29 Superb Things to do in South Africa ...


If you’re looking for things to do in South Africa, the choices should encapsulate everything that melds together so beautifully to make the Rainbow Nation. The things to do in South Africa should be beautiful and adventurous in spirit, have a teeny element of risk, be all shades of light from dark to white, full of color, breathtaking and adrenaline-pumping, packed with diversity and a celebration of the rich, deep culture of a fascinating, beguiling and even bewitching country.

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Take a Hike on the Magoebaskloof

Take a Hike on the Magoebaskloof Tzaneen is one of the most beautiful places to go in South Africa. The entire mountain area is covered with both natural and man-made gum forests, which are covered in the famous silver mist that makes Tzaneen a must see atmospheric destination when visiting South Africa. Just outside of Tzaneen towards the Magoebaskloof are world class hiking and mountain biking trails. Be sure to pack tick and mosquito repellent during the wet months. The area also offers those with an adventurous spirit white river rafting, abseiling, paintball and quad biking.


Visit the Vaal Dam

Visit the Vaal Dam Situated on the border of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Freestate, the Vaal Dam houses most of the water production for the northern parts of South Africa. Along the dam’s banks and the river are a number of resorts, campsites, fishing and water sport facilities. The entire area offers hikers, party animals, boaters, fishermen, sailors something to do within this vast water system and river. I recommend trying out some home-made ginger beer and biltong sold at stalls.


Spot the Big 5 in the Kruger National Park

Spot the Big 5 in the Kruger National Park With the continuing development of South Africa, there are fewer and fewer places to see wildlife in the country. This makes the Kruger National Park one of the greatest attractions in South Africa, and the park also extends into Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Whilst there keep your eyes out for the big 5: lions, elephant, rhino (although now almost extinct), buffalo and leopard.


Take in the Views at God’s Window

Take in the Views at God’s Window No matter what religion you follow, going to God’s Window is one of best sightseeing things to do in South Africa. Just a short walk up the mountain and you are rewarded with views that are out of this world. The area is often covered in mist, which just adds to the atmosphere. Be sure to have some ‘Nelsons’ (Rands) for the curios stalls in the parking area.


Visit the Blue Swallow Nature Reserve

Visit the Blue Swallow Nature Reserve The Blue Swallow Nature Reserve is in Kaapsehoop, just before the capital of Mpumalanga, Nelspruit, is a historically unique South African attraction. The area hosts pine forests, ancient stone structures, roaming wild horses and several streams. Within the Blue Swallow Nature Reserve are a number of look-out points and an ancient monolithic stone structure called Adams Calendar, which uses the sun to align the stones to the solstices. Warning, you don’t visit this place just once!


Go Surfing on North Beach

Go Surfing on North Beach North Beach in Durban, the fastest growing city in South Africa, hosts a number of conferences, F1 and surfing competitions. North Beach is ideal for a day at the seaside that includes surfing, body boarding and swimming. There are a number of vendors in the area who will offer you a ride in a rickshaw or a photo opportunity of their magnificent sand sculptures.


Swing across the Moses Mabhida Stadium

Swing across the Moses Mabhida Stadium The Moses Mabhida Stadium is one of the newest places to go in South Africa. Built in preparation for the 2010 World Cup, the designers took into account that the stadium should not become a ‘white elephant’ after the Soccer (Football) games. The stadium is still used for sporting events, but is uniquely designed to allow for a large swing across the stadium, but first you have to climb the five hundred stairs to the top, before launching yourself into nothing-ness on a rope!


Travel the Golden Mile

Travel the Golden Mile Whilst in Durban, one of the things to do is to treat yourself to a mile walk along the boardwalk, which starts at uShaka Marine World and ends near the casino. The mile offers a variety of fun activities including skateboarding, trick-biking, cycling, jogging, restaurants and roller-blading. The mile also passes through a number of piers to look out onto the ocean.


Learn to Surf at the Wave House

Learn to Surf at the Wave House If you travel north out of Durban towards Umhlanga there is the Gateway Shopping Centre, which boasts its own Wave House where waves are generated mechanically. The water can be adjusted to different levels to suit any level of surfer. I’d prefer to grab an ice-cream cone and watch the want-to-be surfers.


