There is no way we would pass on the chance to talk about a vacation in South Africa. Most of the time, when Africa is mentioned, the first country that comes to mind is South Africa. However, this is true, especially for non-Africans. Pictures of wildlife being very much existent outside zoos permeate every non-African mind as “Africa”.
As a result, this picture of Africa remains one of the reasons why Africa is gradually becoming a top vacation destination. Also, South Africa’s Preservation of Wildlife has ranked it as one of the best vacation spots to visit in Africa.
However, if you wish to go North for your vacation
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South Africa Through a Lens
To begin with, the National Animal of South Africa is called the Springbok. South Africa has 11 official languages, IsiZulu, Afrikaans, Isihosa, SiSwati, Sesotho, Xotsonga, Sepedi, Isindebele, Setswana, Tshivenda and English. Also, about 80% of South Africa’s Population is Christian while 20% make up for other religions.
Just as the name suggests, South Africa is a country located in the southern part of Africa. As of 2021, South Africa ranked as the second richest country in Africa, after Nigeria. Subsequently, tourism remains a key driver in the South African economy and also contributes to Job creation in the country. Moreover, the tourism industry in South Africa thrives as a result of its culture, geography and Wildlife.
Subsequently, South Africa is probably the only country that has 3 capital cities- Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein.
Best Places to Vacation in South Africa
The city of Capetown is most known for being home to the highly revered National treasure Nelson Mandela. Of course, Capetown is one of three capital cities. It serves as the legislative capital of South Africa. Capetown is the oldest city in South Africa and the second largest after Johannesburg.
Also, it is home to many beautiful and amazing attraction sites to visit. Capetown is one of the best places to visit while on vacation in South Africa. In brief, listed below are some places to visit while on vacation in Capetown, South Africa.
Landmarks/Places to Visit During Your Vacation in South Africa (Cape Town)
1 Table Mountain
This flat-topped mountain forms a landmark that overlooks the city of Capetown. Standing at the top of the mountain offers a breathtaking view of the land and sea below it. In fact, it is the most iconic landmark in South Africa. It also has a cable car that takes people to its Top.
In 2012, Table Mountain was officially inaugurated as one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World ”. Above all, the captivating view Table Mountain offers makes it a place you should visit while on vacation in Capetown.
2. Clifton Beach
Termed one of the best beaches to visit in Capetown, Clifton Beach is close to the city centre. It offers beautiful scenery and is also enclosed to avoid it being too full of people. In fact, Clifton has 4 beaches, all of which are open to the public. Planning a beach vacation in South Africa?. Therefore, this is one of the best beaches to visit in Capetown.
3. Iziko South African Museum
It’s always a delight to learn more about the occupants of the land you visit while on vacation. What better way is there to learn about African zoology, palaeontology and archaeology than to visit Iziko South African Museum? Specifically located in Capetown, this museum was the very first museum of its kind in South Africa.
Places to Stay in Capetown while On Vacation in South Africa
1. City Lodge Hotel Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
This hotel is a hotel with 207 comfortable rooms. It has a fitness room, 12-seater meeting room, bar, spa, and a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and light evening meals. Thus, C Lodge Hotel Victoria & Alfred Waterfront promises a comfortable and convenient stay. It is a great place to stay, while on vacation in Capetown, South Africa.
2. Fountains Hotel
This Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in Capetown, South Africa. It is a smoke-free hotel with 156 guest rooms and 14 apartments. It has a restaurant, bar, lounge, 4 conference rooms and offers room services. Planning a vacation to Capetown with no idea of a comfortable and affordable place to stay? Fountains Hotel is a great place to stay in Capetown, while on vacation in South Africa.
3. DoubleTree by Hilton Capetown – Upper Eastside
This fantastic hotel is located near the bay at the base of Table Mountain. It offers a free shuttle service to the V&A waterfront. Also, the rooms in this particular hotel offer city views and walk-in showers. DoubleTree by Hilton Capetown has a bar, 24-hour fitness centre, free Wi-Fi and much more.
Thus, it is a place you should consider staying at while on a vacation in Capetown, South Africa.
Things to do While on Vacation in Capetown, South Africa
- Go hiking on Table Mountain
- Go Surfing at the beach
- Sunbathe at the beach
- Enjoy sea views at Sea Point Promenade
- Go shopping at the V&A waterfront
Vacation in South Africa – Johannesburg
Informally known as “Jozi”, the city of gold, Johannesburg is the financial capital of South Africa and is its biggest city. It is one of the 100 largest urban areas in the world and is classified as a megacity. Also, the majority of the companies and banks in South Africa have their headquarters located in Johannesburg.
