100 Best Attractions for a Road Trip Journey in South Africa
Here’s Tourism Tattler’s route recommendation of 100 best tourist attractions worth visiting for an ultimate South African road trip journey.
We start our road trip journey of South Africa’s 9 provinces in the Northern Cape and drive an (almost) circular route through the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Freestate, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and end in Gauteng.
001. Kimberly Big Hole (Kimberley)
The Kimberley Big Hole is an interesting tour if you are passionate about diamonds. The De Beer family
Next attraction distance: 815 km – Bloemfontein (001) to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (002).
002. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (Upington)
With soaring temperatures that rise to 40’c, red sand dunes and stars that fill the night sky, the Kgalagadi desert is a magical African experience. Here you will be able to see many many animals in their natural habitat. Here you will hear the sounds of many animals, including the roar of lions at night or the haunting laugh of a hyena. This is a magical experience not to be missed; night game drives and daytime game drives are offered.
Next attraction distance: 366 km – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (002) to Augrabies Falls (003).
003. Augrabies Waterfall (Augrabies)
A noise so loud, you would imagine a thunderstorm is on the way. The 56-meter waterfall is set in an arid and rocky part of South Africa, so it seems out of place in this desolate part of the country. The Augrabies Falls National Park is a beautiful place to visit, with many hikes, and interesting rock formations to see. You can also go on game drives during the day or at night with a guide. Despite the dry landscape, you will still be able to see the wildlife.
Next attraction distance: 429 km – Augrabies Falls (003) to Viooldrif (004).
004. Orange River Rafting (Vioolsdrif)
Something for the adventurous! River rafting down the Orange River is an exciting and different way to see South Africa. The rapids range from easy to moderate. The tour offers half-day to 6-day trips. The 6-day trip covers about 65 to 120km with nightly stops on the river bank, to camp and enjoy a lovely meal.
Next attraction distance: 169 km – Viooldrif (004) to Namaqua National Park (005).
005. Namaqua National Park (Springbok)
Velvet black skies twinkle with stars at night, while down below the ground is covered with millions of daisies as far as the eye can see. The Namaqua National Park is a fantastic place to visit. A place of contrast; from dry arid desert terrain to beautiful oceans and then the most exquisite part, the Namaqua daisies. The daisies bloom early August and September.
Next attraction distance: 463 km – Namaqua National Park (005) to Riebeek Kasteel (006).
006. Riebeek Kasteel (Cape Town)
Nestled safely in the gorgeous Kasteel Mountains is the little town of Riebeek Kasteel. This beautiful town is surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, and, of course, unforgettable mountains. Riebeek Kasteel has been called the Mediterranean of Africa. This is a magical little town to visit that will leave you in awe. It is also one of the oldest towns in South Africa.
Next attraction distance: 93.2 km – Riebeek Kasteel (006) to Table Mountain Aerial Cable Way – 008).
007. Table Mountain (Cape Town)
This iconic flat-topped mountain with views to die for over Cape Town is a must-see when visiting Cape Town. You can either take a short 2-hour hike up Table Mountain or enjoy a cable car ride up to the top. The views from the top are magnificent!
Next attraction distance: 07.8 km – Table Mountain (007) to V&A Waterfront (008) for the ferry to Robben Island (009).
008. V&A Waterfront (Cape Town)
For an exciting shopping experience, be sure to visit the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Set along the gorgeous Cape Town Harbour, this is a wonderful stop for good food, wine and craft beer, great shopping, and awesome live music. It also offers more than 80 restaurants, 12 hotels, over 500 retail stores, and 7 museums.
009. Robben Island (Cape Town)
Robben Island provides a historical and informative tour that reflects the social injustice of Apartheid. It’s located 6.9 km out to sea from the beautiful Bloubergstrand suburb, although the tourist ferry departs from Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. You will be able to go on tours of the foreboding prisons, including Nelson Mandela’s prison cell where he was incarcerated for 27 years. Upon his release in February 1990, he became a true inspiration for all South Africans and for people around the world.
Next attraction distance: 06.4 km – V&A Waterfront (009) to Old Biscuit Mill (010).
010. The Old Biscuit Mill (Cape Town)
This adorable warm and quaint little village in Woodstock is for those who love good food, awesome music, and a trendy vibe. The Old Biscuit Mill is filled with artists, photographers, architects and food connoisseurs. The village actually used to be a biscuit mill and is filled with history too.
Next attraction distance: 03.4 km – Old Biscuit Mill (010) to District 6 Museum (011).
011. District 6 Museum (Cape Town)
District Six was a suburb during the Apartheid years that had as many as 1900 families living there. The families were forcibly removed from their homes so that the area could become a “whites only” neighbourhood. Approximately 60 000 people were relocated to the Cape Flats. This was a gross injustice and at the District Six museum, you will learn more about this bleak part in South Africa’s history.
Next attraction distance: 11.3 km – District 6 Museum (011) to Kirstenbosch Gardens (012).
012. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (Cape Town)
Relaxation and gorgeous scenery, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens covers 52 800 sq km of indigenous fauna and flora. One of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world, this is a real feast for the eyes. Boasting 9000 different species of plants, you will be able to enjoy and see the beauty of South Africa’s natural diversity.
Next attraction distance: 15.7 km – Kirstenbosch Gardens (012) to Ratanga Junction (013 – Century City).
