Six Russian warships, led by the Northern Fleet's Pyotr Veliky, will participate in a joint naval exercise with the Indian navy this month.
"The ship received special permission from the Pretoria authorities to make the call," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said, adding that the visit would last through January 14.
He said that the ship was to have docked in port on January 9 to replenish supplies, but South Africa's nuclear energy administration refused to grant permission.
A naval task force led by the cruiser recently participated in joint exercises with the Venezuelan Navy in the Caribbean.
The Pyotr Veliky will join up with warships from the Pacific Fleet for the INDRA-2009 exercise. The Admiral Vinogradov, an Udaloy class destroyer, a salvage tug and two fuel tankers are already in the Indian Ocean, having left Russia's Far East a month ago.