South Africa is known for its iconic tourist attractions. Table Mountain. Robben Island. Sun City. But Mzansi has some of the weirdest and wackiest attractions you may never have heard of. These unusual attractions will have you itching to explore:

 

EASTERN CAPE

1. Eco Shrine, Hogsback

Eco Shrine by Yebo420

Nestled in the Amatola Mountains, the Eco Shrine can be reached via a leafy tunnel of hazelnut trees.  It includes a 6m tree sculpture of an angel carved out of a redwood tree that was struck by lightning and a circular enclosure with oil paintings and glittering mosaics. The artist will lead you on a tour, explaining the inspiration behind each piece.

22 Summerton Drive, Hogsback | GPS: -32.601964, 26.922887 | Open Wednesday, Friday – Sunday, and public holidays, 09:30 – 17:30 | +27 (0)45 962 1136 | diana@ecoshrine.co.za

 

2. The Big Pineapple, Bathurst

Bathurst Pineapple by Fox and Lime

Known as the Pineapple Capital of South Africa, Bathurst is home to the largest artificial pineapple in the world. At 16,7m, it’s 70cm higher than the Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. You’ll find an auditorium with a 12 minute film on pineapple production, an exhibition on local agriculture, and an observation deck.

Summerhill Farm, R67, Bathurst |GPS:  -33.508126, 26.846938 | Open Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 17:00 (16:00 in winter) |+27 (0)46 625 0833

 

3. Owl House, Nieu-Bathesda

Owl House by Kim Stevens

The Owl House is chock-full of concrete and ground glass sculptures. Helen Martins and her assistants spent many years creating this colourful house and fantasy garden, with mirrors, candles, and lanterns positioned to catch the light at different times of the day.

Martin Street, Nieu Bathesda | GPS: -31.867722, 24.552892 |Open daily, 09:00 – 17:00 (08:00 – 18:00 during December holidays) | +27 (0)49 841 1642

 

4. Cat Statue, Aberdeen

Cat statue by David Goldblatt

The Cat Women of the Karoo, Petronella Lynz and her daughter, have created a feline orphanage for hundreds of stray cats. A giant statue made in their honour stands outside the Aberdeen Heritage Archive & Tourism Bureau. A metal cage has been installed around the cat so it cannot be stolen.

Corner Grey & Meintjies Street, Aberdeen | GPS: -32.478958, 24.039298 | +27 (0)49 846 0014

 

5. Valley of Desolation & Giant Flag Project, Graaff Reinet

Valley of desolation by michael clarke stuff

The Valley of Desolation is filled with vertical cliffs and dolerite columns towering 120m into the air – the result of 100 million years of volcanic forces. Nearby, the Giant Flag Project is a South African flag currently being created completely out of plants that will be so large, it will be visible from space!

Camdeboo National Park, Graaff-Reinet | GPS: -32.283380, 24.466679 | Open daily, 06:00 – 20:00 (season dependent) | +27 (0)49 892 3453

 

NORTHERN CAPE

6. Giant Post Box, Calvinia

Giant post box in Calvinia by namibsands

This 6,17m neglected water tank has been transformed with a lick of fresh paint into an enormous red post box. Letters posted here are hand-stamped with a flower emblem.

Hoop Street, Calvinia |GPS:  -31.475405, 19.771594

 

7. Spider Lady, Hanover

Spider jar by ssicore (Flickr)

Not for those who suffer from arachnophobia, Marie de Jager has turned her home into a living museum with tanks full of scorpions and spiders, including the six-eyed crab spider, tarantula, and small brown button spider.

Driekoppen Farm, Hanover, N1| GPS: -29.682742, 23.612801|Open by appointment only |+27 (0)53 642 1740

 

LIMPOPO

8. The Big Baobab, Modjadjiskloof

Sunland baobab

The Big Baobab at Sunland Nursery isn’t known as the “Big Baobar” for nothing – the massive 47m wide tree holds a pub within its trunk. Standing 22m, it’s the largest baobab in the world and estimated to be around 6,000 years old.

Sunland Nursery, Modjadjiskloof | GPS: -23.621019, 30.198064 | +27 (0)15 309 9039 | baobabbars@mweb.co.za

 

MPUMALANGA 

9. The Shoe House

Shoe Guest House (C) TravelGround

The Shoe House calls to mind the nursery rhyme of the little old lady who lived in a shoe. It has a small museum, art gallery, Alfa Omega Cave, curio shop, and tea garden. Stay overnight in the Shoe Guest House.

