Destinations Southern Africa

5 Incredible Bucket List Destinations in South Africa

Garden Route
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

From beautiful cities, exotic safari and sunny beaches to picturesque deserts, South Africa has some of the best places to visit. Often called “The World in One Century”, South Africa is one of those countries to add to your bucket list if you are looking for a thrilling holiday.

Each region has its own distinct personality and culture, offering a captivating blend of remote wilderness and rich history. The climate of South Africa is usually dry and sunny, but expect temperatures to drop down below zero degrees in some areas. With that in mind, let’s now take a look at five of the best places to visit in South Africa if you’re looking for a once in a lifetime trip.

1. Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is South Africa’s biggest and most popular national park. It is home to the big five and boasts healthy populations of wildlife. A visit to the iconic park guarantees you an encounter with elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs. You would give everything just to be at Kruger National Park with your loved ones since it delivers unparalleled safari experiences.

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park offers a wildlife safari experience of its own. Photo/ Discover Africa Safaris

2. Cape Winelands

The beauty of the Cape Winelands make them rank among the best places to visit in South Africa. Located only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, a night or two in the peaceful patchwork of vineyards and mountains will dissolve any lingering city stress.

Sip, swirl and sample award-winning wines and then indulge in gourmet farm-to-table cuisine or wander don oak-lined streets to local art galleries. The Cape Winelands’ green valleys ensconced by craggy mountains is as much of a treat for the eyes as its cuisine it a treat for the palate.

Cape Winelands

Cape Winelands. Photo/ Micato Safaris.

3. Cape Town 

Cape Town is one of the best places to visit in South Africa. The city offers forests, grasslands, nature reserves, beaches, gardens, mountains, oceans, Winelands, as well as one of the most unique floral biomes in the world – fynbos.

If it’s world-class beaches you’re looking for, then Cape Town got you. From Camps Bay near the city centre to Diaz Beach way down the peninsula, the city hosts a huge selection of beaches to explore. You could spend a week in Cape Town and not manage to fully explore all of its beaches. Cape Town is perhaps most famously known for being the home of South African president Nelson Mandela.

4. Stellenbosch 

If you want to spend some days in a peaceful and picture-perfect town then you cannot afford to miss Stellenbosch town. Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa, with its history dating back to 1679. A visit to the Village Museum and Stellenyrk Museum will help you learn more about the only university town in South Africa.

5. Garden Route

Garden Route

Garden Route. Photo/ Rove.me.

Garden Route is a firm favourite when it comes to South Africa vacations and should be on the bucket list of every traveller. A combination of world-class beaches, indigenous forests interspersed with welcoming towns, iridescent lagoons and scenic, ocean-hugging highway is what the world-famous route is about.

The beautiful length of coastline stretches from a couple of hours outside Cape Town to the seaside town of Plettenberg Bay. Garden Route is, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in South Africa.

What Is the Prettiest Destination in South Africa?

  1. Tshukudu Game Reserve, Limpopo
  2. Knysna, Western Cape
  3. God’s Window, Mpumalanga
  4. Boulders Beach, Western Cape
  5. Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga

What Is the Most Visited Destination in South Africa?

1. V&A Waterfront, Western Cape is considered the most visited tourist attraction in South Africa. The V&A Waterfront attracts 24 million visitors.

Where Is the Best Place to Visit Cape Town or Johannesburg?

Cape Town or Johannesburg? The choice is up to you. It would be impossible to say one location is better than the other as both have a lot to offer. A visit to Cape Town or Johannesburg will give you a clear view into South Africa’s culture and open your eyes to the beauty of the African landscape.

What Is the Best City to Stay in South Africa?

Cape Town is the overall best place to stay in South Africa.

About the author

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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