013. Ratanga Junction (Cape Town)
Exciting rides in the heart of Cape Town! Ratanga Junction is located close to the Century City Shopping Centre and Canal Walk boulevard. At Ratanga Junction, the Cape Cobra ride is a looping roller coaster that hurtles riders from a height of 32 meters. The speed of this exciting roller coaster is 100 km per hour. There are many more fun things to do in the park, and this is a great place for families to visit.
Next attraction distance: 14.2 km – Ratanga Junction (013) to Durbanville Hills Winery (014).
014. Durbanville Hills Winery (Cape Town)
Jump onto the N1 highway from Ratanga Junction and take a leisurely 17-minute drive towards the northern suburbs of Tygerberg and you’ll find Durbanville Hills Winery – the perfect location to experience the Mother City’s iconic attractions, namely wine, food, and panoramic views.
Next attraction distance: 41.0 km – Durbanville Hills Winery (014) to Cape Winelands (015).
015. Cape Winelands (Stellenbosch – Cape Town)
Fancy a glass of crisp Chenin Blanc or flirty Rose’? The Cape Winelands District stretches across the Witzenberg, Drakenstein, Stellenbosch, Breede Valley, and Langeberg municipalities. There’s a wide range of vineyards to choose from, all offering wine tasting as well as delicious wine-pairing meals. You can choose to either dine in an authentic wine cellar or outside in the vineyards with exquisite mountain views.
Next attraction distance: 27.9 km – Stellenbosch (015) to Clarence Drive (016 – Gordon’s Bay).
016. Clarence Drive (Gordon’s Bay)
For a scenic route from Cape Town along the Whale Coast Route, drive along the N2 towards Somerset West and turn right at the Gordon’s Bay / Kleinmond sign, then turn left at the T-junction in Gordon’s Bay and onto the R44. Clarence Drive is a coastal road carved from rocky sea cliffs, which rivals Cape Town’s Chapman’s Peak Drive between Noordhoek and Hout Bay in terms of scenic beauty (and without any toll fees). Clarence Drive provides magnificent views across False Bay to Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula.
Next attraction distance: 23.4 km – Gordon’s Bay (016) to Rooi-Els (017).
017. Rooi-Els (Cape Whale Coast Route)
Rooi-Els lies between Kogel Bay and Pringle Bay. A surfers paradise with barrel breaks curling along an expansive stretch of white beach, Rooi-Els is favoured by topless sunbathers for its sheltered cove and protection from occasional southeastern wind. It’s a small seaside village and a favourite spot for family outings on the beach.
Next attraction distance: 7.1 km – Rooi Els (017) to Pringle Bay (018 – Main Beach).
018. Pringle Bay (Cape Whale Coast Route)
Pringle Bay has quaint holiday homes along the shoreline and a few restaurants for light lunches. Out of season it’s really quiet so the beach can be enjoyed in solitude but it does get busy over weekends, and especially during school term holiday periods. If you do stop at the layby near the bridge to take in the view, watch out for baboons!
Next attraction distance: 4.1 km – Pringle Bay (018) to Hangklip (019).
019. Hangklip (Cape Whale Coast Route)
Hangklip (‘hanging rock’) is named after the draping rock-face that appears to cling to the mountainside. It appears along Clarence Drive to the right of a sharp bend in the road and forms the entrance to False Bay with its 22-meter lighthouse tower that has kept sailors, seafarers and fisherman safe since 1960.
Next attraction distance: 13.2 km – Hangklip (019) to Betty’s Bay (020).
020. Betty’s Bay (Cape Whale Coast Route)
Betty’s Bay was once the site of a whaling station and today it is home to one of only two mainland Jackass Penguin Colonies in South Africa (the other is Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town, which forms part of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area). The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden is well worth a visit and is located within the expansive Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The nominal entrance fee is worth the privilege of experiencing the garden trails, and guided group tours can be arranged by booking at least two weeks in advance.
Next (optional) attraction distance: 10.7 km – Betty’s Bay (020) to Kogelberg Nature Reserve (021) OR 13.5 km – Betty’s Bay (020) to Kleinmond (022).
021. Kogelberg Nature Reserve
Just before you drive over the bridge towards Kleinmond, you can take a left-turn detour to view the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, the first and only Biosphere in South Africa to be proclaimed by the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); a testament to the stunning diversity and a large number of its flowering plants, many of which are found nowhere else in the fynbos biome. The reserve boasts more than 1 880 different plant species, of which seventy-seven species occur nowhere else on earth (the next richest is the South American rainforest with just 420 species per 10 000 square kilometres).
022. Kleinmond (Cape Whale Coast Route)
Kleinmond, at the foot of the Palmietberg, is the next town along the R44. You’ll find the Hangklip-Kleinmond Tourism Bureau in the Protea Centre on the left of Main Road – worth a brief stop-over to collect product brochures and view their display of local artefacts and fynbos plant samples. The Kleinmond new harbour area is also worth a visit. Here you can buy honey, biltong, dried fynbos flowers, arts & crafts or enjoy fresh oysters and line-fish at any of several restaurants. Organised annual events along the Hangklip-Kleinmond route include the Totalsports Challenge (a seven discipline sporting event) in January, the Big Blues Music Festival in March, the African X Trail (trail running) in April, the Gravity Adventure Festival in August, the
Next attraction distance: 23.8 km – Kleinmond (022) to Botrivier (023).
023. Botrivier (Cape Whale Coast Route)
After Kleinmond, the R44 passes the Botrivier Estuary and ends in a T-junction at the R43, where one can either to turn right towards Hermanus and the Whale Coast Route or turn left to explore the Elgin Valley and Overberg countryside. A left turn will also connect to the N2 freeway and is a quicker route to get to George and the Garden Route. But then you’d miss the following 7 coastal villages, so hang right.
