South Africa Holidays

Zebras crossing a dirt road in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Kruger National Park

Places to visit in South Africa

At the southernmost tip of the African continent, covering an area three times the size of California, South Africa is the world’s most popular wildlife-watching destination. Just think of safari holidays and more often than not it’s South Africa and its thriving national parks that spring to mind. The Big Five are a main draw card, but with the opportunity to combine a safari holiday with mountains, sun-drenched vineyards, soft sandy beaches and what has to be the world’s most spectacularly located city, Cape Town, it’s no wonder all eyes are on South Africa.

To help you make the most of your visit here, our Experts have mapped out their favourite places to visit below: 

An aerial view of Cape Town Cape Town

Cape Town

Cape Town

Mountain City

With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Table Mountain on the other, Cape Town is blessed with beautiful views, sandy beaches, fascinating museums and numerous bars and restaurants, many of which are found on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

Most visitors to South Africa fly into Cape Town, but even if you arrive into Johannesburg, don’t miss a few days admiring the views from Table Mountain, exploring Robben Island’s infamous prison and watching the African penguins frolic on Boulders Beach. 

A male lion and cub in Kruger National Park Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

Big Five safaris

Kruger National Park is all about the wildlife. Lions stalk their prey, leopards snooze in the trees, and herds of elephants roam the plains. Choose from a luxury safari lodge or a simple camp, then join your guide for a 4X4 safari in South Africa’s flagship national park.

To reach Kruger, fly into Johannesburg then connect onwards, either by plane or by car, to the park. Kruger’s ease of access, abundance of game and the ability to self-drive make it an ideal choice for a first safari.

Stellenbosch wine region Stellenbosch

The Winelands

The Winelands

Stellenbosch & Franschhoek

Wine tasting is of course the number one reason to visit the Winelands, but don’t miss the mountain scenery and gourmet vineyard restaurants too. Explore the Cape Dutch architecture of historic Stellenbosch, learn about Afrikaans history in Paarl and feel the French influence in Franschhoek.

Just 50 miles from Cape Town, the Winelands make an excellent day trip or a longer stay before tackling the Garden Route; choose from the area’s selection of boutique vineyard hotels.

Johannesburg city buildings Johannesburg

Johannesburg & Surrounds

Johannesburg & Surrounds

Cosmopolitan cultural city

You’ll find some excellent restaurants, plush hotels and boutique stores in Johannesburg, as well as a smattering of museums. For South African history, try the Apartheid Museum, then travel to Soweto to visit the former home of Nelson Mandela, now a national museum.

From Jo’burg, it’s an easy drive to South Africa’s capital Pretoria, to the rivers and hiking trails of Mpumalanga or to the family-friendly Sun City entertainment complex at Pilanesberg National Park, which is also home to the Big Five. 

Drakensberg Amphitheatre Drakensberg Mountains

The Eastern Cape & KwaZulu-Natal

The Eastern Cape & KwaZulu-Natal

Beaches, surfing and scenery

Easily tacked on to the end of a Garden Route trip, the Eastern Cape is home to white sand beaches and wildlife-rich game reserves. Further north, the rugged scenery of KwaZulu-Natal is popular with hikers, particularly in the Drakensberg Mountains.

From Port Elizabeth it’s only a 40-minute drive to Addo Elephant Park, home to the Big Five, as well as numerous other parks and nature reserves. After following the coastline north, head inland into KwaZulu-Natal to learn more about Zulu heritage on the historic battlefields.

Top South Africa Journeys

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Travel to South Africa with the Experts

At Round the World Experts we have a dedicated team of South Africa Experts, who have visited the country and know exactly how to create the perfect holiday itinerary for you. So whether you're looking to add on a safari holiday after attending a wedding there, or are planning a comprehensive road trip around the country, our Experts can create a bespoke holiday itinerary for you that covers everything from flights to accommodation, transfers, car hire and experiences, all in one easy price. To find out more, contact our Experts today

Nicola Kennedy headshot

If you don't want to drive the garden route but still want to do more than Cape Town, I recommend visiting Hermanus. You can see whales and dolphins from the shore at certain times of the year and, if you're feeling game, also go cage diving! 

- Nicola Kennedy, Expert
A plate of seafood in Cape Town
When visiting Cape Town, don't miss visiting Camps Bay Beach for the best seafood lunch you've ever had #expertfinds #campsbaybeach #capetown #seafood