Top 5 South African Cities to Visit
South Africa is the jump-off point of the Southern African region. Its diverse culture and colorful history are the reasons why this country is called “The Rainbow Nation”. It also has the strongest economy in Africa. A big reason is because of its strong tourism and scenic attractions. These hip cities are playgrounds for the urban dwellers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
Located in Gauteng province is South Africa’s administrative capital called Pretoria. It is the center of the Tshwane Metro Council. Just like any other places in Africa, the first inhabitants of Pretoria were tribes called the Sotho people. One of the most notable incidents that happened in Pretoria was when the British forces captured the area in 1900. It was only until the Peace of Vereeniging was signed in 1902 when Pretoria gained independence. Pretoria then became the administrative capital of the Republic of Africa in 1910 until today.
Pretoria offers a wide variety of attractions including the famous Groenkloof Natural Reserve, Friends of the Rail and The Freedom Park. Explore the Groenkloof Natural Reserve by walking or riding a mountain bike and see the giraffes, antelopes and many other animals. Likewise, you can also visit the famous Friends of the Rail where you can feel an almost real step back in time. Visit the Cullinan – a place known for being the cradle of the largest diamond in the world. The Freedom Park is another notable attraction where you can experience the colorful culture that Pretoria has to offer.
Photo credit: Jonathan Gill
Located at the south-west corner is South Africa’s second largest city called Cape Town. It is also called the Mother City of Africa because it is where the Houses of Parliament are situated. Cape Town is the capital of the Western Cape Province and takes pride of its colorful history and amazing attractions like the Table Mountain, beautiful beaches and exemplary wine regions. The first inhabitants of Cape Town were the Strandloper people who lived in the area for thousands of years. The first explorers and settlers of Cape Town mainly came from the European race. At present, Cape Town is a world-class city which homes a wide variety of historical landmarks, fun night-life and even has the largest gay community in the country.
Attractions found in the place includes the Table Mountain which is popular amoung tourists for hiking and cableway. The main feature of the table mountain is its magnificient plateau edged with several cliffs. Cape Town also offers some of the best wines in the world. The wine regions give a stunning view of the picturesque vineyards. Lastly, the deep-blue beaches of Cape Town offers more marine activities for tourists to choose from scuba-diving, boating, deep-sea fishing and cage-shark diving.
Photo credit: Globe-Trotter
Regarded as the economic hub of the country, Johannesburg is also the largest city in South Africa. With a total population of 3.2 million, it generates most of the country’s GDP. Among the top attractions of Johannesburg include The Apartheid Museum, The Coca-Cola Dome and The Lion Park. Take a look at the past and learn more about the historical significance of Johannesburg by visiting the Apartheid Museum. Be fascinated with the Coca-Cola Dome and the annual exhibitions, conference and banquets held at the place. Lastly, get up-close and personal with more than 85 lions and many other wildlife creatures at The Lion Park. Get a full view of their habitat and experience a South African safari for which the country is known for.
Photo credit: Picmasta
Port Elizabeth is another city that you shouldn’t miss when you visit South Africa. The place is known for great hospitality which is why it is then so-called The Friendly City. Located at the coast of the Indian Ocean, the major attractions of the city are the Algoa Bay, Donkin Reserve and The Boardwalk. Enjoy the picturesque view of the sea while tasting the delicious dish offered by many restaurants at the Algoa Bay. The Donkin Reserve on the other hand takes pride of its amazing origins and historical significance. Have fun at The Boardwalk and be thrilled with the various activities that you can enjoy during the night.
Photo credit: Bryan Snelson
Located at the east coast of South Africa is the city of Durban. It is considered as the busiest container port in Africa. Like any other cities in Africa, Durban also offers a wide variety of activities from its top attractions. One of them is the Golden Mile which got its name for having deep-blue beaches with pristine sands and marine life. Another notable attraction is the Crocodile Creek which homes more than 700 crocodiles, alligators, snakes and other reptile species. The most recent attraction offered by Durban is its thrilling sky-diving which enables every tourist to enjoy the view of the entire city while feeling the adrenaline rush of sky-diving.
Photo credit: mallix