South Africa is a prime tourism destination endowed with beautiful spaces, incredible scenery and experiences, as well as adventure and wild destinations. From its vast coastline, mountains and hills to the sprawling game reserves dotted around the country, there is something for everybody. While the list of prospective destinations is long, there are a few worth considering for your next holiday or free time.

Here are some outstanding holiday destinations you need to know:


Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially for foreign travellers. With significantly developed infrastructure as a port city by any standard, Cape Town attracts local and international travellers for many reasons. Some of the major attractions in Cape Town include:

Table Mountain – The sweeping views from this mountain stretching over the Atlantic Ocean will take your breath away. Not only do you catch a sight of the city and the Atlantic, but there is a botanical garden within range. In addition, it’s from this mountain where you can catch the incredibly popular cable car from which you catch a glimpse of boats transporting travellers to Robben Island.

Robben Island – Your trip to Cape Town would be incomplete without visiting this significant place in the country’s political history. Nelson Mandela was jailed on Robben Island. It’s therefore not surprising that visitors to Cape Town trek to this iconic destination.

Table Mountains National Park – Also known as Cape Peninsula National Park, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with undisturbed flora and boasts approximately 250 species of birds, complemented by diverse animals such as the Cape Zebra, brazen Baboons, Penguins, Elands, Reptiles, etc.

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront – For a good dose of entertainment and shopping, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is the place to be. This waterfront is a hive of activity with stores offering a variety of souvenirs, buzzing jazz venues, restaurants with tasty cuisine, world-class hotels, theatres, a drama school, movie cinemas and museums. The mall has over 450 stores of its own. It’s also home to top end designers stores with local and international brands similar to Sandton City’s Diamond Walk. It’s also home to top end designers stores similar to Sandton City’s Diamond Walk. The Two Oceans Aquarium, also located there, features more than 300 aquatic species captured from the Atlantic and Indian oceans. You can look forward to penguin encounters and getting up close and personal with incredible marine life. Just off the N1, you can find the Canal Walk which has about 400 shops stocked with unique jewellery, homewares, music, kid’s toys, etc. For a relaxed afternoon when you need an opulent vibe, Canal Walk will do the trick.

Travellers who are sports fans will be glad to know that the heroics of the famous Springbok Rugby team are on display at the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum with interactive exhibits. Above the few mentioned destinations, Cape Town offers great adventure, outdoor activities, hiking, biking, surfing, whale-watching trips and cage dives to encounter white sharks. But, of course, the things to do in Cape Town can’t be complete without mentioning Camps Bay and Clifton’s pristine beaches, which attract people from all walks of life.


Durban is a mega port city that is also the home of the Zulu Nation. Blessed with warm weather throughout the year and enjoying the prestige of being a coastal city with such rich heritage, which has a combination of African, Indian and colonial influences, Durban is a tourism hub that offers diverse destinations and products.

What draws local and international travellers to Durban?

uShaka Marine World – A fascinating family-friendly place to visit. Measuring 16 hectares, uShaka Marine World is a massive marine park hosting 10,000 animal species. It also has several sandpits for children, where families can play and bond. There is also a movie area where children’s movies are screened.

Beaches are abundant in Durban.  Time spent in Durban is never complete without a visit or swim on the vast coast with its pristine sandy beaches. There is no better place to sunbathe, relax, surf and even swim under the guidance and protection of lifeguards with shark nets.

The Durban Botanical Garden – This is a sanctuary of plant life found in different parts of the African continent. Apart from being a sought after and popular local bio-hotspot and a major focal point for naturalists and botanists, this venue also hosts concerts and its well-maintained gardens are perfect for social picnics.

Umgeni River Park – A bird’s haven. If you are a bird lover, Umgeni River Park will do the trick for you. It has free-roaming exotic birds, which are a great sight to watch.

Valley of a 1000 Hills – The valley of a 1000 Hills is another major attraction. This valley, named after 1000 small hills near this passage of a road, is a scenic view with lush green vegetation that you can enjoy on a drive with friends or family.

The Moses Mabhida Stadium – A must-see for sports lovers. Not only does this stadium host football matches and other related events, it’s also a major attraction for adventure seekers who visit to experience a 550-step adventure walk and catch a glimpse of the city from a higher height.


Popularly known as “Harties” and located about 45 minutes from Johannesburg and 35 minutes from the capital city Pretoria. Hartbeespoort is best known for its vast dam, which hosts people from all walks of life. Due to its beautiful garden and luxury accommodation, this destination is a popular choice for weddings, biker rallies, etc. In addition, the dam has a leisure boat cruise service which tourists enjoy, especially at sunset. The Magaliesberg Mountains within reach allows visitors to hike as well.

There are also mesmerising attractions that travellers would love like:

The Famous Miracle Waters – A spring water dive getaway with beautiful views of the Magaliesberg mountain range also surrounded by farmlands and bushes, which nature lovers would adore.

Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre – This would be perfect for animal, especially cat lovers, because this is a big cat sanctuary that breeds South African cheetahs and other animals. It is situated in the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range.

Travellers can also do some cycling, quad biking and horse riding or visit pubs and family restaurants in the area for some cuisine. For art lovers, “Harties” has plenty of crafts on sale, art galleries and African Curio Markets with unique artefacts and souvenirs.  


The South Coast of KZN is a tourism hub with amazing scenery and activities to do which revolve around the coastline. The small town of Margate is a tourism magnet of sorts for many reasons. With a small, closely-knit community, Margate boasts Blue Flag beaches suitable for swimming, snorkelling, and surfing. Its beautiful sandy beaches are a photographer’s and leisure seeker’s paradise and can be enjoyed under the watchful eye of trained sea divers.  Private tour operators offer helicopter rides for those seeking an aerial view of the coastline and ocean. Children are catered for through a well maintained freshwater Olympic pool. As small as Margate is, it’s far from being a sleepy town as its main street in the business district is a hive of activity with tourists enjoying pubs, restaurants and nightclubs.


40 kilometres away from the hustle and bustle of the Durban city life lies a jewel known as Ballito or Dolphin coast, according to residents and visitors to the area. Ballito has tremendously changed over the years, with new developments emerging over time. Flanked by the Indian ocean, Ballito is now a major adventure destination due to its dolphins, from which it derives its name, and other activities such as a crocodile farm that is open to visitors, microlight flights and surfing beaches.

For shoppers and a relaxed lifestyle, Ballito has two shopping malls with some reputable retailers and services in them. There is also a Lifestyle centre and The Junction which are all worth visiting for shopping and some relaxation. Accommodation in Ballito is broad and diverse, with luxury hotels, lodges and self-catering accommodation catering for different income groups. When you consider Ballito as your holiday destination, you are guaranteed a bustling retail experience, restaurants offering sumptuous local and foreign cuisine, vast sandy beaches, breath-taking fairways, cycling and running trails complemented by a 2.5 kilometres promenade for jogging and walking, wedding and conference venues, etc.

The destinations listed above are all worth visiting during the holidays and your free leisure time. Accommodation should be the least of your worries; Afristay is the reliable platform local and international travellers can count on when visiting these destinations. The Afristay portal has approximately 20,000 accommodation listings across the country catering for different needs. These accommodation hosts guarantee security, affordability, convenience and excellent service and hospitality. So, count on Afristay as you plan your trip to Cape Town, Durban, Hartbeespoort, Margate and Ballito. You won’t regret it!

Afristay has some great accommodation deals available. Make your booking now.  


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