The Perfect One Week, Two Week, and Three Week Travel Itinerary For South Africa

South Africa is still one of my favorite countries in the world. Sure, I lived there for a few years, but I also traveled extensively through the country and got to see so much of it. I always get questions on how I should spend a week, two days, two weeks, or even three weeks in the Rainbow Nation. There is no definitive answer because there is SO MUCH to see in this country and everyone has different interests. Nevertheless, two weeks is enough to scrape the surface of what the country has to offer and this would be my perfect itinerary.

Update Sep 2021: South Africa has been hit hard with COVID-19 and the entry requirements are always changing. Currently, South Africa allows visitors who are vaccinated and have negative PCR tests. The country is open but mask mandates are in full effect and restaurants might close earlier than normal. Keep up with the most recent guidelines! 


Where I went in South Africa

south africa travel itinerary one week two week three week

Map of my South Africa Travel Itinerary

In total, this itinerary is for anyone that has 14-16 days to spend in South Africa. At the end of this post, I have also included how I would craft a trip with around 7 days (1 week), 10 days (1.5 weeks) and 21+ days (3 weeks+)!

  • Johannesburg
  • Kruger National Park
  • Garden Route
    • Port Elizabeth
    • Plettenberg Bay
    • Knsyna
    • Outdshoorn
    • Hermanus
  • Cape Town
  • Wine Country (Stellenbosch/Franschhoek)

If these places ring a bell and sound like the places you want to visit, this is the perfect itinerary for you! Also note that South Africa is far from just about everywhere so budget the necessary time get there and home. To see this itinerary in real use by someone other than myself, I used it to craft up a South Africa and Mauritius honeymoon game plan for my friends! Read their personal recount of their amazing South Africa and Mauritius trip.


Detailed Posts


Full Itinerary

The itinerary starts in Cape Town, and ends in Johannesburg. I’d recommend to book flights arriving into Cape Town, and flying out of Johannesburg. This itinerary, of course, can be done the opposite way around as well. If you don’t want to do fly home from a different airport, there are plenty of cheap airlines that fly regularly between the two cities like Mango Airlines, Kulula, and FlySAFair, you’ll just need to budget the time accordingly.


Is South Africa Safe?

Many of you might also be wondering if South Africa is a safe place to travel at the moment. I’ve answered all of those questions in depth, as well as whether you need vaccinations for malaria. Be sure to read that before heading down to the Rainbow Nation!


Day 1-4: Discover Cape Town


The Cape is South Africa’s gift to the world – Nelson Mandela


The trip starts in Cape Town, or what I like to call the world’s most naturally beautiful city. The Mother City, as it is affectionately referred to in South Africa, is South Africa’s most scenic and most popular city. It’s not difficult to see why. Cape Town is sandwiched between a dramatic mountain range famous for Table Mountain, and the southern Atlantic ocean with a plethora of white sandy beaches.

View of Table Mountain from the top of Lion's head

View of Table Mountain from the top of Lion’s head

There are also world class restaurants in this city serving cuisine from all over the world, bars, concerts, museums, and so much more. Take the ferry to Robben Island and tour the former prison that Nelson Mandela called home for 27 years.

Bo Kaap with table mountain the distance

Bo Kaap with table mountain the distance

There is some incredible hiking to be done in Cape Town. Table Mountain and Lions Head are an absolute must. There is a cable car that goes to the top of Table Mountain, but Lions Head can only be hiked. My favorite place in the whole country might be at the top of Lions Head during sunset. The views of the ocean, the city, and Table Mountain next to it is perhaps one of the reasons Cape Town is the one place I’d move to in a heartbeat (if I could).

Maiden's cove camps bay cape town

What a view…

Just outside of town is perhaps one of the most scenic drives in the country, Chapman’s Peak. The drive is along the edge of a windy mountain, with the most beautiful ocean views on one side. Penguins can also be seen at Boulders Beach along the way. This all culminates into southern tip of the continent at Cape Point, also known as the Cape of Good Hope. This is where the Indian and Atlantic oceans converge, and it makes for some absolutely breathtaking views.

