South Africa is one in every of my favourite international locations on the earth. I lived there for a few years and traveled extensively across the nation so I do know what I’m speaking about when it come right down to writing an inventory of the highest issues to do within the nation.
This checklist is supposed to summarize numerous months and years of touring by means of the Rainbow nation. It’s objective is to present you a small taste of what South Africa has to supply and hopefully induces a little bit little bit of FOMO so that you can begin planning your journey. Whether or not you’re planning a two week journey to South Africa or a South African honeymoon along side Zanzibar, this put up will assist you to all alongside the way in which.
1. Climb Lion’s Head in Cape City
Of all of the issues to do in Cape City, Lion’s head is my favourite. Shortly after mountaineering Desk Mountain, we have been aiming to go to Cape Level noon however the site visitors was so horrible that we circled and went again to our lodge in Camps Bay. A brief nap later, I made a decision we wanted to climb Lion’s Head as effectively so to get each mountains in. Climbing each Desk Mountain and Lion’s Head in the identical day is just not for the feint of coronary heart and most of the people thought we have been loopy to do it.
However we did it anyway! In comparison with the primary time I climbed this, I used to be not hungover, and I wore correct sneakers which made it a lot simpler to climb. I wasn’t winded at any level and I believe this is without doubt one of the finest hikes I’ve ever achieved.
To get to Lion’s Head, merely drive on the highway in the direction of Sign Hill and the bottom of Lion’s Head will likely be situated earlier than you attain it. There may be parking all on the aspect of the highway and also you’ll know the place the doorway is simply by the row of vehicles parked.
The hike up Lion’s Head is way simpler bodily than Desk Mountain. Not solely is it a shorter hike however it zig zag’s across the mountain whereas Desk Mountain is a straight shot up. Lion’s Head can be a extra enjoyable hike in my view as there are some very minor mountaineering (chains and ladders) facet to it!
All in all, the hike will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you’re on the high, you’ll see many different hikers absorbing the views. There are not any bars and no eating places right here, it’s fully untamed which I completely beloved. In the course of the summer season months, the highest may be fairly packed however are you able to blame individuals for appreciating such beautiful views?
To make it much more pleasurable, ensure to take some beers, or a bottle of wine from maybe a earlier day of wine tasting in Stellenbosch with you to get pleasure from on the high with unimaginable views of the Atlantic ocean and Cape City’s metropolis centre. I didn’t do that the primary time and obtained severe FOMO by seeing all my fellow hikers cracking open beers and wine bottles. Fewer locations on the earth provide nicer views than Lion’s Head!
I’d extremely suggest this to anybody that desires to do one thing energetic in Cape City, likes wonderful views, or wish to get actively romantic with their important others like my pals did on their honeymoon!
2. Cape Level Day Journey
If there’s one factor I inform my individuals to not miss when visiting Cape City is a day journey to the completely beautiful Cape Level. Cape Level is house to the well-known Cape Level lighthouse in addition to the Cape of Good Hope the place the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. It’s not the southern most level of South Africa, that honor goes to Cape Aghulas however that may be a 3 hour drive from Cape City.
Cape Level, together with visiting Boulders seashore house to the African penguin colony, Muizenberg seashore, and the Chapman’s peak drive make for absolutely the good day journey from Cape City. If this appears like one thing you’re eager to do, then all you’ll must find out about planning the day will likely be on this put up!
In case you’re staying in Cape City, ensure to additionally learn my Final Cape City Journey information for insider tips about what to do and see within the mom metropolis.
A Day Journey Itinerary for Cape Level from Cape City
So now that you just’re eager and prepared for visiting Cape Level, that is how I’d prepare the day. That is after all actually solely relevant if you happen to’re self-driving or you’ve got a personal driver taking you round. In case you go on an organized tour, you then’ll observe no matter schedule they’ve laid out for you.
9:00am – Go away Cape City and drive in the direction of Hout Bay
10:00am – Take pleasure in fish and chips at Snoeckies, get pleasure from Hout Bay seashore
11:00am – Drive alongside Chapman’s Peak till you attain Boulder’s Seashore
11:30am – Go to the penguins at Boulder’s Seashore
1:30pm – Arrive at Cape Level, stroll or take funicalar to the highest of the lighthouse
3:00pm – Go away Cape Level and drive to Muizenberg Seashore to have a look at the long-lasting colourful homes
5:00pm – Go away Muizenberg Seashore again to Cape City
6:00pm – Arrive in Cape City.
