The Best Cities In South Africa For The First Time Visitor

Home to several distinct ecosystems, is South Africa lying on the southernmost tip of Africa. The Kruger National Park attracts large number of tourists for its Inland safari. The western side of the country offers some of the most visited cities in South Africa, beaches, lush wine lands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.

cities in south africa - johannesburg

Below is a summary of must visit cities in South Africa.

Cape Town

This port city of Cape Town lies on the southwest coast of South Africa on a peninsula beneath the Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum.

Another beautiful sight to delve into is a day tour to the Robben Island. Go hiking up the Lion Head Mountain or hop on the cellar tours at Groot Constantia winery.


Johannesburg is a gold-mining settlement and capital of Gauteng province. Its sprawling Soweto Township was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. The today’s Mandela House museum was once the former residence of Mandela.

The sombre Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, a former prison complex are the some museums that recount the struggle to end segregation. A rich collection of fossils and wildlife resides at the World Heritage Site named Cradle to Grave.


The coastal city of Durban is known for its African, Indian and colonial influences in eastern South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. The seafront promenade running from the Shaka Marine World, a huge theme park with an aquarium, to the futuristic Moses Mabhida Stadium was refurbished for the Soccer World Cup 2010. The Durban Botanical Gardens showcases a large gamut of African plant species.


This administrative capital of the southernmost African country is one of the cities in South Africa which is full of natural reserves, museums and art. The National Zoological Gardens is where one can spot reptiles and all other giant mammals. One can camp here or within the second oldest nature reserve of the world, Groenkloof Nature Reserve, with Giraffes and antelopes around you.

Capture the beauty of the birds in the abode of Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary. Get to know about the South African people and culture at the National Cultural History Museum. Meet the most complete skull of an Australopithecus Africanus named Mrs Ples at the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History.

Port Elizabeth

Stretching along the Algoa Bay the Port Elizabeth is often named as ‘windy city’ for its coastal proximity. Its round the year sunny days make it a hub for a large number of outdoor activities regardless of the period of your visit. On the many pristine and secluded beaches Humewood Beach is one of the 36 blue flagged beaches.

Follow the footsteps of the settlers on a 5 km long Donkin Heritage Trail or conquer the Maitland Sand Dunes. The historic Fort Frederick and the Penguin Rehabilitation Center are some of the other places worth exploring.


Circumscribed by the sprawling suburbs, much of the Bloemfontein city‘s activities are aligned to the Waterfront and Mimosa malls. Get the taste of history at Anglo Boer War Museum or observe the million stars of the southern skies from Boyden Observatory. Go on a scenic drive on the roads weaving through the edge taking you to the top of the Naval Hill and Franklin Game Reserve.

As you travel through South Africa, the backdrop of the cities undergoes a complete change from mountain to the ocean. This makes your photo book reflect a colourful trip for you to cherish lifelong.

Mohit Agarwal

Mohit Agarwal is a civil engineer by profession & started travel blogging to share his experiences while traveling to new places without any planned itinerary, as it adds up to more adventure & exploring more about the city. He also loves photography to capture natural views with no or minimal filters.

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