Houghton view guesthouse cape town camp's bay

Just breathtaking views of the Atlantic and Lion’s head from my Camps Bay hotel.

The famous Penguin colony of Boulder's beach!

The famous Penguin colony of Boulder’s beach!


Read Also On Johnny Africa:  The Ultimate Montenegro Coastal Itinerary: Budva, Bar, Kotor, Ulcinj

Recommended Hotels to stay at in Cape Town

Cape Town has countless options to stay with beautiful views all abound. Here are some of my favorite places


Day 4-6: Wine Taste Stellenbosch or Franschhoek

East of Cape Town is South Africa’s famous wine region. It’s not as famous as places like Italy, France, or Napa Valley, which is a absolute travesty and a complete blessing. It’s a blessing because the crowds aren’t as chaotic, and prices are extremely reasonable for wine tasting. The views and landscape in Cape Town’s wine region is absolutely unparalleled.

Beautiful Oldenburg wine farm

Beautiful Oldenburg wine farm

For a detailed and perfect one day itinerary, click here.

Delaire Graff stellenbosch

Views from Delaire Graff in Stellenbosch in the winter

Stellenbosch makes Napa Valley look like someone’s back yard. That isn’t to say California’s wine region isn’t a nice place, it’s just my way of saying that South Africa’s wine region is that much more beautiful. Let’s also not forget that a typical wine tasting in South Africa costs R30-40, whereas a similar styled wine tasting in a place like Napa Valley is $25+ (10x the price!).

Bilton Wine estate

Chocolate and Wine, a winning combo at Bilton Wine Estate

There are numerous wine regions in South Africa, like Constantia, Stellensbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Durbanville etc. but the easiest and my favorite area is Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Make sure to drive to different wine farms to sample the various styles of wine making in South Africa. The wine farms also have some of the best restaurants in the country so make sure to plan ahead of time where you’d like to have lunch.

Dieu Donne franschhoek

Sunset at Dieu Donne in Franschhoek. Could anyone get tired of this?

Some of my favorites are Delaire Graff, Morgenster, Tokara, Oldenburg, Vergelegen, Dieu Donne, Waterkloof, Jordan.

Sunset Franschhoek

A stunning sunset in Franschhoek was taking place as we were driving through. Had to stop to take a few pictures of it

Tokara Wine

Tasting Room in Tokara Wine estate.

If you’re looking for ideas of places to stay, look no further than some of my favorite wine farms in Clouds Estate and De Zeven. Make sure to read my in depth reviews of those places to get your wanderlust going.

De Zeven

De Zeven


Where to stay in Stellenbosch


Day 6-12: Road trip on the Garden Route – Part 1

This might be my favorite drive in the world. The Garden Route of South Africa is famous for its incredible scenery, charming coastal towns, and wildlife. There’s so much to do and see along the Garden Route, I actually wrote about it in three separate posts. The Garden Route is the stretch of coastline in the Western Cape stretching from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. It is the ultimate road trip in my opinion and would be my first choice of road trips to repeat.

Wildeness Beach South AFrica

Wilderness beach in all its glory.

Obviously one could spend far longer than 6 days driving along the Garden Route but for a two week itinerary of all of South Africa, this will be enough to see the main highlights.


Hermanus – 1 night

Starting from wine country, I went great white shark diving early in the morning. These cage dives usually start at 8-9am and last until noon. From Gansbaai, we spent the rest of the walking around Hermanus, a quaint ocean side town famous for its whales. When in season, between May and Nov, right whales regularly frequent the shores of this town. It’s also home to spectacular beaches and some of the best kite surfing in the world.

Hermanus Sunset

Sunset over Hermanus town.


Oudtshoorn – 1 night

From Hermanus, we left early in the morning to the town of Oudtshoorn, stopping in Swellendam for lunch. Outdshoorn is a town in the Karoo region of South Africa. The Karoo is a huge swath of semi-desert like land in South Africa’s heartlan. It is a place of immense spaces, wide-angle horizons, craggy mountain ranges, conical hills, an ancient inland seabed, and a sky so big that at night it feels like you can touch the stars.

