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Discover South Africa's Top 5 Stunning Autumn Destinations

Autumn in South Africa is a spectacular time of year: a time of transformation, of reaping what you’ve sown and preparing to welcome in the cosiness of winter.  The sweltering summer heat gives way to milder temperatures, the deciduous trees begin to change colour and a refreshing crispness settles in the air. It's the perfect time to explore South Africa's breathtaking natural beauty. There's no denying the charm and allure this enchanting season has on locals and visitors alike. From the lush greenery of the Cape Winelands to the picturesque hills of the KZN Midlands, South Africa is home to some of the world's most stunning autumn destinations. Here are five must-visit destinations for those seeking to experience the autumnal beauty of South Africa. 

Cape Winelands

One of the jewels of the Western Cape province of South Africa, the Cape Winelands constitute a picturesque region known for its charming towns, scenic vineyards and exceptional wines. As autumn descends, the vineyards transform from lush green to a stunning palette of warm oranges, yellows, and reds – making it the perfect season to explore the region's wine estates, attend harvest festivals and indulge in the local cuisine.

The Cape Winelands are also home to some of the country's most picturesque towns, including quaint Stellenbosch and charming Franschhoek. These towns are renowned for their historic architecture, boutique stores and delightful cafes and restaurants. Stellenbosch, in particular, is considered the heart of the Cape Winelands and is home to some of the oldest and most acclaimed vineyards in the country. The town's vibrant culture, Cape Dutch architecture and oak-lined streets make it a must-visit destination for any traveller to the region. The harvest season is an especially great time to indulge in some delicious local cuisine as Stellenbosch is known for its farm-to-table restaurants and many offer seasonal menus featuring the freshest local ingredients.

KZN Midlands

Nestled amidst the Drakensberg Mountains and the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, lies the stunning KZN Midlands - a region celebrated for its unparalleled natural beauty. The autumn months transform the forests, hillsides and trees into a vibrant, colourful spectacle that is simply mesmerising.

The Midlands is beloved for its artisanal cheese makers, craft breweries and award-winning restaurants. One of the most idyllic ways to soak in the splendour of autumn in the KZN Midlands is to take a leisurely drive along the Midlands Meander. The picturesque route spans 80km, winding through charming countryside towns, rolling hills and scenic farms. Along the way, you'll discover a treasure trove of local attractions including the Nelson Mandela capture site, art galleries, craft shops and restaurants - all of which are set against the striking autumn backdrop.

One great way to experience the season of transformation is to take a leisurely hike through one of the many nature reserves in the area. The Karkloof Nature Reserve, for instance, is a haven of pristine and diverse natural landscapes. The reserve offers a range of hiking trails, from easy strolls to more challenging treks - all boasting spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. During autumn, the trees in the reserve turn a warm and inviting gold, creating a truly magical atmosphere.


Located along the famous Garden Route, Knysna is a charming town known for its beautiful lagoon, lush forests, stunning coastline and laid-back vibe. Autumn is a great time to visit this charming town as the weather is mild and the crowds are thinner, making it a perfect time to explore the town's natural beauty. In autumn, the town's forests and lagoons come alive with vibrant colours, making it a must-visit destination for any traveller to the region.

The forests surrounding Knysna are home to an array of wildlife, including the Knysna Loerie, a beautiful bird known for its distinctive call. Visitors can take advantage of the numerous walking and hiking trails, allowing them to immerse themselves in the peace and tranquillity of the forest.

Knysna's town centre offers quaint streets and shops, perfect for exploring the vibrant arts and crafts scene. Visitors can find unique and beautiful handmade items, such as pottery, jewellery and textiles. The town's seafood is superb and worth trying, including fresh oysters and prawns.

With the accompanying breathtaking views and enchanting natural landscape, a boat ride on the lagoon is a highlight of any visit to Knysna. The lagoon is surrounded by towering mountains and dense forests, with the iconic Knysna Heads marking the entrance to the water. 

Southern Drakensberg

The Southern Drakensberg is a region of stunning natural beauty, rugged mountains, and crystal-clear streams. In autumn, the region is transformed into a colourful wonderland as the leaves change and the landscape comes alive with vibrant shades of orange, yellow and red.

The Southern Drakensberg is the perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat in nature. The area boasts a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, river tubing and horse riding, allowing visitors to explore the stunning landscape from a variety of perspectives. For those looking for a more relaxing experience, fly-fishing in the streams is a popular pastime.

One of the highlights of the region is the impressive rock art sites, which are a testament to the area's rich cultural heritage. These ancient artworks offer a fascinating insight into the lives and culture of early inhabitants to the region. Taking a guided tour of these sites is an experience not to be missed.


Hiding in plain sight at the foothills of the Maluti Mountains is Clarens, a charming town known for its vibrant art scene. In autumn, the town's surrounding landscape comes alive with warm hues, making it the perfect destination for a relaxing and inspiring getaway. Clarens is known for its charming architecture and small-town atmosphere, making it a delightful place to explore on foot.

One of the town's main draws during this season is its food and drink scene. Clarens is known for its cosy cafes and restaurants, which offer warm and hearty meals perfect for the cooler autumn weather. Many of these establishments also serve local wines and craft beers, providing the perfect opportunity to sample South Africa's excellent produce.

Art lovers can explore the town's many galleries and studios, which offer a diverse range of artworks from local artists. Visitors can browse and purchase unique pieces of art, including paintings, sculpture and handmade crafts.

The town is also close to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, which boasts stunning hiking trails and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountainscape.

You can’t go wrong with any of these picturesque autumn getaways. And if you need a spot to store those suitcases after a relaxing holiday, give Stor-Age a call at 086 118 1818. With storage units in a wide range of sizes and flexible rental agreements, storing with us is simple – get a quote today.

Posted by Stor-Age Self Storage - 18 April 2023 | Adventure