28 Reasons Why South Africa Should Be on Your Bucket List

Written By: The Planet D

One of our favourite things about travel to South Africa was the variety. Variety of activities, variety of wildlife, variety of adventures, variety of scenery.

It was a photographer’s dream to be able to take photos of such diverse scenery and experiences.

28 Reasons Why South Africa Should Be on Your Bucket List

south africa photos penguins
The penguins of Simon’s Town, South Africa

South Africa has a soft spot in our hearts as it was in Cape Town that we finished the Tour d’Afrique 2008 and solidified our desire to make travel a full time career of travel blogging.

We didn’t quite know how we were going to make that happen, but after cycling the continent from Cairo to Cape Town over the course of four months, we knew that we could never go back to our old lives. Thus ThePlanetD was born.

south africa photos elephant
The eyes of a gentle giant

We have since been back and fell in love with the country even more.

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Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa

We’ve driven the magnificent Garden Route, went on safari, reached Cape Point and admired sunsets over its incomparable coastline.

south africa photos lion
The King of the Savannah at Kariega Game Reserve in South Africa

South Africa is one of those places that keeps drawing you back.

sunset beach
Looking down the coast at sunset on the Garden Route

Once you leave, you want to turn that plane around and start all over again. It’s just that good.

rhino yawning
A big yawn form a hippo in St. Lucia, South Africa
giraffe field
Taking in the view on the plains of South Africa

There’s still so much more to explore in the country and we cycled the entire West Coast and drove most of the East. But we still can’t wait to go back to travel the rest.

sunset lake
Morning light in South Africa

The pictures say it all, we can’t get enough of South Africa.

elephant trunk
Up close and personal with an elephant in the reserve
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The Cango Caves in South Africa
south africa photos mother
An Impala family portrait
south africa photos mountains
The ever changing landscape of South Africa
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Sand dunes just south of Cape Town, South Africa
rhinos mating
A rare sight…rhinos mating on the plains of South Africa.
south africa photos beach
The beaches of St. Lucia, South Africa
south africa photos giraffes
Two Giraffes out for a stroll
south africa photos bird
Birds are everywhere in the Isimangaliso wetlands.

See: A Microlight Adventure in the Sky 

ocean view
Looking out over Cape Point, South Africa
south africa photos boar
A lone Wildebeest takes stock
south africa photos roar
A big yawn in the morning light

Check out: Diving with Great White Sharks

south africa photos ocean
A magical view from Durban, South Africa
south africa photos hippo
Taking a rest in St. Lucia, South Africa
south africa photos closeup
A female lion walks the plains.
south africa photos rocks
The rocky beach at the southern tip of the continent

 See Kayaking with Crocodiles

south africa photos sunset
Sunrise in South Africa
giraffe south africa
Dinner time on the plains
Here’s looking at you, kid.

What’s your favourite photo from our South Africa Collection?

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
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Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

37 thoughts on “28 Reasons Why South Africa Should Be on Your Bucket List”

  1. South Africa is my favorite place on earth. I did a solo trip there just before the pandemic hit. I’d love to get back there again some day. It really is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

  2. Still my favorite country after 4 years of full time travel. We spent 3 months there in 2016 and I can’t wait to get back.

    Great photos.

    Frank (bbqboy)

  3. Africa is a best place for having enjoyment. I love this destination due to most impressive island and beaches. I also spent a really good time there but I will love to make a tour there for again and again. I hope you will enjoy there a lot.

  4. I am so in love with South Africa. I visited Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kapama Private Game Reserve and Zimbabwe a month ago. It was beautiful, I had fun.
    Thank you South Africa and Zimbabwe for an amazing experience! A journey of a lifetime indeed.

  5. Great photographs and I am so excited to go to SA in a couple of months. So beautiful! Can’t wait to visit. The animals were definitely a highlight, the scenery stunning, and the people warm and friendly.

  6. Stunning photography. I’m fortunate to call South Africa home. I’m glad that you were able to experience its beauty.
    I especially love the Garden Route sunset pic – one of my (many) favourite spots for a weekend getaway.

    • thank you! And lucky you being able to live so close to the Garden route that is is a weekend getaway. South Africa is beautiful.

  7. South Africa is the hoe of everything! If you are looking for a complete travel adventure this is the place to be. You will truly be amazed of how great the wildlife there.

  8. Wow. I already love South Africa, but these photos really make me want to get back there. What great photography! One of my favorite things in South Africa is its wine country. The wineries are incredibly beautiful and the tasting experience is really great.

  9. Love ALL of your photos, it will be too hard to pick only one. And this post made us more excited for our upcoming trip (from Cape Town to Vic Falls), if that’s even possbile 😉

  10. The photographs are lovely. However, I identify two as mislabeled.

    1. The animals identified as an Impala family are in fact a bontebok and calf.

    2. The photo identified as “Looking out over Cape Point”, while taken from Cape Point, is of Cape of Good Hope.

    • Thanks Richard, you are right, we should have said Looking out from Cape Point and I didn’t realize that was a bontebok. I’ll make the change for sure, thanks!

  11. That humping rhino photo has to be the best! I thought the giraffes were humping too but I guess I just have sex on the brain.
    I’ve lived in Zambia and Zimbabwe but have not visited South Africa. One day soon.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Haha, it is a rare sight to see for sure. We’ve visited Zambia, but didn’t make it to Zimbabwe, we were temped to cross for an hour or so at Victoria FAlls, but we decided to wait until we can really visit one day soon.

  12. Beautiful, beautiful wildlife shots! The closeup of the elephant’s eye is my favorite. You’ve definitely convinced me to put South Africa on my bucket list 🙂

    • Mary, you’d love it. I love that one too. I’m so glad to hear that someone else does! We are never sure what other people’s tastes are like, we can only go with what we like 🙂

  13. Perfect overview of what South Africa has to offer. I guess it was difficult to choose “only” 28 reasons 🙂
    South Africa is a country with so much to discover, I can only encourage people to go and discover it and see the beauty of it. Your selection says it all I would say…Thanks!!

  14. Very nice images you have there. Makes me want to include South Africa in my wish list for traveling.

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Having just returned from a month in Southern Africa, including South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, I too want to encourage others to visit ASAP. The animals were definitely a highlight, the scenery stunning, and the people warm and friendly. You have certainly captured the magic beautifully with your fantastic photos. Impossible to pick a favorite!

    • Thank you Joanne and wow, what a trip you must have had. We haven’t been to Swaziland or Zimbabwe, but we can’t wait to go back and explore more. We’ll definitely make it there one day.

  16. WOW! You have opened my eyes regarding South Africa. I am beginning to see why you placed it in your blog, “The 8 Most Romantic Cities on Earth”. The photos tell a story by itself. I didn’t even know penguins lived there.

    • Thanks for the heads up. We saw amazing street musicians and performers at the V&A waterfront. I bet it has a great music scene all around the country.

  17. Great photographs and I am so excited to go to SA in a couple of months. My favorite photographs from your collection are of the lion and the penguins 😀

    • I’m excited for you. Have a great time and make sure to go to Simon’s Town just outside of Cape Town to see the penguins!