These top South Africa attractions are where it’s at. See leopards, rhinos, cheetahs, giraffe & penguins! Star-filled night skies, white-sand beaches, black-maned lions and rugged mountain ranges. South Africa will steal your heart and keep you coming back for more. Sure, there’s more to South Africa than Cape Town, but you know, Cape Town’s pretty awesome. Anyway, here’s our pick of the top South Africa attractions all travelers, even the hardest to impress, will absolutely love – and they’re not all in Cape Town.
Pap Penguins at Boulders Beach
A short drive from downtown Cape Town is Boulders Beach which has been home to a colony of penguins since the early 80’s. Boulders Beach is now a penguin sanctuary and visitors can watch them play but do avoid getting too close.
Explore Robben Island
South Africa’s troubled yet fascinating history should be explored too. Visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 20 years of his life in prison. This tour is both captivating and sad and you’ll get all the gory details of the civil war by tour guides who, remarkably, have spent a large part of their own lives in the prison for simply standing up for the rights of their countrymen.
Visit Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is one of the greatest National Parks in the world when it comes to exotic wildlife spotting. This sanctuary is home to an unbelievably large number of diverse species such as lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, cheetahs, giraffe, buffalo and zebra along with 137 species of smaller mammals and more than 500 species of birds. Kruger National Park is spread across an area of 19,485 square kilometers and guided wildlife tours and activities mean you can easily spend a few days here.
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
This beautiful reserve is spread across an area of 260 square kilometers on the Blyde River Canyon. You can see some magnificent rock formations towering above the lush green slopes in this canyon which is the largest in the world. Blyde River Canyon is also considered one of the most beautiful natural sights in the whole of South Africa. You can drive along the edge of the canyon and if you’re not short of time, explore the canyon on foot.
View Cape Town from Table Mountain
Table mountain is about 3500 feet above the city of Cape Town, and from here you can get a breathtaking view of the continent’s tip. The flat mountain is typically covered with wisps of white cloud and provides a breathtaking panorama to gaze down at. The energetic travelers amongst us can hike to the top of Table Mountain, the rest of us can take the cable car.
See the ‘Big Hole’ in Kimberley
The Big Hole in Kimberley is considered to be one of the deepest cavities excavated by man with a depth of 200 m2. The teal colored deep water can be seen from several vantage points but the best view is from a helicopter. Next to the Big Hole is the Kimberley Mine Museum which was the first ever discovery of diamond reserves in the South Africa.
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Constitution Hill in Johannesburg
In Johannesburg lies one of the most significant sites in the country, The Constitution Hill. The exhibitions here are profoundly moving and extremely inspirational. They are divided into four sections: The old fort constructed in 1892, which was an infamous prison for white males, Number 4 Jail for non-white males, the women’s jail and the last one for those awaiting trial. These have mostly been demolished now and in their place stand the Constitutional Court. Take a tour to understand the history.
Visit the Mattanu Game Reserve
This is a private no-kill game reserve that is known for its breeding programs. It’s a family run retreat situated in Kimberly in the open plains of Northern Cape Province. The visitors are allowed to take part in tracking, grouping and transferring the animals. It houses a large number of wildlife like roan (horse), impala, giraffes, sable, and buffalos which roam freely in their habitat.
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Hike the Cape of Good Hope Trail
This section of the Table mountain National park is spread over an area of 77.7 square kilometers and has rich landscapes, superb bird-watching, incredible walks and deserted beaches. If you want walk the Cape of Good Hope trail, you need to plan in advance. This is a 33.8-kilometer route where you spend the night in a hut and you will be able to spot rare species of birds including Ostrich and cormorants.
Other than these top South Africa attractions, there is so much more to do, see and experience in this fabulous country. Stay flexible during your South Africa trip because sometimes it’s the travelers you meet along the way that have the best surprise suggestions for fun things to do while here.
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