Fun fact, Johannesburg is home to the tallest tower in Africa, the Hillbrow Tower. Below are a few tourist attractions in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Landmarks/Places to Visit During Your Vacation in South Africa (Johannesburg)
1. Mandela House
The Nelson Mandela National Museum also called Mandela House is the house Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962 in Soweto. It contains a collection of paintings and photographs of the Mandela family. Moreover, the Mandela House is a place every history enthusiast should visit while on vacation in Johannesburg, South Africa.
2. Cradle of Humankind
This is a paleoanthropological site that was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999. Although the registered name of the site on the World Heritage Site’s list is “Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa ”. It is a site where many fossils and traces of early human forms have been found.
Are you a historian, an anthropologist or a palaeontologist? The Cradle of Humankind is an attraction site you should visit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Places to Stay in Johannesburg while on Vacation in South Africa
1. City Lodge Hotel Newtown
The City Lodge Hotel Newtown is located within the central Business district, of Johannesburg. It has warmly decorated rooms that allow you to relax. City Lodge Hotel Newtown offers free wifi, a restaurant, a bar, a rooftop pool and a fitness room. Also, it is quite affordable and is a comfortable place to stay while on vacation in Johannesburg, South Africa.
2. Anew Hotel Parktonian Johannesburg
The Anew Hotel Parktonian Johannesburg is a 4-star hotel with spacious comfortable lounge areas and rooms. It also has 300 suites which offer guests a unique experience, right in the heart of Johannesburg.
Lastly, the Anew Hotel Parktonian Johannesburg has on-site dining, 2 conference rooms, a pool, a fitness centre, a bar and much more. It is a perfect hotel to stay in while on vacation in Johannesburg, South Africa.
3. Ascot Hotel, Johannesburg
This is a 4-star hotel. It has a fitness centre, bar and a shared lounge. Ascot Hotel also offers free wifi, room service, and some rooms with city views and balconies. Thus, it is an affordable place to stay while on vacation in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Things to do in Johannesburg, South Africa while on Vacation
- Visit the National Park Safari
- Also, tour the Apartheid Museum
- Challenge yourself at Soweto towers
- Visit the constitution hill Human rights Precinct
- Lastly, visit Johannesburg zoo
Serving as the seat of the executive branch of government, Pretoria is one of the three capital cities in South Africa. It is the home of all the foreign embassies in South Africa. Above all, Pretoria is the fourth most populous city in South Africa after Johannesburg, Capetown and Durban.
Pretoria is nicknamed the Jacaranda city, as a result of the thousands of Jacaranda trees that grow in Pretoria. Fun fact, Pretoria’s church street is the longest Urban street in South Africa. Therefore, listed below are a few tourist attractions you can visit in Pretoria, South Africa.
Landmarks/Places to Visit During Your Vacation in South Africa (Pretoria)
1. Freedom Park Heritage Site & Museum
The Freedom Park Heritage Site & Museum is a heritage precinct consisting of a series of memorial sites. These memorial sites are linked by common themes of freedom and human rights. Consequently, the most noteworthy feature of this park is the wall of names.
This wall contains names of those killed in the South African wars, World Wars I & II, and the Apartheid. This is one place you should visit while in Pretoria, South Africa on a vacation.
2. Pretoria National Botanical Gardens
The Pretoria National Botanical Gardens is one out of nine national botanical gardens in South Africa. It currently hosts the Headquarters of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). Pretoria National Botanical Gardens is home to colourful varietal flowers and is an amazing sight to behold.
No matter what time of the year you visit, you can be sure to enjoy the sight of colourful flora. Thus, this is indeed one of the best places for a vacation in South Africa, no kidding.
3. Union Buildings
The Union Buildings is a South African National heritage site. It houses the office of the President of South Africa and forms the official seat of the South African Government. Although visitors are not permitted to enter the Union Buildings, you can walk right up to them.
You can access its gardens and can even host a picnic or take pictures if you wish. If you are on vacation in South Africa, this is one of the best places you should visit.
Best Places to Stay in Pretoria while on Vacation in South Africa
1. Sheraton Pretoria Hotel
Looking to enjoy a vacation in Pretoria, South Africa in a luxurious hotel? Then consider the Sheraton Pretoria Hotel. Just opposite the Union Buildings, this 5-star hotel offers you Luxury at an affordable rate. It has an outdoor swimming pool, gym, spa, restaurant, bar & lounge, and also offers shuttle services and much more.
