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Are you feeling Yu yi? Well, you need to travel more...

Memo Travel Tips 6 min read

In case you needed another reason to leave your home and explore different places in our beautiful county.

We can all think of a hundred reasons not to travel right. Excuse number 1: It's too expensive! It takes you out of your comfort zone. You sometimes don't understand the local languages etc. But, that is precisely why you should.

In the words of famous travel journalist Anthony Bourdain, "Traveling isn't always pretty. It isn't always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts; it even breaks your heart. But that's okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind too."

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Photo by Ian Dooley on Unsplash

Mzansi is home to some truly amazing places of interest, and the holidays are the ideal time to visit them. Travelling is about so much more than sightseeing and taking pictures for the gram. When traveling is done properly, it can be an educational experience - you learn more about a place, its people, and hopefully even yourself.

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Here is a list of the five top spots to check in South Africa. You simply have to visit these to truly get to know this country, it's beauty and the people that live in it. Oh, don't forget to add them to your Sho't Left bucket list.

Cango Caves - Our #1 travel spot

Situated in a limestone ridge near the well known Swartberg Mountains, the Cango Caves take you back to the beginning of South African history. Here you will find the most beautiful dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations.

Travel _ GetMemo _ Cango Caves
Photo by Timo Volz on Unsplash

Hidden in between the formations you will get to see cave paintings and artifacts that indicate that the caves were in use over a long period during the Middle and Later Stone Ages.

The caves were rediscovered in modern times in 1780 by a local farmer named Jacobus Van Zyl. The chamber he first discovered was found to be as long as a football field and is named Van Zyl Hall in his honour.

The Cango Caves have various options to explore different parts of the caves, based on your fitness levels and age. You can learn more about the tours here, and make sure to add it to your travel list.

Cradle of Humankind - Our #2 travel spot

As one of South Africa's eight world heritage sites, the Cradle of Humankind is a treat for anybody who likes history. Situated about 50 km northwest of Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind is the world's richest hominin site and has about 40% of the world's human ancestor fossils.

Travel _ GetMemo _ Cradle of Humankind
Photo by South African History Online

At Maropeng, you can experience a tour that focuses on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years. Visitors go on a journey through time, starting with the formation of the planet and moving through the evolutionary processes that culminated in the world as we know it today.

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Close to the cradle, you can also find several fun activities including, Happy Island Waterworld, Johannesburg's BIGGEST Water Park! Experience fun recreational activities from swimming, wave pools, massage pools and much much more. This is one of the places you have to add to your holiday travel list.

Apartheid Museum

South Africa has a dark past, one filled with pillage and human rights abuses. The Apartheid Museum explores this history with a building that looks at the long history of racial injustices during the apartheid period. Through racially separate entrances to long lists of people murdered during this period, the museum is a triggering walk into the dark history of the country. Beautifully curated, travel to the museum will pull at your heartstrings and force you to deal with the uncomfortable truths and horrors of the past.

Photo by the Royal Family

As part of the museum's offers, we recommend watching the 15-minute documentary which explores the creation of South Africa starting from the KhoiSan to the arrival of Jan Van Riebeek to understand how we got to where we are as a country.

The museum takes a moment to celebrate the many struggle heroes that fought for freedom. One part of the museum pays tribute to Nelson Mandela, and there you will find the red Mercedes he was driven in on the day of his release.

Table Mountain

Nestled Lions Head and Devils Peak sits Table Mountain, a plateau shaped mountain situated in Cape Town. The picturesque mountain was formerly part of the lands ranged by Khoe-speaking clans, such as the !Uriǁʼaes (High clan), and is therefore known aboriginally as Huriǂoaxa. It is home to a large array of fauna and flora loved by many who passed here on their travel journey.

Photo by Cape Town City Pass

This tourist site is all about traveling in all this country has to offer, from the beautiful blue seas to glimpses of Robben Island. The mountain boasts as one of the most beautiful views in the world.

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Drakensberg Mountain

South Africa is a beautiful country, despite its many flaws, its beauty is unmatched, and the more you travel, the more you realise this. The Drakensberg Mountain is the perfect place to experience all of the beauty this country has to offer.

Photo by National Geographic

You can take in the breathtaking beauty of the country by exploring the beautiful hills and dales, frolic under the Summer sun. Over the winter period, the mountains are treated to snow which covers the Kwa-Zulu Natal mountain.

Some weird but cool travel words...

Check out these cool travel words and their meanings. We bet you didn't even know about them. 😉 (Ps. These words have no English equivalent)

1. Resfeber

Definition: The nervous feeling you get before a journey.

2. Eleutheromania

Definition: An intense and irresistible desire for freedom.

3. Fernweh

Definition: Feeling homesick for a place you've never been.

4. Trouvaille

Definition: Something lovely discovered by chance.

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5. Hygge

Definition: The cozy feeling of relaxing with friends while having a meal or drinks.

6. Waldeinsamkeit

Definition: The feeling of being alone in the woods.

7. Onism

Definition: The awareness of how little of the world you'll experience. 

8. Numinous

Definition: The powerful, personal feeling of being overwhelmed and inspired.

9. Dérive

Definition: A spontaneous journey where the traveler lets the spirit of the landscape and architecture move them.

10. Yu yi

Definition: The desire to feel things just as intensely as you did when you were younger -- before expectations, before memory, before words.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

A final word on traveling before we go.

We want to encourage you to take a trip to one of these sites to not only learn and appreciate this country but to share and experience the beauty and magnificence of South Africa and its people. What would an exciting adventure look like for you? and what are the top 5 essentials you can’t travel without? Leave a comment below.

South Africa Heritage