Best things to do in South Africa


It’s no secret that South Africa is one of the world’s top Big 5 safari destinations. You could come here only to go on safari and think South Africa was the best country ever. But wait – there’s so much more to this fascinating realm perched at Africa’s southernmost tip. 

South Africa’s ethnic and cultural diversity influences its cuisine and art in exciting, unexpected ways. Its scenery is stunning, from wave-crashed shorelines and wildflower-carpeted deserts to wildlife-filled bushveld and tropical forests. The country has cosmopolitan cities, charming wine towns and important cultural traditions. Apartheid’s struggles are faced head-on at several important sights. 

You can hike, surf, kayak, fish, whale-watch, horseback ride, dive with sharks and crocodiles and stargaze under some of the planet’s darkest skies. The only problem is how to even begin planning a visit to this immensely blessed, multifaceted land. 

Here are the top 15 things to do in South Africa to start your trip planning.

Woman riding a bicycle in South Africa From bike riding to wine tastings,  the options for activities in South Africa are endless © Hello World / Getty Images

1. Spot the Big 5 and even more wildlife in South Africa’s parks

As the early morning sun rises over the bushveld, a herd of elephants thunders past, a leopard enjoys a snack up in a tree, and a lion stalks its prey. These are the joys of going on safari in South Africa, where you have an excellent chance of spotting the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant) in national parks and wildlife preserves across the country. 

Kruger National Park is the primo game park, with 19,485 sq km (7523 sq mi) of bushveld, tropical forests, savannah and mountains teeming with more than 140…

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