At the southern tip of the great African continent, South Africa boasts 3000km, nine provinces and even three capitals: Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Administrative) and Bloemfontein (Judicial). Most people go straight to their safari or Cape Town but that would be missing out on the vast riches of this incredible nation. Start ticking off your bucket list with our guide to the regions.
Johannesburg and Gauteng
Most visitors pass through Johannesburg on their way to Cape Town or their safari, but some of South Africa’s most interesting and authentic experiences can be found here - Soweto, the Apartheid Museum and just outside, the Lion Park and the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cape Town and the Western Cape (including the Garden Route)
Located on the southernmost tip of Africa, the Western Cape is a province of unparalleled splendour. With iconic scenery, beautiful beaches and majestic winelands, it’s without a doubt one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. Key attractions include Table Mountain, the Garden Route and some of the best dining and beach spots in the southern hemisphere.
Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park
It’s no wonder that the place with a name meaning “place where the sun rises” is one of the most scenic in South Africa. Home to world-renowned Kruger National Park, the Panorama Route featuring God’s Window and the luxury lodges of the Sabi Sands Reserve, the Mpumalanga province boasts nature’s beauty. Fascinating cultural groups, including the Shangaan and Ndebele, also reside in this province. The ancient lands of Limpopo lie to the north.
North West Province and the Big Five
On this vast grassland dotted with trees and views that stretch to distant horizons, you’ll find two of South Africa’s largest game reserves – the Madikwe Game Reserve and Pilanesberg Game Reserve. There’s also the Vredeort Dome UNESCO World Heritage Site – the world’s largest verified crater.
Eastern Cape and the Southern Drakensberg
Stretching along 800km of pristine Indian Ocean coastline, go there for the world heritage listed snow-capped peaks of the southern Drakensberg, numerous game reserves and lush forests of Tsitsikamma.
KwaZulu-Natal, the garden province of South Africa, boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, lush valleys, beautiful tropical beach stretches and the port city of Durban. One of the fastest growing and most diverse urban areas in the world, Durban is famous for its food, spices and beaches.
Bloemfontein and the Free State
Situated in the heart of South Africa, the Free State offers a mix of colourful cultures, fun urban vibes and a variety of national attractions. The Free State’s capital, Bloemfontein is known for its historic and heritage sites including President Brand Street, the only entire street in the southern hemisphere declared a national monument, and home to the African National Congress (ANC) which was formed in 1912.
Get lost in the lunar landscapes, unique wildlife and rich culture of the Northern Cape. You’ll also find adrenaline and extreme adventure sports and spectacular attractions like the Namakwaland flowers, the Richtersveld Heritage site, Witsand, the Kuruman Eye, Boesmansgat and Wonderwerk Cave.