ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Africa Landscapes from South Africa: The Scenery

Updated on May 5, 2020
Johan Smulders profile image

Johan has travelled extensively in the USA and Southern Africa. He is a retired school teacher and evangelist.

Semi-arid desert in Kalahari
Semi-arid desert in Kalahari | Source
Mountains in Camdeboo National Park
Mountains in Camdeboo National Park | Source
West Coast flowers in Namaqualand
West Coast flowers in Namaqualand | Source
Splash Rock-Port Edward
Splash Rock-Port Edward | Source
Cape Folded Range from Bontebok National Park
Cape Folded Range from Bontebok National Park | Source
"Cape of Storms" Table Mountain from Milnerton Beach
"Cape of Storms" Table Mountain from Milnerton Beach | Source
Sunset in Mkuze
Sunset in Mkuze | Source
Wild coast Lagoon
Wild coast Lagoon
Warm beaches and big coastal dunes
Warm beaches and big coastal dunes | Source
Lesotho Mountains with moon rising
Lesotho Mountains with moon rising | Source

Scenery to be amazed at

South Africa with a coastline of about 2800km is located in the sub-tropics between 22 and 35 degrees South latitude. In the interior it rises to a height of 3000m in the Drakensberg Mountains bordering Lesotho. The landscape varies dramatically from East to West. The East Coast is Sub-tropical and is warmed by the warm Mozambique Current and enjoys a mild climate with beautiful forests and coastal vegetation.

The West Coast has the cold Benguela Current flowing from south to north and is colder and drier. This results in desert and semi-desert and some of the most spectacular sand dunes in the world, especially in neighboring Namibia. The Western Cape enjoys a Mediterranean Climate and is famous for its vineyards and wines.

While South Africa can be divided into 22 physiographic regions these can be simplified into 5 for this article:

  1. The Coastal Belt varies from lush forest as found in Knysna and St. Lucia, to the dry Skeleton Coast in the west in Namaqualand. Sometimes the coastline consists of steep rocky sea cliffs and elsewhere long sandy beaches are kissed by blue waters of the surrounding ocean.
  2. The interior Highland is a plateau that lies above 1000m above sea level. Here the vegetation is mostly Savannah and Woodland. This is the maize producing area of South Africa and kilometers upon kilometers of maize fields greet the traveler in summer. Here the gold, platinum, coal and diamond mines are found.
  3. The Drakensberg (“Dragon mountain”) mountains run from north to south and in the south the Cape Folded mountains produce great scenery and opportunities for adventure sport.
  4. A large part of the interior comprises the Klein and Groot Karoo (small and great Karoo), a semi-arid region that has a beauty of its own in its vastness and loneliness. Here ostrich and sheep farms extend across the landscape and windmills fill dams for drinking water for the animals.A windmill pumps water for the local farmer whose house is built on traditional architectural styles.
  5. A region that I like to call simply the Bushveldt extends over several of these regions and this is where many of the great Game Reserves and Game Farms are found. Many of the Game Farms provide hunting opportunities while the Game Reserves allow photographers to also hunt with their big lenses and creative eyes.

When Sir Frances Drake, an experienced seaman and seasoned navigator, arrived at the Cape he called it “the fairest Cape in all the World” and thousands of visitors since then have concurred. The dramatic views from the top of Table Mountain or the scenic drive around Cape Point will be difficult to beat.

The Cape Winelands offer a selection of wine routes that can be visited for wine tasting and the well known farms and cellars claim that their vintages are as good as any in the world.

The so-called Wild Coast in the east between Port Edward and East London is breathtaking in its beauty. Although some of the less accessible places can only be reached by hiking (i.e. Otter Trail) a drive along the coast will provide views of breathtaking splendor. Further south towards Cape Town it is called the Garden Route and that includes place like the Tsitsikama Coastal Reserve, the Knysna Forest and some great beaches. In the forest the famous herd of Knysna Elephant still are sighted occasionally but the hiking trails offer rare birds and plants for the nature lover.

The Namaqualand Coast in the west in flower season must surely be rated as one of the natural wonders of the world. During August/September after good winter rains this semi-desert area comes alive with an amazing display of color. The sheer number of flowers is only bettered by the variety.

The Mountains that are never very far away have an attraction of their own. They rise into the blue African skies attracting Eagles to sweep along their crags on the thermals searching for food. Sitting on the edge of a mountain valley and watching the Vultures soaring from their nesting areas looking for food for their very hungry chicks amazes experienced bird watchers and novices alike. Mountain streams and clear lakes provide an opportunity for fishermen to test their skill against a Rainbow of Brown trout. Mountain climbers challenge themselves in ascending and descending the challenging climbing routes, while the less energetic just relax in Gods beautiful creation.

It is however the Bushveldt that sets South Africa apart from any other place in the world. The extensive Game Reserves and wildlife cannot be bettered. Unless someone has sat next to a campfire and heard the roar of a Lion or the call of a hungry Hyena they have not experience the African Landscape. Sitting on our deck chairs outside our tent during a quiet evening in the Kgalagadi National Park last August we watched a starry sky that stretched from horizon to horizon with amazement.Camping in the Kruger National Park or in one of the many Game reserves in different areas brings its own unique rewards. These are experiences that would be difficult to equal anywhere in the world.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      7 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Thanks again for your encouragement.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Most beautiful sights of SA such a great look about this country and you did a fine job in explaining in detail.

    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      7 years ago from East London, South Africa

      It is a beautiful country here in the tip of Africa. Thanks for your comments

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      7 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Johan, it sounds so breathtaking and wonderful...

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 

      7 years ago from London

      Amazing landscapes of a very beautiful country. Thanks for sharing!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)