Reserving an organized tour
In case you’re not eager for driving, then relaxation assured, there are various excursions you possibly can e-book that may take you to most of those locations. That is what I do after I plan honeymoons for my readers to the Rainbow Nation as most honeymooners aren’t eager to drive on the opposite aspect of the highway. If you’re eager for driving, relaxation assured that the roads round Cape City are in good situation and the site visitors is nice.
On Viator, I usually e-book this tour for my readers because it visits all the principle sights I’ve listed under, in addition to a wine farm in Constantia. It’s a bit rushed for my liking however it’s a honest value for what it’s.
Alternatively, you possibly can simply e-book a personal driver for the day and inform them to make all of the stops listed on this put up. They might even have extra insider ideas than me and take you to chill spots I’ve by no means heard of earlier than! My most well-liked tour with be the small group Instagram Cape Level tour that visits all of the locations that I spotlight on this itinerary and in a small group setting.
3. Go to Desk Mountain
No journey to South Africa is full and not using a go to to Cape City and no journey to Cape City is full and not using a go to to the world well-known Desk Mountain.
One the very best issues to do in Cape City and undoubtedly one in every of its high sights, Desk Mountain was lately voted as one of many new wonders of the world. It’s not exhausting to see why. Its impossibly flat peak is seen from all the surrounding space and is probably probably the most iconic landmark in Cape City. Sandwiched between Devils Peak and Lions Head, Desk Mountain stands 1km above sea degree. It’s also one in every of one of many oldest mountains on the earth being lots of of thousands and thousands of years older than even the Himalayas.
Then there are the views. Panoramic views of Cape City, all the way in which right down to Cape Level may be seen from its peak permitting for breathtaking pictures.
Cable automotive up Desk Mountain
Not like Lion’s Head, which might solely be hiked, there’s the extremely well-liked desk mountain cable vehicles that may take individuals straight to the highest. Two vehicles, holding 60 individuals a bit go up and down this factor and it’s solely a brief 7 minute journey. Nevertheless, throughout excessive season on ANY good day, the road for this place is ridiculous. I got here as soon as earlier than, with the intention of utilizing the cable automotive however the line was 3 hours so we gave up and went to Lion’s Head as a substitute.
The second time, I used to be decided to make use of this rattling factor to get to the highest. We got here right here at 8am, pondering we’d be early sufficient to keep away from the traces however not an opportunity. Even at 8am, the road was 2 hours.
We had some pals eager to hike up the mountain which I wasn’t in opposition to, and after discovering the lengthy line, I used to be all for mountaineering. Additionally, the hike takes the identical period of time so screw it, mountaineering up we go. The price for the cable automotive if you happen to’re keen to attend is 210R spherical journey. Tickets may also be bought forward of time on-line, however you continue to want to attend in line.
Be aware that the second time I visited was throughout New Years so naturally you’ll see a spike in tourism. It’s not at all times so packed, however it’s best to at all times plan for a crowd in the summertime months.
Climbing Desk Mountain
The hike up iconic Desk Mountain isn’t any joke. It’s bodily extra demanding than the Lion’s Head hike and much much less enjoyable. It’s, to sum it up, simply continuous stair-master. The mountaineering path may be very structured, and consists of hundreds of rocky steps. The hike begins from the Plattekip entrance, about 1km down from the cable automotive.
The indicators right here say it’ll take 2.5 hours to hike to the highest, however if you happen to’re in respectable form, which I’d contemplate myself to be in, it ought to take not more than 2 hours.
With a couple of breaks in between, we accomplished the hike in 1.5 hours. In addition they suggest 2 liters of water for the hike, I believe that’s a little bit ridiculous. 0.5-1 liter needs to be loads since you don’t wish to weigh your self down.
The hike was taxing, however we took about 5 brief breaks (1-2 min), and we have been up earlier than we knew it. There have been some loopy folks that roughly ran up the mountain and did it in an hour. I’d additionally suggest doing this hike within the morning or earlier than sundown so to keep away from the warmth.
