South Africa is a diverse and spectacular destination, with a wealth of natural wonders and stunning wildlife. With nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites more than any other country, it’s the perfect place to visit for anyone who is eager to explore the natural world on foot, by bike, or by boat.
In this article we’ll take you through our top fifty unique places to visit in South Africa.
- Cape Town
Travelers are drawn to this stunning city for its distinct urban landscape, beautiful beaches, towering mountains, the ‘zebra’ migration route and incredible marine life. The diverse environments are complemented by a wealth of historical marvels and its vibrant art scene. We promise you won’t be bored!
- Garden Route
The Garden Route is a natural paradise. It extends 400km from the Western Cape all the way to the border of Tsitsikamma and its home to some of South Africa’s best beaches. It also boasts incredible geological formations including mountains, cliffs, ravines and gorges. For travelers, Garden Route offers an irresistible paradise, a place to cool off with nature.
- Robben Island
Robben Island is an important site in South Africa’s history. It was here that apartheid was defeated when Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa in 1994. Today, visitors can tour the island and see the prison where Mr Mandela served time with other prominent anti-apartheid activists. It is also possible to visit the former home of another famous prisoner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
- Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park stretches across the borders of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, creating a protected area that is the size of the US state of Connecticut. It is home to a diverse range of wildlife including over 200 bird species and the endangered Cape mountain zebra. The park is famous for its diverse habitats: grassland, forest and sandstone cliffs with dramatic overhangs.
- Cape Point
Cape Point is the most southern tip of Africa and is also one of the most rugged mountainous area housing the Cape of Good Hope. Visiting this part of South Africa will require some serious stamina, but the rewards are worth it. Although it is an easy drive, if you decided to take more extreme hiking routes then you will need some mountain biking experience. Even if you are content sticking to road routes then this will remain one of your highlights. If you are really ambitious there are several mountain biking trails that can be tackled on your way here.
- Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is one of South Africa’s oldest reserves. It encompasses three types of habitat: grassland, bushveld and miombo woodland. This diversity makes it ideal for spotting the Big Five, as well as many other species including Cape buffalo, cheetah, wild dog and waterbuck. An added bonus is that you can also see some of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats, rather than just during a game drive.
KwaZulu-Natal has everything: spectacular beaches and coastline, great surfing, coral reefs and islands, and one of the most diverse birding destinations in the country. You can also delve into South Africa’s history at battle sites such as Blood River and Isandlwana. The coastline is dotted with fishing villages, and townships. KwaZulu-Natal offers a different feel from the rest of the country.
- The Drakensberg Mountains
The Drakensberg Mountains are a natural wonder of South Africa, featuring seven peaks over 3 500 meters high. Together with other famous mountain ranges, they form a mountain complex known as the Great Escarpment. The Mont-Des-Cats massif is a famous spot for hikers and rock climbers alike.
- The Wild Coast
The Wild Coast is a remote and rugged stretch of coastline that borders the Indian Ocean. It boasts rolling green hills, large beaches and quiet coves. There are several villages scattered along the coast, with some offering opportunities to get to know local communities and their culture. For travelers with a sense of adventure and a love for nature and wildlife, this is an ideal place to visit in South Africa.
- Addo Elephant National Park
Addo Elephant National Park is one of the largest park in South Africa, inhabited by over 700 elephants. It is also home to the world’s second largest population of black rhino, with over 1 200 roaming its wild hinterland. It is located within the malaria-free Sterkfontein Dam catchment area, which offers many opportunities for nature lovers to spot a variety of species.