South Africa’s rich culture and tradition are highly underappreciated. The cities of South Africa offers a lot of new experiences and places to explore that will surely be the delight of the avid traveller. Here are some cities one should consider adding in their itinerary, in no particular order.
For those who are enthusiasts of religious architecture, Grahamstown is the place. With its wide selection of churches and Victorian buildings, the city earned the title “City of Saints.” It is home to the St. Michael and St. George Cathedral. With its classy interior and 150-foot spire, it is a sight to behold.
This coming July, you should also consider going to their National Arts Festival to catch the largest annual art celebration on the continent.
Further unleash your inner art geek by visiting the Albany Natural Science Museum, National English Literary Museum, and the International Library of African Music.
Polokwane is the capital of the Province of Limpopo. The highlight of this city is the Bakone Malapa Northern Sotho Open-Air Museum. It is regarded as a living museum, being a reconstructed designed to depict the way of like of the Bakone, a tribe which existed about 250 years ago.
East London lies at the mouth of the Buffalo River situated along the Indian Ocean. Because of this, beach resorts make this city tick. If you are an adrenaline junkie, you shouldn’t miss out on the Nahoon Beach. Try out their surfing competitions and go kayaking. For those who want to relax, river fishing is the perfect activity. Of course, don’t forget to take some Instagram-worthy shots on the beach.
Bloemfontein is the capital of the province of Free State as well as the judicial capital of South Africa. Named as the “City of Roses” due to the rose bushes populating the city streets, Bloemfontein is home to a number of breathtaking parks. Naval Hill is first in the list, sporting the Franklin reserve game facility where you can see giraffes, ostriches and other wildlife. It is a perfect spot to walk or jog.
It is also home to the Lamont-Hussey Observatory. The high elevation of Bloemfontein makes it an ideal spot to see some stars.
Knysna is a seaside town twice voted as South Africa’s Number One Favorite Town. It possesses a number of beaches to give you that needed those of sunshine. In particular, you should check out Bollard Bay Beach. For families, sandcastle-building is an ideal activity. It is also kid-friendly since the waves and currents are relatively weak. There is also a picnic site where you can watch the sunset while enjoying a barbeque.
Port Elizabeth is dubbed as the “Friendly City,” since it is known for having some of the friendliest people in the country. This is a perfect complement to the city’s diverse destinations. Algoa Bay is the place to go for beach lovers. Aside from being a peaceful swimming spot, it is also home to diverse birdlife, being an Important Bird and Biodiversity (IBA) area. The beach also has a diversity of soft corals and nudibranchs which will appeal to those who are into diving and snorkelling.
Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. It is adorned with magnificent architecture and historical sites. The Freedom Park has a museum which integrates the history of South Africa and honours the fallen South Africans. Paired with the stunning view of the city, this park shouldn’t be left out in your explorations.
Johannesburg is one of Africa’s industrial and financial strongholds. Located in the city is the Constitution Hill, which possesses three old prisons for the white males, non-white males, and women as well as the Awaiting Trial Block. This date back to the 1800s, carrying a lot of history which you can appreciate through the museum’s exhibitions and guided tours.
The Apartheid Museum will take you through South Africa’s period of segregation and oppression and how democracy was attained through united struggle. It will make you think deeper on the entrenched inequalities which remain in the world today.
Durban houses the chief seaport in South Africa. You must check out Golden Mile, the trademark golden sand beach located in the city. Spanning a total of 3.7 miles, there are lots of things to do and places to explore. Enjoy the picnic facilities, restaurants, shops, surfing beaches, skating areas, and water parks in the coast.
Last but not the least, we have the iconic Cape Town. The Table Mountain is South Africa’s crowning glory. This mountain is dubbed as one of the world’s new Seven Wonders of Nature.
Take a cable car in order to reach the mountain top. You wouldn’t run out of things to photograph since Table Mountain is just that photogenic. For nature lovers, it has 2,200 of plants. On top of that, there are 1,470 flower species to witness.
Another place you should go to is the Cape of Good Hope, which is the continent’s south-western tip.