Top 5 Cities to Visit in South Africa

While many choose to go to South Africa on a safari, there are many wonderful reasons to visit the country’s cities. If you are thinking of visiting South Africa to change up your lifestyle, make sure to include one or more of these cities on your itinerary. Here are some of South Africa’s largest cities along with fantastic reasons to visit them.


A tut-tut tour of Johannesburg’s Soweto area includes a stop at the home of Nelson Mandela. This tour allows you to understand the painful racial history of the city so that it is never repeated. It’s possible that because the city’s residents understand the painful past, people of different races get along extremely well here. No place is this more apparent than with the city’s rich music scene, where you will hear musical styles from around the globe played freely on the city’s streets.

The Maboneng district offers visitors a chance to connect with local artists doing amazing work, along with trying fabulous street foods from around the globe. If you are into the latest fashion, then you can also find some terrific buys in this district by upcoming designers that you are sure to hear about in the future. Even a quick tour of the city allows you to see creative street graffiti created by some of the world’s best street artists. The people will warmly welcome you to this city that is literally built on former gold mines. There are many exciting upscale restaurants that you will want to try, and the favorable exchange rate makes them a more affordable option than many global locations.


Cape Town

Cape Town is gorgeous with its pristine sandy beaches, including one just outside the city’s limits that is home to more than 3,000 penguins. Take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain for an upscale meal while gazing at the unbelievable scenery. Even if you normally dislike city vacations, once you visit the Kirstenbosch Gardens, you will forget that you are in one because beautiful flowers bloom here throughout the year.

If you are an art lover, then you will want to see the art that is tucked away in this fabulous city. The thriving music scene, especially along Long Street, makes this a fun city to party in day or night. The Bo-Kaap district is a wonderful place to get an introduction to the Malaysian culture and its contributions to Cape Town and the rest of South Africa. Do not even think about leaving the city without dining at a braai where you will eat a unique collection of barbecued foods. People who love architecture will find many sites to explore because of the city’s unique combination of Malaysian, Dutch and South African cultures.



CNN has ranked Durban, South Africa one of the coolest places to visit in the world that most people have never been to. A quick stop here will make you wonder why this city is so often overlooked. This laid-back city enjoys a tropical weather pattern, making the waters here swimmable all year long and surfing is a popular pastime here. Meanwhile, many people head to the Golden Mile where parties happen almost every night. There are many craft breweries in the area that are definitely worth visiting.

The city’s many curry recipes are world famous, but you will also want to check out this city’s many dining districts including the contemporary ones in Station Drive, the hipster’s dining spots in Leafy Greenwood, and the traditional eating establishments in Morningside. No trip to Durban would be complete without a shopping expedition to the in the Rivertown district. This market is held on the second Friday of the month and is the perfect place to enjoy delicious street foods from around the globe.



Pretoria, South Africa, is the country’s capital and there are many reasons to visit this thriving community. You may want to consider trying to time your visit so that the beautiful jacaranda trees that put on a colorful show in many of the city’s oldest neighborhoods including Groenkloof, Lynnwood, Waterkloof, and Arcadia. Make plans to see the Voortrekker Monument and the surrounding nature reserve on foot or on horseback.

When you are ready for some retail therapy, head to Menlyn Park Shopping Center as it is the largest shopping mall in South Africa. You will find everything imaginable from local, regional, and national retailers at this location, housing more than 500 stores. Four golf courses and numerous outside recreational opportunities make this a great city to explore for people of all ages. This city is one of the best in South Africa for mountain bikers because of the vast diversity of terrain available.



Rustenburg, South Africa, is the fastest growing city in the country. This city was originally established to provide protection for farmers in the area. Today, visitors can explore many historical sites, including those dedicated to preserving Bafokeng, Bakgatla, and Botswana tribal history. Two world-class resorts offer visitors many amenities along with world-class entertainment options.

This city has served as the host of the soccer World Cup, and sports of all types are part of the culture here. Rent a car allowing you to drive along the Rustenberg Ramble where you can find a variety of craft galleries, micro-breweries, and other sites to explore. There are also many nearby game preserves where you can see Africa’s Big Five. It is an easy day trip from this city to the Cradle of Humanity where some of the oldest fossils in the world have been collected.


With so many fascinating cities to explore in Africa, it is time to make your plans now. Get your vacation dates approved, and make sure to let your boss know that you will be gone for a while since you will want to include a stop in each of these diverse cities during your stay in the country. Rental cars, buses, trains, and airplanes make it easy to move around the country, so do not put off your plans to visit South Africa any longer.