South Africa

Travel Guide
Table Mountain showing mountains, a city and mist or fog
Golden beaches, lively cities, mountain landscapes and nature reserves teeming with wildlife await in Africa’s southernmost country.

South Africa appeals to adventurists, backpackers, honeymooners and families with a spellbinding mix of diverse cities, jaw-dropping scenery and majestic wildlife. Discover beach towns and tribal villages, hike to mountain peaks, search for Africa’s big five animals and tour magnificent vineyards.

Often called the Rainbow Nation, South Africa is influenced by tribal communities and European and Indian settlers. Listen to some of the 11 official languages and dozens of dialects. English is spoken throughout the tourist areas.

Start in the Western Cape, famous for winemaking. Visit Cape Town, home of Table Mountain, Dutch-inspired districts and chic beach suburbs, such as Camps Bay and Hout Bay. At the city’s lively Victoria & Alfred Waterfront precinct, take the ferry to Robben Island as part of the tour that shows you where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. From Cape Town, make your way down the west coast of the Cape Peninsula to the Cape of Good Hope, an area of spectacular scenery. Travel back up the east coast to watch the antics of cute penguins at Boulders Beach, dive with sharks at Simon’s Town and surf big waves at Muizenberg.

Delve into South Africa’s world-famous winemaking traditions in Stellenbosch. Enjoy local cuisine in Franschhoek, the heartland of the nation’s culinary scene. Go whale-watching in Hermanus or hike to mountain lookouts in Montagu.

Travel via bus, luxury train or rented car along the Garden Route, an enchanting coastal road stretching between Mossel Bay and Storms River. Stop at beach towns, including Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

The Eastern Cape has some of South Africa’s best surf spots, especially Jeffreys Bay and Port Alfred. Learn about the customs of the Xhosa people in Coffee Bay or trek across the Valley of Desolation’s barren landscapes.

Toward the north is Johannesburg, with urban sprawl, historic architecture and a tourist-friendly shanty town, once Nelson Mandela’s home. Experience the country’s Indian influences in Durban, the gateway to the Drakensberg Mountains. Take side trips to Lesotho and Swaziland, two picturesque landlocked kingdoms.

Join guided walks, jeep safaris and self-driven tours of superb game parks and nature reserves. Get close to endangered rhinos at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park and walk with elephants at Addo Elephant National Park. Tsitsikamma National Park is great for watching birds and dolphins. In Kruger National Park, look for the big five animals in their natural habitats.

Find a sun-drenched location to enjoy South Africa’s incredible diversity year-round.

Popular cities in South Africa

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront which includes a lake or waterhole
Cape Town
Known for Mountains, Sea and Tours
From the heights of Table Mountain to the unique “Cape Dutch” architecture and sparkling blue waterfront, Cape Town is known for its natural and cultural attractions.

Reasons to visit

  • Castle of Good Hope
  • Long Street
  • South African National Gallery
Johannesburg - Gauteng showing a city, skyline and a high rise building
Known for Shopping, Safaris and Cafes
Urban renewal is underway in the nation's capital; this is a city that is growing to embody the spirit of modern South Africa.

Reasons to visit

  • Gold Reef City
  • Johannesburg Zoo
  • Apartheid Museum
Durban showing night scenes, general coastal views and a city
Known for Beach view, Sea and Relaxing
The third-largest city in South Africa is an inviting coastal playground famous for its beaches, surfing and cosmopolitan vibe.

Reasons to visit

  • uShaka Marine World
  • Durban Beach
  • Durban Botanical Gardens
Nelspruit featuring a small town or village and shopping
Known for Shopping, Gardens and Safaris
Search for South Africa’s big five game animals at one of the world’s most famous game reserves, then unwind in a beautiful botanical garden.

Reasons to visit

  • Sudwala Caves
  • Paul Kruger Entrance Gate
  • Elephant Whispers
Hobie Beach featuring a city, a beach and general coastal views
Port Elizabeth
Known for Tours, Safaris and Golf
Explore exciting game reserves, historical museums and miles of beaches in “The Friendly City”, a beach-loving city on South Africa’s Sunshine Coast.

Reasons to visit

  • King's Beach
  • Kragga Kamma Game Park
  • Port Elizabeth City Hall
Discover things to see and do in Bushbuckridge as you venture to popular sights like Kruger National Park.

Reasons to visit

  • Sabi Sands Game Reserve
  • Klaserie Nature Reserve

Popular places to visit

South Africa

Choose one or more items to build your trip:
Choose one or more items to build your trip: