After graduating, many people decide to travel the world far and wide. And while this is an exciting experience, you do not have to leave South Africa to find sites that will amaze you. There are places such as the Wolfberg Cracks and Arch in Cederberg, Die Hel (Gamkaskloof) in the Swartberg Nature Reserve and the Tankwa Karoo in the Northern Cape.
If you are feeling adventurous, then book a room at the Kathu bed and breakfast near Cederberg and make your way around the Northern Cape looking for some hidden spots. For those who want to spend time after graduation exploring their home country, below are some of the best hard-to-reach places in South Africa worth visiting.
The Wolfberg Cracks and Arch, Cederberg
The Cederberg area is known for its impressive rock formations, and the Wolfberg Cracks and Arch are no exception. The catch? You have to hike to reach them, and the hike is no easy feat to accomplish (but the end sight is well worth it!).
It is quite a steep climb but the path is well-marked so that you will never be in danger of getting lost on your way. There is no water on the trail, so be sure to pack your own bottles of water, as well as a sunscreen with a high SPF. The Wolfberg Arch Hike can be completed in five to seven hours or spread out over two days and is the perfect way to spend time after booking into the luxurious Kathu bed and breakfast in the area.
Die Hel, Western Cape
Die Hel is also known as Gamkaskloof, but this name is not nearly as dramatic. It is found 100km outside of Oudtshoorn and is surrounded by the stunning Swartberg Nature Reserve. Here you will find unspoiled views over the Karoo and the breathtaking valleys surrounding it.
Die Hel is a small town with plenty of gruelling hikes for the outdoor enthusiasts, so it is important to be physically prepared beforehand. For those looking for some peace and quiet after the hustle and bustle of university, Die Hel is the ideal place to go. There are more than 100 bird species to look out for and plenty of picnic spots to stop off at while walking. There is a quirky curio store to visit as well as a guesthouse run by one of the original "born and bred" inhabitants of the area.
Makhonjwa Mountains, Barberton
The Makhonjwa Mountains in Barberton bring to mind otherworldly fantasies of ancient structures, and with good reason. Not only are they gorgeous to behold, but these mountains are also home to one of the oldest geological structures in the world.
This structure is known as the Greenstone Belt, the best-preserved volcanic and sedimentary rock in the world. There is a route you can drive by yourself or you can take arranged tours, but be warned that the route should only be attempted by skilled drivers. The mountains themselves are truly beautiful to behold, but the geological structures are truly the highlight of this trip. It is an adventure that history and archaeological students alike will enjoy immensely.
Central Drakensberg Peaks, KwaZulu-Natal
The Drakensberg mountains are truly something to behold. They are difficult to reach, which means that their natural beauty is maintained and left unspoilt by humans. Some sections of these mountains can be reached by foot, but the hikes are strenuous and require high fitness levels.
If you are looking for something a little different after graduation, a hike to see the Central Drakensberg mountains is the ideal choice for you. There are over 35 000 rock art paintings to be found in this mountain range which includes Monks Cowl, Injisuthi, Giants Castle and the Champagne Valley. If you are looking for untouched natural beauty, grab your friends and head off for the Drakensberg peaks.
Sani Pass, KwaZulu-Natal
Sani Pass is one of the most scenic and well-known mountain routes in South Africa and is situated between KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho. It summits at 2876 metres and due to this height, visitors can expect to find snow late in the year, which is quite unexpected.
In order to tackle this route, you will need a sturdy 4x4 that can handle the bumpy, uneven roads. If you do not have your own 4x4, you can hire one through a tour operator or you could opt to book a tour so that you do not have to worry about driving the route. There is truly spectacular scenery to be seen along the drive, so be sure to bring along a camera to capture your surroundings.
Hard-to-reach but worth the effort
Once you have graduated, you might be looking for fun and interesting things to do. For those who are more adventurous, you can head off to the Northern Cape to see the Wolfberg Crack in Cederberg, see Die Hel in the Western Cape or attempt the arduous Sani Pass in KwaZulu-Natal. Touring your own country will allow you to see untouched beauty like never before, and create memories along the way too.