Every year attracts South Africa some more adventurers heading his way, like an irresistible giant magnet. It African country with Dutch roots is therefore increasingly making a name for itself as a favorite holiday destination. Sure, it's a few hours flying to the southernmost part of the exciting continent Africa, but the reward is certainly there! In the land of the now deceased Mandela, several surprises await you. Beautiful panoramic views along the rugged coastline that easily taps down the 3.000 km, literal highlights in the Drakensberg area, game drives through world-famous National Parks and blissful wines that are waiting for you in the wine tastings of Stellenbosch, among others. South Africa has had a controversial history, visiting Robben Island is only a crack to the past but no less impressive for that. A tour through this country is great and we are happy to help you on your way by giving you an overview of the most important must-sees in South Africa!
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Table of contents
The 9 must-sees in South Africa
1. Cape Town | table mountain
There is no better start than the brilliant Cape Town area. Thousands of travelers will attest to this. It is not without reason that Cape Town is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. On the one hand, the imperturbable sea that tickles the rocky shores of Table Bay, on the other hand, the majestic Table Mountain whose characteristic flat peak looks down on you from 1.068 m above sea level. Cape Town has a Dutch feel with houses and facades that would not look out of place in our little country. The city is also one of the three capitals of the country, along with Pretoria and Bloemfontein. The city is a cultural destination where you can unabashedly indulge in one of the many extreme sports that are practiced here. Spicy hikes, motorcycle rides, mountain climbing, everything is possible. But do you really want the cream of the crop? Then take a helicopter flight over the city and its breathtaking surroundings.
Also read: On holiday to Cape Town, the best places in a row!
2. Robben Island | Cape Town
Of course, you would prefer to immediately embrace all the beautiful nature of South Africa. But don't forget that the country has had a noisy past. Apartheid, riots, political storms and fires: the country is still feeling the damage of the past. The years of imprisonment of Nelson Mandela is known to almost everyone. Mandela is a symbol of intransigence and wisdom. To get a sense of Mandela's life and his inexhaustible inner strength, a trip to Robben Island is a must. Here Mandela was imprisoned for 19 years in cell no. 5. The island is located about 7 km off the coast of Cape Town and has been added to Unesco's World Heritage List. The island and its story is now of unprecedented value for the entire world history and therefore definitely belongs on the list of must-sees in South Africa. To get there, take the Sikhululekile ferry that departs from Waterfront.
3. Chapman's Peak Drive | Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope
Also read: The 10 Most Beautiful National Parks in South Africa | Panoramas & Wildlife
On to the first panorama route! This is the route between Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. Especially from Hout Bay to Cape Point, this trip provides unprecedented 'oooohs' and 'aaaaaaahs'. The steep rocks of the magnificent Table Mountain and the cool blue Atlantic Ocean are your regular companions on this route. Arriving at Cape Point you have arrived at one of the most southern points in all of Africa (Cape Agulhas is even further south). The 'end of the world' feeling is in place here. Make sure you have a charged smartphone or even better: a good old-fashioned photo camera. In total, Chapman's Peak Drive has 114 turns and you really want to stop at every turn to take a few photos. We say, just do it!
Also read: Saving for a World Trip | Step-by-step plan, goals and tips
4. Stellenbosch Wine Route
You would almost forget that South Africa is also known for its sublime wines. To get a good idea of the delicious flavors the wines have to offer here, a trip along the Stellenbosch Wine Route is an ideal solution. This beautiful route, which takes you past the wine estates of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek, offers you, in addition to top wines, a trip through a fabulous environment. The coast, vineyards and vast fields sparkle on the horizon, it really is one of the must-sees in South Africa. The wine tastings receive you with all the courtesy you would expect. And of course you won't leave the route without a few wine bottles in your luggage.
5. Cango Caves
At 30 km from the town of Oudtshoorn you will find the Cango caves, called the Kango Cave in African. These caves were once inhabited by the bushmen of the San people and are arguably one of the most beautiful caves in the world. You can do a tour of an hour and let yourself be taken through the dark mysterious corridors. The total length of the caves is about 5 km. Along the way you will pass stalagmites, stalactites and beautiful cave formations. A total of 25 rooms have been discovered, but new paths and rooms are still being found. A tour through this natural phenomenon ensures that you will see a completely different face of South Africa.
6. Garden route / The garden route
The beautiful coastal route between the towns of Port Elizabeth and George is the setting for the 'Garden Route', arguably the most beautiful of South Africa's must-sees. With a rented car or on a cool motorcycle you cross 80 km along the Indian Ocean. The coastline itself here has been transformed into a protected nature reserve called Tsitsikamma. The Garden Route owes its fame to its beautiful vistas and panoramic views. The coastline here is said to be among the most beautiful in the world. Couldn't agree more. The wild and rugged rocks, the roaring surf and the serene sandy beaches are the ingredients for a wonderful trip along this route. The route also comes along the Storms River. This river flows into the Indian Ocean. At the estuary hangs a spectacular pedestrian bridge. For the real daredevils, this bridge is the perfect end to a stunning trip.
Also read: 24 Must Sees in Africa | The most beautiful places for your bucket list
Time to relax, time to relax! Where better than in Durban, South Africa's third largest city? In this seaside resort you can enjoy surfing and snorkelling. Durban is located in a bay that hugs the Indian Ocean. The climate here is excellent. A subtropical sun and a cool breeze while you relax on one of the surfing beaches on one of the surfing beaches, what more could a person need! Durban has a cosmopolitan character with a city center that is full of nice shops, restaurants and bars. But it is mainly the beaches that will attract you in Durban. Dolphins, sea lions and penguins will keep you company in this 'English' coastal town with allure!
A few hours' drive from the town of Durban, which lies on the border with Lesotho, you will find the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains. This South African natural wonder will amaze you with breathtaking mountain slopes that you can walk around for hours. You will also find a rugged rocky mountain range that you can try to conquer, after all, mountain climbing is allowed here. The highest mountain peak Njesuthi of 3408 m high, is present everywhere and watches over all the flora and fauna that make this mountain range so unique. Be sure to visit the Royal Natal National Park. Here you will find a unique mountain flank between all the hills, rocks and green forests. This place has been shaped by nature into a true amphitheatre. You have to see it to believe it. Do you want a real total experience? Then jump in the helicopter for an unforgettable sightseeing flight.
9. Kruger Park
Finally, we travel to perhaps the most famous park in all of South Africa: the Kruger Park. I don't think we need to explain to anyone that this is the creme de la creme of the must-sees in South Africa. Some overwhelming facts: the park is 380 km long and 60 km wide. The total area is no less than 20.000 square kilometers. In addition to the impressive Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros and buffalo), the park contains countless different animals. The diversity of flora and fauna is simply enormous. Of course you must have done a safari here. And don't focus on the Big Five, look around and you might spot hyenas, baboons, cheetahs, impalas or hippos! The Kruger Park, which is located in the northeast of South Africa, has several 'rest camps' and private parks with lodges where you can spend the night. The Kruger Park plus the private parks is also known as the Greater Kruger. The nature in the park is astonishing: dry savannas, jagged mountains, forests and rivers, you can see it all before your very nose.
Our advice: go on an open safari with an open jeep and experience nature even more intensely. Be accompanied by a guide. Might sound logical, but still. A guide sees, hears and feels South African nature and can tell you everything you want to know. Have fun in the 'Wild Garden' of Africa!
Also read: Vaccinations for a World Trip | Everything you need to know
That "village" Durban what on the Lesotho border? Durban is a yslike city which is certainly not on the Lesotho border. The Drakensberg forms the border between Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho.