5 best cities in South Africa to visit in 2019

5 best cities in South Africa to visit in 2019

Travelling is fun. Apart from the fact that it gives you the opportunity to learn new things, to get to know about places, people, cultural differences, there are many other fantastic things that it avails you. While you plan your next vacation, here are some exciting, modern, and culturally diverse cities in South Africa that you should consider visiting in 2019. They are places where you will definitely have the best time alone or with your family and loved ones.

cities in South Africa

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Whether you are planning a trip to South Africa for leisure, business or even on tourism basis, you can be sure of an exciting experience because of the captivating and bustling moments that the country provides any of her visitors. From the city life to adventurous moments, the breathtaking scenery, wildlife safari, and the unique cultural heritage of the country among other things, South Africa has remained a place that many love to visit. However, even though the provinces have unusual features, some cities are unquestionably outstanding among other cities in the country. Therefore, we look at the top five out of those cities where you can have the best of time and an unending experience after your visit to any of them.

1. Cape Town

Cape Town is a coastal city in South Africa and also where the Parliament of South Africa is found. It remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Although the weather can be notoriously fickle, yet, from virtually any vantage point, there is always something that will capture your attention and interest you so much. Because of the seasons in the city, you will see almost every resident keeping a jacket, a bathing suit or an umbrella in their cars in preparation for any eventuality.

If you are the fun-loving individual, then, Cape Town is the right place for you to visit. You know why? There is a variety of things that you can do at any time. For instance, in case it is so cloudy that you cannot hike on the mountain, you may choose to visit their excellent art galleries, hip bars, or any of the beaches. If you so desire, you can even swim with a penguin or just walk along cobblestone streets. Cape Town is acclaimed as home to innovative artists and designers in Africa.

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Think of world-rated restaurants; you will get them in Cape Town. If you are visiting the city, your visitation would be incomplete if you don't get to the Waterfront or Camps Bay. These are part of the most popular places that visitors choose to base whenever they come around. Then there are beautiful gardens that will keep you amazed around Kirstenbosch, and the Table Mountain which seems to be definitive of Cape Town. The beautiful things about the mountain are that it affects the weather and moods in some ways. Some of the plants that grow on the rocks are special species that you would not find anywhere in the world.

A few other exciting things that make Cape Town stand out include the Cape Wheel. The Cape Wheel is a 40-meter high Ferris wheel that has enclosed cabins which you can ride to help you get dramatic views of the mountains, the city, and the sea. There is also the bright white Slangkoppunt (Snake Head Point) Lighthouse which is acclaimed to be the tallest cast-iron lighthouse in South Africa. Apart from that, you will find the notorious Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela and other heroes of the liberation struggle were held.

2. Johannesburg

It is possible that you have heard about Johannesburg; it is a place you just have to visit in 2019. You know why? Apart from the fact that it is the largest city in South Africa, it is referred to as the economic powerhouse of Africa. If you are a fun-loving person who does not like dull moments at all, then you need to consider this city. In fact, if you like, you call it "the happening city". This is because the city rocks so well. Since the 1880s when the world’s most-productive gold fields were discovered there, it has been characterised as a money-making city.

If you are a lover of history, an add-on tour to Soweto won't be a bad idea. By visiting the place, you are visiting the only street in the world that has recorded two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Nelson Mandela and Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as their place of abode. Interestingly, if you have heard of WAM (Wits Art Museum) in Braamfontein, this is where one of the world’s finest collections of African art, including African beadwork are housed. The Johannesburg Art Gallery is just one of its kind.

Moreover, if you are after something to entertain yourself, Johannesburg has lots of casinos, theatres, cinemas, and a Disney-like theme park, Gold Reef City. While at the Gold Reef City, you can watch street performances and even embark on an underground mine tour. Also, the Johannesburg Zoo is one of the finest small zoos in the world. Talk of golf? There are dozens of excellent golf courses in the city. If you like, you can hire any of the clubs or even use their facilities; it all depends on you.

cities in South Africa

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Source: Depositphotos

Apart from all these fun activities, Johannesburg is home to hundreds of international and local companies. There, they host different kinds of conferences at amazing venues where you will see state-of-the-art facilities. And with many business centres owned by quite a number of major hotels in the city, you are assured of Wi-Fi service almost everywhere.

