As diverse as it is beautiful, South Africa is a melting pot of cultures and traditions wrapped up in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes.
Whether you’re exploring its fascinating and poignant history, driving the routes of the wildlife rich national parks, or just chilling out on the beach, this is a country that it’s very hard to get enough of.
So grab your vuvuzela and check out our picks for South Africa’s top five experiences…
A spectacular view of Cape Town.
What are the best ways to spend your time in South Africa?
Cape Town will take your breath away. Set against the striking backdrop of Table Mountain, just north of the beautiful Cape of Good Hope and surrounded by wine producing vineyards, the location is tough to beat. With the feel of a European city (especially if you’ve reached it at the end of a long overland journey), an undeniably bohemian air, and a lively arts scene, you’ll never be short of something to do.
Head down to the V&A waterfront for the best views of the city (aside from those at the top of the mountain) some great food and street entertainment.
There are five big reasons Kruger National Park is one of the most popular safari destinations in Southern Africa… elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo! The infrastructure is so good that you can drive yourself around the many tracks and trails – escaping the crowded queue of safari vehicles which are usually so common in safari parks.
Get a little closer to nature by heading out on a guided night drive after the main gates are closed and the animals are at their most active….
You might just come across this gent in the dark!
With its hot summers, spicy heritage and colourful coastline, Durban is a tropical sea side resort with an African heart and an Indian kitchen. If you’re not sunning yourself on the sand or wandering down the lively beach front you can take a surfing lesson (or just stuff yourself silly with Indian food).
One of the best ways to see the area is on a city tour – you’ll travel to the townships, discover little India and explore with someone who knows where they’re going and what you shouldn’t miss.
Durban's impressive, and well lit, skyline.
The garden route
The Garden Route is South Africa’s own paradise; the world’s longest wine route, the back drop for the world’s highest bungee jump, scene of incredible whale watching, shark diving and ziplineing – there’s very little not to love about this spectacular stretch of coast-line. Check out the popular Baz Bus for a backpacker friendly way to wind your way up the western cape.
Explore the pristine beaches along the garden route.
the dragon mountains Drakensberg
A little off the beaten tourist track but well worth the trip, Drakensburg National Park is a stunning natural wilderness. Also known as the “Barrier of Spears” this mountain range is the highest in South Africa and home to around 20,000 rock paintings scattered across caves and cliffs.
Drakensburg rock painting.
It’s also hiker’s heaven with four valleys, complete with thundering waterfalls, sheltered glens and, most importantly, the highest pub in Africa where you can raise a glass to the wonders of South Africa from 3000 meters above it.