R36, 20km from Ohrigstad | GPS: -24.585121, 30.632622| Museum and gallery open: Monday to Sunday, 09:00 – 16:00 and cave open: Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 16:00 and Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 09:00 – 15:00 | +27 (0)13 238 0304

 

10. Dick Heysteck’s Game Farm, Lydenburg

Dick Heysteck’s Game Farm by Geocaching

You’ll have no problem spotting all of the Big Five at Dick Heysteck’s Farm as they’re all made out of concrete, chicken wire, and steel. Each giant sculpture took around 2 months to complete.

R36, Lydenburg| GPS: -25.010194, 30.494471 | Open Monday to Friday, 08:00 – 18:00, Saturday – Sunday, 08:00 – 17:00 | +27 (0)13 235 2213

 

11. Sudwala Dinosaur Park, Nelspruit

Sudwala dinosaur park

The Sudwala Dinosaur Park is a Jurassic Park-like outdoor museum filled with life-sized models of prehistoric animals. Set in a tropical garden, the park has monkeys, birds, and a lovely viewing deck over the Rainforest Valley.

R539, Nelspruit| GPS:  -25.323924, 30.627454 | Open daily, 08:30 – 17:00 | +27 (0)83 446 0228 | info@sudwalacaves.co.za

 

KWAZULU-NATAL

12. Highest Pub in Africa, Sani Pass

Highest pub in Africa by Lauren Morling

The Sani Pass is a notorious route that links KwaZulu-Natal with the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Rumours are that the route will be tarred so you’ll be able to reach the highest pub in Africa (2,874m), even if you don’t own a 4×4.

Sani Pass, Underberg | GPS: -29.603058, 29.339139 | Open daily, 06:00 – 18:00 (pub until late) | +27 (0)33 702 1169

 

WESTERN CAPE

13. Biggest Chair in Africa, Robertson

Red chair at Rooiberg Winery by Lauren Morling

The enormous red chair at Rooiberg Winery is the largest of its kind on the continent, and a major landmark along Route 60. The 9m chair is decked with its own table and chairs.

R60, between Worcester & Robertson |GPS:  -33.776389 19.761944 | +27 (0)23 626 1663 | tastingroom@rooiberg.co.za

 

14. Ronnie’s Sex Shop

Ronnies Sex Shop by Lauren Morling

Frank Ronald Price’s dreams of building a successful farm stall (Ronnie’s Shop) on a remote section of Route 62 were fruitless. As a joke, his friends changed the name to “Ronnie’s Sex Shop”. Today the pub is a national landmark filled with a growing collection of autographed underwear hanging from the roof and walls.

Route 62, 20km from Barrydale | GPS -33.779051, 20.932621| Open daily, 10:00 – 00:00 | +27 (0)28 572 1153

 

15. Crystal Labyrinth & Peace Pagoda, Barrydale

Crystal Labyrinth

A Meditational Walk around this 11 circuit labyrinth, surrounded by a slate wall and fynbos garden, is said to bring peace and solution to the troubled mind.

Magic Mountains Farm, Route 62, Barrydale | GPS: -33.849954, 20.857955 |Open daily, 09:00 – 17:00 | +27 (0)76 679 4763

 

16. Post Office Tree, Mossel Bay

Old post office tree by Wikimedia Commons

The boot-shaped Post Office Tree dates back to the 1500s when a ship commander left a letter under a Milkwood Tree. Today, it’s a local post office with a special stamp used on outgoing letters.

1 Market Street, Mossel Bay | GPS: -34.180119, 22.142486| +27 (0)44 691 1067 | info@diasmuseum.co.za

 

GAUTENG

17. Jan Harms se Agterplaas, Cullinan

Jan Harms se Agterplaas

Jan Harms se Agterplaas is a popular pit stop with a restaurant, art gallery, and theatre. The front garden yields two drag queens made out of tin cans and old wire. Inside you’ll find wire aeroplanes, cement sculptures, and a totem pole inspired by a Terry Pratchett novel.

88 Oak Avenue, Cullinan | GPS -25.670355, 28.516059 |Open daily, 09:00 – 16:00 | +27 (0)12 734 0536

 

18. Orlando Towers, Soweto

Orlando Towers by Joanet (Flickr)

Bungee jump, rap jump, pendulum swing, base jump, or abseil down the side of the colourful Orlando towers in Soweto – South Africa’s own twin towers.

Dynamo Road, Soweto | GPS: -26.254337, 27.926752 | Open Friday to Sunday, 10:00 to sunset | +27 (0)12 345 5114 | info@orlandotowers.co.za

 

19. Horse Labyrinth, Magaliesberg

Horse labyrinth by South africa.net

Equine therapy does wonders for the body and mind. Soothe your soul while riding on horseback through the horse labyrinth at Celtis Lodge.

Celtis Lodge, Rietpoort, Magaliesberg | GPS: -25.983540, 27.472829 | Open by appointment only | +27 (0)14 577 3952

 

Which of these weird and wacky attractions are you itching to visit?