Categories > Guides and Tips

South African Love Story 20 Must-Try Romantic Experiences

South African Love Story: 20 Must-Try Romantic Experiences

South Africa beckons couples with a tapestry of unforgettable moments. Whether you’re seeking the intimacy of a private safari or the sunset serenity of coastal escapes, this country has a lot to offer.

Dive into the chill side of romance with our list of romantic things to do in South Africa!

Embark on a hot air balloon flight in Drakensberg

Media from balloon_pilot_honi


Address: Glen Gray Farm, Winterton, Drakensberg, KZN, 3340

Phone: +27 82 802 7527

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily except for Christmas Day & Good Friday

Hot air balloon flight in Drakensberg is a must-try if you’re up for some romantic vibes in South Africa. You and your partner will enjoy a breathtaking view of the Amphitheatre, Giants Castle, Champagne Castle, Cathkin Peak, and more.

Into safaris? There’s a safari flight option, taking off from a private game farm where you’ll spot giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests. Or, if you’re more laid-back, the standard flight lets you glide over farmlands, dams, and plantations.

Pro Tip:
The best time to fly is in the early morning, when the air is calm and clear. Dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. 

Dive into water adventure at uShaka Marine World


Address: 1 King Shaka Ave, Point, Durban

Phone: 031 328 8000

Operating Hours:

  • Open Daily – 9 AM to 5 PM

A visit to uShaka Marine World is just hitting the jackpot for a romantic day out in South Africa. Because, where else can you get the whole package of sea creatures, slides, and chilling on the beach, right?

You gotta hang out at Sea World with 10,000 marine buddies, from sharks to dolphins, penguins, and seals. And if you’re up for some thrills, Dangerous Creatures offers a reptile fashion show with snakes and spiders. 

Pro Tip:
When it’s dinner time, hit up the Village Walk. It’s this cool shopping and entertainment spot with restaurants and cafes that serve up everything. 

Enjoy a cinematic night at Galileo Open Air Cinema


Phone: +27 71 471 8728

Operating Hours:

  • Doors open at 6 PM 

Galileo Open Air Cinema is your go-to for a dreamy date night in South Africa where you can enjoy classic films, starry skies, and the coolest venues in Cape Town and the Winelands.

You’ve got options – Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Central Park in Century City, or scenic wine estates in Paarl, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Somerset West. Each spot brings a different vibe and view, so you can nail that perfect date setting.

Pro Tip:
Show up hungry and grab some bites from our mini-market before the movie. They’ve got pizzas, burgers, wraps, popcorn, and more. 

Experience rowboat romance at Zoo Lake

Media from soulgazingphotography

Address: Jan Smuts Avenue Corner, Westwold Way, Johannesburg

Zoo Lake in Johannesburg is a relaxed public park with a big lake and greenery – not your typical zoo. It’s a place where you can have a chill romantic time, rent a rowboat for an hour or two, and if you’re feeling fancy, pack a picnic.

Zoo Lake lets you ditch the city noise and enjoy some quiet time with your special someone. You get to check out the lake, maybe spot some birds, and there’s this old-school fountain that’s kinda charming. 

Pro Tip:
If you want to take your rowboat game up a notch, hit up Zoo Lake during the first weekend of September. They throw this Jazz on the Lake party – live music, local and international artists, the whole deal. 

Glide on the ice at Northgate Ice Rink

Media from shotsbymattyaugust


Address: Northgate Shopping Centre, Northumberland Ave, North Riding, Johannesburg

Operating Hours:

  • Admission starts at 9:30 AM

Northgate Ice Rink in South Africa is an affordable and enjoyable ice-skating spot, making it a popular destination for both couples and friends to have a good time gliding on the ice.

But hey, Northgate Ice Rink isn’t just about skating. It’s a laid-back spot to relax, chat, enjoy good food at the 32 Bar & Grill, shop for cool stuff at the Kraken Team Store, or grab a coffee at Starbucks.

Pro Tip:
If you’re all about saving some bucks and doubling the fun, Tuesday and Sunday night sessions are your go-to. Free skate hire and just R85 for entry. 

Raft through daring rapids with Parys River Rafting

Media from vaal_adventures 


Address: 72 Bree St, Parys, 9585, South Africa

Phone: 056 817 6638 / 072 749 8169

Parys River Rafting is the low-key answer if you’re thinking about doing something thrilling with your significant other in South Africa. You and your partner will hop on a raft and cruise down the Vaal River and get the rush of navigating some rapids.

Now, here’s the cool part—Parys River Rafting has different flavours for everyone. Whether you’re up for a quick spin, a day-long splash, or even a sleepover by the river, they’ve got it covered. 

Pro Tip:
Make your rafting date extra mushy with the Romantic Paddle package. That includes a private raft, a picnic basket, champagne, and roses. 

