South African Landmarks

Our country is filled with awesome natural wonders, strange monuments and unique landmarks.

Augrabies Falls
Since 1966 over 20 people have fallen to their death while peering at this awesome gorge in the Northern Cape. In 1979 a Scandinavian was the first person to slip and survive, proving that miracles do happen. He emerged alive from the pool below the falls, and even recovered his wallet containing R400!
Big Pineapple
South Africa's most Disneyesque monument to the absurd, an enormous fibreglass pineapple, stands on a farm near Bathurst, the historic Eastern Cape hamlet and pineapple metropolis. Based on a model in Australia (where else?), the Big Pineapple is 16,7 metres tall... the world's biggest!
For info, call the Bathurst Publicity Association on (046) 624-2230

The Cradle of Humankind
That is what they have dubbed Sterkfontein World Heritage Site and surrounds – where ongoing excavations in limestone caves have unearthed fossils dating back some 3,5 million years to when our hominid ancestors roamed these plains. Kyk hoe lyk ons nou! Take a tour of the area with Human Origins Excursions.
Debegeni Falls
Along with ancient hardwood forests, wild mountains and silver dams, the Debegeni Falls is one of the highlights of the Magoebaskloof mountains in the Northern Province. The place is so pretty you can imagine Bambi stepping out from the trees to nuzzle your picnic basket.
Everest
Our very own Mount Everest rises from golden grasslands in the Free State, near Harrismith... and is too small to make it onto a 1:50 000 scale map. So even the laziest of us can climb it in a morning. Watch out for swallows, dassies, eagles and veld flowers.
Finger Rock
Every country should have one. You will find Finger Rock in the spectacular Postberg Nature Reserve in the Western Cape, which is renowned for its displays of spring flowers.
Hole in the Wall
Many have attempted to swim through this legendary gap in the rocks near Coffee Bay off the Wild Coast. One local tried to summit the rock, but like the proverbial kitten in the tree lost his nerve when it came to climbing down. For three days he sat hollering for help until a party of rescuers were able to bring him back to safety.
Gamkaskloof
Also known as Die Hel, a place we're fond of telling people to go to. This isolated valley lies in the Western Cape's Swartberg. It's only link with the outside world is the precipitous course of the Gamka River. Its name comes from its blazing orange and scarlet-flowering aloes.

Jock's Cairn
Is it not touching to know that despite being such a hard-assed nation, we still have monuments to man's best friend? At Jock's Cairn near Pretoriuskop in the Kruger National Park you pay respects to the tenacious tan-coloured Staffie Jock, whose adventures are told in the classic Jock of the Bushveld by his owner, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick.
Kowie River
Some 25 km upriver from Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, the Kowie River turns in a dramatic horseshoe bend, marking the spot where the salty seawater meets the freshwater flowing downstream. It's the playground of the Kowie Canoe Trail – an overnight paddle that is great for team-building and excellent for bust lines.
Call the Riverside Caravan Park on (046) 624-2230

Lake Fundudzi
Esteemed for its supernatural powers, Lake Fundudzi in the Northern Province is the place of birth and creation in Venda mythology. It's also home to the Python God, placated annually with gifts of beer poured onto the water, as well as zwidudwane, playful water sprites that dance in the falls at night. But check it out for yourself.
Call Kuvona Cultural Tours on (015) 566-3406
Ixopo's Buddha
Surrounded by peaceful gardens, a giant statue of Buddha gazes out across the great valleys of the Umkomaas River system. Guardian of the Buddhist Retreat Centre, the Buddha is a tribute to peace, reverence and mindful living.
Mapungubwe
You would not find this one in apartheid-era history books. Predecessor to Great Zimbabwe, Mapun-gubwe (overlooking the Limpopo River) dates back to the 12th century and was the first and greatest African civilization to have flourished here. At nearby Kaoxa Camp you can take a tour, check out awesome rock art and enjoy sundowners under a baobab.

- Fairlady

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