The Big 10: Ten Things To Do In South Africa

Taking a vacation to a new place is such an exciting and fun thing to do. You plan for months and months, checking out the local sights that simply have to be seen, learning about the local culture and maybe even a few phrases in one of the local languages to make things easier while you’re there. You check the weather; book guided tours or outings to get the most out of your time at your destination. You daydream about the outfits you’ll wear out to dinner or the travel look you’ll put together to wear on your private air charter, and before you know it, the big day arrives; it’s time to leave on your trip to South Africa. Here are a few suggestions to help you along your way.



Take A Safari

Kruger Park is one of the country's best-known and most pristine wildlife reserves and one of the oldest. If you’re landing in Johannesburg, the park will only be around three and a half to four hours from the City of Gold. Seeing the Big Five is one of the main reasons that many people travel to South Africa in the first place, and all five (leopards, lions, buffalos, elephants, and rhinos) can be found in Kruger. The savannah stretches to the horizon as you trundle along on dawn game drives. There are luxury accommodations and many San rock paintings to be seen.

Meet The Penguins

While Jackass Penguins (now known as the African Penguin) are found on most South African coasts, they congregate in one place in vast numbers; Boulder’s Beach near Simonstown (in the greater Cape Town area) in the Western Cape. Down a long wooden walkway awaits an entire colony of penguins so wholly used to humans that they don't bat an eye as you stroll past. There are options to see the colony itself from a distance at the viewing deck or lie on Boulders Beach, side by side with those adorable little birds.



Take a Hike

The Drakensberg Mountains in Kwazulu Natal are a stunning example of South Africa’s natural beauty diversity. Located near the East coast, this lush mountain region is the perfect place for hiking, camping, and generally communing with nature. If you’re not a pro hiker, take a day trip. If you're a little more experienced, you can take a multi-day hiking and camping trip in many locations. Take in the fresh air and the beautiful natural flora of the area.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain is undoubtedly one of the first destinations that come to mind when planning a trip to South Africa. It derives its name from its completely flat peak. Many stories are told about historical figures like pirate Jan Van Hunks and mythical figures like the devil himself playing chess matches on this mountaintop. Take a cable car to the top and have lunch at the mountain restaurant before wandering across the peak and hopefully catching one of Cape Town’s glorious sunsets.

The Golden Mile

Along Durban’s coast is a strip of beachfront fondly known as KZN’s Golden Mile. This gorgeous promenade is an incredible place to cycle or walk along the beach and revel in the salty sea air. The golden beach sand that gives the location its name stretches on seemingly forever and meets the warm, sweet waters of the Indian Ocean.



Go Diving with Great Whites

In the freezing cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean lurk those gliding, terrifying apex predators; Great White Sharks. If you need to get on intimate terms with one of these lethal fish, you can jump into a metal cage and lower yourself into their domain at several locations, including False Bay and Simonstown.

Robben Island

Also in the Western Cape lies Robben Island, the former location of an Apartheid-era prison that once housed many great leaders of the struggle for equality, including Nelson Mandela. A trip to Robben Island is essential to any visit to Cape Town. It's a chilling look into South Africa’s past and a good education in understanding the depths of the struggle that most of the country had to deal with during Apartheid.

Take A Road Trip

Nothing gets you on more intimate terms with South Africa than motoring through the country yourself. The best place to drive in South Africa is the Garden Route that stretches from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape. Experience gorgeous flowers, rolling green hills, rivers, lagoons, bridges, and quirky roadside stops.

Soweto

If your trip finds you in Johannesburg, take a guided tour of the famous Soweto. Dive into vibrant South African culture in one of the most well-known informal settlements on the continent. Bungee jump from old factory stacks at Orlando Towers and take a cycling or minibus tour that offers shopping, food, and cultural stops along the way.

Go-Wine Tasting

The Western Cape is home to some of the country's most beautiful and fruitful vineyards. Wines that travel worldwide are born here, and you would be remiss if you didn't take the chance to see how and where they’re made. Go wine tasting in the Western Cape and learn about the grapes and the history behind your favourite wines.

Wrap Up

Any of these things would make a trip to South Africa so exciting; will you be trying any of them out?