A visit to South Africa is unforgettable, some might even say life-changing and our round-up of exciting experiences promises to be just that. Whether you’re after breathtaking scenery or adrenaline-pumping activities, this diverse country boasts all of that and more.
Cape Agulhas, near the Cape of Good Hope, is as far South as you can get on the African continent and is where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Climb to the top of the red and white Cape Agulhas lighthouse for amazing views of the surrounding scenery, hike one of the trails winding through fynbos and spot the Meisho Maru 38 shipwreck on the shore.
Lighthouse Street, L’Agulhas, +27 28 435 6078
See the Big Five in one trip
South Africa is known for its unforgettable safaris and a trip to the Kruger National Park won’t disappoint. Many have experienced the ultimate joy of spotting all of the Big Five (lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and rhino) in a single trip. Book a few days in the park and head out on game views at sunrise and dusk, as this is when animals are most active.
Contact +27 12 428 9111 to book
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Boulders Beach in Cape Town is dotted with smooth boulders and is home to a large colony of African penguins. The curious marine birds often wander onto the sand and aren’t shy to approach sunbathers or swimmers. They shouldn’t be touched but the photo opportunities are great!
Kleintuin Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, +27 21 786 2329
Bungy jump from the highest commercial bridge in the world
The Bloukrans Bungy jump is the highest bridge bungy in the world and at 216 metres it’s enough to get any adrenaline junkie excited. For many the walk underneath the bridge, towards the jump base, is the most daunting part of the experience. Needless to say, the views into the Bloukrans River Valley are out of this world.
Contact +27 42 281 1458 to book
See the flowers in bloom in Namaqualand
In spring, after the rains, Namaqua National Park is covered in fields of colour when the wild flowers go into bloom. More than 3500 species of plants dominate the park and the display is a spectacular site to see. To get the most out of your visit a 4×4 vehicle is your best option, and remember to pack essentials as the park is remote with the closest town being approximately 51 kilometres (32 miles) away.
Contact +27 12 428 9111 to book
Kayak with whales in Hermanus
Southern Right whales frequent South African waters each year from July to December, and the small town of Hermanus near Cape Town is the prime whale watching spot. If you’d like to get even closer to these giants go on a kayak tour with Walker Bay Adventures. Apart from whales there’s a rich sea life in the bay and you’re bound to spot dolphins, seals and penguins as well.
Contact +27 82 739 0159 to book
Satyagraha House in Orchards, a Johannesburg suburb, was built in 1907 by German architect Hermann Kallenbach and one of Gandhi’s closest friends. This is where the activist lived for a year during his time in South Africa, and today it’s run as a historic guesthouse. Memorabilia is scattered throughout the house and it’s been revamped to express its original charm.
15 Pine Road & Garden Road, Orchard, Johannesburg, +27 11 485 5928
Get back to your roots at the Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind is the richest hominin fossil site in Africa and boasts many caves and archaeological sites across thirteen locations. From exploring the fascinating Sterkfontein Caves to visiting the Maropeng Visitor Centre, a trip to the Cradle of Humankind is an eye-opening experience.
Get panoramic views of Cape Town from Table Mountain
Table Mountain offers adrenaline junkies more than 900 climbing and hiking routes for every level of fitness. But, if you’d rather reach the top in comfort, jump on the cable car and enjoy the views all the way up. This is a popular tourist attraction and it gets busy fast, so buy tickets online or plan your trip out of season.
Hike the Drakensberg
The Maloti Drakensberg Park offers guests some of the most amazing and uninterrupted scenery in the country and with it some of the best hiking routes. Choose a trail and get ready to spot wildlife and visit historical San rock art sites.
Have an unforgettable 4×4 adventure
Sani Pass, situated between KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho, is the most treacherous yet scenic gravel mountain route in South Africa. The pass starts at 1544 meters (5065 feet) and summits at 2876 meters (9435 feet), so the weather can be unpredictable and if you’re there at the right time it might snow. Booking through a tour operator will ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape to take on the journey.
Nelson Mandela was arrested on August 5, 1962 at this exact spot in KwaZulu-Natal, which lead to the notorious Rivonia Treason Trial and his sentencing of 27 years in prison. Today, a large sculpture commemorates the great leader and former South African president. Temporary exhibitions are also often held, so keep an eye on the programme before visiting.
R103, Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, +27 33 330 8195
The Tugela Falls in the Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal is an impressive 948 metres high with its longest drop totalling 411 metres, making it the tallest waterfall in Africa and the second tallest in the world. Getting there isn’t easy, there are different hiking trails but each is a bit of a trek and requires at least an average level of fitness.
Cage dive with Great White sharks
As far as life changing experiences go, it doesn’t get much better than this. Being immersed into the ocean with a massive Great White gliding inches away from you, immediately has an impact on a person, and not in a life-threatening, frightening way. However aggressive they might seem in Hollywood films, they’re exceptionally gentle in the water and unlike anything you’ll ever see again. Head to Gansbaai and book a trip through Marine Dynamics.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.