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10 towns that will make you love South Africa

10 towns that will make you love South Africa

South Africa is a country rich in diversity. With its majestic landscapes, vibrant cityscapes, friendly nation, and ‘lekker’ local food, it’s easy to fall in love with this beautiful country. Situated at the tip of Africa, South Africa spans an impressive 1.22m km². Which might make choosing exactly where to go (especially with limited time) extremely difficult. Added to that, no visit to South Africa would be complete without spending time in Joburg, Cape Town, the Garden Route and of course the Kruger National Park. But, beyond the bustling cities and excitement of the Kruger, there’s so much more to explore. South Africa’s real character and charm lies in fact, in its ‘klein dorpies’ or towns. So, if you really want to get a taste of South African culture and hospitality, visiting its charming small towns is an absolute must.

 

We’ve handpicked the best small towns in South Africa worthy of being added to any destination hit-list! If you’re into quirky little towns, off the beaten path traveling, natural settings and stargazing, this list is for you!

 

 

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Best small towns in South Africa

 

Paternoster

 

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Photo by Dennis Lange.

Roughly 145km north of Cape Town lies one of the oldest fishing villages in South Africa. Tiny white-washed fisherman’s cottages line the scenic bay, which is renowned for its jagged cliffs and white-boulders. Paternoster is simply beautiful and most certainly one of the prettiest towns in South Africa.

Don’t leave Paternoster without…

  • Eating freshly caught lobster and Cape Bokkoms (dried fish),
  • Swimming in the chilly West Coast waters, and
  • Having a picnic at the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve.

 

More info: Find the perfect accommodation in Paternoster here.

De Rust

 

De Rust is so small that you’ll barely even notice it driving along the N12 on your way to Oudshoorn. But, what makes this little town so unique, is it’s quaint Victorian architecture. And of course, it’s close vicinity to Meiringspoort; one of South Africa’s most beautiful gorges.

Don’t leave De Rust without…

  • Stopping in at Tolbos, famed for its beautiful glass work,
  • Sampling the locally crafted dessert wines and cheeses, and
  • Driving through Meiringspoort.

 

More info: Find the perfect accommodation in De Rust here. 

Nieu-Bethesda

 

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Photo by Marinda Streicher.

 

This isolated village in the Karoo, just 60km from Graaff-Reinet is any stargazer’s dream come true. The small town, which only has two dirt roads in and out of the village, is the perfect escape from city life. With its rustic charm and dusty streets, Nieu-Bethesda is one of the best small towns in South Africa.

Don’t leave Nieu-Bethesda without…

More info: Find the perfect accommodation in Nieu-Bethesda here.

 

Cape Agulhas

 

Only 170km southeast of Cape Town lies the sleepy town of Cape Agulhas. This little ‘dorp’ marks the most southern tip of Africa. It is also here where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. The town is notorious for its rugged coastline, rocky beaches and shipwrecks which dot the coastline.

Don’t leave Cape Agulhas without…

  • Seeing the gorgeous view on top of the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse Museum,
  • Visiting one of the nearby vineyards, and
  • Trying your hand at deep sea fishing.

 

More info: Find the perfect accommodation in Cape Agulhas here.

 

Clarens

 

Looking for some off the beaten path places in South Africa? We’ve got you covered. Discover ten of the best small towns in South Africa which you simply shouldn’t miss. #southafrica #africa #smalltowns #offthebeatenpath #quirkytowns #towns
Photo by Claire Brear on Unsplash.

 

When the hustle and bustle of city life gets too much, locals from Joburg, Bloem, and even Durban flock to Clarens. And for good reason. This little town is most probably one of the most famous and picturesque small towns in South Africa. Set at the foothills of the Maluti Mountains in the Free State, Clarens is well-known for its scenic views, cherries and up-and-coming art scene.

Don’t leave Clarens without…

 

More info: Find the perfect accommodation in Clarens here. 