Ostrich farm Oudtshoorn

Group of ostriches waiting to be ridden.

It’s totally different than the scenery along the coast and gives you a small flavor of the different terrains of South Africa. Oudtshoorn is known for the Cango Caves and its plethora of ostrich farms. Wild and farmed ostrich roam here so make sure to try some in this town. One night is enough here.

Cango Caves

No matter the tour type, standard or adventure, both will let you admire the beauty of the caves.


Knysna and Plettenberg Bay – 3 nights

The next day begins with a drive back towards the coast. Stop in the town of Wilderness for stunning panoramic ocean views, and lunch before driving towards Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. Because of the limited time, there’s really only enough time to stay in one place. I’ve stayed in both towns and they are both amazing places. If I had to do it again, I would stay in Plettenberg Bay and take a visit to Knysna.

Knysna Heads

Knysna Lagoon in the background.

Plettenberg Bay is more chilled, and has plenty of nice beaches. Knysna is slightly more busy (but nothing on the Garden Route is really that busy), and has amazing lookout points of the surrounding area. Both towns have world class restaurants so you really can’t go wrong in each place.

Natures Valley beach plettenerg bay

Natures Valley Beach in Plettenberg Bay

Make sure to visit the Knysna Elephant Sanctuary, as well as take a day hike to the Robberg Peninsula.Robberg Mountains PLetenberg

seal snorkeling plettenberg bay

Snorkeling with hundreds of seals in Plettenberg Bay. One of the many activities to do here

Knysna elephant sanctuary

Trainers are always close by but let’s be honest, if the Elephant wanted to do something to you, no trainer on Earth could stop it!


Read Also On Johnny Africa:  The Perfect Travel Itinerary For Mozambique

Where to stay in Knysna and Plettenberg


Port Elizabeth – 1 night

Leave Knysna/Plettenberg early the next day and stop at the infamous Bloukrans bridge for some bungy jumping. This isn’t just any old bungy jump, it’s the highest bungy bridge in the world at 220m (710ft) high. You can read all about my experience here. If bungy jumping is just not for you, there’s a bar at the edge of the cliff where you have perfect views to watch people jump to their deaths.

Bloukrans bridge south africa bungy

Bloukrans Bridge in the background

From Bloukrans, make a stop in the Tsitsikama National Park and take a walk from the famous suspension bridge that allows you stunning views of the area.

Bloukrans South Africa

Jumping to my death in Bloukrans

From here, drive to Port Elizabeth


Day 13-15: Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg to Kruger NP

Port Elizabeth marks the end of the Garden Route. Drop off the rental car here and take an early morning flight (as early as possible) to Johannesburg. We took the 6:30am flight on British Airways, and arrived in Johannesburg just after 8am. Upon landing, have your safari company PICK YOU UP from the airport. There’s no reason to go into Johannesburg as it is a 5 hour drive to the Kruger National Park. We made it in time for an afternoon game drive.


3 days and 2 nights in Kruger National Park

The Kruger is South Africa’s largest and most popular game reserve. It’s home to all the wild animals you’ve ever had on your bucket list, and is a great place to see the big 5 (lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant, and leopard). We spent a total of three days and two nights in the Kruger National Park. This gave us 1 afternoon game drive on the first day, 1 whole day of game drives for the second day, and 1 morning game drive on the third day. I felt like this was enough as you’re doing nothing except sitting in the back of a truck.

Kruger safari

And of course, what trip to Africa would be complete without a safari of some sort?

The Kruger is also one of the few game parks in Africa that allows you to self drive. Although we chose to go with a Safari company that arranged everything, it’s super easy to rent a car from the airport and drive out yourself and do your own game drives. This is definitely the option I would choose if I were to do it again.

kruger safari warthog

Warthogs were found in both Kruger and the campsite


Last day in Johannesburg

Johannesburg is an underrated city that the media paints in an unflattering light. However, I called this place home for almost two years! It is a great place to live and to work, but it is not the best place to spend your time as a tourist. There aren’t many must see sights here. A day trip to Soweto and the Apartheid museum, followed by a visit to the Carnivore restaurant to sample all different types of game meats is probably enough for most people.