Visit the Sharks Board

Visit the Sharks Board Whilst in Umhlanga make your way to the beach, but when the sun gets too hot, instead of seeking shade in the shopping centre you can head to the visitors center at the Sharks Board. The board is responsible for the shark nets and keeping the beaches and waters safe for swimmers and surfers.


Zipline the Forest with a Canopy Tour

Zipline the Forest with a Canopy Tour There are a number of canopy tours throughout the country. Make sure to visit one of these zipline tours through the gorgeous forests. Having this perspective of these amazing and ecologically significant habitats is certainly among the best attractions of South Africa. The tours also include lunch and use of facilities around the area. I went on my zipline ride in Tsitsikamma – incredible!


Spot the Penguins on Boulders Beach

Spot the Penguins on Boulders Beach Catch the train or take a scenic drive past Muizenberg into Simon’s Town and take a stroll down to Boulders Beach, home of the Cape Penguin. These fascinating birds (I adore penguins – they are my favorite animals along with dolphins) can be seen on the banks of the beach along with other sea life that live on the large sandy brown boulders that complete this beautiful landscape.


Explore the Cango Caves

Explore the Cango Caves The Cango Caves can be found on Route 62 in the Western Cape. The caves are one of the best places to visit in South Africa. If you are interested in stalactite and stalagmite structures you’ll be in awe of the formations, including Van Zyl’s corridor and the leaning tower. Be careful if you are claustrophobic, have asthma, are pregnant or have a phobia of bats.


Conquer Table Mountain

Conquer Table Mountain One of the most famous attractions in South Africa is Table Mountain. This iconic mountain is often covered in a blanket of mist, which makes it unsafe to walk up or use the cable car. So if you manage to get up the mountain on a sunny day, do it because if you think the weather will last, you will be disappointed. The views are simply … breathtaking


Go Whale Watching in Hout Bay

Go Whale Watching in Hout Bay A trip along the coastal road between Scarborough and Sea Point which takes you over Chapman’s Peak is an adventure in itself, but it will also take you to Hout Bay. Hout Bay is a fabulous destination because of the whale watching opportunities, especially if you want to avoid the tourist crowds of Hermanus. In spring, Southern Right Whales can be seen in the bay, and if you’re lucky you might spot a humpback in the distance. There’s also a seal colony at Duiker Island just outside of Hout Bay.


Go Horse Riding on the Beach

Go Horse Riding on the Beach There are a number of horse riding schools where you can go for lessons on an idyllic deserted beaches near Muizenberg. The instructors are fully qualified and are equipped to give lessons for all riding levels from beginners to more experienced riders. Once done with your lesson, enjoy a delicious country lunch and a scenic drive along the famous Chapman’s Peak or a swim in the ocean, if you can brave the freezing cold water.


Take a Wine Tour

Take a Wine Tour Cape Town boasts some of the best wineries and wine farms in the world, making it a must do experience. There are a number of wine farms in and around the Cape Town area, each of them with something different to offer its guests, including wine tasting, the history of winemaking along with cheese tasting and a variety of curios. The most popular area for tours, and credited with producing some of the best South African wines, is Stellenbosch.


Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium

Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium In the area of the V&A Waterfront lies one of the most miraculous aquariums in the world. The well-kept aquarium is one of the most popular attractions in Cape Town. The tanks holding a massive range of marine life are huge walls of glass so you really get the feeling you are seeing far into the underwater world. If you’re feeling brave you can dive with sharks, rays and turtles.


Visit Robben Island

Visit Robben Island Robben Island is situated about 7km from Bloubergstrand. The island has a dark history from the Apartheid days, so if you’re looking for historical things to do in South Africa, a visit to the prison is an absolute must. Robben Island held prisoners who were fighting the Apartheid system and was made world famous by Nelson Mandela, the father of the nation who served a twenty seven year sentence here.


Get Lost and Found in the Honeydew a-maiz-ing Mazes

Get Lost and Found in the Honeydew a-maiz-ing Mazes When in Johannesburg, be sure to visit the Honeydew A-maiz-ing Mazes. You may be wondering at the odd spelling of amazing, but it is simply that the walls of the maze are built from growing maize (corn). Of course, maize is a seasonal crop so the size of the maze varies through the year. However, there is a giant maze – known as Elemental, as an all-year-round option, plus plenty of small permanent mazes as well as puzzles. There’s also moonlit mazes for a date with a difference.


