6 July 2023

Kim Browne

From the Drakensberg to the Swartland, this land is your land and this land is my land 

I’ve been privileged to have been able to visit two of our country’s most captivating destinations recently. First, my family and I visited one of my favourite places in the world, the Drakensberg. 

This magical mountain range occupies a truly special place in my heart.

Then, right now actually, we are in the Swartland region of the Boland in the Western Cape. My son is competing in one of the world’s most gruelling canoe marathons, the four-day, 240 km Berg River Canoe Marathon. And once again I am reminded of just how wonderful our country really is.

So, here are two reasons why I am thankful and grateful to call South Africa home.

1. The majestic Drakensberg Mountains

Rising dramatically along the eastern border of South Africa, the Drakensberg mountains provide an awe-inspiring backdrop to this beautiful country. Known as the “Dragon Mountains,” this UNESCO World Heritage site boasts soaring peaks, verdant valleys, and cascading waterfalls. 

Nature lovers can hike through the stunning trails, explore the captivating rock art left by ancient civilisations, or simply bask in the tranquility of this remarkable natural wonder.

I’ve been going to the Berg since my childhood and it has never lost its charm. And it never will.

2. The Swartland and beyond

Stretching across the Western Cape, the Swartland region captivates visitors with its picturesque landscapes and world-class agriculture. Rolling vineyards, charming Cape Dutch architecture and historic estates create an enchanting ambiance that everyone can adore.

Sample award-winning wines, savour gourmet cuisine and soak in the natural beauty of the region as you explore the charming towns of Riebeek Kasteel, Wellington and Paarl.

Or, as my son is doing, you can paddle from Paarl to the West Coast on the Berg river. In a canoe. Well, rather him than me, but supporting him as part of his seconds team has been an exciting and invigorating experience for our family.


With all our challenges it’s easy to forget what we have right here, if we just let our own country enchant us every now and then. 

From the rugged splendour of the Drakensberg to our vibrant cities, Joburg included, abundant wildlife and rich cultural heritage, South Africa is a place that truly has it all. Our diverse landscapes and warm-hearted people create a tapestry of experiences second to none.

Whether you love adventure, just want some R&R and relaxation, or need a deeper connection with nature and history, South Africa is genuinely a land to be cherished by us all, load shedding and all.