9+ Unusual Things to Do in South Africa Now

Dive into the pulsing heart of Johannesburg's Maboneng Precinct, where art transforms streets. But what hidden masterpiece awaits discovery? Read on...
Date Published
March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

🚀 Get Unlimited Instagram Likes & Comments. 100% Free Forever. Join Wolf Global Groups, home to the largest Instagram engagement pods, and amplify your reach today! Ready? Become a member today.

Ever wondered where in the world you can sashay through streets bursting with art, chill with penguins as if you're part of their crew, and sip eco-friendly wines in scenic vineyards, all before taking a hike up a legendary mountain? Yeah, that place exists, and it's the rainbow nation of South Africa! This country is a cornucopia of unique experiences that'll turn your socials into an envy-inducing travelogue. Dive into the vibrant heart of Johannesburg's Maboneng Precinct, or embrace your inner penguin whisperer at Boulders Beach. The stories you'll tell, oh, they'll be as colourful as a Cape Town sunset. So come on, let's see you try out some lekker local lingo while we spill the rooibos on South Africa's most magnetic attractions and under-the-radar escapades that go beyond the usual tourist trappings.

Discover Johannesburg's Artistic Side at Maboneng Precinct

Picture this: you're strolling down a vibrant street, painted murals bursting with colors catch your eye, independent galleries showcasing the next big thing in art – welcome to Maboneng Precinct, a place where Johannesburg's creativity comes alive!

The Maboneng Precinct isn't your typical tourist trap; it's a cultural hotspot where the locals hang, and it's heavy on charm. This neighborhood is the heart of Johannesburg's artistic revolution, making it one of the coolest cultural experiences in the city.

Think of it as a canvas of urban regeneration, where once-forlorn buildings now house trendy lofts, shops, and eateries. But first things first, let's talk art! Galleries are tucked away in every corner, each offering a slice of local and international genius. Spend a good part of your day here, trust me, you won't regret it.

And if you're wondering what art and food have in common, the answer is - everything, when you're in Maboneng. Refuel with some mouth-watering local cuisine at one of the precinct's avant-garde cafes or rooftop bars. The atmosphere? Electric.

What's more, this spot is perfect whether you're flying solo, gallivanting with your pals or bringing the whole family for an artsy escapade. The precinct often plays host to live music and street performances, making it a hub for those hungry for entertainment – definitely a feast for your senses!

Friendly advice: don’t leave without taking a guided walking tour. It’s the backstage pass to Maboneng's soul, connecting you with the stories behind the street art and introducing you to the faces who shape the area's charisma.

So, whether you're an art aficionado or just someone craving a taste of Joburg's creativity, Maboneng's got your number. A day here is an ideal blend of artistic expression and authentic South African urban lifestyle. Oh, and don't forget to snap a selfie with the iconic murals – because if you didn't 'gram it, were you even there? Dive into Johannesburg's artistic heartbeat and discover Maboneng's magic for yourself!

Encounter Penguins at Boulders Beach in an Unforgettable Way

Imagine this: you’re strolling down a sun-kissed beach, the air is filled with the salty tang of the sea, and suddenly, you spot a penguin. Yes, a real, tuxedo-wearing, waddling penguin! It's not a dream, my friend—it's Boulders Beach penguin viewing, and it's as memorable as it sounds.

Nestled near Simon's Town in Cape Town, Boulders Beach is famous for its residents: a thriving colony of African penguins. It's one of the few places where you can get close to these charming birds without hopping on a boat to Antarctica. But before you dream of hugging these cute creatures, remember they are wild and it's important to respect their space.

Now, let’s get to the deets. Prepare to spend around 2-3 hours here because you'll want to soak up every minute. The boardwalks make for perfect viewing spots to watch the penguins toddle about and hear the oddly soothing sounds of their brays (they don’t quack, they bray—like donkeys, only cuter).

Boulders Beach isn't just for the solo explorer or the penguin fanatic; it's a treasure trove for families, couples, and yes, even the toddlers will be wide-eyed with wonder. And adrenaline seekers, guess what? You can take a refreshing swim in the sparkling waters, and if you’re lucky, a penguin might just torpedo past you!

