20 best things to do on holiday in SA

Say what you will about South Africa, but it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world. And so diverse! There’s almost no end to the smorgasbord of holiday delights on offer. From the stunning Cape with its misty mountains, bustling city and charming coastal towns, to sun-baked beaches caressed by the warm Indian Ocean and stretching for miles up the KZN coastline, the marvellous Midlands with its laid-back countryside vibe, and the magnificent Drakensberg! It’s why millions of foreign tourists flock to South Africa every year.

It’s also why, if you haven’t done so already, you need to make a habit of getting out and exploring this land … your heritage. There are marvellous holiday memories to be made and a plethora of adventures just waiting to be had.

It’s time to emerge, escape and exhale … at our amazing First Group Resorts across the country.

Following are 20 of the best things to do no matter where you’re holidaying in SA.

The Drakensberg

Here, crisp, sunny days, breath-taking surroundings, cosy chalets, and rugged mountain trails are the order of the day. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or an unforgettable family holiday, it’s all about reconnecting with nature and one another.

Horse Riding
One of the highlights of any Berg holiday, and indeed one of the kiddies’ preferred holiday attractions, is the thrill of horse riding! Bonding with one of the most majestic creatures on earth as you enjoy a relaxed ride out towards the mountains or along beautiful nature trails is a lovely experience.

Giant’s Castle Game Reserve
In the Central Drakensberg region of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site, Giant’s Castle Game Reserve provides a beautiful variety of trails with fantastic views, flora and fauna, and is one of the biggest and best-preserved San rock art sites in SA. It’s perfect for casual walkers, ramblers, and hikers as well as enthusiastic mountain climbers.

Pig and Pony Coffee Shop
A charming little Berg café, offering delicious light meals, desserts, coffees and drinks … but also lazy horse rides and the chance to interact with various adorable farm animals. Great for the kids!

Sani Pass
This world-famous gravel road located between Underberg and Mokhotlong, Lesotho, offers 4×4 adventurers all the excitement, drama, and stunning scenery you’d expect from a mountain pass. Not for the faint-hearted!

See our most popular Southern Drakensberg resort:
Bushman’s Nek

The Marvellous Midlands

Deep in the heart of KZN, the Midlands offers an opportunity to escape the rat race and lose yourself in the gorgeous, rustic countryside, with its fabulous cuisine and cosy, bespoke restaurants, fascinating local events, unique arts and crafts, and exciting outdoor adventure sports.

Karkloof Canopy Tours
Experience the magnificent Karkloof Forest Reserve from above as you gently glide from platform to platform high up in the trees, surrounded by birds, mammals and untouched beauty. A fun adventure for all ages!

Nottingham Road Brewery
Nestling in the shady grounds of the elegant Rawdons Hotel in the heart of the Midlands Meander, you’ll find a thriving independent brewery that has long been delighting locals and visitors with a range of naturally brewed ales and lagers.

Piggly Wiggly Farm Stall
This distinctive outdoor shopping centre with gorgeous views of the mellow Midlands landscape offers a variety of lifestyle destination shops, more than five eating establishments, and plenty of activities for young and old!

Nelson Mandela Capture Site
Located in Howick, this historically significant sculpture (and visitor centre) commemorates the occasion on 5 August 1962, when Nelson Mandela, disguised as a chauffeur, was travelling on the R103 between Durban and Johannesburg and was finally caught by the Apartheid police after 17 months of eluding them. The 50 steel columns create an incredible image of Madiba when viewed from a certain angle.

Our most popular Midlands resorts:
Whispering Waters
Midlands Saddle & Trout

The Beautiful Cape

The Western Cape is arguably the most picturesque province in SA and one of the most popular holiday destinations globally. From Cape Town and the Peninsula to the Cape Winelands, Overberg, the famous Garden Route and the gorgeous West Coast, tourists are spoiled for choice – there is just so much to see and do!

V&A Waterfront
The iconic V&A Waterfront houses a wide range of restaurants, stores, bars, markets, and other attractions to be enjoyed by all.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Set against the eastern slope of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens is world-renowned for its beauty, boasting over 7,000 species of plant life indigenous to Southern Africa. The gardens are perfect for casual strolls along shadowy trails, picnics, hiking, or just relaxing with a chilled glass of Chardonnay. 

Knysna Elephant Park
This remarkable facility was established in 1994 to house and care for orphaned African elephants. It boasts the country’s largest domesticated matriarchal elephant herd and allows guests the incredible opportunity to get up close and personal with these gentle, sentient giants.

Garden Route
This remarkable 300-kilometre stretch of coastline between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay is dotted with quaint seaside towns, lakes, soaring mountains, forests, hiking trails, gorgeous beaches, and bays is a trendy holiday destination.

Our most popular Cape resorts:
Mount Sierra
Cape Gordonia
Riviera Suites
Knysna River Club
Port Owen Marina

KZN Coast

A holiday on the KZN coast is all about sunshine, braais, lazy beach days, poolside cocktails, swimming and making the most of the almost year-round warm weather. With hundreds of miles of golden beaches and unspoiled coastline from Margate in the South all the way to St Lucia in the North, holidaymakers from all walks of life get to enjoy some of the best fishing, diving, surfing, coastal towns and beaches in the world … and a whole lot more!

North Coast

Flag Animal Farm
Rated’ Best Animal Farm in KZN’, this is an absolute must-see for anyone who loves animals and especially if they have kiddies! Experience a real farm setting with over 1,000 animals, birds and reptiles to see, love and cuddle! Enjoy fun educational shows, tractor rides, playgrounds, an obstacle course, Splash Waterpark … and a place to relax and enjoy some beverages and light meals. Awesome family fun!

The Dolphin Coast has some of the most stunning golf courses in the country, offering beautifully manicured fairways with exceptional water and wetland features, lush coastal forests and even sweeping views of the majestic Indian Ocean. Popular favourites include Umhlali Country Club, Simbithi Country Club, Zimbali Country Club and Prince’s Grant

Willard Beach
With its gorgeous setting, safe conditions and excellent amenities, this pristine Blue Flag beach is one of Ballito’s most popular. Ideal for surfers and bathers alike, it’s the best place to visit on a warm day with nearby shops and restaurants. There are even tidal pools for the little ones to explore.

Croc and Hippo Boat Tours
Hop aboard a comfortable 15-seater vessel and cruise along the “Home of the Hippo” – the mangrove-rich shoreline of St Lucia Estuary. Experience the thrill and wonder of these massive beasts and other wildlife up close on a guided tour with experienced skippers.

Our most popular KZN North Coast resorts:
La Montagne
Lake View Cabanas
Chaka’s Rock Chalets

Durban & KZN South Coast

 uShaka Marine World
uShaka Marine World is an aquarium and a wild waterpark full of fun for the whole family! If you want something a bit more formal, head to the exclusive Shipwreck Restaurant, where you can be served your meal right next to the shark tanks.

Pure Venom Reptile Park
Explore the fascinating world of reptiles at the biggest reptile farm in Africa! This family-run business also offers a petting zoo with farm animals and exotic birds. A wonderful experience for the whole family!

Margate Main Beach
Margate Main Beach is one of the most popular bathing beaches on the KZN South Coast. Restaurants, swimming pools and a recreational area make it ideal for families. Also, lifeguards ensure that you can enjoy the warm water in safety.

KZN has one of the best recreational fishing coastlines globally and provides unparalleled opportunities for keen anglers. From shore fishing to deep-sea fishing, the options are endless.

Our most popular Durban & KZN South Coast resorts:
The Palace All-Suite
Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa
Margate Sands
La Côte d’Azur
Club Hacienda
Costa Smeralda

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