Popularly referred to as the ‘rainbow nation’ for its diverse culture and people, South Africa is a top tourist destination for Americans and Europeans. The country is known for its warm tropical weather, colorful and vibrant culture, lively entertainment spots and white sandy beaches, not to mention the country’s rich history. South Africa has many top attractions that are sure to captivate your imaginations and give you an unforgettable vacation.

If you are thinking of planning a trip to South Africa, you need to put your travel documents in order and check sites like for travel tips and important measures you should take when traveling overseas. There are a lot of places to visit and see in South Africa, below are our recommendations.

Botanical Gardens

No matter which South African city you find yourself in, there is always a botanical garden to take you on a journey into some of the world’s greatest nature.

Bloemfontein, for instance, is known as the city of roses for its vast rose plants lining its streets. If you plan your trip to Bloemfontein in October, you can enjoy the Manuang Rose Festival it hosts. The Free State National Botanical Garden has over 300 indigenous tree species, and nature lovers will find a walk in these woods quite refreshing. If you find yourself in Durban, you can bird watch at Umgeni River Bird Park and enjoying the fresh air at the Durban Botanic Gardens. From Johannesburg to Cape Town, there are botanical gardens with blooming flowers and tall trees for bike rides and nature walks which is why it should be on your bucket list.

Historical sites

If you are inclined towards history, South Africa offers a lot of options if you’re after historical sites and museums. Arguably most important of all is Robben Island, where the anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years. Tourists can enjoy boat rides from the city of Cape Town to the site which UNESCO has since declared it a World Heritage Site.

There is also Anglo Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein which is a throwback to the Boer War and the Oliewenhuis Art Museum which exhibits the best of African art.

If you find yourself in Johannesburg, make your way to the South African Museum of Military History and the Apartheid Museum for an emotional trip back to the apartheid era.

The Voortrekker and Nelson Mandela monuments are important landmarks.

Wildlife reserves and parks

South Africa’s game parks are homes to the big five animal and other indigenous animals. There is the Franklin game reserve near Naval Hill and the Bagamoyo Wildlife Estate in Free State Province where tourists can pet cheetah and feed lions while being supervised by qualified wildlife personnel.

There are zebras, rhinos, gazelles, and much other wildlife in South Africa that attract tourists.

Shopping and entertainment experience

South Africa has a diversified roaster of shopping malls and entertainment malls. Actually, it has Africa’s biggest mall in Sandton City. Here, tourists and locals like jostle for goods being sold at affordable prices. Not far away from Sandton City, there is the Gold Reef City from which tourists can visit the disused Crown Gold Mines.

There are theme parks suitable for kids and theatres like the Royal theatre for the ultimate movie watching experience.

SAB Miller’s World of Beer serves beer straight from the source for those who want to cool down after a hot day of touring and sightseeing.