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Places to visit in South Africa

In a country where the history vouches for its amazing landscape, resources and well, past itself, there is indeed ought to have hundreds of exciting things to do. Staying true to the expectations you may have from it, the Rainbow Country of the world surely provides you plentiful of mesmerizing attractions that are certainly famed to leave their spectators spellbound. Even apart from its inexplicable natural beauty, thanks to its endless coastlines, interminable desert and lush mountains, there are still ample of attractions in South Africa waiting to be discerned.  Exploring the rich foliage and regal jungle creatures, with special mention of the big five through safaris, walking the vastly spread vineyards and wineries, discovering the energetic towns, meeting the warm local folk and soaking in the absorbing culture and history of the place, add to your list of some very interesting things to do in South Africa.

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Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and is also the capital of the Gauteng province. It has the perfect mixture of beautiful traditional heritage of the land and modern advancements that establishes this lovely city as a must-visit destination on your trip to this country. A city known for its rich arts and culture scene with many art gallery and cultural centres, and for hosting international cricket matches, Johannesburg has a lot to offer to its visitors. The city Johannesburg in South Africa is the country's chief industrial and financial capital. It was initially a part of Transvaal, one of the provinces of South Africa. Johannesburg was established in 1886, after the revelation of gold. Today the city is a part of Gauteng, one of the nine territories of South Africa. 

Nature too has favoured this erstwhile South African city with abundance of beauty and wildlife which can be witnessed through its numerous parks and tropical rain forests. It is also a wonderful place to shop and eat to your heart’s fill.

Attractions in Johannesburg:

  • The Maboneng Precinct
  • Lindfield Victorian House Museum
  • South African Museum of Military History
  • FNB Stadium
  • Lion Park
  • Johannesburg Zoo
  • Cradle of Humankind
  • Johannesburg Botanical Garden
  • Mandela House

 Things to do in Johannesburg:

There are many adventure sports that can be done at Johannesburg city. They include adventure rides at Gold Reef City amusement park, adventures sports like bungee jumping, abseiling at Orlando Tower, scuba diving at Prism Business Park or a paintball game at the Bush Paintball Range. One can also play golf at World of Golf or visit various sports centres and museums. 

Hotels in Johannesburg: 

  • Premier Hotel Mapungubwe - 4 Star
  • Hallmark Hotel - 4 Star
  • Pablo House - 4 Star
  • Southern Sun Rosebank - 4 Star
  • Protea Hotel Fire & Ice by Marriott JHB Melrose Arch - 4 Star
  • The Capital on Bath - 3 Star
  • Monica s Cottage - 3 Star
  • The Residency Jellicoe - 3 Star
  • Garden Court Milpark - 3 Star
  • Daze House - 3.5 Star

Restaurants in Johannesburg: Trumps Grillhouse and Butchery in Sandton, Tashas, Moyo Melrose Arch at the high street, Quills Restaurant at Kempton Park, Marble Restaurant and The Fat Zebra in Randburg are some of our favourite restaurants in Johannesburg city. 

Nightlife in Johannesburg: Some of the best nightclubs in Johannesburg City are Lord’s Cigar Bar, Stanley Beer Yard, The Hide Out, Hush, Upstairs at Mesh and The Marabi Club. 

Shopping in Johannesburg: Artisanal spirits, gold jewelleries, African crafts and artifacts, a Krugerrand and Ndebele art are some of the most popular souvenirs you can buy from Johannesburg in South Africa. Carlton Centre, Neighbourgoods Market, African Craft Market and Rosebank, Mall of Africa and 44 Stanley are some of the top recommended places for shopping in Johannesburg. 


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Cape Town

The capital of Western Cape Province of South Africa, Cape Town is a terrific city that’s famous all over the world for its spotless golden beaches and superb cultural heritage. The great Table Mountain, glittering seas, gigantic boulders, mystic underground caves and the sprawling vineyards just add to the allure of this delightful city which is often called as the Mother City. From practically any stand point, you can witness a mountain or a sea in, and most of the times, both. 

