Eager to get away? Here are ten off the grid spots, perfect for a last-minute local getaway.
The Northern Cape – South Africa’s largest province with desert landscapes, wildlife, and gemstone
Snuggle up and stargaze, far away from civilisation. Are you a lover of astronomy? Sutherland is home to the largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere, SALT. The turnoff to the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is halfway into the town on the right, about 14km from Sutherland. Pass through the gates and follow the road to the Visitor Centre where you can see the telescope and much more.
Hopetown is home to the first diamond uncovered in South Africa, specifically the 23,25 carat Eureka diamond, and soon afterwards the discovery of the 83,5 carat Star of Africa was found in the Great Karoo town.
The tiny town offers many off the beaten path experiences from hiking trails to charming family-run, self-catering establishments.
The Gazella Game Reserve, on the banks of the Orange River, provides sanctuary for gemsbok, eland, kudu and springbok.
This small town is more or less in the centre of Namaqualand, about 70 km to the south of Springbok and is home to the breathtaking Kamiesberge Mountain Range. The town’s name comes directly from the jumble of rock formations and mountains that shelter it.
Kamieskroon is perfect for mountain biking enthusiasts and as the locals will be quick to point out, the best hiking and 4×4 trails. Go, have a look!
The Western Cape – where the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean meet
Step back in time in the third oldest town in South Africa.
“Swellendam is home to over 50 important heritage sites, including some
of the best-preserved Cape Dutch architecture in the country,” says Sue Garrett, General Manager Product and Marketing at the Flight Centre Travel Group. “It’s ideally situated halfway between Cape Town and George, for those keen to embark on a Western Cape roadtrip. It’s a truly charming town for a secluded and tranquil local break. Our popular Homegrown Holidays domestic travel collection includes a variety of Western Cape road trip itineraries, such as our Cape Town to Knysna 6 night roadtrip visiting Swellendam.”
Home to the green citrus orchard, and beautiful guest houses with magnificent backdrops, Citrusdal is just breathtaking.
With a superb climate (and an extremely high sunshine index), spectacular night skies, and pure clean air, who can resist the allure of a local getaway to Citrusdal.
Citrusdal is just two hours from Cape Town at the gateway to the Cederberg, making for a quick and easy road trip.
Head into the heart of the South African Karoo for a “get-away-from-it-all” escape.
Areyou a fan of ghost stories and history? If so, you will most definitely enjoy the adrenalin rush and hiking trails of the Prince Albert Ghost Walk.
Eastern Cape – get off the grid
The Eastern Cape’s chief centre of the wool industry, Cradock also produces beef, dairy and fruit in spectacular surroundings.
Just three hours from Port Elizabeth, this Eastern Cape dorpie is a fantastic road trip destination. Expect ruggedly beautiful scenery and experiences from Cheetah tracking at the Mountain Zebra National park to feasting on succulent Karoo lamb.
Graff Reinet is the fourth-oldest town in South Africa, after Cape Town, Stellenbosch, and Swellendam.
Be sure to pop into the Blue Magnolia in Muller Street, a quiet cafe with a nursery selling plants, trees and flowers. Don’t forget to stock up on biltong for the rest of your road trip!
Cintsa is a quiet seaside village in the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape. Head into the Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve, where you can see rhino, giraffe, zebra, and a variety of buck species.
When the beaches open once more, they are ideal for swimming with calm seas. It’s also a popular spot for fishing, surfing, quad biking and zip lining. So, for lazy days on the beach or active days along the coast, Cintsa is a great bet!
Limpopo – bordering Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique
Did you know that Magoebaskloof is also known as the “The Land of the Silver Mist”? This is hiking country at its finest, and the beautiful Magoebaskloof valley and surrounding mountains deliver some of the best trails, mountain bike routes and bird watching in South Africa.
These are just ten incredible local off the grid spots in beautiful South Africa. So go on, get outside again (safely) and discover your new favourite local hideaway while supporting the South African tourist industry.