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City voted a ‘charming’ destination

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Kimberley made the list of the 20 most charming towns and small cities in South Africa based on the survey.

WHILE Kimberley residents might only see leaking sewage, rubbish piling up and potholed streets, outsiders have a different take on the city which was voted as one of the country’s 20 most charming destinations.

A survey conducted by TravelMag.com. asked more than 100 writers, travel bloggers, photographers and other professionals who have spent time in the country to pick the five best small towns and cities in South Africa that they consider the most charming.

All destinations with populations of less than 500 000 were considered in the final vote count. Kimberley made the list of the 20 most charming towns and small cities in South Africa based on the survey.

Normally when one thinks about South Africa, the most immediate thoughts are Cape Town, Table Mountain, the Drakensberg and Kruger National Park. These attractions are on international tourist’s bucket lists, and many yearn to get the best photograph at these locations.

South Africa, however, is also home to many other “charming” destinations … as revealed in TravelMag.

The travel site shared 20 of the country’s most charming destinations, with Polokwane in Limpopo and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal among them.

Writer Paul Joseph in the article described South Africa as a country with “diverse landscape that comprises everything from pristine beaches, rugged mountains and craggy cliffs, to dense forests, crystal-clear lagoons and lush winelands.”

With a total of nine destinations in the Top 20, the Western Cape is the country’s most popular province.

Betty’s Bay, Franschhoek, Paternoster, Knysna and Hermanus were among the top spots. These coastal destinations make for the ideal road trip it was stated in the article.

In KwaZulu-Natal, Umhlanga, Nottingham Road and Pietermaritzburg shined.

Nottingham Road in the Midlands is famous for its quaint shops and family activities.

Pietermaritzburg is an hour away from the coastal city of Durban.

Other towns on the list include Barberton in Mpumalanga, Clarens in the Free State, Hogsback in the Eastern Cape, Kimberley in the Northern Cape and Port St John’s in the Eastern Cape.

Featuring a photograph of Dunluce, with the caption “A striking home in Kimberley”, the city is described in the article “as having retained plenty of its character from its glittering past”.

“The 19th century diamond mines remain testament to Kimberley’s glittering past when it was at the centre of the fevered diamond rush of the 1870s. The historic town has retained plenty of its character since those halcyon days, thanks to the well-preserved architecture that emerged during that era, along with a vibrant arts scene and – in keeping with its bejewelled heritage – an array of boutiques selling exquisite, individually-crafted jewellery.”