South Africa: Panorama Route + Drakensberg Mountains
At the beginning of last year I had never once contemplated visiting South Africa. First off, it’s quite literally on the other side of the globe and I really hadn’t heard too much about it. I thought mmm desert, lions, wildlife photographers and retired bird watchers - no idea why that was just my weirdly extrapolated opinion of a place no one I knew had ever been to. Fast forward a bit and thank goodness I was invited there on a trip (I mostly went for a certain boy haha) and the rest, as they say, is history. I LOVE South Africa and have returned four times to do different areas of this incredibly diverse country!
In response to a carousel post on IG I wanted to do a short write up here on two areas I visited that are especially great for nature lovers. The Panorama Route in Mpumalanga is a short road trip with the main gem being the Blyde River Canyon. There are tons of waterfalls and other things to see in the area as well and is a good one for all ages/skill levels. Jacques Crafford (SA local, videographer, and now friend of mine who took many of these photos) compared this route to Iceland - epic views and short walks lol. Make sure to check out his work here.
If you REALLY like adventure and want to get out and explore I would recommend looking into the Drakensberg Mountains. This is the place for massive peaks and stunning backpacking. I was tempted to keep that one to myself because I love it that much haha. When I was there last year we camped and hiked two trails, one near Cathedral Peak, and saw a total of 2 people. PS: It was FREEZING cold at night so do not underestimate the weather here. Also as with anywhere pack it in, pack it out. This area is still pristine and I would very much like to keep it that way.