You’ve heard it before: South Africa is diverse. We didn’t realise quite how true this statement was until we embarked on a snapshot journey to find how many places in South Africa resembled destinations around the world. You’d be surprised!


1. Miami – Durban

The art deco buildings, palm trees, long sunny days, and warm tropical waters of Miami can be found on the Durban city coastline.

Miami Durban


2. Piva Canyon – Blyde River Canyon

The famous Piva Canyon in Montenegro National Park could be the European sister of our Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga.

Piva Canyon Blyde River Canyon


3. Sub-Sahara – Karoo

We might not have the vast desert dunes of the Sahara, but the Karoo bears a striking resemblance to the scrubby terrain of the Sub-Sahara.

Sahara Karoo


4. Great Barrier Reef – Sodwana Bay

Why fork out your life savings to scuba in the Great Barrier Reef when Sodwana Bay is one of the top diving destinations in the world?

Great Barrier Reef Sodwana Bay


5. French Winelands – Cape Winelands

We may not be able to call it Champagne, but our Methode Cap Classiques are just as good!

France Vergelegen estate with winery building


6. Blue Mountains – Mpumalanga

Sometime less is more. Pinnacle Rock in Mpumalanga is just as inspiring as the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

Blue Mountains Pinnacle Rock


7. Lama Temple (Beijing) – Nan Hua Temple (Bronkhorstspruit)

If you’re looking for spiritual upliftment, the Nan Hua Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorstspruit is the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere.

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8. Lake Nakuru – Kimberley

Lake Nakuru in Kenya is home to thousands of pink flamingos, but you’ll find a similar spectacle at Kamfers Dam in Kimberley.

Lake Nakuru Flamingoes-Kimberley-By-Winston67(Flickr)


9. Assateague Island vs Bot River Lagoon

Assateague Island, off the coast of Maryland, USA, is home to more than 100 wild ponies. You can also find approximately 25 wild horses living freely in the dunes of the Bot River Lagoon in the Overberg.

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10. Alaska – Drakensberg

The Drakensberg offers plenty of snow days without the extremely long day-time or night-time hours of Alaska.

Alaska Drakensberg


11. Angel Falls – Tugela Falls

Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979m, while the Tugela Falls in the Drakensberg is the world’s second highest waterfall with a total drop of 948m in 5 free-leaping falls.

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12. Shanghai – Johannesburg

If big city lights are your thing, you’ll find Johannesburg a fitting substitute for cities like Shanghai.

Shanghai Johannesburg_Sunrise_City_of_Gold_Dylan_Harbour(wikimediacommons)


13. Elan Valley – Haenertsburg

Prefer the quieter country life? The beautiful landscapes of Haenertsburg could easily pass off as the Elan Valley in Wales.

Elan Valley Haenertsburg-Turaco-Farm-Cottages


14. Monaco – Cape Town

With luxury yachts, apartments worth millions, and boutique stores with hefty price-tags, the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is as fitting a haunt for the rich and famous as the streets of Monaco.

Monaco V&A Waterfront


15. Mykonos – Langebaan

Get a taste of the Greek life in the quaint coastal village of Langebaan, especially at Club Mykonos.

Mykonons Club Mykonos Langebaan


16. New Zealand – Wilderness

The forests, mountains, and waterways that make New Zealand such an attractive destination can also be found in the little Garden Route town of Wilderness.

New Zealand Wilderness Forest


17. Vietnam – West Coast

If you love the charm of fishing villages, you’ll love the colourful boats lining the beaches of Ly son Island in Vietnam as well as Paternoster on the Cape West Coast.

Ly son Island in Vietnam Paternoster


With so many incredible places to see, your next overseas holiday may just divert within the borders of South Africa. Do you have any more suggestions of South African places that resemble destinations around the world?