So, grab your sunscreen, hat, and best penguin-friendly smile. Whether you’re watching these flightless birds surf the waves or basking on the rocks, Boulders Beach offers a memorable and utterly unique experience. After all, where else in the world can you sunbathe with penguins as your beach buddies?

Ready to plan your visit? Click on this nifty little link and you're on your way to penguin paradise!

Unwind at Soweto's Lesser-Known Green Spaces

Step off the beaten path and into the heart of Soweto, where the green spaces are as rich in history as they are in tranquility. You might be wondering, "What's special about green spaces in a township?" Well, my friend, it's not just about the lush grass under your feet; it's about the stories and the spirit of resilience that fills the air. In Soweto, it's about community coming together, turning areas that were once neglected into vibrant spots of beauty and togetherness.

Imagine an afternoon surrounded by the sound of children's laughter as they dart across the park, the smoky scent of nearby braai stands tantalizing your senses, and the pleasant buzz of locals enjoying a leisurely day. Parks like Thokoza Park offer a retreat from the hustle and still carry the whispers of Soweto's past struggles and triumphs.

These green spaces are perfect for everyone—locals seeking a moment of peace, travelers looking for a unique slice of South African life, or families aiming for a picnic spot with a difference. In Soweto's green havens, you can kick back and soak up the sun for an hour or two, or if you’re feeling active, join in a game of pickup soccer. Just being here is enough to get a real feel of the township's vibrant pulse.

After breathing in the fresh afternoon air, take a little stroll and you'll find nearby local markets and signature Soweto Township eateries ready to fill your belly with delicious South African flavors. Trust me, these spaces are bursting with life that you won’t find in your usual tourist guides. So don't just visit; immerse yourself, even if only for a short time, in the day-to-day of Soweto's beauty, hidden in plain sight amongst these verdant urban oases.

Embrace Adventure on the Garden Route's Hidden Trails

Picture this: You're cruising along the Garden Route, windows down, the fresh ocean air tingling your face, flanked by mountains on one side and the expansive ocean on the other. Now, imagine pulling over, lacing up your boots, and embarking on an adventure through some of the most enchanting, secret trails this side of South Africa.

When you're exploring the Garden Route, scenic drives are just the appetizer. The real treat? The hidden hiking trails tucked away among the fynbos and forests that line this stretch of paradise. These trails aren't just walks in the park; they're your backstage pass to thrilling adventure and some of the most breathtaking views in South Africa. And don't just take your time; soak in every second, because this is about to become your favorite travel tale to recount.

In places like the Tsitsikamma Forest, you might as well be stepping into a storybook. The canopy of trees, the thrilling suspension bridges, the calls of hidden creatures—they all combine for an experience that's pure magic, perfect for nature lovers and adrenaline junkies alike. And the good news? It's ideal for everyone from solo explorers to those herding a flock of kids who need to burn energy.

Each trail has its own personality. Some offer calm and easy strolls while others are a full-body workout worthy of a post-hike pat on the back (or foot massage). Plan to spend at least half a day—if not a full one—depending on which adventure you choose. And if you're worried about getting lost in the beauty of it all, local guides are like walking encyclopedias of the area's history and natural wonders, ready to lead the way.

No matter your pace or preference, the Garden Route isn't something you simply drive through. It's a sensory celebration, a trekker's treasure, a set of stories waiting to unfold beneath your eager feet. So tie up those hiking boots and take the trail less traveled, because the Garden Route is more than scenic—it's an adventure waiting to be embraced.

Experience Eco-Friendly Wine Tasting in Franschhoek

Imagine being surrounded by lush vineyards with the sun kissing your face as you sip on nature's finest. That's exactly what you'll feel during an eco-friendly wine tasting in Franschhoek. You've probably heard of wine tastings, but here's the twist—Franschhoek is taking it to the next level with sustainability!

Now, let's talk about what makes Franschhoek wine tasting so special. Not only are the wines top-notch, but these vineyards are committed to preserving the stunning environment they're nestled in. This place is perfect for those who love to pair their Merlot with a side of mother nature's wellbeing.

