South Africa, otherwise known as the adventure capital of the world, has almost 3,000-km of beautiful coastline for people looking to perfect their tans.
So, if you are one of the adventure daredevils, you’ll be excited to know that there are at least 130 different extreme sports available, including white-water rafting, parasailing, and shark cage-diving. From forest to desert, there are plenty of opportunities for golfing, hiking, climbing-you name it.
You can go for a cultural experience as well – from their local cuisine to their renowned locally sourced wine – there are also loads of opportunities for fine dining and a shopping spree!
South Africa is where you discover exciting wildlife, including the Big Five. Legendary surf breaks on golden beaches, astonishing reefs, cage diving with sharks, white water rafting are just some of South Africa’s many other attractions.
There is something for everyone in South Africa- whether you are touring with family or a backpacker. Your taste in adventure and itinerary might differ greatly so finding the perfect South Africa travel guide can be a challenge.
We have tried to blend in different experiences so hopefully, you’ll find your top destinations from this list!
1. Kruger National Park
Located in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces with nearly 2 million hectares of unrivaled diversity- this is real Africa. On the East, you’ll find the Lebombo Mountains, granite hills in the South, and tropical forests in the North.
There are 137 mammal species and over 500 types of birds in this park. This isn’t one of those parks where all the iconic safari species sightings are rare-you go in, you are bound to see some elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, rhinos, buffalos, giraffes, hippos and zebras.
The only downside is Kruger can be crowded with long lines to see the lions. But that is to be expected from a park that is accessible through a vast road network.
You can have your own private reserve from the plenty surrounding the park if you do not like crowds.
2. Table Mountain
Table mountain has to be the most photogenic attractions in South Africa. Standing at the peak, you can take a breathtaking picture of Cape Town that is bound to spike jealousy among your peers.
You can get to the top on a beautiful cable car ride. Table Mountain is very tourist-friendly waiting for you to discover its hidden attributes.
There are about 1,470 floral species and 2,200 species of plants found on Table Mountain-most of them are endemic to this area. The whole area’s biodiversity is quite rare compared to other mountainous regions of the world. The fynbos vegetation there is mind-blowing!
Founded in 1913, the magnificent Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are a beautiful sight. This garden is spread over an area of 1,300 acres with plants from different parts of the world.
Situated on the Eastern side of the Table Mountain, this garden was declared a UNESCO heritage site.
3. Cape Town
Cape Town is a multicultural city with the second largest population in South Africa. The breathtaking natural surroundings include a rugged range of mountains and the sea.
Like we mentioned before, Table Mountain will offer the best view of this city from the top. You can hike up to Lion’s head for a panoramic view as well. There are floral and fauna wonders all over Cape Town.
From the harbor, you can see whales and find penguins along the golden beaches in False Bay. You can visit Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town for a dose of history as well.
The ‘sundowner’ from Chapman’s Peak Drive at sunset is another thing not to be missed if you are a nature lover.
4. Kgalagadi (Kalahari) Transfrontier Park
The word Kgalagadi means ‘a place of thirst’. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is situated in southern Africa and contains a large wildlife preserve and conservation area.
The park area is 38,000 square km (15,000 sq mi). Situated on the border of South Africa and Botswana, there are two adjoining national parks:
- Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa
- Gemsbok National Park in Botswana
Red sand dunes, camel thorn trees and a picturesque backdrop with clue skies make this park so special.
You can find a huge wildlife diversity here-like the famous black-maned Kalahari lion, gemsboks with V-shaped horns, meerkats and many prey birds. Many other predatory creatures like leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas are also found here.
5. Amphitheatre, Drakensberg
If you are into hiking, the Drakensberg is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa with a height of 3,482 meters (11,420 ft). This mountain range looks like a dragon’s back and was aptly named the “dragons mountain”.
This is a geological wonder and is one of the most unique cliff-faces on the earth. A lot of activities including parasailing, hot air balloon rides, fishing, and rafting can be enjoyed for the thrill-seekers.
6. Blyde River Canyon
Blyde River Canyon is filled with lush villages, waterfalls and geological phenomenon. This is the second-largest canyon in Africa, after the Fish River Canyon.
You can witness all five of South Africa’s primates here and near the wetlands of Swadini Dam, you’ll find hippos and crocodiles too.
7. Cape Winelands
South Africa has its own local wine and if you are a wine-lover, this is a must for you. This whole area is surrounded by majestic mountains, orchards, and luscious green. This fertile valley will take you to the vineyards of the finest winemakers.
Take a trip to the winery to taste the delicate flavors of the world-famous sherries, ports, brandies, whites and red wines.
Johannesburg is the largest city of South Africa. It has reserves of precious metals and hence was dubbed the “City of Gold”. Top attractions include the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill and Gold Reef City.
Johannesburg houses the famous Soweto – an abbreviation for “southwestern townships”. This is the place where the freedom movement initiated, leading to a democratic constitution. While in Johannesburg, you must not skip the Mandala House museum, Voortrekker Monument and Freedom Park.
9. Sun City Resort
Sun City Resort is a luxury casino and resort, situated about two hours away from Johannesburg. This resort is known as Africa’s kingdom of pleasure. If you are looking for luxurious accommodation and royal treatment, this is the place for you.
The whole complex has four hotels, two golf courses, two casinos, crocodile sanctuaries, and a South African cultural village.
There is so much history lying around all over South Africa. The museums in Johannesburg, Soweto-the birthplace of Nelson Mandela, Robben Island-known for exile, banishment, and imprisonment -the list goes on.
It truly is a melting pot of culture and nature. So when are you planning your next trip to this adventure land?