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14 South African Landscapes That’ll Take Your Breath Away

These scenic wonders will feast your eyes and lift your spirits. Start planning your trip to South Africa...like, today.

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1. Hout Bay

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Formerly known as a fishing village, Hout Bay has managed to maintain a unique culture that balances it’s fishing and country roots. All the beaches on the bay face exceptionally beautiful mountains.

2. De Hoop Nature Reserve

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In addition to hiking, cycling, and bird-watching, De Hoop Nature Reserve is an incredible place to watch whales from the land. About 120 southern right whales return to these waters every year to mate and give birth.

3. Hole in the Wall

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The Hole in the Wall is a picturesque rocky archway with a fun mythological backstory. Xhosa lore tells a story of a woman who fell in love with a mythical sea person. Their love was so strong that he rammed a hole through the wall with the help of a large fish so he could always reach her.

5. Storms River

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Located in the Eastern Cape, the breathtaking Storms River makes its way around the Tsitsikamma mountain range into the Indian Ocean. It’s bordered with all indigenous trees and exotic birds.

8. Clarens

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Nicknamed the "Jewel of the Eastern Free State," Clarens' relaxing ambience and countless art galleries make this any artist's haven. Several of the buildings in this town were made from sandstone, giving it a truly unique look.

9. Muizenberg

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Historically known as "Millionaire’s Mile," Muizenberg is a colorful village along the False Bay coastline. Most of the iconic homes in this area date back to the Victorian empire. They were built from stone, plaster, and limestone, complete with traditional thatched roofing.

10. Valley of Desolation

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The Valley of Desolation is home to over 220 types of birds, 336 plants, and 43 mammals. Its steep cliffs and distinctive columns are the product of volcanic ashes, forming over a course of 100 million years.

11. The Drakensberg Mountains

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The Drakensberg is comprised of four valleys: Champagne Valley, Didima Valley, Amphitheatre Valley, and the Middledale Pass Valley. Each separate themselves with unique characteristics, but all offer magnificent mountain views.

12. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

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Only growing plants indigenous to South Africa, Kirstenbosch is home to over 7,000 plant species, including many rare and threatened species. It's no surprise why this is one of the most admired botanical gardens of the world.

13. Blyde River Canyon

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Reaching 6,378 feet above sea level, Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is the third largest canyon on Earth. It is also surrounded by the Blyde (joy) and Treur (sorrow) rivers.

14. Aliwal Shoal

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Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area is one of the top dive sites in the world. Although it is home to countless fish, it is especially known for the large number of grey nurse sharks who migrate there every year to mate between August and November.

Meet South Africa — it’s the vacation you’ve been waiting for.

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