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Things to do in South Africa

Things to do in  South Africa

Welcome to South Africa

One of the largest countries in Africa by area and population, South Africa entices travelers with stunning landscapes, incredible diversity, unique cuisine, and unforgettable experiences. Johannesburg is one of the main international gateways and home to the acclaimed Apartheid Museum, which is not far from Soweto township. You can visit both on guided tours, which include transportation and provide insider information from a guide. Cape Town on the western coast of the country is one of the oldest cities in South Africa. The iconic Table Mountain looms over the city, and the famous winemaking towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are in the nearby Cape Winelands. Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, sits just off the coast from Cape Town and is reachable by ferry. Durban, on the eastern coast, offers another look at South African life with its Zulu and Indian influences. Garden Route tours during the spring give visitors a chance to see a profusion of local flora in bloom, while safari tours are one of the most popular activities in South Africa, from the enormous Kruger National Park to smaller game reserves all over the country. Choose to visit on a day trip or opt for longer multi-day tours to enjoy game drives in search of Africa's "Big Five." South Africa is also a common starting point for tours that visit other nearby countries, such as Zimbabwe or Zambia to see the mighty Victoria Falls, or Botswana to explore Chobe National Park or the Okavango Delta.

Top 10 attractions in South Africa

#1
Robben Island

Robben Island

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Robben Island—where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years—was a place of isolation for nearly three centuries, housing many political prisoners and serving as both an asylum and leprosy colony. Today, the island remains a tangible symbol of political freedom and a reminder of the difficult road to South African democracy.More
#2
Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

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One of South Africa’s premier attractions, Kruger National Park is famous for the extent and diversity of its wildlife. The “Big Five” of game are all there—lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard—and a world-class conservation program means you’ll also encounter wildebeest, giraffes, zebra, big cats of all stripes, and diverse bird species.More
#3
Voortrekker Monument

Voortrekker Monument

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The granite Voortrekker Monument towers 200 feet (60 meters) above Pretoria. The monument was built to honor the Great Trek—a 19th-century exodus from the then British-ruled Cape Colony to central South Africa. The monument depicts the treacherous journey in the Hall of Heroes, and an empty tomb represents the lives lost on the trek.More
#4
Kragga Kamma Game Park

Kragga Kamma Game Park

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The forests and grasslands of Kragga Kamma Game Park on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth provide a place for white rhino, giraffe, buffalo, and other South African wildlife to roam freely. Get the classic safari experience as you enjoy the park’s game drives, picnic areas, restaurant, and overnight accommodations.More
#5
Victoria Street Market

Victoria Street Market

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The hokey pink and pastel stucco exterior hides the Victoria Street Market’s flurry of color, chaos and activity. Affectionately called The Vic, the two-story building is essentially an indoor flea and farmer’s market with more than 150 lively retail and wholesale vendors. Kitchen utensils, pots, luggage, clothes, wholesale products from China and carved trinkets spill into the building’s second-floor walkways, while butchers, fishmongers and fruit and vegetable vendors set up shop on the first level.In the mix visitors will find many merchants hawking silken saris and incense, spices from fragrant and colorful barrels, plus Indian handicrafts… not your usual South African market fare. The city’s multicultural tapestry—including the largest population of Indians outside of Asia—is reflected in both the market’s vendors and shoppers, and The Vic has long been a shopping hub of the Indian community. Bring your bargaining skills for some unique souvenir finds.More
#6
Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park

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Trails, waterfalls, and wildlife draw visitors to lush Tsitsikamma National Park. Set along South Africa’s scenic Garden Route and spanning 50 miles (80 kilometers) of coastline, the park stretches from the mouth of the Storms River to Nature’s Valley. Embark on various adventures here, from a multi-day hike along the Otter Trail to one of the world’s highest bungee jumps.More
#7
Delaire Graff Estate

