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Travel Weekly's Top 40 escapes for 2015

Paul Ash | 2015-01-21 18:21:06.0

Forty of South Africa's best escapes and offbeat adventures to do this year

1. Paddle a canoe down the Nama Canyon on the Richtersveld National Park section of the Orange Rive. www.felixunite.com

2. Go to Boekbedonnerd “Karoo Books, Art and Filums", the book fair in the little roadside hamlet of Richmond in the Karoo. www.richmondnc.co.za

3. Take your bike to Nieu Bethesda in the Eastern Cape and cycle around the base of the Compassberg, the Karoo's highest mountain. www.nieu-bethesda.com

4. Book a spot on the Otter Trail and stick to it. www.sanparks.co.za

5. Visit the Fred Turner windpump museum, Loeriesfontein, Northern Cape, South Africa

6. Ride a classic restored Royal Enfield motorcycle around the Cape Peninsula. See http://www.thebikesjackbuilt.com/.

7. Stay at a working lighthouse on the South African coast (http://www.southafrica.net/za/en/articles/entry/article-southafrica.net-lighthouses-of-south-africa)

8. Get into the real wilderness and discover yourself on a walking trail in Imfolozi Game Reserve.www.ekznw.co.za/Trails.htm

9. Plan - and do - a multi-day kayaking expedition on Lake Malawi with Kayak Africa. www.kayakafrica.co.za

10. Take a dawn balloon ride over the Magaliesberg. www.balloon.co.za

11. Do a road trip with a difference: "Route 63", from King William’s Town to the Atlantic Ocean at Strandfontein, awaits you

12. Watch a 120-year-old steam locomotive pull a train across the Free State countryside at Sandstone Estates. www.sandstone-estates.com

13. Get dusty as you stomp to good tunes at Oppikoppi. www.oppikoppi.co.za

14. Raft the Zambezi, on what is regarded as one of the world's finest and most exciting stretches of whitewater. www.shearwatervictoriafalls.com

15. Quench your thirst in the bar and soak up some history in the Kimberley Club, Kimberley, South Africa. www.kimberleyclub.co.za

16. Ride a horse on a Wild Coast beach. www.cintsa.com/things-to-do.html or cintsahorses.co.za

17. Take a long and dusty backroads motorbike trip in the Karoo

18. Do the Franschhoek Literary Festival. www.flf.co.za

19. Explore Namibia by 4x4. Add 10 points for using your own vehicle. www.africa4x4rentals.co.za

20. Step back in time in the 15th century trading port of Ilha de Mocambique, Mozambique. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_of_Mozambique

21. Learn to sail an ocean-going yacht - and head into the big blue. www.yachtmaster.co.za

22. Take a flight in a classic Douglas DC-3 Dakota with Springbok Classic Air at Rand Airport, Germiston. www.springbokclassicair.co.za

23. Get folksy and get down to good music at the Splashy Fen music festival. www.splashyfen.co.za

24. Do a three-day weekend road trip from your home town - and stay somewhere nice on the way

25. Take the funky train ride from De Doorns up the Hex River railway pass (E-mail ten.asmoklet@msiruotvh)

26. Blow the dust off your boots and tackle the five-day Hoerikwaggo Trail in the Table Mountain National Park (See www.hoerikwaggotrail.org)

27. Go stargazing in Sutherland. In winter. www.discoversutherland.co.za

28. Pan for gold in Pilgrim's Rest. www.sagoldpanning.co.za

29. Do the Three Peaks Challenge - Devil's Peak, Table Mountain and Lion's Head in one day. www.threepeakschallenge.co.za

30. Express yourself at AfrikaBurn and learn a little bit of radical self-reliance. afrikaburn.com

31. Stay in a genuine ox-wagon. www.oxwagoncamp.co.za

32.  Blow your hair back with a flight in a Tiger Moth biplane. www.tigermothclub.co.za

33. Have a drink in Limpopo's amazing baobab tree bar. www.bigbaobab.co.za

34. Visit one of South Africa's lesser-known national parks. Start with the Mountain Zebra NP near Cradock. See www.sanparks.co.za

35. Open youself to the Open Book Festival in Cape Town. openbookfestival.co.za

36. Visit the Tswaing Soutpan Meteor Crater. www.ditsong.org.za/tswaing.htm

37. Do the Wild Coast. On Foot. See www.wildcoastholidays.co.za or www.wildcoasthikes.com

38. Head to Calvinia for the annual Hantam Vleisfees and enjoy the monster sheep braai (E-mail vleisfees@klk.co.za)

39. Blow the budget - or save hard - and take a flying safari up the Skeleton Coast. www.skeletoncoastsafaris.com

40. Ride a steam train to Carisbrooke in Alan Paton country. www.pcngr.co.za

 

 

 

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