Destinations Southern Africa

8 Christmas Destinations in South Africa You Can’t Skip

Christmas Destinations in South Africa
Written by Teresa Mwangi

With the holidays quickly approaching, South Africa is looking more and more like the ideal vacation spot. Tourist destinations in the South presents something special for every traveller. Whether they are looking for opulence, excitement, cultural immersion, or affordable options. Discover the most spectacular Christmas destinations in South Africa, each one guaranteed to be a once-in-a-lifetime affair.

Christmas Destinations in South Africa

If you have your holiday plans ready, these are the perfect places for a holiday down in South Africa.

  1. Cape Town: A Luxurious Festive Retreat


Nestled between the iconic Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town is a haven of luxury and beauty. Celebrate Christmas with a stay at the opulent Ellerman House, renowned for its stunning ocean views and private art collection. The city’s vibrant V&A Waterfront, adorned with festive lights and decorations, offers a plethora of shopping and dining experiences. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the nearby winelands for a taste of world-class wines coupled with exquisite culinary delights.

  1. Kruger National Park: An Adventurer’s Paradise

Kruger National Park South Africa.

Elephants at the Kruger National Park. Photo/East Cape Tours

For the thrill-seekers, a Christmas safari in Kruger National Park is a must. As one of Africa’s largest game reserves, Kruger offers an opportunity to witness the Big Five in their natural habitat. Opt for a guided safari tour for a safe and insightful experience. The warm December weather is perfect for wildlife spotting, making your Christmas truly wild and memorable.

  1. Durban: A Cultural Mosaic

Experience a culturally rich Christmas in Durban. This city is a melting pot of African, Indian, and colonial influences, offering a unique blend of traditions during the festive season. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Golden Mile beachfront, or explore the Indian Quarter for some authentic curry and vibrant markets. The Durban Botanic Gardens often hosts Christmas-themed events, perfect for families and culture enthusiasts.

  1. Garden Route: Scenic Beauty on a Budget

For budget travelers, the Garden Route offers an affordable yet spectacular Christmas getaway. This scenic stretch along the south-eastern coast of South Africa is dotted with charming towns, beautiful beaches, and lush forests. Towns like Knysna and Plettenberg Bay provide affordable accommodation options. Engage in hiking, bird watching, or simply relax by the serene beaches. The Garden Route is a great way to experience South Africa’s natural beauty without breaking the bank. Its scenic nature ranks it among the best Christmas destinations in South Africa.

  1. Johannesburg: Urban Christmas Vibes

Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, offers a lively urban celebration. The city’s markets, like the Neighbourgoods Market, are perfect for picking up unique gifts and enjoying local eats. Explore the city’s rich history at the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill. Johannesburg is also a gateway to nearby attractions, such as the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  1. The Drakensberg: A Mountainous Escape


Drakensberg Mountains. Photo/ Natural World Safaris.

For a holiday surrounded by nature, the Drakensberg mountains offer a peaceful and picturesque escape. This region is ideal for hiking enthusiasts and those looking to unwind in the tranquility of nature. Enjoy the stunning views, go on scenic drives, or partake in horse riding and bird watching. The Drakensberg is a perfect spot for a serene and reflective Christmas.

  1. Stellenbosch: A Wine Aficionado’s Paradise

Nestled in the Western Cape, Stellenbosch is a picturesque town famed for its historic vineyards and charming Dutch architecture. Christmas in Stellenbosch is a wine lover’s dream come true. The region is home to some of South Africa’s most renowned wineries, where visitors can indulge in wine tasting and vineyard tours. Estates like Tokara and Delaire Graff offer not only exquisite wines but also stunning views of the rolling hills and vineyards. The town’s oak-lined streets and vibrant art scene add to its appeal, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a sophisticated yet relaxing holiday experience.

  1. Pretoria: A City of History and Jacarandas

Pretoria, South Africa’s administrative capital, offers a more laid-back atmosphere compared to the bustling Johannesburg. Known for its wide streets lined with purple jacaranda trees, the city is especially beautiful in the summer months leading up to Christmas. Key attractions include the Union Buildings, which offer a glimpse into the country’s political history, and the Pretoria National Botanical Garden, a serene escape from the urban bustle. The city also hosts various Christmas markets and events, perfect for soaking in the festive spirit. For a unique experience, visit the Voortrekker Monument, a massive granite structure that commemorates the pioneers who trekked into the country’s interior.


Adventurous vacationers will never be bored in South Africa, thanks to Christmas destinations in South Africa. The country is blessed with diverse landscapes and rich cultural history. This holiday season, travellers can choose from a wide variety of accommodations, activities, and experiences, including opulent stays in Cape Town, exciting safaris in Kruger, cultural celebrations in Durban, affordable adventures along the Garden Route, exciting city adventures in Johannesburg, and tranquil retreats in the Drakensberg. Gather your belongings and make plans to spend Christmas in South Africa for an experience you will never forget.

About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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