From the high plateaus to the low-lying coastal cities, this is a country that offers visitors a choice of landscapes to make the most of. With opportunities to witness some of the world’s most magnificent creatures on a safari, swim in the ocean with a great white shark or cook up a barbecue with the locals, South Africa holidays will never be anything less than spectacular.
Johannesburg is a popular starting point for holidays. As the country’s largest city you’ll find heaps of action in this bustling metropolis, with excellent museums, shopping, eating and drinking on offer. If you’re interested in finding out about the history of South Africa, days out can be spent visiting Soweto for a true cultural experience.
If you’re planning on a beach holiday, Durban is famous for its wide sandy shores and crystal clear waters. This spectacular location on the east coast is home to the ‘Golden Mile’ of beaches that stretch along the lapping shores of the Indian Ocean. If you want to go on safari, holidays in South Africa are perfect. Durban itself is just a short trip from KwaZulu Natal National Park with its breath-taking vistas and more than ten nature reserves, making it a prime place to discover some of the best parts of South Africa.
With a history going back as long as the civilised world, there are some cultural places that simply must be visited in this great country. From the home of the great civil rights activist Mahatma Gandhi, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe or the Cradle of Humankind, there is a huge amount of history just waiting to be explored.
Family holidays to South Africa couldn’t be more enjoyable. With a veritable playground of landscapes, animals and theme parks, children are in for an unforgettable experience. Visit the uShake Marine World for some fun in the sun and witness some of the award-winning dolphin shows that the park is known for. To make sure the younger crowd don’t miss out on exploring all that the country has to offer, there are also a range of child-friendly safaris. These fun experiences take the little ones on junior ranger training and closed-vehicle tours to see some of South Africa’s biggest mammals.
A huge part of the cultural identity of the country, safari tours offer a way to really experience what Africa is all about. Wild, rugged terrain, graceful animals and ferocious big cats each await you in this mesmerising country. A safari tour can be truly life changing, allowing you to learn a little about the delicate ecosystems and support the rangers who keep these magnificent animals safe from poachers.
One for those with a heart of steel, shark diving is a hugely popular activity in South Africa. Giving all those brave enough to try it the thrill of a lifetime, entering the water with a great white shark is an experience you will never forget. Witnessing the grace and power of these sharks in a safe, protected environment is sure to give you a newfound respect for these kings of the ocean – if you didn’t have enough of that already!
Those looking to relax rather than get the heart racing will find an abundance of things to do in South Africa. Tuck into a traditional braai (barbecue), explore the magnificent Table Mountain by cable car or simply take a relaxing river cruise and spot the wildlife en route.
If you’re looking for inspiration on things to do in on your South Africa Holidays, check out our guide.
Located in Cape Town, South Africa the Botanical Gardens are the perfect place for couples to spend some quality time within the beautiful surroundings of these exquisite gardens. Showcasing only plants indigenous to South Africa these gardens were created to celebrate South African flora. Whether it’s a casual stroll you enjoy, a more strenuous walk or maybe even an intimate picnic with your special someone, The Botanical Gardens are a must see when visiting Cape Town.
If breath taking views, spa pampering and an insight to the serene landscape South Africa has on offer is what you desire whilst on your romantic getaway then you have certainly chosen the perfect destination. There are luxury hotels waiting to cater to your every need allowing you to have that relaxing break you’re after. Or if you’d prefer a more hands on approach then there is a huge selection of camps and lodges available positioned in the heart of some of the largest national parks in Africa where the surrounding curious wildlife wait to have close up encounters with their new visitors.
A great way to spend some quality time with your special someone whilst in South Africa is to take an excursion to the wine lands. Located in Cape Town among the mountains this region is full of culture and history, known well for its fantastic restaurants and of course the wine. If you are visiting a different part of South Africa then don’t hesitate to locate your nearest winery and take a tour. With knowledgeable guides and some of the finest wine you are sure to have a memorable time doing something unusual that’s a little bit fancy.
Some couples idea of a perfect holiday is basking in the heat of the shining sun looking out at a majestic blue ocean that seems to go on forever. If so, South Africa can offer you this and so much more. Long white sandy beaches with something to suit everyone, whether it is sitting out on a viewing deck looking out for the passing whales and dolphins, having a go at some of the local water sports or just relaxing on the soft sand in between taking a dip in the clear warm waters South Africa has some stunning beaches you and your partner are bound to fall in love.