 

Napier

 

Looking for some off the beaten path places in South Africa? We’ve got you covered. Discover ten of the best small towns in South Africa which you simply shouldn’t miss. #southafrica #africa #smalltowns #offthebeatenpath #quirkytowns #towns
Photo by Guillaume Flandre on Unsplash

 

The small town of Napier lies between Caledon and Bredasdorp in the Western Cape. Its unique blend of old-fashioned cottages and modern housing, makes Napier a must-visit small town in South Africa. The town is surrounded by rolling wheat and barley farmland, whilst the Soetmuisberg serves as its backdrop. It’s just gorgeous!

Don’t leave Napier without…

  • Taking a selfie at the town’s giant sundial,
  • Admiring the beautiful solid yellow copper pipe organ at the Dutch Reformed Church,
  • Sampling some good ol’ fashioned ‘karringmelk beskuit’ (buttermilk rusks) at one of the farm stalls, and
  • Visiting the Napier Brewery.

 

More info: Find the perfect accommodation in Napier here. 

Cullinan

 

Cullinan is only a 20 minute drive from South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria. Which makes this small town an easy getaway for Gautengers and tourists alike. The town is home to one of the biggest diamond mines in South Africa, and most noteworthy, it is here where the Cullinan Diamond (the biggest diamond in the world) was discovered.

Don’t leave Cullinan without…

 

More info: Find the perfect accommodation in Cullinan here. 

Dullstroom

 

Dullstroom is another great small town that you’ll undoubtably love. The town is one of the best fly fishing spots in South Africa and boasts with a rich history dating back to the Dutch settlers. If you are on your way to the Kruger, do spend a few days here to enjoy this small town’s trout, rustic charm and amazing surroundings.

Don’t leave Dullstroom without…

  • Exploring the countryside on horseback,
  • Giving fly fishing a go, and
  • Trying the local beer at Anvil Ale House.

 

More info: Find the perfect accommodation in Dullstroom here. 

Graskop

 

Graskop is a small forestry town in Mpumalanga. Standing at the tip of the Drakensberg escarpment, it offers magnificent views over the lower lying valleys. If you love the great outdoors, this is one town you should definitely not miss. Added to that, Graskop is close to some of South Africa’s most prized scenic wonders. Such as God’s Window, the Blyde River Canyon and some pretty spectacular waterfalls to name a few. Not to mention, the town also serves as a gateway to the Kruger. In less than an hour’s drive you can enjoy the roars of the Kruger, which is yet another reason to love Graskop.

Don’t leave Graskop without…

 

More info: Find the perfect accommodation in Graskop here. 

Kaapsehoop

 

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Kaapsehoop is just a short drive from Nelspruit, the capital of Mpumalanga Province. This quaint and quirky town oozes with greenery and charm. But, it is perhaps its age-old gold rush history and free roaming wild horses that make this small town even more attractive to locals and tourists alike.

 

Want to know more about Kaapsehoop? Get the inside scoop from a local here,  Kaapsehoop: The best place to spend your day.

 

Don’t leave Kaapsehoop without…

  • Catching a glimpse of the wild horses,
  • Devouring the pancakes at Koek ‘n Pan, and
  • Drinking a glass of wine next to Salvador’s fireplace.

 

More info: Find the perfect accommodation around Kaapsehoop here.

 

Have you been to any of these small towns in South Africa? Tell us all about it in the comments below. Also, if we’ve missed a really cool town which you think should be on this list, we’d love to know! To get all the good stuff first, don’t forget to follow us on social media and subscribe to our blog!

 


 

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Looking for some off the beaten path places in South Africa? We’ve got you covered. Discover ten of the best small towns in South Africa which you simply shouldn’t miss. #southafrica #africa #smalltowns #offthebeatenpath #quirkytowns #towns Looking for some off the beaten path places in South Africa? We’ve got you covered. Discover ten of the best small towns in South Africa which you simply shouldn’t miss. #southafrica #africa #smalltowns #offthebeatenpath #quirkytowns #towns

 

 

 

 

 

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