It runs from Dordrecht in the Eastern Cape all the way through to Tzaneen in Mpumalanga, but most of the 200 km range falls in KwaZulu-Natal. To the Voortrekkers, it resembled a chain of angry, unyielding dragons. To the Zulu nation, it is uKhahlamba, the Barrier of Spears. Mafadi Peak on the Lesotho border, previously believed to be 3450 m high, has been definitively measured by the Mountain Club of South Africa at 3451m. Either way, it's the highest mountain in the land.
Tsitsikamma Forest - magical, opulent forest of ancient Yellowwood and Stinkwood is home to such rarities as the Cape claw less otter. Park is an 80 kilometer long coastal strip situated along the Garden Route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The heartland of the park stretches some 5 km to sea, protecting a wonderland of inter-tidal life, reef and deep sea fish. Dolphins frolic in the breakers, surfing and playing for the sheer joy of life, and the gentle giant of the ocean, the southern right whale visits here, coming inshore to breed.
The Blyde River Canyon
Situated about 25km north of Pilgrim's Rest in Mpumalanga. Stretching for 25km, featuring towering cliffs, terrifying rapids, and steamy tracks of subtropical jungle, the world's largest green canyon offers views to take your breath away.
The Cradle of Humankind
Rich in fossils, riddled with caves, it's one of the world's most significant halfway stations on the road to our evolution as a species. The near-perfect skull of Mrs Ples, the area's most famous pre-human relic, is now believed to be the skull of Mr Ples. These sites have produced abundant scientific information on the evolution of the human being over the past 3.5 million years, his way of life, and the animals with which he lived and on which he fed. The landscape also preserves many features of that prehistoric period.
The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site which was chosen for the rich diversity of fossils found in the area. Fossils in the area have provided us with more clues to our earliest human ancestors The site covers an area of 47 000 hectares between Hekpoort, Broederstroom and Lanseria Most of the site is in Gauteng with bits that extend into the North West Province (Sterkfontein Caves) There are currently over 200 caves and 13 fossil sites.
The site is being upgraded to accommodate disabled tourists and international groups and school learners Scientists have discovered that Australopithecus africanus was present in Cradle from about 4-2 million years ago These hominids (upright walking "apes"), were human ancestors Homo ergaster, present around one million years ago is even more likely to be a direct ancestor than Australopithecus having a very close resemblance to modern man (Homo sapiens).
There are a wide range of activities offered, the best known being tours of the caves and field trips to fossil excavation sites The area was declared a WHS because it contains a vast treasure chest of fossilized remains of past life forms, particularly of hominids Due to its new status, the whole area including the caves and the fossils sites are protected
The Karoo National Park
The Great Karoo is a vast and unforgiving landscape of which the Karoo National Park is but a small portion. Being the largest ecosystem in South Africa, the Karoo is home to a fascinating diversity of life, all having adapted to survive in these harsh conditions. Karoo National Park is dominated by the lofty Nuweveld mountains and rolling plains, where many species that originally occurred here now occupy their former ranges. Karoo it's the middle of nowhere, but there's nowhere like it on earth.
It's the meeting-point of two mighty oceans and the spot where Africa ends or begins, depending on your perspective. You can breathe the freshest air in the world here, as it blows in straight from the Antarctic. Is about an hour's drive from the centre of Cape Town. Head southwest until you just can't head southwest anymore.
You can't really miss it. Its 1 086 m above sea level at its highest point, and is visible from 200km out at sea. The top part of the mountain is made up of rocks that were deposited by an ancient glacier hundreds of millions of years ago. From Table Mountain a 50-km range reaches southward to Cape Point, forming the backbone of the Cape Peninsula. This Mountain chain is botanist's paradise, with roughly 2 250 plant species, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. There is even a patch of land, about the size of the soccer field and known only to a handful of lepidopterists, on which the world's only colony of certain species of butterfly exists