Top 7 attractions in South Africa

South Africa is a country of stunning natural scenery with fantastic weather and incredibly welcoming people. When you consider the vast range of amazing experiences on offer, it's little wonder it's a holiday of a lifetime
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town. Photo: Shutterstock

From tracking wildlife to lazing on its best beaches, South Africa has plenty to offer the curious traveller. Here are our top 7 things to do

1. Cape Town

Fondly known as the Mother City, the spectacular mountain setting, scenic Atlantic Coast drives, fab restaurants and excellent nightlife ensure Cape Town is a must-see on every traveller's itinerary to South Africa. Get to know this fantastic city like a local with Insight Guides' Cape Amazing: Cape Town Explored trip.

2. Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Go on safari in Pilanesberg. The reserve encompasses 550km² of mixed grassland and woodland, and notable residents include many of the much sought-after 'Big Five' (leopard, lion, buffalo, African elephant and rhinoceros) and rarer species such as wild dogs and cheetah as well as an abundant birdlife. 

3. Whale Watching

The bijou town of Hermanus, just east of Cape Town offers the world’s finest land-based whale watching (in season) from August to October: this is absolutely a must-see experience! Spot these majestic creatures for yourself with Insight Guides' Cape Amazing: Cape Town Explored trip.

Whale watching in South Africa. Photo: Shutterstock

4. Stellenbosch Wine Routes

Head to Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa, home to gorgeous 18th-century Cape Dutch, Georgian, and Victorian architecture. With Insight Guides' Cape Peninsula to Victoria Falls trip, you can enjoy a spot of wine tasting in the numerous wine estates in the area and soak up the lovely mountain scenery. South Africa features in our favourite places around the world for a glass (or two!) of wine too.

Vineyard in the hills of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Photo: Shutterstock

5. Bush Walks in Kapama Private Game Reserve 

Explore a private game reserve on foot at Kapama. Walk through the bush with an experienced ranger for a heart-thumping encounter in the wild. Discover how to track animal footprints and learn about the native flora and fauna as you attempt to spot nature's wildlife close up. Enjoy a guided walk around a private game reserve with Insight Guides' Cape Peninsula to Victoria Falls trip.

6. Penguins at Boulders Beach

When you think of penguins, it's not usually along with the hot heat of Africa. But drive past Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, continue along the coast road and you'll find the Jackass penguin colony that has become well established at Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town. With Insight Guides' Cape Peninsula to Victoria Falls trip, you can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

South African penguins waddle about. Photo: Shutterstock

7. Cape Peninsula Beaches

Make the most of the Atlantic Coast beaches on your holiday to South Africa. Ones worth seeing (and relaxing on) include Camps Bay and Clifton and tranquil Noordhoek with its 7km- (4 miles) long beach. Similarly, the beaches at False Bay are great for swimming and surfing. See the Cape Peninsula Beaches for yourself with Insight Guides' Cape Peninsula to Victoria Falls trip.

Colourful beach huts on St James Beach in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Shutterstock

Looking to explore private, tailor-made trips to South Africa? Fahranaaz, our local expert, is ready to customise your experience from start to finish. What are you waiting for?

Get lost in a guidebook: Insight Guides South Africa

Read more: South Africa Travel Guide

Read more: Visiting Victoria Falls

Read more about the Cape Winelands