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Garden Route, Western Cape to Eastern Cape
At a little under 200 miles, this road trip between Mossel Bay in the west and Storms River in the east has amazingly diverse landscape and wildlife to marvel at.
There are golden beaches, ancient forests filled with walking trails and exotic animals, such as elephants and the rare Knysa Lourie bird, humpback and killers whales out at sea and the stunning Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountain ranges.
Kgalagadi National Park, Botswana border
Watch herds of gemsbok, springbok, eland and blue wildebeest, along with lions and leopards, amid the red sand dunes and sparse vegetation of this 3.6-million-hectare conservation area – one of the largest in the world.
The Drakensberg, central region
Fierce cliffs, dramatic crags, and peaks rising more than 11,000 feet above sea level make up this 700-mile mountain range. Ideal for climbers and walkers.
South Africa's remarkable canvases will unfold before you on a holiday that you will never forget. Find out more here
Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
A glance back to a less pleasant time in South Africa’s history, this attraction details the years of racial oppression from 1948 to 1994. Exhibitions delve thoughtfully into tricky subjects such as state segregation and the rise of black consciousness.
Cango Caves, Oudtshoorn, Western Cape
These 20 million-year-old caves, cut deep into limestone, feature soaring rock columns and huge chambers with names such as The Throne Room, the Fairy Queen’s Palace and the Giant Eagle.
Particularly daring visitors can take the Adventure Tour where you scramble through tiny gaps and passages, including the 27-cm high Devil’s Post Box.
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, Mpumalanga
Carved out of around one-and-a-half miles of red standstone, this is the third largest canyon on earth. Huge strange cylindrical rock structures rise from the wooded valley, Bourke’s Luck Potholes are mysteriously intricate, and animal life includes vervet and samango monkeys, and chacma baboons.
Related: Holidays to South Africa: key travel information.
The Golden Mile, Durban
This famous beachfront flanks numerous sandy expanses - a huge draw for surfers - and has plenty of high-class restaurants, amusement arcades, and uShaka Marine World, which features the highest waterslide and largest aquarium in the Southern Hemisphere.
Robben Island, Cape Town
Infamous for the prison where Nelson Mandela and other political activists were held, this small piece of land is now a World Heritage Site and museum.
Take the short ferry ride over from Cape Town to explore the prison buildings, the quarry where inmates were put to work, the leper cemetery – and a penguin sanctuary.
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Gold Reef City, near Johannesburg
This popular amusement park, themed on a 19th century gold rush town, has roller coasters, log rides, a 4D cinema, the chance to see liquid gold being poured into casts, and luxurious onsite hotels.
Maropeng, near Pretoria
The official visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, which is claimed to be the place from which all humankind originated, due to the large number of hominid (our early ancestors) fossils that have been found in the area.
Housed in a building that is designed to look like a giant burial mound, the attraction takes visitors on an underground boat ride through the earth’s natural history and interactive displays on the development of man.
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