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Your Guide to Everything Unique about South Africa

Your Guide to Everything Unique about South Africa

South Africa is the best place to find many unique things. Not only are their landmarks one of a kind; their culture also stands out from the rest of the world.

People from all over the globe fly to this country for one-of-a-kind experiences. In this article, we dig deep into the attractions that make South Africa deserving of a top spot on every traveller’s bucket list.

What are the most unique places to visit in South Africa?

Some of the most unique places to visit in South Africa include the Big Pineapple, Sunland Baobab and Tswalu Private Game Reserve, among others.

These tourist attractions have exciting designs and showcase the beauty of South Africa.

We explore these – and other noteworthy destinations – in the list below!

The Big Pineapple

The Big Pineapple
Photo by Randy Greve from Flickr
AddressSummerhill Farm, R67, Bathurst, 6166, South Africa
Operating hours9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily (During Winter, it’s only until 4:00 PM)
Contact+27(0)46 625-0515

Known as the Pineapple Capital of South Africa, Bathurst is an interesting tourist destination found at the Eastern Cape of the country. It’s where you can find the world’s largest artificial pineapple statue.

The so-called Big Pineapple is 16.7 meters tall which is bigger than the similar one found on the Sunshine Coast of Australia.

Once you get inside this Big Pineapple, you’ll be appalled to see a museum dedicated to the said fruit. It presents a 12-minute film about the production of pineapple inside its own auditorium.

Moreover, it has a fun exhibition about local agriculture along with the different varieties of pineapple that are up for sale. 

Apart from that, you can climb up the observation deck for a stunning panoramic view of your surroundings.

Sunland Baobab

Sunland Baobab
Photo by South African Tourism from Flickr
AddressR36, Ga-Kgapane, South Africa
Operating hoursPermanently closed

If you’re up for a fun adventure, go to the Sunland Baobab which is located at Duiwelskloof, South Africa.

It’s a hidden bar found inside a hollowed-out 6,000-year-old baobab. A baobab refers to a short tree with a thick trunk that can live for a long time.

This said tree is one of the largest ones in South Africa. It’s 72 feet tall and 155 feet wide.

Since this place has limited space, it can only accommodate up to fifteen people. However, this rustic pub is an experience like no other.

It has 13-foot high ceilings and gives you the privacy you need with your family or friends.

However, it’s important to note that the bar is slightly out of shape due to the giant tree’s trunk split in April 2016. It’s still safe to visit but its design is not as it used to be.

Tswalu Private Game Reserve

Tswalu Private Game Reserve
Photo by Stephan Streuders from Pexels
AddressFarm Korranaberg 296, Van Zylsrus 8467 Kuruman, South Africa
Operating hoursAlways open
Contact+27 53 781 9211
RatesTour packages depend on length of stay;
Starts at R63,650 per room/night

The Tswalu Private Game Reserve is described as the largest private game reserve in South Africa. Found at the southernmost tip of Kalahari, it has a wide expanse of savannah plains.

It’s a unique destination that’s home to a number of rare species. Some examples include an oryx, wildebeest and warthog. 

There are also tourists who are on the lookout for the Kalahari black-maned lion and desert black rhino which are usually seen along the dune roads. Find more than 80 different mammals during your visit to make the most of the experience.

Aside from enjoying the breathtaking view, you can relish good food at Klein Jan. It’s a popular fine dining restaurant by Michelin star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.

Phinda Private Game Reserve

Phinda Private Game Reserve
Photo by Antony Trivet from Pexels
AddressPhinda, Mkuze, South Africa
Operating hoursAlways open
Contact+27 11 809 4300; [email protected]

Experience another exciting safari adventure by going to Phinda Private Game Reserve. It’s found in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa.

The best thing about it is its seven different ecosystems. It’s the home of more than 380 bird species and the big five animals of South Africa.

These animals are namely the lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo and elephant.

If you choose to book a stay in the area, you can explore various accommodation choices from affordable to expensive prices. All of these are fit for any kind of traveller, whether you’re alone or with your family.

Don’t forget to drop by the Sodwana Bay coastline where you can see beautiful patches of land and breathtaking beaches. Dive into their majestic waters to see over 1,200 kinds of fish and coral formations.

Route 62

Route 62
Photo by Megan Trace from Flickr
AddressRd 62, Nqutu, 3135, South Africa
Operating hoursAlways open
Contact[email protected]

Get ready for a fun road trip by cruising through Route 62. It’s a long and scenic road that starts in Cape Town of the Western Cape until Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape.

Through this route, you can make many pits stops at several tourist attractions. If you’re into looking at farms, drop by Calitzdorp and Ladismith.

But if you want to eat some delicious fruit and sip some good wine, visit the popular regions of Barrydale and Ashton for a filling adventure.

You should keep your eyes on your car’s windows at all times to see the beautiful scenery filled with rare red soil and distinct rugged cliffs.

