The 10 most exciting activities in South Africa

South Africa is renowned for being a country with endless exciting activities. That should genuinely inspire you, but let us take that even further by giving you our recommendations of the most exciting activities you cannot miss out on.
Cape Town

Planning a trip to South Africa can be overwhelming, mainly because of the array of things there are to do, and if you are short on time, it may prove challenging to pick your top choices, but that means you need to return for another fantastic trip in the future. It is no wonder that South Africa welcomes visitors back year after year with a whole new list of activities to tick off their bucket list because, after all, this is not a country to get bored in.

With safari opportunities, wine tasting, whale watching, and so much more, the most challenging thing about a trip to this incredibly unique country will be knowing where to start – and we (and your Destination Expert, of course) hope we can help. 

Let us give you the lowdown on the ten most exciting activities to make your trip extra special.

1: Taking a Safari at Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

South Africa is famous for the African Big 5. If you are here at the right time (May-September), you will have the best opportunities to spot this incredible fivesome, including the Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Cape Buffalo & Rhino. Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in South Africa and is a nature & wildlife lover’s dream destination, so if seeing the Big 5 is on the cards, make sure to add this activity to your list. 

Check out the wide range of eco-friendly safaris on offer here

2: Go whale watching in Hermanus


As one of the top locations in the world for whale watching, there is no way a list of exciting activities could be complete without this awesome addition. Although Hermanus is situated on the southern coast of the western cape, this place is renowned for its population of Southern Right whales, but these are not the only species that visit the shores.

The best time to see these awe-inspiring creatures is as early as June to December, and this exciting tour in Sout Africa gives you this opportunity and more.

3: Hike to the top of Table Mountain

Table Mountain

Although there is a cable car that takes you to the top, nothing beats the effort and the reward of making it to the top of this iconic flat-topped mountain all on your own. Hiking is a fantastic way to take in the panoramic views over the city, be one with nature, and get exercise, so if this is something you would like to do, we recommend the challenge – it is worth every step.

4: Go wine tasting in The Winelands

The Winelands

A trip to South Africa is undoubtedly not complete if you are a lover of wine and haven’t visited the famous vineyards. Wine is produced all over the country, but some of the most popular places for wine tasting include Stellenbosch, Constantia, Paarl & Franschhoek, which all offer fantastic wine tours. It is no surprise that this is a great wine-making country, so what better way to enjoy a sunny day than a fresh walk through the vineyards, learning about the wine-making process, and finishing it off with a few tasters and some world-class food at the end. 

Check out this Excellent South African tour that includes a visit to the Winelands.

5: Visit Nelson Mandela's Village

Nelson Mandela's Village

This inspiring man needs no introduction but is a prominent figure in South African history. First, you can visit Robben Island, where he was incarcerated for 18 years of his life. Still, to discover more about a young Nelson Mandela, you need to see his village of Qunu – a Xhosa rural village in the country’s eastern cape province. This Immersion in the heart of the wildcoast tour will give you an insight into the Xhosa lifestyle, heritage, and culture and give you an insight into what life was like as a young man growing up there.

6: Try out the local cuisine

Local Cuisine

South Africa’s eclectic cuisine is known for its various cultural influences over the years. If you are a food lover, you can find all kinds of dishes here that have been inspired by a wide range of other nations and indigenous tribes. One of the most exciting things to do in South Africa is getting to know the country through its food, which is a great way to start. Our most significant recommendation is this 7-day food and culture tour in South Africa, a fantastic combination of the township and Wineland visits, food tastings, and a cooking class.

7: Spot dolphins in Port Elizabeth


If you are visiting South Africa in the hopes of seeing as much wildlife as you can, then you cannot overlook a stopover in Port Elizabeth, famed for its population of dolphins. Considering this is well known as the ‘Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World,’ this is undoubtedly an exciting activity that you must experience. The fantastic thing about this region is that there are opportunities to see them. If your itinerary includes a visit to this area, you should keep your eyes peeled for some dolphins in the wild with or without a boat tour. 

Take a look at these tours in South Africa, many of which will take you to Port Elizabeth and beyond.

8: Go shark cage diving


For the ultimate exciting activity, you can opt for the chance to go shark cage diving in the town of Gansbaai, which is a world-famous location for this kind of adrenaline-filled adventure. A few places in the world offer this incredible opportunity, and if you are up for the challenge and can hold back the fear, then this is an experience to undertake. You can expect to be taken out by boat to an area known locally as ‘Shark Alley,’ where you can enjoy sightings of the sharks from the boat before the cage is dropped down and those that want to view from under the water.

9: Marvel at the giant Blyde River Canyon

South Africa

Located in the eastern region of Mpumalanga, within The Drakensberg Mountains – the highest in South Africa, you will find Blyde River Canyon, which is a magnificent sight to see. Hiking around the area will allow you to explore one of the largest canyons on earth and will undoubtedly provide some fantastic photo opportunities. Best of South Africa tour takes you to the canyon, which is the third-largest in the world, allowing you to discover surrounding areas, and further on to other regions of the country. 

10: Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach


Boulders Beach, located on the Cape Peninsula, is easily reached from Cape Town and is an incredible spot if you want to see penguins – yes, penguins. There is no doubt that this is one of the most exciting activities you can embark on in South Africa and can be considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

This is the place where you will be blown away by how close you can get to these beautiful creatures, and it is something you will never forget for years to come. Whether you are traveling as a group, as a family, as a solo traveler, or as a couple, this is an activity everyone will love. 

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