South Africa is a country that has something for everyone. With cool cities like Cape Town and Johahnnesburg, stunning natural beauty, and tons of African wildlife and safari options, it’s easy to see why this destination is on the bucket list for so many travelers.
South Africa quick facts
- Population: 56.7 million
- Language: 11 official languages (most common are Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English)
- Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)
- Capital city: South Africa has three capital cities – Cape Town, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein
- Country size: 470,900 square miles (twice the size of Texas)
- High season: November through March
Top 10 things to do in South Africa
- Go on a Big 5 safari in Kruger National Park
- Sip wine at a vineyard in Stellenbosch, one of South Africa’s best wine regions
- Hike to the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town (or take the cable car!)
- Visit the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg
- See some of Africa’s only penguins in Boulders Beach
- Visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated
- Take a road trip along the scenic Garden Route
- Cross the country in style on the luxurious Blue Train
- Go cage diving with great white sharks in Gansbaai
- Experience the world’s second highest bungee jump off Bloukrans Bridge
South Africa is very large, making some flights necessary if you plan to travel to different regions around the country. (Cape Town to Kruger National Park, for example, is a 2.5 hour flight compared to a 20 hour drive).
Trains and buses are also a good (albeit slower) way to get around South Africa, with routes connecting most of the big cities.
Renting a car is another good way to get around the country if you want more flexibility. Just bear in mind that drivers use the left side of the road in South Africa, which takes some time to get used to as an American driver.
Where to stay
Kruger National Park