Table Mountain National Park provides protection to the Table Mountain Chain and rare vegetation which runs north south along the mountain ranges that make up the spine of the Cape Peninsula. If you want to explore the habitat of some large and small mammals native to South Africa including; the Cape Lion, Spotted hyena and a rare species called the Table Mountain Ghost Frog then spend a day walking around this national park and taking in the stunning scenic views.
South Africa proudly boasts 8 World Heritage Sites, and it isn’t any surprise considering the outstanding natural, historical and cultural value. If learning about some unique and irreplaceable history is something you take a big interest in then South Africa is just waiting for you to come and discover it’s diverse and impressive heritage. From fossil sites to marine wetlands there is world of history just waiting for you to come and sink your teeth into.
The Blyde River Canyon is a significant natural feature of South Africa and is a very popular tourist region. Located in Mpumalanga, Blyde River Canyon is one of the largest canyons on earth and with its colossal waterfalls and streams within, this reserve really does create a beautiful landscape. If exploring the natural land of South Africa is on your holiday agenda then a trip to the Blyde River Canyon is something you won’t regret.
Declared a World Heritage Site in 1996, Robben Island is most famous for acting as a prison for South Africa’s first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela. Over generations various freedom-fighters and anti-apartheid activists have been held on the Island and in 1996 Robben Island was opened up as a museum dedicated to the culture of South Africa and as a stark reminder of the prices paid by many in the name of freedom.
If a taste of real South Africa is what your family is after then Kruger National Park is the perfect place to start your adventure. One of the largest game reserves in Africa it holds over 500 species of bird, more than 140 different types of large mammal, a number of endangered animals and; reptiles, amphibians and fish. The whole family is bound to fall in love with this enchanting natural wonderland young and old alike and with a huge variety of accommodation options available there is something to suit every family’s tastes and budget.
Located in Durban, this underground aquarium has a total of 32 tanks placing it at the 5th largest in the world. If getting a close view of some of the most spectacular sea creatures is on your family’s agenda then you will not be disappointed. Home to a colourful collection of shark species that you can even try a cage dive with if you’re brave enough! Or if you prefer to observe from a slightly further distance then there are also daily seal and dolphin shows plus multiple feedings throughout the day. Either way, uShaka Marine World is perfect for the whole family to enjoy.
Why not take your family safari holiday to new dimensions in a hot air balloon ride soaring high above South Africa’s open plains. Each balloon flight is a unique journey of its own. Spot zebra, elephant, or lions roaming the park whilst enjoying an aerial view of the stunning South African landscape below
For a guaranteed unique experience whilst discovering what South Africa has to offer, whale and dolphin watching is completely unforgettable. Whale watching territory runs from south of Cape Town all the way east of Durban during the months of May through to December and is one of the best destinations in the world for capturing spectacular displays of these colossal marine mammals. This is an exciting activity that will engage families of all ages.
No matter where your South African holiday takes you the food will not let you down! Rich with choice and diversity there’s something to suit everyone’s taste buds. But to get a real feel of South African cuisine, sometimes referred to as ‘rainbow cuisine’ you’ll have to visit some locally run restaurants and order your selection of tradition dishes to taste!
Casinos are a big part of the nightlife within South Africa. Large casino complexes, architecturally stunning providing a variety of games and relaxing entertainment for holiday goers and residents alike. Often adjoined with luxury hotel accommodation, a night in one of these magnificent resorts is arguably money well spent!
Expect the unexpected in South Africa’s comedy clubs. International comedians mixing it up with the locals these multi-cultural affairs with many different humorous styles and lingoes are sure to give you a laugh a minute. Also held in restaurants and theatres, this rapidly developing craze of comedy nights in South Africa is something refreshingly colourful; anything and everything goes.
The drum café was started in Johannesburg in 1996 and has been featured in press worldwide. If doing something a little quirky and culturally involved sounds like something you’d be up for then why not spend an evening not only listening to traditional African drumming but actually becoming a part of the orchestra yourself! Inspired by the communal drumming of Africa and the passion to bring different groups of people together this is a musical experience that’ll get you moving to the beat in more ways than one.