Sub-Saharan Africa is full of amazing travel destinations. The Swahili Coast features the expansive plains that spread throughout Kenya and Tanzania and the deserts of Namibia feature flora and fauna not found anywhere else on earth. Perhaps no country in the region though offers the variety of amazing attractions that South Africa does.
It is South Africa’s cultural and natural diversity that helps it to remain one of, if not the most popular, country to visit in Africa. In fact, there are so many things to do and see in the country, that it can feel dizzying trying to place a trip while ensuring that you get the best experience possible.
The first step, of course, is to assess whether or not you need a visa to go to South Africa. There are many countries around the world that require a visa to be allowed entry, so it is best to be prepared ahead of time.
Once that has been sorted out, you can begin figuring out where the most visited places in South Africa are, and which ones most appeal to you.
South Africa’s Natural Reserves
When people think of travelling to South Africa, they immediately conjure images of sprawling natural parks full of the animals they dreamed of seeing as kids. That is because South Africa is home to some of the most popular game reserves in all of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The most visited park in the country, and no doubt the best, is Kruger National Park. The famous park offers up every type of safari experience, from lower-cost lodges to five-star accommodations, but the true stars of the region are the animals themselves.
Nowhere in South Africa can beat the opportunities that Kruger has for seeing the Big-5 safari animals and so much more.
Another one of the most visited places in South Africa is the Pilanesberg National Park. Although this park is much smaller than Kruger, it has a few advantages that make it an attractive place to visit.
For one, the park is located just a few hours away by car from Johannesburg, which is the country’s largest airport and is typically where many people travelling on long-haul flights from Europe or the United States land.
The park offers up many shorter trip opportunities for travellers, understanding that after such a long journey, people may want a more relaxed opportunity without sacrificing the experience of seeing their favourite animals.
South Africa’s Urban Attractions
South Africa’s history continues to shape its presence today. The country and its people suffered under colonial rule from three separate European powers: the British, the Portuguese, and the Dutch.
As a result, multiple centres of culture and commerce were developed, which has helped lead to modern-day South Africa having a vast array of rich urban life for travellers to explore while learning about the country’s difficult past.
Cape Town is not only one of the most iconic cities in the world, it is also one of the most visited places in South Africa.
The city is located at the very southernmost tip of the continent and is famous for its geographical features, like Table Mountain, which annually attracts many thousands of hikers to take in its idyllic views. For anyone who doesn’t wish to make the hike up, there is a gorgeous cablecar that takes you right to the top.
Thanks in part to it being a centre of commerce in southern Africa in general, Johannesberg actually receives more visitors than Cape Town does. The history of Johannesberg is central to its draw for tourists.
A huge part of that history centres around the life of Nelson Mandela, which is why Mandela’s House, which operates in conjunction with the Apartheid Museum to tell the country’s recent battle with racism, is one of the most visited places in Johannesburg.
Although it is not one of the country’s three capital cities, the eastern coastal city of Durban has, in recent years, enjoyed a steady rise in popularity and now features on the list of the most visited places in all of South Africa.
Durban is famous for its relaxed beachy vibes, the essence of which is embodied by the Golden Mile. The promenade is where you can find all of the action from museums and restaurants to nightlife, and, of course, some of the city’s best beaches.
Grabbing Your Passport, Visa, and South African Travel Plan
Once you have everything you need to visit South Africa, you can finally relax and let the fun part begin. The country blends the urban and the natural in thrilling ways, you just have to figure out which places most appeal to you (assuming you don’t have time to visit them all).
With this list of South Africa’s most visited places, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing one of the most brilliant countries in the world.