South Africa

South Africa Travel Guide

From its 3,500-foot summit, this flat-topped mountain that looms above Cape Town offers truly mind-blowing views: the entire city peninsula, including the Atlantic coast, False Bay, and the easterly valleys of Winelands, all stretch out shimmering below as far as the eye can see.

For handcrafted African-motif housewares and curios with contemporary style, head to the airport outpost of this upmarket South African chain.

The majestic Swartberg Pass, a 17-mile-long heart-in-mouth miracle of cliff-edge engineering, was built by Thomas Bain in the 1880’s.

Whatiftheworld’s mandate is to cultivate a community among Cape Town’s young furniture-, product-, and fashion designers and aspiring collectors. It takes the form of shows held in Whatiftheworld’s gallery/work space in Woodstock.

The century-old Kitchener's Carvery Bar, in Braamfontein, once hosted the titular commander of Britain’s Boer War force; with a dance floor, disco ball and a healthy supply of the local Castle Lager, it’s now a favorite with the design crowd—and the best place for a toast in this vibrant city.

Surf culture is deeply entrenched in South Africa; boys and girls here start catching gnarly waves as early as kindergarten. The warm, relatively calm waters of False Bay are where most Capetonians develop their surfing legs—and where you can get yours.

The water may be colder on the Atlantic side of the Cape peninsula, but the beaches are definitely hotter. An upmarket and well-toned crowd gathers here, for sun and sand during the day and sundowners by night at beachfront bars.

This gallery and shop showcases artworks and indigenous crafts from all over the African continent. Carved wooden masks, figurines, and abstract sculptures; elegant beadwork and painted clothes; and handwoven and printed textiles are just some of the treasures worth browsing here.

What to Expect: The four small white-sand beaches that face the Atlantic Ocean on the west side of town are often called the South Beach of South Africa.