South African cities are so dynamic that it can be easy to miss some of the cooler spots in our cities. Places with unique histories, wonderful hikes and picnic spots, or divine quaint restaurants…
Here’s our pick of hidden gems in Joburg, Cape Town, and Durban that you should check out:
Explore the site of an ancient catastrophe
The Tswaing Meteorite Crater Reserve is located about a 90-minute drive away from the Sandton CBD, and is a truly unique place to visit.
Over 200 000 years ago a meteorite crashed into the Highveld and left a 1,13km hole where it landed.
Since then it’s filled with water, and today it’s a stunning salt-pan surrounded by a wonderful nature reserve where you can hike around the tranquil impact crater.
Where: Onderstepoort Road ( M35), Soshanguve, Pretoria
When: Monday to Sunday, 7.30 am – 4 pm
Cost: R25 for adults, R15 for pensioners, R10 for children
Contact: 076 9455 911
Dine on Olympian quality food at the Joziburg Lane Market
Tucked away in one of the oldest suburbs in Johannesburg, Joziburg Lane is a wonderful new market, buzzing with energy and potential.
There you’ll can find South African Olympian chef Edward Clegg and his gourmet food truck at the Zombie Chef’s Café. The food here is experimental and stunning, showing off all of Clegg’s world-renowned talent.
We recommended you try the duck confit fries, if they’re on the menu. They are absolutely divine!
Where: 1 Eloff Street , Joziburg Lane, Johannesburg (Joziburg Lane has secure parking onsite)
When: Tuesday to Thursday, and Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Friday, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
Cost: Meals average R200 for two
Contact: 071 708 7341
Take an underground tour of Cape Town
We all know how beautiful the Mother City is from above ground, with it often being praised as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
However, there is more to the Cape Town than its surface looks; it’s deeper – literally. Figure of 8 Team Building does a guided tour of the Camissa underground canals; an ancient stream originally used by the Khoisan people and later used to water the Castle of Good Hope.
The tunnels are clean, and rat-free, and provide a unique insight into the history of South Africa’s first European city.
Where: Castle of Good Hope, Corner of Darling and Buitenkant Street, Foreshore, Cape Town
When: 8:30 am – 1 pm
Cost: R550 for adults, R250 for children aged 7 to 18
Dine on Korean delicacies in the City Bowl
Tucked away on a corner of Long Street, Galbi serves up authentic and delicious Korean cuisine –right down to the kimchi.
This tiny hole in the wall may seem inconspicuous at first, but the alluring smells of the Orient will lure you in!
The menu also includes African ingredients, like warthog, making it a truly unique place to sample some of the trendiest cuisines.
Where: 210 Long Street, Cape Town City Centre
When: Mondays to Saturdays 5 – 11 pm
Cost: Approximately R300 for two people
Contact: 021 424 3030
Hike to some amazing views in Kwa-Zulu Natal
While Durban is known for its stunning beaches, its Green Corridor is filled with some of the best hiking in the country, with spectacular views that very few people know about.
If you want to have a picnic overlooking green forests and a tranquil lake, we recommend that you hike up Inanda Mountain. It’s just a 30-minute drive from Durban, and the scenery is awe-inspiring.
Where: Inanda Dam, Iqadi, Kwa-Zulu Natal
When: Mondays to Sundays 8 am – 6 pm
Cost: A guided hike will cost you R105 per person
Sample the best pasta in Durban
Hidden away in a Victorian era house, in the tranquil Northern Suburbs, the Glenwood Restaurant is as unassuming as its name.
But, within it Chef Adam Robinson makes mind-blowingly amazing pasta dishes. Included in his fantastic repertoire is squid ink tagliatelle with steamed mussels – a seafood dish that tastes as dramatic as it looks.
Where: 113 Brand Rd, Berea, Durban
When: Wednesdays to Saturdays, 12 pm – 3 pm and 6 – 9 pm; Sundays, 12 – 3 pm
Cost: Approximately R250 for two people
Contact: 082 617 9768