South Africa, also known as the Republic of South Africa, is an excellent spot to go on your first safari. There’s golden grassland, enormous yawning gorges, and eerily gorgeous deserts, as well as an awe-inspiring ensemble of African creatures — plus, as a bonus, all the creature comforts. There are many places to visit in South Africa not matter your budget.
If you are on this page, it’s because you have Google for the best places to visit in South Africa. This means you already know that South Africa is a great tourist destination in Africa for travelers from all over the world.
South Africa is the world in one country because it is so special and unique. And the country is a wonderful amalgamation of the best of the world in one location. As a tourist, you will find whatever you are looking for.
If you are thinking of visiting, go for it. Don’t think about it twice. In this article, Mrpocu.com will list some of the best places to visit in South Africa.
Here you’ll know some of the best places to visit in South Africa. This article is free and if you find it useful share it with others to help them plan their trip to South Africa.
Places To Vist In South Africa
You will probably know Cape town is going to be first on my list if you know something little about SA. Cape Town, with its cable car, walking paths, and abseiling, is one of the most beautiful towns in the world, overlooking flat-topped Table Mountain.
The city is one of the most beautiful on the earth. This cosmopolitan city, nestled between a rough range of mountains and the sea, is surrounded by nature.
Table Mountain, the flat-topped mountain that presides over the city, is one of the top things to do in Cape Town. Hike to the summit or take the cable car up for a great panorama. The one-hour trek up Lion’s Head also offers panoramic views of the city.
The spectacular Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, located on Table Mountain’s eastern slopes, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The shore of Cape Town is also rich in natural treasures. You might observe whales spouting from the harbor while strolling along the seaside boardwalk. Penguins waddle down the golden beaches of False Bay, while Cape Point, south of the city, is home to a broad range of animal and botanical splendor.
The picturesque boulder-flanked beaches of Cape Town are also well-known. Camp’s Bay is a popular destination, with a variety of trendy boutiques and cafés around.
Kgalagadi (Kalahari) Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape
It is Africa’s first legally proclaimed transfrontier park, and one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. A striking backdrop for pictures and wildlife viewing is provided by gnarled camel thorn trees, crimson dunes, golden grasslands, and deep blue skies.
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which spans almost 38,850 square kilometers (15,000 square miles) in the Northern Cape and Botswana, is home to thousands of predators. But, while stunning, such figures only scratch the surface of this vast area of fiery sunsets, silky night skies, and rolling crimson dunes.
You might see cheetahs and leopards purring by the highway because the park is one of the best sites in the world to see big cats. The black-maned lions, however, are the monarchs of the desert, larger than their golden counterparts and intimidating in appearance with their thick, dark, power-exuding manes.
The Garden Route
The Garden Route stretches for around 200 kilometers along South Africa’s southeast coast, passing through some of the country’s most beautiful coastline landscapes. From Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape, the route follows the Indian Ocean.
This popular driving route takes you through rolling green hills, picturesque coastal towns, lagoons, lakes, and cliffs. The charming town of Knysna, nestled between dense forests and a sparkling lagoon; the beautiful Garden Route National Park, with its gorges, tidal pools, and thick forests; Oudtshoorn’s ostrich farms and Cango Caves; and the Robberg Nature Reserve’s seal colony in Plettenberg Bay are all highlights of the Garden Route.
For backpackers and travelers who enjoy road trips, using The Garden Route will be one of your best travel experiences. Because there are so many different kinds of adventures along the route, from elephant rides and whale viewing to bungee jumping and tree canopy tours.
Stellenbosch, Western Cape
Stellenbosch is one of South Africa’s most beautiful towns. It’s one of the best-preserved communities from the Dutch East India Company era, with fields, old oak trees, and white-washed Cape Dutch buildings.
It is now a university town with a bustling atmosphere and beautiful scenery. Foodies will enjoy themselves here. Stellenbosch has some of the top restaurants in South Africa, as well as numerous sidewalk cafés. Stellenbosch is one of the best places to visit in South Africa.
The Stellenbosch Village Museum, a collection of four restored houses and gardens ranging from 1709 to 1850, is a must-see for history aficionados. The Rupert Museum houses major works by South African artists, and wandering around the University of Stellenbosch Botanic Garden is another must-do activity.
Nature lovers can hike and ride on the spectacular Jonkershoek Nature Reserve’s wilderness routes in the surrounding area.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park
The name iSimangaliso, which means “miracle” or “wonder” in Zulu, is apt. From the Mozambique border to Maphelane, at the southern end of Lake St Lucia, this Unesco World Heritage site in KwaZulu-Natal encompasses ten attractions. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park preserves five different ecosystems, including beaches, offshore reefs, and coastal forests, as well as lakes, wetlands, and woodlands.
