south-africa-safari

5 places to visit in South Africa if you're inspired by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal tour

Safaris, surfing and Sun City

Nichola Murphy

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with their four-month-old son Archie, have jetted off to South Africa on their royal tour which will see them visit four countries in ten days. And the main question on our lips is: why can't we join them?! It’s hard not to be a little jealous of the thought of stunning autumn sunsets and spectacular scenery. But there's no reason we shouldn't go on our own tour of the area  minus the paparazzi and royal engagements! Whether you're the adventurous type or looking for a relaxing beach trip, keep scrolling to see some of our favourite things to see and do in locations across South Africa…

Cape Town

The only logical place to start is the capital, which is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. If you're a budding photographer or partial to a stunning panoramic view, Table Mountain is the place to go. The flat-topped mountain is flanked by Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak which helps create the natural amphitheatre-shaped area known as the City Bowl. Although the 1000-metre tall mountain can be seen almost anywhere in Cape Town, its spectacular beauty is best appreciated from the top. And while it's a popular destination for hikers, there is also a cable car that will take you to the top where you can grab some lunch and admire the view — we know which option we'd choose!

Alternatively, you can relax on one of the many beaches the Cape Town area has to offer — head to Boulders Beach or Foxy Beach for a chance of spotting some African Penguins. Seafood-lovers could grab a bite to eat at Harbour House on the V&A Waterfront, wine connoisseurs could head to one of the local vineyards, and history enthusiasts could take a trip to District 6 Museum to learn about the history of apartheid, just as Harry and Meghan did on the first day of their tour. The city offers a little something for everyone.

READ: 13 secrets of how the royal family travels for a tour

Johannesburg

Johannesburg is a great place if you want to immerse yourself in some history and culture. Take a tour of Constitution Hill, a former prison and military fort that is described as "a living museum that tells the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy." If you haven't quenched your thirst for knowledge after visiting the Old Fort, Number Four Jail and the Women's Jail, view the 22 individual exhibition areas at the Apartheid Museum for an insight into South Africa’s recent past. But be warned, it can be very emotionally distressing, especially seeing the 131 nooses that represent the execution of government opponents. 

If you're in the mood for a luxurious break, Sun City is less than three hours north-west of Johannesburg. From the beach cove at the Palace of the Lost City, to Animal World, and even the championship golf courses, Sun City is the ultimate location to indulge and unwind.

Go on safari

When we think of holidaying in South Africa, one of the key things that spring to mind is going on safari, and for good reason. There are some incredible choices when it comes to seeing the Big 5 in South Africa. 

Nearby to Johannesburg and Sun City is Pilanesberg National Park and Game Reserve, which is home to over 7000 animals. Set within a volcano crater in between the Kalahari desert and the wet Lowveld vegetation, you can witness an unusual variety of flaura and fauna as well as get up-close to some spectacular animals. 

Alternatively, Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve is a Big5 game park in the KwaZulu Natal Regine known for its conservation efforts. There are several ways to explore the 96000 hectares of wilderness, which was previously used as Zulu Warrior King Shaka's private hunting ground — whether its by a full- or half-day safari, bush and boat tour or even an overnight trip. 

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Pretoria

You'll want to get your camera at the ready if you're heading to Pretoria. Jacaranda trees are plentiful, bathing the city's landscape in a breathtaking lavender hue much like the pink cherry blossom in Japan. 

Besides taking some fabulous Instagram photos, there is plenty to do in and around Pretoria. Soak up the political architecture with a trip to see the Union Buildings, visit the massive granite structure of the Voortrekker Monument just south of the city, go bird-watching for the blue crane and white-bellied sunbird at the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary, or wander through the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens to see 20,000-odd plant species.

Port Elizabeth

With surfing and scuba diving to entertain the adventure-seekers and sunny weather to satisfy the sunbathers, you can't really go wrong with a beach break in Port Elizabeth. The 40 kilometers of coastline is home to some of the cleanest city beaches in the country, so the extra few hours on the plane is worth it! And there are plenty of options to choose from, with Hobie Beach offering rock pools and Pollock Beach known for its surfing. 

If you're not a fan of the beach, hop on a harbour cruise for some whale-watching or go on Route 67 Art and Heritage Walk to see 67 public art pieces by 67 different local Eastern Cape artists.

READ: Zambia: 5 of the best things to do and see in Livingstone!

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