Visit the Art Galleries of Rosebank

Visit the Art Galleries of Rosebank Another vibrant one of the places to go in South Africa is Rosebank, a trendy part of Jo’burg. Art lovers are in for a treat, as there are many galleries situated in walking distance of each other. The galleries exhibit art from both local and international artists and even when closed, the galleries' outdoor semi-permanent installations are a treat. There’s also a craft market and plenty to see in this eclectic area.


Ride in a Hot Air Balloon

Ride in a Hot Air Balloon The best part about being in Johannesburg is that just an hour’s drive outside of the city lies a vast mountain and river network. In Magaliesburg, one of the many attractions in South Africa, there are a number of day-spas, resorts and restaurants to visit before or after taking a luxury trip in a hot air balloon.


Visit the Chinese Temple

Visit the Chinese Temple Just outside the city of Pretoria lies a tranquil area called Bronkhorstspruit, which is still predominately farm lands. A magnificent Buddhist temple was erected in the area, which attracts visitors from around the world. The Nan Hua Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in Africa and sits in 600 acres of gorgeousness.


Picnic at the Tswaing Crater and Museum

Picnic at the Tswaing Crater and Museum The Tswaing crater was formed when a huge meteorite hit earth some 200,000 years ago. Visitors can expect this to be one of the more unique places to go in South Africa. There is the opportunity to walk around the crater (about 7km) or you can drive to the picnic area and enjoy the quiet hollow sounds and acoustics within the crater. In the warmer months, there are parties and festivals in the crater.


Spend the Day in Arts on Main

Spend the Day in Arts on Main Foodies, artists and hipsters from everywhere gather at Arts on Main situated in the Maboneng district in the Johannesburg CBD every weekend. The area has recently been refurbished and has opened up hope and opportunity in an area that was left for ruin. While you are there, visit one of the restaurants on the roof with vertical plant walls or make your own movie at The Bioscope at One Fox Street.


Smash a Burger in Greenside

Smash a Burger in Greenside Greenside is one of the trendiest places in Johannesburg. The main strip has an abundance of vibey taverns, bars, pizza joints and clubs and copping a pew here is a great way to spend a hot summer’s afternoon with half price cocktails and the best pizza and burgers on the planet.


Visit a Mine Shaft at Gold Reef City

Visit a Mine Shaft at Gold Reef City Gold Reef City is more than just a theme park, which is why it is one of the top attractions of South Africa. Built on an old mine and around the theme of the Witwatersrand Gold Rush, Gold Reef City is a replica town with all the amusement and fun of theme park thrown in. As well as the usual thrilling rides you can also take a trip underground into a mine shaft. And like any self-respecting theme park, Gold Reef City also has a luxury hotel, restaurants and casino.


Spend a Day in the past at the Apartheid Museum

Spend a Day in the past at the Apartheid Museum Thankfully Apartheid is a thing of the past in South Africa, but it should not be forgotten. The history of the law that divided this magnificent country for so long is preserved at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and really, everyone should visit. In as little as two hours of your time, you can have an unforgettable experience and learn so much about man’s inhumanity to man.


Search for Diamonds at the Big Hole

Search for Diamonds at the Big Hole Mining leaves scars. One of those scars is the “Big Hole” in Kimberley, the center of the South African diamond mining industry. It’s quite amazing to see how close the town is built to the hole, which is, well in a word, massive. Mining operations ceased here in 1914 and today the Big Hole is home to a museum about the diamond industry and a pretty darned amazing photo opportunity too.

The attractions of South Africa are many, many and varied. Wherever you go, an adventure awaits. I’d love to hear of your own travels in South Africa. Have you been?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

SA is my home and every time I mention it or describe to a stranger my heart beats with excitement and eyes lit with happiness for that is the effect it will leave on anyone. Endless possibilities is what SA will offer. It is like a beautiful wild horse waiting for its master yet clinging to its wilderness freedom!

Must do!

Woo SA for the win!

Wow #29 that's a must see to believe. I have Thailand or Italy set as a vacation destination but articles like this one have we wanting to explore other countries that I haven't considered before. I would love to explore South Africa, maybe one day.

I liver in Pretoria Its simply Beautiful! Gold reef is an amazing place to be! The VIBES!!

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