Top geological features you have to see in South Africa

geological features - South Africageological features - South Africa
geological features - South Africageological features - South Africa

Top geological features you have to see in South Africa

When you come to South Africa, you need to realise that there is more beauty in the land than its food and people. Yes, there are wildlife and nature parks, but there are also other landmarks that allow South Africa to offer that little something extra on the tourism menu. There are various geological attractions around South Africa that are hard to look at without gawking just a little bit. And it’s definitely worth your while, tourists and locals alike, to visit some (if not all) of these places.

Scattered around the country, here are a few of the top geological features in South Africa that you have to see.


Boulders Beach

Starting in the Western Cape, Simonstown to be exact, you’ll find Boulders Beach. What’s so special about this beach you may ask? Well, find your spot in the sand amongst the granite boulders and you may meet some of the local African penguins. They’ll come lie in the sand with you or join you in the chilly water for a swim. But you won’t find another boulder-sheltered beach with this up close and personal penguin experience anywhere else.


Boesmansgat Sinkhole and the Eye of Kuruman

Up in the Northern Cape, you may or may not have heard of the little town of Kuruman. Small as it may be, it’s home to two of the country’s geological attractions. The Eye of Kuruman is a natural spring that spouts up to 20 million litres of clear water every single day in the middle of town. Surrounding the spring is water (filled with marine life and dressed with water lilies), palm and willow trees that add to the tranquillity and wonder of the spring.

The Boesmansgat Sinkhole is a freshwater cave phenomenon that is said to be about 270 meters deep which makes it one of the deepest freshwater caves in the world. Located on the Mount Carmel farm, a visit here will give you the opportunity to see gemsbok, kudu and eland (amongst others) along the way. Make the most of your Northern Cape trip and stay in a Kuruman hotel to make sure you see everything the land has to offer.


Blyde River Canyon and Bourke’s Luck Potholes

Mpumalanga is the land of many geological wonders, one of which is the vast Blyde River Canyon. With views of the Klein Drakensberg mountains, the Three Sisters dolomite rocks and, of course, the Blyde River. Drive along the Panorama Route and enjoy the various viewpoints of this spectacular landscape.   

Along this route, be sure to stop at Bourke’s Luck Potholes to marvel at where the Blyde River and Treur River meet. Over thousands of years, the erosion has created a beautiful artwork of red and yellow rock potholes. It’s a sight you need to see when you’re on this side of the world and a geological feature you’ll be happy to admire.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain is probably South Africa’s most well-known geological landmarks in the heart of Cape Town in the Western Cape. Adorned with fynbos and, occasionally, a cloud-based tablecloth, this mountain is a tourist attraction of note. Take a cable car ride up and down the mountain or hike up and ride down. Whatever you do, spend as much time as you can in the presence of this natural landmark. Enjoy the services at the top or bring your own picnic and scale the top of the grand mountain.

Bring your camera and capture the city of Cape Town from this eagle’s eye view. You have to do it at least once in your life and, after that, you’ll most likely want to do it again and again.


Cango Caves

Another Western Cape geological gem is hidden in the small, Klein Karoo and ostrich town of Oudtshoorn. Book a heritage or adventure tour of the limestone cave with stalactites and stalagmites galore. The caves as well as their formations are extremely old and have been developed over a long period of time. Therefore it is essential that this landmark is preserved and protected.

For this reason, not all of the caves are open to the public and certain tours of a minimal number of people are available to those who wish to truly experience the natural beauty and wonders the Cango Caves have to offer.


The Orange River

The last geological feature on our list (but by no means the last in the country) is the Orange River. Being 2 200 kilometers long, it’s the longest river in South Africa. It brings adventure, freshwater marine life, landscape views, flora and fauna over the different areas of the river.

A family-friendly Orange River adventure includes river rafting down the rapids and camping alongside the river beds. Again, this is only one of the many geological features that South Africa has to offer and that you have to see.  

geological features - South Africa