Not all of us can afford or are able to travel to South Africa’s most amazing sites. It could be a money issue, or your body might be incapable of doing the Tugela Gorge Hike. Whatever the case may be, Google has the solution.
Google South Africa recently announced the launch of a new gallery called Discover South Africa on Street View, bringing users a visual experience of four amazing sites.
The four new sites are in addition to the Mzansi Experience sites launched in March last year and further showcase, in 360-degree imagery, South Africa’s outstanding natural beauty. These virtual tours enable visitors to see the sights for themselves on their phones, tablets or computers.
Chapmans Peak Lookout, Table Mountain National Park, Western Cape, is a popular hike for locals and tourists. Those who reach the summit are rewarded with 360 panoramic views of The Atlantic Ocean to the west, False Bay to the east, the fishing village of Hout Bay to the north, and the white sands of the 7km-long Noordhoek Beach to the south.
Lanner Gorge, Kruger National Park, Limpopo, is roughly 11km long and home to abundant wildlife including crocodiles, hippos, baboons, leopards and others. Due to its steepness and status as a wilderness area, access to this area is extremely limited.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Mpumalanga is a natural water feature marking the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon. Carved out over centuries by the Blyde and Treur Rivers, which meet there, these connected pools and sandstone outcrops present an ever-changing landscaping of outstanding beauty.
Tugela Gorge Hike, Royal National Park, KwaZulu Natal, is rated as one of the top hiking trails in South Africa and features lush forest, icy, clear rock pools and curved canyon walls in the stunning Drakensberg region.
This type of 360-degree, panoramic imagery is now available in 66 countries. Says Google SA communications and public affairs head Mich Atagana: “We are excited about the many possibilities we have yet to explore, and to bring more useful and beautiful imagery to Google Maps users around the globe.”
There are more than one billion monthly active users of Google Maps services. Street View imagery is available in more than 82 countries, as well as parts of the Arctic and Antarctica (including penguins).
If you wish to travel internationally, but can’t afford it right now, get a feel for what this is all about by exploring these famous tourist attractions.
Wander the ancient Pyramids.
Go white water rafting down the Colorado River.
Tour the Canadian Arctic and polar bear capital of the world.
Climb the peak of Mount Fuji.
Ascend the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Stop by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the world’s most visited monument
Explore beautiful Cape Point in the Cape of Good Hope Nature reserve.
Follow Nelson Mandela’s footsteps on the Robben Island UN World Heritage site.
This article was first published by South African Country Life on 22 August 2017.