South Africa is an extremely beautiful nation that sits at the bottom of the continent’s map. It is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful landmarks. Apart from the popular safaris that South Africa is known for, there are other stunning landmarks in South Africa that has both historic and cultural significance.
If you’re visiting South Africa, especially for the first time, make a point of stopping at some or all of these amazing South African landmarks. They can offer experiences and knowledge that you don’t want to miss.
Most Famous Landmark Of South Africa
This is undoubtedly the most well-known South African landmark, even though many people outside the country are still unaware of this fact. It is a tourists’ and hikers’ paradise, with several routes, breathtaking vistas, and a wealth of intriguing information. It is also part of a national park, which means the government has designated it as a reserve, and it is located in the heart of South Africa’s ever-vibrant City of Cape Town peninsula.
Table Mountain, South Africa’s most iconic sight, may appear to be nothing more than a pile of rocks in the harbor, but it is far more than that. It’s a protected national park with several outstanding characteristics that make it a terrific destination for nature lovers, deserving of more than just a brief cable car trip to see the view from the peak.
Capetown, South Africa Landmarks
Cape Dutch Homesteads of the Winelands
The Cape Winelands are a region in the south of South Africa. The Winelands boast some of the most majestic scenery in South Africa. It is situated to the north-east of Cape Town and offers a beautiful landscape of wine hills and mountains.
The Winelands are home to some of South Africa’s most magnificent landscapes. This beautiful South African landmark is located to the northeast of the city and has a breathtakingly stunning environment with mountains and wine slopes.
If you decide to visit here, it’s very scenic and convenient to stay in a Cape Dutch homestead in Tulbagh—they come highly recommended by previous visitors.
Castle of Good Hope
The oldest colonial structure in South Africa is the Castle of Good Hope in Capetown, South Africa. It is a pentagonal castle erected in the seventeenth century by Dutch colonial masters. The well-known South African landmark is significant in Cape Town’s history since it has been the seat of military and government activities for more than 200 years.
The Castle, which was built between 1666 and 1679 and is the oldest surviving edifice in South Africa, has been the center of civic, political, and military activity in the Cape since around 1679.
A guided tour of the Castle offers you an excellent perspective of the interesting museums, vast landmass, and unique insight into Cape Town’s military and cultural history.
Muizenberg’s Beach Huts
The edge of Muizenberg Beach is home to Cape Town’s famous row of bright beach huts. They appear in almost all advertisements for Cape Town, evoking the Victorian “bathing machines” that rolled ladies to the water’s edge.
If you are a surfer or an intending surfer, this might just be the best location for you. The regular waves and gradually sloping sand bottom of the beach at Surfer’s Corner make Muizenberg one of the greatest surf destinations in South Africa for beginners.
If you don’t know how to surf yet, there are several establishments offering lessons here, which has both left-and right-hand waves. If you are planning to spend a few days here, you can find lodging options in various locations around Muizenberg and catch some waves.
If you want to find out more about the years and jail sentences that former president Nelson Mandela served, Robben Island is the ideal tourist destination. Out of a total 27-year sentence, 18 of Nelson Mandela’s years were spent behind bars on Robben Island. Therefore it is no surprise that this is one of the most popular landmarks in South Africa.
Three tours are offered daily in the historic jail building, some of which are done by former political prisoners, so you can be sure you’re being led by knowledgeable and competent tour guides.
The fact that the above site is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in South Africa is yet another important reason why you shouldn’t skip it. Robben Island has both leper colonies and an animal quarantine facility.
A tour of the prisons, which begins with a boat cruise from the V & A Waterfront, is one of the top things to do in South Africa.
Historical Landmarks in South Africa
Constitution Hill has become one of the destinations you must visit if you would like to learn more about South Africa’s sojourn along the democratic path. A living museum, Constitution Hill chronicles the whole history of South Africa’s transition to democracy.