Next attraction distance: 20.7 km – Botrivier (023) to Fisherhaven (024).
024. Fisherhaven (Cape Whale Coast Route)
The seaside resort of Fisherhaven has a lagoon, yacht club, public slipway and playground. A herd of wild horses that have adapted to a diet of slightly saline water and plants also live here. It’s interesting to note that during World War II, the Royal Air Force Squadron 262 established a diversion base here and Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boats used to take off and land on the lagoon.
Next attraction distance: 12.0 km – Fisherhaven (024) to Onrus (025).
025. Onrus (Cape Whale Coast Route)
Onrus means ‘restless’ in Afrikaans, referring to the pounding surf on the rocky coast. It is a predominantly residential area close to the coastline, as is Sandbaai (Sand Bay), which neighbours Onrusrivier and shares a popular swimming beach. Near the beach access car park, there’s a restaurant with a wooden deck overlooking the river and beach that is worth popping into for sundowners.
Next attraction distance: 3.0 km – Onrus (025) to Sandbaai (026).
026. Sandbaai (Cape Whale Coast Route)
Visiting Sandbaai along the Whale Coast Route would not be complete without spending a night at Mountain View Manor Guest House. The owners, Charlise Elske (an executive chef) and Geoff Elske (a tourism specialist) are a fountain of knowledge on the Overberg Tourism region – and excellent hosts too!
Next attraction distance: 6.2 km – Sandbaai (026) to Rotary Way (027 – Hermanus look-out point).
027. Rotary Way (Cape Whale Coast Route)
Just before you get to Hermanus (note the speed restriction signs), there’s a signposted turn-off to Rotary Way and the top of the Overberg mountain range. Take the turn-off for an elevated panoramic photo opportunity of this pristine area. The first lookout point is at the radio relay station with views across Zwelihle, Sandbaai, Onrus and out towards Vermont. On a clear day, one can see as far as Hangklip and Pringle Bay. This is also a popular spot for model aeroplane pilots due to the thermal winds which come off the mountain. The second viewpoint is at the end of the tarred road and offers panoramic views over Hermanus Village and the Golf course, as well as views over the Klein Rivier Valley, with Stanford, the Klein Rivier Lagoon, De Kelders, Birkenhead and Danger Point Lighthouse in the distance across Walker Bay towards Gansbaai. In season, the flowering Protea bloom on both sides of Rotary Way – it’s an amazing sight to behold!
Next attraction distance: 6.5 km – Rotary Way (027) to the Old Harbour (028).
028. Old Harbour (Cape Whale Coast Route)
Before driving into Hermanus, the Old Harbour Museum is well worth a visit. The museum comprises two sections: the Historical Old Fishing Harbour and the Fisherman’s Village that displays boats, the old sea wall, brine tanks and ‘bokkom’ (salted fish) stands. The indoor museum houses a photographic exhibition of Old Hermanus, which dates back as far as the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th.
Next attraction distance: 3.4 km – Old Harbour (028) to Hermanus (029).
029. Hermanus (Cape Whale Coast Route)
Hermanus was originally called Hermanuspietersfontein, but the name was shortened as it was too long for the postal service. It’s the commercial hub of the Overstrand Region and is famous for southern right whale watching during winter and spring (June to September) – hence the Overstrand’s marketing slogan: ’The Whale Coast’. In excess of 100 whales can be in the area with their young as they come to Walker Bay to calve and mate.
030. Stanford (Cape Whale Coast Route)
The village of Stanford lies inland, about a 20-minute drive from Hermanus. This quaint historic village is ideal for day-trippers looking for antique stores, restaurants, vineyards, coffee shops or a picnic in the country. Stanford is fast becoming a food destination with chefs serving an array of fresh and locally produced food with a leaning towards the slow food movement. Foods range from family-fare, gourmet delights, country comfort cuisine, pub grub to fine dining.
Next attraction distance: 18.7 km – Stanford (030) to Gansbaai (031).
032. Shark Cage Diving (Gansbaai)
Diving into the deep dark depths of the ocean can be terrifying but facing 100s of razor-sharp teeth could be almost unbearable! Shark cage diving off the Gansbaai coast is not for the faint of heart! But this is truly an incredible experience! Come up close and personal with these amazing creatures and see them as you have never seen them before! Great White Sharks engage in a number of behavioural and social activities, ranging from courtship to complex social behaviour. White sharks are generally very curious animals, they display intelligence and they even socialize if the situation demands it. The tour is about 3-4 hours and you will have great new insights about this remarkable animal. Even though shark cave diving can seem a scary experience, you will in safe hands. This is not an opportunity to be missed.
Next attraction distance: 89.0 km – Gansbaai (032) to Cape Agulhas (033).
033. Cape Agulhas (L’ Agulhas)
Nothing can be more liberating than having the ocean lap against your bare feet, feeling the salty sea spray kiss your cheeks and realising that you are at the most southern tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and the Indian oceans meet. Cape Agulhas is absolutely breathtaking. With ultra blue oceans and rocky beaches, this is a perfect tourist stop. It’s a must-do at least once in your lifetime.
Next attraction distance: 109 km – Cape Agulhas (033) to Swellendam (034).
