It could be said that people travel because they wish to experience something new. Once you get a taste of that feeling, it’s actually quite addictive, isn’t it? However, the thrill will be largely spoilt if you have heard countless stories about a place, and once you arrive there, you can only acknowledge how incredibly touristy it is. In order to keep that spark of excitement alive, here is a list of South Africa’s hidden gems.

Visit backpackers’ paradise

You can book your accommodation in Buccaneers Backpackers, a famous hostel at an amazing place – right at the lovely Chintsa Beach! The hostel basically functions like some kind of backpacker village, to be more precise. Just imagine the atmosphere.

On the one side of the hostel, there is a forest and a mountain. On the other, the waves and the sea. In short, you can go horse riding, mountain biking, surfing, or take a Brewery excursion. Everything an adventurous backpacker could wish for, right? If you haven’t tried backpacking before, this would be a great opportunity to see what it’s like and meet interesting people.

Go kayaking with crocodiles

When you first mention Africa, people immediately picture you watching lions from a safe distance. Well, how about water, not land, and big reptiles instead of big cats? Pick a kayak and feel the chills running down your spine as you row along the 1-metre deep estuary with over 1,000 crocodiles and around 900 hippos lurking below the surface.

Have a good laugh

Here is something hardly anyone can brag about. When in Vegas, for instance, it’s natural that you visit some comedy show, but have you ever heard someone mention that in South Africa? Well, you’ll be the first! Not only is Goliath and Goliath a hilarious show performed by three brothers, but they are currently on a road trip! That means that catching this popular show is even a greater achievement, so track them on time!

SA landscape

Have a beer in a baobab

Even if you’re not a fan of pubs, you simply have to pay a visit to this one. Having a cold drink inside a 1,700-year-old tree is not something you can do every day. Head for the Sunland farm, which has one of the biggest baobab trees in this part of the continent.

You needn’t worry about nature, though, and think that people carved the pub out. After 1,000 years, baobab trees naturally turn hollow. In the 1990s farmers thought of installing a small cellar and pub in the trunk, and the rest is history!

Watch the goat tower

If wine is more your cup of tea, you can enjoy sipping the wonderful drink while nibbling cheese and smiling at the goats climbing their two-story brick tower. The Fairview Cheese&Wine farm owner encountered a similar tower in Portugal back in the 80s and decided to have one built for his 750 goats. Just imagine explaining this wine tasting ritual to your friends. Hardly anyone will believe it.

Take a photo of a pineapple

Actually, take a photo in front of SpongeBob SquarePants’s home. At least that is what the giant (16.7m) pineapple reminds us of. The funny building is a museum dedicated to the first plant which was successfully grown in that area after a series of failures.

Go to Bathurst in Eastern Cape to see the largest fruit of its kind, and for a drink, too. Not necessarily pineapple juice, though you can go on pineapple tractor tasting tours. The country’s oldest pub, the Pig and Whistle, is located here.

Go on a real safari

True, you won’t be observing lions and cheetahs, but at least you’ll have a real first-hand experience if you opt for horses instead of protected vehicles. What pleasure is looking at the animals behind a glass, sitting in a small, stifling space? If you know how to ride, get on a horse and truly feel the nature and magnificent wildlife of South Africa.

There are plenty more things to see and do in this amazing country, but this should be enough for starters. Make the itinerary, and start checking things off your list as soon as possible!