Breath-taking sunsets, an incredible amount of beautiful and diverse wildlife, unspoilt and rugged scenery! These are just a few words to describe South Africa. If you are craving adventure, diversity and excitement, then this ultimate list of the top 100 things to do in South Africa is for you!
By Jen Miller of Jen Reviews
1. The Kruger National Park (Hazyview)
The Kruger National Park is definitely number one on my list of the best things to do in South Africa. Boasting an immense amount of wildlife, you will be able to see all of the big 5; Lions,Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino. You can enjoy amazing safaris in the park, and will be able to see all these majestic wild animals in their natural habitat. You will be able to enjoy half day or full day game drives with an experienced guide.
2. Table Mountain (Cape Town)
This massive and gorgeous mountain with views to die for over Cape Town, is a must see in South Africa! You can either take a short 2 hour hike up Table Mountain or enjoy a cable car ride up to the top. The views from the top are magnificent!
3. Robben Island (Cape Town)
One of the most notorious things South Africa has been known for is the injustice of Apartheid. A very historical and informative tour is that of Robben Island. It is 6.9 km out out of the beautiful Bloubergstrand. The island had been used for the imprisonment of criminals. You will be able to go on tours of the foreboding prisons. Nelson Mandela, was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 years and eventually became a true inspiration for all South Africans and people around the world.
4. Cape Winelands (Cape Town)
Fancy a glass of luxurious Merlot? Crisp Sauvignon Blanc or flirty Rose’? The Cape Winelands is a beautiful place to tour. There are many vineyards to choose from. All offering wine tasting as well as delicious meals that can be paired with the wines. You can choose to either dine in an authentic wine cellar or outside in the vineyards with exquisite views over the mountains.
5. Whale Watching (Plettenberg Bay)
Get up close and personal with these magnificent mammals. You will be able to see Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales during the winter months in South Africa. South African winters are during June-August and the winters are generally not too cold; be sure to pack in an umbrella or raincoat, as winter months at the coast are rainy. If you would like to have close encounters with dolphins then the summer months are perfect for viewing dolphins in South Africa. This is really an exciting adventure, with exquisite scenery!
6. Knysna Elephant Sanctuary (Knysna)
What could be more exciting than riding on an Elephant!? These ginormous animals are a delight to see. The Knysna Elephant Sanctuary is a beautiful place where elephants are rehabilitated. You will be able to feed them, touch them and even ride on them. There is also a very informative speech about Elephants just before the tour. This is a great experience for anyone and everyone but especially for families with children. The Elephant sanctuary is just 15 minutes from Knysna and is open from 8:30 am (summer) 9:00 am (winter) to 16:00 all year round. These gentle giants are a must see.
7. Bloukraans Bungee (Tsitsikamma)
Are you an adrenaline junkie? Do you love the feeling of freefalling, having the wind rush past you, as if you were flying? Then this is for you. The Bloukraans Bungee is the highest bungee bridge in the whole world! The bridge is 216 meters high! That is definitely something that will get your blood pumping!
8. Shark Cage Diving (Hermanus)
Diving into the deep dark depths of the ocean can be terrifying but facing 100s of razor sharp teeth could be almost unbearable! Shark cage diving off the coast of the Eastern Cape is not for the faint of heart! But this is truly an incredible experience! Come up close and personal with these amazing creatures and see them like you have never seen them before! The tour is about 3-4 hours and you will have great new insights about this remarkable animal. Even though shark cave diving can seem a scary experience, you will in safe hands. This is not an opportunity to be missed.
9.Cango Caves (Oudtshoorn)
Located in an exquisite backdrop, this remarkable cave system is only 29 km from the beautiful and quaint town of Oudtshoorn. You will be amazed with the millions of year old stalactites and stalagmites that decorate the cave. The Cango Cave tour is about 2 hours long and the guides are very experienced and knowledgeable. You have 2 options; You could either enjoy the easy laid back tour of the caves or, for the more adventurous, the adventure tour of the caves. The adventure tour will take you into tiny dark tunnels, and intricate cave systems; Note that the adventure tour is not for pregnant women or people who suffer from claustrophobia. But if you would love to see something humbling and spectacular this tour is a must! Concerts have even been held in the caves before because of the acoustics. A real treat!
10. The Blue Train (Pretoria/ Cape Town)
A breathtaking and luxurious way to see the South African countryside. The Blue Train is a luxurious 5 star hotel that will whisk you away through the gorgeous and diverse South African countryside.You will travel from Pretoria to Cape Town; This is a 27 hour trip but there will be some stops along the way in beautiful little towns of Southern Africa.
11. The Otter Trail (Garden Route, Knysna)
This beautiful hike is 5 days long and 43km. You hike through some of the most breathtaking scenery in South Africa. With raging rivers, lush forests, thunderous waterfalls and beautiful views of the ocean, this hike is a once in a lifetime experience. You will stop at lovely camps for the night that are well appointed. This is really an amazing experience not to be missed.
12. Hot Air Balloon Safaris (Johannesburg)
Imagine flying high above the ground in a hot air balloon; with beautiful scenery down below (you might even see some wild animals.) Hot air balloons are a very romantic and exhilarating thing to do in South Africa.
