I’ve created a list of unique things to do in South Africa to help you plan your itinerary!
So you want to visit South Africa? From breathtaking scenery and incredible wildlife to rich, deep-seated culture and exhilarating nightlife, there’s so much to do and see in South Africa, it’s almost impossible to fit it all in.
First things first, when planning a trip to South Africa, you need to decide what do you want to do in South Africa?
Do you want to see wildlife, meet locals and learn about the history, do you want to do cultural tours or explore the off beath path of South Africa? Do you want to go to touristy places or where the locals’ vacation?
Another important factor is your budget. Are you Backpacking in SA? Only staying in luxurious resorts and lodges or are you doing a bit of both and traveling on a budget?
Thirdly, how will you get around in SA? Our public transport system isn’t that great when you get out of the big cities so will you be driving or traveling around with a tour bus.
Note to reader: This was a long 10,000-word post which I have since turned into separate posts to improve readability.
Read if it’s your first time visiting South Africa
- Year-Round Packing List for South Africa
- Is South Africa Safe to Travel Alone?
- A guide to driving in South Africa
- Best time to visit South Africa
- A guide to driving in South Africa
- Vaccinations for South Africa Travel
South Africa Travel Tips
- How to travel from Johannesburg to Cape Town
- 25 Best Landmarks in South Africa
- Visiting South Africa’s 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- What to expect when spending Christmas in South Africa
- How to see South Africa in 7 days
Things to do in South Africa – by Province
In most cases, visitors arrive at Johannesburg International Airport located in the smallest and most crowded province in the country is Gauteng – which translates to “The City of Gold”.
While in Gauteng you have to visit Pretoria (now known as Tshwane), this city boasts the second-largest concentration of foreign embassies in the world after Washington, DC.
- 23 FUN things to do in Johannesburg and Pretoria
- Best Hotels near Johannesburg Airport
- Is Johannesburg safe for tourists?
- Best Nature Reserves in Pretoria
Mpumalanga which means “Place where the sun rises” is home to 6.5% of South Africans, incredible landscapes, and wildlife.
Bordered by Mozambique and Swaziland in the east, and Gauteng in the west, it’s the second-largest citrus-producing area in the country and is responsible for one-third of the country’s export in oranges.
Mpumalanga is an essential destination for any visitor and you should add the province to your things to do in South Africa list!
- 10 FUN Things to do in Blyde River Canyon
- Ultimate guide to visiting Kruger National Park
- 17 UNIQUE things to do in Mpumalanga
The North West province is home to some of the finest game reserves, cultural sights, archaeological treasures as well as entertainment resorts in the country!
Known for its diversity, beauty, and the grand river that flows through it, Limpopo is the northernmost province in SA.
Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN)
KZN is known for its beaches, mountains, and savannah populated by big game, KZN is also home to the largest Indian community outside of India.
There are many unique things to do in South Africa including exploring this multi-cultural destination flanked by the warm Indian Ocean and soaring peaks.
- 20 FUN Things to do in Durban – Activities and Day Trips
- A staycation at Brahman Hills
- Visiting Gwahumbe Game Reserve
The Free State province lies in the heart of SA near the landlocked Kingdom of Lesotho.
Its located between the north Vaal River and the south Orange River, the region is one of flat, rolling grasslands and crop fields, rising up to beautiful northeastern sandstone mountains.
- A weekend in Parys
- Things to do in Free State
Western Cape is the province bordering the Indian and Atlantic oceans.
It’s known for the port city of Cape Town, wine farms, the iconic Table Mountain National Park and Robben Island he infamous prison that once housed Nelson Mandela and is now a living museum.
- 18 FUN things to do in Cape Town
- Interesting facts about Table Mountain
- Best Hotels in Cape Town
- What to do in Swellendam
- Is Cape Town safe
- What to do in Mossel Bay
- Where to find the Penguin Beach near Cape Town
- Things to do in Stellenbosch
One of the province’s greatest traits is that it is home to all seven of South Africa’s biomes – grassland, savanna, succulent karoo, Nama karoo, forest, fynbos, desert, and thicket.
Northern Cape is South Africa’s largest yet least populated province!
- Things you probably didn’t know about Northern Cape
- Guide to visiting the Kalahari Desert
- Where to Stay in Northern Cape
Travel Insurance for South Africa
Use travel insurance while visiting South Africa so you are covered for theft and medical expenses. There are a lot of adventurous activities to do in South Africa, and it’s best to have peace of mind while hiking and exploring.
Find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.
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