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South Africa is fascinating and is full of things to do and to see, as we have said before. However, if it is still difficult to take in all of this information and you are still confused, trying to put together all the attractions in one route, today it’s your lucky day. We will tell you in details what to do in South Africa.

This is indeed one of the countries which most surprised us in our travel. After having spent 6 months travelling through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique, South Africa caught our attention, particularly because of its infrastructure (much more similar with Europe than with other African countries we had been).

What to do in South Africa

The highest bridge jump in South Africa

As we have heard a few times, South Africa is “Africa on beginner’s level“. It is a first step so you can start familiarising with the continent and get ready to explore all of its wonders. So…

Cape Town (4 days)

all you can do in South Africa

What to say about Cape Town? Perhaps, one of the most beautiful cities on earth, and the biggest attraction in South Africa? Well, yes. This is a place where nature and town live together in harmony (at least, that’s what you see). See more about Cape Town here. If you don’t have much travelling time, be sure to have spared at least 4 days in there.

Do not leave aside the Waterfront, climb the Table Mountain (either by foot or cable car), go up the Signal Hill to have a panoramic view (and perhaps paragliding) as well as visit the astonishing Camps Bay.

Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach (1 day)
What to do in South Africa

The Cape of Good Hope

The Cape of Good Hope is probably more famous than interesting. It is at about 50km from Cape Town and it is worth visiting, particularly because of the way there. Half way to the Cape, you will find the unmissable Boulders Beach, a beach for penguins.

Boulders Beach

You can make this day tour from Cape Town as well as booking it from your hotel. Another option, slightly more comfortable, is to rent a car and do the whole programme on your own (as we did, and as we recommend!).

* South Africa has great motorways and infrastructure for travel on wheels.

Wineries (1 day)

all you can do in South Africa

The Stellenbosh, Paarle and Franschhoeke cities’ wineries are the best in South Africa. They are located about 1 hour driving from Cape Town and too can be done by either booking a tour or doing yourself. Unlike the Cape of Good Hope and the Boulders Beach, we strongly recommend you to book a tour. You don’t want to be the driver when visiting wineries, as the best is the tasting 😉

The tour takes about the whole day and you get to know 3 to 5 famous wineries (and tasty). A good advice for those who don’t wish to do just one day of wine tasting is to stay over in one of the farms.

Johannesburg (1 day)
What to do in South Africa

Apartheid Museum

It is not our best recommendation for those travelling to South Africa (in fact, we don’t know anyone who does). It reminds us of like Sao Paulo, but worst (and we do love Sao Paulo, but it is a kind of city you have to go with a local to find the hidden places where the activities are actually taking place).

Well, if it is compulsory to go to Johannesburg (in the case of landing and taking off from there), you would like to visit the Apartheid Museum (this is really worth the visit) and walk about Sandton area, full of restaurants and stores.

There is a tour in Soweto, the largest slum in the African continent. We can’t say much as we did not do it. We don’t really agree in this sort of tour as it looks like a human safari. Soweto has almost 4 million inhabitants and it won’t be too hard to find someone from there who will take you to the slum. That would be perhaps a more original way to get to know a such an emblematic place. Another option, is to get in touch with an NGO that works in the slum and check with them if there is an opportunity to see their projects. We worked for 5 months with an NGO in Kenya with projects in Kibera, the second largest slum in the African continent. As we were part of the NGO, we had access to the community, the people and their routines.

What to do in South Africa

Working in Kibera, Kenya

Johannesburg is also a great starting point for your safari at the Kruger National Park (just 4 hours driving). But, let’s leave it for the next topic 😉

Kruger Safari (3 days)

To go on a safari, was one of the most striking experience we had on our journey through Africa (we also went to Maasai Mara, in Kenya). Everybody should have the opportunity to see wild animals in their natural habitat (and not in a cage).

all you can do in South Africa

The Kruger is state owned National Park, which you can go on a tour or just on your own, driving yourself (how cool!?). We went on a guided tour. They picked us up in Johannesburg and took us to the Kruger (about 4 hours driving). We spent 2 nights and 3 days within the park area and went on a full-day drive game at Kruger, plus 2 drive games at privately owned reserves, including a night game.

* Check more about Kruger here!

By the way, either going on a guided tour on driving yourself, don’t forget to stop by the Blyde River Canyon, one of the biggest and most beautiful canyons on earth.

What to do in South Africa

Blyde River Canyon

Garden Route (at least 4 days, but just if you are driving)

all you can do in South Africa

If you are time free to explore this wonderful route, read this detailed post.

Well, if your time is tightened, spare at least 4 days to see:

  • Port Elizabeth, a very charming and welcoming city.
  • Jeffrey’s Bay: particularly if you are fond of surfing.
  • Tsitsikamma Park: So you can jump off the bridge in the highest bridge bungee jump in the world. And get to know the park too. This region is favourable to see whales, so close attention in the sea!
  • Wilderness: Visit the national park with its beautiful waterfalls and fauna and flora. Also, take the chance to meet the cave man!
  • Plettenberg Bay: It is a beautiful coast city with also a reserve for a safari game.
What to do in South Africa

Tsitsikamma Park with Tiago’s family

If you have plenty of time, here a some extra suggestions of things we didn’t do it, though it was recommended to us by South African friends and other travellers 😉

  • Go to the Victoria Falls, the largest fall in the world! There are tours leaving South Africa towards Zambia or Zimbabwe. Though, we did hear that Zimbabwe’s side is more beautiful, however, best to check visa issues.
  • Visit Swaziland: A monarch country within South Africa. Besides its size (it’s quite small), Swaziland has a very diverse landscape and it is the only country with skiing tracks in the whole continent. Could you imagine skiing in Africa?!
  • Durban: This is the third largest city if South Africa (just behind Cape Town and Johannesburg) and it seems to be very lively. By the way, the largest Indian population (outside India itself) is in there, so get ready for a good curry.