Orlando Towers Soweto

Visiting the Orlando Towers in Soweto is ALWAYS a good time


Game Lodge Options

There are hundreds of game lodges in South Africa of all varying price ranges. If you need you some ideas for your own trip whether it’s a honeymoon or not, here is a list of lodges for each budget range th


Budget Lodges Under $500 a night


Lodges between $500 to $1250 a night

As for planning honeymoons, I have largely used lodges under $1000 as this is much more budget friendly for those looking to keep their honeymoons below $12,000. I think at this range, you get the 5 star luxury experience without breaking the bank (completely). For almost all travelers out there, lodges in this price range will more than suit your needs and wanderlust.


Lodges over $1250 a night

In this price range, you’re looking at some serious over the top luxury. However, I’d say for the average traveler, you probably don’t need to step up to these prices because the lodges in the previous price category have everything you need. Some of these lodges can be well over $2,000 a night but if you have the cash, this is for you.


Day by Day breakdown

Day 1: Land in Cape Town, pick up rental car and explore Cape Town
Day 2: Explore Cape Town, hike Lions Head
Day 3: Cable Car up Table Mountain, drive to Cape Point in afternoon
Day 4: Explore Stellenbosch
Day 5: Stellenbosch/Franschhoek
Day 6: Cage diving with great whites, explore Hermanus
Day 7: Drive to Oudtshoorn, visit ostrich farm at night
Day 8: Morning visit to Cango Caves, drive to Plettenberg/Knysna
Day 9: Plettenberg/Knysna
Day 10: Plettenberg/Knysna
Day 11: Bloukrans, Tsitsikama, Port Elizabeth
Day 12: Fly to Johannesburg in morning, Kruger NP
Day 13: Kruger NP
Day 14: Kruger NP in morning, end in Johannesburg
Day 15: Early morning flight home

Read Also On Johnny Africa:  The Perfect South Africa And Zanzibar Honeymoon Itinerary


One week itinerary for South Africa

How about if you only had ONE week in South Africa? This is tough. The country deserves a lot more than 1 week but nevertheless, this is how I would structure a 1 week trip. Let’s assume you have all 7 days in South Africa without worrying about flights. If this is your first trip to Africa and you want to go on the iconic safari, I would focus my visit on Cape Town and the Kruger.


Day 1-4: Cape Town

Spend your first 4 days in Cape Town and the surrounding regions. Instead of spending two nights in the wine country, make it a day trip by starting early in the morning as soon as the wine farms open (usually around 9am). Spend another day visiting Cape Point and seeing Cape Town’s sights. Time permitting, take a day trip  to the Great White cage diving in Gansbaai.

View of Cape point

Looking over Cape Point


Day 5-7: Johannesburg and Kruger

Take an early morning flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Have your safari operator pick you up from the airport and do the 3 day/2 night Kruger National Park tour mentioned above. The safari tour will end on the last day after a morning game drive. Immediately drive back to OR Tambo International airport after the game drive and fly home that night. Make sure to schedule your flight later in the evening as it will take ~5 hours to drive from the Kruger to Johannesburg.


10 day itinerary for South Africa

10 days gives a little more time to see South Africa. To be honest, I wouldn’t go all the way to South Africa without at least 10 days. Nevertheless, I know some people just can’t swing the time so anything is better than nothing. This is how I would structure 10 days.


Day 1-4: Cape Town

Similar to the 1 week itinerary, I would spend my first 4 days in Cape Town. Make day trips to Cape Point and Boulders beach for penguins and breathtaking views. Then another day would be dedicated to shark diving in Gansbaai, followed by two days of hiking, eating, and drinking enjoying all that Cape Town has to offer.


Day 5-7: Wine Country

The next few days can be spent either in the wine country or on a condensed version of the garden route. Personally, I don’t think 3 days does enough justice for the Garden Route, so I’ll opt for enjoying world class wine at dirt cheap prices and views that no other wine region in the world can match. My favorite place to stay in Stellenbosch is Clouds Estate, but make sure to book well in advance if you feel like staying here. There are much cheaper options available as well of course.

