10 unusual things to do this summer

Tired of doing the same summer activities? Here are 10 interesting and rather unusual activities and attractions that are sure to make your holiday a lot more fun.

  • Joburg Chinatown

    1. Visit South Africa's Chinatown

    Derrick Avenue in Cyrildene is known as Joburg's new Chinatown and offers an authentic experience. The streets are lined with an overwhelming choice of restaurants where you can taste delicacies from Manchuria, Szechuan and Shanghai. There are also several quaint Chinese shops, karaoke clubs, acupuncturists and tea stalls; and with most of the signage in Mandarin, the suburb has an unmistakably Asian vibe.

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  • Mopane worms

    2. Munch on creepy crawlies

    Have you ever tried Mopane worms? This traditional African delicacy is not for the faint-hearted. The Mopane worm (also known as Masonja) may look creepy, but daring foodies who have tasted them say Mopane taste like chicken or biltong. Mopane worms are a great source of protein and need minimal cooking. They can be dried, deep fired or eaten with a sauce and can be found in rural supermarkets in Limpopo, preserved in either brine, or a tomato and chilli mix.

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  • Big Pineapple Bathurst

    3. Climb inside an enormous Pineapple

    The Big Pineapple in Bathurst, Eastern Cape, is the biggest artificial pineapple in the world standing 16.7 metres high. When you enter the pineapple, you can visit the 60-seater auditorium and watch a mini-documentary on the pineapple producing industry. The third floor has a viewing deck where you can enjoy fabulous views of the surrounding landscape. It's a very unusual but unique experience, because, after all, it's not often that you get to view the world from a pineapple.

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  • Jac Loopuyt House

    4. Visit the 'Spook House'

    Rumour has it that this Edwardian-style Jac Loopuyt House, better known by locals as the 'Spook House', was occupied by a cult during the 1970s and, as a result, has a spooky aura and some ghostly residents. Visitors have had strange experiences from inexplicable slamming of doors, to seeing flashing lights and some claim to have seen the distinct figure of a man walking the halls. If you want to give yourself the chills this summer, visit number 99 Milner Road in Rondebosch.

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  • Pyramid Rock diving

    5. Dive in

    The Pyramid Rock dive site is the perfect place for amateur divers to experience the magical underwater ecosystem of False Bay. The dive site is just 12 metres deep and boasts a magnificent kelp forest. Divers might also spot the Broadnose Sevengill Cow shark along with the local fish of the area.

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  • gyrocopter

    6. Fly high

    Adventure seekers looking for a thrill should take a flight on a dual-control gyrocopter over Durban. These lightweight planes look like helicopters but the main difference is that there is no engine controlling the rotors, instead they propel themselves due to the way the air flows through each blade. The bird's-eye view you get of the breath-taking KwaZulu-Natal coastline is fantastic.

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  • James Hall Museum of Transport

    7. Transport back in time

    The James Hall Museum of Transport in Johannesburg is the largest transport museum in South Africa and has an interesting collection of exhibits ranging from 18th century horse-drawn carriages to trams and bicycles dating back to 1786. The museum also features an impressive steam vehicle collection and motor cars from the 1900s. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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  • Orlando Towers Soweto

    8. Freefall in Soweto

    SCAD Diving (Suspended Catch Air Device Diving) was first trialled in Germany five years ago and is the latest adrenalin-pumping adventure activity to arrive in South Africa. It is the only system in the world that allows unattached, controlled freefall, and it so happens that the world's highest SCAD diving site is the Orlando Towers in Soweto. The only requirement for this adventure activity is that you have to be phobia free.

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  • Carlton Centre Joburg

    9. Travel to the Top of Africa

    The 223 metre high Carlton Centre is Africa's tallest building and on the 50th storey is the Top of Africa viewing deck that offers visitors 360° views over Johannesburg. Top of Africa is arguably one of the most impressive urban viewpoints in Africa. Inside the Carlton Centre you'll find a massive ground-level and underground shopping centre, which is one of Joburg's most vibrant shopping destinations.

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  • Shoe House

    10. Visit the Shoe Hous

    The Shoe House in Mpumalanga was built by artist and hotelier Ron Van Zyl. He built it for his wife, Yvonne, in 1990, which makes one wonder if the artist took the story of the old lady who lived in a shoe too literally. This unusual attraction is a little museum of sorts, showcasing Van Zyl's wood carvings and acts as the entrance to the Alfa Omega Cave.

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