15 Best Cities to Visit in South Africa


The southernmost nation in Africa is a fascinating place to visit due to its various vary of individuals and cultures that breathe life and power into its bustling cities. With unimaginable landscapes and wildlife reserves bordering the metropolitan areas, you will be purchasing in a mall or wandering round a museum in the morning, earlier than recognizing one of many Big Five wild animals later in the day.

The finest cities in South Africa have a wealth of issues to see and do, and guests can be delighted with its unbelievable vary of out of doors actions, in addition to the plethora of eating places, bars and lodging choices which mix to make it a straightforward and thrilling nation to journey round.

Map of cities in South Africa

Map of cities in South Africa

15. Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay

With its pretty seashores and pounding waves making for some nice browsing, Mossel Bay is a superb metropolis to go to if you happen to love the outside. From right here, you’ll be able to benefit from the smooth sands, hike alongside the coast, and even go skydiving if you happen to really feel prefer it. While the city itself is kind of unattractive due to its industrial sprawl, the vary of issues to see and do and the laidback vibe make it an awesome cease off level whenever you’re touring alongside the Garden Route.

14. Rustenburg


Lying proper subsequent to the Magaliesberg Range, most individuals keep in Rustenburg due to its proximity to Sun City and the beautiful Pilanesberg National Park. A vigorous however dirty place, there are many eating places and lodging to select from amidst the unplanned sprawl of this platinum mining city. While missing any sights of be aware, there are some nice treks to be had in the close by mountains.

13. Upington


Located on the banks of the Orange River which waters its verdant gardens and date palm avenues, Upington is a pleasing, if unspectacular, place to go to – its city middle is quiet and indistinctive.

Walking alongside the riverfront, nevertheless, is pleasant, and there are some good views and peaceable spots to spend a little bit of time. From right here, many individuals head on to the Kalahari Desert or to the beautiful Augrabies Falls.

12. Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay

Due to its spectacular setting, Plettenberg Bay has lengthy been a well-liked vacationer vacation spot in South Africa. With scenic mountains and beautiful white seashores bordering the darkish blue water, it’s simple to see why this resort city attracts so many individuals.

Although it will possibly get busy, there’s a relaxed really feel about city, and the whale watching right here is great throughout breeding season. Located on the Garden Route, the town is definitely value a go to for the vary of out of doors actions it has on provide.

11. Kimberley


Located amidst the Diamond Fields, Kimberley is the place de Beers began out, and the town will perpetually be related to these glittering gems. Visit the Big Hole and the accompanying recreated mining settlement to step again into the previous and expertise how Kimberley used to be. Located in the Northern Cape, it has some nice museums and tremendous outdated buildings that are steeped in historical past, in addition to a scattering of first rate motels and eating places.

10. Grahamstown


Once on the coronary heart of bloody wars between Europeans and the Xhosa, Grahamstown’s middle has some good outdated structure and church buildings that conjure up pictures of outdated England and allude to its outstanding place in Settler Country.

Nowadays, it has a vigorous college and is famend for a vibrant arts scene, which incorporates the large National Arts Festival. It’s a picturesque place that has plenty of bars, eating places and nightlife, not to point out the numerous out of doors actions to have interaction in.

From right here, there are quite a few nature reserves the place you’ll be able to see the dwindling populations of the Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo.

9. Polokwane


Lying between Pretoria and the border to its north, Polokwane is a dirty metropolis that acts as an administrative and industrial capital to the Limpopo Province. A vigorous however chaotic place with a little bit of a visitors downside, gated communities are hidden away amidst the city sprawl. While it’s not disagreeable to go to, many guests use it solely as a transport hub to the encircling areas.

8. East London

East London

Set on the coast in the Eastern Cape, the middle of East London is distinctly underwhelming due to its colorlessness and lack of id. Consequently, guests are suggested to head straight to the waterfront, which appears to be like enchanting set alongside the bay.

Nahoon Beach is the proper place to cease by if you happen to’re into browsing, and at varied factors alongside the coast you’ll discover well-tended parks and seashores. A transport hub, many guests use East London as a gateway to the Transkei or the picturesque little cities that dot the coast to both facet of it.

7. Bloemfontein


Although it’s the judicial capital of South Africa, this stress-free, peaceable metropolis has a provincial really feel to it. Consequently, it’s a good place to spend a while, regardless of having no main sights.