Route 67

Route 67

Photo by Suzi-k from Wikimedia Commons

Address14 St. Mary’s Terrace, Port Elizabeth Central, Gqeberha, 6001, South Africa
Operating hoursAlways open

For all the creatives out there, you should make sure to visit Route 67. It’s a long trail that showcases over 67 different masterpieces of local artists.

All of these artworks pay homage to the illustrious life of former president Nelson Mandela. It also highlights the gripping history of the country along with its British and African roots.

Once you are on the road on Route 67, you’ll see stunning murals, colourful mosaics and uncommon sculptures. Take a photo at every spot that catches your eye to remember the moment.


Photo by Egor Bugrimov from Pexels
AddressScheepers Hoek Farm, Retiefs Pass rd., Bergville, 3350, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
Operating hoursAlways open
Contact+27 82 927 2676

Although it’s an underrated spot, you won’t regret paying a visit to the Drakensberg. Its name itself means ‘Dragon Mountains’ in the Afrikaans language, hailed as the highest mountain range in South Africa.

This same location is a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s perfect for all nature lovers. Take a hike up the mountains for a challenge that you’ll never forget.

On your trail, you’ll uncover various bodies of water like waterfalls and rivers where you can do some fun activities like kayaking and swimming.

Once you reach the top, you’ll be left in awe at the wonderful panoramic view of the mountains. Its lush green valleys are snap-worthy so don’t forget to get your cameras ready.

Cat Statue

AddressCorner Grey Street and Meintjies Streets, Aberdeen, 6270, South Africa
Operating hours9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Mondays to Fridays;
10:00 AM to 12:00 NN on Saturdays;
Closed on Sundays 
Contact+27(0)49 846 0148

Visiting the Cat Statue is a must for all feline lovers. It’s a monument that was done to honour Petronella Lynz and her daughter.

These two were called the Cat-Women of the Karoo because they created a feline orphanage for various stray cats in Aberdeen. The mentioned structure is placed outside the Aberdeen Heritage Archive and Tourism Bureau.

Once you go to Aberdeen, you’ll also get a chance to see different cat species apart from the Cat Statue. There’s a large metal cage for these felines where they are taken care of properly.

This is also done so that they can refrain from wandering aimlessly and being stolen by nefarious individuals.

Sudwala Dinosaur Park

Sudwala Dinosaur Park
Photo by Miriam Fischer from Pexels
AddressSudwala Dinosaur Park, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Operating hours8:30 AM to 5:00 PM daily
Contact+27 81 043 0706
RatesR70 for Adults
R40 for Children
Free for Kids under 5 years old

Whether you have a child or a child at heart, you’ll love visiting the Sudwala Dinosaur Park. It’s located at Nelspruit or also known as Mbombela, a city in the northeastern part of South Africa.

As its name suggests, it follows the theme of the hit movie Jurassic Park which features several prehistoric animals. The park features life-sized models of them and is placed in a large tropical garden where you can view them leisurely.

Aside from these statues, you can see real-life birds and monkeys while you stroll through the park. Another good idea is to go up the viewing deck of the park, situated on top of the Rainforest Valley for a chill downtime.

The Shoe House

AddressR36 Main Road, 20 kilometres North of Ohrigstad, Ohrigstad, 1122, South Africa
Operating hours8:30 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays;
9:00 AM to 3:30 PM on weekends
Contact+27 87 148 8610
RatesStarting at R750/night, for 2 people

If you’ve heard about that famous rhyme of a little lady who lived in a shoe, you’ll most likely remember it when you go to the Shoe House.

It’s found on the Panorama Route, on the border of the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa.

Although it appears like a big shoe on the outside, it has a lot more in store for you once you get inside the structure. It has a small museum, an Alfa Omega cave and a tea garden that you can enjoy.

If you want, you can stay overnight at their guesthouse so you can take your time exploring every nook and cranny of the place.

Owl House

Owl House
Photo by South African Tourism from Wikimedia Commons
AddressMartins Street, Nieu-Bethesda, 6286, South Africa
Operating hours8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Mondays to Wednesdays; 
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Thursdays and Fridays;
6:00 AM to 5:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Saturdays;
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sundays
Contact+27 49 841 1733 

The Owl House is an uncommon tourist attraction found at the Karoo town in Nieu-Bethesda, Eastern Cape of South Africa.

From its name itself, you can expect to see various sculptures of owls all over its house and garden area. Apart from that, you can see many monuments of camels and people created by the artist.

Helen Martins, the person behind all of this, turned blind because of her constant exposure to delicate and crushed glass which she utilised to make the said sculptures.

Her cause of death was uncanny too since she committed suicide by taking caustic soda at 78 years old.

Surely, once you go to this Owl House, it’ll be a spine-chilling experience that you won’t forget so don’t miss your chance and add this to your itinerary now.

