If you’re in South Africa this summer and you can’t wait to get out there and celebrate in the sunshine, here’s our top pick for activities that will help you take full advantage of the gorgeous weather and stunning surroundings.

Cape Town

Cape Town is brimming with a colourful selection of sights and attractions, from the ever-popular Table Mountain and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to Boulders Penguin Colony, Cape Point and of course the spectacular array of beaches. But there are also many lesser known activities to make your spirit soar – try these for size.

Ride horses on the beach: Noordhoek Beach is a stunning 8km stretch of sand that is perfect for a whimsical gallop. Imhoff Equestrian Centre offers daily horse rides along the beach, pairing you with a horse that’s suited to your riding ability from novice to seasoned professional. Starting at Imhoff Farm, you’ll make your way through the wetlands until you reach the beach for a walk – or gallop – with the ocean breeze whipping through your hair.

Sightsee by bike: Daytrippers offers a range of guided cycle tours throughout the city and surrounds. Explore Cape Town at your leisure or venture as far out as Hermanus, and if you’d like to combine hiking and biking, you can try the Table Mountain Hike & Bike experience – never before has sightseeing and burning calories been this fun!

Combine yoga and SUPing: Exercising outdoors is something Capetonians know how to do really well. If you’re a dedicated yogi and are up for challenging yourself in a new way, why not try your hand at combining yoga with SUPing (that’s “stand up paddle-surfing” for those not in the know)? SUPYoga hosts group sessions in the Camps Bay tidal pool between December and March where the zen levels get taken up a notch with the hypnotic sounds of lapping water and beautiful ocean views. Plus, you get the added benefit of cooling off every time you lose your balance.

Prefer just regular SUPing? Ocean Riders can show you how.

All aboard a steam train to Ceres: Enjoy the natural beauty of the picturesque Witzenberg and Michell’s Passes the old-school way: from the comfort of a spacious lounge car on an original steam train. Sip on a drink and nibble on snacks as the lush scenery whizzes by, while the clickety-clack of the wheels lulls you into that relaxed holiday mode. This is especially great for the whole family to enjoy – the kids will love it.

Also try: The Elgin train route is another great option. It takes you from Cape Town to the Elgin Railway Market with its vibrant atmosphere and array of food stalls that sell everything from fresh fruit and veg to mouth-watering burgers, Sicilian delicacies, fresh confections and more. You then hop back on the train for your return trip to Cape Town.

Itineraries you may like:

Cape Town, Wine & Whales

Cape, Garden Route & Safari

Romantic Cape, Kruger & Luxury Rail

Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands is one of the leading wine producers in the world. Whilst there’s no shortage of vino to sample here, there are a few other ways to immerse yourself in the culture and history of this dreamy place.

Take in the history of Stellenbosch: The best way to get to know a new place is on foot, so you’ll love the historical walking tour of South Africa’s second oldest town, Stellenbosch. The three hour guided tour takes you through the streets of “Our Town of Oaks” as you explore the cultural, historical and architectural aspects of this popular university town.

Farm animals and…art?: Farm Sanctuary SA in Franschhoek is not only a safe haven for rescued and abandoned animals, but it’s also home to the one and only Pigcasso – the world’s only painting pig! Start off by perusing her masterpieces at the Oink Gallery before introducing yourself to the other animals. We promise this will be an experience to remember. Farm Sanctuary SA is the only officially registered sanctuary on the African continent for rescued farm animals and aims to shed light on the plight of these special creatures.

Good to know: Tours take place only on Saturdays and Sundays, with Pigcasso only being available to meet during the Sunday session. Visits during the week are by appointment only.

Visit the Giraffe House: Get to know some of Africa’s most awkwardly graceful creatures when you visit the Giraffe House in Paarl. The star of the show is Gerry the Giraffe who, together with his furry friends, forms the backbone of the educational programmes on offer for families. On the weekends there are even creepy crawly interactive encounters with the smaller, creepier species.

