Tourist Attractions of the Western Cape
Tourist Attractions of South Africa
South Africa is a vast and extremely fascinating country that packs a powerful tourist punch. Few countries can match it for variety and diversity in attractions, activities and cultural groups. From art and history to food and wine, wildlife and nature, nightlife, shopping and even places of worship – there is so much on offer to attract, entice and entertain.
The Western Cape with its mountains and oceans offers scenery that has inspired thousands of descriptions. It has great beaches, World Heritage sites, romantic winelands and museums that celebrate a rich cultural heritage. You can’t talk about a trip to Cape Town without discussing the fabulous cuisine and shopping options that draw tourists time and time again.
Gauteng’s brash exterior belies its depth, uncovered at numerous cultural and historical attractions. Places like Constitution Hill, the Apartheid Museum and Soweto feature alongside chi-chi restaurants, funky galleries, shopping malls and fascinating visits to the Cradle of Humankind, where all our stories began.
In Mpumalanga you’ll find a host of nature-related attractions, arts and crafts outlets, country towns, cultural villages and stupendous scenery along the well-known Panorama route. Of course one of the major attractions is the world-famous Kruger National Park.
Limpopo shares this wildlife sanctuary - the size of a small country - and has many of its own nature reserves. It also boasts the fascinating Mapungubwe, where once an ancient kingdom developed a field of influence that spread beyond the continent. Intriguing groups such as the Venda and the Balobedu still practise culturally-rich traditions in the far north of this region.
The North West is all about Sun City, and the Pilanesberg and Madikwe Game Reserves, but don’t forget the mampoer farms and the idiosyncrasies of the Marico, the cultural mélange at Lesedi on the shores of the Hartebeespoort Dam or the little town of Taung where the famous skull of the same name was discovered. From the Margaret Roberts Herbal Farm (De Wildt) to Sol Plaaitje’s house in Mafikeng, there’s much to explore.
Immense skies and enormous spaces characterise the Northern Cape, along with attractions such as the Big Hole in Kimberley, the Loeriesfontein Windmill Museum and the myths and legends as taught by the ancient San. The Augrabies Falls National Park, the Ais/Ais Richtersveld National Park and the Riemvasmaak community all offer interesting experiences and insights.
KwaZulu-Natal has its own brand of uniqueness when it comes to tourist attractions. Here you can visit a Hare Krishna temple in Durban, pay your respects at the Battlefields in the Midlands, come face to face with Zulu culture and celebrate some of the finest beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline. Sunny year-round, the province has great places to shop, eat, and discover.
The Eastern Cape is a place of rich heritage and struggle sites. Here historic monuments find their place alongside fun aquariums and beachside establishments. Malaria-free game sanctuaries and numerous nature reserves thrill adventure-seekers and nature-lovers.
Small towns and homegrown hospitality are the distinctive attributes of the Free State. Visit the Basotho Cultural Village on the way to the spectacular Golden Gate National Park, visit the Choet Visser Rugby Museum in Bloemfontein or the Fertility Caves (outside Clarens). Make your way to the fun galleries of Clarens, feast visually on the sandstone sights of Ficksburg and drink in the fascinating history of the provincial capital, Bloemfontein.
Wherever you go around the country, you’re bound to find a fun attraction, a moving museum, a great place to enjoy the local vibes. Enjoy surfing the Nightjar site for the best attractions on offer in each of the provinces.
Articles & Blogs
Top four summer markets in Cape Town9:30am 4 Feb
Top four summer markets in Cape Town
Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism
Summer in Cape Town is a thing of beauty. Locals and visitors spill out onto the beaches and into the bars. But summer in the city is also about the markets! Here are 4 markets you need to visit in the city this summer.
CAPE TOWN SUMMER MARKET:
The annual Cape Town Summer Market is held in the Company Gardens. Kiosks and stalls line the pedestrian roads and lawns as far up as the Iziko National Arts Gallery. Around 200 vendors set up shop, selling...
Mabu Vinyl Record Shop9:30am 21 Oct
Mabu Vinyl Record Shop
You may be wondering what’s so cool about a record shop in Cape Town and why it’s worth visiting? Well, if you have watched the world-renowned documentary, 'Searching for Sugar Man', you will understand. The owner of Mabu Vinyl features prominently in the documentary about the life of singer, Rodriguez. I visited here after watching the movie and became lost for about an hour in a world of vintage records, second-hand books and old movie classics. The shop doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside is a magical place and if...
Thrifting6:30am 18 Jul
Hipsters and trendy people everywhere. I wonder how they can afford to look so good all the time. And then I come across a rail of clothes that look like they belonged to my gran. A thrift shop.
“Thrifting” has become quite a culture in Cape Town. No matter what area I am in, I can easily find a second hand store that’s stocked with all sort of interesting clothes. The best part is that most of the time, I find pretty good items for ridiculously low prices. Some of my favourite stores are Coats for Africa in Claremont, St Lukes Hospice Shop in...
Second-hand book stores in Cape Town11:55am 28 Aug
Second-hand book stores in Cape Town
By Fazielah Williams for Cape Town Tourism
Nothing turns my pages quite like a marvellous second-hand bookstore and in inspirational Cape Town, there are plenty to keep me happy.
Put down your Kindle or iPad, and join me at my favourite stores:
TOMMY’S BOOK EXCHANGE
I spent many happy years at this Long Street gem as a child (thanks to parents who were even bigger book-lovers than I am!) and although the store has diminished in size over the years, it is no less magical.
Visit Tommy’s for...
Nightjar Travelled11:55am 18 Aug
This little gem lies off the R62 just before the Nuy Valley turnoff, and it's hard to miss! Inside, you will find a tin can collecting money for local schoolchildren - a voluntary donation in return for photographing the massive pumpkin display outside. You will also find all the usual padstal delicacies, so the stop is highly recommended.
– Erik on Instagram (@nightjartravel)