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Zebra and wildebeest in South Africa

Things to do in South Africa

South Africa is renowned for its excellent safaris, and one of the best places to spot wildlife is Kruger National Park. The country offers far more than wildlife viewing, however, and visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to things to see and do.

A trip up Table Mountain in Cape Town offers superb views, while in the Winelands you can sample some of the country’s finest vintages on a tour of a wine estate. Another highlight is a boat trip to the historic and poignant Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent most of his time as a prisoner.

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Audley Travel Specialist Tom

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Ideas for experiencing South Africa

Experiences you have as you travel often hold the longest memories. As part of their research trips, our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know South Africa, and the best local guides. These activities reflect some of their best-loved experiences.

  • The Tsitsikamma Forest, South Africa

    Active Storms River & Tsitsikamma Forest

    Tsitsikamma Forest

    Visit Tsitsikamma National Park, where with a guide, you will experience a sea kayak trip the open ocean to the Storms River mouth and onward, passing under its photogenic suspension bridge. The upper reaches of the river gorge are explored by lilo, which are better able to navigate the shallower waters.

  • Southern Right Whale

    Sailing & Sea Kayaking

    Plettenberg Bay

    There are a few outfits that offer sailing trips into Plettenberg Bay as well as sea kayaking. Apart from spectacular off-shore coastal scenery, it is very likely that at some stage, a close encounter with the marine animals will occur so you can get very close to them.

  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa

    Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

    Cape Town

    Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens occupy a large swathe of beautiful land on the lower slopes of Table Mountain. They house a huge collection of indigenous flora, such as heathery fynbos, flowering proteas and dramatically colored strelitzias.

  • Isandlwana battlefield

    Tour of The Battlefields

    The Battlefields

    As you tour Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift, an expert guide will bring these battles to life, explaining how the numerically and tactically superior Zulu army crushed the better-equipped British at Isandlwana.

  • South African Flag, Apartheid Museum

    Museums of Cape Town

    Cape Town

    As with any major city there are a number of very good museums in Cape Town and you might like to visit some whilst you are here. Some of the ones that we personally recommend are District Six Museum, Gold of Africa Museum, and the Iziko Museums of Cape Town.

  • Giant's Castle, The Drakensberg

    Sani Pass & Lesotho Trip

    The South Coast

    Lesotho is isolated from KwaZulu-Natal by the towering Drakensberg Mountains, and the Sani Pass is the only way through them. The road cuts cut the slopes, switching through tortuous hairpin bends and offering dizzying views of valleys far below.

  • Club lounge, Rovos Rail

    Rovos Rail

    Cape Town

    The beautifully restored carriages of Rovos Rail combine luxury travel with the chance to experience living history.

  • Zulu Memorial, The Battlefields, South Africa

    Anglo-Zulu Battlefields Trip

    The South Coast

    With a good guide book to hand, the battlefields of Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana can be explored on your own. It is perhaps best to start at Isandlwana, overlooking the battlefield from the ridge occupied by the Zulu commander, before making your way down to the sphinx-shaped hill where the heart of the battle unfolded.

  • Chapman's Peak Drive, Cape Town

    Peninsula Tour

    Cape Town

    The Cape Peninsula is an area of dramatic natural beauty and huge ecological significance, which manages to retain a wild feel despite its huge popularity with visitors. As you drive south from Cape Town, you pass through the exclusive suburbs of Camps Bay and Clifton before continuing onto Hout Bay and through Constantia, where the road meanders behind Table Mountain and down onto the coast.

  • The Amphitheatre, Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa

    Trip Through The Midlands

    The Midlands

    The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands formed the heart of the British colony of Natal, as it was here that the squires and gentlemen of colonial society saw the greatest resemblance to home.

  • Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

    Ocean Safari


    These ocean safaris are quite exciting as they involve beach launches and landings, crossing through the surf.

  • Franschhoek, South Africa

    Wine Tour

    Cape Town

    In the company of Pietman Retief, who is recognized as one of the leading wine experts in the country, you can experience the winelands and the history of the area through his passion.

  • Franschhoek, South Africa

    Franschhoek Wine Tram


    This unique tram service runs from the historic Franschhoek Village and stops at some of South Africa's oldest and most renowned wine estates.

  • Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Johannesburg, Soweto & Apartheid Museum Tour


    The tour begins in the affluent, leafy suburb of Houghton before making its way to Hillbrow, a jarring contrast in living conditions, before arriving in downtown Johannesburg - the historical heart of Johannesburg.

  • View from Table Mountain, Cape Town

    Table Mountain Tour

    Cape Town

    Guest are taken to the lower terminal for the cable-car up Table Mountain. The cable-car is a very modern affair, and completes a 360º rotation during the ascent, affording you fantastic views over the city.

  • Cape Town

    Cape Town City Tour

    Cape Town

    No visit to Cape Town is complete without a tour of the "Mother City". Your tour will include visits to the Castle of Good Hope, the Parliament Buildings and Bo-Kaap, plus of course the iconic Table Mountain.

  • Zulu dancers at Thanda

    Shakaland Trip

    The South Coast

    Shakaland is where the famous film Shaka Zulu was filmed, and after filming it was turned into a cultural village. It is the largest kraal in Zululand, and is also the site of the legendary Zulu chief's birthplace overlooking the uMhlatusi River.

  • The Blue Train with Table Mountain in the distance

    A journey aboard The Blue Train

    Cape Town

    Following a historic route between Pretoria and Cape Town, The Blue Train is one of South Africa’s finest rail journeys. On board, you can experience fine dining, relax in your own private suite and take in mountain views from the Observation Car.

  • Vineyards of Sellenbosch

    Winelands Tour


    Learn about the Winelands of South Africa and sample a variety of its wines as you visit the towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.

  • The Tsitsikamma Forest, South Africa

    Tsitsikamma Forest Trip

    Tsitsikamma Forest

    At the eastern end of the Garden Route, and easily accessible from any of the Garden Route destinations, is the Tsitsikamma Forest, a dense cloak of deep green that coats the mountains.

  • Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn

    Oudtshoorn & Cango Caves Tour


    This taster to the Karoo Desert is a beautiful place, not quite as harsh or barren as the Karoo, but still stark and impressive. The climate proved ideal for rearing ostriches, and thanks to the Victorian craze for ostrich feathers, the town of Oudtshoorn flourished.

  • Royal Natal National Park, South Africa

    Drakensberg Mountains Trip

    Royal Natal National Park is found in the Northern Drakensberg and is famous for the Amphitheater, as well as the Tugela Falls that plunges over a five hundred meter wall of rock. There are many hiking trails in the region to explore this outstanding scenery.

  • Freedom from Apartheid

    Robben Island Excursion


    Your tour will be conducted by a former inmate, which gives a truly unique perspective. As well as the communal cells, where most prisoners were kept in conditions of severe overcrowding, you will also see the tiny cells of B-Section, where Nelson Mandela spent much of his incarceration here.