South Africa offers everything travelers look for in a holiday destination: warm and welcoming people, good weather, breathtaking views, beautiful beaches, modern accommodations and excellent cuisine. Recently, This country has experienced a tourism growth by people from all over the world who come to this country located in the southern tip of Africa.
It is one of the most beautiful countries you can visit and has some attractions to be discovered across the nation for all tastes. Here are the 12 best places that you should never miss if you want to have a lasting impression of this picturesque country.
1. Cape Town
This is the city with which you should start your trip to South Africa. It is one of the most exciting places you can visit in life. The bottom of the city is majestic with the Table Mountain at the top of which is the Table Mountain, National Park.
There are many excursions to the mountain, as well as on its slopes. The city of the Cape is the heart of the Floral Region, a place that was declared a World Heritage Site. Spend time on the beach of Boulders of many penguins. The city has many cultural attractions, galleries and a vibrant nightlife full of pubs and bars.
2. Robben Island
Declared a World Heritage Site, Robben Island is the natural refuge of a wide variety of wildlife and a reminder of the history of South Africa. Visiting Robben Island is like a pilgrimage for many tourists. The prison on the island was the detention center for some of the best-known fighters against apartheid, the segregation system that separated people by their color.
The most famous prisoner of the island, Nelson Mandela, turned this place into a symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over the enormous deprivation. Robben Island is also a great place to see seals and penguin colonies up close.
3. Garden Route
It is one of the best routes to follow in South Africa, touring the villages around the River of Storms in the Eastern Cape. It is a beautiful mixture of natural beauty and with some cultural activities that are occasionally presented. The route takes one through the wine route, one of the longest in the world and through some of the best wineries that are open to visitors. You can also get a first-hand experience at the ostrich farms and visit the caves of Cango.
No trip along the Garden Route would be complete without stopping to taste the biltong, a uniquely South African specialty: a variety of dehydrated and cured meat and various types ranging from beef to cut-to-shred game.
4. Drakensberg Mountain
The Drakensberg Mountains or Dragon Mountain is located on the western boundary of the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. The 600-mile stretch offers many outdoor activities, such as bird watching, hiking, and games, rafting, etc. It’s a great place to go mountain biking or just explore the area in a 4 × 4.
The Karkloof Canopy is a walk at the height of about 30 meters from the ground, the cave paintings and the Bushmen art in the cave in Kamberg, National Park and visiting the Royal Natal National Park are other exciting attractions.
5. Blyde River Canyon
It is located in Mpumalanga and has legendary viewpoints such as ” The Window of God” that offers some of the most spectacular views of South Africa. Activities range from hiking and swimming to scenic walks. The meadows consist of more than 1,000 species of flora and host a wide variety of wildlife.
Durban is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa. The Bay of Christmas has warm waters, and this can be enjoyed on the Gold Mile, a chain of beautiful beaches. It is the capital of surfing on the shores of southern Africa and is lined by an area that has some of the best restaurants in the area, as well as the Ushaka Aquarium Marine World.
The city has a large population of people of Indian origin and is also famous for being associated with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The Umgeni River Bird Park is home to over 3000 species of native birds, as well as the site of 4 beautiful waterfalls.
7. Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is presented as a large area covered with shrubs and savannah in the north of South Africa that borders the countries of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Due to its dense animal population and the variety of its flora and fauna, it is considered the jewel of the extensive park system of South Africa. With almost 2 million hectares and 16 ecosystems, it is the best place to observe the Big Five (the elephant, the buffalo, the leopard, the rhinoceros and the lion) in a safari ride or 4 × 4.
Even though Soweto is not a beautiful city or a place with breathtaking scenery, it remains one of the most visited sites in South Africa. This small suburb of Johannesburg was the center of activity during the struggle against apartheid. It was a virtual war zone during the 1970s and 80s. But nowadays the charm is elsewhere. It is the liveliest place when it comes to performing South African art, a cradle of music and theater.
To learn more about the history of the country, visit its Vilakazi street, perhaps the most famous street in South Africa. It is a quite distinguished street, and it is the only one in the world where two Nobel Prize winners once lived. Those two men are Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and The Reverend Desmond Tutu.
9. North Cape and the Kalahari
Most of the North Cape is the Kalahari and is marked by substantial open spaces, blue skies and the Orange River, which forms the border between Namibia and South Africa. The area features the spectacular Augrabies Falls and the massive granite canyons in the National Park Augrabies.
The city of Kimberley, famous for its diamond mines and its rich dishes based on sins. It is also the home of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, where you can see the lion with the black mane.
10. Wild Coast
The Wild Coast is a virgin natural treasure. Visitors can explore its famous beauty on foot, in 4 × 4 or horse before embarking on fishing expeditions, snorkeling or diving outings.
The Great Sardine Run is a natural phenomenon that usually occurs during June and July when the massive sardine banks migrate from the colder waters around the Cape to the warmer waters of Kwa-Zulu Natal to give birth to their offspring. Once they have laid their eggs, they return to the Cape, followed by thousands of dolphins, birds, prey, whales, and sharks. The ocean wakes up, and the emotion is just indescribable.
Johannesburg, or Jo’burg, is the economic heart of Africa and the most common entry point in Southern Africa. Here, visitors looking for a cultural experience can visit more than 40 art galleries or enjoy functions in its many theaters. Travelers looking for something more “lively” to do can visit one of the many clubs, pubs or night shebeens that Johannesburg offers.
12. Cradle of Humankind
Visiting this place you will feel as if you were returning to the days when our ancestors had begun to act like human beings instead of apes. It is the ancestral home of every human being.
The 12 dolomite caves where are the remains of many animals, ancient plants and of course, the relics of the first remains of the first humans. Interactive exhibits are added attractions, and one can stay informed about various aspects of ancient life. It is a World Heritage site and is about 50 kilometers northwest of Johannesburg.