South Africa is on the southernmost tip of Africa, a continent rich in wildlife, cultures, and untouched beauty. From beaches to unforgettable safari’s, South Africa has it all and should definitely be on your bucket list.

A lion and lioness in the wilderness of South Africa.
Photo by Pxfuel
A lion and lioness in the wilderness of South Africa.
Photo by Pxfuel

There is an endless list of things to do, sights to see, places to eat in South Africa. One trip definitely won’t cover it all. But if you want to explore South Africa, there are certain things you just have to do to make your trip worthwhile.

Go on Safari

When in South Africa, everyone should experience safari. There are plenty of Malaria-free Safari’s just outside almost every city in South Africa. No matter where you find yourself, there is wildlife to explore just around the corner. Not only is going on Safari, or going to ‘the bush’ as locals put it, it’s a chance to immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of the African wilderness.

Lets be honest, mosquitoes are a nuisance, particularly the type that carry Malaria. There are plenty of Safaris in South Africa that are Malaria free, giving you one less thing to worry about while on vacation.

Malaria Free Safari Destinations

A family of elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park
A family of elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park
Image by Wallpaperflare

Explore the Cape Wine Routes

The region of the Western Cape is home to wine country in South Africa. Boasting the longest wine route in the world, Route 62 stretches from Cape Town, Constantia, to Port Elizabeth.

There are hundreds of farms and wines to choose from. South Africa has award-winning wine at exceptionally good prices, therefore no matter your budget this is an experience not to be missed.

A unique experience is the Franschhoek Wine Tram. Hop on board this South African train that will transport you on a guided tour through the Winelands.

Within Cape Town, South Africa, there is also a wine route in the southern suburbs of the city, a short 25-minute car ride from the beachfront, and you can explore lush wine estates set on the backdrop of an endless mountain range.

The Constantia wine route in Cape Town.
Image by Wallpaper Flare
The Constantia wine route in Cape Town.
Image by Wallpaper Flare

Explore the Garden Route

If you have no idea where to explore in South Africa, or you are short on time, do the Garden Route. The Route stretches from Cape Town on the west coast, to the Eastern Cape, on the east coast, some 200km. This route allows you to explore the key highlights of South Africa, from beautiful beaches, forests, wildlife and coastal scenery.

If you are landing in Cape Town, hire a car and begin the journey east, where you can end off a coastal adventure with a safari in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. There are plenty of quaint coastal towns along the way, famous for their beaches, cuisine, and spectacular scenery. The trip, if done well, will take a full week and will leave you with a sense of a South African experience.

A few key places got visit along the Garden Route include:

  • The town of Hermanus and surrounding wine farms in Stanford
  • Sedgefield Saturday Market
  • The Town of Knysna
Wilderness, a coastal town situated along the Garden Route
Wilderness, a coastal town situated along the Garden Route
Photo by Flickr

Explore the Mountains

South Africa has various mountain ranges, most famously, the Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town. But an often forgotten, and equally beautiful one is the Drakensberg Mountains. Summer or winter, there are so many activities in and around the mountain ranges. This is perfect for the more adventurous traveler who won’t mind camping in the outdoors and hiking for a few days in South Africa.

Take Advantage of the Coastline

Pack your sunscreen and bathing suit! With over 1800 miles (3000km) of coastline, there is no shortage of beaches for a summer vacation in South Africa. The rugged East coast boasts humid and year-round warm weather with miles of white soft sandy beaches. In the Western Cape, the beaches flow from the high mountain ranges but are often rockier. There are also expansive beaches along the Garden Route and the Wild Coast.

Kogel Bay Beach on the West Coast, near Rooi Els, in the Western Cape of South Africa
Photo by Wikimedia Commons
Kogel Bay Beach on the West Coast, near Rooi Els, in the Western Cape of South Africa
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Eat Your Heart Out

South Africa is well-known for its remarkable cuisine and restaurant culture. From the local dishes of Shisinyama and potjiekos to world-renowned restaurants, South Africa will please any foodie or fussy eater alike. Although the restaurants do not have a Michelin Star rating system, the top restaurants in Cape Town and Johannesburg are world-renowned.

Your trip to South Africa is not complete without a braai. A braai is a local way of cooking food over an open fire (like a BBQ, but very different). Most Airbnb’s will have a braai area or facility which you can make use of, just ask a local for some advice on how to braai. They may even invite you to their home for an authentic experience.

A local braai in South Africa.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons
A local braai in South Africa.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

There is an endless list of things to do and places to explore in South Africa, but if you are a first-time visitor and squeeze in any of these things on your itinerary, you will have a fantastic trip and go home planning your next.


Have you ever been to South Africa? Have you been on Safari? Let us know in the comments below!

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