Capture Instagrammable moments in Bo Kaap

Media from zoaesis


Bo Kaap is the spot to hit up if you’re a couple scouting for an Instagram-worthy date in South Africa. Nestled on the hills of Signal Hill, above the hustle of the city, this place is like a burst of colours slapped on houses and old-school streets. 

You’ll start your adventure at the Bo Kaap Museum, the OG spot in the hood. Then, swing by the Auwal Mosque, the first Muslim hangout in South Africa, and check out the shrines scattered around. 

Pro Tip:
If you’re chasing that perfect Insta pic, roll into Bo Kaap in the morning or afternoon when the sun’s chill. Skip Sundays, though – most spots are snoozing.

Try horseback riding in Magaliesburg


Address: Farm HH24, Hartebeesfontein Road, Hekpoort, 1791

Phone: +27 79 467 9906

Magaliesburg in South Africa is this scenic spot, and if you’re up for a romantic outing, check out horseback riding with Saddle Creek Adventures. They’ve got happy horses and awesome mountain views.

Saddle Creek Adventures offers different packages, like the sunrise balloon and horse ride combo, a horse ride partnered with a picnic, or a spa. No matter what combo you go for, you get a guided horse ride for one or two hours – your call. 

Pro Tip:
Book your accommodation at Mokoya Lodge, which is located on the same property as the horse riding stables. Mokoya Lodge offers cosy and comfortable rooms with stunning views of the mountains and the river. 

Take a helicopter ride with BAC Helicopters


Address: Office 3, Virginia Airport, 220 Fairways, Durban North, KZN, 4051

Phone: +27 (0) 31 569 1531

Helicopter ride with BAC is a unique and romantic adventure in South Africa, offering a front-row seat to nature’s spectacle as you soar above the coastline and rugged mountains, making it a memorable alternative to the usual dinner date.

There’s plenty to choose from their helicopter joyrides, lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour based on your preferences and budget – be it Durban city lights, Sodwana Bay’s scenery, or the wildlife-rich Drakensberg mountains.

Pro Tip:
If you want to take your rowboat game up a notch, hit up Zoo Lake during the first weekend of September. They throw this Jazz on the Lake party – live music, local and international artists, the whole deal. 

Connect with penguins at Boulders Beach

Media from secretcapetown

Address: Simon’s Town, Cape Town, 7995, South Africa

Boulders Beach is a sweet spot if you’re into romantic vibes in South Africa. It’s like a chic penguin resort, where you can bond with penguins and enjoy their adorable waddle on the beach and among the boulders.

The beach is sheltered by large granite boulders, making it a safe and peaceful spot for a swim. You can mosey along the wooden boardwalks, getting up close and personal with the penguins without invading their personal space.

Pro Tip:
Visit Boulders in summer for peak penguin activity. For the best snapshots, go early morning or late afternoon, and check out the moulting juveniles in January.

Admire contemporary art at Zeitz MOCAA


Address: V&A Waterfront Silo District, S Arm Rd, Waterfront, Cape Town

Phone: +27 (0)87 350 4777

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 10 AM to 6 PM

If you’re looking for a romantic indoor date, you can’t go wrong with Zeitz MOCAA, the world’s largest art museum in South Africa. It’s housed in a former grain silo that looks like a honeycomb, and it showcases amazing African art and culture.

You and your boo can explore the exhibits, join the events, and enjoy the stunning views from the rooftop garden. It’s a cultural and cosy experience you’ll both love.

Pro Tip:
Level up your museum game – bag free entry for your birthday month with a South African ID or African passport, and every Wednesday from 10 am to 1 pm for locals wielding the same ID or passport. 

Shop and dine at V&A Waterfront


Address: Cape Town, 8001, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 408 7600

V&A Waterfront is a must-visit if you’re into the whole romantic scene in South Africa. You have more than a hundred shops to explore at V&A Waterfront, with a variety of items from clothes to quirky souvenirs, including cool sea-themed gear.

Once you’ve shopped till you dropped, it’s grub time! V&A Waterfront has a foodie paradise. Our top picks? The Waterside, Harbour House, and Willoughby & Co.

Pro Tip:
Getting there can be a parking nightmare, especially when it’s busy. Hop on the MyCiTi bus or the City Sightseeing bus – way easier. 

Stroll along Sea Point Promenade

Media from becomingmeinafrica 

Address: Cape Town, 8005, South Africa

Sea Point Promenade is a long sidewalk by the beach that goes from Mouille Point to Bantry Bay, giving you awesome views of the ocean and mountains. It’s a solid choice for couples looking for a date spot in South Africa.

You and your partner can take a leisurely stroll and feel the sea breeze. Plus, there’s a bunch of other stuff to check out along the way, like parks, cool art, and cafes where you can grab a snack.

Pro Tip:
Hit up the promenade during sunset. The sky puts on a show, painting itself in colours you didn’t even know existed.

