This list of the best places to see in South Africa It will help you prepare a trip through one of the most surprising and most diverse countries in Africa. Although we are sure that this country will surprise you, we anticipate that you will discover natural landscapes that will leave you speechless, you will see closely large cats and all kinds of animals in freedom in its magnificent national parks, you will enjoy a great multicultural environment in Cape Town or Johannesburg and you will cry until you say enough to see whales jump from the very coast.
All these unique experiences will make South Africa forever etched in your heart and just think of returning one day.
Although any time is good to travel to South Africa, having a pleasant time all year round and with little rainfall, we would recommend you to travel in autumn (between October and November), a time when there are good conditions to observe wildlife and it is also the time when whales can be seen in many areas of the country.
That said and although it seems that it is not relevant in the trip, we advise you to start your route through the country through Cape Town and finish it in Johannesburg, something that will allow you to go from less to more, the Kruger being the icing on this cake.
Taking into account that it is a large country and many trips must be made by car and tourist public transport is not abundant, the best option is to rent a car to make the majority of journeys through the country and some long section such as Port Elizabeth to Durban, do it by plane.
Something you also ask us a lot about is the issue of security in South Africa. Although during our trip we do not feel insecure at any time, we recommend you to know well the areas you want to visit, use mostly common sense and take precautions such as trying not to drive at night or go with the latches closed.
These little things will make you travel much quieter and the best, enjoy this amazing country in the safest way.
Based on the experience of our trip to South Africa in 25 days we have made a selection of what we believe are, the 10 essential places to visit in South Africa. We start!
1. The Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is the largest wildlife reserve in the country and one of the most essential places to see in South Africa. One of the goals of many travelers when doing a safari is to see the first time «Big five», a group of difficult-to-locate animals of which the lion, the leopard, the rhinoceros, the elephant and the buffalo are part and the Kruger is one of the parks in the world where you have more reach to achieve this goal, having a Good number of each of them.
Although for us, what makes a Kruger safari different, and unlike other places like Kenya or Tanzania, is that you can explore it and find these animals with your own car, without needing the help of a guide or renting a 4 × Four.
During our 9 days touring the park we completed up to five «Big five» and a little «Big five», which is made up of the young of the big 5. In addition to these animals we saw numerous cheetahs, impalas, jackals, giraffes, hippos, hyenas and birds of all kinds, which made this one of the most incredible experiences we have been lucky to live on our trips.
And although we have just said that we saw numerous animals, one of the best tips for traveling to South Africa and being able to spot them is to have a lot of patience, especially to see the big cats. Imagine that in some cases we wait up to 3 hours to see them clearly.
Another important aspect to decide for the Kruger was the quality of its camps scattered throughout the park, which offer all the comforts at incredibly tight prices, ranging from approximately 20 euros to 100 euros that a bungalow with private bathroom can cost , kitchen and views. In addition, each camp organizes guided tours at different times of the day, including night game drives, for about 20 euros per person, with which you can rest from the car or try to see animals that you have not yet seen.
Without a doubt, we can assure you that the Kruger was the icing on our trip to South Africa for free and that is why we always recommend leaving it for the end of the trip as we mentioned before.
2. Cape Town
Cape Town is the most beautiful city in the country and another of the places to visit in South Africa more interesting. The most surprising aspect of the city is the spectacular natural environment that surrounds it in which Table Mountain stands out, considered one of the new seven wonders of the world from where you can have the best views of the city and the coast, full of wild beaches of White sand.
In addition to Table Mountain, there are many places to see in Cape Town such as the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood, boarding Lion's Head, booking the ferry to get to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, marveling at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden or enjoy the atmosphere in the premises of Long Street.
A safe option to save time and not miss anything is to book the tourist bus that stops at all the important points of the city or take this offer that also includes the funicular ticket to Table Mountain.
One of the aspects that did not attract the attention of the city were the great contrasts between the privileged minority of white race and the majority of black race that we saw in a very clear way when visiting areas such as the Waterfront and the residential areas that surround it They show you this harsh reality.
Something to keep in mind in Cape Town is that despite being considered the safest city in South Africa, precautions must be taken, so going out at night away from the most tourist areas such as Long Street, it is not advisable and much less if You don't know where you are going
During our 4 nights in Cape Town we stayed at the Circa Luxury Apartment Hotel, located in the center that, in addition to an excellent quality / price ratio, has parking and a good restaurant.
Hlane Park in
Map of the places to visit in South Africa essential
If you feel like helping us expand the list 10 must-see places in South Africa, add yours in the comments.