A Desk Mountain hike is certainly one thing each severe hiker ought to do however if you’re restricted on time, go to Lion’s Head as a substitute.
After 1.5 hours, we’re lastly on the high, and what a gratifying feeling it’s. The highest of the mountain is big and you must stroll to the sides with a view to have a view. There are lots of viewing factors and I’ve but to seek out the last word image spot however I’m certain I will likely be again. There’s a restaurant/cafe up right here that serves meals, and drinks, together with alcoholic ones to have a good time the climb! We stayed up right here for about 1 hour to have some drinks and take our footage. We took the cable automotive down as we had sufficient to hike for the day. The road was a lot shorter to get down.
4. Visiting the Apartheid Museum
In case you’re visiting in Johannesburg or simply stopping in for a day or two earlier than your safari, a go to to the Apartheid Museum is a should. Just like the Jim Crow period of the USA, Apartheid was a darkish and grim interval of South Africa’s previous the place non-white races have been systematically discriminated in opposition to based on official Authorities coverage.
Life throughout this time for Blacks and different non-white ethnicities have been horrible to say the least. This period lasted for a lot of a long time and solely formally resulted in 1994 with the democratic election of Nelson Mandela. This museum may be very effectively constructed providing a glimpse into the lifetime of the not so distant previous and a reminder of how stark the variations are between now and just some a long time in the past.
It’s widespread to mix a go to to the Apartheid museum with a tour of the Soweto township, which is the biggest township in South Africa. Townships have been the ghettos that blacks have been pressured to reside in throughout Apartheid. These days, Soweto is shortly gentrifying and has grow to be a vibrant cultural heart of the Black South African neighborhood.
5. Go Wine Tasting Within the Most Lovely Vineyards Within the World
The wine area of the Western Cape is in my view, probably the most underrated wine area of the world. It’s not undiscovered by any means, however it’s misplaced within the shadows of locations like France, Italy, Mendoza, and Napa Valley. I can safely say that Cape City’s wine area is extra beautiful than all the aforementioned, to not point out a hell of quite a bit cheaper with wine tastings that common R50.
For these visiting South Africa, a go to to the wine area is an absolute should to pattern scrumptious South African wine. I’ve visited many extra wine farms than what I’ll checklist under so ensure to examine all the wine farms I’ve visited in Cape City.
Whereas I’d extremely suggest a couple of nights keep within the fabulous wine nation, not everybody has the time so I’ve provide you with the last word one to 2 day wine tour for these seeking to do day journeys from Cape City. Though I’d wish to assume I’m a sommelier at coronary heart, I’m principally simply an newbie that likes to drink wine.
Nearly all of the wine I’ve had throughout my time in South Africa is nice, I’m simply targeted on which wineries (they’re referred to as wine farms in South Africa), are probably the most beautiful and picturesque.
6. Street Journey By the Backyard Route
For sure, probably the greatest highway journeys on the earth is within the Backyard Route of South Africa. This 1,000km stretch of shoreline stretching from Cape City to Plettenberg Bay is jam full of unimaginable seashores, hikes, views, animals, and extra.
Well-known locations like Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George, Wilderness, Tsitsikama Nationwide Park, and extra are just some of the locations you possibly can plan for when doing this journey. You’ll can hire a automotive from Cape City and drive at your personal tempo in the direction of George or Plettenberg Bay the place you possibly can both drop the automotive off and proceed elsewhere or return to Cape City.
I’d suggest a minimum of 5 days driving this route as there are such a lot of wonderful stops alongside the way in which.
7. Go on a world well-known safari
No journey to South Africa is full and not using a world well-known safari in one of many many nationwide parks of South Africa.
The Kruger Nationwide Park is the flagship of the South African parks, and in my view, in all probability the simplest accessed, most price range pleasant safari possibility with the widest number of wildlife you can find wherever in Africa.
The park itself incorporates lots of of hundreds of creatures, made up of over seven hundred species of birds, mammals and reptiles, in addition to containing archaeological, historic and cultural treasures. I visited the Kruger many instances, and it makes for a simple journey for these visiting from in a foreign country, or these dwelling in Joburg.
