From 2009 to 2013 the diversity of noroviruses (NoVs) in children (⩽5 years) hospitalized with gastroenteritis in South Africa was investigated. NoVs were genotyped based on nucleotide sequence analyses of partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and capsid genes. Seventeen RdRp genotypes (GI.P2, GI.P3, GI.P6, GI.P7, GI.P not assigned (NA), GI.Pb, GI.Pf, GII.P2, GII.P4, GII.P7, GII.P13, GII.P16, GII.P21, GII.Pc, GII.Pe, GII.Pg, GII.PNA) and 20 capsid genotypes (GI.1, GI.2, GI.3, GI.5, GI.6, GI.7, GI.NA, GII.1, GII.2, GII.3, GII.4, GII.6, GII.7, GII.10, GII.12, GII.13, GII.14, GII.16, GII.17, GII.21) were identified. The combined RdRp/capsid genotype was determined for 275 GII strains. Fifteen confirmed recombinant NoV strains circulated during the study period. NoV GII.P4/GII.4 (47%) and GII.Pe/GII.4 (18%) predominated, followed by GII.PNA/GII.3 (10%) and GII.P21/GII.3 (7%). Other prevalent strains included GII.Pg/GII.12 (6%) and GII.Pg/GII.1 (3%). Two novel recombinants, GII.Pg/GII.2 and GII.Pg/GII.10 were identified. In 2013 the replacement of GII.4 New Orleans 2009 and GII.P21/GII.3, which predominated during the early part of the study, with GII.4 Sydney 2012 and GII.PNA/GII.3 was observed. This study presents the most comprehensive recent data on NoV diversity in Africa.