South Africa is known as the “Rainbow Nation” due to the diversity of its people but it may just as well be due to the vast amount of things you can do there! Possible activities to do in South Africa range from cage diving in Durban, hiking the Drakensburg mountains, visiting Victoria & Albert (Commonly known as V&A) waterfront in Cape Town and even taking a township tour in Johannesburg. Safaris in South Africa are just one of the many things you can do. Although it’s impossible to list everything South Africa has to offer, here are some of the highlights.
WINE-TASTING IN STELLENBOSCH
The Cape Winelands region in the Western Cape is one of the biggest wine producing areas in the world. Here you can find more than enough wine to fill your heart’s desires. Do you know what the best part is? South African wine is notoriously cheap! The Spier Wine Estate, located in the Stellenbosch wine route, is one of South Africa’s oldest and dates back to 1767 and still remains one of the most well respected farms in the region. Robertson Winery, located in the town of Robertson, a 2-hour drive from Stellenbosch, is well known internationally for its award winning Shiraz. This Capital Wine Tour lets you experience some of the best wine-tasting in South Africa as it takes you through the Cape’s greatest vineyards in the scenic Francshhoek, Stellenbosch and its green plateaus, and Constantia Winelands.
TAKE A PANORAMA ROUTE TOUR
With majestic sights such as Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window, you definitely won’t regret a stop at the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga. The endless skies and waterfalls are a breathtaking backdrop that photos don’t do justice to – you have to see it for yourself! If you’re an adrenalin junkie, the Big Swing is a must. You can choose between the 68 m freefall or fly across the gorge on the 130m above ground “foefie slide”. Insider tip: One of the best viewpoints to take a picture is in the parking lot of the Aventura Blydepoort Nature Reserve Resort. This Panorama Route Tour starts in the beautiful Sabie area and takes you through all the places that characterize this region.
SHARK CAGE DIVING AND WHALE WATCHING
If you love the sea and like to live on the more daring side of life, then Shark Cage diving might just be the perfect activity for you. The many coastal areas in South Africa, ranging from Cape Town on the West Coast through the Garden Route and Port Elizabeth all the way to Durban and Richards Bay on the East, there are numerous opportunities to go diving with the sharks or watch the whales. You will get to see the vicious predators or the enormous whales up close and feel like you’re in a real life Natural Geographic programme. The people that conduct these tours are highly trained and you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. If you’re lucky, they might even let you feed them! Go on this Shark Diving Tour in Gansbaai, Cape Town and find out why the area is known for its Great White Sharks.
Considering the country’s rich history, this should be on the top of your list of things to do in South Africa. There are plenty museums in all the major cities that allow history to come alive. If you want to learn more about apartheid, the Apartheid Museum and Hector Pieterson Museum in Johannesburg are the best places to start. Robbin Island in Cape Town as well as the Mandela House in Vilakazi Street, Soweto will give you insight into the reality that Nelson Mandela faced during most of his lifetime.
The Castle of Goodhope in Cape Town built in the 17th century by some of the first Dutch settlers, still stands today and visitors can explore it. Other museums of note are the Kruger House in Pretoria, the National Museum in Bloemfontein and the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria. Although not technically a museum, this Township Diski (Social Soccer) Tour will teach you about the history of soccer in South Africa and afterwards you can enjoy a Braai (barbeque) in one of the townships popular social venues.
VISIT CAPE TOWN
Undoubtedly the tourism capital, the best activities in South Africa can be found in sunny Cape Town. Located on the west coast of the country, it is home to one of the most spectacular 7 wonders of the world – the majestic Table Mountain. A visit to Cape Town will make you realize that it’s a destination for all kinds of travellers and a one-week stay is barely enough to even scratch at the surface of all the activities this city has to offer. You can visit the iconic Long Street at the heart of the city that houses the trendiest restaurants, coffee shops and bars in town. A hike up Lions Head or Table Mountain will reward you with stunning views of the whole city.
The colourful houses in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood will make you feel like you’re at the carnivale and give you a taste of Malay culture. With Table Mountain and The Twelve Apostles in the background, the white sand and blue water at Clifton beach is the best place to get a tan with a view. You can also visit Cape Point, the southern most tip of Africa. Yes, you can go for safari’s near Cape Town but don’t miss out on everything else this city has to offer. This Cape Town city tour includes most of the highlights of the city as well as a scenic drive past 4 of the oldest historic buildings in the country.
EXPLORE DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS
The Drakensberg mountain range is the highest in South Africa. With long winding scenic roads, mountainous landscapes as far as the eye can see and the kinds of streams and forests you would expect to see in a movie, no trip to South Africa is complete without a stop in the Drakensberg. It is divided into the Southern, Central and Northern regions with Southern Drakensberg being about a 2-hour drive from Durban and Northern Drakensberg being 3 hours away from Johannesburg. Attractions of note in the region are Cathedral Peak, Mont-aux-Sources, Monk's Cowl, Sani Pass (On the Lesotho border) and Champagne valley. If you’re an avid hiker you will be spoilt for choice in the Drakensberg region. Don’t despair if the only exercise you do is walking up the stairs; there are lots of other activities in the region that don’t require as much energy from you. Some of these activities include trout fishing, kayaking, tubing, swimming, 4x4 trails, quad biking, horse riding, photography, bird watching, rambling, rock climbing and hot air balloon rides over hidden valleys.
Either way, the beauty and panoramic views the Drakensberg has to offer are unmatched and definitely worth visiting. You can enjoy lunch at the highest pub in Africa when you do this Sani Pass Day Tour Into Lesotho from the Underberg region in Drakensberg. As you can tell, you will be spoilt for choice with the amount of activities, safaris and tours in South Africa. Why not extend your trip and do more than just go on a safari in the Kruger? South Africa might just have you coming back for more.