Delaire Graff Estate

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The Delaire Graff Wine Estate, near Stellenbosch, is a beautiful winery destination in the Cape Winelands regionLaurence Graff, a diamond dealer of many years, bought the Delaire Estate in the early 2000s. The estate was re-opened as Delaire Graff in 2009, and now features not only the winery but also world-class dining, luxury lodges, a spa, an excellent art collection, a diamond boutique, and picturesque botanic gardens.Delaire Graff Estate is a luxury destination where you're tempted to stay for a few days, but you can also visit for a day to sample the estate's wines. Sip Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, rose and sparkling wines, and both white and red blends.More
#8
Nelson Mandela Capture Site

Nelson Mandela Capture Site

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On August 5 1962, on a stretch of the R103 just outside Howick in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province, armed police flagged down a car and arrested the driver, Nelson Mandela. The former president had been on the run from the South African apartheid government for 17 months and his capture marked the beginning of his 27-year imprisonment and what he called “the long walk to freedom.”Until quite recently, this unassuming spot was marked only by a simple bricked zone with a plaque, but in 2012, on the 50th anniversary of this historic event, the significance of the area was marked with an impressive steel sculpture and a newly created visitor center.Designed by artist Marco Cianfanelli in collaboration with the architect Jeremy Rose, the sculpture is the centerpiece of the new memorial site. It is made from 50 steel columns of varying heights. At first glance, the poles appear to be randomly suspended, but on approaching the sculpture, they merge to form an image of Mandela’s face.More
#9
Soweto

Soweto

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For most, Soweto (short for South West Townships) is synonymous with resistance to apartheid, South Africa’s former policy of racial segregation. The township’s complex past is visible in Soweto’s moving museums, historical monuments, and strong traditions.More
#10
Cape Agulhas

Cape Agulhas

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Plenty of Cape Town visitors head for the Cape of Good Hope thinking it's the southernmost point of South Africa, but that distinction belongs to Cape Agulhas. It isn't quite as dramatic as the Cape of Good Hope, nor as picturesque, with more of a gently curving coastline rather than a point, but there is a small rocky beach, and a geographical marker in Agulhas National Park indicating its status as South Africa's southern tip.A shipwreck is still visible on Cape Agulhas, but many ships were lost in the difficult seas off the coast. The lighthouse in the national park was built in 1848 to help cut down on the number of wrecks. In addition to being the country's southern point, it's also off Cape Agulhas that the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet.More

Trip ideas

Robben Island South Africa Virtual Prison Tour

Robben Island South Africa Virtual Prison Tour

Norval Foundation Virtual Art Tour in Cape Town

Norval Foundation Virtual Art Tour in Cape Town

WildEarth: A Live Safari

WildEarth: A Live Safari

Cape Winelands Tours from Cape Town

Cape Winelands Tours from Cape Town

Top activities in South Africa

Full-Day Franschhoek Wine Tram Tour from Cape Town
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Cape Town City Sightseeing Official Hop-on Hop-off Bus tour
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Robben Island, Table Mountain and Cape Town City Private Day Tour
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Stellenbosch and Franschhoek Winelands Full Day Shared Tour

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Stellenbosch and Franschhoek Winelands Full Day Shared Tour

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US$47.60
US$52.89  US$5.29 savings
Stellenbosch Half Day Wine Tour

Stellenbosch Half Day Wine Tour

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US$56.42
Coastal Motor Cruise

Coastal Motor Cruise

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US$19.56
African Story Wine Tours

