South Africa: 3 Capital Reasons to Visit

You’re at a quiz with your friends, sitting around the table, racking your brains to find the answers to the questions. Everyone is nervous, a little bit on edge, hoping to take home the grand prize.

The next question arrives: “What’s the capital of South Africa?”

“Cape Town,” you say, confident.

“No, it’s Pretoria,” one of your friends says, looking confused by your certainty.

“I’m pretty sure it’s Bloemfontein,” another friend chips in. You stare at one another, confused; you’re all convinced that you’re right, so what’s going on?

The answer is simple: South Africa has three capitals, and each one is worthy of consideration when you’re planning your next travel trip. Here’s why.

Cape Town

Cape Town is capital and primary city of the Western Province of South Africa– and also one of the most stunning areas in the entire country. Cape Town is a vibrant, fascinating city that is the perfect choice for fans of an urban environment while still being surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

When considering things to do in Cape Town, it is impossible not to mention Table Mountain. The stunning mountain overlooks the city, providing an incredible backdrop you won’t get tired of admiring. You can even take a cable car up to the summit if you wish, giving the chance to see this incredible city from on high.


Pretoria is the seat of government in South Africa, so it is perhaps the most “traditional” of the three capitals. As well as the impressive cityscape, Pretoria also has a range of parks to explore, as well as lush hill scenery that’s tough to resist.

One of the highlights of Pretoria is the Market-At-The-Sheds, which is a pop-up flea market that moves around the city. Not only will you be able to pick up a few souvenirs, but you’ll also be able to indulge in the famous food from the wide variety of cuisines available.

Finally, it’s worth knowing that Pretoria is known as “Tshwane” (pronounced “schware-nee”)  in local dialect. You’ll see references to this name throughout the city, but don’t worry, you’re still in the same place.


Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa, and it’s located in the Free State province. The city is famed for its high altitude and arid climate, so be careful about when you visit; the winter months June and July are the best months if you’re not a fan of heat.

As for what to do, arguably the best area of the city is Loch Logan Waterfront. The area is home not only to the biggest mall in the city, as well as the chance to walk and explore the beautiful shoreline– and if you visit during the summer months, you might struggle to resist taking a dip into the rivers that border the city to cool yourself down!

In conclusion

Whether you visit just one of the capitals of South Africa or manage to tour them all, you’ll be guaranteed a truly incredible time in one of the most exciting and diverse countries in the world.

Image Credits: Cape Town / Pretoria / Bloemfontein

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