10 Reasons you Should Visit South Africa

Cailin O Neil January 8, 2013 12

One of the top countries to visit in Africa, South Africa is full of adventure, history, wildlife and great food. Here are my top ten reasons you need to visit South Africa.

1. Adventure


Are you a thrill seeker or looking to spice your life up a bit? Then South Africa is the place for you. Whether you are interested in going Shark Cage Diving, Paragliding off of a mountain over a capital city or blokarting down by the beach then South Africa is definitely the place you should visit.

2. Safari

A coalition of cheetahs

There are many countries where you can go on safari but there is only one Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in the world. (Which also goes into Mozambique and Zimbabwe along with being in South Africa). You can either drive through the park on your own or take private tours. There are also many lodges that you can stay over night at giving you the opportunity to do many game drives and see some of the magnificent animals on safari like those in the Big Five.

3. Penguins

Penguins on Boulders Beach

Not just in any country can you go to the beach and expect to see penguins but in South Africa you can. There is a colony of 3,000 penguins that live in and around Boulders Beach in Cape Town, South Africa. Also if you are so inclined you can visit SANCCOB a sea bird rehabilitation centre with the majority of its residents being penguins and you can arrange for a private behind the scenes tour. You might get a chance to pet Rocky the resident rock hopper penguin and you can even adopt a penguin! You aren’t allowed to take it home though sadly.

4. The Blue Train

Blue Train Champagne

One of the most luxurious trains in the world, you can take a 27 hour train ride from Pretoria to Cape Town or in the other direction. The rooms vary from having two single beds to a full bed and some even have full sized bathtubs while others include standing showers. Each section of the train has its own butler, there is a turn down service, the appointment only gift shop sells diamonds and there is a cigar lounge with of course an open bar.

5. Wine

Drink up at La Colombe vineyard.

South Africa is famous for its wines with the majority of the vineyards being located just outside of Cape Town. There are many vineyards and wineries that you can visit for lunch, enjoy tasting menus, take tours and of course purchase some fabulous wines.

6. Language

Constitutional Court

There are no language barriers in South Africa as almost everyone speaks English and the country as a whole has 11 official languages. You might actually be surprised to find out that not only does everyone speak English but many are bi-lingual, tri-lingual or can speak even more languages.

7. History

Apartheid Museum

If you like learning about history then this country has a story that you would be amazed to learn about. South Africa has a large tumultuous history and is one that people should learn about and understand if visiting. In Johannesburg you can visit the Apartheid Museum, Liliesleaf Museum and the country’s Constitutional Court to educate yourself on its past.

8. Johannesburg

Soweto Cooling Towers

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and the largest city in the world not located by a river, ocean or lake. A neat fact about this city is that it also has 10 million trees (more trees than people) and is home to the biggest man made forest in the world. Known for great food and shopping it is also home to the continents biggest airport and is where many people begin their trips in South Africa.

9. Food


South African cuisine has a lot of outside influences like from Europe and Asia from colonialism times. They have some of the tastiest meats in the world and venture outside of the typical beef and pork. Ostrich is found on many menus as is springbok and if you are lucky you might even get to enjoy Kudu. They enjoy a good BBQ aka braii and one of the meats I liked most was biltong, which is similar to beef jerky. South Africa is also big on beer production with their SAB World of Beer tour in Johannesburg said to be the top tourist attraction in the country.

10. Cape Town

Overhead view of Cape Town, South Africa taken from a helicopter.

One of three capital cities in South Africa, this seaside city is beautiful and picturesque with a great backdrop of the famous Table Mountain National Park. South Africa’s top tourist destination has lots of beautiful coast lines and beaches near by, many whale watching tours, amazing scenery, and it has a walkable waterfront area with tons of great restaurants and shopping and more.

Have I convinced you to visit yet? Was there anything I missed? Please add it to the comments below.




  1. Srilekha Rao January 9, 2013 at 3:54 am - Reply

    Very informative. I will soon visit South Africa

  2. Srilekha Rao January 9, 2013 at 3:57 am - Reply

    I like the photographs you have presented. Perhaps you can give us some more information on Kruger park ? What about those of us who are vegetarians ? Can vegetarians survive in this country ?

    • Howard January 14, 2013 at 2:54 am - Reply

      Hi Srilekha – my wife s a vegan and had no probem in SA.

  3. African Safari January 9, 2013 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Great post, thanks for sharing! South Africa is definitely at the top of my list for 2013!

  4. Debra March 26, 2013 at 8:02 am - Reply

    Nice pics Cailin, I have always wanted to visit Kruger National Park, South Africa is one of world’s top destinations.

  5. mark May 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    Great post and nice pics Cailin O Neil.
    I want to more pics o beaches ,

  6. John Moore August 29, 2014 at 10:10 am - Reply

    I was there three months ago and here are my adds:
    Music: a variety of great sounds both vocal and instrumental.
    People: we met a lot of intelligent, friendly people.
    Culture: visit the galleries, book stores and craft shops. It will blow your mind.
    Physical beauty: We loved the Karoo in particular.

  7. Carolyn August 29, 2014 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    My husband and I are flying into Cape Town in late November/early December and will be in the Western Cape about 3 weeks. After time in Cape Town, plan on hiring a car and heading east along the coast then up towards the Little Karoo area and Prince Albert and Swartberg Pass. Then head west back along Rte. 62 thru wine country. On the road trip portion, can we just wing it and find accoms as we go? Any other suggestions? Thanks!

    • Gareth August 30, 2014 at 2:21 am - Reply

      There are heaps of bed and breakfasts along the way. So you should not have a problem if you keep google maps close by. If you are keen on a very unique experience, head slightly east out of Cape Town towards a place called Elgin Valley. If you can get an over night booking, but for this you would need to book in advance, at a place called Old Mac Daddy, you will get to experience some unique South African art in a very special way. You can also use this as a stop off point towards Gaansbaai if you wish to do some shark cage diving.
      South Africa is fantastic, safe, friendly and beautiful!

  8. Jaco Beukman August 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the great pictures and info! South Africa is the next gem, this country has tons to offer, a world in one and tourism is booming. Come visit us and join the revolution of colour, culture and fantastic scenes!

  9. Shelley Wildeman August 30, 2014 at 12:58 am - Reply

    Don’t miss the Garden Route and especially Plettenberg Bay. Some of the best beaches in SA. Heaven for hikers. Adventures galore; Tree top jungle on zip line, Canyon climbing, whale watching, swim with seals, BIG bungy jump. Home to Plett Game reserve, Monkeyland, Knysna Eliphant Park (ride an African Eli), Birds of Eden, and loads more wild life sanctuaries. And more…and more…

  10. June Linde August 31, 2014 at 5:07 am - Reply

    Hello Carolyn from a glorious spring day in Cape Town. Please note that the WHOLE country goes on summer vacation on 10th December for 6 weeks. Depending on exactly when you arrive you would be able to wing it but after the 1st week in December you are going to find it difficult to arrive without booking. I am not sure if you will be backpacking/camping/B+B’s but you might find it difficult to find accomodation in the smaller villages along the way. If you need further or more detailed information please contact me directly on my email address – hans.chantecler@gmail.com

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