The third oldest town in South Africa, Swellendam has over 50 provincial heritage sites; mostly buildings of Cape Dutch architecture. Nearby, you can visit the Bontebok National Park to view these endemic antelope and enjoy a picnic, the Marloth Nature Reserve for hiking, or the Drostdy Museum, which was built in 1747 by the Dutch East India Company as a residence for the Magistrate.
Next attraction distance:
035. Cango Caves (Oudtshoorn)
Located in an exquisite backdrop, this remarkable cave system is only 29 km from the beautiful and quaint town of Oudtshoorn. You will be amazed by the millions of year old stalactites and stalagmites that decorate the cave. The Cango Cave tour is about 2 hours long and the guides are very experienced and knowledgeable. You have 2 options; You could either enjoy the easy laid back tour of the caves or, for the more adventurous, the adventure tour of the caves. The adventure tour will take you into tiny dark tunnels, and intricate cave systems. Note that the adventure tour is not for pregnant women or people who suffer from claustrophobia. But if you would love to see something humbling and spectacular this tour is a must! Concerts have even been held in the caves before because of the acoustics. A real treat! While in Oudtshoorn, visit Redberry Farm, De Zeekoe Farm Stay and their unique activity Meerkat Adventures.
036. The Cango Wildlife Ranch (Oudtshoorn)
The slogan for The Cango Wildlife Ranch is “Conserve, Care, Connect”. That is so true of what they do at the wildlife ranch. The Cango wildlife ranch is home to over 90 species and the tour comprises of very educational and fun lectures. The conservation’s message is to preserve our animals and the environment. You can even swim with crocodiles (while you are safe inside the cage).
037. Ostrich Riding (Oudtshoorn)
Riding an Ostrich is a hilarious and unforgettable experience! The Cango Ostrich farm is a beautiful place to visit just a few kilometres away from Oudtshoorn. There are guided tours every 20 min. You will be able to see, touch and even ride these funny looking birds!
038. Baviaanskloof (Willowmore)
Baviaanskloof means The Valley of Baboons in the Dutch language. This beautiful area is known for exquisite mountains, fresh fast running streams and a variety of fauna and flora, as well as wildlife. There is also a vast amount of history in the area that points to our first human ancestors.
039. Swartberg Pass (Prince Albert)
There are many historical spots along the Swartberg Pass where one can stop to enjoy the views. The road is gravel, therefore it is best to drive slow and enjoy the scenery; or if you like, let someone else do the driving, while you ride your bike.
040. Pezula Golf Course (Knysna)
Pezula is a championship golf course with spectacular views of the sea. It is one of the most scenic golf courses in the world, with a marvellous 18 hole course. The course was designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of America. There is also a 5-star spa in Pezula, so the wives can enjoy being pampered, while the men enjoy one of the most magnificent courses ever.
041. Knysna Oyster Festival (Knysna)
Despite the devastating bush fires that engulfed the seaside town of Knysna and its surrounding tourist attractions in June 2017, it’s business as usual in Knysna. Now Knysna needs your support so that they can start to rebuild this iconic town. Knysna is open for business and the beauty of the region remains and the Knysna Oyster Festival promises to be abuzz with fun, food, and drink for the full 10 days of July. For more information visit www.oysterfestival.co.za
042. The Otter Trail (Garden Route, Knysna)
This beautiful hike is 5 days long and 43km. You hike through some of the most breathtaking scenery in South Africa. With raging rivers, lush forests, thunderous waterfalls and beautiful views of the ocean, this hike is a once in a lifetime experience. You will stop at lovely camps for the night that are well-appointed. This is really an amazing experience not to be missed.
043. Tsitsikamma (Garden Route)
Forests, mountains and the ocean. Tsitsikamma is a magical part of South Africa that will leave you in complete awe. There is so much to do in this breathtaking area; From hikes to ocean dune safaris and even mountain biking. The meaning of Tsitsikamma is “Place of sparkling water.” in the Khoi language. This is an exquisite part of South Africa, that those with an adventurous spirit will love.
044. Canopy Tours (Storms River)
Adventure seekers flock to Storms River Village in the heart of the Tsitsikamma National Park forest for their adrenalin rush. A canopy tour is a unique experience that families of all ages, regardless of ability, can enjoy.
This is a fun and exciting way to explore the Knysna rain forests. High above the ground in ancient and massive. Yellow Woods trees that are 700 years old! The trees are 30 meters high,so this is something excitingly different to do in South Africa. You will be able to look down at the luscious forest floor and admire the beauty of the Knysna forests. Who knows? You might even see the legendary Knysna Elephant that has been rumoured to roam the forests.
045. Bloukraans Bungee (Storms River)
Are you an adrenaline junkie? Do you love the feeling of freefalling, having the wind rush past you as if you were flying? Then this is for you. The Bloukraans Bungee is the highest bungee bridge in the whole world! The bridge is 216 meters high! That is definitely something that will get your blood pumping!
046. Grahamstown Arts Festival (Grahams Town)
Are you an art lover? Do you enjoy the weird, wonderful and the talented? If that is the case then the Grahamstown National Arts Festival is not to be missed! This art festival encompasses every aspect of the arts. From art to theatre to dancing and music. The festival runs during the winter months of South Africa from the 29th of June to the 9th of July. So if you are looking for something for sophisticated and less adventurous this art festival is for you.
047. Garden Route (Plettenberg, Knysna)
Have you been craving adventure? Perhaps a long road trip to sort out your thoughts and quiet down your restless soul? The Garden Route is the answer. This exquisite drive stretches between Southern Cape and the Western Cape. The landscape is beautifully diverse and scenic. You will be able to stop along the way and enjoy all the little towns and breathtaking scenery. This gorgeous scenery includes Forests, mountains, the ocean and so much more.