Clouds Estate pool

Clouds Estate view

Make sure to visit as many wine farms as you can handle because there is so much diversity in the wine, food, and scenery in this part of the country. Read my perfect wine tasting itinerary. 


Day 8-10: Johannesburg and Kruger

Same itinerary as the Kruger safari from the one week itinerary.


Three week South Africa itinerary

If you’re lucky enough to have three weeks, there is so much more to explore in South Africa. As per the two week itinerary, I would add the following:

  • Stay an extra night in Cape Town
  • Spend extra day in Hermanus
  • Instead of flying to Johannesburg from Port Elizabeth, continue driving on the N2 along South Africa’s wild cost towards Durban
  • (Optional but recommended): Stay at a private game reserve in the Kwazulu-Natal province around Durban instead of going to the Kruger


South Africa’s Wild Coast

The area between Port Elizabeth and Durban is called the Wild Coast. This area receives less tourists than the Garden Route, and is far less developed than the Garden Route towns. This area, also known as the Transkei, is home to the Xhosa people (which you’ll never pronounce right). It functioned as its own independent state during Apartheid and you can see that the infrastructure here is vastly undeveloped compared to their Afrikaner neighbors in the Western Cape. It’s totally a safe place to travel. Nevertheless, the contrast between natural and urban scenery can be noticed here.

Wild coast south africa

South Africa Wild Coast

For any scuba divers, make sure to stop and have a few dives at Aliwal Shoal. This dive site, while not much to look at in terms of corals, is home to numerous species of sharks. You can easily be diving with dozens of different sharks swimming around you.

In addition, even further up from Durban is the beautiful St. Lucia Wetland park which is home to beautiful beaches, dunes, swamplands, and diving. Sodwana Bay, located in this natures reserve, is one of the best places to dive in South Africa and also one of the cheapest destinations in the world to become certified.

Beautiful Wetlands National Park in St. Lucia

Beautiful Wetlands National Park in St. Lucia


Adding on a tropical beach to South Africa

South Africa enjoys a huge coastline with some fantastic beach. However, if you have the time, and are looking for a more tropical setting with idyllic white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and seas of palm trees, South Africa’s neighboring countries offer much more in this regard.

Ile aux nattes beach paradise madagascar

Paradise on Ile Aux Nattes, Madagascar

Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Zanzibar are popular additional destinations for those visiting South Africa. I’ve traveled extensively through most of these countries and they are absolutely stunning places. There are regular flights from Johannesburg to many of these destinations as well. Some inspiration and further reading for those interested:

All of the above offer something unique. If time (and money) was of no worry, I would visit the Quirimbas Archipelago. I think the northern part of Mozambique is something truly special and the beaches there are the nicest I’ve ever seen. Madagascar is a close second, but there is so much to do on this beautiful island, I would save it entirely for another trip.

matemo quirimbas mozambique

Matemo Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago


Otherwise, for simplicity and ease, Zanzibar is your best bet as far as quality accommodation and simplicity go. I spent over a month traveling through Zanzibar so make sure to read through my posts about the Tanzanian paradise if you want to go.

Zawadi hotel luxury

Staying at the amazing Zawadi Hotel

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Showing 45 comments
  • Daniela Davis

    This was the best blog I found! Thank you so much! I couldn’t find the time of year you recommend. I saw online that August is good for Kruger but Capetown will be cold. When is the best time to enjoy Capetown and still attempt to see the big 5. I really want to take my fiancé for his 30th in August.

    • Johnny

      Thanks Daniela! Yes what you say is true. However, you can see the Big 5 year round and Cape Town has pretty mild weather year round as well. ALthough it won’t be hot and you will have times where it rains a lot, Cape Town is sitll generally quite pleasant in the winter. I think taking him for a trip in End August/Early Sep is totally fine!

    • EMMA

      We are looking to plan a trip to South Africa with possible beach add on for just over 3 weeks, your guides have been so useful. Are victoria falls worth a visit?

      We are looking to travel either January or february time, what is the weather like during these periods as i keep finding mixed reviews?


