South Africa is the dream destination for all the adventurous visitors, with so many unforgettable experiences from offroad safaris to touching with great white sharks. There is no denying that this is a land of diversity, with its wondrous range of wildlife, stunning beaches, divine vineyards, and majestic mountains.
Walk on the wild in the Kruger National Park and take the views from the top of Table Mountain, where tigers, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos wander freely and jump into the unknown. Here are some of South Africa’s best places to explore.
1. Cape Town
The Mother City is a highlight on any list of South African buckets, with stunning beaches, magnificent mountain views, and welcoming people. It can only be the country’s second-largest town but is easily one of the world’s most renowned towns. On the south-west tip of the Western Cape province of South Africa, Cape Town is characterized by a mild, Mediterranean atmosphere with a spectacular natural environment. Cape Town has some of all – History, nature, culture – you’ve got the name of it, Cape Town has it flanked by Table Mountable and overlooking Robben Island.
2. Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is the wildlife lover’s dream, one of South Africa’s most popular and open game reserves. Located in the northeast, Kruger is a large ecosystem that embraces all manner of wilderness – from wild pastures and dense woodlands to thickets and dry riparian beds. Location: Kruger.
Although it was built back in 1898, the park was open to the public only in the 1920s. Kruger has since been a tick off the list of buckets for locals and visitors alike who expect to locate one of the iconic Big Five.
3. The Drakensberg
In South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, the Drakensberg is a mountain range. Often reduced by the local population to ‘the mountain,’ Drakensberg means ‘dragon’s mountains.’ When you see the strength and beauty of these mountains, the sense of such an impressive name is not lost. As part of the Great Escarpment, it has a mixture of cascades and walking paths divided between the north and the south.
4. Garden Route
One of the world’s most spectacular journeys is through sea villages, game reservations, forestry, lagoons, and white sand, with the Indian Ocean’s vivid blues right by you. Most foreign tourists in South Africa are drawn by this tourist route extending from Mossel Bay to St Francis.
5. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a desert wilderness with a landscape that is completely special and it reaches both South Africa and neighboring Botswana. Among the salt bowls, bushveld, and rust-red Kalahari dunes there are hordes that hunt predators including lions, goats, and leopards, such as wildebeest, springbok (the national animal of South Africa), and gemsbok (its original namesake). The game here is actually astonishing, surrounded by nothing but a desolate wilderness.
The port city of Durban (the busiest port of South Africa) has plenty to offer – especially if you’re on sight for the winter in the Southern Hemisphere – though sometimes shaded by bigger sisters, Cape Town and Joburg. Winter actually does not occur here with typical mid-20s temperatures from June to July!
Luckily, all the great weather doesn’t go to waste, because the shores of Durban are beautiful and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean have famous sandy beaches. Enjoy your days riding the waves on South Africa’s East Coast, snorkeling, or diving in waves.
Hermanus, the once quiet and now touristy city in the Western Cape, is South African watching capital – and for good reason. South right whales arrive at Walker Bay every year to give birth to their young people. Every year. When sewing the cliffs is as phänomenal, if not better, whereas boat rides are advertised daily. A 10 km (6 miles) long cliff-side walk with built-in telescopes and benches offer visitors plenty of opportunities to see these social animals – especially during the Hermanus Whale Festival in September.
8. Addo Elephant National Park
The Addo Elephant National Park is one of South Africa’s biggest national parks – and perhaps one of the best places to spot the soft giants with the lowly beginnings of the Elephant Sanctuary, designed to protect only 11 reddish-colored Addo elephants in the 1930s. With the swelling and growth of the park over the years, it now comprises five distinct sections with their distinctive characteristics.
9. Cape Winelands
If you know wine, in the extraordinary Cape Winelands of South Africa you’ll be in your element. It’s one of the most picturesque wine-making regions in the world, only a 45-minute drive from the city of Cape Town, with winding wines and stunning mountain views from just about anywhere.
The exact region you select will depend entirely on you but two of the most famous are Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Here you will enjoy the exclusive offer of hundreds of wineries with all kinds of items, ranging from wine or cheese or biltong dishes (the popular dried meat of South Africa) to picnics outside with a bottle of estate wine surrounded by vineyards.
10. Blyde River Canyon
The Blyde River Canyon is the world’s largest green canyon and the deepest natural canyon in the world tangled in subtropical vegetation. On the panorama path, the canyon is surmounted by sensational hotspots – ranging from waterfalls to unusual geology. One such highlight is the Luck Potholes in Bourke – a collection of giant potholes that were spun into the flanks of the swirling water where the rivers Blyde and Treue meet.