Battlefields of South Africa

South Africa's battlefields mark the saga of our modern history. While there must have been many territorial disputes before 1652, most of South Africa's historic battlefields cover the period from when Dutch settlers first arrived to the end of the South African War in 1902. more

The Battle of Blaauwberg

Maybe it wasn’t much as grand old-time battles go, but the Battle of Blaauwberg, fought within sight of Cape Town’s Table Mountain in 1806, set the colonial power of Britain up in the Cape Colony for more than a century and ended the era of Dutch rule once and for all. more

The Horse Memorial, Port Elizabeth

The hardy horses of southern Africa – be they the pioneering boerperd, the sure-footed Basotho pony or the imported Arab blends – have a proud history. For adventure travellers who see the world from a saddle, and for history lovers, the horse riding routes of South Africa are top quality. more

South African Naval Museum, Simon's Town

If you like tales of naval battles and heroism on the high seas, rooting around all manner of naval memorabilia, and are curious about what the inside of a submarine looks like, then visit the South African Naval Museum in Simon’s Town and be amazed. more

The Battle of Grahamstown

Less than a year before the arrival of the 1820 Settlers from Britain, the frontier settlement of Grahamstown was attacked by a great Xhosa army – and if it had not been for superior British firepower and last-minute interventions by a squad of buffalo hunters, the Xhosa might well have won the day. more

Dias Museum, Mossel Bay

Built on the site where Portuguese explorers first met the indigenous Khoi, the Dias Museum complex in Mossel Bay includes the Maritime Museum, which celebrates the early days of discovery. Star of the show here is a life-size replica of Bartolomeu Dias’ caravel, the ship he arrived in back in 1488. more

The Kimberley Club

The Kimberley Club was the social diamond in the rough setting of a dusty, chaotic mining town in the Northern Cape. It still welcomes visitors who want to indulge in the atmosphere of the frontier days of the Diamond City, when characters like Cecil John Rhodes ruled the roost. more

Eight Bells Mountain Inn

From its mountain setting, horse meadows and streams to its cottages, atmospheric old pub and friendly hotel staff, the Eight Bells Mountain Inn between Oudtshoorn and Mossel Bay is one of South Africa’s landmark family establishments. Make sure you sample its regular – and legendary – afternoon tea-and-cake sessions. more

Cape St Blaize lighthouse, Mossel Bay

Back in the days of fully manned lighthouses, 1 of the sweetest postings you could have in South Africa was to be assigned the duty of the Cape St Blaize light-keeper – because is stands right next to the bustling seaside town of Mossel Bay, between the Garden Route and the southern Cape. more

Strandloper middens, Port Elizabeth

Take the 8km Sacramento Hiking Trail, which starts at Sardinia Bay just outside Port Elizabeth, and discover the Strandloper middens along the way. A good guide will tell you all about them, and when your walk is over, you will understand a little more about the deep history of South Africa. more

Bethelsdorp, Eastern Cape

When the village of Bethelsdorp near Port Elizabeth was first established in 1803, it was managed by two very driven men from the London Missionary Society, who found themselves acting as guardians, defending the resident Khoikhoi against the representatives of the colonial government and the labour-hungry Boer farmers of the area. more

South End Museum, Port Elizabeth

When you visit the South End Museum in the heart of Port Elizabeth, look out for the floor map showing the old suburb as it was before the forced removals of 1965, and scout around the exhibition rooms for displays on the social, sporting, fishing and music cultures of times gone by. more

District Six Museum

The District Six Museum in the old Methodist Mission Church recalls the life of this once-vibrant racially mixed suburb and its destruction under apartheid. This museum in Cape Town seeks to reconnect with the spirit of the community and provide a different interpretation of the past. more

Cape Town City Hall

If you’re in Cape Town looking for an inspiring evening of classical music, the stirring Scottish reel sounds of massed bagpipes or a singing soloist with an angel voice, check out the City Hall at the Grand Parade. This historic venue is the home-base of the world-famous Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. more

Cape Recife Lighthouse, Port Elizabeth

Lying within the bounds of the Cape Recife Nature Reserve on the southern boundary of Port Elizabeth is an active lighthouse that has been warning sea captains off Thunderbolt Reef since 1851. The area is particularly prone to fog, and the lighthouse is an essential guide to passing sea traffic. more