10 Reasons to Visit South Africa

A view of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa

Considering a vacation in South Africa? These 10 reasons to go will get you to click the confirm button!

South Africa is a beautiful, diverse, and unique country. From safaris where you can see the big five and stunning beaches, to vibrant cities and a fascinating history, there are so many choices of things to do in South Africa. South Africa is a country that deserves to be explored to the full, and with a plethora of options for glamping, South Africa is one of the best places to explore the great outdoors. Whether you’re an adventurer exploring the world as a solo traveler, or you’re planning a trip for a group of friends or your family, these 10 reasons to visit South Africa will give you that final push to click confirm booking and to get planning your unforgettable adventure!

Penguins at Boulder Beach near Simon's Town

1. Go on safari and see the big five in all their glory

With places to visit in South Africa such as the Kruger National Park, this is the perfect opportunity to experience the wildlife of South Africa and to see the big five in their natural environment. To immerse yourself in this unique experience, you can stay in safari tents to remain connected to nature throughout your safari adventure. As well as seeing the big five on safari, you can visit sanctuaries operated by the Born Free Foundation that cares for lions and leopards that have been rescued from captivity. They also offer education about animal conservation. In South Africa, wildlife isn’t confined to national parks and safari experiences. If you head to Simon’s Town, just over the mountain from Cape Town, you can walk along the coastline of Boulder’s Beach and see 2500 penguins that have colonized the site.

A leopard, one of the big five you can see on safari, relaxing in a tree.

2. So many activities and things to do in South Africa!

When you’re planning your trip to South Africa, there are so many activities to choose from. With things to do in South Africa ranging from hiking mountains and stunning countryside, mountain biking through some epic terrains, heading out on safari, bungee jumping, caving, and shark cage diving, you will barely have a moment to have a break before embarking on the next exciting activity!

Shark cage diving in South Africa.
Photo from Dive the Big 5

3. Unique places to visit in South Africa

South Africa boasts a number of stunning areas of natural beauty and some incredible landmarks. Table Mountain is, without doubt, the most recognizable of these landmarks, and ties in perfectly with a visit to the fabulous city of Cape Town. You can hike up table mountain, which takes between 90 minutes and two hours for the average person, but you can also take a cable car up. Once you reach the top, the views are incredible, stretching out over the city and the ocean. You may also catch sight of the dassies that scavenge around the mountain. One of the lesser-known places to visit in South Africa is the Valley of Desolation near Graff-Reinet. The biggest tourist attraction in the Camdeboo National Park, there are breathtaking views of piled dolerite columns against the backdrop of the plains of the Great Karoo, and down towards Graff-Reinet itself.

A view over the Valley of Desolation

4. Tuck into some South African food

As with any vacation to a new country, it’s always exciting to try out some of their various dishes. South African food is really varied and is sure to satisfy your hunger after a busy day of activities. There are loads of options to choose, and certain foods you simply have to try during your trip. For example, biltong, a cured meat, boerewors, a traditional beef sausage that’s mixed with either pork or lamb and spices, are great things to start off with. For an authentic South African food experience, you have to try a braai, or shisa nyama, which comes from the Zulu for “burn the meat”, and are essentially large barbecues. You may even get the chance to try an Ostrich steak along the way as well!

A traditional South African Braai
Photo from African budget safaris

5. Sample some of the best South African Wines

South African wine has over the last few years become more and more common in wine shops and supermarkets around the world, and it’s easy to see why. Some of the best South African wines are now getting plaudits from wine connoisseurs, and even beating traditional world leaders in viticulture in blind tastings. If you visit one of South Africa’s many vineyards, you can enjoy a tour of the vines, and get in some tasting for yourself as well.

A South African vineyard with a mountain in the background.

6. Discover the history of South Africa

The history of South Africa is as diverse as its wildlife and landscapes. Just outside of Durban, you can visit an authentic Zulu village, where you can learn about their culture, traditions, and enjoy performances of traditional dancing and singing. Zulu culture is very much tied to the region, so it’s well worth the visit to understand the important role it has and continues to play in South African society. A part of South African history that can’t be overlooked is Apartheid. This policy of segregation came to an end in the early 1990s with a series of steps that ultimately led to a democratically elected government in 1994. Famously, Nelson Mandela spent 27 years incarcerated, 18 years of which were spent on the now decomissoned prison on Robben Island. The prison is now a museum, and it is a sobering experience that anyone who travels to South Africa should make time to do.

The entrance to the Robben Island prison museum
Photo by Prasad Pillai

7. Enjoy the perfect South Africa weather

In South Africa, weather is the last thing you need to worry about. The climate is such that this is a year-round destination. In the summer months between November and February, the Cape area has beautiful hot, dry weather, and the winter months still remain warm, with highs of around 25°C (77°F). With temperatures like that, how can you resist a visit to South Africa?

A tourist making the most of South Africa weather

8. Explore the best beaches in South Africa

With warm weather year-round, you’re going to want to arrange a trip to the beach while you’re in South Africa. There are some great contenders for the best beaches in South Africa, and among them is Mossel Bay. With smooth white sand, it’s an idyllic spot, and there are some unique tree house rentals nearby, perfect for making your stay in the area even more memorable. Both Cape Town’s Camps Bay, and North Beach in Durban are incredible places to go, especially as you’ll be able to enjoy both of these great cities at the same time. Nahoon in East London is idyllic. Perfect for all types of beachgoers, you can swim, surf, and relax to your heart’s content here.

Try surfing on one of the beaches in Durban

9. Perfect if you’re looking for affordable travel

South Africa, compared to a European or American vacation, is pretty affordable. With 100 Rand getting you roughly £5.00, €6.00, or US$7.00, once you get to South Africa, traveling, eating, and finding accommodation is relatively cheap. Your biggest expenses will be flights, and safaris can be quite pricey depending on whether you want a luxury safari experience, if you’re willing to go for a budget camping option or something in between.

Enjoy affordable travel in South Africa

10. In South Africa, travel is easy!

You’ll find in South Africa, travel is made simple with a great infrastructure. The highways are well kept, car rental agencies abound, so self-driven vacations are easy to organize. For those of you who prefer the backpacker experience, the public transport services in South Africa are regular and efficient. You can also easily find tour companies that travel between the biggest tourist hot spots.

South Africa travel is made easy by well-kept highways

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