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South Africa is a paradise for lovers of nature and wildlife as well as hard core adventure seekers. And the best part? The locals work hard to keep it in it’s preserved, pristine form! Take a trip to South Africa, to lose yourself into its rich culture and history that it strongly holds on to.

On that note, let me take you through the most famous and interesting holiday destinations in South Africa for you to plan that perfect holiday! SA may not be that popular, but that is because you never knew how fabulous it was…until now!

Key Information about South Africa:

  • Approx. Budget: Approx. INR 69,580/- (14,000 South African Rand) per person for 9N/8D
  • Ideal Duration: 10 days
  • Frequented By: Families & couples, Business travellers, adventure enthusiasts and ecology aficionados
  • Airport: O.R. International Airport & Cape Town International Airport
  • Best Time to Visit South Africa: September to May
  • Weather: Sunny

Check out these top 10 holiday destinations in South Africa:

Best Beach Holiday Destinations In South Africa

1. Cape Town, Western Cape: The all-in-one cosmopolitan

A surreal sunset in Cape Town, South Africa–the best holiday destination in South Africa

Undoubtedly, the best holiday destination in South Africa, Capetown is renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is an awesome package of stunning scenery and adventure, mixed with a great lifestyle and a cosmopolitan culture. Hiking at Table Mountain, enjoying the white sandy beaches, tasting the finest wine at the Cape Winelands, all this and more explains why it is among the must visit South African destinations.

Don’t Miss: Wildlife Safari, cable-car ride, whale watching, hiking, wineland tour, & Garden Route Tour

Ideal For: Everyone!

Suggested Stay: Holiday Inn Express, The Table Bay Hotel, & Taj Cape Town

Fun Fact: Did you know you can find Penguins at the Boulders Beach in Cape Town? That’s right folks! Penguins. In Cape Town. And you always thought you’d have to go all the way to Antarctica to find these cute & cuddly creatures.

Must Read: 12 Handpicked Resorts In South Africa For A Glamorous Holiday

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2. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal: Art and Aqua

A man surfing at Durban beach

The city has more than its beautiful, golden beaches to offer. Its blend of history, bird watching, high mountain peaks, rich architecture, and major city attractions allure visitors worldwide. But what makes it a hot favourite among tourists is the endless water-based attractions and activities it provides. All the water babies out there, you simply cannot miss Durban on your list of best places in South Africa to go on holiday!

Don’t Miss: Beaches, Aquariums and Water Parks, Craft Bazaars, & Nature Reserves

Ideal For: Beach lovers, water-sports enthusiasts, & Nature Worshipers

Suggested Stay: Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, Blue Waters Hotel, & Hilton Durban

Fun Fact: The city is home to the mighty Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park– a World Heritage Site known for its exceptional beauty, great hiking opportunities and spiritual essence.

Suggested Read: Attention Travellers: These 5 Destinations Just Got A Hell Lot Cheaper For Indians!!

3. Port Elizabeth: The beaches and the Nelson Mandela Bay

A beach at Nelson Mandela Bay, among the prosperous holiday destinations in South Africa

A beach destination in South Africa doesn’t get better than this! Port Elizabeth, rated as a city having the fourth best weather amongst all the coastal cities in the world invites every beach bum to its pristine shores and promises adventures like fishing, surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling . The city is majorly known for its people’s devotion towards the legend Nelson Mandela, as is significant enough from all architecture, along with the city name itself, named after him!

Don’t Miss: The beaches (of course), historical centres, water sports, & famous museums

Ideal for: Beach bums, history lovers, & Nelson Mandela fans

Suggested Stay: Radisson Blu, Courtyard Hotel, & 5th Avenue Beach House

Fun Fact: The city has some of the friendliest folk in the country, because of which it is called the Friendly City. Apart from making memories, be sure to make a lot of friends!

Suggested Read: 10 Enchanting Honeymoon Destinations In South Africa For A Romantic Sojourn!

Most Popular Wildlife Destinations In South Africa

4. Mpumalanga: The gateway to Kruger

A waterfall at the Lowveld Botanical Garden, Nelspruit

Housing various nature and hiking treks and a huge share of the world’s vegetation, Mpumalanga is among the best places to visit in South Africa. The subtropical climate, abundant sunshine and lush covered hills and valleys make the city ideal for visiting. Besides this, Mpumalanga, formerly called Nelspruit, also houses one of the most popular attractions in South Africa- the Kruger National Park, the country’s premier Big Five national park.

Don’t Miss: Skydiving, skateboarding, the botanical gardens, grass and wetlands, caves and canyons, and the Kruger Park

Ideal for: Ecology lovers, kids and families, & wildlife photographers

Suggested Stay: La Villa Vita Nelspruit, Sheppard Boutique Hotel, & Mercure Nelspruit

Traveller’s Tip: It is quite unsafe to walk around the city after dark, especially if you’re not in a closed vehicle.

Suggested Read: 95 Super Sexy Honeymoon Destinations In The World Where You Would Want To Get It On

5. Polokwane, Limpopo: Crocodiles and Casinos

A large African elephant at Polokwane Game Reserve

Literally meaning “Place of Safety”, Polokwane is South Africa’s wildlife and gaming hub, hosting a horde of nature reserves, biodiversity parks and casinos. The interesting differences of the city ranging from eco-adventure landscapes to glittering nightlife for all party animals, and the caves of the oldest fossils on the planet together make Limpopo one of the best holiday destinations in South Africa.

