South Africa – Things to do

There are far too many things to do in South Africa to count, but to whet your appetite, here are just a few of the don’t-miss experiences awaiting you in this captivating country. From where to go for the most spectacular views to the best places to take a safari, we’ve got you covered.

 

1.Table Mountain

Drive up from Cape Town to the base of this flat-topped mountain, rising 1000m above the port. You won’t want to miss this, the city’s most iconic landmark and one of the new seven wonders of the world. You can walk up if you’re feeling fit and adventurous, otherwise take the cable car, which offers 360 degree views on the way. From the top, you can see all the way to Robben Island.

 

2.Hike up Lion’s Head

There’s no cheating to get to the top of Lion’s Head, Table Mountain’s little brother. You have to hike this hill, but the simply breathtaking views over Cape Town from the top make it well worth the effort. The trail winds around the mountain in a spiral so you can take in the scenery in all directions along the way. Then, if you dare, dangle your legs over the edge of the sheer drop at the top while taking those selfies to make your friends jealous.

 

3.Cape of Good Hope

You’ll find this dramatic spot about 90 minutes drive from Cape Town. Breathe in the fresh air while standing on the craggy clifftop, reached by funicular railway. Watch out for the cheeky baboons who will steal your lunch and even open car doors and clamber in.

 

4.Go on safari

There are few more impressive sights than a lion snoozing in the shade or a herd of elephants crossing a river. Watching these amazing animals in their untouched habitat is unforgettable. There are plenty of chances to catch the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo) on a safari in one of the parks, from the exotic plains of the Eastern Cape’s Shamwari Game Reserve to the iconic Kruger National Park. More than 600 elephants live in the Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth, while Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Park is the oldest in Africa and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is in the wild Kalahari Desert and has the biggest black-mane lions you’ll ever see. Other wild animals to spot include giraffes, zebras, hippos, hyenas, wildebeest, springbok and many more.

1. Table Mountain South Africa

Transport yourself to another world during your holiday in Cape Town. Just a few mins’ drive from the city, you’ll find yourself at the base of South Africa’s most iconic landmark, Table Mountain.
Find out more

2. Journey To The Lions Head In South Africa

Lion’s Head, Cape Town, South Africa Take a walk on the wild side by tackling this majestic beast. True, Table Mountain is the most famous landmark in Cape Town, but don’t overlook its little brother. While most people take the cable car to reach the Table’s plateau, the journey to the summit of Lion’s Head is harder but far more rewarding. It’s also free and you don’t have to queue. Part of the dramatic backdrop to the city, you can scale its 669 metres (or 2,000 feet, which sounds higher) with a walk which will take an hour to 90 minutes. There are routes for most levels of fitness, so all the family can take the trip. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can scramble up the steep rocky parts with the help of chains and ladders and inch along narrow ledges, but there are easier ways to the top. The trail winds around the mountain in a spiral so you can take in the scenery in all directions along the way, even before you get to the top and the simply stunning views which await you. Here is the chance to take those photos that’ll make all your friends jealous. The view is truly breathtaking, if you have any puff left. You’ll soon realise it was worth every effort as you gaze out over Cape Town and the bay and out to the Atlantic and Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. When you get right up to the edge of the vertigo-inducing cliffs, you can enjoy the sights while sitting with your feet dangling over. Just maybe don’t look down. It’s worth getting up early to set off in the dark and watch the sun rise over Cape Town from its peak, or climb in the later afternoon to catch the sunset. Full moon hikes are also a monthly event, and a great chance to enjoy a moonlit picnic under the stars. You’ll likely spot paragliders, who launch themselves into the thermal air currents from the slopes and aim to land on the golden beaches below. Also keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife sunning themselves on the rocks, including the black girdled lizard and the brightly coloured reptile called the blue-headed southern rock agama. When preparing for your adventure, our top tips are to take sunscreen, a warm jumper for the chilly peak and a head torch if it’s dark, plus sturdy shoes. And the unusual name? In the 17th century the English tried to call it Sugar Loaf. Thankfully, to avoid confusion with the one in Rio de Janeiro, the Dutch name of Leeuwen Kop, or Lion’s Head, won out. Nearby Signal Hill was Leeuwen Staart or Lion’s Tail, as together the peaks were thought to look like a crouching lion.
Find out more

4. South Africa Safari

South Africa is famous for its fascinating history and incredibly diverse geography. It's a holiday destination that promises you unforgettable memories and once in a lifetime experiences.
Find out more