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3. Pretoria

One of the things that stand Pretoria out among other cities in South Africa is its streets which are lined with jacaranda trees. As a result of this, the city is popularly called "Jacaranda City". The population of the city is between 700,000 and 2.95 million, although this is determined by the extent to which Pretoria is defined to cover. The major languages spoken in the city are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, and English. So, you should not have any problem relating with the people in case you visit there. With the emphasis placed on education in the city, it has built a reputation around higher education and research. No wonder the city remains the home of three universities including the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and it also hosts South African Bureau of Standards.

Pretoria is the principal seat of government as well as a significant industrial center. There are lots of economic activities that take place in the city. Some of these include engineering, food processing, and diamond mining. Apart from those, the city is adorned with so many large parks and notable among them is the terraced gardens of the Union Buildings. You will also find other parks like the sunken gardens of Venning Park, and even the National Zoological Gardens. If you have a distinctive flair for culture, then you will find places like Kruger Museum, and the National Cultural History Museum exciting and worth visiting.

Concerning communication, you have nothing to worry about as the city has complete coverage for GSM. There is virtually no place that you will enter, and you will not find GPRS, 3G, 4G, HSDPA, and LTE. The WiFi service is always on in significant locations. Once you connect with the access point, all you have to do is pay for access using your credit card. Even though the city is located in a summer rainfall area, it has regular hot days that are followed by short and intense afternoon thunderstorms depending on the month that you are visiting. What is important is that if you are visiting during the winter months, ensure that you go with warm clothes.

4. Port Elizabeth

If Port Elizabeth is to be called locally, they mention "PE". Located on the Eastern Cape Sunshine Coast of South Africa, the city is known for lots of amazing things such as excellent beaches, water-sports, the waterfront, and even wildlife attractions. So, you can begin to imagine all the fun that the city reserves for you in case you visit it in the coming year. Apart from those features, Port Elizabeth is again known for the friendly and warm atmosphere that the city expresses especially to visitors. This is why the city has been named ‘The Friendly City".

Interestingly, the city is also called the "Windy City" because of the South-Easter that blows along the Algoa Bay coastline. In spite of this, the beaches and the surf breaks remain healthy. It also promotes a powerful sailing tradition. And if you also hear a name like "Nelson Mandela Bay", you can be sure they are referring to Port Elizabeth city. The name was given after the 1994 democratic elections which were said to put an end to Apartheid.

As part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality which has a population of more than 1.3 million, there are so many attractive things that you will see in Port Elizabeth in case you visit the city. Some of them include historical heritage, cultural experiences, scenic nature trails and lots of water sports activities. If you are travelling with your family, you can be sure that Port Elizabeth is a family-fun holiday destination. There are beautiful old architectures like the Victorian Opera House which stands as one of the most exciting buildings in the city.

If you enjoy night grooving, you will find PE an exciting place to visit. The city comes alive in the night time with fairy lights and music. If you visit places like cocktail lounges and bars, you will be surprised at how they are packed full of people. You will enjoy a rowdy good time until about 4 am. And if you are a watersport enthusiast, the bay offers activities all through the year. Then, New Brighton which is the oldest existing township in Port Elizabeth is also worth visiting. It has a museum and other exciting highlights that you will enjoy.

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5. Durban

Durban is the number three most populous city in South Africa and the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. It has sunny beaches and fascinating Afro-Indian culture, and interestingly, it is fast becoming one of the special places anyone who visits South Africa cannot but show up at. The reason why they have Afro-Indian culture is that there are lots of Indians who reside in Durban compared to other countries apart from India itself. So, it is possible that you see some women wearing sarees, the national dress of India.

With a population of about 3.44 million including neighbouring towns, Durban is considered as the home of the busiest port that you can talk of in South Africa. It is also known as a tourist hotspot, and this is because of the sunny climate, beautiful beaches, unique culture and various attractions that you would find in the city. At Durban's Golden Mile, you would discover surfers and swimmers as well as many beautiful swimming pools along the esplanade.

Apart from that, there is also a 40-acre theme park called the uShaka Marine World. Here, you have five main sections that you can explore including a snorkelling lagoon, a reptile exhibit, and a shark cage diving area. If you are in love with history, you will find some of the city’s most important historical sites such as Mahatma Gandhi’s house as well as the International Printing Press and Museum which are based in his Phoenix Settlement. Then, you can also tour the Hluhluwe Game Reserve which was where Zulu Kings hunted at a time and established the first conservation laws.

With a relatively stable mixed economy that South Africa enjoys, it has been able to draw on its fertile agricultural lands, abundant mineral resources, tourist attractions, together with their highly evolved intellectual capital. No wonder these fantastic cities in South Africa have continued to be centres of attraction to tourists and international business people across the world.

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