South Africa is a nation that enjoys a variety of sports, and there are plenty of people who started playing these sports at a very young age and it has become their hobby. In this article, we have listed down the Top 5 most popular sports in South Africa. They are:

  • Soccer/Football

south africa soccer

Soccer or football is played all over the world and this sport has one of the largest fans on the planet but did you also know that football is the most widely practiced sport in South Africa? Despite the variety of sports available out there, this very sport is by far the most favored amongst the people of South Africa, and it was only recently that it seized the overall No.1 place in the country. The Top 3 sports are all intensely widespread and the rivalry between them is vicious. 


In 2010, South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup and although the national football squad might not be as established as its rugby union counterpart, it still managed to qualify for the World Cup three times. Some of the well-known football players in South Africa include Benedict McCarthy, Lucas Radebe, Doctor Khumalo, Aaron Mokoena, Jomo Sono, Neil Tovey, Steven Pienaar, Shaun Bartlett, and Patrick Ntsoelengoe.

  • Rugby Union

south africa rugby union

Rugby Union is another sport that is extremely popular in South Africa and is the second most widespread sport in the country. Notably, the Springboks’ is considered the legendary national rugby union squad and are the reigning world champions.  


On a side note, rugby union is practiced by over 650,000 players, and the Currie Cup which is a national league is played every year. 

  • Cricket

south africa cricket

Cricket is the third most widespread sport in South Africa. And on this list, it’s no surprise that cricket earns a spot in the top three of South Africans’ most popular sport, and the national squad is known as the Porteas. Similar to the rugby union, South Africa’s national squad is a powerful squad on a global scale and is one of the twelve squads actively participating in the test cricket matches. 


Notably, Tabraiz Shamsi is deemed the most infamous South African cricketer, as he is ranked the No.1 bowler in the world at the T20. The nation has also produced some of the most amazing cricketers in the world such as AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis. This sport is also considered one of the best sports in the country.

  • Cycling

south africa cycling

Some years back, cycling may not be as popular as it is today in South Africa but over time, it is increasing in popularity. One of the most fun parts about cycling is you can ride your cycle on any landscape and you can also pedal to your school, workplace, or university. Not only that but cycling also helps you to stay in shape. A cyclist can cover an average distance of 60 to 80 km in a single day. Aside from these awesome advantages, cycling also enables you to be more specifically aware of the surrounding locale and enhances your overall wellness level. 


Robert Hunger known as ‘Robbie’ is the country’s most established cyclist who won a title in the Tour de France in 2007.

  • Athletics

south africa athletics

Athletics is placed as the fifth most popular sport in South Africa. The country is blessed with plenty of successful track and field athletes and has brought home many medals in both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games. The most famous athlete in the world being Oscar Pistorius, a Paralympics athlete, a South African. He and his three squad mates set the national record in the 2011 relay at the World Championships in Athletics.


Not only that but he also boasts many other achievements such as winning numerous gold medals for his country, most notably at the Summer Paralympic Games in Beijing, China in 2008.


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