Road trip the Cape Peninsula

Media from tinyshoesandrendezvous

Who says road trips are cliché? A road trip around Cape Peninsula is a fantastic way to soak in the beauty of South Africa with your partner.

The road trip is cool because it mixes rugged mountains, sandy beaches, and surprising wildlife. Cape Point is the highlight with its breathtaking ocean and cliff views.

Pro Tip:
Take Chapman’s Peak Drive, a super scenic route hugging cliffs with awesome ocean and mountain views. It’s a toll road, but the fee’s worth it; stop at lookouts for a sunset view with your partner.

Serenade on a gondola boat ride


Address: 39 Timeball Blvd, Point, Durban, 4001, South Africa

Gondola Boat Ride is a unique and memorable way to experience the beauty and charm of Durban’s waterfront with your partner in South Africa.

You’ve got options – a chill daytime ride, a fancy night one with twinkling lights, or a special trip with roses, chocolates, or a message in a bottle. It’s awesome for celebrating an anniversary, a birthday, or just hanging out with your partner.

Pro Tip:
Go for the message in a bottle gig. It’s like a love letter, but cooler. Scribble down your deepest feelings, stuff it in a bottle, and the gondolier sneakily drops it into the canal. 

Cycle through East City on a tandem

Media from maboneng 


Meeting/Departure Point: Curiocity Backpackers, 302 Fox St, Johannesburg

East City Cycle Tour is a 2-hour cycling tour of Johannesburg that lets you explore its history, public art and cultural sites. It’s a great idea if you’re up for a romantic date that’s not your usual dinner and a movie in South Africa.

You’ll begin in Maboneng with art and cafes, then bike through Jeppestown’s graffiti-covered streets. Next, you’ll explore Doornfontein’s creative hub before ending in Troyeville for diverse vibes and a great city view.

Pro Tip:
Wrap up your cycling tour with a visit to Rooftop BBQ, a must-try spot in Maboneng. Experience dining like never before on their stunning rooftop, where the air is filled with the enticing aroma of sizzling barbecue. 

Defy gravity at the Upside-Down House


Address: GR3, Broederstroom, North West, South Africa

Phone: 063 100 9858

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 9 AM to 6 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday – 7 AM to 6 PM

The Upside-Down House in South Africa offers a unique dating experience with “flipped” architecture, challenging your perspective for a whimsical adventure. It’s a quirky setting where the house’s roof is on the ground and the floor points skyward.

Imagine walking into a bathroom, but instead of the usual porcelain throne, you’ve got one hanging from the ceiling. The kitchen, living room, bedroom – everything’s flipped, turned, and twisted.

Pro Tip:
If you get dizzy or nauseous easily, you might want to bring some motion sickness pills or avoid going inside the house. Some visitors have reported feeling disoriented or unwell after spending some time in the upside-down house.

Hike at Table Mountain

Media from ranger_byfoot 

Table Mountain is a standout landmark in South Africa, attracting adventurous couples seeking a romantic outing. If you’re up for a good hike, heading up this mountain offers impressive views of Cape Town and the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, there’s a bunch of trails to pick from, depending on your fitness vibe and how much time you’ve got. Once at the summit, you can enjoy a picnic, explore the cable car station, or visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. 

Pro Tip:
Check the weather forecast beforehand. The mountain’s weather can shift rapidly, and you wouldn’t want to get caught in fog, rain, or wind. 

Watch a show at Artscape Theatre Centre


Address: D.F. Malan St, Foreshore Cape Town, 8001

Phone: 021 410 9800

Artscape Theatre Centre is the go-to spot for a cultural and fantastic date night in South Africa. It’s not your average theatre—it’s got a classy vibe that’s perfect for a cosy evening out.

Artscape features plays, musicals, and dance shows covering everything from timeless classics to the latest hits. Whether you’re into the classics like The Sound of Music or more into the modern Judy Garland vibes, they’ve got you covered. 

Pro Tip:
The pre-show scene at Artscape is a must-experience. Swing by the Artscafé for good eats and a laid-back chat before the main event, with the café’s welcoming vibe setting the stage for a relaxed start to your evening.

Taste love aboard the Franschhoek Wine Tram


Address: Corner of Main Road and, Cabriere St, Franschhoek, 7690, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 300 0338

The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a charming way to explore South Africa, especially with your partner, as it features a double-decker tram and an open-air tram-bus cruising through the picturesque Franschhoek Valley.

You get to hop on and off at five different wineries, where wine tastings, cellar tours, and maybe even some lunch await. If you’re up for trying sabrage, they’ve got you covered – the art of popping open a champagne bottle with a sword.

Pro Tip:
Book your tickets online in advance to secure your seat and choose your preferred route. There are ten different lines to choose from, each with its own charm and attractions. 

Related topics