5 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways in South Africa

Getaways in South Africa
Romantic safari at the Kruger National Park in South Africa | © Kruger National Park

As one of the top vacation spots in Africa, South Africa offers unlimited options when it comes to planning memorable weekend trips. Whether you prefer to stay at luxury all-inclusive romantic resorts in ritzy places like KwaZulu-Natal or Cape Town, or prefer a safari and wildlife destinations such as Durban and Kruger National Park, fun weekend getaways can be enjoyed pretty much anywhere in the “Rainbow Nation.” Find the best places to visit with our list of the top weekend getaways in South Africa.

Cape Town

V&A Waterfront
Looking onto Table Mountain, in the heart of Cape Town’s harbour | © V&A Waterfront

Cape Town aka Mother City is the oldest city in South Africa, and primate city of the Western Cape province. An eclectic city known for its vibrant culture, a picturesque harbour, and bustling art scene. Mother City, as it’s affectionately called, is located on the scenic shore of Table Bay, at the northern end of the Cape Peninsula. While you are here, head to V&A Waterfront, which is the prime people-watching destination and a fun place to grab a bite to eat, shop, or just wander around. Amazing views all-around of the Atlantic shore, Table Bay Harbour, the City of Cape Town and Table Mountain. Make a stop at the Two Oceans Aquarium, a modern indoor aquarium and conservation center offering close encounters with sharks and penguins. Take the road to the top at the Table Mountain National Park, here, the iconic, flat-topped Table Mountain is its centerpiece. A prominent landmark and significant tourist attraction in Cape Town, South Africa. Get to the mountain’s 1,086m summit by cableway, bicycle, automobile or on foot, and you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of Cape Town and Table Bay.

V&A Waterfront: 19 Dock Rd, Cape Town, South Africa 

Port Elizabeth

Activities to Do in Port Elizabeth
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. © Charl Vollgraaff

Being one of the country’s top tourist destinations and part of Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth and is home to some of the most spectacular beaches South Africa. Port Elizabeth has everything a romantic retreat requires: secluded beaches, picturesque seaside, and dreamy bay scenery. So whether you’re a cultural connoisseur, a shopaholic, a foodie or a wine lover, this South Africa’s beach city on the Algoa Bay has a practically infinite number of things on offer. From excellent beaches to wildlife attractions, there are nonstop activities to definitely make getaway great whenever you here. There are also many charming Airbnbs and boutique hotels in the area.

Durban and the uShaka Marine World

As a major established tourist hub in AfricaSouth Africa has spent billions of dollars bringing visitors and locals a range of unique theme parks. When it comes to travel with kids, there’s little doubt Durban is one of best family vacation spots in South Africa. Even if you are looking for a couple’s weekend, Durban is also a great choice. Spend your time in Durban and relive your youth at the famous theme park – uShaka Marine World. A unique theme park that redefine the concept of rollercoasters and attractions for all those thrill-seekers out there. The spot is a key attraction on Durban’s Golden Mile that offers a world of entertainment, excitement, fun and uniqueness.

uShaka Marine World
Dolphins at the uShaka Marine World in Durban, South Africa | © uShaka Marine World

All this-along with other big-name places, such as Suncoast and Durban Botanic Gardens, to name but two-can be enjoyed in a few days, and thanks to King Shaka International Airport offering both domestic and international flight services. Durban is easily accessible for those seeking fun-filled weekend getaways.

uShaka Marine World: 1, King Shaka Ave, Point, Durban, South Africa 

Johannesburg

Johannesburg is South Africa’s biggest city and one of the best places to visit in the country for adults seeking a fast-paced weekend getaway. And once experienced, not easily forgotten. Not only being the country’s most vibrant city, it’s also one of the most fascinating in terms of its diversity. For good measure-here, you’ll find an endless array of things to do that will blow your mind – from exploring in the Gold Reef City to indulging the landmark museums and wildlife. Other favourite things to do include unwinding at one of the town’s sophisticated spas and participating in outdoor activities.

Gold Reef City
Image courtesy of Gold Reef City

In keeping with the local heritage, the attractive downtown is lined with stunning architectures and modern buildings that house art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and cafés. There’s more than enough to keep you busy during your weekend getaway, from African-inspired music and cuisine to visiting art galleries and shipping in chic boutique shopsRomantics will be awed by the glorious sunsets and the lulling refrain of the skylines. You’re guaranteed a weekend getaway you won’t soon forget.

Gold Reef City: Northern Pkwy & Data Cres, Johannesburg, South Africa

Kruger National Park (Limpopo and Mpumalanga)

Getaways in South Africa
Romantic safari at the Kruger National Park in South Africa | © Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is home to the most spectacular wildlife viewing on the planet as well as one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Sitting at nearly two million hectares, it covers areas in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces in South Africa. The park offers visitors a diverse collection of exotic animal species, including the Big Five, as well as diverse lush vegetation throughout. Top game park that creates an unforgettable experience that will forever stir your soul. The Kruger National Park is a popular tourist destination and makes for a unique weekend getaway for a hip couple or solo traveller. Here, even the most jaded travellers are humbled as you observe wildlife in nature’s most magnificent ways. There’s no one who won’t enjoy Kruger!

Top-Rated African Safari Destinations
Elephants at the Kruger National Park | Photo: Courtesy of IDG.Photography

Kruger National Park: South Africa 

Opening Hours 

  • Sun: 6:00 am – 5:30 pm 
  • Mon: 6:00 am – 5:30 pm 
  • Tue: 6:00 am – 5:30 pm 
  • Wed: 6:00 am – 5:30 pm 
  • Thu: 6:00 am – 5:30 pm 
  • Fri: 6:00 am – 5:30 pm 
  • Sat: 6:00 am – 5:30 pm 

We also recommend our guide to the best hotels in Sandton, South Africa.

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