Located in the middle of the nation, the truth that it lies on a number of crossroads signifies that many individuals cease by on their method to someplace else. With a pleasant artwork museum, some purchasing malls and tremendous eating places, the very best time to go to is throughout the Manguang African Cultural Festival in October.

6. Knysna


Surrounded by stunning, historic forests and spectacular mountains, Knysna lies subsequent to a stunning lagoon. Its beautiful location makes it simply one of many highlights of the meandering and scenic Garden Route.

Tragically, wildfires severely impacted the realm in June 2017, though there are nonetheless loads of good spots to go to, with the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park being notably worthwhile. With plenty of issues to see and do, this artsy laidback metropolis can get fairly busy throughout the excessive season, due to its stunning surroundings and nice vary of lodging and eating places.

5. Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth

Rampant modernization and the heavy trade upon which the town is constructed signifies that Port Elizabeth isn’t the prettiest place you’ve ever seen, though issues are steadily bettering. The metropolis middle, as an illustration, has just a few charming outdated buildings scattered about, and there are numerous good motels and eating places.

The most important cause folks go to is for the nice seashores which line the Indian Ocean – from right here you’ll be able to go online, get pleasure from water sports activities and generally see dolphins and whales. Located on Algoa Bay, the close by Addo Elephant National Park is a unbelievable place to see some unique wildlife.

4. Pretoria


Lying simply fifty kilometers from Johannesburg, the chief capital of the nation, Pretoria, is a fairly place to wander round. Its leafy streets are lined with some pleasant outdated structure.

Time your go to for spring, when its jacarandas bloom superbly into life. Now a recent metropolis with a multicultural inhabitants due to its overseas embassies, Pretoria was as soon as the middle of the vicious apartheid regime and continues to be a majority Afrikaner metropolis.

There are plenty of attention-grabbing museums depicting the varied cultures and other people that decision South Africa house. It is safer and extra laidback to go to than its neighboring metropolis, with a lot livelier nightlife too.

3. Johannesburg


With round ten million residents, Johannesburg is the biggest metropolis in South Africa and is the financial coronary heart of sub-Saharan Africa. Tellingly, nevertheless, nearly half of the inhabitants stay in townships such because the well-known Soweto, and due to the large inequality in wealth, crime is an enormous downside right here – as is poverty.

For a revealing and eye-opening look into South Africa´s tragic previous, the Apartheid Museum is a should, and there are numerous different nice museums to go to. While the town does have its points and its huge sprawl could be a bit overwhelming, it’s a surprisingly welcoming place; its infectious power will encourage you to preserve exploring all the nice purchasing, sporting spectacles and vibrant city tradition.

2. Durban


The third largest metropolis in South Africa is a bustling place, thanks in half to its gigantic port – the biggest in Africa. Much has modified in latest a long time – the top of apartheid noticed the town welcome many close by Kwa-Zulu residents, who now make Durban one of the crucial African cities in the nation. In addition to this, its enormous Indian inhabitants additionally provides it an Asian aptitude, as demonstrated by the streets, markets and eating places which you´ll come throughout.

Lying on the Indian Ocean coast, Durban has a picturesque harbor in addition to a stunning waterfront lining the expansive public seashores that many Jo´burgers come to get pleasure from. Although there’s a barely gritty really feel to the town due to the port, latest developments have seen Durban a lot improved and even higher to go to than earlier than.

1. Cape Town

Cape Town

The most visited metropolis in the nation is achingly stunning to behold, thanks to the glistening waters that lie earlier than it and the enduring Table Mountain that types such a shocking backdrop. This multicultural place has quite a lot of folks and cuisines that make it a delight to discover.

Its pretty, various structure is house to unbelievable eating places, bars and a few nice nightlife. Lively however laidback, Cape Town lies in the far southwest of the nation. Its surrounding area is house to magnificent wineries in Stellenbosch; you may also go whale watching, dive with nice white sharks, or benefit from the unimaginable landscapes of Table Mountain National Park.

Lying off the coast is Robben Island, which, together with the townships that dot the town, will enlighten guests about South Africa´s latest troubled previous. With many nice out of doors actions to participate in, a vibrant arts and tradition scene, and a stunning vibe and look to the town, Cape Town is certainly a must-see in this sensible nation.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Cape Town

See additionally: Top Cape Town Attractions

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