South Africa is overflowing with beauty, but surprisingly few locals seem to explore out of their comfort zones.
Our country's amazing thermal springs, for instance, are rarely included in any of the lists of places 'Every South African Has To See', but they are some of the best, and most healing, on earth.
In the Western Cape, through to KwaZulu-Natal, and much further north-east in the Limpopo province, the thermal waters spring forth for bathers to frolic, and absorb their healing powers - a tradition that dates far back into African, and later, European history.
Here are three of the most picturesque ones you need to see when you get the chance.
1. SHU-SHU HOT SPRINGS, ESHOWE (along the Tugela river)
These epic springs are only accessible to swim in during the dry months of the year, when the river bed dries up and the baths emerge from under the surface of the water. There are no formal facilities, and the path to get there is unmarked, and requires a guide, so you need to prepare to see them. But, as you'll see in the video below, they are a wonder of natural beauty, and well-worth the mission.
2. THE BATHS, CITRUSDAL
Located near the awe-inspiring Cederberg mountains, this is one you need to see to experience. The quiet, warm weather, and beautifully pure water is enough to soothe even the most broken of souls. If you have the time, also make sure you checkout the region's rock art sites - they are some of the most cherished in Africa.
3. RIEMVASMAAK HOT SPRINGS, NORTHERN CAPE
These mythical pools are located in a valley between towering rock formations, and get filled by an underground thermal fountain that sprang up after volcanic eruptions centuries ago. It is private, and a world away from the bustle of everyday life.
The neighbouring accommodation is just as beautiful, so plan your stay well and you will return restored, and in touch with nature.