Cape Town is known to have some of South Africa’s most significant history and culture.  It forms a vital part of your itinerary for a trip in the country especially due to the endless attractions and activities that it offers you to enjoy here. Its street art, delectable food and thriving nightlife are sure something to experience.

The Cape Town in South Africa is famous for its tricky climate and weather conditions. Its Mediterranean climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. If you’re lucky enough you can witness up to four seasons in a day. 

Places to Visit  in Cape Town:

  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens 
  • Victoria and Alfred Waterfront 
  • Cape of Good Hope 
  • Castle of Good Hope   
  • Boulders Beach 
  • District Six Museum 
  • Storms River Mouth 
  • Company’s Garden 
  • Lion’s Head 

Things to do in Cape Town : 

Hiking, scuba diving, skydiving at Diepkloof Airfield, watching marine creatures at Two Oceans Aquarium, mountain biking, strolling at Tokai Forest, wine tasting, surfing, kayaking, paragliding, wildlife watching at Silvermine Nature Reserve etc. are some of our picks of the best things to do in Cape Town. 

Restaurants in Cape Town: 

Pigalle Restaurant, Haiku Cape Town CBD and Mzansi at Cape Town Central, Miller’s Thumb at Tamboerskloof, La Mouette Restaurant near Sea Point, Stardust Theatrical Dining at Foreshore and Market on the Wharf are a few top restaurants in Cape Town. 

Nightlife  in Cape Town:

Some of the popular clubs at Cape Town are  Bob’s Bar District Six, Cocoon Cape Town, Shimmy Beach Club, Reset, Chez Ntemba Nightclub, Julep Bar etc.

Shopping in Cape Town:

No trip is complete without shopping, so here are some of the places for shopping in Cape Town.  Baraka Gifts & Décor, Old Biscuit Mill, Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Greenmarket Square, Cape Diamonds & Arican Trading Port.

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Sun City

Sun City is a popular destination in South Africa which is famous for its gaming reserves. The vivacious city is a great place to be for making your vacation fun and enjoyable with loads of sightseeing spots, adventure activities and entertainment zones that it offers you. It is also one of the biggest centres for adult entertainment in all of Northern Province of the country. However, it is still a place with multiple things to do for all age groups. You can revel in a number of water sports, wildlife safaris, adventure rides at amusement parks, golfing, shopping at various boutique shops and spa sessions too.


Attractions: Predator World, Valley of Waves, Pilanesberg National Park, Kwena Crocodile Farm, The Maze of The Lost City, King’s Tower, Grey Player Health Spa, The Waterworld Picnic Lawn, Sun Central, South African Hall of Fame, Kamp Kwena etc.

Activities: Wildlife safaris at Pilanesberg National Park, hot air ballooning at Mankwe Gametrackers, Golfing at Lost City Golf Course, adventure rides at Waterworld, adventure sports at Adrenaline Extreme, Steam Train rides at Stimela etc.

Places to eat: Ying Tao Asian Kitchen, Crystal Court, Litchfield’s, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Brenda’s Kitchen, Abuelo’s, Oriental House etc.

Nightlife: The Speakeasy, Adam’s Lounge, The Private Cove, The Moon, Lucidi Distilling, Puffin Clouds Hookah Lounge, Trader’s Sports Bar, Cherry etc. 

Where to shop: Moon Valley Nurseries, Curacao, Arrowhead Towne Centre, Tanger Outlets, Barnaby Street Shoppers, Repeat Boutique, Signature Invitations & Gifts etc.

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Port Elizabeth

Located in Algoa Bay of Eastern Cape Province, Port Elizabeth is small but well known town in South Africa. It is popular for its lovely beaches where you can engage in myriad exciting water activities. Along with this it is also a famed spot for watching some rare seabirds and migrating whales who come to the warmer ocean waters near South Africa to give birth to their babies in winters. The wildlife reserves located here look enchanting and give you a great chance to take a glimpse at a range of fantastic jungle beasts including lions, elephants and rhinos.


