What local attractions are you ticking off on your next holiday? Nicky Potgieter, Flight Centre Leisure Marketing Leader, set out to find the country's top places.
"People have come back with such interesting and mixed responses, from wonderful, remote dorpies to waterfalls and significant heritage sites,” she said.
Among the favourites were:
#1) Sudwala Caves, Mpumalanga
Cost: Adults R95, children R50
“There is an energy about Sudwala Caves that you have to experience first-hand,” says Patrick Chappel, Medical Officer at Tintswalo Hospital in Mpumalanga. “While the Cango Caves are typically the star of the show, up here in the Lowveld, it is all about Sudwala. Take a guided tour, included with your entrance fee, and their cultural significance, million-year history, not to mention absolute beauty, will leave you in awe," he said.
#2) Hole in the Wall, Eastern Cape
"Hole in the Wall is located in Coffee Bay (Eastern Cape) and, in my opinion, is a top favourite South Africans simply must see,” said Kendyl le Roux, Assistant Scientist at the Oceanographic Research Institute of South Africa. "Be sure to ask a local Xhosa about its origin-myth concerning a beautiful maiden and a big fish, and take your board if you’re up for a paddle, she added.
#3) God’s Window, Mpumalanga
Cost: Adults R15, children R10
The name alone should be enough to lure you to the excellent look-out point in lush Mpumalanga, said Gwen Van Der Merwe, who is an eco-field ranger in the Greater Kruger National Park. She recommends: "Take a drive along the Panorama Route, near the reserve, to see many of SA's most beautiful waterfalls, such as Mac Mac Falls, the astonishing ‘Three Rondavels’ rock formation and stop en-route at one of the local restaurants to enjoy delicious pannekoeke..."
#4) West Coast, Western Cape
“Die Weskus is die ‘beskus' (the West Coast is the best coast),” says Colleen Nel of Jacobsbaai Backpackers, aka The Plot. She said small towns along the West Coast were South Africans’ best-kept travel secrets.
"Once you head out of Cape Town and Franschhoek’s refined vineyards, the magic of Paternoster and Elandsbaai (Elands Bay) and the white-washed fishing villages are a knock-out.."
#5) Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng
Cost: Adults R195, children R139 (Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves)
David Fleminger, South African author of Fair Game – a hidden history of the Kruger National Park and Back roads of the Cape, said people should visit the Cradle of Humankind. “… Travelling to this region is a breath of fresh air. It is also a humbling experience exploring the stones and bones of the world's richest Hominid Site, home to around 40 percent of the world's human ancestor fossils.
“Even if you’re simply visiting your parents in the next town over, or passing by a familiar yet unexplored town in your own province, the potential of a new travel adventure is limited only by your willingness to leave the house," he said.