Situated in a summer season rainfall space, the park may be highly regarded and humid presently, and daytime temperatures from October to March can vary from mid twenties as much as into the 40s, nights in winter can drop to single figures however daytime temperatures are principally good, sunny and low to mid twenties.
This makes the park appropriate to go to all yr spherical, with various temperatures all through due its huge dimension and variety of eco methods. I’ve been to many recreation parks throughout Africa and I at all times suggest the Kruger for the newbies because it has one thing for everybody. Nevertheless, I nonetheless assume probably the most picturesque and “elite” safaris are in East Africa, significantly within the Serengeti and Masai Mara.
8. Drakensberg Climbing
Climbing the Drakensberg Valley of South Africa is a really unforgettable expertise. The Drakensberg Mountains, also called the Dragon Mountains, are situated within the japanese a part of the nation and stretch for over 1,000 kilometers. The valley is located within the coronary heart of the mountain vary and is a well-liked vacation spot for hikers and nature fanatics.
The Drakensberg Valley affords among the most breathtaking surroundings in all of South Africa. The rugged peaks, deep gorges, and rolling hills are a sight to behold. The valley can be house to a variety of natural world, together with uncommon species such because the Bearded Vulture, which may be seen hovering overhead.
Probably the most well-liked mountaineering trails within the Drakensberg Valley is the Amphitheatre path. This path takes hikers on a 4-5 hour journey by means of among the most beautiful surroundings within the area. The path results in the highest of the Amphitheatre, a pure amphitheater-like formation that gives panoramic views of the encompassing mountains and valleys.
One other well-liked mountaineering path within the Drakensberg Valley is the Tugela Gorge path. This path takes hikers on a 5-6 hour journey by means of a deep gorge, previous cascading waterfalls, and thru dense forests. The path results in the Tugela Falls, the second-highest waterfall on the earth, which drops 948 meters from the highest of the Drakensberg Mountains.
The Drakensberg Valley can be house to a lot of distinctive rock artwork websites. The San individuals, who lived within the area hundreds of years in the past, left behind a wealthy legacy of rock artwork. These websites are well-preserved and provide a captivating glimpse into the lives of those historical individuals.
9. Blyde River Canyon
Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga affords some excellent climbing on quartzite mesas, and Waterval Boven has over 700 routes on orange quartzite. That is South Africa’s premier sport climbing vacation spot, with routes for each degree and style.
10. Cave exploring in Oudtshoorn
The Cango Caves are well-known all through South Africa and is a massively well-liked vacation spot for the locals and international vacationers alike. We got here right here the morning after the Ostrich driving and it was packed.
There are two excursions you possibly can right here, “The usual tour” , and “Journey Tour”. Naturally, being the adventurous kind that we’re, we immediately e-book the Journey tour. It lasts about 1.5-2 hours relying on how many individuals are on the journey and since it was peak season, this place was packed.
Each excursions began on the identical time with a tour information giving us some historical past and info in regards to the caves earlier than we break up up into our separate excursions with one other tour information. Okay, phrase to the sensible, the journey tour is REALLY adventurous. We didn’t know what to anticipate after we purchased the tour however holy shit, this was fairly the shock for us.
We ended up climbing by means of the narrowest crevices, climbing up a cave model of a chimney, getting on our stomachs to climb by means of tight space and plenty of different issues. I assumed it was very enjoyable however if you happen to’re claustrophobic in any respect, that is possible not the tour for you. It might have been way more enjoyable if there have been much less individuals so we might do the actions faster.
11. Whale Watching in Hermanus
Hermanus is a quaint seaside city about 1.5 hours east of Cape City that’s well-known for its whale watching. In the course of the winter months between June and October, Southern Proper whales routinely come go to this a part of the nation.
There are a number of each day departures on whale watching expeditions to see these wonderful animals. Additionally, Hermanus is simply a tremendous little city with some unimaginable surroundings, and seashores. It is without doubt one of the high locations on the earth to kitesurf.
12. Eat Oysters in Knysna
If Oysters are your factor, then there isn’t a higher place to eat oysters than in Knysna. Knysna, situated on the Backyard Route in South Africa, is thought for its beautiful pure magnificence and plentiful seafood. One of many delicacies that guests should attempt whereas in Knysna is the recent oysters which are harvested from the native estuary.
