South Africa Table Mountain

The "Top Ten" and the "Big 3" of South Africa sports

South Africa sports organizations have shown they can generate the fusion power to reach across racial barriers and heal old wounds, like no other institution in South Africa.


The list of existing South Africa sports goes well beyond the country's "big three" (rugby, soccer and cricket) and here we can think of sports such as Athletics, Swimming, Golf, Boxing, Long distance running, Motorsports, Cycling, Tennis, Watersports, Hockey, Motorbike sports, Horse sports, Air sports and Material arts, mentioning only the major ones. Adventure and traditional sports are not included in this list.

The new FNB Soccer City Stadium at Johannesburg - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
The new FNB Soccer City Stadium at Johannesburg
copyright © Johannesburg City - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

The Top Ten in South Africa sports including Soccer, Rugby and Cricket (The Big 3):


Athletics,...

Running the 400 meters - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
Running the 400 meters
South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

Marathon running and track athletics are two areas that South African sportsmen and women have excelled in, like for instance:

Elana Meyer, famous long-distance runner and 10,000 metres Olympic silver medallist. She was world champion in the half marathon in 1994 and world record holder in the half marathon during the years 1991, 1997, 1998 and 1999

Bruce Fordyce, an icon in South African long-distance running, who has won the world-famous Comrades Ultramarathon of 90 km 9 x times. He is also the current world record holder over 50 miles.

Last meters to the finish at the end of the 80 km Comrades Marathon - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
Last meters to the finish at the end of the 80 km Comrades Marathon
copyright © South African tourism - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

Hezekiel Sepeng, a middle distance runner and an 800 metres Olympic silver medallist.

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, also a middle distance runner, who won silver in the 800 meters at both the World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Josiah Thugwane, a gold medallist in the prestigious Olympic Games marathon event.

Hestrie Cloete, a three times high-jump world champion and two times Olympic silver medallist.

And many more…

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Swimming,...

Challenging waves - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
Challenging waves
copyright © South Africa Tours and Travel .com - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

Whether you swim to compete in races or for enjoyment, whether you're old or young, South Africa offers you an almost unlimited buffet of different swimming options.

From taking a dip in the warm sea in the Eastern cape to taking part in the worlds largest open water race, from swimming in a 5-star Olympic size pool to swimming with a Lion in the middle of a nature reserve, from diving off a 20 metre cliff into a lake, to swimming with penguins, you name it we have got it.

Do take care and wear enough sunscreen because the African suns has no mercy, even on over-cast days...thats when it creeps up and burns you.

The backstroke, also sometimes called the back crawl, is one of the four swimming styles regulated by FINA, and the only regulated style swum on the back - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
The backstroke, also sometimes called the back crawl, is one of the four swimming styles regulated by FINA, and the only regulated style swum on the back
South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

Swimming is one sport where South Africa’s has really made its mark in top international events such as the Olympic Games and the World Championships.

Its national swimming team includes Olympic gold medalists Ryk Neethling, Penny Heyns, Roland Schoeman and Natalie du Toit who was the first disabled athlete to compete in the able bodied section of the Olympic Games.

South Africa is also home to the world's largest open water swimming event, the Midmar Mile, which features in the Guinness Book of World Records.

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Cycling,...

South Africa's Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour in the Western Cape Province - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
South Africa's Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Cycle Tour in the Western Cape Province
South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

Whether it is for enjoying the scenery or for competing in racing, cycling in South Africa is a wonderful way to enjoy its great climate and explore its scenic splendour.

The country has many popular cycling routes that give you sheer cycling pleasure while enjoying some of the world’s most breathtaking views.

You will find some great routes around Cape Town and the Peninsula, along the Garden Route and at the Wild Coast.

Cyclists crossing the Nelson Mandela Bridge in the city centre of Johannesburg in the 94,7 Highveld cycle Challenge - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
Cyclists crossing the Nelson Mandela Bridge in the city centre of Johannesburg in the 94,7 Highveld Cycle Challenge
Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

Cycling is also a popular racing sport in South Africa, offering many races of varying lengths.

Some of the top events are the Pick 'n Pay Argus Cycle Tour, run in Cape Town in March, the Tour d’Urban, held in Durban in April and the 94.7 challenge, which takes place in November in Johannesburg.

A new one on the South African cycling scene is the 5-day Tour d’Eden, along the Garden Route, a beautiful race through some magnificent scenery, run in September.

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Golf,...

