s a short walk along the Caledon River to reach the caves and entering is free, just keep in mind that this is a very spiritual place, so keep noise levels to a minimum and dress appropriately.Contact Clarens Xtreme to book a tour.
Relax at The Buddhist Retreat Centre
If peace and tranquility is what you’re craving you’ve come to the right place. The Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo KwaZulu Natal overlooks valleys and forests, adding to its relaxing atmosphere. The spacious retreat includes everything from a zen garden, meditation hall, and labyrinth to beautiful accommodation options. Winding pathways snake through the lush landscape leading guests to viewpoints where contemplating life is made easy. Whether you want to visit for a day or spend a few days exploring the natural surrounds and breaking away, the retreat has options to suit all needs.
Mingle with meerkats at Peace of Eden
Eco-therapist, Mandy Young, and conservationist and meerkat expert, Grant Mc Ilrath, takes visitors into the wild without interrupting or disturbing these little critters. You’ll spend three days getting to know everything there is to know about meerkats and the total cost includes tours, accommodation in De Zeekoe cabins (situated next to a lake), brunch, and snacks.
Have a drink or two at Ronnies Sex Shop on Route 62
Ronnie’s Sex Shop, on Route 62, is also known as the oddest pub in Africa and is one of the most well-known destinations to grab a cold one. Initially a farm stall, Ronnie’s friends thought it funny to rename the business by painting “Ronnie’s Sex Shop” on the side of the building. As time went on the farm stall was transformed into a bar and the name stuck. Today visitors from all over make a pit stop here to meet locals and have a bite to eat, South African style. Luckily those who overindulge are welcome to book accommodation.
Take a soak on the edge of a cliff in Hogsback
Away With The Fairies Backpackers is known for its cliff edge bath. Taking a bath overlooking the oldest forest in South Africa is free and 30-minute time slots can be booked at reception. Here it’s all about sustainability, so only use biodegradable soap and remember to keep the fire going to keep the old-school boiler warm.
Mingle with locals in Alexandra, the township of rhythm
Alexandra, situated near Sandton, Johannesburg’s bustling financial district, has approximately 500,000 residents. The vibrant township has much on offer for visitors, from taverns to historic sites. Ekala Eco Tours guides visitors to the Nelson Mandela Yard, a house where Nelson Mandela lived during the 1940s, Kings Cinema, an art deco movie house, the Alexandra Beer Hall, Freedom Square, the headquarters of the notorious Msomi Gang, and much more. Choose between walking or cycling tours and cater each to your group’s needs and interests.
Walk through a tropical butterfly house
Butterfly World Zoo near Stellenbosch has to be one of the most recommended activities to do with kids in the whole of South Africa. The tropical gardens are at the center of this sanctuary and house hundreds of butterflies, small mammals, birds, and reptiles.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.