Attractions: Bayworld, Kragga Kamma Game Park, St George’s Park, Red Location Museum, Kings Beach, African Dawn, Groendal Nature Reserve, St. Croix Island, McArthur Baths, Castlehill, Donkin Reserve, Horse Memorial etc.

Activities: Art appreciation at Nelson Mandela, whale watching, explore museums such as Sukume Museum & Xhosa Culture or South African Air Force Museum, boat tours, bird watching and hiking at Cape Recife Local Authority Nature Reserve, wildlife watching Seaview Predator Park etc. 

Places to eat: Old Austria Restaurant, Charlies Pizza & Pasta Summerstrand, De Kelder, The Hacklewood Restaurant, Komorebi Sushi Bar, Blue Waters Café, Friendly Stranger etc. 

Nightlife: Beer Yard, Barn & Barell, For the Love of Wine, Barney’s Tavern, Gondwana Café, Buzz Factory, Keg & Swan etc. 

Where to shop: Baywest Mall, Wezandla Gallery & Craft Centre, Greenacres Shopping Centres, Back to Earth Organic Market, The Tarot Lounge, Ostrich Emporium SA etc.

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Oudtshoorn is a simple quaint town in South Africa, located in the Klein Karoo region of Western Cape. The peacefull little town is famous for its several ostrich farms and beautiful yet overwhelming caves at Cango which display an unusual and truly spectacular formations of limestone. Another interesting thing that compels you to visit this lovely town is its unique petting farms where you can interact with wild animals up and close. Nestled between Swartberg and Oteniqua mountains, the former of which is also the Cape Floral World Heritage Site, the town is the owner of resplendent natural beauty as well.


Attractions: Cango Caves, Anysberg Nature Reserve, Cango Ostrich farm, Arbeidsgenot museum, Safari Show Farm, CP Nel Museum, Rust-en-Verde Waterfall, C.J. Langenhoven Museum, Meerkat Magic, ArtKaroo Art Gallery, 

Activities: Adventure activities like cave exploring, hiking, mountain biking, hiking and cycling at Swartberg Pass, animal petting at Cango Wildlife Ranch, nature walks and camping at Pietersrivier Nature Reserve, visit wineries etc. 

Places to eat: Nostalgie, Patat Restaurant, Bufflesdrift Game Lodge Restaurant, Jemima’s Restaurant, Bello Cibo Restaurant, De Kombuys Estate, Beans About Coffee etc. 

Nightlife: Q-Bar Lounge & Deck, Wic’it Sports Bar, La Dolce Vita, Garreth Veronica, Harley Jack Grill House & Pub

Where to shop: Cali Craft & Gems, Bella-Mia Pottery, Mooi Art Gallery, Latana Cheese, La Chocolaterie Rococo, ArtKaroo Art Gallery, Lugro Ostrich Leather Products etc.

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A tiny hamlet, Hazyview is a sub-tropical farming town in South Africa’s Mpumalanga region. Bestowed with lush greenery, this lovely village is nothing short of a wondrous African destination, ideal for a rejuvenating stay away from commercialised city life. Located at the edge of the charming Sabie River Valley, the town is ripe with remarkable natural beauty, packed with numerous delightful orchards of fruits and nuts especially macademia nuts. The place offers a perfect getaway for trying a variety of adventure activities as well, with the most noteworthy of them being hiking to the winsome Kruger National Park.


Attractions: Shangana cultural village, Blyde river canyon, Perry’s Bridge Reptile Park, Kruger National Park etc.