It was formerly a jail and a military fortress and now houses the nation’s Constitutional Court, which upholds the liberties of all residents. This is certainly a landmark of South Africa’s stormy history.
Don’t miss this opportunity to tour the South African Constitutional Court’s headquarters during your trip. Four different places on Constitution Hill provide equally compelling and fascinating shows. Reserve one of several accommodations that are near this South African landmark and start your holiday there if you plan to stay a few more days to explore Johannesburg.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site
The Nelson Mandela Capture Site is a cultural and historical exposition located at the location where Nelson Mandela was arrested in August 1952 for his anti-apartheid activities.
Nelson Mandela made significant contributions to bringing South Africans and the rest of the world’s attention to the disparities and unjust treatment that existed within the confines of the magnificent country of South Africa.
A visit to this significant South African landmark reveals to you the underlying realities of the arrest and incarceration of the African hero, Nelson Mandela. You can also take a guided tour to learn more about his confinement and a description of what transpired during his lifetime, his arrest, his time in prison, and his death.
The Afrikaans Language Monument
The architect Jan van Wijk took a cue from the granite rock in the area when he crafted the Afrikaans Language Monument. This meaningful structure is made up of many towering pillars in the obelisk style. You may learn more about the history of the language by visiting the Afrikaanse Taal.
This landmark in South Africa was established on October 10, 1975, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Afrikaans as a separate official language from Dutch in South Africa. Additionally, it honors and symbolizes the diversity, development, and origin of Afrikaans.
Due to the War of Isandlwana on January 22, 1879, this is one of the most well-known landmarks of South Africa. Over 20,000 Zulu warriors, led by King Cetshwayo, skillfully attacked and conquered a British camp. This unexpected turning point in Zulu history was a significant event.
The locations where British troops were killed at the Isandlwana Battlefield are now marked by monuments and markers. At the tourist center, there is a small museum dedicated to the Isandlwana Battlefield.
Also, due to their proximity and road connection, Isandlwana Battlefield and Rorke’s Drift are frequently visited together, so it feels like killing two birds with one stone. The Isandlwana battleground is located in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The Voortrekker Monument, in a Pretoria natural reserve, was previously named Traveler’s Choice winner by TripAdvisor. The granite structure, which was dedicated in 1949, honors both Afrikaner and South African pioneering heritage and is home to the oldest ancient marble sculpture on the whole globe.
This enormous monolith pays homage to the Afrikaner people’s pioneering past. It is one of the top ten historical landmarks in South Africa. The Voortrekker Monument’s marble statues are stunning, and the views over Pretoria make the walk to the top worthwhile.
The Union Buildings in Pretoria is a natural stone structure in the English monumental style built by renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker. It houses the president’s office and serves as the official seat of the South African government.
The building is more than 275 meters long and is constructed of light sandstone. The complex features lovely lawns and gardens all around it, as well as expansive views of the city.
The union buildings’ gently arched east and west wings curve to surround the monument of Nelson Mandela, giving them the appearance of a modern-day fortress. You should visit this fantastic location and spend some time there with your loved ones. There are lodging options for your stay in this lovely administrative capital city.
The Huguenot Memorial Monument
In South Africa, throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the Huguenots had a significant influence on traditional Afrikaans culture. This memorial, which was unveiled in 1948, honors both this impact and the history of the Afrikaner people.
By laying the groundwork for the valley’s cultural, environmental, economic, and viticultural attractions, a visit to this museum precinct will provide you with the appropriate foundation for your vacation to the Franschhoek Valley.
After taking in the sights the extended building has to offer, you can also cross Lambrechts Street to the Saasveld building to visit the Huguenot South African landmark. This is the very first perfume museum in South Africa. There is also a wildflower garden nearby.
Moses Mabhida Stadium
The Moses Mabhida Stadium, another South African landmark in the coastal city of Durban, can be admired not just from the ground level but also from the top. There is a cable car trip that takes you to the pinnacle of its arch; you can climb the 500 steps to the platform. It is also called People’s Park. The arch’s highest point at 106 meters, offers the most spectacular view of the stadium and its surroundings.