048. Birds Of Eden (Plettenberg Bay)
Birds of Eden is a beautiful getaway for the whole family. It is the largest free-flight aviary in the whole world. You will be walking among many species of birds, all beautiful and unique, in a forest. Birds of Eden is home to some 3500 birds. It is a safe place for birds to be rehabilitated.
049. Radical Raptors (Plettenberg Bay)
Radical Raptors is a rehabilitation centre for birds of prey. This is an excellent and educational tour for the whole family. There are bird flight demonstrations, where you will be able to have owls, hawks and the like rest on your hand. Radical Raptors aims at public awareness of these magnificent creatures. The demonstration and interaction are 45min long.
050. East Heads Cafe (Knysna)
Spectacular views, delicious food and friendly service. This is one of the most exquisite places to eat in South Africa with gorgeous views of the Knysna Heads, the lagoon and the sea. A definite must in my books. Make sure to have one of their refreshing cocktails and yummy fish and chips.
051. The Big Tree (Knysna)
This ancient Yellow Wood will leave you in utter awe. The Big Tree of Knysna is estimated to be about 800 years old. It is 36 meters high and 9 meters in diameter. The forests of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay area quiet and cool retreat from the scorching African sun. This ancient tree is definitely worth a visit. The hikes to the tree are quick between 4 and 5 km.
052. Simola (Knysna)
Simola Golf Course is set in between parts of the forests of Knysna as well as the mountains. This is an exquisite place to play golf. Peaceful scenery will unwind your weary muscles, as you enjoy an excellent game of golf. There is also a hotel and spa on the premises.
053. Noetzie Castle (Knysna)
This secluded and flawless beach is really a special part of South Africa. White sand, rough, wild seas and a river that runs into the Indian Ocean. The word “Noetzie” means “black water” in the Khoisan language. The river that flows into the sea is a dark orange-black colour, from all the minerals. There are no actual historical castles but there are homes that a person can rent that look like castles.
054. Surfing in Jeffreys Bay.
Perfect swells, cool water and a funky town, J-Bay is the perfect spot for surfers. Many competitions are held here. Strong winds that come down from the mountains, create perfect tubes.. Jeffreys Bay is the perfect place for surfers, skateboarders and anyone who enjoys extreme sport. There are also many shops in the town that sell name brand surf wear.
055. Addo Elephant Park (Port Elizabeth)
The Addo Elephant Park is home to more than 600 elephants, if you love elephants come and visit this beautifully diverse national park. Besides elephant you will be able to see hyena, the endangered black rhino and even the big seven; which is: Lions, buffalo, leopard, rhino, elephant, southern right whales and the great white shark (if you take a marine tour)
056. Monkey Land (Plettenberg Bay)
Monkey Land is a sanctuary for all primates that have been hurt, harmed or abandoned. In the Monkeyland Sanctuaries, monkeys can roam around free. The tours offered are amazing, as you walk free among these amazing primates. You will encounter Howler monkeys, Swamp Lemurs, capuchins and many more. The tour is about an hour long and you will also cross the highest suspension bridge in the Southern Hemisphere.
057. Bathurst (Port Alfred)
Bathurst is a spooky little town 12km just outside of Port Alfred. It is known for the 1820s British Settlers who were sent there as a buffer between the Xhosa people and the Cape Colony. The town has a lot of interesting little places to see, from nature reserves to a lady who can speak to faeries. There is also coffee shops and a small art gallery. It has been said that on a full moon all the weird and creepy people come out to drink at the Pig and Whistle Pub. You can also visit the giant pineapple which is on a pineapple farm.
058. The Owl House (Graaf Reniet)
The Owl House is a very interesting museum in the Eastern Cape. The owner Helen Martins was an artist who transformed her home into a work of art. Her home and garden contain hundreds of sculptures of camels, owls and people. The house is also covered with coloured glass, mirrors and wire that adds to the strange home. The owl house is open from 9:00 am to 16:45 pm from Monday to Friday. If you’re an artist and enjoy the weird and wonderful, then come see The Owl House.
059. Tiffindell Ski Resort (Rhodes)
Snow in Africa? Really?! You might say. How is that even possible? Well, that’s the beautiful thing about South Africa; The diversity! Tiffindell Ski resort has been voted as one of the best ski runs in the world. Set high up in the Drakensberg mountains this beautiful resort is a must-see. They have state of the art ski equipment and also snowmaking equipment (just in case mother nature throws a curveball) so that you can enjoy snow throughout the whole of winter. There are also many activities to enjoy at Tiffindell’s in summer.
060. Cullinan Diamond Mine (Cullinan)
The world’s largest rough diamond was found here at the Cullinan Diamond mine which was, 3106ct; It weighed 621 grams. The mine offers tours of a working mine, and the town of Cullinan is a real treat. The town offers quaint little shops, restaurants and flea markets. The tours of the mine take about 2 hours. There is also The Cullinan Diamond Shop to visit if you are interested in buying diamonds.
061. The Johannesburg Observatory (Johannesburg)
For those interested in science and astronomy, the Observatory in Johannesburg is a very educational and interesting tour for families. There are different exhibits to see that stimulates a love for science and astrophysics. There are also night tours that allow people to get involved in exciting astronomy activities.
