The Ultimate South Africa Bucket List

written by local expert Anna Faustino

Anna is a co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years. She has spent time living in Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, and Spain and is our local expert in these areas. Her expertise on travel, gear, and building businesses have been featured on Foundr, Business Insider, Yahoo Travel, and more.

For as long as I remember, visiting South Africa has been a dream of mine. Coming from the Philippines, South Africa was a place that just seemed so wild and exotic. I remember obsessing over every single page of my uncle’s old National Geographic magazines which highlighted so many rugged and unique experiences. While I’ve now traveled across four continents visiting almost 35 countries, South Africa is still one of those places that is still on my mind. Fueled by my love for the outdoors and my long time fascination with this country, here’s a list of experiences that make up my South Africa Bucket List

Go on an African Safari

Naturally, experiencing a safari while in South Africa has to be on the top of every bucket list. Here, you have loads of places where you can see an abundance “The Big 5” animals, elephant, lions, rhinos, leopards, and buffalos. From world-renowned places like the Kruger National Park to lesser-known ones like Kgalagadi, Sabi Sand, and Mala Mala. If a South African safari is out of your budget, you can consider going on a game drive (driving around on a private reserve to spot animals) which is a lot easier on your pocket. south africa safari gazelle

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Hike Around the Cape of Good Hope

Located in the Most South Western point of the African continent, the Cape of Good Hope is a peninsula just out of Cape Town. While the entire area boasts of jaw-dropping views of the coastal line, trekking up to the lighthouse offers the best views of the rocky cliffs.

Sample South African Cuisine

Tasting the local cuisine is something I enjoy doing in every country that I go to. Since South African food isn’t as well known, I will happily indulge my inner fat kid by trying out the local cuisine. From bunny chow (hollowed out bread stuffed with curry) to Bobotie (baked minced meat dish).

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Wine and Dine at Cape Winelands

No trip to South Africa would be complete without trying out some South African wine. Located Northeast of Cape Town, the Cape Winelands offer a variety of posh restaurants and fine vineyards. While you can visit some of these places yourself, you can also look at luxury holidays which takes you through the best of  South Africa through carefully curated experiences such as a visit to these wineries and all the best safaris. Take a look at these sample luxury itineraries in South Africa for more inspiration on how to travel the country in style. south africa wine

Bungee Jumping off the Bloukrans Bridge

Although this particular jump is no longer the highest bungee is the world (Macau Towers has overtaken it), this heart pumping activity is still worth doing for the spectacular views on your way down.

Hike to the Top of Table Mountain

Being one of the most recognizable icons of Cape Town, Hiking Table Mountain is a must. Apart from the incredible view of the entire city, the three-hour hike up is a great workout! Alternatively, if you’re feeling lazy, you can take the cable car up. Either way, making your way to the top of Table Mountain is central to any Cape Town itinerary.

Read: Best Hiking Boots for Men | Best Hiking Boots for Women south africa mountain top

Dare Yourself: Go Cage Diving with Great White Sharks

For some weird reason, cage diving in South Africa has been high up on my list ever since I can remember. While I would most likely pass out in excitement and fear, I have always wanted to cage dive with great white sharks in order to see and learn more about these fascinating creatures.

Surf, Surf, Surf!

One of the things I would LOVE to do while in South Africa would be to surf. Of course the fact that there are great white sharks lingering in the ocean terrify me a bit, there are too many awesome surf breaks to pass up. From the epic waves along the coast of Cape Town to the Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay.

See the Penguins in Boulder’s Beach

It wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I found out that South Africa had penguins and man, are they adorable or what! Located not far from Cape Town in Boulder’s Beach is a colony of African penguins which roam freely by the bay. If you’re interested, an organization called SANCCOB has loads of rescue and rehabilitation programs including one where you can “adopt a penguin“. south africa penguins

Go for a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Imagine yourself gliding in the air over scenic landscapes while sipping a glass of champagne. Sounds perfect? With plenty of Hot Air Balloon safaris, the chance to serenely float above some of these wildlife reserves is something I would jump at the chance to do.

Go Paragliding Over Cape Town

By now, I’m sure you get the picture that I am a massive adrenaline junkie. After paragliding in Ecuador, I am addicted to the sport and would love nothing more than to glide around Cape Town and see its magical coastal views from up in the air!

You’ll find lots of fun things to do in Cape Town as it’s truly an unmissable city.

Take Photos by St. James Beach

Although there’s nothing special about these huts, these iconic Victorian bathing boxes have become so iconic that taking photos while passing by is a must! The colors stand out next to the pale white washed sand, making it a perfect contrast for people passing by. south africa beach houses

Hit the Beaches

Basking in the beautiful beaches of South Africa is reason enough to go to this part of the world. With so many coastal escapes to choose from, why wouldn’t you go? A few on my must visits are Clifton 4th Beach, Llandudno Beach, and Muizenberg.

Visit a Township

One of the things that I am most excited about doing when I do go to South Africa is being able to do a township tour in order to get a glimpse of what life is like in these local villages. There is so much history and life in these modern-day townships and a visit to Africa without understanding this part of their history would be a shame.

Go Whale Watching

While most sightings happen from the months of June to November, the town of Hermanus is the place to be where you can try your luck in spotting migrating whales. Noted by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) as one of the 12 best whale watching destinations in the world, you can spot these enormous creatures from either a boat or from land. whale watching

Although I could clearly write a million other things that I would love to do while I am there, I will have to stop myself. Currently, we don’t have any plans of visiting South Africa anytime soon (we are heading to Nepal and Europe next), however, the beauty of our lifestyle is that we are pretty spontaneous and since we work from virtually anywhere in the world, who knows….we might just find ourselves making my childhood dreams come true!

Looking for other incredible adventures? Check out a few of our other articles for inspiration

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