  • Appreciate handcrafted wines born from organic farming practices
  • Savor the taste of eco-conscious vintages that reflect the unique terroir
  • Tour the vineyards known for their biodiversity and renewable energy use

With a glass in hand, you get to stroll through vibrant greenery and learn from passionate winemakers who'll share stories about each grape's journey from vine to vintage. What's more, these tours champion biodiversity, making both your heart and your taste buds feel oh-so-good.

If you're ready to immerse yourself in this exquisite experience, you can expect to spend at least a couple of hours—time flies when you're having fun, right? This experience is not just for wine connoisseurs but also for families, couples, or anyone interested in sustainable living. And for the cherry on top, some vineyards invite you to pair wine with mouthwatering, locally-sourced food. Yum!

Oh, and if you're wondering about what's nearby—Franschhoek is not just about vino. It's a quaint town oozing with charm, from galleries to boutique shops. After a day of toasting to the earth, meander through this little slice of paradise.

Your eco-friendly wine tasting adventure is just a sip away in Franschhoek—a toast to indulging responsibly! 🍇🥂

Hike Table Mountain's Less-Traveled Paths

Picture this: You're lace-up your boots, grab your water bottle, and set out on one of the most iconic hikes in South Africa—Table Mountain. But you're not following the crowds to the usual spots; oh no! You're taking the road less traveled, my friend. Picture yourself trekking along hidden trails that zigzag across this natural wonder, surrounded by breathtaking views and hardly another soul in sight.

Table Mountain isn't just a hike; it's a network of paths waiting for adventurers like you. You won't just sweat; the sights will steal your breath even faster than the climb. And for this journey, you're seeking out the hidden gems, the undisturbed tranquility.

  • Skeleton Gorge: It's not just a name; it's an eerily beautiful hike up through the lush Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Beware though! This path can be challenging, but the reward is panorama views that go on forever.
  • Tranquility Cracks: A secret spot that's as peaceful as it is peculiar. This natural labyrinth of passageways and hidden caves feels like another world.

And don't even get me started on the wildlife. Imagine sunbirds flitting around the fynbos—a type of heathland vegetation unique to this part of the world. It's nature untamed, nature unplugged!

If you're wondering how much time to block out for this little adventure, plan for at least half a day. But who's counting when you're exploring one of the seven natural wonders of the world? This isn't just for the fierce solo hiker or the couple who brunch at the summit. The whole family—teens and up—can dig into these trails. It's not your grandma's walk in the park, but it's perfect for anyone with a bit of pep and a thirst for something thrilling.

So grab your camera, because each turn presents a new photo op that'll make your friends green with envy. You'll find peace, thrills, and sights that tour buses never see. Remember, a true explorer is never satisfied with just the glossy postcard spots. Dive deeper, climb higher, and uncover the secret whispers of Table Mountain.

Visit Robben Island Museum Through a Local's Perspective

Imagine stepping onto a boat, the ocean spray lightly misting your face as you set sail across the bluest waters. Feel the anticipation building as you approach Robben Island, not just for the history lesson you're about to receive, but for the personal stories that await.

Robben Island Museum isn't just a museum; it's a testament to human resilience and freedom. The visit comes alive when you hear the narratives from former political prisoners, giving you an authentic look into South Africa's past. It’s as raw and real as it gets, folks. Your guides share their own experiences; their voices carry the weight of their history, ensuring no visitor leaves without understanding the depth of the struggle for freedom.

The island itself, once a place of isolation, now stands as a beacon of hope. You'll be walking the same grounds where Nobel Laureate and former President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. That’s almost two decades, guys - talk about a history-charged atmosphere!

But hey, it's not all solemn. Feel the South African sun warm your skin as you explore the grounds. Be sure to spot the African penguins - yes, you heard that right, penguins in Africa!

Located about 7km off the coast of Cape Town, you'll need a good half-day for this trip, maybe even a full one if you're genuinely soaking it in. You're looking at a crowd that values history and stories of human spirit. So, whether you're a solo traveler, with friends, or with family, the island welcomes you.