The 1 million dollar golf championship at Sun City - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
The 1 million dollar golf championship at Sun City
copyright © South African tourism - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports


With a perfect climate and magnificent golf courses, it is not surprising that South Africa has produced some of the best golf players in the world.

Names like Bobby Locke, Gary Player, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Trevor Immelman come to mind.

There are many golf competitions right through the year but the major annual event is the famous Nedbank Challenge at the Sun City resort in November.

Large numbers of golfing enthusiasts flock to this resort every year to watch the world’s best golfers in action.

The Hans Merensky golf course situated on the border of the Kruger National Park near Phalaborwa - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
The Hans Merensky golf course situated on the border of the Kruger National Park near Phalaborwa
copyright © South African tourism - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

Outstanding golf courses, a great climate and fantastic scenery around the greens, together with unbelievable reasonable fees compared to other parts in the world, make South Africa the perfect destination for a golfing holiday.

They are almost everywhere, many in and around the cities and some in the most unlikely small towns.

The Garden Route along the south coast and the north and south coasts of KwaZulu-Natal are very popular, especially because there are superb alternatives for non-golfing companions.

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Horse Riding,...

Cross country horse riding in the Drakensberg Mountains - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
Cross country horse riding in the Drakensberg Mountains
copyright © South African tourism - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

With a long history going back to 1797, Horse racing is an immensely popular sport in South Africa, with regular racing taking place around the country.

The famous Durban July Handicap or The Vodacom July as it is called now is the largest and most prestigious horse racing event on the continent.

Other major races in this league in South Africa are the Summer Cup, held at Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg, and the J & B Met, which is held at Kenilworth race track in Cape Town.

The Durban July Handicap is a South African Thoroughbred horse race held annually on the first Saturday of July since 1897 at Greyville Racecourse in Durban - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
The Durban July Handicap is a South African Thoroughbred horse race held annually on the first Saturday of July since 1897 at Greyville Racecourse in Durban
copyright © South African tourism - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

If you want to enjoy Horse Riding just for pleasure while exploring South Africa’s stunning scenery, there are plenty of beautiful trails around the country.

You can take a brisk canter along a beach, an amble through vineyards, a fast ride across sweeping grasslands, go on a Horse Riding safari, or a meander through magnificent mountain scenery.

Trips range from an hour or two on the outskirts of cities to multi-day treks in the wilderness. In some places you can even do moonlit rides at full moon.

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Surfing,...

Windsurfing is a popular sport in South Africa - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
Windsurfing is a popular sport in South Africa
copyright © South African tourism - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

Over 3000 kilometres of Indian and Atlantic Ocean coastline, fantastic scenery all around , a perfect climate and consistent top quality surf makes South Africa one of the top surfing countries in the world.

From the beach breaks of the Natal coast, to the right point breaks of the aptly-named Wild Coast, from the world-famous barrels of Jeffreys Bay and Cape St. Francis, to the lonely curls along the Garden Route to the south, from the booming cold-water big wave reefs of Cape town to the endless left walls of Elands Baai, you will find a greater variety of waves than some entire continents.

South Africa boasts some of the best surfing spots in the world with stunning scenery and a quality surf - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
South Africa boasts some of the best surfing spots in the world with stunning scenery and quality surf
copyright © South African tourism - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

There are hundreds of surf breaks all along our coast.

The best known spots are around Cape Town, Durban, Jeffreys Bay and East London, but there are loads of great, virtually unsurfed waves besides these.

South Africa is home to a six-star rated World Championship Tour event, the Billabong Pro at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay, said to be capable of producing "the perfect wave".

Other six-star rated World Qualifying Series events South Africa are the long-standing Mr. Price Pro (formerly the Gunston 500) in Durban, and the Quiksilver Pro also in Durban.

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Boxing,...

The fight is on - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
The fight is on
Photo: ElMarto - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports

Between 1927 and 2001, 35 South African fighters won a total of 49 world boxing titles. The number of South African world champions peaked in the 1990s. The country had six world champions in 1995, five the following year and six in 1997. In 1998 the number stood at eight, and in 1999 at five world title holders.

Action inside boxing ring - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports
Action inside boxing ring
Photo: David Clow - South Africa Sports Top Ten South African Sports


Before the advent of more than one world body, Vic Toweel was South Africa's only world champion, winning the bantamweight title in 1950. The only other boxer who came close was Willie Smith, who won the British version of the world bantamweight title when he defeated Teddy Baldock in October 1927.






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Girl enjoying one of the South Africa beaches

Family enjoying a beach holiday in South Africa

Aerial view of Cape Town and Table Mountain in South Africa

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