It is nature’s playground, with wildlife drives, kayak safaris, cycling, and cruises available. The incredible species here include loggerhead and leatherback turtles, whales, dolphins, antelope, and zebras, but the show-stoppers are the 800 hippos and 1200 Nile crocodiles, which may be seen best from a trip on the St Lucia Estuary.
Well-heeled Clarens has celebrity credentials thanks to the occasional worldwide star stopping by for a breath of fresh mountain air. However, most visitors will find something to their liking among the galleries, antiques, sophisticated restaurants, microbrewery, and adventure activities in the surrounding area. Clarens is one of the best places to visit in South Africa if you looking to relate with other international tourists.
After a day of exploring the adjacent Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the laid-back village is ideal for an evening stroll. Clarens is the greatest area in the Free State’s the Eastern Highlands to simply relax, with plenty of pubs to visit and a bookshop to browse.
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is arguably one of the best destinations to visit in South Africa if you want to go on a wildlife safari.
It is both South Africa’s oldest and largest national park. It is approximately the size of Israel or the state of New Jersey in the United States of America, and it is made up of 2,000,000 hectares (20,00 km2). You can’t possibly visit the park in one day. If you want to get the most out of your wildlife encounter, you may need two or three days.
Kruger is home to hundreds of animal species and is the greatest spot in South Africa to see the Big 5. The Big Percentage refers to five of Africa’s most difficult creatures to hunt on foot: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo.
It is possible to explore the park in whatever way you like. You can stay in one of the numerous luxurious lodges and have a private safari ride, join an organized day tour, or drive through the park on your own. Yes, you can explore with your own vehicle.
Blyde River Canyon & Panorama Route
Blyde River Canyon & Panorama Route must be on any list of places to visit in South Africa. It is one of South Africa’s most magnificent natural landmarks. It’s also one of the world’s largest canyons. This is why it draws visitors from all over the world. Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve and the entire Panorama Route are particularly popular and entertaining road trips for tourists because of their proximity to the key entrances of Kruger National Park.
If you start your day with a breakfast at the popular Harrie’s in Graskop, your road trip will be great. Then it’s on to the Pinnacle, God’s Window, and Wonder View in the north. The Panorama Route also features Lisbon Falls and Berlin Falls, as well as Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Lowveld Viewpoint. The Three Rondavels Viewpoint, however, is the most spectacular of them all. This guide is just incredible.
The Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal
The beautiful Drakensberg, or “Dragon Mountains,” is a favourite vacation destination for South Africans and one of the best locations to visit in KwaZulu-Natal. It also has the highest peaks in the country.
The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, a place of jaw-dropping beauty with jagged basalt buttresses and San rock art, and Royal Natal National Park, home to the awe-inspiring Amphitheatre, a stunning cliff face and source of South Africa’s main rivers, are also part of the region.
Large herds of eland are protected in the region’s Giant’s Castle Game Reserve. In the sheltered valleys, dense forests thrive, and the area is home to over 800 different varieties of flowering plants, as well as a diverse range of fauna.
The alpine vistas are lush and rich in the summer, with gushing waterfalls and beautiful streams. Snow covers the spectacular peaks in the winter.
Hiking and biking the magnificent mountain paths, fishing for trout, rock climbing, abseiling, parasailing, and rafting the fast-flowing rivers attract visitors. Hot air balloon rides are a fantastic way to take in the scenery.
Pilanesberg National Park
Do you have limited time yet still want to see Africa’s Big 5? About 2.5 hours from Johannesburg and Pretoria, Pilanesberg National Park is home to abundant animals and a stunning array of birds. It makes a terrific day vacation or multi-day stay because it is easily accessible from these big cities. It’s significantly smaller than Kruger National Park, but it boasts a higher concentration of wildlife as a result.
Because Pilanesberg is located in a transition zone between the arid Kalahari Desert and the rain-soaked Lowveld, it is home to a diverse range of species. You can see African wild dogs, herds of zebra, the gorgeous sable and roan antelope, giraffes, and more than 350 kinds of birds in addition to the Big 5 (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion, and buffalo).
Mapungubwe National Park
The transfrontier Mapungubwe National Park in Limpopo province is part of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area and is a true standout among South Africa’s national parks. Its significant cultural legacy has also earned it Unesco World Heritage designation, as revealed at the interpretive center.
The scenery is captivating, with arid, old topography that is twisted and knotted, rocky bluffs that offer breathtaking views, and huge rivers that connect. The temperature is harsh, but lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, and rhinos, as well as lesser animals like caracals, can be found here. It can be difficult to get around, but the benefits are incredible. The eastern and western sections of the national park are separated by private land.