Tip: It’s an open-air facility so don’t forget your hats and sunscreen. There is also a refreshment kiosk or you can bring your own water.

Drink and walk: If you’re looking to combine the allure of a wine estate with a good old fashioned walkabout, Waterkloof Wines in Somerset West will tick all the boxes. They offer two hour, twice daily guided walks (one morning and one later afternoon) during which you’re led along a full circuit of the estate, followed by a two-course delicious meal. Being a World Wildlife Federation Biodiversity and Wine Initiative Champion, Waterkloof is perfect for foodies who want to learn about viticulture.

Take a look at our Cape, Wine & Whales itinerary.

West Coast

A short 25-minute drive from Cape Town, the West Coast offers character-filled fishing villages along with endless natural beauty. It’s a popular escape for locals but an equally firm favourite among international visitors due the wildflowers in spring.

Head into nature: Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is all about the views. It’s a visual feast of undulating coastline and fynbos slopes, as well as one of the few places in the world where you can see two World Heritage Sites from the same spot – Table Mountain and Robben Island. As well as its rich biodiversity, there are also several beaches waiting to be discovered, with Haakgat being a popular spot for both surfers and kite-surfers.

Travel back into time: The West Coast Fossil Park offers a cultural fix in the form of fascinating early Pliocene fossils that are still being excavated to this day. Guided tours provide interesting insights into life millions of years ago as well as the events that led to the extinction of the animals that existed then. There are also fantastic mountain and hiking trails if you’re keen to mix history with a little outdoor exercise.

Keep it cool by the tidal pool: Silwerstroomstrand is one of the Cape’s Blue Flag beaches and is as isolated as it is beautiful.Safe swimming is made possible by a small rocky point that provides protection from the swell, but if you’re after a calmer experience without all the waves, the tidal pool is simply perfection. Bring a picnic with and make a day of it.

Feast in Darling, darling: Known for its amazing flora and technicolour homes, Darling is one of the West Coast’s best known gems. It’s an up and coming gourmet food destination with an impressive selection of dining options. If you’re looking for a memorable foodie experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is a place we recommend visiting.

We love:

  • The freshly squeezed juices and single origin coffee at Chicory Cheese Café
  • Evita se Perron’s traditional South African fare
  • The craft charcuterie at The Flying Pig
  • The designer chicken pies made fresh at The Marmalade Cat (they also do a pizza night every Friday)

Get a taste of the West Coast with our Western Cape Highlights itinerary.

Garden Route

It’s not all about beaches, beaches and more beaches along this gorgeous stretch of coastline. Blink and you’ll miss the other amazing attractions on offer, from game reserves to stunning mountain passes.

Drive the Outeniqua Pass: Connecting the coastal town of George with Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo, this famous pass was built as an alternative to the Montagu Pass and showcases some of the most beautiful scenery in the area.

One of the most beatiful passes in South Africa is the Outeniqua, which takes one from the arid Karoo (on the other side of these mountains) to the Garden Route on South Africa’s southern coast.

Visit the Bontebok: Bontebok National Park (the smallest of the 21 parks in SA) is home to roughly 200 Bontebok who in fact owe their current existence to the park’s creation. Undoubtedly one of the best kept secrets of the Garden Route, this peaceful space is a favourite for nature lovers with its long hiking routes, walking trails through the aloes, game viewing along the Breede River.

Explore the lush Tsitsikamma Forest: The Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour is hands down the best way to truly appreciate the beauty of this stretch of indigenous rainforest. Traversing from one platform to the next (carefully located in giant Outeniqua Yellowwoods) along steel cables that are suspended 30m above the ground, you’ll whizz through the lush greenery and spy the bird life from your vantage point in the sky. Fun and fast-paced, professional guides ensure your safety as you zoom through the trees.

Tip: If you’re lucky you may  spot the famed Knysna Loerie or the more elusive Narina Trogon.