2. Castello Di Monte
This is a Tuscan-style guest house that offers panoramic views of Pretoria. It has an outdoor swimming pool, offers free parking, free wifi throughout the premises and much more. But choosing Castello Di Monte as a place to stay while on vacation in Pretoria, South Africa will cost you. But if you can afford it, why not?
3. The Resting View Guest House
Looking for a peaceful, quiet place to stay while on vacation in Pretoria, South Africa? Then you should consider this guest house. In close proximity to the University of Pretoria and the Union Buildings, this guest house provides affordable accommodation. Also, it offers a shared lounge, free parking, family rooms, a shared kitchen and free wifi throughout the property.
Things to do While on Vacation in Pretoria, South Africa
- Visit Rietvlei Nature Reserve
- Go hiking
- Also, visit the Voortrekker Monument
- Take free Zulu lessons at Grounded at Echo Café, Pretoria
- Lastly, go on a Picnic at Union Buildings
Vacation in South Africa – Durban
Generally known as the 3rd largest city in South Africa, Durban has the busiest port in South Africa. Termed the coolest city in South Africa in 2014, Durban is packed with amazing tourist attractions. Thus, listed below are a few places to visit while on vacation in Durban, South Africa.
Landmarks/Places to Visit During Your Vacation in South Africa (Pretoria)
1. Valley of 1000 hills
The Valley of 1000 Hills is a gorge with a breathtaking sight. A place where the true beauty of Africa is showcased. Situated between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the valley serves as the meeting point for the Msunduzi and Umgeni rivers. Indeed, this is one of the best places to visit while on vacation in Durban, South Africa.
2. Moses Mabhida Stadium
The Moses Mabhida Stadium is a soccer stadium in Durban. It was one of the host stadiums for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In fact, it hosted about 10 matches during the World Cup held in South Africa. The design of this stadium allows its seating capacity to be adjusted. It particularly took over three years to complete this stadium.
Also, it has hosted other games in the years following 2010. This stadium is one place to visit while you are on vacation in South Africa.
Best Places to Stay in Durban, South Africa while on Vacation
1. Hilton, Durban
Located in Durban’s city centre, Hilton, Durban is an award-winning 5-star hotel. It offers an outdoor pool, a spa, and 24-hour room service. Also, there’s free wifi, an executive lounge, a beach and so much more. Looking to stay in a luxurious hotel while on a vacation in Durban, South Africa?
Hilton, Durban is one of the best places to stay.
2. Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani
Located just along Durban’s Golden Mile, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani is quite affordable and comfortable. It has 3 swimming pools, 4 restaurants, and rooms that offer views of the ocean. Of course, the hotel offers airport shuttle service, free wifi, on-site parking, gym, spa, room service and much more.
Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani is a great place to stay in Durban while on vacation in South Africa.
Things to do in Durban while on Vacation in South Africa
- Take a stroll at the Golden Mile
- Go on a surf
- Sunbathe at the beach
- Visit the Indian quarter
- Lastly, visit Umgeni River Bird Park
Tanzania is also one of the hotspots when you come to an amazing vacation in Africa.
Things to Note when planning a vacation to South Africa
Rainfall usually occurs from November to March. Although, in the Southwestern part of South Africa rainfalls occur from June to August. Consequently, South Africa has 4 seasons- summer, fall, winter and spring. But the period these occur differs from that of the Northern Hemisphere. However, most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights.
Therefore, the best time to vacation in South Africa is from May to September. It has the best weather conditions to sightsee the wildlife. But if you’re a surfer, then consider March- September.
There is a very high level of crime in South Africa, and it is a major security threat for tourists Crimes. Subsequently, crimes like armed assaults, theft, rape, and even murder do occur frequently, especially among foreigners. Therefore, be sure to exercise a high degree of caution while you are on vacation in South Africa.
Above all, obtain a South African tourist visa, if you are planning to travel to South Africa for a vacation.
Generally, South Africa is a fun place to vacation. Visiting its cities will allow you access to knowledge of its history and afford you relaxation opportunities. You can always go camping, fishing, golfing, hiking, surfing, and most especially, visit safaris. No matter where in South Africa you are choosing to vacation, be sure to visit Kruger National Park! Click here to check out our 8 Best Vacation Spots in East Africa for You.