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South Africa undoubtedly has a list of tourist ‘must-sees’. There’s the iconic peak of Table Mountain, and a trip through the Kruger. Photos you ‘must’ take, experiences you ‘must’ have… it’s easy to lose some of your spirit of adventure along the way. This gorgeous landscape is packed with secrets waiting for you to discover them.

Acacia Africa recommends that you add the following 5 gems to your next visit to South Africa.


Hogsback has been called the most ‘beautiful mountain village in South Africa’. It’s not many places you can expect to see both waterfalls and snow in Africa, after all. Ironically perched in the Amatola mountains overlooking the Hogsback peaks, this exquisite little hideaway looks like something out of a fairy story. With the Auckland Nature reserve (and South Africa’s oldest, totally indigenous forest) mere steps away, this is a hidden gem you simply have to experience for yourself.

2. Langebaan Lagoon

In the melange of magnificent sites Cape Town has to offer, her bustling beaches and picturesque sights, there’s little wonder that some absolute gems slip off the radar. Shallow white sand beaches, abstract rock formations and swimmer-friendly waters should make this one pitch up more often, however. It’s unique in that the water here is warm, something you won’t find a lot of on the icy-watered west coast. The nearby reserve attracts a lot of attention in August/September as spring causes the local flowers to erupt in a riot of colour, yet the little beaches here tend to remain unconsidered and quiet.

3. The Karoo’s hidden secrets

While the Karoo herself is receiving an increased international profile as an awesome vacation destination, there’s still an untouched aura that hangs over her. From quaint, picturesque villages, to dusty Ostrich farm roads that peter out in the middle of nowhere, there’s nothing not to love in this landscape time forgot. Friendly people, great food, and gorgeous semi-desert environs are enough to make the Karoo a can’t-miss on any list. Elevate your trip to ‘hidden gem’ status and seek out legendary Tweebuffelsmeteenskootfontein. That mouthful was once a small fruit farming outpost on the way to nowhere, but the 1969 Tulbagh earthquake cause water sources in the area to dry up. It’s now a forgotten marker in the luxury Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

4. Drakensberg Amphitheatre

The Drakensberg themselves are hardly a hidden anything- the gorgeously picturesque range towers for kilometres along the escarpment. The ‘amphitheatre’, however, remains largely unknown and unappreciated. This gorgeous, near-sheer cliff face has to be experienced to be understood.  With Tugela Falls roaring nearby, and the 5km wide amphitheatre cliff face calling to you, it’s time to strap on some hiking boots.
Keen to explore this gorgeous area for yourself? Visit the Drakensberg on this fantastic trip.

5. Addo Elephant National Park

Want to experience the thrills of African safari away from the Kruger? Then the Addo Elephant National Park is where you need to be.
Currently the third largest park in South Africa, this remarkable reserve still manages to be quiet and peaceful even in the peak season. Founded in 1931 to help the (then) remaining 11 elephants in the area, it’s blossomed and grown into a true national gem, now encompassing the Woody Cape conservancy and a marine reserve as well as the original territory. A natural breeding habitat for gennets and penguins alongside iconic African mammals, there’s nothing not to love from the Addo Experience. See everything from elephants and lions, to whales and the great white. At Addo, you can see them all flourish in their natural habitats!
No matter where you roam in this amazing country, you’re almost certain to turn up a magnificent experience or a breathtaking landscape. Why not come explore South Africa’s hidden gems with Acacia Africa this year? You’ll be forever changed by the experience.