In addition, there are many things to do and see in Durban. You should consider staying for a few days or over the weekend.
Natural Landmarks In South Africa
The Big Hole
The Big Hole is located in Kimberly, a town in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The natural landmark was founded in 1871 (151 years ago), is highly historic and attracts a large number of tourists to South Africa every year.
Kimberley, the site of the Big Hole, is also one of South Africa’s most astonishing and undeniable attractions. This is in no small credit to the Kimberley precious stone and diamond mine, which stretches over 17 hectares, 463 meters wide, and has a depth of 240 meters.
You can take guided tours to learn more about this South African landmark. They often provide you with a twenty-minute long video, which explains the environment to you before proceeding to expand on various points while exploring the area.
You just have to visit this water-filled, turquoise-colored hole if you find yourself in South Africa.
The Cradle of Humankind
The Sterkfontein Caves are located in the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient landmark in South Africa may very well represent the origins of humanity as we know it.
The Cradle of Humankind is located 50 kilometers outside of Johannesburg. Its tourist center, Maropeng, features the most fascinating primate discovery ever made. Also, the wonderful interactive displays illustrating the evolution of life are shaped like burial mounds.
The 47, 000-acre reserve’s network of quartzitic caverns is where 40% of the fossil remains of our ancestors have been discovered in the previous fifty years.
Given how long the trip or visit will take, it is good to spend some more time while you’re there because the area is gorgeous. There are several nice Magaliesberg hotel options for you to choose your accommodation from.
The Cederberg Mountains
The stunning, untamed Cederberg mountain range is located around 200 kilometers north of Cape Town. The Cederberg Wilderness Area is a breathtakingly mountainous area that is under the management of Cape Nature Conservation.
The mountains are roughly two hours from Cape Town and relatively remote. The Cederberg Mountains could make you feel as though you’ve sealed yourself off from the rest of the world and is a good place to immerse yourself in nature.
Among many other delightful features, it is a wonderful location for you to stargaze and appreciate the breathtaking surroundings of this South African landmark. Pick one of the many hiking trails to go to observation points and search for pre-colonial rock art.
One of the world’s most stunning coastal cliffs, the Amphitheatre in the Northern Drakensberg, is a natural wonder. In reality, this amazing mountain wall has grown over time and is now beginning to compete with Table Mountain in terms of tourism income. It has also grown to be a well-known South African landmark.
The attraction draws outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and photographers alike. It creates a natural border between South Africa and the Lesotho mountain kingdom. You can ascend to the peak of the amphitheater in even less than two hours and take in the sights as far as your eye can reach to thoroughly explore this South African landmark.
You may also reserve Drakensberg lodging for you and your friends based on how long you want to be there. Many nature lovers choose to hang out in the area for a few days or even a few weeks, seeing how captivating it is.
This famous site is in the Pinnacle Rock State Park, which spans around 400 acres. With six hiking routes, a picnic area, and, of course, the 3,100-foot Pinnacle Rock, it is a must-see. In Mercer County, close to Bramwell, the park is situated off of Route 52.
You will find the Pinnacle Rock located along the Panoramic Trail Route, a famous tourist pathway in Mpumalanga. Overlooking Driekop Gorge’s lush native vegetation is this huge quartzite rock in a peculiar physical formation.
If you take your time to discover it, the waterfall in the middle of this stunning location will enthrall you. Since Graskop is close to so many of the region’s attractions, it will be your best lodging option if you decide to travel here.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes
What makes this South African landmark interesting is that it is formed by a natural phenomenon.
These are extremely rare cylindrical rock sculptures carved out by the whirling eddies of the Treur and Blyde Rivers. The merged turmoil occurs within the white, yellow, and dark brown streaks of the rock. You will locate them easily if you take the Panoramic Route.
