Popular sports and activities in South Africa

South African supporters©Patrick de Laive/Flickr

Once famous for its wildlife reserves, diamond mines, beaches and wineries, South Africa has recently added a new entry in its list of attractions: football. As the first country in Africa to host the World Cup, South Africa has shown passion and commitment for football, but also given supports a change to explore its beauties. However, football is not the only sport that South Africans like. They also like cricket, rugby, golf or sailing. For some quick and basic facts about what sports you can watch or play in this beautiful African country, here’s a list of the most popular sports and activities in South Africa:


Like I said before, football is the king of all sports in south Africa. Football is widely played as a recreational sport, but the true madness begins when the national football team or one of the major football club teams in the country have an important match to play. Teams like Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates have been long standing arch-enemies for winning the Premiere Soccer League title. The national team is colloquially known as Bafana Bafana, is well known for its traditional yellow and green equipment.


Rugby is considered by some as the second most popular sport in South Africa and one of those spectator sports that keep South Africans stick to their TV sets when an important match is on. Both Rugby union and Rugby league are played in South Africa. Rugby is also a sport of great achievements for South Africans: in 2007 thenational team has won the World Cup.



The other candidate for the title of South Africa’s second most popular sport is cricket. However, unlike football or rugby which all popular with South Africans of all ages and ethnicities, cricket tends to be the sport of English speaking communities. Many of South Africa’s cricket players have reached international recognition, and the team itself is a constant presence at the Cricket World Cup.


comrades marathon©arboresce/Flickr

Running is a much appreciated sport in South Africa, especially when it comes to long distance running. South African athletes have won numerous prizes and distinctions at the big international contests, including the Summer Olympics. But South Africa also has its own unique tournaments like the Comrades Marathon, which engages thousands  of runner in an epic 90 kilometre race, or the Two Oceans Marathon,  not as long as the previous but just as spectacular. Both events are international, and well-known among long distance runners around the world.


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