The Natural (South African) World

Cape Town, Richards Bay

To get into the nitty gritty of South Africa’s earthly paradises, we sought advice from one of the world’s top freedivers—Hanli Prinsloo. Borne out of her dives to the deep blue, Hanli established the I AM WATER Foundation, an organization that advocates ocean conservation through immersive education. She and her partners curate experiences, especially for the youth, to ignite people’s natural connection to the earth’s aquatic environment and to engage individuals in a common mission to protect our global seas. Be inspired, like Hanli, to preserve our world’s life and beauty as she takes you on a journey to experience Cape Town (with a field trip to KwaZulu-Natal) through true nature-loving Capetonian eyes.

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Updated a year ago

Castle Rock Marine Protected Area

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Cape Town, South Africa • Recommendation • 

In the depths of False Bay, a magical forest awaits the brave! Join I AM WATER Ocean Travel—an affiliate of Hanli’s I AM WATER Foundation that curates wildlife encounters to raise funds for the organization’s youth education workshops—on a dive along Cape Town’s most dramatic seascape. Be one with the world under water as you navigate through the wonderland of swaying kelp and swim alongside prehistoric Sevengill Sharks. We’re positive Hanli’s love for the water will rub off on you soon enough!

  • Castle Rock Marine Protected Area, Cape Peninsula, Cape Town, South Africa

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Table Mountain

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Cape Town, South Africa • Recommendation • 

Hanli invites you to reach for the sky at Table Mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature! The 1086-meter alp envelops you with orographic clouds that, from afar, look like a table cloth draped on the 3-kilometer plateau peak. Marvel at a gorgeous panorama of Cape Town as you ascend via a revolving cable car—the only one in the African continent—or take a half-day hike up the mountain.

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  • Table Mountain, Table Mountain Nature Reserve, Cape Town, South Africa

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Lion's Head

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Cape Town, South Africa • Recommendation • 

Trek up Lion’s Head for a jaw-dropping panorama of Cape Town! The one-and-a-half-hour hike challenges with steep ascents of staples, chains, and steel ladders, but Hanli promises that you’ll be greatly rewarded with marvelous vistas of the peninsula every step of the way up the circular path towards the peak. Hanli recommends to traverse Lion’s Head at dusk to admire Cape Town’s famous sundown—just remember to bring a headlamp for your descent! On a full moon, you’ll experience the best of both worlds as the sun sets over the sea and the moon rises over the city, making for an unforgettable view.

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Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

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Cape Town, South Africa • Recommendation • 

One of Hanli’s go-to suggestions for her friends to visit in South Africa is Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, one of the most beautiful conservatories in the world! Home to more than 7,000 South African flora, Kirstenbosch was the first botanical garden to be devoted to a country’s indigenous plant species. Bask in the splendor of nature at the property’s many attractions, including the Botanical Society Conservatory glasshouse of regional plants, a fragrance garden, an area for medicinal plants, a Braille trail, a sculpture exhibit, a cycad amphitheatre, flower lots, and hiking trails. Tackle the Boomslang—nicknamed after a venomous tree snake called the same—a 130-meter walkway that zigzags above the arboretum for spectacular aerial views of Kirstenbosch and some portions of Cape Town beyond.

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Cape Point

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Cape Town, South Africa • Recommendation • 

To see where the warm Indian Ocean and the cold Atlantic Ocean meet, Hanli suggests you ride the Flying Dutchman Funicular (yes, named after the notorious ghost ship) towards Cape Point, a nature reserve at the tip of Cape Peninsula. Make your way towards the Old Cape Point Lighthouse, standing 87 meters above water, for a breathtaking view of the seas, complemented with a vast surrounding of extraordinarily diverse flora and fauna—heaven on earth!

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Muizenberg Beach

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Cape Town, South Africa • Recommendation • 

As if we needed more reasons to love South Africa, it surprises with an amazing surf environment! According to Hanli, Muizenberg Beach is a fantastic place for beginners to learn how to get from horizontal to vertical on a surfboard. She advises surfers to wear a wet-suit for the calm, temperate waves. Swells change day-to-day, but you’ll get fantastic waves two to three days in a week. Head on to any of the multiple surf shops around to rent a board. Local private instructors are also available to hire for only 250 ZAR (20 USD)—what a steal!

  • Muizenberg, Cape Town, South Africa

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Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park

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Richards Bay, South Africa • Recommendation • 

Of course, a trip to South Africa must include a safari experience! The rolling hills and serene rivers of Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park makes it stand out as Hanli’s most endorsed game reserve. Immerse yourself into the wild as you observe an abundance of animal species, including the African Big Five—rhinos, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and African lions—in their natural habitat. Perhaps what makes Africa’s oldest nature reserve extra special is that it is the seat of African wildlife conservation. Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park has successfully protected its native wildlife, particularly the white rhino, which they successfully bred back from near extinction.

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About South Africa

Abundant wildlife, exciting outdoor adventures, ancient history, and picturesque landscapes make South Africa significantly beautiful

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