South Africa has been a top African travel destination among young hostel-goers for many years, and with good reason. It plays host to exceedingly diverse culture, unique wildlife, gorgeous landscapes, and cosmopolitan cities. As with every country, there are typical tourist attractions and there’s the path less travelled.
South Africa is a country that rewards those with adventurous spirits who deviate from the beaten path and look for the hidden treasures. Its coastline is littered with charming, welcoming communities that will gladly share their wondrous homes with you, and you may never want to leave.
The Garden Route
The Garden Route stretches almost two hundred miles along the West Coast of South Africa in the Western Province. This pristine length of coastline is peppered with friendly coastal towns, adorable B&Bs, vibrant hostels, and some of the most picturesque wilderness you will ever lay eyes upon. In fact, one the Garden Route’s most popular backpacker towns is named Wilderness.
One of greatest vacation experiences that South Africa has to offer is simply arriving at Cape Town International Airport, hopping on the highway, and taking a leisurely road trip up the West Coast, consulting your Coast 2 Coast guidebook for the best places to stay.
Along the way, you will find ideal spots for hiking, surfing, fishing, shark-cage diving, canyoning, kayaking, skydiving, bungee jumping, rock-climbing, and any other outdoor activity you could possibly imagine.
The Wild Coast
If you’ve done the garden route and decide to skip the Wild Coast because you think it will be more of the same, you couldn’t be more wrong. The two coastlines may as well be in different countries for the level of similarity they share. The Wild Coast, situated in the Eastern Cape Province, is far less domesticated than the relatively civilized Garden Route.
Don’t let this put you off, though. The Wild Coast is home to pristine beaches, temperate waters, lush forest, indigenous isiXhosa communities, and surfing that people come from all over the world to enjoy. The small backpacker towns that dot the Wild Coast reflect the lifestyle of the locals – laid back and at one with nature. You can relax, unwind, and even play at online NZ casino at a myriad of different local destinations.
Named after the craggy mountain range visible from its hills, Hogsback is one of the most truly magical destinations for any traveler. The dense forest and rolling hills once inspired the author J.R.R. Tolkien to create The Shire – the enchanting, cozy, and festive home of the Hobbits. As such, you will see homages to The Lord of the Rings everywhere you go in Hogsback.
Hogsback is the perfect place to fall off the grid and forget day-to-day life for a while. You’ll find your mind and soul rejuvenated by the misty mountains, ancient forests, and odd-yet-friendly local populous.
While you’re there, pay a visit to Away with the Fairies Backpackers and have a soak in their “fire bath” that overlooks the Hogsback mountains. If rest and relaxation is what you need, Hogsback is the ultimate backpacker’s retreat.