The Big Hole

The Big Hole
Photo by Gary Bembridge from Flickr
AddressS Circular Rd, Kimberley, 8300, South Africa
Operating hours9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on weekdays;9:00 AM to 3:00 PM on weekends
Contact+27 53 839 4600
RatesR100 for Adults;R60 for 4 to 12 years old;
R320 for family of 2 Adults and 3 children from 4 to 12 years old;
R80 for Pensioners, only on Mondays;
R80 for Students, must provide identification card to quality

The Big Hole is a unique tourist attraction that’s known as the world’s largest hole excavated by hand. It’s said to be a whopping amount of 22.5 million tons of earth.

Located in Kimberley, Northern Cape, it has a surface area of 42 acres and around 1,519 feet in width. With its long history, it has yielded around 6,000 pounds of diamonds with a value of 14,504,566 carats.

Once you visit this place, you’ll uncover various interesting stories about how diamonds were formed. It’s the perfect spot for those who want to learn more about history while exploring a new location. 


Photo by South African Tourism from Flickr
AddressCalivinia, South Africa
Operating hours6:00 PM to 6:00 AM daily for visitors of the Quiver Tree Forest
Contact+027 218 1249;
[email protected]
RatesR250 entrance to the Quiver Tree Forest;
Accommodation rates vary on room

Going to Gannabos is ideal for those who want to go off the beaten path. It’s off-the-grid and perfect if you want to avoid any big crowds of people.

It’s situated in a small town in the Namak District Municipality called Nieuwoudtville. This is in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

While you’re in Gannabos, you should make sure to see their popular quiver tree forest. It’s the largest in the entire world.

Quiver trees can only reach up to 25 feet but it has a thick base, going as wide as 3 feet. Its bark has a smooth texture while its wood is threadlike that can easily be carved.

Their branches usually grow upward, making them distinct from the rest. As for its leaves, it has a greyish-green colour when looked at up close.

Most professional photographers love taking a snap of these trees during sunrise or sunset for a noteworthy shot.

Bourke’s Luck Potholes

Bourke’s Luck Potholes
Photo by South African Tourism from Flickr
AddressBlyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, Moremela, South Africa
Operating hours7:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily
Contact+27 13 769 8926
RatesR25 for Adults;
R5 for vehicles

Years of water erosion resulted in the Bourke’s Luck Potholes that you know today. It’s found in Ehlanzeni, South Africa which is around 82 miles from Sunland Baobab.

This significant landmark is perfectly perched between the Blyde River and Treur River of South Africa. By standing at the edge of the Blyde River Canyon, you can see those two rivers swirling together.

These unique formations were named after John Bourke. He was the first person who claimed that there were gold deposits in the area.

Although there was no such gold found, he was able to bear witness to this one-of-a-kind scenery.

Through the development of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, where these potholes are found, there are bridges and viewing platforms made for tourists for their convenient viewing.

It allows them to see the distinct rock formations from different angles and take photos of them if they want. 

Apart from that, there are short walking trails nearby and a geological museum that visitors can enjoy.

Bo Kaap

Bo Kaap
Photo by Paul Mannix from Flickr
Address71 Wale Street, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Operating hours9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Mondays to Saturdays;
Closed on Sundays

Located in the ‘Mother City’ of South Africa, Bo Kaap is a colourful suburb that’s suitable for a long stroll. It’s a 10-minute walk from the centre of Cape Town and you won’t miss it because of the vibrant paint hues.

These streets are filled with one-story to two-story homes that are positioned close to each other.

Aside from its picturesque coloured houses, this place has a significant meaning in the history of the country. This specific neighbourhood was separated from the rest of the community because of the 1950 apartheid law.

As a result, it became a ‘Cape Muslims’ community. In connection with their celebration of Eid, they painted their segregated district in these bright tones.

Coffee Bay

Coffee Bay
Photo by John Ramatsui from Flickr
AddressCoffee Bay, Wild Coast, South Africa
Operating hoursAlways open

If you want to go somewhere uncommon to most tourists, Coffee Bay is a great recommendation by many locals. It’s a hidden gem that has untouched beaches and lush green hills.

This small town is on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. 

Try out different water sports while you’re on Coffee Bay Beach such as surfing, snorkelling and diving.

Another thing to do is dig through their town’s rich history by going on village tours. It has deep roots in the Zulu culture that you’ll love learning.

West Coast National Park

West Coast National Park
Photo by Nina R from Flickr
AddressWest Coast DC, South Africa
Operating hoursAlways open
Contact+27 22 772 2144

The West Coast National Park is great for families and nature lovers because of its alluring landscapes. During the spring season, it has a wide expanse of colourful wildflowers that will take your breath away.

However, it also has more to offer other than its beautiful views. There are different hiking trails that are perfect for adventure lovers.