13. Cradle of Humankind (Johannesburg)
The Cradle of Humankind is a very interesting tour. History enthusiasts will really enjoy this tour. The sites covers 47 000 Hectares of caves. This site is a world heritage site and is famous for the discovery of a 2,3 million year old fossil, nicknamed Mrs Ples. There is also a museum which you can visit with a restaurant.
14. Ukhuthula (Brits)
Have you ever dreamed of holding a lion cub or feeding one with a bottle?If you have, then Ukuthula is a must to go see. Ukuthula is only 80km from O.R Tambo airport. This is a 5 star lodge with excellent food, service and memorable experiences. You can hear the lions roar right up close, touch cheetahs and even walk with the lions. Game rides are also offered. Ukuthula also breeds with white lions. This is a very rare and beautiful thing to see and if you really love Ukutula you can volunteer to help out for a few months. They have a wonderful volunteers programme.
15. Sun City (Rustenburg)
Sun City is a world class resort; offering many hotels, attractions, golf courses and casino. The movie “Blended” with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore was shot at Suncity. Sun City hosts two amazing championship golf courses where the world’s best play. The sun city resort is also a wonderful place for families;The Valley of Waves offer a variety of water slides and a wave pool. This one stop destination has it all.
16. Soweto (Johannesburg)
Soweto is a huge township just outside of Johannesburg. Soweto is well known for the people who fought for their freedom during the unjust Apartheid years. Nelson Mandela is a famous Sowetan. There are tours of Soweto, Mandela House Museum and at the end of the tours you will be able to enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbeque).
17. uShaka Marine World (Durban)
Excitement, fun, and lots to do, uShaka Marine world is a top class place to enjoy marine diversity, shows as well as so much more. You can meet a dolphin, swim with sharks and even meet a seal. There is also a fun and massive water theme park which has the highest water slide in the Southern Hemisphere. Party hard in the DJ pool, where you can dance and go wild whilst being entertained by local Djs. The fun never stops at uShaka.
18. Drakensberg Mountains (Durban)
In English, Drakensberg is translated as the Dragon Mountains and you will see why when you come upon these gorgeous mountains.This is a massive and mythical mountain range, which captures your attention. The Drakensberg offers many beautiful and unforgettable hikes.In winter it can even snow on the peaks. Its elevation is 3,482 meters and it is 1000 km in length. This truly is magnificent to see. If you are looking for fresh air, peace and quiet, then this is for you.
19. Gods Window (Graskop)
Imagine being so high up that you would be able to see above the clouds. Gods windows is a beautiful vantage point in the Mpumalanga province. This is a 700 meter drop straight down. From the top of Gods window you will be able to see the Kruger Park and it has also been said that on a clear day you can even see the Mozambican shore line. But besides the spectacular scenery, this spot is also known for the many different species of bird life.
20. Turtle Tours (Saint Lucia)
All you can hear are the waves crashing on the shore. The sky is awash with twinkling stars that shine like a million diamonds and just up ahead in front of you is a Giant Leatherback Turtle! Turtle Tours Offer amazing tours at night where you can see these spectacular creatures make their way to the ocean. There have even been Leopard sightings at times. The Leatherback Turtle is the largest turtle on earth. The best time to go from November the 1st till the end of February.
21. Sabi Sabi Game Lodge (Sabi)
Luxury accommodation, beautiful sunsets and amazing safaris await you at the world renowned Sabi Sabi Game lodge. Sabi Sabi is home to the big 5; which are Lion, Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant and Leopard;but there is also a large variety of other animals including Cheetah, Wild Dog and Hyena. This Luxurious game lodge is deep in the heart of the African Wilderness, so if you’re looking to be pampered with an exhilarating African experience, then Sabi is for you.
22. Tsitsikamma (Plettenberg Bay)
Forests, mountains and the ocean. Tsitsikamma is a magical part of South Africa that will leave you in complete awe. There is so much to do in this breathtaking area; From hikes to ocean dune safaris and even mountain biking. The meaning of Tsitsikamma is “Place of sparkling water.” in the Khoi language. This is an exquisite part of South Africa, that those with an adventurous spirit will
23. Canopy Tours (Knysna)
This is a fun and exciting way to explore the Knysna rain forests. High above the ground in ancient and massive
Yellow Woods trees that are 700 years old! The trees are 30 meters high,so this is something excitingly different to do in South Africa. You will be able to looks down at the luscious forest floor and admire the beauty of the Knysna forests. Who knows? You might even see the legendary Knysna Elephant that has been rumored to roam the forests.
24. Augrabies Waterfall (Augrabies)
A noise so loud, you would imagine a thunderstorm is on the way. The 56 meter waterfall is set in an arid and rocky part of South Africa, so it seems out of place in this desolate part of the country. The Augrabies Falls National Park is a beautiful place to visit, with many hikes, and interesting rock formations to see. You can also go on game drives during the day or at night with a guide. Despite dry landscape you will still be able to see game.
25. Grahamstown Arts Festival (Grahams Town)
Are you an art lover? Do you enjoy the weird, wonderful and the talented? If that is the case then the
Grahamstown National Arts Festival is not to be missed! This art festival encompasses every aspect of the arts. From art, to theater to dancing and music. The festival runs during the winter months of South Africa from the 29th of June to the 9th of July. So if you are looking for something for sophisticated and less adventurous this art festival is for you.
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