South Africa is a vast country with varying landscapes and diverse population. There are several highly attractive places to visit in South Africa that pulls a large number of visitor crowd each year. It is also one of the strongest in terms of economy and thus has a better standard of living. This place has 11 official languages which is 4th highest in number. South Africa has a temperate climate on an average. But due to its vast area cover, the climate of this country may vary from semi-desert on the western side to subtropical on the eastern coastline. Over the years, South Africa’s growing popularity in the tourism industry has also benefited its economy.
13 Best Places To Visit In South Africa
From rare and risky wildlife to beautiful and raw natural landscapes, South Africa has everything that you would want to experience on a relaxing and thrilling holiday. Here are some of the most popular places to visit in South Africa that you would not want to miss on your visit.
South Africa is a multi ethnic society. This place has a wide variety of culture, religion and language. This place is also famous for its wine. And it is the world’s largest producer of gold. South Africa has a lot in store for visitors. One can experience the breathtaking scenery of the picturesque desert to amazingly rich in wildlife natural reserves. The cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg are highly urbanized cities of this country and you can avail the facilities of the high-end resorts and spas. Along with it, the cuisine of this place is more like work of art and a delight to taste.
For people who have a keen interest in knowing the history and culture of the place, this place is known for its collection of artifacts and sculptures from one of the oldest civilization. For the lovers of nature, this place is nothing but a paradise. From golden beaches to dragon blocked mountain ranges this place is going to leave you awestruck for days to come. You can do scuba diving, water rafting, safari and what not!
South Africa has a blissful climate and by coming here one can visit some of the most beautiful beaches, mountain ranges, grassland, desserts and remains of the oldest civilization. It is a favourite destination for the visitors. So here are some the best places that you can visit whenever you come to South Africa.
- Kruger National Park
- Cradle Of Humankind
- Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park
- Jeffrey’s Bay
- Cape Town
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
- The Drakensberg
- The Garden Route
- Hout Bay
- Port Elizabeth
- Mossel Bay
1. Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is not just one of the top places to visit in South Africa, but is also one of the most famous safari parks in the whole world. By sheltering 7500 miles of mountains, tropical forests and grasslands it has become the world’s largest natural reserves. Thus unquestionably also the most favorite tourist spots in this country.
The park flourishes variety of flora and fauna which are a treat to watch. You will get to see the Big Five here which include elephants, leopard, lion, rhino and buffalo. You can also visit the archeological sites and see the ancient rock paintings. Other than that you can take a walking safari or a hot air balloon to capture the gallery forests, rivers flowing by and his vast grassland. They provide both day and night safaris and also accommodation facilities.
Location: Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces, South Africa
2. Cradle Of Humankind
This is a world heritage site declared by UNESCO in 1999. Spread over an area of 47,000 hectare, this places features unique limestone caves. It has fifteen major sites that have worth millions of years of fossils showcasing the evidence of prehistoric life. As you walk through this cave, it will make you experience what it felt like living millions of years ago.
Location: Northwest of Johannesburg, Gauteng province, South Africa
3. Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park
This is the oldest natural reserve in Africa till date. Established in the year 1895, today it is famous for its rich wildlife and its conservation efforts. It has got grassland and rolling hills spread over an area of 400 miles. You can easily capture the sight of animals like elephants, lions, rhinos, zebras and hyenas. Te best part of this park is the open air safari which lets you the animals as close to you as possible. You can clearly see tigers crossing the roads or simply in their living habitat playing with their kids.
Location: north of Durban in central KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
4. Jeffrey’s Bay
Jeffrey’s Bay is one of the most adventurous places to visit in South Africa. For the entire surfing enthusiast out there, Jeffrey’s bay is the place of your dream. It is a famous international destination where you can enjoy surfing. The underwater life of Jeffery’s bay is a home to coral reef, dolphins and other sea creatures. This is an adventurous place for all the water babies.
Although surfing is the prime attraction of this place, you can also go for scuba diving, snorkeling, zip lining and water slides. This place has got it all that can fill you with adrenaline and give you an experience of a lifetime. You can also find local vendors selling mouth-watering local food and drinks which are a delight. By the evening you can also catch the awe-striking sunset view of this place, another reason why this place is so famous!
Location: Eastern cape, South Africa
5. Cape Town
For people who love to explore the city life of new places, Cape Town will prove to be an absolute dream for you! Described by visitors as the planet’s most breathtaking cities, Cape Town is one of the three capitals of South Africa. It is also the second most populous cities of South Africa. This is a multicultural city surrounded by nature all around. This place has got high peak rugged mountains to the turquoise colored sea.
Here you can either take a hike to the flat-topped table mountains or visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden which is a UNESCO world heritage site. You can spot the penguins waddling on the golden beaches in the False Bay and you can even get a sight of giant whales while strolling on the waterfront boardwalk. Also Cape Town shelters a rich wildlife diversity and botanical wonders. Being an urbanized city, you can shop in some high-class malls and dine in some of the finest world class exquisite restaurants.
Best Time To Visit: October-April
Ideal Duration: 5 Nights/6 Days
Things To Do: Hike Up Lion’s Head, Visit The Aquarium, Go Swinging At Sea Point Promenade, Visit Green Point Urban Park, Swing In Your Hammock At De Waal ParkLocation: Western Cape, southwest coast of South Africa
6. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
This park was formed by merging two different parks which are the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park. Situated in the remote region of South Africa’s Northern Cape, this park was established in the year 2000. This is also Africa’s first officially declared Transfrontier Park. With its golden grassland and red sands shadowed by the deep blue sky gives breathtaking picturesque views which are good for photography as well.
