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5 spots international students in South Africa must see

South African attractions
A South African sunset reflected in a lake with water lilies at iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Source: Shutterstock

The experience of studying in South Africa will stick with you for life. That’s because, beyond world-class universities and programmes, you can also soak up the unique culture and natural beauty of South African attractions.

In a land of such diverse wonder, you may be wondering what to do and where to go. Here are five South African attractions where you can begin your nature adventure.

Drakensberg

South African attractions

Pick your trail to explore the Drakensberg Mountain range. Source: Shutterstock

Spanning the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment, Drakensberg (aka Dragon’s Mountain) is a pristine range for the outdoor enthusiast. You can hike, bike, fish, and even ride horses.

Besides that, you can also take a 4×4 drive through the legendary Sani Pass. It is one of the most popular road links in the country, crossing the dramatic Drakensberg summit. You can take in the breathtaking scenes on your way down to Lesotho.

Pearly Beach

Known as the purest beach on the Western Cape, this beach has much to offer wanderlusting students.

You can ride horseback on the picturesque beach trails, through dune forests and pearly white sands. It’s an experience horse lovers can’t miss.

Pearly Beach is also along the migratory whale route. It’s also not far off from Danger Point Peninsula, where the Southern Right Whales and Great White Sharks make appearances.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

South African attractions

Snorkel the Indian Ocean at Sodwana Bay National Park within iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Source: Shutterstock

This UNESCO heritage site is not to be missed for its diverse ecosystems and experiences. It is home to Africa’s largest estuary St. Lucia, which is home to hippopotami and crocodiles.

Snorkel among the colourful coral reef at Sodwana Bay, watch turtles lay eggs on the coastline or see over 420 species of birds at uMkhuze. Don’t miss the freshwater Lake Sibaya; it is said to be the most breathtaking of its kind.

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Of all South African attractions, the Sabie Waterfalls Route is known as its “best-kept secret”. You will find this waterfall cluster along the magnificent cliffs of one of the earth’s largest canyons.

On top of that, you can walk along a rare rock formation known as Bourke’s Luck potholes, which is caused by extensive water erosion. This one’s for you, geology geeks.

Namaqualand

South African attractions

If you’re lucky, you may find an oryx among the colourful fields of Namaqualand. Source: Shutterstock

Sometimes, you just want a photo op for the ‘gram.

For that, head to Namaqualand on the Northern Cape — a desert that springs into bloom once a year. Witness a spectacle of orange, yellow, and pink flowers across flat land between August and September.

Namaqualand also houses other unique plant species and thousands of succulents more befitting of its desert climate.

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