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5 Must-See Sites and Attractions of South Africa

South Africa has many worthwhile attractions that make it a great destination to visit. The country is one of the fastest developing countries in Africa, partially thanks to tourism. There is plenty to see when you visit South Africa. From the diverse landscape to the colorful history, there is something to enjoy for all travelers. It is the southernmost country in Africa and one of largest. The capital, Johannesburg, is a hub for most of the notable landmarks in the country but there are plenty of other places to visit in South Africa as well.

South Africa Attractions Johannesburg Constitution Hill
Constitution Hill, Johannesburg (Shutterstock)

Constitution Hill

Johannesburg is where you’ll find a lot of the landmarks relating to the history of South Africa. It’s the capital so it serves as the political, cultural, and historical hub of the country. Constitution Hill is a highlight landmark. This elevated land overlooks the city of Johannesburg. It has been a site for many historic events and buildings. While this is a popular tourist attraction today, in the past, it was a fort which housed multiple prison complexes. Very famous people throughout history have been held here, including Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. You can see their actual cells when you visit. Each of the prisons have been converted into museums to showcase a bit of the city’s history. You can also find the current courthouse which is the official seat of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and an art gallery. Constitution Hill is also where you can have the best viewpoint of the entire city.

South Africa Attractions Soweto Mandela House
Mandela House, Soweto (Shutterstock)

Mandela House

Just outside of Johannesburg, you’ll come across Soweto. Soweto was an area setup to house the lowest classes of people in the Johannesburg area. This is actual residence of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela was the first president of South Africa, overcoming the hardships of apartheid. He is an iconic figure in not only South Africa but the world. You’ll discover many attractions based on him, including the Mandela House.

The Mandela House gives an excellent glimpse into the life of Nelson Mandela. The original furniture and décor have been preserved in the house. You’ll be able to see old memorabilia, photos, gifts, and much more. The original house has since been expanded after becoming such a major attraction. It now includes a visitor’s center and a museum. You’ll be able to walk through the entire life of Nelson Mandela right from his home.

South Africa Attractions Apartheid Museum
Apartheid Museum (Shutterstock)

Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum is also located in Soweto. Apartheid is a social issue that shaped South Africa to what it is today. It’s a system of segregation and discrimination. Apartheid lasted for more that 100 years and ended fairly recently thanks to Nelson Mandela.

The Apartheid Museum will give you an immersive experience to what apartheid really was like and the effect it had on the country as a whole. The entire museum is set up as a timeline to walk you through the history of this system. You can learn the history through a variety of medium, including readings, videos, and photos of events that took place during this period. There is even a special exhibit to commemorate Nelson Mandela for his efforts in the struggle against apartheid. Many of the historic landmarks in South Africa are based around apartheid since it had such an impact. This museum will give you great context as you continue to explore places around the country.

South Africa Attractions Cape of good hope Cape Town
Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town

Cape of Good Hope

History isn’t the only thing to enjoy about South Africa. One of the best places to visit in South Africa is the Cape of Good Hope. This is commonly referred to as the southernmost tip of Africa, the point where the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean meet. The true point is actually located nearby on another peninsula. Cape of Good Hope has still become the more popular peninsula to visit. It was also a significant point for ships that would sail around the tip of Africa.

The coastal views that you have from the Cape of Good Hope are breathtaking. You’ll be looking out into the ocean with no other land in sight. There is also an abundance of wildlife around since it’s next to the Table National Park. You can spot a variety of animals here, including zebras, hartebeests, and antelope.

South Africa Attractions Durban Golden Mile
Golden Mile, Durban

Golden Mile

South Africa has a very long coast so you can expect it to have some of the best beaches in Africa. One place to visit in South Africa for the best beaches is Durban. Durban is located right on the coast and is home to the Golden Mile. The Golden Mile is a long stretch of perfect beaches, characterized by golden sand and clear, blue water. This coast is divided into various beaches that run the length of the city. It’s a major tourist area with lots of hotels, restaurants, shops, and other entertainment. The Golden Mile is a popular place for locals to vacation as well as for visitors all around the world. There is plenty of room for lounging around in the South African sun or even surfing the waves here.

These are just a few of the top places to visit in South Africa. It’s a large country with many great areas to explore. Whether you want to spend time learning about the historic side of the country or spend time enjoying the beautiful natural and scenery, South Africa is the best destination to experience it all.