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20 of the most iconic things to do in South Africa

Lions in South Africa

We’re SO excited that we have South Africa trips! From sunset mountain treks to unforgettable game reserves – here’s a list of the best things to do in South Africa and the iconic experiences you can’t miss.

15 best places to visit in South Africa

15 best places to visit in South Africa

Steve Powdrill
by Steve Powdrill Jan 28, 2022

1. Local food markets

The best way to experience local culture is to eat like a local. In Cape Town and Johannesburg there are great, giant food markets where you can browse and buy ingredients to cook your own delicious meal.

A variety of fruits and vegetables for sale at an outdoor market in South Africa.

2. Go surfing

South Africa has some of the best (and biggest) waves in the world, so if you’re an avid surfer you can’t miss the chance to hit the beach and paddle out. If you’re not sure where to head, the gorgeous Plettenberg Bay has some great surf breaks for all abilities.

A surfer riding a wave on a surfboard in South Africa.
20 of the most iconic things to do in South Africa

20 of the most iconic things to do in South Africa

by Danielle Kirk Jan 15, 2019

3. See African penguins

At Boulders Beach in Cape Town you can see the cutest African penguin colony. Watch this endangered species waddle and play in their coastal home.

Two penguins standing on a rock next to each other, a unique experience in South Africa.

4. Try South African wine

A tour of the Cape Winelands will have you sampling some of South Africa’s yummiest wines. (We recommend the garden route if you’re looking for the ultimate wine-tasting road trip – don’t forget to stop at Mossel Bay).

Experience South African wine with a touch of rosemary.

5. Ride the cable car to the top of Table Mountain

Cape Town has so much to do, but you can’t miss (or ignore) the giant, flat-topped Table Mountain. Catch the rotating cable car to the top for maximum views.

A cable car on top of a mountain providing breathtaking views in cape town, one of the must-do things in South Africa.

6. Head out to Chapman’s Peak

This stunning view from atop the mountain peak is where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. The drive to Cape Point is simply beautiful and an unmissable experience.

A group of people overlooking the ocean in South Africa.

7. Drive the Panorama Route

Wind your way alongside incredible gorges and scenery on the way to Kruger National Park. It’s one of South Africa’s most famous routes and for good reason.

Things to do in South Africa: Observe zebras next to a tree.

8. Hike Lion’s Head

Once you’ve seen Table Mountain in Cape Town, try a hike up Lion’s Head. It’s between Signal Hill and Table Mountain and only takes 90 minutes for epic views.

An aerial view of Cape Town, South Africa - a must-visit destination for things to do in South Africa.

9. Explore Kruger National Park

Going on safari is one of the best things to do in South Africa! For that purpose, Kruger National Park is a great place to jump in a jeep, don your khakis and become an explorer for the day.

Things to do in South Africa: Observe three lion cubs sitting on top of a rock.

10. Discover Cango Caves

These limestone caves are a bit of a drive from Cape Town, but if you can get there, the reward is eerie caverns littered with stalactites and stalagmites. This cave dive is fascinating, beautiful, and one of the best things to do in South Africa.


20 of the most iconic things to do in South Africa

20 of the most iconic things to do in South Africa

by Danielle Kirk Jan 15, 2019

11. Spot the Big 5

In Kruger National Park you’ll have the chance to spot the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo). It’s a once in a lifetime moment and truly bucket list worthy. Whilst you’re in SA, why not visit Addo Elephant National Park too and be blown away by these magnificent beasts!

A group of elephants standing in a body of water, a must-see sight in South Africa.

12. Check out Bourke’s Luck Potholes

Raging waters have shaped this super cool geological wonder into stunning natural potholes. There are walkways and bridges for visitors (you don’t have to cross the raging river) to take it all in.

13. Remember the past at the Apartheid Museum

Apartheid is a part of South Africa’s history and a visit to the museum in Johannesburg is an important one. Learn about the historic race struggles and get some perspective on South Africa as a nation.

A group of people standing on a sidewalk next to a brick building in South Africa.

14. See Robben Island

Robben Island is an island in the Western Cape, off Cape Town. It is most famous for being the prison of Nelson Mandela, one of South Africa’s most famous figures and a former president who fought against apartheid. The museum is 100% worth a visit!

A room with a view of the sky, located in South Africa.

15. Take your pics at the Cape of Good Hope

The Cape of Good Hope sounds lovely and it is. It also happens to be the most south-western point of Africa. Visit South Africa and take your cameras!

cape town

16. Visit the Waterfront in Cape Town

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is South Africa’s oldest working harbour. Plenty of history, food and shopping await you.

A view of Cape Town with mountains in the background, showcasing things to do in South Africa.

17. See Adam’s Calendar

Adam’s Calendar is South Africa’s answer to Stonehenge. The stone circle is allegedly (no one has definitely proven it) meant to be the oldest man-made structure in the world and is more than 75,000 years old.

18. Check out the Cradle of Humankind

Africa has ancient history that puts Rome to shame, and the Cradle of Humankind is a museum that is the site of the oldest hominid fossils EVER found. You can literally track evolution before your eyes.

19. Bungee off Orlando Towers

These old power stations look like the nuclear plant towers from The Simpsons but they’re WAY cooler. For one, they’re painted from top to bottom, and two, you can bungee jump off them!

2O. Take in Blyde River Canyon

A significant natural wonder in South Africa, it’s like stepping into Jurassic Park. The views are beyond impressive!

A scenic view from the top of a mountain overlooking a lake in South Africa.

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