Here's a real gem: after the museum, catch a glimpse of Table Mountain from a fresh angle. It's like a postcard only you get to step into. Let me tell you, it's a view you won't forget.

And when it’s time to head back, take a moment to gaze at the city’s silhouette against the sinking sun. Trust me, it's the perfect outro to an inspiring day. So when you're ready to dive into South Africa’s soulful history, make your way to Robben Island Museum and witness the power of the human spirit right where history happened.

Savor the Seclusion of West Coast National Park's Birdlife

Imagine a sun-drenched morning, the air crisp and laden with the symphony of bird calls. You're at West Coast National Park, and let me tell you, the bird watching here is as enchanting as a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. For you, the bird enthusiast or the peace-seeker, this haven is your elixir of solitude.

What makes this park super special? Oh, just its avian abundance! Whether a birder with binoculars in hand or a traveler seeking tranquility, you're in the right place. With feathered friends like the vibrant flamingos and aloof ostriches, you're in for a show. Picture the serene lagoon, a canvas painted with the hues of countless winged wonders, each one a burst of color against the wild backdrop.

Bring your camera, and don't forget, your patience is your best accessory here. Spend 1-2 hours or the whole day; time flies when you're spotting birds! And hey, if you're thinking this spot is off the beaten path, you're spot on. Fewer crowds mean more birds for you, right? You could very well have a "Snow White moment" with birds landing on you, minus the singing and the cartoon forest animals.

What's the vibe? It's chill, folks. It's perfect for families who want a slice of nature or solo wanderers looking for some quiet. And it's totally great for adventurers — you can hike or bike when you're not bird-gazing.

If that's not enough, check out nearby attractions – there's a symphony of wildflowers during spring, and the historical Geelbek Homestead nearby offers a glimpse into the past with a nice side of local cuisine.

West Coast National Park is more than just a spot for bird watching; it's an experience, a seamless blend of natural beauty and relaxation. So, are you ready to savour the seclusion? Thought so. Just remember, bring those binoculars and let the bird ballet begin!

Step Back in Time at Pretoria's Historic Melrose House

Imagine stepping through a portal into a bygone era where every corner whispers secrets from the past. That's exactly what you'll find at Pretoria's historic Melrose House. Built in the grand Victorian style in the 1880s, this elegant mansion takes you back to a time of opulence and grandiosity that's as majestic as it is informative.

As you bask in the magnificence of Melrose House, you can't help but take notice of the meticulous craftsmanship. From the stained glass windows that parade a kaleidoscope of colors to the ornate fireplaces that once held the whispers of high society's chatter, the attention to detail is simply breathtaking. Walking through the ballroom, you can almost hear the echoes of delicate waltzes and swirling gowns.

Melrose House is not just a relic; it played a substantial role in Pretoria's history. During the Anglo-Boer War, this mansion served as the headquarters for the British forces which adds a layer of historical significance to your visit. Now tell me, could there be any better way to connect with Pretoria’s history than exploring this monumental beacon of times past?

The gardens are a tranquil escape, perfect for those moments when you just want to slow down time and relish the peaceful surroundings. Tourists and locals alike find themselves drawn to the charm and tranquility, making it a crowd-pleaser in every sense of the word.

You'll want to carve out a good part of your day to fully appreciate all that Melrose House has to offer. From architecture buffs to history enthusiasts to casual explorers craving a touch of elegance, there's something here that speaks to every soul. It's a hit with families looking to educate and inspire, as well as with individuals seeking a quiet reflection in a setting straight out of a period drama.

So what are you waiting for? Throw on your most dapper outfit and get ready to roam the historical halls of Melrose House, where every step is a journey through Pretoria's storied past. You're gonna love it, I promise! And hey, while you're reliving history, don't forget to glimpse into the future by checking out what's just around the corner in this ever-evolving city.

Explore the Off-Beaten Path of Sun City's Hidden Wonders

Picture this: You're standing in the midst of an African paradise, surrounded by the lush landscape, unique wildlife, and the thrill of adventure — welcome to the hidden wonders of Sun City Resort! Known for its superb entertainment and recreation options, this destination holds more surprises than you think.