Activities: White water rafting, river rafting and tubing in Sabie river, Long Tom Toboggan, elephant back safaris, aerial cable rides, abseiling, zip-lining, hiking at different hiking trails including that of Kruger National Park, rappelling, quad biking in Sabie river valley, horse trails, slackpacking skydiving, paintball etc. 

Places to eat: Kuka Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge, Pioneer’s Grill, Tanks Bush Pub, G’s Bistro & Bar, Topolino’s Italian Restaurant, Summerfield’s Kitchen, Summerfield’s River Café, In-Da-Belly, Nando’s Hazyview, Running Brave Spur Steak Ranch, Abies Pub & Grill & Golf Driving Range, Galito’s, Meet & Coffee Co, 

Where to shop: PEP Store, Mr Price/ MRP, Shoprite Liquor Shop Hazyview, Lowveld Mall, Riverside Mall etc.

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Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa, following Johannesburg and Cape Town. It is a part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and was one of the cities that hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Previously called Port Natal, Durban is among the most popular holiday destinations in the country, attracting thousands of domestic and international visitors throughout the year. What makes the city special is its incredible natural beauty and renowned tourist attractions. From mesmerising views of the seaside, mountains and valleys to serene beaches, beautiful temples and grand stadiums, there’s a lot to see while you visit South Africa. The history of Durban dates back thousands of years to when it was first inhabited by groups of hunter-gatherers. However, the city that we see now dates back to around 1824, when a group of a few Britishers established their settlement in the region.

Now, Durban City has become a major spot in South Africa, with various fun things to do. Tourists can go sightseeing and witness the world-renowned places in and near Durban, like the Golden Mile, The Valley of a 1000 Hills, Umgeni River Bird Park, North Beach Durban, Botanic Gardens, etc. Shopping for local crafts, enjoying the vibrant nightlife, dining at luxurious restaurants, etc., are some other popular things tourists prefer during their visit to the city. Durban is also a great spot for fun activities, like spending a day at the uShaka Marine World, riding the Big Swing at Moses Mabhida Stadium, going shark cage diving, taking casual strolls on beaches, and more. 

Places to visit in Durban

Places to vist in Durban

Operating hours

Ticket Prices

North Beach

Open 24 hours


Umgeni River Bird Park

9 AM to 4 PM

R40 for adults and R20 for children (age 4-12)

Durban Botanic Gardens

7 AM to 5:45 PM

No entry fee

Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple

4:30 AM to 7:30 PM

Free admission

Mitchell Park Zoo and Jameson Park

9 AM to 4 PM (Mitchell Park Zoo) & 24 hours (Jameson Park)

R12 for adults and R10 for children (age 2-13) to visit Mitchell Park Zoo
No entry fee is required for visiting Jameson Park


KwaMuhle Museum

8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

No entry fee

uShaka Marine World

9 AM to 5 PM

Prices depend on which tour you choose

Durban Natural Science Museum

8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Free entry

Durban Location

Durban is located in the eastern coastal region of South Africa. It lies at the Umgeni River’s mouth, which flows through the city, overlooking the Indian Ocean. It is KwaZulu-Natal province’s largest city and the chief seaport in the country. It is about 568 kilometres southeast of Johannesburg and just 77 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg.

The language spoken in Durban

The city’s history has massively influenced its culture and traditions, offering a blend of Indian, European and African backgrounds. A similar influence is seen in the regional language, making it one of the most diverse holiday destinations in the world. In Durban, the majority of the people are fluent in English. Hence, most tourists will not face any issues conversing with the locals during their trip. Other major languages spoken in Durban include Zulu (isiZulu), Xhosa, Afrikaans, Fanagalo, etc. Durban is also home to one of the largest Indian communities outside of India, so you can expect to occasionally come across individuals conversing in Indian languages. 

Currency used in Durban

The currency that is primarily used and accepted in Durban is called South African Rand (ZAR). It has been the currency of legal tender in South Africa since it replaced the South African Pound in 1961. The South African Rand is denoted by the symbol “R” and its value has largely fluctuated through the years. As of 9th April 2023, 09:52 AM (UTC), the value of 1 ZAR is equal to 4.53 INR and 0.055 USD.

