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roaming giraffe, South Africa

TOP TEN things to do in South Africa

Top 10 Things to do in South Africa

Plan your South Africa trip around the top ten things to do in South Africa.

Stunning wildlife, spectacular natural beauty, bustling cosmopolitan cities, wine safaris and gourmet dining together with a deep history – South Africa is a country of many charms and attractions. The country is globally renowned for its stunning safaris across its national parks, and equally popular for the cosmopolitan vibe in cities like Cape Town.

Cities like Durban and Johannesburg throb with an urban vibe and are often used as a base to explore attractive surrounds. The Drakensberg, in the KwaZulu Natal Province, is easily one of South Africa’s most scenic sites. With so many things to do in South Africa, one trip may not be enough!

Here is a list of the top things to do in South Africa curated by our Enchanting Travels specialists, which should definitely be part of your South Africa travel guide! 

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Enchanting Travels Guest - Traveled to South Africa - White Rhinoceros, Kruger National Park - Rebecca Cory

1Go on a safari in Kruger National Park

The best South African safari adventures and one of the most popular safari areas in Africa! In Kruger National Park you have the best chances to see the Big Five within a day. With its iconic sprawling landscape dotted with baobab and marula trees, Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s top safari destinations, rich with its lion prides, elephant herds and thousands of other animals.

If you are looking for more exclusive and luxurious safari experiences, such as night drives and walking safaris, the many private game reserves are the perfect choice.

2Visit the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg

The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg is one of the top attractions in South Africa. It is a modern contemporary space dedicated to South Africa’s dramatic past. Located in the heart of Johannesburg, it is curated by a multidisciplinary team of designers, historians and filmmakers.

Explore the interactive museum complex that presents documents the rise and fall of apartheid. You’ll be taken on a thought-provoking journey through 20th century South Africa, as the exhibits reflect a few emotional episodes, a stirring reminder of the country’s tumultuous recent history. It is easily one of the top attractions in Johannesburg. Other attractions in Johannesburg include the Sun City, Constitution Hill and dining in one of its several plush restaurants and hotels.  

Across over in the coastal city of Durban, you can have a fun time with your family at the uShaka Marine World and visit the Durban Botanic Gardens as well. 

Robben Island Gate

3Visit Robben Island

Make a trip to Robben Island, the notorious prison island a boat ride from Cape Town. During the apartheid, government bosses – including Nelson Mandela – were imprisoned here. Today this authentically preserved site is a moving museum.

Once you reach the island by boat, go a guided tour of Robben Island and see the prison cell that held Nelson Mandela captive for so many years. 

4Journey on the Garden Route

Certainly one of the most beautiful routes in the world is the famous Garden Route between Mossel Bay and Tsitsikamma National Park. Along the panoramic Garden Route lie idyllic small seaside resorts, secluded beaches and dense forests. Stretching from Mossel Bay to Tsitsikamma National Park to the east of Plettenberg, there are also ample opportunities for side trips.

Popular destinations include the stunning Knysna, a foodie destination with its cultured oysters. Plettenberg Bay (known locally as Plett) has many beaches and gives you the chance to indulge in several watersports. Go hiking Robberg Nature Reserve as you enjoy the stunning scenery.

Aerial view of Cape Town, with Green Point and Sea Point, Table Mountain, Lion's Head, Signal Hill and Devil's Peak

5Take a cable car ride up Table Mountain

Take a cable car up to the top of the imposing Table Mountain, the landmark of Cape Town in the Western Cape, and a popular excursion for the city’s inhabitants. From here you have a fabulous view of the metropolis, which is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Indulge in a unique wellness experience – yoga atop the mountain! You could also hike up Table Mountain – one of the best things to do in South Africa and one of its most popular tourist attractions!

There are so many things to do in Cape Town: stunning beaches, stylish restaurants with the best of African and global cuisine, its verdant wine country, activities like whale watching, the stunning Cape of Good Hope, the lively waterfront, and a relaxed and friendly ambiance. 

Tales of the Great Grape: It’s Wine Tour Time!

6Drink wine in Stellenbosch

Discover scenic Stellenbosch, a charming old town with shaded boulevards ideal for relaxing strolls. Above all, the town is best known as the center of South Africa’s wine-making tradition. Discover some of the best-known wineries in the world.

A tour of Stellenbosch’s winelands during which you will sample wines paired with other exquisite produce is a must-do during a South Africa tour!

Exterior view at Phinda Vlei Lodge Hotel in Phinda, South Africa

7Explore Phinda Private Wildlife Reserve

With seven different ecology habitats, Phinda Private Wildlife Reserve has the nickname ‘Seven Worlds of Miracles’. Probably no other place in the world has so much biodiversity in such a relatively small space.

The natural diversity of Phinda is truly magnificent: expect everything woodlands and wetlands to forests, mountains and marshes, all affording excellent opportunities for game viewing. Stay in a game lodge in Phinda and enjoy the perfect bush and beach adventure, with coral reefs and stunning beaches nearby!

Enchanting Travels Addo elephant national park,eastern cape,south Africa

8Go on a game drive in Addo Elephant National Park

Head to the Addo Elephant National Park for a fantastic wildlife experience. The Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth is home to the Big Five, as well as rare white tail frogs, mountain zebra and the black rhino, as well as over 150 bird species.

It has one of the densest populations of African Elephants. Go on a game drive in Addo Elephant National Park or on a day tour to marvel at the wildlife in South Africa!

9Explore the wonders of Blyde River Canyon

Dramatic gorges, colored rock formations and spectacular views are promised with a visit to the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, the highest mountains of southern Africa.

Explore the wonderful mountain landscapes while hiking, or experience an exciting rafting adventure at the Blyde River Canyon.

10Go on a safari in Madikwe Wildlife Sanctuary

Witness impressive animals during your safari in the Madikwe Wildlife Sanctuary: elephant and buffalo herds, rhinos and various predators will take you into wide grasslands that alternate with dense forest areas. Stay in a safari Lodge on the Madikwe Game reserve and enjoy sighting some of South Africa’s best wildlife.

Madikwe is also a completely malaria-free game reserve.

Discover all the best things to do in South Africa by booking your vacation with our experts at Enchanting Travels. Contact us for your tailor-made and obligation-free tour itinerary.

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