      • Johnny

        Vic Falls is great to visit in Feb as it’s just after the summer rains and you’ll see the waterfalls at its strongest. Sometimes it’s almost too strong with the mist being in full force. It does rain more often in these months so you might not be able to do as many other activities but you’re going to see waterfalls anyhow! Overall, Vic falls definitely worth the visit but don’t try and overdo it with too much in the itinerary is my recommendation

  • Ruma Dey Baidya

    Hi Johnny

    I am searching for South Africa topic on the internet, and I found your blog. This is really helpfull.


  • Simon

    When doing the Garden Route is it necessary to book accommodations in advanced or could I handle that upon arriving at each destination? Also, do most locations along the route have low budget accommodations such as hostels. I am traveling on a relatively tight budget. Any other tips for saving money in South Africa?

    • Johnny

      Hi Simon, I think if you can book ahead definitely do especially during the summer months as things tend to book up fast. As far as hostels, i know they have them in many of these towns but i can’t comment on any of them as i’ve never stayed in one along the Garden Route. Generally, it’s not that expensive. I would take the Bazbus to hop on and hop off depending on where you want to visit and assuming you have a lot of time. Hope thath elps!

  • Simon Garfinkel

    Hi there,

    I have read your blog and found it very informative. I have about a month of free time before I start working. My plan was to spend approximately two weeks in South Africa and then I would love to spend another two(ish) weeks traveling in another country, or multiple countries. I was wondering what other countries you would recommend. I would be looking for some diversity so perhaps something different than South Africa and ideally something that is relatively cheap and easy to get to from South Africa (probably Johannesburg.

    Any information would be appreciated!


    • Johnny

      Hey Simon, I think if you have another two weeks in another country, I’d recommend checking out Namibia. It’s not that expensive and is quite easy to get aroudn as you can rent a car and essentially road trip the whole thing. It’s also stunning and offers a very stark contrast to South Africa with its desert landscapes.

      Alternatievely, if you’re feeling adventurous, take a flight from Johannesburg to Maputo and travel up the coastline of Mozambique. Some very beautiful beaches and fantastic diving if you’re into that! Hope that helps.

      • Simon

        Thanks for the response!!

  • Narayan

    Hi Johnny,
    Great information here. We are planning a trip to SA and Vic Falls in ZImbabwe this August. We land in Jo burg and take a rental and drive to a lodge the next day. Stay there three days and then drive back , maybe take a trip to the scenic route. Fly next day to Vic Falls, Zimbabwe and then fly back to Jo Burg after three days and catch a connection to the USA.
    A couple of questions:
    -How are the driving conditions in SA on the way from Jo burg to Kruger area?
    -I heard that tipping is expected. Can you give me an idea of how much cash in rand I should keep per day for tips?
    -Is there an ATM in the airport or is it better to use a exchange bureau?

    Thanks so much

    • Johnny

      Hi Narayan, the main highways are great in SA. Even the roads in the Kruger are fantastic which is why many self drive. Tipping your safari guide is expected and I would say something like R100-200 should be enough depending on how fancy your lodge is. As for exchange bureaus, i’ve been to almost 70 countries and the only time i ever exchange cash is when there is a black market with better rates. There are ATMs everywhere and outside of cash tipping, everyone takes card.

  • Vikas Tripathi

    Hello , we are planning to do south africa for 15 days ( last week of November and first week of December ) – do you think we can do the visit in reverse order as in starting from Johannesburg Kruger park and then heading to capetown and doing wine tours etc towards end part of our trip and back to Johannesburg for our flight back home sadly

    • Johnny

      Hi Vikas, you can definitely do this in reverse no problem. Or alternatively, you can just take a flight in the beginning from Joburg to Cape Town (like when you first land). These flights are cheap and fly often.

  • Lam

    Thanks for the post, very informative.

  • Linus

    Hey Johnny,

    Just want to drop by to say thanks for all the resource here.

    I’ve just been on a short trip to South Africa about a month ago. Until now, I can’t stop raving about the place. I’m already scheming of ways to go back.

    Thanks a bunch and hoping to see more of your travels!

