If you’re planning a trip to South Africa, there’s no sense in staying in one place! Each city within this diverse country boasts its own culture, personality and way of life.
Whether it’s the chilled-out vibes in Cape Town, the on-the-go hustle in Johannesburg or a beach breakaway in Durban, you need to experience it all before you can call your getaway complete. Fortunately, moving between these memorable cities is beyond easy thanks to some greatly affordable domestic flights in South Africa on leading airlines such as British Airways, and other local carriers.
To help you build the perfect itinerary, we have put together a list of the top 5 must-visit cities to include, along with things to do and a few hidden gems as recommended by ‘in-the-know’ locals.
You simply can’t visit South Africa and not stop off in Cape Town. No, really. You literally cannot. It isn’t called the Mother City for nothing, after all! Not only is there enough to see and do to keep you busy for weeks, Cape Town is lauded world wide as being one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Add it to your bucket-list: Obviously, Table Mountain should be your first stop. The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and Robben Island are also must-sees.
The locals recommend: Beta Beach, Bakoven – a tiny hidden gem of a beach tucked out of view of the masses but with views that are simply spectacular and generally wind free.
“Check out the Cape Town Diamond Museum at the V&A Waterfront. It’s an attraction that is often forgotten about – but is a real gem. Literally.” says Capetonian, Kiara Jeffries.
If nightlife and a hustlin’, bustlin’ city is what you’re after, you’ll find it in Jozi. It’s a much faster paced lifestyle than the one you might experience in Cape Town, but it’s certainly never boring.
Add it to your bucket-list: For a look into South African history, head over to the Apartheid Museum in the south of Joburg. For some fun, you can’t go wrong at Gold Reef City.
The locals recommend: Take advantage of unbeatable prices at the various China malls in the city. “Joburgers love China Malls! The most popular ones are located in Bruma and in Ferndale. The Bruma one is great for those looking to shop the latest gadgets and fashions, and the one is Ferndale is a fresh produce hub,” says Charlene Rodriguez. “The prices are a steal, and the quality has improved dramatically over the years,” she adds.
Like Johannesburg and Cape Town, Pretoria is a South African city steeped in history. Here you’ll find various museums, monuments and embassies. It is also the official administrative capital of SA.
Add it to your bucket-list: Stop by the infamous Voortrekker Monument and the Union Buildings, and be sure to catch a show at the State Theatre.
The locals recommend: “The foodies will love Fermier – a restaurant, hydroponic and organic vegetable and fish farm. Even though it has only been open for a year or two, it is already one of the locals’ favourites,” says Fermier regular, Christie de Villiers.
Want to make the most of sunny South Africa? There’s no better place to do so than in Durban. This is a real HOT spot. Expect warm, humid weather and beaches galore.
Add it to your bucket-list: Ushaka Marine World is a must. It has an incredible aquarium, mind-blowing marine shows and a water park that the whole family will love.
The locals recommend: Durban local, Thuveshani Govender, recommends Codemore Castle. “Codemore Castle is Kwa-Zulu Natal’s very own castle that few know exist. It is sheltered by massive Yellowwood trees in the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve. Quite a beautiful sight!”
There’s no such thing as spending too much time on the beach when you’re on holiday. Port Elizabeth is another South African city known for its laid-back beach life. It is also known as the friendly city – you won’t be able to go anywhere without being greeted by smiling faces.
Add it to your bucket-list: The Shamwari Game Reserve promises a safari adventure that you won’t be quick to forget. Other musts include the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre and the impressive Storms River Bridge – you can go bungee jumping here if you’re feeling brave, or sip on a cuppa while you watch other adrenaline junkies do so instead.
The locals recommend: “Dockside Brewery is a great idea for those who are keen on some relaxation and premium beer tasting. These people really know their craft beer! We actually live in P.E. but still stop by there when we’re in the mood for a refreshing beverage and a chilled day out,” says Josh van der Westhuizen. “I know they also offer custom brewery tours, which most tourists would probably find interesting as well,” he adds.
With a bit of planning, it is possible to see the best of what South Africa has to offer. Find and book your cheap tickets on domestic flights South Africa with British Airways or any of the other leading trusted domestic airlines when you book online. Why stay in one spot when you can visit the country with flight prices that won’t ruin your holiday!