South Africa isn’t an uncommon country to hear people have on their bucket lists. It’s not hard to see why. Between coastal areas, African wilderness and wildlife, and the gorgeous city of Cape Town, it’s a very appealing place. That said, even people who are dying to go there don’t always look past this surface. So, for those who are in search of a more unique experience, here are some of the more interesting things things to do.

1. Die Hel Is One Of The World’s Prettiest Valleys

Die Hel is an off-the-beaten path destination in part because of the long, winding road that gets you there. Gamkaskloof, the “road to Die Hel,” is one of the most iconic gravel roads in Africa, winding through 35 km of mountains and hills before spilling out into the valley itself – which is worth the trip. By description it’s simply a lush, long green valley. But when you actually see it, it’s about as pretty as a landscape can be.

2. There’s A Penguin Sanctuary

You don’t really think of South Africa and exotic animals, right? But as much as Cape Town is associated with a beach atmosphere, and as much as we tend to imagine hot, dry climates when we think of Africa,  South Africa is actually near the bottom of the world. That doesn’t mean it’s cold, but it does mean there’s some wildlife you wouldn’t expect – such as the African penguins. They can be visited at Boulders Beach, which incidentally is a popular spot for swimmers also.

3. You Can Try Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding is an up-and-coming watersport – not quite the new surfing, but certainly an alternative that people are starting to embrace. It requires a few lessons, pricey equipment, and adequate safety instruction, but once you know what you’re doing it’s incredibly fun. And it just so happens that South Africa and Cape Town in particular are hot spots for active adventures. 

4. You Can Visit One Of The World’s Great Casinos

Ranked among the top venues in the world for casino entertainment, the Sun City Resort is a South African gem that will surprise a lot of people. Nestled into lush nature outside of Rustenburg, it’s a large resort complex complete with an oasis-like pool area, multiple hotels, Gary Player-designed golf courses, and plenty of casino games. If you’re just looking for some luxury and entertainment during your stay, it’s something to keep in mind.

5. The Town Of Gansbaai Has Shark Diving

Getting back to the idea of an active vacation, you can also visit the town of Gansbaai and go diving with great white sharks. Located on the Western Cape of South Africa, this is a picturesque fishing town that’s become a tourist attraction because of this particular activity. Basically, you go diving within a sturdy cage, with the sharks swimming around (and sometimes right up to) you.

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