South Africa Travel Guide

I pored through several travel itineraries to shortlist these highly rated places and restaurants to visit in South Africa! From city life to adventure, wildlife to culture, breathtaking scenery to sun-soaked coasts – South Africa is one of the must visit destination.

Hiking

Cape Peninsula

Take in the scenic beauty and natural landscapes of South Africa’s Cape Peninsula. One of the highlights is a drive along the Cape Riviera through Chapman’s Peak Drive, bordered by mountains and ocean.

Chapman’s Peak

Chapman's Peak drive is 9 km long, stretching from Noordhoek to Houtbay. The drive is often regarded as the most rewarding toll road in the country. On one side, you have a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and on the other, the Western Mountains of the Cape Peninsula. No wonder it could possibly be the most scenic drive of your live.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain and Lion's Head are Cape Town’s two most iconic mountains and hiking trails.

It is sandwiched between Devils Peak and Lions Head, and stands 1km above sea level. It is also one of one of the oldest mountains in the world (older than the Himalayas). The hiking trail is very structured, and consists of thousands of rocky steps. The hike starts from the Plattekip entrance, about 1km down from the cable car. If you are pressed for time, use the cable car instead.

Lion’s Head

It has a clearly marked route, and most of it can be easily traversed by foot. The only part of the trail that could be considered intimidating are the metal ladders and climbing chains required to ascend the rock face at one point. Thankfully, these can be skipped via a roundabout footpath.

Beaches

Boulders beach

It is on the classic drive around the Cape Peninsula that takes in Simon’s Town, Chapman’s Peak, Muizenberg and the Cape of Good Hope. As it is only 47km from Cape Town, Boulders Beach has become the most popular penguin colony in the Cape.

Jeffrey’s bay beach

One of the best beaches in South Africa. It is famous for abundant seashells, great seafood and calamari. Don't forget to drop by Kitchen Windows Beach Restaurant or Die Walskipper. Both have great reviews for its food and the beach view!

Roadtrips

Panorama Road in Graskop/Hazyview

The Panorama Route is a scenic road in South Africa connecting several cultural and natural points of interest.

Graskop mainly serves as a tourist town in close proximity to many natural landmarks such as God's Window and Bourke's Luck Potholes.

Hazyview is a town situated close to the Kruger National Park. It is renowned for its various animal sanctuaries, including a world-famous elephant sanctuary.

Garden Route

Stretching some 200km, a Garden Route road trip takes in national parks, dense forests, placid lakes and some outrageously beautiful beaches.

Garden Route Horse Trails take place in the Garden Route National Park and its immediate surrounds, near Wilderness. The 90 minute ride goes through the gum tree forest, while the two-hour ride takes visitors further into the pine forests. The longest trail, which takes around three hours to complete, includes a break at the tumbling cascades of the waterfall. 

Ebb & Flow Rest Camp is a Specialty Lodging in Wilderness. Expect a tranquil, natural setting with a number of sites along the river bank for canoe and fishing enthusiasts.

Wilderness National Park is situated in the heart of the Garden Route, South Africa. It is a fascinating combination of rivers, lakes, estuaries and beaches, unfolding against the backdrop or lush forests and imposing mountains.

Experiences

ABAGOLD abalone farm

It's a land-based abalone farm in Hermanus. There's a guided tour on the history of abalone - the unique animal’s natural environment and biological life-cycle. Visitors can experience the abalone farming operations from the hatchery, to the feeding, sorting and cleaning of nearly 40,000 baskets which house Abagold’s 12 million abalone.

Shark cage diving

Gansbaai is known as the great white shark capital of the world and is only a two and a half hour scenic drive from Cape Town. It's an activity not to be missed in South Africa, coming up close to the Great White Shark.

Plettenberg bay

The town packs the perfect mix of outdoor thrills, mind-blowing views, and delicious food. It is revered for its gorgeous golden-sand beaches.

Robberg Nature Reserve is a World Heritage Site with rock formations dating back more than 120 million years. It's home to a flourishing plant and animal life. Most notably, the rare blue duiker and a thriving seal colony

Lookout Beach is home to gorgeous ocean views, great surf, and one of the best restaurants in town – The Lookout Deck.

Whale Tail Lookout Point has ocean views and a chance to spot dolphins and whales (in season) frolicking in the bay

Beachyhead Drive, also locally known as ‘millionaire’s drive’, offers a scenic drive along the Robberg beach peninsula. 

Old Nick Village is known for its beautiful gardens, galleries and artisan shops,

Stony point penguin colony

One of the big attractions near Cape Town is the colonies of African Penguins. The Stony Point Nature Reserve is home to a unique colony of African Penguins. Expect to view the penguins up close, via the boardwalk through the colony

Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens

It's in the UNESCO-listed Cape Floral Kingdom, acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.

Blyde River Canyon

It runs along the full winding length of the canyon and you access the difficult terrain via the tarred road, the Panorama Route. The reserve starts about 10 kilometres out of the small forestry town of Graskop. Apart from God’s Window, you may want to add Pinnacle Rock (aka The Pinnacle), Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels to your itinerary.

Kalk bay

Kalk Bay is a fishing village on the coast of False Bay, South Africa and is now a suburb of greater Cape Town. There's many things to do at this enclave for Cape Town's creative flock . Stop for coffee, browse the bookshop, buy fish fresh from the sea, or watch seals at the harbour.

V&a waterfront

Expect a bustling mall, an aquarium, the Cape Wheel, boat cruises, helicopter rides, seaside views, live music and performances. Additionally, there's a fantastic view of the Table Mountain for nice photo opportunities.

Safaris and National Parks

Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

  • If you are planning a safari with a lot of high-quality game viewing, Timbavati Game Reserve is highly recommended. Known for its natural splendor, wide swathe of bush and high density of wildlife such as the Big Five, over 350 bird species and the rare white lion.
  • Shindzela is a tented safari camp within the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. It's part of the greater Kruger National Park, South Africa. It offers game drives in open 4x4 vehicles and walking safaris.

Kruger National Park

  • Slated to be the most exciting African safari destination. One can explore its vast landscapes and spectacular African wildlife. Take a journey of exploration to find Africa's Big Five : Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo.
  • Both Skukuza and Lower Sabie offer various self-catering accommodation options, extensive guest facilities, and exceptional game viewing opportunities — making them two of the most popular camps in the Kruger!

Restaurants to visit

  • Bootlegger café for salmon trout benedict, peri peri chicken liver
  • Kloof street house for Oysters, Kingklip with spinach and cauliflower puree, Chalmar steak
  • The fisherman’s cottage restaurant for fisherman’s soup
  • Hermanus wine tasting
  • Salina’s for grilled hake and chips
  • Oysters r us
  • The fat butcher
  • Kabeljoe’s seafood restaurant
  • Stellenbosch and Franschhoek Wine Tour
  • De warren market
  • Bay pasta co
  • Old biscuit mill
  • Mad dogz café for steak
  • Codfather restaurant
  • Garden shed restaurant autumn breeze
  • La colombe
  • Bo kaap

Accomodation

  • Pearl Moon Boutique Suites
  • Airbnb

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