Last February, I went to South Africa with my brother and my cousin and it was easily one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. I would definitely visit again because there’s so much to do that you won’t be able to everything you want to do in one week.
Here is a list of things that you must do in when you visit South Africa.
- Go on a safari.
This is something that should be at the top of the list when visiting any part of Africa. Seeing exotic animals in their natural habitat is something that most people won’t see in their hometown. However, we missed out on the safari because we were out until about 4 a.m. the night before and we woke up late, but I will be going on a safari on my next trip to Africa.
- Go to Lion Park
If you miss out on the safari experience like I did, then Lion Park in Johannesburg is the next best thing. In addition to lions, you will also see cheetahs, zebras and African wild dogs during the tour. At the end of the tour, you will get to pet the lion cubs, which is the best part. This goes without saying, but it’s important to follow all of the rules at the park. They tell you several times at different parts of the tour to keep your doors lock and windows closed so if anything happens to you, they won’t be responsible for that. As long as you follow the rules, you will have a great time.
- Visit the Apartheid Museum
The history of South Africa cannot be told without talking about apartheid, which was a system of legalized racial segregation. The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg will give you the entire history of apartheid. Throughout the museum, you will see documents, pictures and video footage depicting some of the most prominent people and events of this era. For history buffs or anyone who wants to learn more about the history of this country, this museum is a must.
- Go to Table Mountain
If you want to get a great view of Cape Town, then you must go to Table Mountain. You can either hike the mountain or you can take a cable car to the top of the mountain, which is what we did. The cable car also has a rotating floor, which gives you a 360 degree view of the city on the way up. Once you get to the top of the mountain, the view of the city is breathtaking. You really get to see how beautiful Cape Town is. You will also see some exotic animals on the mountain, such as lizards and this thing that looks like a gopher. This would definitely make for some cool pictures.
- Visit Robben Island
Robben Island is known as the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of the 27 years that he was incarcerated. In the mid-1990’s, the prison was closed and turned into a museum. Tours of the island are conducted by former prisoners, who give a complete history of how life was on the island. During the tour, you will see different rooms in the prison, such as bathrooms and holding rooms. You will also get to see Mandela’s cell, which was basically a cage. You will leave there with a lot of different emotions, but it’s all worth it.
- Visit some of the townships
I’ve seen poverty many times in my life before visiting the townships, but I’ve never seen poverty on this level. To see people living in shacks with no running water or electricity blew my mind. In spite of their circumstances, the people there are in great spirits and they are some of the nicest people in the world. They won’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with you and give you the history of where they live. In Soweto, two small kids came up to me and sang the Welcome to Soweto song. After leaving, this will definitely make you more appreciative of what you have.
- Enjoy the nightlife
Whether you’re in Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban, there are a lot of things to do at night. There are a lot of options as far as bars, clubs and lounges where you can wind down after a day of exploring. Due to the exchange rate, many people will also enjoy incredibly cheap prices for cover charges and drinks.
There are a lot of other things in South Africa that are very popular, from shark diving to visiting Sun City. On my next trip there, I will definitely squeeze some of those things into my schedule.