Go strawberry picking: For some outdoor fun for everyone, Redberry Farm in George is where you can pick your own strawberries before making your way through the largest permanent hedge maze in the southern hemisphere. Kids can enjoy pony rides and bumper boats before you pop to the Red Shed Coffee & Berry Bar for refreshments.

You might like to see our Cape Town, Garden Route and Safari itinerary.

Kruger Surrounds

Kruger is of course the home of the Big Five, but there’s a lot more to tickle your fancy in between game drives.

Interact with elephants: Elephant Whispers on the banks of the Sabie River in Hazyview offers you the chance to interact with the world’s largest and most majestic mammal: the elephant. You’ll be able to touch and feed these gentle creatures, all while learning about their nature and history. This will be a humbling experience of note and well worth making time for.

Explore prehistoric caves: Formed over two hundred million years ago, the Sudwala Caves in Nelspruit were the site of many a battle that took place during the power struggle for the Swazi throne. Your underground adventure will take you deep into the caves as you marvel at the Precambrian dolomite rock formations. The longer and more challenging tour will see you slithering through narrow tunnels and really getting down and dirty – this isn’t for the faint-hearted though, so choose the regular tour if you’re not fond of tight spaces.

Tip: Booking is essential and if you suffer from claustrophobia, we suggest giving this one a miss.

Feeling brew-dy: If you’re a craft beer lover then a visit to the Sabie Brewery is a must. You’ll learn how the beer is made as you’re taken through the creation process from start to finish, and at the end you’ll get to sample all six of the fine brews produced here. If all that beer tasting has worked up an appetite, you can tuck into a tasty meal at the on-site restaurant after your tour.

Pamper yourself: Rejuvenate your body and mind at Summerfields Rose Retreat & Spa where you can choose from an array of soothing treatments from head to toe. The Rose Spa is a tranquil slice of heaven boasting open-plan pavilions perfectly positioned alongside the river through which a  scent of sweet rose constantly wafts. This is the ideal place to take a break from your summertime exploring and unwind in a gorgeous setting.

Our best Kruger itineraries:


KwaZulu-Natal’s stretch of coastline is a traveller’s playground, with dazzling beaches dotted between coastal town after delightful coastal town. The year-round tropical climate makes it a great addition to your trip no matter when you travel. Here are some of the less obvious attractions to tick off.

Get your golf on: The South Coast of KZN is often referred to as “The Golf Coast” as it boasts a number of stellar courses that appeal to both amateur and professional players alike. Southbroom Golf Club is always a winner and whilst it’s a short course, it provides ample challenges. There’s something really special about playing alongside the indigenous vegetation of the Frederika Nature Reserve and the sparkling Indian Ocean.

See Durban from great heights: Moses Mabhida Stadium’s thrilling SkyCar takes you a whopping 106m up to a viewing deck that delivers uninterrupted, 360° views of the cityscape. The single cabin runs up steel tracks along the northern arch of the stadium and after just two short minutes, you’ll reach the top and drink in those endless ocean views while the city bustles below you.

Tip: Kids under 6 go free.

safari with a twist: Horse safaris are a popular alternative to the classic safari expedition, providing a unique way to experience South Africa’s plethora of wildlife. The country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, is a great place to explore via horseback with Bhangazi Horse Safaris.  They offer both a game and a beach ride or you can combine the two. You’ll ride to the St Lucia estuary, all the while on the lookout for crocodiles and hippos, or canter through the nature reserve where you’ll get up close and personal with herds of including zebra and impala.

Take a look at our horseback safari options.

Take a hot-air balloon flight: Few experiences are as electrifying as a hot-air balloon ride through the Drakensberg region. You’ll get an entirely new perspective on nature and the breathtaking scenery that makes up this part of the country – plus a champagne breakfast at the end to calm those nerves!

You might like our KZN self-drive itinerary that incorporates a safari and a beach break.

We hope this provides you with some summer activity inspiration! Get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable travel consultants who can customise an exceptional South African itinerary just for you, including booking any of these experiences.