This pothole is located approximately 35 kilometers north of Graskop and requires $2 per person and $1 per vehicle for entry. The site has a fascinating and educational visitor center that explains the natural history of the area and introduces you and other tourists to the San, the area’s original inhabitants. There are also exhibitions of wildlife and plants at the center for you to examine.
On the south bank of the Limpopo River, where South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe converge, is where Mapungubwe National Park is located. Another evenly topped structure, the hill was once home to a royal dynasty and grew to be the biggest kingdom on the continent. That was until it got abandoned in the fourteenth century, but this is the location of an ancient civilization (a state secret until 1993).
At the meeting of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, there is an open, vast savannah environment. Visiting this famous landmark of South Africa feels almost like taking a trip back in time.
This peculiar rock hole on the Wild Coast, just south of Coffee Bay, has to be included while discussing the most famous landmarks in South Africa. In Xhosa tradition followed by the inhabitants, the Hole-in-the-Wall is the connection to their forefathers. They claim that a rock formerly prevented the Mpako River from reaching the sea, forming a landlocked lagoon there instead.
The emergence is made up of a tidal island with a natural arch that resembles a hole made by the sea’s waves in a wall of sandstone and shale. It is situated in the Wild Coast Region of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, about 8 km due south of Coffee Bay. You should see it for yourself; it is very fantastic. You can also make a weekend out of your trip by staying at Coffee Bay.
The Southernmost Tip of Africa
In contrast to common opinion, L’Agulhas, a bit to the east of Cape Town, is where you’ll discover Africa’s southernmost point. Most tourists to the Western Cape prioritize getting their pictures taken at Cape Agulhas, which is one of the most iconic South African landmarks. This is a great spot to get some photos for memories and learn more about the geographical elements of South Africa.
South Africa Landmarks: National Parks
Kruger National Park
The most thrilling African safari location in South Africa is Kruger Park. The famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, which is entrenched in folklore and history, invites you to explore its enormous landscapes and magnificent African animals.
The most popular activity in the Kruger National Park is a safari trip. There are many safari tour packages, which include both luxurious private safaris and reasonably priced group safaris. Check and see what suits your itinerary and budget the best.
On this beautiful Kruger National Park safari in South Africa, you will see rare species of plants and animals in addition to Africa’s Big Five: the elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, and buffalo. Make plans to visit and add this park to your “must-see” list.
Pilanesberg National Park
There are few places in South Africa where you can stand in the middle of one of the biggest volcanic systems of its kind while viewing the Big Five wildlife. This park is one of the rare few. The 550 sq km park, a sanctuary for lions, buffaloes, and daytrippers, is located in the buffer zone between the Lowveld and the Kalahari.
To view the animals and avoid the crowds, you should arrive early (dawn is preferable). However, don’t let this deter you; the reserve is well worth the effort if you want to see large game wildlife as well as hippo, hyena, giraffe, and zebra.
Tsitsikamma National Park
A multifaceted destination, Tsitsikamma National Park has stunning coastline landscapes, lakes, rich woodland, and fragile vegetation. This park is known to be a haven for hiking and water activities. Ancient waters weave their way to the ocean, and amazing marine life swims along the beach.
The Otter Trail, also one of the finest in the world, is the most well-known of the several hiking routes and nature walks in this area. The Dolphin Trail in the park is a fully complete “assisted hiking” path that includes navigation in case you do not want to sweat it.
Some other activities at this spectacular South African landmark that might also interest you include hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching, and water sports.
Discovering Famous Landmarks In South Africa
South Africa is a nation where tradition and modernity coexist. Above are just a few of the famous South African landmarks that can help you learn more about the rich history and culture of the nation. There are plenty of places to visit and things to do in South Africa, that will leave you spoilt for choice. Nonetheless, it is always eye-opening to make the most of your trip by discovering and exploring more local and hidden landmarks in South Africa.