This experience will open your eyes to the beauty of nature. You can even do some bird watching as this park houses more than 300 different bird species.

If you want some sea therapy, visit this park within the months of August and October for a chance to see the whales wade through the glistening waters. 

You can also take a dip at the Langebaan Lagoon and enjoy the warm water at any time of the day.

Collectors Treasury

Collectors Treasury
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels
AddressCTP House, 244 Commissioner Street, City and Suburban, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
Operating hours10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Mondays to Saturdays;
Closed on Sundays
Contact+27 11 334 6556

For all book lovers, the Collectors Treasury is a must-visit on your trip to South Africa. It’s an eight-story edifice at the heart of Johannesburg’s Central Business District (CBD).

This is the largest bookshop across Africa that sells over a million rare and second-hand books. It’s a treasure trove of unique reads that’ll put a big smile on any bookworm’s face.

Once you get inside the place, expect to see books stacked closely to one another because of their large volume. They are found at every nook and cranny so take your time browsing through each one.

You might even stumble upon first-edition prints and books that are no longer published during your visit. You can also scour through maps, newspapers and photographs that you won’t see anywhere else.

Founded in 1974, this shop has been managed by brothers Jonathan and Geoffrey Klass for years.

Although the initial inception of this place started above a garage, it has now relocated to its current spot because of its massive stock of books.

Adam’s Calendar

Adam’s Calendar
Photo by Michel Royon from Wikimedia Commons
AddressBlue Swallow Reserve, Ehlanzeni, South Africa
Operating hoursAlways open

Although it’s not easily accessible, many still endure passing through rough dirt roads to get to Adam’s Calendar. It’s not as popular as most tourist destinations but it’s a unique spot for sure.

Its rock formations form a circular shape with a diameter of 100 feet. Many locals call it ‘Africa’s Stonehenge’ or ‘Birthplace of the Sun’ because of its strange shape.

This mysterious landmark has unknown origins. A writer named Michael Tellinger once claimed that it was the oldest manmade structure in the world but it was immediately debunked by various critics.

Despite not knowing how this stone circle came into existence, many are aware of how this place was discovered.

John Heine, a South African pilot, was flying over the hills of the Mpumalanga region until he crashed by the mountainside in 2003. After exiting the aircraft, he saw three monolithic, five-ton dolomite stones erected out of the ground.

This said stone circle is now called Adam’s Calendar which is only known among a selected few people.

The nearby spots to this place include Sudwala Caves and Bourke’s Luck Potholes, which is at Ehlanzeni, South Africa.

Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Valley

Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Valley
Photo by Travis Baker from Flickr
AddressHermanus, 7200, South Africa
Operating hoursAlways open
Contact+27 84 498 0779;
[email protected]

Known as ‘Heaven and Earth’ in Afrikaans, Hemel-en-Aarde is a stunning tourist destination.

From its name, you’ll feel like going to wine heaven when you get here.

With various award-winning wines, you can explore 15 different farms that cultivate chardonnays and pinot noirs.

In fact, they celebrate International Pinot Noir Day every August 18.

Apart from sipping delicious wine, you can also go whale watching along the Cliff Path in the town of Hermanus during your visit. There is a nearby beach where you can do various water sports activities.

However, if you prefer the mountains, you can also go hiking and mountain biking in the area.

BONUS: What else is unique about South Africa?

Apart from its unique tourist attractions, there are many interesting things about South Africa which are as follows:


Photo by Askar Abayev from Pexels

Dubbed a melting pot of cultures, South Africa is home to five different cultural groups. This includes Xhosa, Zulu, Venda, Cape Malay and Indian ethnicities.

They also have eleven official languages where Zulu and Xhosa are widely spoken. However, English is the medium of communication for business and commerce industries.


Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Since South Africa has a variety of ethnic groups, it led to a wide selection of traditional dishes too. Its most common one is the braai which is a form of barbecue.

However, it also has unique menu items that you won’t find anywhere else. Some examples are Afval, Beef Tongue and Bokkoms which are known for their acquired taste.

Capital Cities

Capital Cities
Photo by United Nations Photo from Flickr

Compared to other countries in the world, South Africa has three capital cities namely Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein. This is because of the structure of their government.

Since South Africa has three different branches which are legislative, executive and judicial, they wanted to put power equally in three different locations.

Cape Town is for the legislative branch where the seat of the Parliament is situated. 

While Pretoria is for the executive branch where the seat of Cabinet and the President reside.

Then, Bloemfontein is the judicial branch where the Supreme Court of Appeal is found.

FAQs on South Africa

Visiting South Africa is a unique adventure that you’ll never forget with its vast amount of uncommon tourist attractions. 

If you any suggestions, don’t hesitate to share them in our comment box below.

You can also read the different safety tips (is it safe to walk around Cape Town?) for tourists to complete the experience.

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