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Things to do in South Africa
Written by Srinivasan on May 28, 2020 Share on

Top Things to Do on Your South Africa Trip

The amount of diversity South Africa packs within its borders is astounding. It lives up to its tagline ‘A World In One Country’. From national parks and reserves full of wildlife to beaches overlooking turquoise waters and countryside with seemingly endless hills, South Africa enables people to experience different adventures in one trip. The first thought that occurs when people think about South Africa will mostly revolve around wildlife Safaris, Table Mountain cable car rides, and popular wineries along the garden route. Yes, they are famous and offer fantastic experiences but there’s much more to do here!! So, let’s find out ‘What to do in South Africa’

7 Best Things to Do in South Africa

1. Cooking On The Cape

When Most people start off with wildlife-watching safaris you can start with a “Cooking Safari”. Bokaap, a residential area in Cape Town which dates back to the 18th century houses the city’s Muslim community which is well known for its distinctive cuisine focused on spices.

During the half-day guided cooking safari, you will visit the Bo-Kaap Museum for an introduction to the area’s history, then you will be heading to purchase the necessary ingredients at a spice shop. Finally, you will be taking an Informal cooking lesson inside a local’s home before you sit down with your hostess to enjoy the traditionally prepared full-course meal.

2. Take a Walking Safari

Walking Safari in South Africa
Image Credits: Wiki Commons

The greater Kruger region is one of the best wildlife locations in Africa. Though most of the tour companies operate guided safaris in vehicles there are walking safaris also available which will be adventurous and thrilling to another level. You will be searching for the “Big Five” and several other mammal species. 

Everyone’s Obvious question would be ‘How safe is it to take part in this experience’ worry not, you will always be accompanied by highly trained and armed guards and rangers during the entire duration of this experience. They will be leading your way through the bush during early mornings where the probability of animal sighting is higher. Always remember to stick with the rangers and follow their instructions for a safe and memorable experience 

3. See Penguins on the beach

Penguins on the Boulder's beach
Image Credits: Unsplash

I never knew we can find penguins in Africa until I came to know about boulders beach and its neighbouring beaches. Within the range of Table Mountain National Park near Simon’s Town it is one of the cleanest and safest beaches in South Africa and it’s maintained the same way for a long time as it falls under the National Park Marine Protected Area. Not just because of this people tend to visit Boulders Beach in large numbers, it is also home to more than 3000 Iconic African Penguins. Since the beach is pretty crowded during March to May we recommend you to plan somewhere between October to March.

4. Explore a Township

South African Township
Image Credits: Wikki Commons

Urban townships found on the outskirts of many cities in South Africa are a remnant of apartheid control. Take a guided tour of a city’s township and get to know the insights about the daily life of its residents. There are also stops during the tour where you can visit craft shops run by the town’s people and taste the local beer in any of their taverns. If you have more time you can visit Kayamandi, which is near Stellenbosch, it is home to the country’s first township theatre where the locals perform their traditional singing, dancing and acting.

5. Walk the Waterfall Trail

Located on the famous garden route, Tsitsikamma National Park sits along the dramatic rocky coastline and includes a protected marine area. There are numerous hiking trails found here and the most popular one is a 26-mile otter trail which can five to six days to complete from point to point. 

Hikers can enjoy the prettiest sections of the path which is also the first section known as the Waterfall Trail. The hike is quite challenging and takes about three to four hours. The halfway point is marked by an impressive waterfall along the coastline. Along the way, if you are lucky you might even find dolphins and whales

6. Visit a Traditional Healer

Though South Africa has numerous hospitals and medical clinics, the locals around there turn into traditional healers often called sangomas. They are highly revered and an integral part of their community. Sangomas are of two different types, One prescribes medicinal herbs and plants for various ailments while the others communicate with ancestors. We would suggest having an open mind so that this cultural experience can be unique.

7. Shark Cage Diving Experience in Gansbaai

Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai
Image Credits: Wikki Commons

Dare to look into the eye of great white sharks? Observing and diving with these giants under proper guidance and conditions is an experience that cannot be just described by words. This place is also renowned as the most successful white shark sighting place and is world-famous due to this reason. The cage takes 6 people at a time and each person gets to spend around 20 minutes in the cage. All equipment necessary will be given by the tour company and one doesn’t need any scuba diving license to take part in this experience.

Best Time to Go to South Africa  

There isn’t one specific season to visit South Africa as it is an all-year-round destination. So if you ask us what is the best to visit we will say it depends on people and what exactly they want to experience during their time in the destination. For Whale watching in Cape Town, the best time would be between July and November. If you are into bird watching then the rainy season from November to February will be the best time to visit South Africa. The cooler months from May to September give the perfect conditions to view the big game

Quick Tips and Information to Know 

  1. The currency in South Africa is known as Rand. 1 US Dollar is equivalent to about 14 South African Rands 
  2. We recommend renting a car during your stay period in South Africa as driving in SA in itself is an experience altogether
  3.  South Africa is great for traveling on a budget compared to Western countries.
  4. For Indians, a Visa is necessary to visit South Africa and it takes 7 to 10 days to get processed
  5. South Africa is a very tourist-friendly destination but just as in most countries topping traveller’s lists, pickpockets and scammers are not uncommon. We recommend you not flaunt expensive jewelry or electronics and make sure to lock your passports and other valuables in your accommodation’s safe.

To get to know Africa better, start planning your trail with South Africa. It is the most traveled place in Africa and hence you will be guided better. Check out our South Africa Packages from Pickyourtrail and get packing!!

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