Don’t Miss: Biodiversity Centre, Bird & Reptile Park, Museums and Casinos, Safari tours, & shopping on Market Day

Ideal for: Wildlife fanatics, birdwatchers, adventure freaks, & kids and families

Suggested Stay: Dinoko Country Lodge, Limpopo Lodge, & Mavuta Manor

Suggested Read: Top 10 African Islands For A Tropical Vacation In This Astonishing Country

6. Bloemfontein, Free State: Roses and Cheetahs

A pair of South African Cheetahs in Cheetah Reserve at Bloemfontein

Image Source
The ‘city of roses’, as it is most fondly called, courtesy of the blooming flora of roses and the Annual Rose Festival, is one of the most clean, hospitable and peaceful cities in the world. Bloemfontein is known for its hearty, stress-free atmosphere and the Cheetah Experience. The city houses a zoo, the Orchid House botanical garden, Franklin Nature Reserve, the Cheetah Reserve, museums, art galleries, and Windmill Casino. It is the best place to visit in South Africa for all those looking to relax and unwind over their holiday.

Don’t Miss: History and art museums, Cheetah experience, wildlife estates, botanical gardens, and the Annual Rose Festival that takes place every year in October (if possible).

Ideal for: Everyone looking for an escape from monotony!

Suggestive Stay: Southern Sun Bloemfontein, The Golf Lodge, & Villa Bali Boutique Hotel

Suggested Read: 33 Things To Do On Your Mauritius Honeymoon

Cultural Destinations in South Africa

Planning your holiday but confused about where to go? These travel stories help you find your best trip ever!

Real travel stories. Real stays. Handy tips to help you make the right choice.

7. Johannesburg, Gauteng: Serious in the day and wild at night

apartheid museum

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Joburg is the entertainment hub of the country that offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience, making it one of the best holiday places in South Africa. The city has everything one’s looking for, from delightful restaurants, shiny shopping malls, green spaces, exciting casinos, museums and monuments to a glamorous nightlife. The city offers everything, be it business opportunities, a cultural encounter, an adrenaline rush or peace and relaxation. This cultural and urban mix puts it on the top in the list of must see places in South Africa.

Don’t Miss: An awesome array of cultural shows, nightlife hotspots, casinos, & shopping centres

Ideal For: Cultural buffs, party animals, night crawlers, & corporate tourists

Suggested Stay: Hyatt Regency, The Michelangelo, & InterContinental Johannesburg Airport Sun

Suggested Read: 8 Experiences That Encapsulate The Best Of South Africa In August In 2022

8. Pretoria, Gauteng: The “Jacaranda City”

Jacaranda trees in a street at Pretoria

The city’s landscapes are laden with a sea of Jacaranda trees, making it appear purple from above. A trip to South Africa is incomplete without visiting this metro and experiencing its quaint, laid-back atmosphere. The city isn’t merely a hub of the country’s political activities but features a number of natural and cultural attractions like the Voortrekker Monument, the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary, botanical and zoological gardens, entertainment centres like the South African State Theatre, and a glitzy nightlife.

Don’t Miss: The political architecture, historical monuments and museums, nature reserves, & zoos

Ideal for: History geeks, peace-lovers, family & kids, intellectuals, & night crawlers

Suggested Stay: Protea Fire & Ice, Illyria House, & Faircity Roodevallei

9. Kimberley, Northern Cape: The city that sparkles!

The Big Hole at Kimberley

Kimberley, for sure, has had one ‘glittering’ past! Renowned as the ‘Diamond Capital of the World’, the city houses the biggest mining crater ever made by human hands- the Big Hole, that descends 840m below the surface of the earth and is one of the best places to visit in South Africa. The architecture and historical venues, the dominating diamond dynasty, prominent art, and the famous wars that took place in the city, make it one of the most ideal holiday places in South Africa, especially for history lovers.

Don’t Miss: The Big Hole, Kimberley Mine Museum, art galleries, Magersfontein Battlefield, & shopping at diamond jewelry stores

Ideal for: History buffs, art lovers, & couples

Suggested Stay: Bell-lu Guest House, Horseshoe Inn, & Taung Tusk Hotel and Casino

Tip: Don’t forget to take back a sparkling momento of your trip from one of the city’s finest crafted jewelry stores.

10. Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal: Birds and Butterflies

A Golden Eagle at the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary, Pietermaritzburg

Featuring the vast expanse of forested hills and rolling pastures, this city is one of the best preserved Victorian cities in the world. Its natural glory, tranquil hills and valleys, and the vast number of game reserves is what adds it to the list of must see places in South Africa. The best time to visit Pietermaritzburg is in spring, when the flora of the city is in full bloom. Owing to its natural splendor and tranquility, Pietermaritzburg is often listed among the finest places to visit in South Africa for honeymoon.

Don’t Miss: Game reserves, African Bird of Prey Sanctuary, Butterflies for Africa, museums, botanical gardens, & parks

Ideal for: Honeymooners, kids and families, & backpackers

Suggestive Stay: 7 On Oakleigh, Ascot Bush Lodge, & City Inn B&B

There you go. We bet you never knew so much about this magnificent country and now you have your very own personalized travel encyclopedia on it, telling you about all the top places to visit in South Africa.

Further Read: 10 Places To Visit In Cape Town For A Happening Vacation

No matter how best we try to put it in words for you, they’ll always fall short of conveying how beautiful a country it is. The best way to find out is to experience it yourself! So, plan a trip to any of these stunning holiday destinations in South Africa.

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Category: Africa, Destinations, South Africa

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