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Top Five Places to Visit in South Africa

South Africans are incredibly fortunate to live in a country with so much to offer. But what are the best places to visit in South Africa?

With an exceptionally diverse population, each with their own cultures, breathtaking landscapes around every corner, unique culinary experiences, adventurous opportunities, and more.

The Willard battery crew constantly hears about new places to visit and explore. With a country that offers so much, selecting the top destinations to visit can be a challenge.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of our top five places to visit in South Africa.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a wildlife enthusiast, or a culture lover, there’s something here for everyone. But let’s start with a must-visit:


Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is an internationally renowned destination, encompassing nearly two million hectares of unparalleled wilderness.

As one of the world’s largest national parks, Kruger is an iconic reserve that combines unforgettable wildlife encounters with historical and adventurous experiences.

The most obvious attraction is that the park is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo), Kruger National Park boasts a population of 345 different species.

As expected, visitors to the park can embark on thrilling game drives or guided safaris to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. The park comprises 12 main rest camps, along with several smaller camps where visitors can stay overnight or stop for snacks, information, and general supplies.

In terms of history, the park boasts over 420 recorded archaeological sites. However, it’s the park’s diverse landscapes, ranging from savannas to dense forests, that draw visitors in.

If you’re seeking an internationally unique opportunity to connect with nature, there’s no better place to do it than within Kruger National Park. It is one of the best places to visit in South Africa.

But for those looking for a blend of nature, cosmopolitan living, and easy access to the beach, there’s only one destination to consider.


Table Mountain

Undoubtedly creating one of the world’s most iconic backdrops, Cape Town’s Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain that every South African should see at least once in their lifetime.

Table Mountain National Park, which encompasses the entire mountain range, is the country’s most visited national park, attracting 4.2 million visitors annually. But you’ll truly understand why it’s so popular when you reach the summit and take in the breathtaking panoramic view of Cape Town and its surrounding coastline.

The flat-topped mountain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to 8,200 plant species, comprising 80% of Fynbos, which is endemic to the nature reserve. There are also magical riverine forests to explore and a fantastic array of rare orchids to discover.

Visitors to the mountain’s slopes can opt for a cable car ride to the summit or choose to hike up one of the many trails. It’s worth noting that reaching the summit can take 2-3 hours and can be challenging.

However, once at the top, the views are nothing short of spectacular, especially during sunset or sunrise.

And for those not keen on adventure, the Mother City awaits below. But for those seeking a more remote mountain range, the next range might be more appealing.


Drakensberg Mountains

The Drakensberg Mountains, also known as the “Dragon Mountains,” represent the primary mountain range of Southern Africa. This geological wonder boasts a rugged appearance due to its erosion-resistant upper surfaces, primarily made of basalt and quartzite rocks, some of which are estimated to be 2,000 million years old.

Stretching over 1,000 km from the Eastern Cape, forming the borders of Lesotho, and extending into KwaZulu-Natal, the Drakensberg escarpment offers numerous hidden gems.

As expected, there’s a wealth of outdoor activities, including hiking, rock climbing, and horseback riding.

The region is also home to some of South Africa’s most beautiful and pristine landscapes, including the Tugela Falls, the second-highest waterfall in the world. Additionally, the Drakensberg range is home to Thabana Ntlenyana (3,482m), the highest mountain in Southern Africa.

For those wondering, Mafadi Peak on the border of Lesotho (3,446.1m) is South Africa’s highest point. Reaching this peak requires getting to the Njesuthi escarpment/campsite, considered one of the range’s most remote hiking areas, taking, on average, two days to reach.

But if you’re afraid of heights, you might prefer something closer to the ground.


Blyde River Canyon

At 26km in length, Blyde River Canyon ranks as the third-largest on earth, covering 26,946 hectares. On average, it is 800m deep, dwarfing Cape Town’s Lion’s Head summit of 669m, a popular hiking spot, making it mammoth on this best places to visit in South Africa list.

Due to its location, Blyde River Canyon is often referred to as the “Green Canyon,” featuring subtropical vegetation that blankets its canyon walls.

Located in the Mpumalanga province, the canyon offers visitors views of dramatic rock formations and crystal-clear rivers. Among the most dramatic sights is the Weeping Face of Nature waterfall, also known as Kadishi waterfall. Kadishi waterfall is the world’s second-tallest tufa waterfall, measuring 200 meters in height.

A tufa waterfall forms when water flows over dolomite rock and absorbs calcium, which over time, creates new rock formations.

Visitors to the area can embark on boat trips on the Blyde Dam or explore the numerous hiking trails to get up close to this magnificent landscape.

The last recommendation is a truly ancient place.


Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Nestled in the Free State province, Golden Gate Highlands National Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, fossil enthusiasts, and art lovers.

With its breathtaking scenery, the park offers visitors endless horizons. The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is renowned for its striking sandstone cliffs that illuminate in golden hues during sunrise and sunset.

Once home to the Basotho people, the area still bears their historical mark, with San rock paintings still visible to this day. For those seeking something even more ancient, the park was once inhabited by massive dinosaurs. Around 200 million years ago, the park was closer to South America and was part of a massive continental plain. Today, the only evidence of these Jurassic giants lies in their fossilized bones.

For those looking for activities in the present, visitors can indulge in hiking, birdwatching, and game viewing.


Top Five Places to Visit In South Africa

Honestly, it was challenging to narrow down our list of the best places to visit in South Africa, with so much to choose from.

But one decision is simple: choosing the right battery for your vehicle before your next adventure.