There is none other like South Africa. Period. Spanning the southern coastline of the African subcontinent, there is something truly unique and intriguing about South Africa, that piques the senses in a way no other country does! A melting pot of culture, history, traditions, diverse landscapes, and innumerable experiences, South Africa’s diversity is staggering, to say the least! Try your hands at adventure sports, wade through the numerous wildlife reserves while you say hello to the ‘Big Five’, explore museums that exhibit the country’s gut-wrenching past, soak in the ever-changing landscape by enjoying a drive along the Garden Route; step onto the South African shores and get ready to savour an otherworldly travel experience.
Listed below are some of the top attractions of South Africa, that deserve a place on your bucket list.
If you’re a wine connoisseur, the Cape Winelands of South Africa deserve to be on the top of your bucket list! Located within close proximity to Cape Town, Cape Winelands are a charming congregation of picturesque ancient towns, quaint hamlets, and lush Cape Dutch wine estates that produce some of the best South African wines on the planet.
No trip to South Africa would be complete without visiting its largest city! A bustling metropolis home to over 3 million people, Johannesburg, also referred to as ‘Joburg’ or ‘Jozi’, offers visitors a truly diverse and unique experience. Teeming with museums, cafes, restaurants, parks and gardens, theatres, and an active art scene, Joburg has this energetic vibe going on, which is hard to resist.
This one can’t be debated upon. Cape Town has got to be the number one attraction to check out when travelling to South Africa. Laced with golden, sun-kissed beaches, surreal natural wonders like the Table Mountain, the vibrant, multi-hued Bo-Kaap area, rolling vineyards, and an arsenal of adventure activities, Cape Town is just too good to miss.
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Kruger National Park
Renowned for being home to all the “Big Five” (African elephant, Cape Buffalo, Black rhinoceros, African leopard, African lion), and also known to be one of the largest National Parks on the planet, the great Kruger National Park is an absolute must-visit. While you’re savouring a safari here, also watch out for other magnificent beasts like cheetahs, gorillas, giraffes, zebras, crocodiles, and more.
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The Garden Route
Undoubtedly one of South Africa’s best kept secrets, the Garden Route is a jaw-dropping 200 km stretch of road that meanders its way through a mesmerising mix of ancient forests, rolling hills, idyllic lakes and lagoons, sprawling golf courses, idyllic bays, and so much more. Some of the top attractions that you stumble upon along the Garden Route include Knysna, Mossel Bay, Plettenberg Bay, Herold’s Bay, Victoria Bay, Buffalo Bay, Wilderness, and George, amongst other stunning sights.
Nestled along the famous Garden Route of South Africa, Knysna is undoubtedly one of the most popular towns along the route. Straddling a breathtakingly beautiful lagoon, Knysna is one of South Africa’s most popular tourist magnets, with its collection of powdered beaches, lush forests, a range of interesting activities, a chic, artsy vibe, and plenty of jovial places to eat and drink.
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A UNESCO World Heritage Site and also a museum, Robben Island is famous, or as some may prefer, ‘infamous’, for several reasons – one of them being its prison, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for as long as 18 years. Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the island served as a prison at various times, and also housed a mental institution, a hospital, a military base, and a leper colony. The island is now a designated museum, offering daily tours. Certainly one of the top attractions of South Africa!
Blyde River Canyon
If you’re looking to soak in some of the most breath-taking sights of South Africa, the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is your best bet! Home to the third largest canyon in the world, this mesmerizing reserve meanders along Blyde River Canyon, and forms the northern part of the Drakensberg escarpment. Promising stunning views and remarkable experiences, one can revel in activities like rafting, horse riding, hiking, fly-fishing, biking, and boating, at the reserve. Not to miss are some of the natural wonders here such as the Three Rondavels, God’s Window, Pinnacle Rocks, and Bourke’s Luck Potholes.
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Drakensberg or “Dragon Mountains”
Forming the boundary between the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho and South Africa, the lush, sweeping peaks of Drakensberg offer some of the most mesmerising views in all of South Africa. Offering a dramatic medley of verdurous forests, jagged peaks, sashaying waterfalls, soaring pinnacles, shimmering rivers, gaping valleys, Drakensberg beckons to hikers, skieers, and other leisure seekers craving adventure activities like kayaking, tubing, quad biking, rock climbing, horse riding, fishing, and hot air balloon rides.
Durban’s “Golden Mile”
A sprawling waterfront promenade straddling Durban’s coast, the legendary Golden Mile is the perfect place to kickstart a tour of the city. Dotted with several nightclubs and restaurants, tourists and locals alike flock the promenade for its sheers energetic vibes, the blond beaches, water sports, and plenty of sea-breeze and sun! The Golden Mile is easily one of the top attractions of South Africa.
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