062. Union Buildings (Pretoria)
The Union Buildings are an important heritage site in South Africa. It is the seat of parliament in South Africa. This beautiful sandstone building is set in beautiful gardens with terraces. There is also a massive statue of Nelson Mandela just outside. The building is 285 meters long and was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in the early 1900s. There is a lot of history surrounding this monumental building. Unfortunately, you won’t be allowed in the building but you will be able to explore the outside. A particularly beautiful time to visit is in October when all the purple Jacaranda flowers are in bloom.
063. Natural History Museum (Pretoria)
This beautiful old museum had been around since 1892. The museum has educational exhibits of South African natural history, including the hominid Mrs Ples and other fossils, skins and skeletons.
064. Monte Casino (Johannesburg)
An awesome casino, that has been made to resemble a Tuscan town, Monte Casino is a loved spot for tourists and South Africans. There are many gourmet restaurants, a beautiful theatre as well as movies. This is a one-stop entertainment hub.
065. The Neighbourgoods Market (Johannesburg)
It’s all about the vibe! The neighbourhoods market is known for artisan foods, unique stalls and funky music. A place for people to meet, experience and share ideas. The market is in Johannesburg city centre and is open every Saturday.
066. Wits Art Museum (Johannesburg)
Are you an art connoisseur? Do you enjoy admiring and analyzing wonderful art pieces? Then come to South Africa and be sure not to miss the Wits Art Museum. The museum offers a wide variety of African contemporary, classical and historical art.
067. Gold Reef City (Johannesburg)
Fun, excitement and a thrilling experience! Gold Reef City is one of the top family attractions in South Africa. There is a wide range of rides for everyone of all ages to enjoy. There are also various hotels, casinos, and restaurants. Gold Reef City is made to look like an old mining town, so it is a very unique experience.
068. Menlyn Mall (Pretoria)
Menlyn Mall has now been dubbed the largest mall in Africa. With fantastic designer stores, international food brands, including Starbucks and Krispy Kreme; This is a must-see in Pretoria. There are fantastic movie theatres and an entertainment centre for kids.
069. Voortrekker Monument (Pretoria)
The Voortrekker Monument is a very unique monument that was built in 1949 to commemorate the Pioneers who moved from The Cape to the Northern parts of South Africa. They braved wild animals, tribal people and the unforgiving South African landscape. The monument also has the world’s longest historical freeze. It’s a beautiful part of South African history that is a sight to see.
070. Maropeng Exhibition (Johannesburg)
This interesting museum is dedicated to the
evolution of mankind throughout the ages. This is a self-guided tour, with an exciting underground boat ride, that takes you through the stages of humankind and the earth. You will be able to see fossils and ancient tools that were used by our first ancestors.
071. Hot Air Balloon Safaris (Johannesburg)
Imagine flying high above the ground in a hot air balloon; with beautiful scenery down below (you might even see some wild animals.) Hot air balloons are a very romantic and exhilarating thing to do in South Africa.
072. Cradle of Humankind (Johannesburg)
The Cradle of Humankind is a very interesting tour. History enthusiasts will really enjoy this tour. The sites cover 47 000 Hectares of caves. This site is a world heritage site and is famous for the discovery of a 2,3 million-year-old fossil, nicknamed Mrs Ples. There is also a museum with a restaurant you can visit.
073. Soweto (Johannesburg)
Soweto is a huge township just outside of Johannesburg. Soweto is well known for the people who fought for their freedom during the unjust Apartheid years. Nelson Mandela is a famous Sowetan. There are tours of Soweto, Mandela House Museum and at the end of the tours, you will be able to enjoy a traditional South African braai (barbeque).
074. Lesedi Cultural Village ( Johannesburg)
Enjoy the warmth of African culture at the Lesedi Cultural Village. You will be greeted with warmth and enjoy an amazing experience of how traditional Zulu, Xhosa and Pedi people live. This is a traditional homestead, so you will be able to have an authentic and welcoming experience. You can stay with a traditional African family to enjoy the full experience.
075. Apartheid Museum (Johannesburg)
The Apartheid Museum is an excellent place to visit with many exhibitions. If you would like to understand what Apartheid was like in South Africa then a visit to the museum will be an eye-opening experience. The museum is open from Monday-Sunday 9:00 am -17:00 pm
076. Red Barn (Centurion)
If cycling is your thing, The Big Red barn, has an amazing track for mountain bikers. You will ride through a 200-hectare forest of massive eucalyptus trees.; there are many technical aspects to the track as well. The Red barn also has a zip line for the kids and an awesome restaurant for the moms to relax at. Enjoy the flea market on Saturdays too.
077. Sandton City (Johannesburg)
This huge and trendy mall is a definite must-see in Joburg. Offering more than 300 stores, Sandton city has it all! All the top name brand stores are there, as well as trendy restaurants and jewellery stores. Shop to your heart’s content among the posh and cosmopolitan people of Sandton.
078. Tswaing Soutpan Meteor Crater (Pretoria)
More than 200 000 years old this .massive meteor crater is 1 km in diameter and 100 meters high. There is a museum just opposite the crater, where you can learn more about it and the speed at which it hit the earth. Today, it looks like a salt lake.
079. Constitution Hill (Johannesburg)
A former prison, this building is now a museum that testifies to South Africa’s history. Many famous South Africans were held prisoner here, including Nelson Mandela and others. There are interesting tours held throughout the day; Learn about South Africa’s turbulent history and hear the whispers from the past.