Durban Famous for?

Durban City is among the most diverse and visited holiday destinations in South Africa. The renowned vacation spot is mainly known for things like: 

  1. Port of Durban- The Durban Port, also known as Durban Harbour, is the busiest shipping terminal in South Africa and one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
  2. Bunny Chow- It is a speciality food item that adds to the popularity of Durban. It is a type of snack made with a hollowed loaf of bread containing curry-based veg or non-veg filling. 
  3. Grand stadiums- Sports fans from all over the world fly out to Durban to witness live events like cricket, football, rugby, motorsports, etc., at the various stadiums in the city. For example, the Moses Mabhida Stadium is a multi-use stadium and was one of the venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. 
  4. Cultural diversity- Durban is one of the most culturally diverse cities in South Africa. Tourists can not only learn about the local culture and traditions during their visit but also be a part of it.
  5. Scenic beauty- The entire city is covered by beautiful works of nature, offering a magnificent visual delight to tourists. The mesmerising landscapes of Durban consist of beachfront views, flower-filled parks, lush green valleys, game reserves, heritage trails, and so on. 

Durban- A Versatile Holiday Destination

The coastal city of Durban is a very versatile holiday destination in South Africa. Many tourists visit the city for the Durban beach experience and gaze at the spectacular seafront views. The amusement park experience in the city is another of its primary tourist attractions. Besides these, Durban is famous for its botanic gardens, game reserves, bird parks, picnic spots, etc. It is also a great place where you can enjoy the vibrant nightlife and adventure tourism in South Africa.

How to get to Durban

The city of Durban is quite well-connected with other parts of South Africa and the world via various transport methods. Here’s how you can get to the city:

By air:

One of the fastest and most comfortable ways to reach Durban is via plane. The King Shaka International Airport (DUR) is the main airport serving the city since 2010. It is located approximately 35 kilometres from the Durban city centre. Besides international flights, the airport also features frequent domestic flights connecting Durban to major South African cities, such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. Once you land at KSIA, you can take a taxi or bus to Durban City, which should take about 30 minutes.

By road:

Travelling to Durban by road is another suitable way to reach the city quickly and comfortably. You can hire a taxi or go for a rental car for this purpose. If you are starting your journey from Port Elizabeth or Cape Town, consider following Highway 2 around the coast. And if you are travelling from Johannesburg to Durban, you can take Highway 3. There are also frequent bus services, like Baz Bus, Translux, Citiliner, etc., connecting Durban with the main cities in South Africa.

By rail:

The Durban Railway Station offers reliable and convenient rail connectivity between Durban and other South African cities, like Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg. It is located about 2 kilometres from the city centre. 

Interesting Facts about Durban 

Durban is a land of many wonders, and if you are planning your next trip to this beautiful city, make sure to check out these interesting facts about it for a better idea:

  1. The Durban Port, also called Durban Harbour, is the busiest container port in South Africa. It has around 59 berths and handles over 30 million tons of cargo every year.
  2. Famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama first visited Durban back in 1497. He named the area “Natal”, which meant Christmas in the Portuguese language. 
  3. The world’s oldest and largest ultramarathon, called the “Comrades Marathon”, is run annually between the city of Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
  4. Durban is a popular spot for adventure on South Africa tourism, attracting visitors with activities like surfing, kayaking, shark cage diving, etc. The Durban Beach sites are the most prominent locations for these activities.
  5. Mahatma Gandhi first visited Durban in 1893 to serve as legal counsel to a merchant named Dada Abdulla. It is where he spent years fighting racial discrimination before returning to India.
  6. The city has some of the finest beaches in South Africa, spreading across the famous Golden Mile.
  7. Durban has the largest population of Indians outside of India. They are now a prominent part of the diverse culture and traditions of the city. 
  8. The part of the Indian Ocean that Durban overlooks is warm, thanks to the warm Mozambique current.
  9. The uShaka Marine World in the city has an underground aquarium which is dubbed the fifth-largest aquarium in the world. It is also one of the most visited tourist places in Durban.
  10. Durban’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) is known for hosting some of the biggest art events in all of South Africa, including the Durban Film Festival, Poetry Africa and Time of the Writer.