African Story Wine Tours

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US$79.56

Recent reviews from experiences in South Africa

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Perfect Introduction to Soweto!
Rita_C, May 2021
Virtual Tour Of Soweto
Can't wait to visit and take an in person tour.
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Fascinating and deeply amazing!
Eduard_Gorkh, Feb 2021
Cape of Good Hope & Penguins Small Group Tour from Cape Town
All the sights we've visited were breathtaking and unbelievably miraculous, and it was a pleasure to see Alain as fascinated as we were.
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Awesome Bike Ride
VOFIVE, Sep 2019
4-Hour PRIVATE Cape Town City Cycle Tour
A nice way to see the sites in the city of Cape Town.
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Awesome.
NewtdaJamaicanAlpha, Jul 2019
Soweto & Johannesburg Half Day Tour
It was important for us to visit Soweto, and what an amazing time it was!!
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A brilliant way to see the big 5...
Stephen W, Sep 2016
African Big- 5 Safari Full Day Guided Private Transfer At Aquila From Cape Town
A brilliant way to see the big 5!
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Fantastic tour, Titus was our guide...
manhammer, Jun 2016
Cape Town Township Tour including Robben Island - Walk to Freedom Tour
It was an eye opener to see the contrast between the rich and the poor of the townships in modern day, South Africa.
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Definitely do this. This tour is...
Mell O, Apr 2017
5-Day Garden Route with Addo National Park Small Group Tour from Cape Town
This tour is jam packed with lots of various activities!
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Great group to travel with and a...
Joseph R, Dec 2015
6-Day Garden Route & Addo South African Adventure from Cape Town
Sometimes I prefer chilling out a bit more but this is a whiz bang tour to see and do as much in 6 days as possible.
star-5
This tour was awesome. The guide...
Patricia L, Mar 2016
Cape Town Super Saver: Cape Point Highlights Tour plus Wine Tasting in Stellenbosch
I enjoyed being able to see South Africa without the stress of having to figure anything out!
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Outstanding tour! It's great to see...
David H, Nov 2011
Cultural Cape Town Tour Including Langa Township and Bo-Kaap
It's great to see the positive things happening in the South African townships.
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This was a fantastic trip boht the...
Andre P, Dec 2011
Pilanesberg Game Reserve Safari and Sun City Day Trip
It was well worth the money and with south africa being a third world country - I would recommend a tour than driving it yourself, we had a police stop and I would not have known what to do
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Unforgettable experience in Krueger National Park
Franziska, Dec 2020
Private 2 Days Kruger Park Safari from Johannesburg
We had one weekend in between our business trip to see a bit of South Africa’s stunning nature and decided to go to Kruger National Park.
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A must for first timers
Daniel_P, Mar 2020
2-Day Glamping South African Wildlife Safari Small Group Tour from Cape Town
This was our first tried to Africa and we decided to visit Cape Town, South Africa as a first start.
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A wonderful experience
Kay, Feb 2020
Half day African Penguin Tour
During this tour we visited the African Penguins, learned about the culture and heritage of South Africa and had the opportunity to see the most picturesque coastal views in Cape Town.
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Excellent Tour Guide
Wanda_W, Feb 2020
Cape of Goodhope Tour a Full Day Exploring the Cape Peninsula
Next, we traveled to Boulders Beach to see the penguins.
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Perfect atmosphere and best views
marcin92, Feb 2020
Cape of Good Hope and Penguins Full-Day Tour From Cape Town
I will highly recommend to see such beautiful area with this guy!
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Great half day tour of Cape Town's major attractions prior to our cruise.
wkkindler9, Feb 2020
Half Day Private Cape Town City Tour
The morning airport site pickup and afternoon cruise port drop off allowed us time to view & become familiar with the city's major attractions and it's history.
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So far one of the best experiences of my life.
clairewright19, Feb 2020
Shark Cage Diving and Viewing from Cape Town
We weren't lucky enough to see a great white but despite that the trip was amazing and I'd happily go back again.
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Beautiful Views of the Coast and Cape
jhoannam2015, Jan 2020
Cape of Good Hope and Penguins Full-Day Tour From Cape Town
A great way to see this region of South Africa if you are only in Cape Town for a limited time.
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Great Safari Experience in one day
jhoannam2015, Jan 2020
Big-Five Safari Full Day Guided Private Transfer from Cape Town
We were able to see four of the Big Five plus other animals such as Giraffes, Zebras and Ostriches.
Frequently Asked Questions
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