080. Pretoria Zoo (Pretoria)
Come and experience a wide variety of animals up close. The Pretoria Zoo is the biggest Zoo in the country, with an aquarium and a reptile park. Voted one of the best Zoos in the world, the Pretoria Zoo has some 9500 animals. You can hire a golf cart, take the zoo train or enjoy a cable cart ride. This is a fun family trip.
081. Sterkfontein Caves (Krugersdorp)
The Sterkfontein Caves are world-famous for its ancient fossil finds. The one fossil which they found was more than 3 million years old. This is a world heritage site and is definitely worth a visit. The tours go deep into the caves, where you will also see an underground lake and beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations.
082. Golden Gate (Clarens)
Golden Gate Park gets its name from the colour of the grass and mountains, it all seems to have a beautiful golden colour to it. Be swept away by
massive mountains, beautiful hikes, horse rides and caves. There are many hikes to choose from in Golden Gate; some ranging from easy to quite difficult. Sometimes in winter it even snows, so this is a beautiful place to visit.
083. Hartbeespoort Flea Market (Hartbeespoort)
Set outside with many, many stalls the Hartebeespoort Flea market is the perfect place to get gifts for family back home. The flea market offers a large variety of African arts and crafts, food stalls and entertainment. This is the best stopover for souvenirs from South Africa.
084. Ukhuthula (Brits)
Ukuthula is only 80km from O.R Tambo airport. This is a 5-star lodge with excellent food, service and memorable experiences. You can hear the lions roar right up close, see cheetahs and even walk with the lions. Game rides are also offered. Ukuthula also breeds with white lions. This is a very rare and beautiful thing to see and if you really love Ukutula you can volunteer to help out for a few months. They have a wonderful volunteers programme.
085. Pilanesberg (Brits)
The Pilanesberg National Park is right next to Sun City. It is home to the Big 5 and set in an exquisite setting. There are also hides that you can sit in to view the wildlife. Enjoy seeing hippo, crocodile, leopard and giraffe. There are also various restaurants that you can dine in with views of watering holes. There are also lovely campsites.
086. Sun City (Rustenburg)
Sun City is a world-class resort; offering many hotels, attractions, golf courses and casino. The movie “Blended” with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore was shot at Suncity. Sun City hosts two amazing championship golf courses where the world’s best play. The sun city resort is also a wonderful place for families; The Valley of Waves offers a variety of water slides and a wave pool. This one-stop destination has it all.
087. Oyster Box Luxury Hotel (Umhlanga)
Stay in this gorgeously luxurious hotel that rests majestically on the hill overlooking the Indian Ocean. The rooms boast absolute luxury with breathtaking views of the ocean. There are wonderful fine dining restaurants to choose from and even dolphin watching from the terrace.
088. uShaka Marine World (Durban)
Excitement, fun, and lots to do, uShaka Marine world is a top-class place to enjoy marine diversity, shows as well as so much more. You can meet a dolphin, swim with sharks and even meet a seal. There is also a fun and massive water theme park which has the highest water slide in the Southern Hemisphere. Party hard in the DJ pool, where you can dance and go wild whilst being entertained by local DJs. The fun never stops at uShaka.
089. Shakaland Zulu Cultural Village (Durban)
For a truly African experience, a visit to the Shakaland Zulu Cultural Village is something to be treasured. You can choose from a half-day tour to a full 2-day tour, where you will be able to see how the Zulu people live. At the cultural village, you will experience traditional Zulu dancing, bear making, beadwork and so much more. If you decide to stay for the 2-day tour you will be staying a traditional Zulu beehive hut with all the modern luxuries of today, including DSTV.
090. Comrades Marathon (Durban)
Are you athletic and looking for an incredible challenge that has people from all over the world coming to compete? If your answer is YES! Then the Comrades marathon is for you. The race is 88 km long and the route is from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. There is an allowance of only 20 000 runners, so book your spot quickly if you would like to compete this year. The date for 2017 is the 4th of June.
091. Butterfly Valley Farm (Ramsgate)
Beautiful colours all around, fluttering fleeting butterflies. The Butterfly Valley farm breeds all South African Butterflies. There is a dome where you will be able to walk around, and these graceful creatures will fly around you. During the tour, you will also learn how to conserve butterflies in your area.
092. Drakensberg Mountains (Midlands)
In English, Drakensberg is translated as the Dragon Mountains and you will see why when you come upon these gorgeous mountains. This is a massive and mythical mountain range, which captures your attention. Drakensberg offers many beautiful and unforgettable hikes. In winter it can even snow on the peaks. Its elevation is 3,482 meters and it is 1000 km in length. This truly is magnificent to see. If you are looking for fresh air, peace and quiet, then this is for you.
093. Amphitheatre (Drakensberg)
The phenomenal amphitheatre is the most photographed spot in the Drakensberg. Exquisite scenery and beautiful hikes await in this jewel of Africa. There are various hikes to enjoy. The Tugela Gorge hike is 22km and it takes about 8 hours to complete. You will also be able to see the magnificent Tugela falls that is 980m high. This is a spectacular part of South Africa which is perfect for nature lovers.
094. Cathedral Peak Drakensberg (Bergville)
Fresh crisp air, mountains so colossal that you feel humbled, beautiful hikes and fancy hotels. Cathedral Peak is one of my favourite and most peaceful places in South Africa. It is a 3004-meter high mountain, which is quite a fantastic sight to see. One of the most beautiful hotels to stay in is the Cathedral Peak Hotel. You will have exquisite views of the mountains, spa treatments, pools and luxurious rooms to stay in.
