When you think of a trip to Africa, many people envision safaris with giraffes, elephants, and lions. However, planning a trip to South Africa gets you amazing safaris and so much more. South Africa not only features amazing wildlife but also urban centers, fascinating history, and luxurious hotels and restaurants. Ready to plan your dream vacation? Here are the best places to see and things to do in South Africa.
South Africa Winelands
The Winelands are located in the north of the country and house over 300 different vineyards. This region is one of the world’s largest wine producers, offering everything from Sauvignon blanc to its famed red Pinotage. Because the area attracts so many wine lovers, you’ll also find top-rated restaurants in the Winelands as well. Be sure to see the amazing Paarl Mountain Natural Reserve while you are visiting and stroll through historic villages like Stellenbosch and Franschhoek for boutique shopping.
Capetown is one of the most popular destinations in all of Africa for good reason. This bustling city has it all: beaches, a mountain, a busy harbor, and plenty of outdoor space. Enjoy a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain for views you’ll never forget. While you’re there, have lunch at the mountaintop restaurant and sip on delicious South African wine. Next, head to Boulders Beach, which is home to about 3,000 penguins. Kirstenbosch Gardens is another can’t-miss attraction in Capetown with its impressive exotic plant collection. Within the city itself, visit the colorful neighborhood of Bo-Kaap, the tourist attractions at Victoria and Albert Waterfront, and the nightlife along Long Street.
South Africa’s largest city is Johannesburg, and it is a destination worth visiting. Here you can visit Nelson Mandela’s home and museum to learn about the country’s difficult history. The visit will remind you of the substantial change that has taken place within the country. Next, visit the Maboneng neighborhood, which is the city’s art district. Grafitti is legal here, and you’ll find street art on buildings that will take your breath away. Also stop by Arts on Main for delicious street food and vendors selling jewelry, art, and clothing.
Pilanesberg National Park
Of course, while in South Africa, you’ll want to take a safari. Just a few hours northwest of Johannesburg lies Pilanesberg National Park. This wildlife sanctuary is home to the big five: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. The reserve also boasts hippos, giraffes, hyenas, and a variety of birds. Take an early morning or late afternoon safari for the best chances of a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter. For the ultimate in luxury, stay at the Tshukudu Bush Lodge. The lodge offers just six luxury chalets nestled in the side of an old volcanic crater. It is known as the most romantic of Pilanesberg National Park’s game lodges.
The Garden Route
The Garden Route is a 300-kilometer coastal road on the southwest tip of South Africa. With the Indian Ocean on one side and the Tsitsikamma and Outeniqua mountain ranges on the other, there are stunning views no matter where you look. Along the drive, you can participate in numerous activities such as hiking, whale watching, exploring caves, or simply enjoying the deserted beaches. Be sure to stop in Agulhas, the Southernmost tip of Africa. There you will see the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, the third oldest lighthouse in South Africa, which offers amazing coastal views from the top.
As you can see, a trip to South Africa offers endless possibilities! After you finish planning your trip you can also let the adventure continue with these Natural Wonders to See in Your Lifetime.