    • Johnny

      Hi Linus, thanks for the kind words! Glad you liked South Africa and your trip! Keep traveling my friend!

  • Saurabh Agrawal

    Hello Johnny,

    your blog is extremely helpful. Thank you. I am planning to travel to South Africa
    from India from 17th – 25th Nov (9 days) including travel time. Can you please help me with a detailed itinerary? The purpose of the trip is mostly to unwind. So a lot of beach and wildlife/natural scenery is preferred.


    • Johnny

      Hi Saurabh, with that time frame, I would visit cape town for a few nights, and then fly to Durban area to visit the beaches and game resreves in the KZN area. Beaches there are very expansive and untouched. Not totally tropical like Mozambique and Zanzibar but it is beautiful there.

  • Leah

    Hi Johnny! Your site is really a big help to the itinerary that I’m planning to do. Half honeymoon, half adventure for 15 days at the end of October. Doing a safari in Shamwari as I wanna do a relaxed itinerary for our SA trip. It would be best to do an overnight stay in Stellenbosch or just head there for day trip? Any restaurant recommendations in Cape Town and Garden route? I hope we can get more info cause there aren’t too many online.

    Thank you!!!

    • Johnny

      Hi Leah, it really just depends on how much you like wine regions! I think if you’re going to road trip the garden route, then you should def stay at least one night in the wine region since you’ll be passing through it. I would do the one day itinerary, and then stay the night in Franschhoek on your way towards the coast.

      As for restaurants, some of my favorites in Cape Town are the Hussar grill, Pot Luck Club, Chapman’s Peak hotel, and Bo Kaap Kombuis. There are too many to recount :).

  • Phyl

    Thanks so much for all the useful info on your blog. My husband and I along with 2 single ladies are planning a trip in February, March, and part of April 2019. We would like to spend some time in SA at the beginning of that trip. Is February a good time to go? Also should we perhaps rent a house or apartment for a few weeks in Cape Town as a base? Thanks for your answer.

    • Johnny

      Hi Phyl, Feb is the perfec ttime to go to Cape Town in my opinion! If you have no time limit and see yourself spending some extended time in SA, then Cape Town is definitely a great place as a home base. There are some incredibly amazing Airbnb’s in Cape Town that you can rent for extended periods. Obviously rent a car as well and then take day trips around the area. If you want to see teh Garden Route, then you’ll need to spend a few days away from Cape Town so perhaps do that after you’ve stayed in Cape Town and explored the area. Hope that helps!

  • Phyl

    Hi, Johnny and thank you so much for your blog. My husband and I and 2 single ladies are planning to go to SA in February with no time limit to our trip. Should we just rent a 3 BR apartment or house in Cape Town and make that our base for doing some of the things you mention? As I said, we have no time limit. Thanks.

  • Maham


    Thank you so much for this post – its great! In terms of the road trip do you think it would be okay to take the baz bus instead? We are two female travellers and I can’t drive so it would be unfair to put that on my friend and hence we would prefer the bus.

    Would love your thoughts on this!


    • Johnny

      Hi Maham! Yes the Baz Bus is a great way to see the Garden Route! It leaves daily during the summer and stops at all the hot spots along the garden route. I liked driving myself because it gave me flexibility to stop wherever I wanted to but I can certainly appreciate not being comfortable driving as well. Also, I think you should plan on another day or two extra if you’rel ooking to follow my itinerary and want to hit up all the places along the garden route. Enjoy!

  • Jo

    Hi Johnny! thanks for the great tips in your blog- awesome stuff!! I looking to cover cape town, kruger and victoria falls – would you be able to give some advice on how i can structure the trip? Am pretty lost the planning in SA and beyond…
    Am looking to fly in to capetown and out of Johannesburg….

    • Johnny

      Hi Jo, I think you got the right idea so far. I would fly into Cape Town and spend a few nights. Fly to Joburg and do the Kruger safari for a few nights. Afterwards, I would fly to either Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe or to Livingstone, in Zambia. Both cities have airports with flights from Joburg and both are at Victoria Falls. I think 2-3 days is plenty enough for victoria falls, but if you want to do what I did (which is go to both towns), then perhaps 4-5 days would be better. My favorite thing to do there was definitely the Devil’s Pool on the Zambia side. Enjoy your trip!

