Interesting travel destinations in South Africa
Lifestyle Aug 20, 2018
Interesting travel destinations in South Africa.
Tired of the same-old? Looking for a getaway, but overseas seems a bit too pricey at the mo’? We know, it’s the economy. Rather than be too glum, we’ve come up with a few suggestions for travel destinations in South Africa you may not have heard of. Or maybe you have, but it never really registered how awesome these places are.
Interesting travel destination 1: The Dragon’s Mountain’s Sani Pass
We’re not suggesting a Lord of the Rings style holiday. Rather, we’re referring to the Drakensberg. It’s Swedish name. And our suggestion for a break from the maddening crowd is actually lower on most South Africans’ holiday watchlist than you’d expect. It’s called Sani Pass, close to the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, and one of our highest points.
The Premier Resorts Sani Pass resort is the perfect place to stay. In winter, you can sometimes be treated to a winter wonderland of snowy chalet roofs. Summer is perfect for hikes along mountain passes that will show you the splendour of South Africa at high altitudes. There’s 4×4 trips along the steeper roads up the mountains. Being up in higher altitudes is definitely a different experience. And remember, the water boils at far lower temperatures here. You can boil yourself tea, and literally five minutes later it will be luke-warm, so drink it immediately.
You’re probably familiar with the Grahamstown experienced during the Grahamstown Festival. But we’re not talking about that Grahamstown. We’re talking about the supposed-off season. Where students sit in coffee bars, arguing about the nature of Plato’s Republic or current politics through the framework of historical theories. Where you can enjoy a traditional pub lunch along with beer-on-tap to wash it down. Where you can walk through a bizarre botanical garden planted by botany students… from the 1960s – so maybe it’s no surprise it’s so trippy.
But Grahamstown visitors who love history, and getting a sense of it, will enjoy the various heritage sites. Get lost in great works of the past at the National English Literary Museum. Or discover the strange eclectic melange of architectural styles in the Observatory Museum. You could, whatever your religion, experience the majesty of St. Paul’s Cathedral, a beautifully built old house of worship. And if you have a love for wild life, especially for our African giants, you could stop by the Kwantu Elephant Sanctuary, not that far from the city itself.
MeerKAT: the big bang theory
Is there life out there? Hard to know. But life here on Earth is trying to find out anyway. Welcome to MeerKAT. It’s called that because it pops up from the arid landscape to look around and see what it can see. Like, for instance, if real-life meerkats were interested in peering into the universe to figure out the mysteries of what the it was like in its infancy. What makes the array truly amazing is that South Africa was the country chosen to host this international science project, consisting of 64 radio telescopes – the largest array in the world – which work in concert with each other.
Why were we chosen? Well it wasn’t for our good looks (though we are one of the most beautiful, scenic countries in the world), but because the Karoo provides the perfect setting for a radio telescope to work optimally. Extremely low levels of air pollution, very very very (extremely) quiet sounds around, best magnetic fields or something we found confusing reading about on Wikipedia, and so on.
However, it is located relatively close to the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvorn. A name you’ve probably never ever heard of. But that’s about to change. If you’re one of those into The Big Bang Theory TV show, love science, or simply have to gawk at a stunning technological marvel, then stop off at Carnarvorn on your trip to Cape Town.
Then, while you’re in the neighbourhood anyway, you can check out other interesting activities in the Karoo: at Prieska, the Prieska Museum, which shows life during the Anglo-Boer war – it’s an old British fort, and will give you a real sense of history; at Richmond, the Vetmuis Plaaskombuis, actually a National Heritage Site, which prepares and serves hearty country meals from yesteryear, literally a taste of the past; and at Hanover, the Karoo Gariep Conservancy, an exciting bicycle-route taking you across a variety of terrains, as you cross the semi-desert, unique ecology of the Karoo.
Make a road trip of it. Live life like you’re on show.
Because you never know who may be listening in… possibly from their own telescopic array, in a galaxy far, far away.