Cradle of Humankind
As you’ll see in this palaeontological zone, it all started in Africa, specifically Western Gauteng. Hundreds of square kilometers of stunning green and brown veld, as well as an increased flow of visitors, descended from hominids, sit with their ancestors’ fossils deep down before returning to civilization at exquisite restaurants and day spas, make up the Cradle of Humankind.
The Nirox Foundation has a tranquil sculpture park as well as a wildness to appreciate. Elands, zebras, giraffes, and gazelles wander freely only 30 miles northwest of Johannesburg.
Despite its gruesome reputation, Johannesburg is an inspirational city, thanks to the revitalization that is transforming its core. With galleries, restaurants, cafés, and boutiques, the cultural districts of Braamfontein, Newtown, 44 Stanley, and the Maboneng sector are vibrant and fascinating by any city’s standards.
Take a walking tour to learn about the history of Maboneng’s urban change and to see international muralists’ public art. Try to time your visit to coincide with the weekly markets in Braamfontein and Maboneng.
The Venda Region is a lush place steeped in mysticism and traditional practices, with mist-covered hills, dusty red pathways, and mud houses. The Venda Region, which is dotted with spiritually significant lakes and woods that symbolize the origins of indigenous culture’s relationship with the soil, is definitely worth exploring with a local guide.
The Venda people trace back to the Mapungubwe Kingdom in the ninth century, and their deep spiritual connection is reflected in rituals and a rich mythical belief system, as well as artistically in sculptures, pottery, and woodcarvings. Stay in Elim, a mission station, or Makhado, a little town, and start with the Venda art tour, where you may visit studios and meet the painters.
Madikwe Game Reserve
Madikwe Game Reserve covers 750 square kilometers (289 square miles) of bushveld, savanna grassland, and riverine forest, making it one of the country’s most exclusive reserves on such a huge scale. There’s a decent chance of seeing iconic African species, and the lodges, which range from an ecolodge to five-star alternatives giving creature comforts in the bush, are experiences in themselves. Madikwe visits are all-inclusive, allowing you to unwind once you’ve passed through the gates.
Robben Island, Western Cape
Robben Island, a World Heritage Site in Table Bay, is a haunting reminder of apartheid’s horrors. Nelson Mandela, along with other political dissidents and social misfits, spent 18 years in a cramped cell here.
Perhaps the most moving aspect of this encounter is that the guides are usually ex-prisoners who share moving first-hand descriptions of the atrocities they witnessed.
Multimedia exhibits in the museum at the Nelson Mandela Gateway in the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront kick-off tours to the island. Sightseeing tourists then board boats to Robben Island, often risking high surf on the 30- to 45-minute journey. Make sure you reserve early because the tours fill up quickly.
Locals say the tow isn’t very noteworthy or well-known, but its shoreline is unparalleled. It is one of the top beachfront picnic destinations in South Africa. The bay near Hermanus is recognized as South Africa’s best spot to observe whales and dolphins, and it certainly lives up to its billing.
You can go on a whale-watching boat cruise to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures, but you can generally see them from the shore as well.
One should know that the whales are not always available. It is best to visit during the month of June and December.
Despite being overshadowed by Kruger National Park, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is one of South Africa’s most well-known and evocative places. It has a variety of settings, from open savanna to mountains with wildflowers, and is breathtakingly gorgeous. Wildlife abounds, including the Big Five and other fascinating animals.
It boasts a significant population of white rhinos because to major conservation efforts since 2008. From elephants devouring marula trees to impala, zebras, wildebeest, and giraffe babies, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi may be viewed at any time. A memorable experience is ensured by excellent wildlife drives, lodgings, and hiking paths.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park, located beneath the wide skies of the Free State’s Eastern Highlands, offers spectacular sunsets and hides antelope, zebras, jackals, and birds among its grasslands and sandstone outcrops. It’s an excellent walking area, but there are also short, picturesque loops to drive. In any case, the Drakensberg and Maloti Mountains loom enormous, and the wind sweeping patterns over the nodding grass have a fairytale quality to them.
The aptly-named Wild Coast is best explored on foot, with its rocky cliffs plummeting into the sea, secluded sandy beaches, rural Xhosa settlements, and history of shipwrecks and abandoned sailors.
Pathways hug the shoreline from the Great Kei River to Port St Johns, winding through dense forest or sneaking across denuded hillsides and gorges, with views of southern right whales and dolphins in the blue seas. Relax in rustic lodgings or spend the night with your family in historic rondavels (round huts with a conical roof).