Location: Northern Cape, South Africa
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7. The Drakensberg
The Drakensberg is one of the most beautiful places to visit in South Africa. Also known as the Dragon Mountains, this place is a popular destination among the tourists. It is the country’s highest peak and showcases the most jaw-dropping view of the nearby places. There is also a Royal Natal National Park which shelters a beautiful amphitheater, a source of many Africa’s main river.
This place is home to a rich diversity of wildlife and over 800 species of flowers, adding more beauty to this place. You will come across gushing waterfalls and crystal clear streams surrounded by lush green greenery everywhere. It is a perfect place for those who like to enjoy the beauty of nature with a little bit of an adventure!
Location: KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
8. The Garden Route
The Garden Route is one of the best places to visit in South Africa to enjoy scenic views. It is a coastal area spread over 200 kilometers of range. It stretches along the Indian Ocean from Mossel Bay to Storm Rivers in the Eastern Cape. Here you will get to see the rolling green hills, coastal cliffs, lagoons and lakes.
Here you can explore the Cango caves and Oudtshoorn’s ostrich farms. Also the beautiful Garden Park in the midst of the thick forest having tidal pools is a worth the visit. The entire view of this place is breathtaking and if you ever come to South Africa, you simply can’t afford to miss this!
Location: southeast coast of South Africa
The coastal city of Durban is one of the best places to visit in South Africa because of its rich cultural mix from all parts of the world. This city is influenced by Indian traditional African culture with a hint of European blend. This is a coastal city and has got golden beaches where you can go for scuba diving or even shark dives. In this seaside city so many festivals are being hosted that you can join and experience the culture of this place. The food here is a delight to taste and you can’t afford to enjoy some local food delicacies.
Best Time To Visit: June – August
Ideal Duartion: 4 Nights/5 Days
Places to Visit: UShaka Marine World, Kingsmead Ground, Golden Mile, Phezulu Safari
Things To Do: Sani Pass and Lesotho 4×4 Experience, Safari and PheZulu Village Day Tour, Hluhluwe Game Reserve Safari, Full-Day Durban City Tour, Night Party TourLocation: Eastern South Africa
10. Hout Bay
This is yet another peninsular area with a beautiful seaside view and surrounded by lush mountain landscapes. This coastal area has beaches with crystal white sand and colorful rock pebbles. This is a nice option for a getaway for people who are looking for a break from the ever-hustling city life. This is an isolated and peaceful area which has a great ambiance and blissful aura surrounding it.
Location: southern part of Cape Town, South Africa
11. Port Elizabeth
A city on Algoa Bay in Eastern Cape Province, Port Elizabeth is one of the ideal places to visit in South Africa for holiday. This is a port city famous for its numerous beaches. You must take the Donkin Heritage Trail get a taste of magnificent Victorian architecture. If you want to spot seabirds or whales, you can take a coastal boat tour here. You can also explore the rich wildlife in the Kragga Kamma Game Park.
Best Time To Visit: All year round
Ideal Duartion: 5 Nights/6 Days
Places to Visit: The Donkin Reserve, Fort Frederick, Addo Elephant National Park, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum
Things To Do: Kragga Kamma Game Park, Donkin Heritage Trail: Get A Glimpse Of Perfection, Route 67: Follow The Route, Bayworld Oceanarium: Admire The Marine LifeLocation: East cape, South Africa
12. Mossel Bay
Mossel Bay is one of the best places to visit in South Africa for the adventure freaks. This place features the famous Santos Beach, where visitors come to relax or do adventurous activities like water sports. With a lush green environment and awe-inspiring flowers all around it has a family friendly environment and is a popular spot among the visitors. If you are looking for a place that gives you peace of mind and a picturesque view of nature then Mossel Bay is the right choice for you.
Location: Garden Route, West Cape, South Africa
Bloemfontein is one of the three national capitals of South Africa and the capital of Free State. ‘Bloemfontein‘ means ‘blooming fountain’ in Afrikaans and Dutch. Owing to the popular rose festival that takes place here, this city is also known as the “the city of roses”. This seventh largest city in South Africa has many cultural and historical tourist sites and an abundance of scenic beauty. Bloemfontein has many interesting museums to visit, including the National Women’s Monument, The National Museum, the Anglo-Boer War Museum and the Oliewenhuis Art Museum. The Naval Hill Planetarium, which is the first digital planetarium in Africa south of the Sahara.
Places to Visit: Ultimate Cheetah Experience, Oliewenhuis Art Gallery, National Museum, Loch Logan Waterfront, Langenhovenpark Boeremark
You must be already excited to see all these places to visit in South Africa. From highly urbanized cities to blissful coastal towns, this place has got everything that a tourist can wish for! So, plan a trip to Africa ASAP and visit all these beautiful places to earn an experience of a lifetime!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In South Africa
Is South Africa safe for tourists?
South Africa is gaining popularity in the tourism industry as one of the ideal destinations to witness wildlife and a lot more. And the number of travellers visiting the country is showing an appreciable growth each year. The government is also emphasising on developing the tourist attractions in the country. This means the country is also focusing on safety and security of its visitors. We do not deny the fact that the crime rate is an issue here but the public places and the places of tourist interest are safer. All you need to do is plan your trip sensibly and it is best to get it done by certified tour planners who have good experience in dealing with trips to South Africa.
What is the best time of year to visit South Africa?
Due to its different regional climates and wildlife opportunities, South Africa is a destination that can be visited anytime round the year. The best time to visit the capital city, Cape Town is during the summer season i.e. from November to February. July to November is the best time for whale watching.
What is the best city in South Africa?
Some of the best cities in South Africa are:
1. Cape Town
4. Port Elizabeth
What can I buy in South Africa?
Some of the best things that you can buy from South Africa are:
1. African wood carvings
2. Wire Art
3. Ostrich Eggs
4. Rooibos Tea
5. Kalahari Salt
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