Top 5 Reasons to Visit South Africa

This story was created in partnership with: South African Tourism 

Dreaming of sandy beaches, vineyards, wildlife, and more? Visit South Africa! Meet the heart and soul of the country: its people. Discover the magical Garden Route. And follow the call of the wild on safari. All this and more await you!

Explore our list of the top reasons to visit South Africa and start planning the ultimate adventure. 

Why Visit South Africa? 

1. Wildlife Safaris

A lion proudly walks by a jeep with tourists on safari in South Africa.
A wildlife safari should be on everyone’s bucket list | Courtesy of South African Tourism

Ready for an adventure beyond your wildest dreams? Explore deserts, wetlands, beaches, and more as you search for wonderful wildlife on a South African safari. Look out for the leopard’s black spots as it moves gracefully in the tall grass; listen to the lion cubs’ playful growls; and feel the ground tremble as an elephant herd approaches the waterhole.

With a treasure trove of national parks and private game reserves, South Africa is one of the best places on Earth for seeing your favorite wildlife. For instance, discover the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, and rhino) in Kruger National Park. Next, visit Addo Elephant National Park where a certain mammal with a long trunk and big, beautiful ears is the king of the land. And finally, be amazed by the incredible diversity of flora and fauna at Pilanesberg National Park. No matter where you visit, you’ll have superb safari options such as guided bush walks, game drives, boat excursions, and even flying adventures!

Top safari destinations that you need to visit

  • Addo Elephant National Park is one of South Africa’s most famous parks. What’s more, it’s the place where elephants, not lions, rule the bush! Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime on the Garden Route & Addo Group Adventure – 6 Days trip with Earthstompers Adventures. 
  • Did you know that the world-famous Pilanesberg National Park is located on what’s left of a volcanic crater? Explore this remarkable reserve by joining Costsaver’s Icons of Southern Africa (9 Days) trip.

2. Adrenaline Adventures 

Two cage divers come face-to-face with a great white shark in South Africa.
Come face-to-face with sharks in the experience of a lifetime | Courtesy of South African Tourism

​​If you like living outside your comfort zone and relish the feeling of butterflies in your stomach, then you’ll love South Africa! As a matter of fact, you’ll view it as your personal playground.

Choose from countless adrenaline-pumping adventures set against some of the world’s most beautiful backdrops. For example, experience the Garden Route’s vast, legendary coastline from a whole new perspective as you go ziplining in Tsitsikamma. Explore the brilliant blue ocean from a cage for your chance to stare straight into the eyes of a great white shark. Or, feel the wind in your hair with options like skydiving, bungee jumping, and windsurfing. Discover adrenaline adventures throughout the Rainbow Nation and create memories that will stay with you forever.

Bucket-list-worthy adrenaline adventures 

  • Nothing is quite so magical as seeing a shark up close in the ocean. Find out for yourself by going cage diving on the ​​South Africa Escape – 14 Days trip with Expat Explore Travel.
  • Calling all thrill-seekers! Discover the beauty of Mossel Bay with a tandem skydiving adventure that starts at approximately 10,000 feet. Experience the thrill of a lifetime on The Garden Route 9 Days trip with Encounters Travel. 

3. Food and Wine

Two women (and a gentleman in the background) taste grapes straight off the vines in a vineyard in South Africa.
Enjoy world-class wine tastings with a view | Courtesy of South African Tourism

How does a gourmet getaway in South Africa sound? Just imagine the taste of a crisp craft beer at the lively Devil’s Peak Brewery in the heart of Cape Town. Or, sip award-winning wine while you soak in the spectacular views of the famous Cape Winelands. 

If you’re a foodie, sample chakalaka and pap, dig into a hot plate of bobotie, and snack on biltong and droewors. Oh, and don’t forget to try a traditional al fresco braai. Treat yourself in South Africa and let the delicious cuisine transport your taste buds to a whole new world of flavor!

The ultimate food and wine experiences

  • Walk along Stellenbosch’s romantic oak-lined streets, explore awe-inspiring art galleries, and sip fine wine as you nibble on cold cuts and delicious cheeses. Experience all this and more on the Art and Wine in Cape Town, Private Tour with ATC Group.

4. History and Culture 

South African woman in traditional dress shades her eyes against the glare of the sun in a field of tall grass.
Discover the experience of a lifetime in South Africa | © ​​Darren Baker/Shutterstock

From a dramatic past to becoming known as the Rainbow Nation, the story of South Africa is shared in museums across the country and expressed through food, music, and cultural traditions. Gain a first-hand understanding of all that is South Africa by exploring both the old way of life and the new. For example, retrace the steps of early human beings and discover ancient caves with fossilized remains at the Cradle of Humankind. Uphold the memory of Nelson Mandela and visit Robben Island where he was later imprisoned. 

In addition to learning about the past, don’t forget about the present. Experience everything from township communities to jazz bars and urban markets. Meet the soul of South Africa: its people. In fact, enjoy a warm, authentic welcome that will make you feel like a friend, not a traveler. 

Experiences you don’t want to miss

Travel to: South Africa

5. Vibrant Cities

This image displays the colorful, historic streets of Bo-Kapp, Cape Town, South Africa.
Explore the colorful, historic streets of Bo-Kapp in Cape Town, South Africa | © ​​MG Africa/Shutterstock

When you think of South Africa, what comes to mind? Most likely, your mind drifts to national parks, wonderful wildlife, and adrenaline-filled adventures. However, the one thing that’s often overlooked is the bustling metropolitan areas! From Cape Town to Pretoria, South Africa has many exciting cities worth visiting. So, enjoy the live music scene and rooftop bars in Johannesburg. Dance the night away at a club in Cape Town. Discover picture-perfect beaches and a wide variety of watersports in Durban. Experience the magnificent marine life in Port Elizabeth (be sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales!). And explore boating activities galore in the action-packed city of Knysna. 

While each city is different and offers its own unique attractions, one thing is sure: South Africa will capture your heart.

Top cities to visit in South Africa

  • Feel like a local as you visit all the hidden gems in Johannesburg and beyond! Embark on the Best of South Africa trip with Cosmos – you won’t be disappointed!
  • From some of the world’s most beautiful beaches to incredible hiking opportunities like Otter Trail or Table Mountain, Cape Town is full of adventures! Find out for yourself on the 11 Days Cape Town, Garden Route & Kruger trip with Cape Xtreme.
  • How would you like to soak up the sun in Durban and drink cocktails on the beach? Experience all this and more on the Durban City Stay 3 Days trip with Acacia Adventure Holidays.

The trip of a lifetime in South Africa

The sunset over Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
Enjoy enchanting views of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa | © ​​Kanuman/Shutterstock

Regardless of your background or personality, South Africa will welcome you with open arms and offer you an array of amazing adventures! What’s more, it will touch your soul in a special, profound way. From its culture and cities to its wonderful people and activities, this captivating country will help you embrace life and leave you with heartfelt memories that’ll last a lifetime. 

Ready to visit South Africa? Head over to TourRadar and start planning your South Africa adventure today!

Stephanie is the Content Specialist at TourRadar. You can find her cooking, playing tennis, or exploring the world as she strives to reach her goal of visiting 100 countries before 2025.

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