The year that was collectively deemed “a bad year” is finally behind us. And there’s no better way to shake that 2017-feeling than by getting excited for 2018 and all its possibilities. That’s why we decided to round up 15 incredible Instagrams taken all over South Africa that will inspire you to make 2018 a year of new sights, sounds, adventures and destinations!

Hug a quiver tree in the Northern Cape

Have you ever laid eyes on this beautifully unique species of aloe? There are only a few quiver tree forests in the world and one of them is in South Africa at Gannabos in the Nieuwoudtville area. Another place to see them in all their splendour, is the Richtersveld.

Go horse-riding on Noordhoek beach

Riding on the beach just seems like one of those things you HAVE to do at least once. And what better place to do it than on Noordhoek beach, stretching 8 km with Chapman’s Peak on the one end and Kommetjie lighthouse on the other.

Drive the Sani Pass before it’s tarred

The tarring of the Sani Pass has been in the pipeline for a couple of years – who knows when it will happen! It could be any day now and then you will have missed out on one of the most epic off-road drives in our beautiful country.

Wake up with a full view of the ocean

Try a stay like Sea Shack in Paternoster to experience living in nature right at the water’s edge. Similar stays you could try include Noup and Ballots Tree House.

Add a game drive to your 2018 bucket list

Whether you decide on a guided or a self-drive experience, there’s nothing quite like seeing wild animals in their natural habitat. And we live in the perfect country to do just that!

Do a magical hike in Magoebaskloof

The beautiful forests in this part of the Limpopo Province are a birder’s and hiker’s paradise. It’s the stuff of fairy tales!

Une photo publiée par Leon (@leonmalan_) le

Do some whale watching in Hermanus

If you haven’t seen these water giants along the South Coast Whale Route from June to November, you should be sure to have a whale of a time in 2018.

Witness the wildflowers during spring

The whole West Coast and Namaqualand region becomes a kaleidoscope of colour from the beginning of August to the end of September (it changes slightly every year) during the spring wildflower season. Here’s our guide to South Africa’s spring wildflowers.

Scuba dive in Sodwana Bay

Why don’t you try something new this year ─ like getting a scuba license? Or even better, why don’t you combine obtaining this new qualification with a holiday in the exquisite Sodwana Bay?

Une photo publiée par @nielinki le

See the stars and experience the quiet of the Karoo

Make time to escape the bustle of the city this year by experiencing the incredible hospitality and beautiful barrenness the Karoo has to offer. Visit the small towns that no one would be able to plot on a map and find yourself in the process.

Wine not go on a wine tour?

With so many wine estates to choose from in the stunning Cape Winelands, there’s no excuse for not trying a wine tasting tour. Here’s to a full glass in 2018.

All in all, this isn’t just another Hole in the Wall

Visit this spectacular rocky archway in the sea just south of Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape. Bonus: It’s not every day you get to chill on the beach with cattle.

Check out the ‘Boomslang’ in Kirstenbosch

If you haven’t done so already, go take a walk on the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway (A.K.A. the ‘Boomslang’) in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens for incomparable views of the surrounding mountains and garden.

Try your hand at fly-fishing in Dullstroom this year

Or if that’s not really up your alley, just visit this quaint Mpumalanga town for the fabulous landscapes and the whisky shop. Here’s what to do in Dullstroom.

Celebrate our country’s rich heritage by visiting a museum or monument

Our immense natural and cultural heritage is definitely worth celebrating, so make sure you visit at least one museum or monument this year. The below photo was taken at the West Coast Fossil Park.

There you have it ─ your 2018 travel bucket list in pictures! Use this year to explore every corner of South Africa. Chances are your Instagram profile will look a bit like this collection by the time 2018 arrives.

Main image: Bigstock – Tourist taking a picture at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park