Popular Holiday Destinations In South Africa – From Cape Town to Stellenbosch and Durban to the Kruger National Park, these are the best holiday destinations in South Africa.
South Africa has been on my list of dream destinations for a long time. From the country’s incredible wildlife (the Big Five, whales and more) to the wine regions, beautiful scenery and food, there are many reasons why South Africa is a popular holiday destination.
Popular Holiday Destinations In South Africa
I’ve been wanting to create a South African blog together for a while because I’ve had so many messages from you asking if I have any posts or tips on places to visit.
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So I decided it would be best to leave it to some of my fellow bloggers to recommend the highlights of my SA adventures. So without further ado, here are the best holiday destinations in South Africa, according to the insiders!
Lucy from On The Luce absolutely loves Stellenbosch, South Africa. Here’s why they think he’s special…
Stellenbosch in South Africa is a paradise for wine lovers. A valley full of vineyards surrounds the town, and together with the neighboring wine regions of Franschhoek and Paarl, it is home to hundreds of wineries. Stellenbosch is best known for its red Pinotage and white Chenin Blanc, but there is a wide variety of wines and wine styles, including some delicious sparkling wines that give Champagne a run for its money at half the price!
However, it’s not just the wine that makes Stellenbosch worth a visit, it’s also the beautiful scenery. One of the best ways to explore is to rent a bike and ride the country roads. Stellenbosch is only half an hour outside of Cape Town, so you can easily visit on a day trip, but it’s worth staying a night or two to soak up the relaxed atmosphere.
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It is the second oldest city in South Africa and is full of period charm, with historic Cape Dutch houses and streets lined with old oak trees. There are some lovely B&Bs and Victorian houses where you can relax for the night, and some amazing wineries restaurants. But Stellenbosch’s large student population means it’s not too sleepy and you can end the day in one of the clubs and bars if you’re not tired.
The Cape Peninsula makes for a great day trip from Cape Town. Driving up the headland on a hot day offers an amazing view. Cape Harapan is the highlight, but next to Cape Point, the southernmost point of this peninsula. These may be some of the highlights of a day trip, but there is much more to explore.
Animal lovers will love the cute but noisy penguins at Boulder Beach. It is easily one of the most unique holiday destinations in South Africa! You don’t have to spend the whole day in the car. If you pass by Kommetjie, you can stop for a romantic stroll in the Long Beach surf. Available at Cape Point Nature Reserve. Trails range from 2 hours to 2 days!
Finally you have the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive, which is often called one of the most beautiful roads in the world. The route winds along the coast and is completely carved out of rock. Plan your trip so that you arrive shortly after sunrise or before sunset. The sun casts a beautiful yellow color on the rocks, creating a magical photo.
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Elaine and Dave from Show Them the Globe absolutely love Knysna, South Africa. Here’s why they think he’s special…
The seaside town of Knysna is a highlight of the Parkway and is a great place to visit in South Africa. Knysna is best known for the Knysna Heads, two imposing sea cliffs that protect the entrance to the Knysna Lagoon from the relentless Indian Ocean. A boat trip to Knysna Heads is on most Knysna itineraries and it is common to see the sea crashing through the narrow gap at the entrance to the lagoon.
Knysna is surrounded by lush green forests and sandy beaches. Long days on the beach, boat trips and hiking at Featherbed Nature Reserve are a must. It is also famous for two local dishes, oysters and beer. You should definitely try it when you visit!
The city near the Wilderness is home to the Map of Africa where, from a spectacular vantage point overlooking the Caimans River Basin, you can see where the flow of the river forms a land that is shaped exactly like a map of the African continent. The mix of mountains, forests and rivers is a beautiful sight and well worth the short journey from Knysna.
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Christine from The Traveling Pinoys absolutely loves Cape Town, South Africa. Here’s why they think he’s special…
Cape Town is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. Voted one of the best cities in the world by Travel and Leisure magazine, Cape Town has one of the most stunning landscapes in the world. The panorama of the city plate is out of this world. There is an amphitheater-shaped natural area of Cape Town bordering Table Bay and surrounded by the mountains of Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak – just don’t forget to take a photo!
Along with the beautiful scenery, there are many other reasons to add Cape Town to your South Africa itinerary. It has beautiful beaches (although the water is cold all year round!) amazing wildlife, rich history, world-class architecture and diverse cultures.
Cape Town also has some of the best rides in the world. From Chapmans Peak, overlooking the cliffs and sea, to Victoria Road in Camps Bay where you’ll be surprised by the Twelve Apostles and the million dollar house at the foot, you’ll be reaching for your camera regularly.
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The city is also known for its excellent food and wine scene. Plus, if you love the great outdoors, you can hike, surf, windsurf and more around Cape Town.
One of my favorite stops on my tour of South Africa is the small town of Hermanus outside of Cape Town. It’s a seaside town with great places to eat and shop, but the best is seeing the South African right whales.
Located in Walker Bay is the best place to see whales frolicking in the water. You can see whales from shore! Funnily enough, there is a town announcer who blows a siren every time a whale comes close to the beach. Along with watching from the bay, you can also go on a boat to see the whales. I recommend both as most of the whales are on the other side of the bay so you can see them more active and maybe even fins.
The best time for whale watching in Hermanus is between May and December when the whales visit the warm waters to mate and give birth. It is an amazing experience to see them, so this is definitely one of the best holiday destinations in South Africa.
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Kate from our Escape Clause absolutely loves Kruger National Park, South Africa. Here’s why they think he’s special…
The Kruger National Park is known the world over as one of the best safari spots, and the fact that it’s easily accessible in South Africa (about a 7 hour drive from Johannesburg or a quick flight to Nelspruit) is a bonus!
Arriving in Kruger National Park, you’ll be surprised to see some of the world’s most amazing wildlife: not only is Kruger a great place to try and spot the famous Big Five (lions, rhinos, leopards, buffalo and elephants), but and be a house. and many other fantastic creatures.
Everything from zebras, hyenas and giraffes, to hippos and warthogs can be spotted in the Kruger National Park, and after seeing all these animals in person, you might just walk away with a few new favourites!
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Although you can book a guided game drive in the Kruger National Park, it is also a popular place for self-drive safaris. Just grab a map, jump in the car and go find the animals. They are surprisingly easy to find, and to me there is nothing more magical than watching a wild elephant close for 20 minutes with no one else around!
Anna from Would Be Traveler absolutely loves Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa. Here’s why they think he’s special…
For adrenaline junkies, not only can you bungee jump from one of the highest bungee bridges in the world over the Bleucrans River (216 meters!), but you can also go zip-lining, kayaking and diving. For those who enjoy exploring, Tsitsikamma’s dramatic coastline has a number of beautiful trails and paths overlooking the clear waters. Lucky visitors can spot some of the park’s wildlife, including rock hyrax, dolphins and the Blue Duiker (a small species of antelope). Otherwise, relaxing in one of the restaurants by the sea is a great way to pass the time.
It is a national park
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