095. Rugged Glen (Mount Aux Sources)
This breathtaking nature reserve is a must-see! It isn’t a massive nature reserve, but it boasts exquisite hiking trails and fishing spots. This beautifully quiet, peaceful and majestic part of South Africa is also interesting in a historical sense. There are traces of ancient human history in the area which shows man’s presence from millions of years ago.
096. Howick Falls (Howick)
This magnificent and tall waterfall is a must-see. The waterfall is 95 meters high and is in an exquisite setting. There are many legends that surround this mystical waterfall. One legend is that a giant serpent lives in the bottom pool of the waterfall and only a witch doctor can safely approach the waterfall. So, visit the spectacular Howick falls, you might even catch a glimpse of the inkanyamba (giant serpent).
097. Turtle Tours (Saint Lucia)
All you can hear are the waves crashing on the shore. The sky is awash with twinkling stars that shine like a million diamonds and just up ahead in front of you is a Giant Leatherback Turtle! Turtle Tours Offer amazing tours at night where you can see these spectacular creatures make their way to the ocean. There have even been Leopard sightings at times. The Leatherback Turtle is the largest turtle on earth. The best time to go from November the 1st till the end of February.
098. Scuba Diving Sodwana Bay (Sodwana)
Sodwana Bay is a very quiet slow-paced little town that’s part of a nature reserve. The beaches are unspoilt and there is an immense amount of biodiversity. The scuba diving will indeed prove very fulfilling. You will be able to see all rich amount of sea life in the oceans, from parrotfish to shark to turtle. This is a real laid back beach holiday. The weather is insanely hot in summer so remember to pack in all the summer essentials. Sodwana Bay is one of the top 10 scuba diving spots in the world. Be sure to see it!
99. The Kruger National Park (Hazyview)
The Kruger National Park is definitely number one on my list of the best things to do in South Africa. Boasting an immense amount of wildlife, you will be able to see all of the big 5; Lions, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant, and Rhino. You can enjoy amazing safaris in the park and will be able to see all these majestic wild animals in their natural habitat. You will be able to enjoy half day or full day game drives with an experienced guide.
100. Gods Window (Graskop)
Imagine being so high up that you would be able to see above the clouds. Gods windows is a beautiful vantage point in the Mpumalanga province. This is a 700-meter drop straight down. From the top of Gods window, you will be able to see the Kruger Park and it has also been said that on a clear day you can even see the Mozambican shoreline. But besides the spectacular scenery, this spot is also known for the many different species of birdlife.
Blyde River Canyon (Graskop)
Enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Blyde River Canyon! The Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world. This is the perfect place to hike and enjoy unforgettable views.
10Pilgrims Rest (Pilgrims Rest)
The tiny town of Pilgrim’s Rest has been declared a National monument because of the early gold rush in the area. This is a stunning little town nestled in the mountains. It’s the perfect place to go horse riding. Beautiful mountains and forests decorate this ancient town. There are museums to see, hikes to do, gold panning and of course horse riding.
Sabi Sabi Game Lodge (Sabi)
Luxury accommodation, beautiful sunsets and amazing safaris await you at the world-renowned Sabi Sabi Game lodge. Sabi Sabi is home to the big 5; which are Lion, Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant and Leopard; but there is also a large variety of other animals including Cheetah, Wild Dog and Hyena. This Luxurious game lodge is deep in the heart of the African Wilderness, so if you’re looking to be pampered with an exhilarating African experience, then Sabi is for you.
Fly Fishing in Dullstroom (Dullstroom)
Beautiful rivers, green hills, a quaint arty town and awesome pancakes; Dullstroom is a stunning quaint little town. Dullstroom is known for its amazing fly fishing spots as well as horse riding through the countryside. It is a very romantic little town and a perfect spot for honeymoons.
Anglo Boer War Museum (Bloemfontein)
If you are interested in understanding South Africa and the history which moulded it, then a visit to the Anglo Boer Museum should be on your list of things to do in South Africa. The exhibit is excellent as it helps you to understand how the war unfolded.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park (Clarens)
Clarens is a gorgeous little town to visit just outside of the Golden Gate National Park in the foothills known for vibrant rock colours, rare bearded vultures, and bald ibis. With adorable little shops, art galleries and quaint restaurants, Clarens is a perfect stopover. Not only is Clarens a pretty little town but it also boasts exquisite views of the mountains.
Highlands Resort (Clarens)
High above the clouds in the edge of the mountain, rests a romantic and quiet resort. The highlands resort is an excellent spot for meditation, relaxation and hot chocolate. These log cabins are situated high up in the Golden Gate mountains. It’s an exquisite place to visit in either winter or summer. In winter you might be able to see snow and in summer there are beautiful various hikes to do as well as self-driven game drives. This spot is for those seeking solace and peace.
Kwena Crocodile Farm (Bela Bela)
This crocodile sanctuary is a scary but fun experience for the whole family. You will be able to see these ancient dinosaur looking creatures up close.
Kwena is also home to the biggest captured Nile crocodile in the world and home to 7000 other crocs. They also have feeding sessions where you will be able to see these massive creatures jump for chickens and eat them.
The Waterberg Game Reserve is a wonderful game park to visit that’s close to Johannesburg and also malaria-free. The park boasts many different short day hikes, horse rides, game drives and there’s also a goat cheese farm close by.
And there you have it! The top 110 things to do in this magnificent country – Enjoy your own Ultimate Road Trip Journey!
Editor’s Note: We’ll be adding to (and rearranging) this list from time-to-time) so bookmark this page for future reference.