What makes Sun City resort stand out? It's where heart-pounding excitement meets tranquil luxury. Imagine a place where you can zoom down a water slide at the Valley of Waves, challenge your fear of heights on a zip line, or tee off at a world-renowned golf course, all before dining under the stars.

Stroll through the Botanical Gardens, where each step reveals a new fragrant bloom, or seek out the aviary for a riot of color as exotic birds fly overhead. Sun City is perfect for those who crave variety — each day guarantees a new adventure.

You can easily spend a full day here, maybe two, indulging in everything from sun-soaked relaxation to pulse-quickening activities. Whether you're a solo explorer, a couple seeking romance, or a family aiming for the ultimate holiday, Sun City caters to each vibe with undiminished energy.

Crowd-wise, expect an eclectic mix of thrill-seekers and peace-lovers. The resort taps into your desire for top-tier entertainment but also knows when you need a quiet corner for solace. It's a balance that works harmoniously, creating an irresistible pull to this South African jewel.

In short, to truly grasp the extraordinary character of Sun City, you need to dust off your explorer's hat and dive deep into its lesser-known facets. Between the adrenaline and the serenity, you'll discover the soul of this opulent oasis, waiting to envelop you with its warm, African embrace.

Engage with Traditional Cultures in the Limpopo Province

Imagine stepping back in time where the rhythm of drums fills the air and the warmth of a community welcome embraces you. That’s the heart and soul of Limpopo's cultural villages. This isn't just a pit stop; it's a cultural immersion where your senses will be as alive as the vivid stories told by the village elders.

You feel the earth beneath your bare feet as local dancers share stories through movement. In Limpopo, cultural experiences go beyond watching — you participate. Get your hands dirty molding traditional pottery or balance a beautifully woven basket on your head and, trust me, it's harder than it looks. The energy is contagious, and whether you're a solo explorer or wrangling a troop of family adventurers, there's an enriching piece of heritage waiting for you.

Fancy a taste of the local cuisine? Trust your taste buds to the expert village cooks. They’ll introduce you to flavors you didn’t know existed. And while you devour a meal made with love, ask about the history behind the dish. Each bite tells a story.

But how long should you bask in this cultural haven? Take at least a half-day for the immersive activities. If you can swing a full day, even better. There’s enough to explore and absorb, from traditional music to captivating folklore. These villages aren't just a tourist attraction, they're the heartbeat of Limpopo.

As the sun sets, the air cools, and the stars begin to twinkle overhead, you realize you're not just here to 'visit' — you've become a piece of the village tapestry, even if just for a moment. And as you leave, the chorus of farewells from your new friends rings in your ears, calling you to return someday.

Why would you want to leave the comfort of your hotel to tread on the untamed paths of Limpopo's cultural villages? Because it's here that you find the soul of South Africa, untainted and fiercely beautiful. So, are you ready for your authentic Limpopo experience? Dive in headfirst and let the people and their stories envelop you. Nowhere else will you catch such a vivid glimpse into the past and present of this rainbow nation.

Witness the Untouched Beauty of Drakensberg's Northern Ranges

Imagine standing on a rugged cliff, the crisp mountain air filling your lungs, and endless vistas of untouched landscapes sprawling in front of you—that's what awaits you in the Drakensberg's Northern Ranges. With every step you take hiking these majestic mountains, you'll feel like you're discovering an ancient world untouched by time.

In Drakensberg, you're not just a tourist; you're an explorer trekking through the very heart of nature's raw beauty. The Northern Ranges are less crowded than the central parts, giving you a sense of solitude that's hard to find elsewhere. This is where you trade city noise for the symphony of bird calls and rustling leaves.

Here's what you need to know about hiking here:

  • Time Commitment: Set aside at least half a day — the hikes can range from a few hours to a full day, depending on how much of this scenic treasure you wish to uncover.
  • Visitor Profile: Ideal for adventure seekers, families with older kids, and anyone with a fondness for nature—just be prepared for some real hiking.
  • Nearby Attractions: After your hike, you're close to enchanting waterfalls and clear mountain pools that invite for a refreshing dip. Don't miss out on them!