  • Yahaira Millet

    Your site is so fantastic and has been great in helping me plan my trip to South Africa! Definitely going to read through your other SA posts!

    • Johnny

      Thanks! I am glad to have helped. South Africa is still one of my favorite places in the world so I always recommend people to go there if they can spare the time!

  • L

    Combing through all your SA post. Awesome stuff, man! I’m planning a trip some time Aug-September. Doing the reverse route from PE to Cape town. A week sounds enough? Thanks a bunch for all the resource

    • Johnny

      Hi there, yes a week will be enough for just the garden route portion in my opinion (without Cape Town). Cape Town deserves a few days on its own!

  • Joan Letendre

    Great blog! We are planning a trip to south Africa in June and will be in Kruger for 6 days since that is where the conference is meeting. Sounds as though a trip to the Cape Town and surrounding areas will work well for a final week.

    Are there options to hire a car from Joberg to Kruger if we are not going with a Safari service?

    • Johnny

      Hi Joan, what a great place to have a conference! Yes, it is very easy to rent a car from OR Tambo and drive yourself to Kruger and self-drive through the park. The roads in the Kruger are in great condition and there are easy paths to take to have DIY safari experience. Many local South Africans choose this option as it cuts down dramatically on costs. Enjoy!

  • Myles

    Hi Johnny- I’m doing a 16 day trip at the Ed of April. My itinerary is pretty similar to yours but as of now I’m tempted to make some additional stops to blyde river canyon and the drakkensberg mountains. I’m a very outdoorsy person and figured I could find some cool day hikes there. Thoughts?

    • Johnny

      Hi myles, that is absolutely a great idea! If you can swing it, can certainly recommend the gods window hike in blyde River canyon. The whole area is great for hikers and the views are breathtaking! It gets cold so be prepared for that!

  • Sabrina

    Hi Johnny!

    Great website and great itinerary, looks and sounds like an amazing time. Just wondering how much you ended up spending (minus flight) for this trip? Thinking of going in January and would love to do something similar!


    • Johnny

      Thanks Sabrina!

      Since I lived in South Africa for awhile, I never actually did those exact itineraries. I just listed them out to help people and those are the itineraries I would do given all the time and experience I got while living there.

      All in all, I would say a solid two week trip trip of Cape Town, Garden Route, and Kruger NP will be around R20,000 to R25,000 per person. Obviously costs can be much lower if you decide to stay in hostels but we stayed in little guesthouses, hotels, and airbnbs.

  • Jade

    If you are travelling through South Africa and are staying in Cape Town then you should definitely visit Table Mountain and Robben Island. So many interesting and fun things to do. Welgelgen Boutique Hotel is only a few miles from all that Cape Town has to offer and it is located right in the heart of the CBD.

  • sudarshan bhandary

    I’m planning a 8 day trip in October
    Planning on spending 3 days in Cape Town
    For the rest would you suggest The Garden Route or Kruger?

    • Johnny

      Hi there, you can’t go wrong with either option! The big question is do you want to go on a safari and see some wild animals! If the answer is yes, they you should go to the kruger!

  • T

    are you familiar with the zulu nyala safari in the Hluhluwe area of SA?

    • Johnny

      Unfortunately not but I do have a friend that stayed there once. I only went to Sodwana Bay which is near for scuba diving. Place looks amazing however!

  • Peter

    Good stuff! We enjoyed reading your blog. How did you manage to reach Kruger by 11.30am? Can you connect direct from Johannesburg to Nelspruit within the short time with your luggage? Which airline did you book? We

    • Johnny

      Hi Peter, assuming you’re flying from Cape Town to JHB that morning, there are numerous flights that leave in the early morning. You can connect to Nelspruit from OR Tambo but most tour agencies in the Kruger will pick you up from JHB airport and it’s about 4-5 hours to the park from there. 11:30 is probably too early. 3:00pm seems more reasonable which is just in time for a sunset game drive!


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