If you are living in South Africa and you have not been to at least 3 of the following attractions, you will have to start rewriting your to-do list for the year. There is so much happening right under your nose and probably within a radius of 500km from you.
If you can’t do any of these activities on a weekend, have you ever thought of planning a South Africa tour for your holiday? Here is a list of attractions and activities that you can add on your itinerary around the country and that you should not miss out on.
1. Cape Point, Cape Peninsula, Cape Town
Cape Point is at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula. At the Cape Point Nature Reserve, you can take a ride on the Flying Dutchman Funicular, walk the shipwreck trail, explore the Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias monuments or visit the old lighthouse.
2. Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town, Cape Town
This is one of Cape Town’s most visited beaches and it is the only place where you can get close to African Penguins in the world. There are boardwalks through the dunes and vegetation that provide great viewing spots and also protects nesting penguins and their chicks.
3. Table Mountain, Cape Town
The most iconic landmark in South Africa, you can catch a ride up with the cableway or if you are feeling adventurous, you can hike up the mountain. From the top, you can see the spectacular mother city, Cape Town, as well as another South African landmark, Robben Island.
4. Cape West Coast, Western Cape
North of Cape Town, you will find the West Coast, along which you can take a road trip on the ‘Cultural & Foodie’ Route. Some of the popular places that you will see on your road trip are Melkbosstrand, Witzand Aquifer Nature Reserve, Silverstroomstrand, Blaauwberg Nature Reserve, Koeberg Private Nature Reserve, Darling, Yzerfontein and Langebaan.
5. Cape Winelands, Western Cape
It will just not be completed to leave the Western Cape without visiting some of the most divine wine farms. The most popular wine routes that you can choose from are Stellenbosch Wine Route, Helderberg Wine Route, Durbanville Wine Route and Franschhoek Wine Route, each with a list of wine farms producing some of the best wines in South Africa.
6. Swartberg Pass, Western Cape
This pass is situated between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert. It is 23.8km long and takes roughly an hour to drive. With an elevation of 1.583m above sea level, you can expect never-ending, beautiful views along the route.
7. Cango Caves, Oudtshoorn
After your adrenaline rush through the mountain pass, you can book in for an excursion at the Cango Caves. Here you will see countless dripstone formations. One of the main attractions is Cleopatra’s Needle, it is at least 150 000 years old and stands 9 meters high. You have a choice between a heritage tour and an adventure tour.
8. Bloukrans Bridge, Garden Route
The adrenaline feed just continues! Off to the next stop: Bungee at the Bloukrans Bridge. This is known as the ‘highest bungee from a bridge’ in the world. You will experience the view from Africa’s highest bridge, while you will throw yourself more than 200 metres to the river below.
9. Tsitsikamma National Park
Let’s move on to something more peaceful, the Tsitsikamma is a protected area on the Garden Route, that offers hiking trails in the forest. Don’t forget to be on the lookout for the Knysna Loerie with all its colours. This is also where the Storms River meets the ocean.
10. Durban City & uShaka Marine World
Visit and explore the third most popular city in South Africa and don’t miss out on the most loved marine theme park which offers water rides, dolphin, seal and penguin shows, beach activities and much more.
11. Shark Diving
While you are in Durban, you can also experience the thrill of diving with sharks in a steel cage, where you will be up close with Bull Sharks, Tiger Sharks and many more. Surely this is already on your bucket list?
Heading back inland, on route you will meet the eastern portion for the Great Escarpment, which is the central Southern African plateau. Make sure to stay a few days to explore and do a few hikes to view some of the breath-taking spots in this part of the country.
13. Kruger National Park
This is another must-see for everyone, you don’t have to wait for your annual leave to visit the Kruger. Book your Kruger Park Safari for the next long weekend. What other convincing do you need? The Park is home to more than 145 mammals, including the Big 5, wild dogs and cheetahs. You will not be disappointed.
14. Blyde River Canyon
It is one of the largest canyons on earth and is now known as the Motlatse Canyon. The area is named the Panorama route and with views like God’s Window, the Pinnacle, Three Rondavels and Bourke’s Luck Potholes, you won’t believe your eyes that all of this is part of your country.
Visit the following attractions to find out more about the history of South Africa and also go on historical tours:
15. Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
16. Voortrekker Museum, Pretoria
17. Soweto Tour
18. Cradle of Humankind & Sterkfontein Caves
The Cradle of Humankind is one of 10 World Heritage Sites in the country and it is home to around 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils. You will have the opportunity to learn about stones and bones all in one visit. The Sterkfontein Caves are on the Heritage Site where you can go on a tour that starts above the ground and then take visitors deep into the caves.
19. Sun City
I’m sure this is a place everyone in South Africa knows about, even if they haven’t paid a visit yet. No other resort in South Africa offers a wider variety of accommodation than Sun City. They also have a list of activities for the whole family to enjoy: golfing, game viewing, water sports, kids’ activities and spa treatments.
20. Kgalagadi (Kalahari) Transfrontier Park
And finally, to end your journey around the country, we suggest the peaceful Kalahari Desert, with an infinity of red dunes, herds of gemsbok, springbok, blue wildebeest and eland. Various of the lodges and wilderness camps offer guided walks and game drives.
With this list, you will definitely be able to plan your next holiday or weekend breakaway. South Africa has so much to offer, it is all out there, waiting to be explored and appreciated.
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