04 July 2013 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds and Andrea Weiss

Lovely landscapes in South Africa

South Africa is filled with rolling mountains, beautiful rivers and oceans, and stunning vistas which all contribute to a variety of lovely landscapes.

A typically wintry scene taken at Elandsdoorn close to the escarpment in Limpopo. Photo courtesy Hendrik Glette

The Love South Africa group on Flickr is constantly updated with fantastic images taken all over the country. Why not share your pictures too?

Each week we select images from this group to share on our blog. This week we celebrate some of the lovely landscapes of South Africa.

On the border of the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo we find beautiful natural wonders like 'God's Window' and the Blyde River Canyon (also known as the Motlatse Canyon), one of the largest in the world. The canyon forms part of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, an area of over 25 000ha that offers a range of activities from hiking to scenic drives. The popular Kruger National Park is within easy reach by car.

Photo courtesy Andrea Boggio, aka andbog Photo courtesy Andrea Boggio, aka andbog

The spectacular Drakensberg mountain range falls within the province of KwaZulu-Natal and forms part of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for its scenic beauty, rock art and diverse flora and fauna.

Photo courtesy Clynton Thoresson Photo courtesy Clynton Thoresson

Moving down the coast we enter the Eastern Cape; the province where former president Nelson Mandela was born. Inland, in the Karoo region, we find the Camdeboo National Park and the spectacular Valley of Desolation, which draws visiters from across the world. These formations are said to have been caused by hundreds of thousands of years of volcanic activity and erosive forces.

Photo courtesy Graham Hobbs Photo courtesy Graham Hobbs

The southern-most province in South Africa is the Western Cape, home to majestic mountains like Table Mountain and natural wonders like Cape Point. Towards Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, you'll find Grootvadersbosch, an area known for its beautiful nature trails, fantastic bird-watching opportunities and indigenous forest.

Photo courtesy Cathryn Golby aka alcedocristata Photo courtesy Cathryn Golby aka alcedocristata

The Northern Cape is the largest province in South Africa and also falls within the arid Kalahari region, which extends into Botswana and parts of Namibia. Here, rainfall is low and the summer temperatures are extremely high. One of the features of this landscape are large pans like this one, called Verneukpan. This pan is famous for being the place where Sir Malcolm Campbell attempted to break the land speed record in his Blue Bird vehicle in 1929.

Photo courtesy Mike Golby Photo courtesy Mike Golby

The North West Province borders the Republic of Botswana and Sun City is one of its main attractions, incorporating a casino and resort with highlights such as the Palace of The Lost City and the Gary Player Golf Course. Nearby you'll find a Big 5 reserve called Pilanesberg, which allows visitors easy access to a first-class game-viewing experience.

Photo courtesy Federico Domenici Photo courtesy Federico Domenici

The eastern Free State, on the border of the Kingdom of Lesotho, is known for its exceptional scenic beauty. This picture was taken at Fouriesburg, less than an hour's drive from both Clarens and the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The annual Ficksburg Cherry Festival takes place close by, in what is the largest cherry-producing area in South Africa.

Photo courtesy Jonathan Gill Photo courtesy Jonathan Gill

The Cradle of Humankind, at Maropeng, is at the centre of UNESCO's World Heritage Fossil Hominid Site and is an area of scenic beauty within easy reach of Johannesburg. This 47 000ha area is famous for its rich fossil record showing early human evolution, and the only World Heritage Site in the Gauteng province.

Photo courtesy Martin Heigan Photo courtesy Martin Heigan
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