Small towns worth visiting in South Africa

When going on vacation or doing a road trip, small towns can make a great over-night pit stop or overall vacation destination. These are the jewels of their respective provinces and offer a great alternative to big city lights and the city bustle. These towns are characterised by interesting heritage and history, picturesque landscapes and a plethora of outdoor activities to keep you occupied.

 

1. Dullstroom

 

Dullstroom is a small town in the province of Mpumalanga. It is South Africa’s premier fly fishing destination. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery and consists of the true makings of a small, quaint little town. There’s a lot to do in and around this small little town, from horse-back riding and hiking to trout fishing. Some interesting facts about Dullstroom:

  • It is one of the coldest spots in South Africa.
  • It is the only place in the country, where elm and beech trees grow in any number.
  • It is also the only region in South Africa where you will find the endangered the Blue Crane, Crowned Crane,as well as the Wattled Crane which is critically endangered.
  • It hosts a whiskey bar with the largest collection of whiskeys in the southern hemisphere.
  • It is also the host of a specialized clock shop with the largest collection of clocks in the southern hemisphere.

Dullstroom Scenery

 

2. Clarens

 

Clarens is situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains in close proximity to the Golden Gate National Park and the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. Clarens is part of the scenic Highlands Route and is surrounded by mountains of the Rooiberge range, and the Maluti mountains further towards the southeast. The town is known for the many art and craft shops which offer the visitors a wide range of curios and original artwork. There’s an operating brewery in the town which offers visitors a cider tasting experience as well as a wonderful French restaurant Clementine’s which serves an awesome pork belly and a range of homey meals on their menu.

 

3. Coffee Bay

 

Coffee Bay is a small town in the Eastern Cape located just 250km south, from the city of Durban. It’s named Coffee Bay after the hundreds of coffee trees which grew from beans either scattered by a shipwreck or by plunderers.It is a mystical, magical place where awesome sights, ancient cultures, and traditions are intricately woven into a colourful tapestry of traditional life. There are lots of activities to do; such as abseiling, micro lighting, off-roading, fishing etc. It’s also famous for a geological phenomenon called the ” Hole in the Wall” (picture below).

Coffee Bay, Hole in the Wall

4. Nottingham Road

 

Nottingham Road is one of the most popular stops on the renowned Midlands Meander. This historical town is situated 19km south of Mooiriver in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The landscape here consists of the green rolling hills of Natal, with fly-fishing dams all around . As a tourist you will find  an eclectic mix of arts and crafts, restaurants, and a wide range of sporting, environmental and historical pursuits originally created to attract visitors off the beaten track.

 

5. Franschoek

 

This is a premier wine and food destination, that attracts both local and international tourists for its world class cuisine and expensive wines. Situated between mountains covered with vineyards, it has the most breath-taking scenery of the Western Cape. It has a rich heritage and cultural history, being one of the oldest towns in South Africa. This is one of those places you absolutely have to visit before you die.

Franschoek