The Highlanders have failed to make it an all-Kiwi affair in the Super Rugby final, after losing 42-30 to the Lions.
The defending champion Highlanders were outscored five tries to four by the Lions in Johannesburg.
Lions first-five Elton Jantjies showed his full array of skills in the semi-final at Ellis Park, scoring his team's opening try and setting up another with a sublime cross-field kick.
The South Africans now head to Wellington, after the Hurricanes made the final for the second successive year, with a 25-9 win over the Chiefs in the capital.
Beauden Barrett, Willis Halaholo and Victor Vito scored tries for the Hurricanes and Barrett kicked two penalties and two conversions.