Here is a continuation of our series on destinations to soothe your mind. We understand that life can get hectic and it’s important to take a break every so often to calm your nerves. After all, you’re more productive when you’re relaxed. In previous episodes, we’ve covered soothing tourist attractions in the Caribbean and West Africa, and now we continue the journey with a stop in Southern Africa.
Southern Africa is packed with some of the most fascinating tourist attractions offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences never to be forgotten. This region of Africa is endowed with enthralling landscapes, rich biodiversity, seaside and desert attractions, as well as popular destinations that leave visitors craving more. Among these spots, many are ideal for travelers seeking a perfect hideaway from hectic lifestyles and noisy, heckling cities. Here is a selection of five exquisite Southern African tourist destinations for a soothing effect on your mind.
See the best tourist attractions in Southern Africa to experience tranquility…
#1. The Namib Desert (Namibia)
The Namib Desert is one of the most beautiful deserts in the world. It’s been dry for over 50 million years and geologists think it is the oldest desert on the planet. One of Namib’s most stunning beauties is the sand dunes of Sossusvlei. These are the highest sand dunes in the world, some towering as high as 1000 feet and stretching for about 20 miles. Built of sand and materials borne by wind, river, and ocean currents over thousands of miles, the desert expands its dry and sandy terrain like an empire.
Some tourists who have visited the desert regard Sossusvlei as a tourist’s Mecca or Jerusalem. Some travelers call it the most impressive place on earth: the blue sky merges with the vast orange sand dunes in the horizon to give a picturesque image never to be forgotten. These colossal wind-sculpted landmarks of nature with undulating, razor-sharp ridges stretching seemingly to infinity can be the perfect remedy for your city-harried head.
#2. Skeleton Coast Park (Namibia)
The Namib meets the Atlantic along the Namibian coast in a way unseen anywhere else. The Skeleton Coast – a reference to the whale bones and shipwrecks scattered on the Namibian coast over the ages – is a location that might be of interest to the traveler desiring a seaside-desert vacation. Skeleton Coast Park tells stories of ships that perished at sea, such as the Otavi, a cargo ship that sank in 1945; the Eduard Bohlen, which ran aground in 1909; the MV Dunedin Star; Sir Charles Elliot; and Cawdor Castle.
The Otavi is now lounged on top of a sand dune, thanks to the expanding campaigns of the desert. There is a resort fashioned under the inspiration of the shipwrecks, for your lodging. It’s known as Shipwreck Lodge. It’s a row of wooden cabins lounged atop dunes, overlooking the Atlantic: a marriage of architecture and history. That sounds like a perfect fit for anyone who’s craving a calm getaway from the scrambling menace of the city.
#3. Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl (South Africa)
A wine tour in South Africa offers not just the virtue of its prized wines, but also the sights of its lush vineyards, majestic mountains, and the special picturesqueness of its top wine regions of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl. Stellenbosch’s picturesque landscape and Dutch-influenced architecture are to be enjoyed. Meanwhile, the French-style houses and cafés of Franschhoek, which translates to “French corner,” are delightful to behold. And Paarl, which means “pearl,” offers stunning granite mountains and a charming landscape. Globally renowned wines such as Shiraz and Chardonnay have a home in Paarl. So visit these fantastic places and be pampered by these soothing sights. And what’s more – taste the most refreshing wines of South Africa!
#4. Kruger National Park (South Africa)
To unwind, you may consider a safari. And among the best places in Southern Africa for a safari is the Kruger National Park – a place where earth, water, air, forest, and animals coexist and intermingle in a magnificent ecosystem. While you are frothing with excitement at the Big Five (the lion, leopard, elephant, African buffalo, and rhino), the Kruger National Park has over 500 bird species and about 147 mammals for your delight, including zebras, giraffes, antelopes, warthogs, and hyenas.
A walking safari is a hands-on way to experience the thrill and excitement of the park. At night, you can explore night drives to experience what forest nightlife feels like. But this park is packed with sights and scenes that will enthrall you from the beginning of your visit right to the end.
#5. Victoria Falls (Zambia)
A list of tourist attractions in Southern Africa isn’t complete without this phenomenon. The locals call it “mosi oa tunya,” which means “the smoke that thunders” – an apt description for thundering sounds and the smoke-like aspect of rushing water at Victoria Falls. There is absolutely nothing to not like about the sight of these majestic waterfalls.
It is as beautiful as David Livingstone described it in his diaries: “No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes, but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” That’s a view to enjoy, a perfect gift to bequeath your mind and soul.
See 5 more Tourist Destinations In Southern Africa To Soothe Your Mind – Part II
Trail Africa: 10 Tourist Destinations In Southern Africa To Soothe Your Mind – Part II
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A writer fascinated by humanity and diversity. He is the author of Do Not Say It’s Not Your Country.