In celebration of World Tourism Day, we’ve compiled 27 reasons to visit South Africa. Looking at our list of touristy favourites we hope that these are also reasons to be more protective of our fragile ecosystem, more creative and committed in our push towards sustainability, and more proud of our beautiful diverse country!
1. Cape Town & Table Mountain.
Voted as one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Table Mountain is an epic sight and a big reason why Cape Town is such a beautiful city. The mountain and the mother city is a tale of bucket list destination perfection.
2. The Big Five.
South Africa is home to Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard and much-much more amazing species. The opportunity to see and experience these beautiful animals in their natural and diverse habitats is great. We have more than twenty national parks and game reserves, as well as numerous private reserves to discover.
3. Whale Watching.
A variety of whale species migrate yearly from the cold Antarctic waters to warmer climates. En route they visit our South African coastline. The town of Hermanus, overlooking Walker Bay offer some the best land based whale watching opportunity in the world.
4. The World’s Largest Migration of Ocean life.
Once a year, the sardine run on our KwaZulu-Natal coast provides an epic spectacle of Mother Nature. It allows one to view a vast number of marine and seabird species hungrily feasting on the millions of fish.
5. The Cape Floral Kingdom.
With more than 9000 plant species the Western Cape holds one of the richest plant biodiversity regions on Earth. Most belong to the unique native vegetation known as Fynbos. Which is even more diverse than the Amazon rainforest!
6. The Wild Flowers of Namaqualand.
During August & September, just after the first Spring rains, the semi-desert Northern Cape region of Namaqualand is transformed into a magnificent landscape filled with colourful wildflowers. A joy to see and experience.
7. Majestic Mountains.
Apart from Table Mountain, South Africa’s mountains are somewhat lesser known, and what a beautiful discovery. A favourite to highlight is The Drakensberg’s magnificent Amphitheatre, a sight that will take your breath away.
8. Fantastic Waterfalls
We are home to the world’s second highest waterfall. The Tugela Falls, measuring 948 m (3,110 ft). And for those of you that enjoy loud thunder, The Augrabies waterfall is an awe inspiring, 240 m monster in the Orange River. A must visit, especially between the months of April and September.
9. The Kalahari Desert
The rusty red sands of the Kalahari is mesmerizing. The desert stretches over South Africa’s borders into neighbouring Botswana and Namibia. The best way to experience the Kalahari is through visiting the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. A truly unforgettable wilderness experience.
10. The Cango Caves
Described as one of the great natural wonders of the world, the Cango Caves is South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction. It consists of a group of chambers hidden deep within the solid limestone layers of the Swartberg Mountains. A not to be missed experience.
11. Beaches Galore.
Our coastline stretches more than 2500km’s and includes amazing beaches. Varying between trendy and touristy to secluded and unspoilt. Many have been awarded Blue Flag status and provides beach lovers lots of opportunity for fun in the sun.
12. Great Weather.
South Africa is amongst the top list of countries with the best weather in the world. This means less winter blues and more time for fun at the beach!
13. Pure Adrenaline.
South Africa is a dream adventure destination and if you need a few adrenaline spikes during your travels we provide lots of opportunity. A few highlights include:
14. A Tasty Food Adventure.
South African cuisine reflects our rich cultural diversity. Influenced by our European and Asian heritage and grounded by our African roots our dishes are a hearty taste adventure. Traditional highlights such as biltong, bobotie, braaivleis with pap, and chakalaka are not to be missed.
15. World Class Wine.
South Africa is one of the oldest ‘New World’ wine producing countries. Our wine grape cultivation area spans over 800km in length. It offers an amazing chance for wine lovers to travel and discover many wineries and bottled treasures.
16. For The Love Of Beer.
When we braai, we appreciate a few cold beers! Beer drinking culture in South Africa is flourishing. The SAB World of Beer tour is one of the top tourist destinations in Johannesburg and currently we have 217 artisanal beer breweries to discover.
17. Surfs Up!
We have a variety of great waves. Supertubes at Jeffrey’s Bay in particular is legendary and well known as one of the longest and most perfect right hand breaks on the planet.
18. A Mind-blowing History.
For visitors interested in the deep intricacies of a country’s history, South Africa has powerful stories to share. Take a journey and visit important historic sites such as:
– The Cradle of Humankind,
– Bushman rock paintings,
– Cape Town’s Castle of Good Hope,
– Some of the battlefields of the many wars that shaped and impacted our country.
– The Anglo – Boer War Museum,
– The Apartheid Museum & Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
19. Our Vibrant People.
The colorful diversity of South Africa’s social composition is amazing and makes for a wonderful multi-cultural experience. With eleven official languages and a wide variety of ethnic groups, we are “Rainbow Nation” indeed.
20. Sweet Soweto.
No visit to South Africa is complete without visiting Soweto.
Take a day trip, a bicycle trip , or even a shebeen trip and enjoy some heartfelt hospitality. Be sure not to miss the famous Vilakazi Street where Nelson Mandela as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu once lived.
22. And what if you are a passionate road cyclist?!
The iconic Cape Town Cycle Tour is the largest timed cycle race in the world. A beautiful scenic event and definitely one for the bucket list.
23. Road Trip Heaven.
South Africa offers absolutely wonderful routes for the self drive, motorcar or motorbike enthusiast. For example, the winding coastal roads of Clarence Drive or Chapman’s Peak are quite possibly the most beautiful in the world. Combine that with a trip along The Garden Route and you are set for a stunning time.
24. Loads of 4×4.
It must be said, we provide you with the perfect excuse to drive and enjoy your 4×4, every day. Whether you are looking for short technical day trails or longer explorations off the beaten path, South Africa is a 4×4 loving country with many options to get your tyres dirty.
25. Excellent Hiking Trails.
From amazing day hikes, to challenging multi-day trails in stunning nature reserves or even guided hikes in the wild and untamed Kruger Park. South Africa is a hikers paradise.
26. A Springboard To The Rest Of Southern Africa.
With regular flights to Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique, Victoria Falls and Zambia from Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo airport, it is easy to see more of Africa by adding outside destinations to your South African trip.
When it comes down to value for money South Africa is a very pocket friendly destination. International tourists with stronger currencies reap the rewards of our weak exchange rate.