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Top 10 Selfie Spots in South Africa

Majestic mountaintops, dramatic seascapes, wildlife and never ending landscapes... There’s nothing that makes your friends turn green with envy more than a “wish-you-were-here” selfie, and South Africa offers the perfect setting in spades. All you need to do is insert yourself into the picture.

1. Valley of Desolation, Graaff-Reinet

Photo © Carlota Maura/Shutterstock

You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve touched down on mars when you arrive at the Valley of Desolation, just outside the small Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet. Sheer cliffs tumble down into the valley, punctuated by columns of dolerite rock that stretch precariously 120 metres into the air. These geological sentries are the result of hundreds of millions of years of erosion, evidence of the wheels of time that grind away oblivious to our triumphs and tragedies. Feel insignificant and marvel at the forces of nature surrounding you, then tag your friends.

2. Augrabie Falls, Northern Cape

Photo © SA Tourism

If you’re after thundering waterfalls and a lunar-like landscape, Augrabie Falls in the Northern Cape ticks all the boxes. The best time to whip out the selfie stick is when the Orange River is in full flood, with rainbows blooming above the deafening roar of the falls that plunge 53 metres into the river below.

3. Table Mountain, Cape Town

Photo © AdobeStock

Yes, it’s Cape Town’s most clichéd landmark but its iconic status is well earned, especially when you are standing on the (relatively) flat top that earned this hulk of rock its name. It’s nearly a sheer drop to the city bowl 1 000 metres below, where the shimmering Atlantic Ocean and Signal Hill make up a wide-angle vista that’s hard to beat. Just watch your step as you walk backwards to fit it all in frame.
4. Addo Elephant National Park, Eastern Cape

Photo © Martijn Barendse/Flickr

Whether you self-drive through the park or stay in one of the wooden cabins, you’re guaranteed to see elephants in close proximity at the Addo Elephant Park. Like, metres-from-your-car-window close. These majestic creatures are typically docile and uninterested in humans, not to mention it will be hard to miss this member of the Big Five lurking in the background of your shot. But if an ellie starts flapping its ears, it’s a good time to put the camera away and get going.

5. Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Howick, KwaZulu-Natal

Photo © SA Tourism

Set amongst the rolling hills of the Midlands in KwaZulu-Natal, the capture site marks the spot where police caught Nelson Mandela on 5 August 1962, ultimately leading to his 27-year imprisonment on Robben Island. A contemporary sculpture was built in 2012 which, at first, looks like a random collection of steel poles. But as you get closer along the specially designated walkway, the poles line up to produce a beautiful profile of South Africa’s most enduring icon, and the perfect opportunity to snap a pic with Madiba.

6. Waterfall Bluff, Wild Coast

Photo © Wild Coast Tourism

This is where the mountains literally meet the sea in a series of waterfalls that cascade over the edge of sheer cliffs into the ocean. The waterfalls are fuelled by the Mkhambathi River that flows all the way inland from the Drakensberg Mountains, creating a geological rarity. If the tide is low and you’re feeling brave, you can take a shower on the beach under the falls or in one of the many pools. Further north the ocean compresses all it’s might into a huge blowhole that sends plumes of water 50 feet into the air right behind you as you grip and grin. Waterproof camera recommended.

7. Hogsback, Amatola Mountains

Some JRR Tolkien fans claim this village high in the Amatola Mountains of the Eastern Cape was the inspiration for Tolkien’s Middle Earth, with its misty forests and shire-like appearance. But it’s a tenuous connection at best, or Tolkien had a remarkable memory for a three year old – that’s how old he was when his family left for England. This hasn’t stopped residents from embracing the claim and it shouldn’t stop you from visiting the charming hamlet with its distinct flat-topped mountains, abundant waterfalls and magical forests. If that’s not enough, just ask yourself where else on earth you’ll be able to snap a selfie in “Hobbit Lane”?

8. Cape Point, Cape Town

Photo © CT Tourism

Despite the popular myth, this is not where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet (that’s about 200 kilometres east at Cape Agulhas), but Cape Point is still a dramatic jaw-dropper. Stand next to the lighthouse straddling the point where huge cliffs plunge into the thundering ocean below and say cheese, or stroll along pristine beaches where ostriches and buck dash over the sand dunes. Just keep an eye out for the baboons as you auto-focus – they’re probably raiding your picnic basket in the background.

9. Namaqualand, Northern Cape

Photo © Adobestock

From August to September every year, the barren fields of Namaqualand north of Cape Town explode in a riot of colour as flowers of every hue come into bloom, marking the start of spring. Words don’t do justice to this rolling kaleidoscope of colour covering hills and fields that go on forever. Take a photo instead.

10. God’s Window, Mpumulanga

Photo © AdobeStock

Even the most jaded selfie-snapper will be left in awe as they peer down into the lush Blyde River Canyon from God’s Window. Billed as the highlight of the Panorama Route, this viewpoint looks over the largest “green canyon” in the world and offers spectacular views of the Lowveld, stretching all the way to the Kruger National Park in the distance. Guaranteed to make anyone a believer.

Go there!

Pack your selfie stick and go exploring South Africa this Spring.

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