27 May 2014 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Shopping in South Africa

Heading to South Africa and in need of some retail therapy? Here are a few ideas ...

The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is home to one of South Africa's great shopping experiences

When it comes to shopping, South Africa has great options to choose from – whether you're after large malls, smaller malls with fewer stores, or something in between. Here we highlight some of the malls that house international clothing brands, as well as some luxury local brands too.

Sandton is an upmarket suburb in Johannesburg and its CBD is often referred to as the richest square mile in Africa. Just driving around Sandton you will discover magnificent mansions, the offices of international companies, five-star hotels and impressive malls like Sandton City. At Sandton City (pictured above) you will find luxury stores like Louis Vuitton (pictured below), Cartier and Lorraine Efune. 

You can also choose from a number of fantastic eateries like Bukhara and Walnut Grove (a recipient of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2014) and stop for ice cream at Häagen-Dazs. Right next to Sandton City is Nelson Mandela Square, where you can take a break from shopping to pose with a large statue of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela before continuing to browse the stores in and around the square.

Johannesburg is also home to Hyde Park Corner. It's a smaller mall than Sandton City, but also houses leading international brands such as Burberry (pictured below), Pringle of Scotland, Trenery and Country Road. For coffee-lovers, there's the popular Vida e Caffé

If you want a delicious meal while at Hyde Park Corner, you can't go wrong with French-style boutique café Tashas (which is almost always full) or Life Grand Cafe. If your heart is set on ice cream, you can ahead to Häagen-Dazs. And after a long day of shopping, unwinding at the Island Bar on the pool deck of the Southern Sun Hyde Park (pictured below) is both relaxing and offers lovely views of Johannesburg.

Another fantastic shopping experience is to be found in Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal, at place so perfectly built for shopping that it's not even called a shopping mall – the Gateway Theatre of Shopping (pictured below). Choose from popular local brands like Rozanne & Pushkin and Jenni Button, as well as international powerhouses like Lacoste, Pringle of Scotland, Tag Heuer and MAC. When it comes to eating, try Beluga on the promenade or the tasty seafood at the Cape Town Fish Market. Beluga is also a recipient of TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence for 2014.

Image courtesy of Paul Mack, aka PaulieM2010 <a href= Image courtesy of Paul Mack, aka PaulieM2010 shared with ourLove South Africa Flickr group

Besides being rather large, Gateway is also popular because, in true Durban style there is a place where you can surf. The Wave House (pictured below) also offers other great action activities like snowboarding, wakeboarding, super tubes, rockclimbing and skating. Surfing is a strong part of the Durban culture and you can't visit this coastal city without taking some time to watch the surfers doing what they do best. 

Cape Town is the World Design Capital 2014 and the New York Times's number one place to go in 2014. For luxurious shopping and stunning views of Table Mountain, head to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The V&A (as it's locally known) offers premium shops like Tumi, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Polo.

Image courtesy of <a href= Image courtesy of Graham Bartholomew aka Graham Bart

Try Balducci's, Willoughbhy & Co, or Baia – which have all received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2014 – for some delicious cuisine in between your shopping or after you've completed your retail therapy. Be warned that Willoughbhy & Co is a firm favourite and you may find yourself queuing for a table. Near the V&A Waterfront are craft markets and an open-air theatre where you can browse African crafts, art and jewellery, and enjoy live performances by local and international musicians. Afterwards, choose one of the outside restaurants and enjoy a sundowner.

Come experience some of these fantastic stores while on a trip to South Africa and then share your photos with our Love South Africa Flickr group. We would love to see your pictures.

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