Home Out & About Best of South Africa Best places to spend the holidays in South Africa
Last update on November 13, 2019
Written by Peter Smith

Find out the top sites where you can enjoy the best of the holiday season in South Africa.

The world is packed with beautiful countries. However, South Africa is special in many different ways. Stretching from the Limpopo River with its massive hippos to The Cape and its funny penguins, the beautiful country is home to some of the world’s finest landscapes and most exceptional attractions.

Located at the end of one of the world’s most diversified continents, it’s no wonder that many people choose to come to South Africa to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities. If you’re looking for some place serene and peaceful to spend your holidays, here are several South African locations you might want to consider:

Cape Town, Western Cape

Commonly known as ‘The Mother City’, Cape Town is defined by the Table Mountain, bountiful vineyards, and smooth beaches. Why should you spend the holidays in Cape Town? Because it has so many interesting things to offer; there are lots of activities to engage in and places to see. Start your day with a picnic at the beach. Have some cocktails under the clear blue sky and take advantage of the warm weather conditions. At the Galileo Open Air Cinema on the V&A Waterfront you can watch plenty of family movies with a holiday theme. Get the whole family together, pack some snacks and let the fun begin.

Johannesburg, Gauteng

South Africa’s largest metropolis, Johannesburg, should also be included on your travel itinerary for the holiday season. The rapidly changing city is flourishing and it’s an excellent place to explore over the holidays. Start with Newtown, the cultural district; admire its beautiful theatres, jazz clubs, and museums and don’t forget to check out the city suburbs as well – Doornfontein and Braamfontein are constantly gentrifying ever since the World Cup, and you’ll find there some of Johannesburg’s coolest cultural spaces, bars and clubs.

Better known as Africa’s economic powerhouse, Johannesburg is also an exquisite relaxation hub for international travellers. Some of its best attractions are: the Gold Reef City, a popular amusement park, the Art Gallery, the Cradle of Humankind, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the natural reserves of Lion Park and Ha Game Reserve.

Polokwane, Limpopo

Polokwane, or ‘The Safe Place’, is two hours away from the famous Kruger National Park and three hours away from Johannesburg. If you’re spending the holiday season in South Africa this year, make sure to check it out. The Meropa Entertainment World and Casino offers some pretty interesting facilities and attractions all year-round. Stop by the Cultural Fair and Market, explore the Amphitheatre and have fun with go-carting at Magic-Speedway.

Polokwane is home to one of South Africa’s most beautiful natural reserve – the WildThingz Garden. The recreational spot is ideal for long walks with your loved ones after a plentiful holiday feast. Visit the Bird and Reptile Park and the astounding Butterfly Park. For something a bit more exciting, stop by the Ranch Hotel and Conservancy to spend some quality time with the lions.

Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

Port Elizabeth is South Africa’s ‘windy city’. It features many interesting museums, smooth beaches, valued wildlife destinations, and lots of cultural and historical sites. The coastal hub is one of the largest and most diversified in the country. Start your travel itinerary with Algoa Bay and check out its finest beaches – Kings Beach, Humewood Beach, Denville Beach, and Hobie Beach. Try out an activity and have the best time; snorkelling, fishing, scuba diving, surfing and sailing are extremely popular sports. If you’d rather walk, explore the natural wonders of Bluewater Bay, Blue Horizon Bay, Sardinia Bay and Beachview – the scenery is absolutely breath-taking.

Pretoria, Gauteng

Pretoria is South Africa’s main administrative hub. The city is packed with gracious vintage homes, leafy green suburbs and beautifully structured streets. Even though the bars and pubs are not as glamorous as in Jo’burg, Pretoria has a personal charm travellers will adore. The city is infused with multiculturalism, considering that it was once a major centre for the apartheid regime. Its most outstanding attractions include: Burgers Park, the Transvaal Museum, Freedom Park and the exquisitely designed Union Buildings.

South Africa is an alluring country, with lots of different attractions and points of interest for avid travellers. The warm weather, diversified culture and wealth of activities will make your holiday truly unforgettable. Are you ready for the most interesting and exhilarating winter holiday of your life?