The Knysna oyster, also called the Japanese Cape oyster, is prized for its scrumptious taste and plump meat. These oysters are grown within the estuary of the Knysna Lagoon, which supplies a singular mixture of recent and saltwater that creates an excellent surroundings for oyster cultivation.
Guests to Knysna can get pleasure from oysters in quite a lot of methods, from uncooked and freshly shucked to grilled or baked. The native eating places provide quite a lot of dishes that function these delectable shellfish, together with oyster platters, seafood buffets, and even oyster shooters.
Probably the greatest locations to attempt oysters in Knysna is the Knysna Oyster Firm, situated on the banks of the estuary. Right here, guests can watch because the oysters are harvested and shucked proper earlier than their eyes, making certain the freshest potential style expertise. In case you’re in Knysna within the winter months, significantly round June and July, there’s the annual oyster competition of Knysna the place you possibly can experience a festive ambiance because the freshest catch of oysters come by means of.
13. Enterprise to the Wild Coast of South Africa
The Wild Coast, also called the Transkei, is a rugged and unspoiled stretch of shoreline that runs from East London to Port Edward. It’s a place of beautiful pure magnificence, numerous cultures, and engaging historical past.
The journey alongside the Wild Coast is an expertise in itself. The highway winds its approach by means of small rural cities and distant villages, passing by pristine seashores, rolling hills, and rocky cliffs. It’s a journey that’s finest taken at a leisurely tempo, permitting ample time to discover and take within the sights and sounds of this distinctive a part of the world.
One of many highlights of the Wild Coast is the normal Xhosa villages that dot the panorama. These villages provide guests a glimpse into the wealthy cultural heritage of the Xhosa individuals, together with their conventional gown, music, and dance. Guests may also study in regards to the Xhosa custom of sangomas, or conventional healers, who play an essential position in the area people.
The Wild Coast can be house to a lot of nature reserves and parks, together with the Mkambati Nature Reserve and the Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve. These reserves provide guests the possibility to discover the beautiful pure fantastic thing about the area, together with lush forests, pristine rivers, and numerous wildlife.
Along with the pure and cultural sights, the Wild Coast can be house to a lot of journey actions. Guests can go mountaineering, kayaking, browsing, and even horseback driving alongside the coast. The waves alongside the Wild Coast are famend for his or her dimension and energy, making it a preferred vacation spot for surfers from around the globe.
14. Scuba diving in Sodwana Bay
Situated on the east coast of South Africa, Sodwana Bay is thought for its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and numerous marine life.
The bay is house to over 1,200 species of fish and is taken into account one of many high diving locations on the earth. The nice and cozy waters of the Indian Ocean, mixed with the abundance of marine life and beautiful underwater topography, make Sodwana Bay a must-visit vacation spot for any scuba diving fanatic.
Divers can discover quite a lot of dive websites within the bay, starting from shallow coral gardens to deep underwater canyons. The Two Mile Reef is without doubt one of the hottest dive websites in Sodwana Bay, that includes an unlimited array of colourful coral formations, colleges of tropical fish, and even the occasional shark sighting.
Different well-liked dive websites in Sodwana Bay embrace the Cathedral, a deep dive web site that options a big coral archway and resident potato bass, and the Pinnacles, a collection of towering rock formations which are house to quite a lot of pelagic fish species.
Along with the varied marine life and beautiful underwater landscapes, Sodwana Bay can be recognized for its eco-friendly method to diving. The native dive operators and conservation organizations are devoted to defending the marine surroundings and selling sustainable diving practices.
15. Bounce off the best Bungy bridge on the earth
In case you’re planning to go to the Backyard Route, completely make a cease exterior of Plettenberg on the world well-known Bloukrans bridge. That is the best bungy bridge on the earth at 220 meters excessive. I’ve been right here on two events and it’s an absolute thrill every time to leap off this enormous bridge.
Ensure that to make a reservation on their web site earlier than displaying up as it might get busy. In case you’re not eager to leap, there’s a bar the place you possibly can watch individuals leaping to their deaths over a pleasant pint of beer.
Listing of my South Africa posts
Earlier than I begin the checklist, ensure to take a look at all my South Africa associated posts in a single place so that you can learn!