Don’t just take my word for it; bring your camera and capture the enchanting views of the Amphitheatre escarpment—a panoramic marvel that stretches beyond the horizon. It’s a feast for the eyes and the soul!

For a truly unforgettable Drakensberg experience, consider an early morning hike. There’s something magical about watching the sunrise over these ancient peaks. And if you’re all about that adrenaline, some tracks will get your heart racing faster than you can say "Drakensberg!"

So lace-up those hiking boots, pack your best snacks, and get ready to witness the awe-inspiring northern reaches of Drakensberg. Whether you're seeking serenity or thirsting for adventure, it’s all here waiting for you—each trail a story, each view a memory. Ready to take that step into the wild? Find your trail and embrace the adventure.

FAQ

Q: What are some things to do in Cape Town, South Africa?

A: You can climb Table Mountain, visit Robben Island, and explore the V&A Waterfront. It's a blast!

Q: What are the top 20 things to do in South Africa?

A: How about a top 5? Safari at Kruger Park, digging the Cape Winelands, hanging out at Cape Town's beaches, exploring the Garden Route, and taking a jolly to Johannesburg.

Q: What activities are available in Johannesburg, South Africa?

A: You can hit the Apartheid Museum, get wild at Lion Park, and shop till you drop at Sandton City. Go nuts!

Q: Can you list some unique things to do in South Africa?

A: Totally! Cage dive with sharks, surf in Jeffreys Bay, take the luxury Blue Train, and go flower spotting in Namaqualand.

Q: What are some unusual things to do in South Africa?

A: How quirky can you get? Check out the Owl House in Nieu-Bethesda, or paraglide off Signal Hill. Get your adrenaline fix!

Q: What are things to do in South Africa in December?

A: December's hot! Hit the beaches, join the festivities at the Mother City Queer Project, or go wildflower viewing in the Western Cape.

Q: Why is South Africa worth visiting?

A: It's a world in one country! Epic landscapes, rich culture, wild safaris, and vibrant cities. You won't get bored.

Q: What can you do in South Africa besides safari?

A: Oh, plenty! Sip on fine wines, hit up buzzing markets, soak in hot springs, and go on epic coastal road trips. Just the start!

Q: Which month is best to visit South Africa?

A: Crack open your calendar for September to November or March to May for a sweet spot of weather and fewer crowds.

A: Safari reigns supreme, but don't forget the stunning Table Mountain and historical Robben Island. They pack a punch!

Final Words

Phew! You've just meandered through the vibrant streets of Maboneng, hung out with penguins at Boulders Beach, chilled in Soweto's green spots, and plunged into Garden Route's epic trails. Not just that, you've sipped on eco-friendly wines in Franschhoek and hiked Table Mountain’s roads less traveled. You've soaked in history at Robben Island Museum and Melrose House, gone birdwatching at West Coast National Park, twirled around Sun City's hidden gems, immersed in Limpopo's culture, and stood in awe of Drakensberg's majestic views.

It's clear, your love for exploration knows no bounds—especially in South Africa. And the memories? They're just as diverse as the experiences. So go ahead, relive these adventures or better yet, book that ticket. The ultimate list of things to do in South Africa awaits you. Trust me, it's calling your name!

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
More from the blog
Take a peek into the world of usernames
March 8, 2024
I
Aria Ohlsson
9+ Things to Do in Grand Canyon [Lesser Known]
Read now →
March 8, 2024
I
Aria Ohlsson
9+ Things to Do in Koh Chang's Hidden Spots
Read now →
Tap the unicorn to get unlimited Instagram ❤️ and 💬. 100% Free Forever.
Close Button
close

Real Instagram Likes and Comments
Free Forever

Join the Largest Instagram Pod in the World: Exchange Likes & Comments with influencers, bloggers and more.
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
90k+ members
No login required
100% free forever
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
Portrait of a Member of Wolf Global's Instagram Engagement Pod
Over 90,000 people
use Wolf Global
Get unlimited Instagram likes and comments via Wolf Global's Engagement Pods.
Right Arrow Icon
Join now - it's free