Why is Durban recommended?

There are many reasons why one should visit South Africa’s famous city, Durban, at least once in their lifetime. For instance, individuals looking to spend a memorable vacation amidst nature without steering far from city life will find Durban to be a perfect location. Apart from its magnificent beaches, valleys and mountains, its city life offers attractions like museums, amusement parks, religious landmarks, and so on. The views of the sunset and sunrise from the city are also quite popular in the region. Referred to as “South Africa’s Playground”, the clear and warm weather of Durban makes it a pleasant location to visit in the country throughout the year. Its diverse culture and rich history also draw the attention of thousands of visitors annually.

Another major reason to visit Durban in South Africa is that it is considerably cheaper when compared to other major cities, like Cape Town or Johannesburg. The availability and quality of food, transport and accommodation in Durban are quite good. You can grab a decent hotel in Durban, travel via public transport and check out the various tourist attractions in the city, all within a budget.

To answer the popular question “Is Durban safe for tourism?”, it should be noted that the crime rate in the region is a bit on the higher side. However, the main tourist areas remain considerably safe for visitors. Hence, as long as you are taking all precautionary measures and listening to the instructions of your tour guide, you can enjoy your holidays in Durban without any hindrances. 

Cost to reach Durban via different transport methods

Depending on your travel budget, you can choose from the various transport methods available to reach Durban. You can find details about the general travel cost to reach the city in the following:

  • 1By flight- It is the fastest and the most expensive travel option available to reach the city. For instance, the cheapest flight from New Delhi to Durban costs around INR 50,000. If you are flying domestically, like from Johannesburg to Durban, then the cheapest flight fare is around R500 - R600.
  • By train- The cheapest train fare from Johannesburg to Durban is around R360.
  • By bus- If you are travelling to Durban by bus from Cape Town, it can cost anywhere around R690 - R1450.
  • By taxi- If you are travelling from neighbouring cities to Durban, you can choose to go by taxi. For example, the cheapest taxi fare from Pietermaritzburg to Durban is about R550 - R700.

Keep in mind that these prices can vary depending on your starting location and date of travel.

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Kgalagadi or Kalahari Transfrontier Park

Formed as a result of merger of the Gemsbok National Parks at Kalahari and Botswana, Kalahari Transfrontier Park is the biggest wilderness spots in the world. The first park to be declared transfrontier, it was established in the year 2000 and is located in the South Africa’s remote location of Northern Cape. 

It is strewn with hundreds of knobbly camel thorn trees and golden grasslands which dazzle against the red sandy terrain and contrasting blue skies. The beautiful and unique landscape that emerges as a result makes for spectacular photography. The place is well-known for its diverse wildlife and is the home to the regal black-maned Kalahari Lion, amusing meerkats, pompous looking gemsbok featuring their stately V-shaped horns, widely seen nests of dainty weavers and a huge array of birds of prey. Cheetah, hyenas and leopards are some other predators found in this region.


Location: Northern Cape

Known For: Black-maned Kalahari Lion, gemsbok and other animals

How to reach: OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg is the nearest airport from where you can take a bus or a car to reach the park or board a connecting flight to Upington Airport in Northern Cape from where reach the park by similar road transport modes. 

Approximate Cost:  Approx. 1800 to 2300 INR 

Operating hours: 6:00 am to 7:00 pm (the timings may differ slightly with changing months)

Tips: Carry a bottle of water, sunglasses, a hat and sunblock and for safari

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