Final Up to date on June 27, 2022 by Nellie Huang
Dreaming of an epic South Africa journey? Try my detailed 2-week South Africa itinerary that brings you from the coast to the savanna.
In the event you suppose South Africa is all about wildlife safari, suppose once more. The nation is among the most various I’ve been — with cosmopolitan cities alongside dramatic coastlines that fringe wild savannas and rugged mountain vary.
You may simply go from game-driving within the African bushveld to browsing on the seashore or wine-tasting at lush vineyards in a matter of hours. Plus it’s house to many historic websites which have witnessed some main turning factors in world’s historical past.
I like South Africa a lot that I’ve been 4 instances! On every journey, I’ve found a distinct aspect to the multi-faceted nation. For first-timer guests, I’ve put collectively this South Africa itinerary to pack in one of the best of South Africa in 2 weeks.
The Final South Africa Itinerary & Information
Find out how to Get to South Africa
The principle gateway to South Africa are the Cape City Worldwide Airport (CPT) and OR Tambo Worldwide Airport (JNB). South African Airways is the nationwide airline and serves many main cities on the earth.
This South Africa itinerary begins and ends in Cape City. You’ll find flights from New York to Cape City by way of Istanbul for round US$750 return. For these in Europe, you possibly can fly direct from London to Nairobi (9hours) for round $550 return.
Find out how to Get Round South Africa
By Automobile Rental
One of the best ways to get round South Africa is by automobile rent. Most roads are in good situation and all street indicators are in English. We’ve pushed South Africa a number of instances, and by no means had any challenge.
You don’t want a 4WD and automobile rental is basically reasonably priced right here (costs as little as $200 for two weeks in South Africa). You may even do self-drive safari in sure nationwide parks and reserves. I counsel hiring a car in Cape Town on the airport and one other one in Johannesburg.
Because the nation is large, you’ll must fly to get from the Cape City to Johannesburg. Home flights are slightly low-cost — you’ll find the cheapest flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town on Mango Airways for US$70. Mango flights are a number of the least expensive you’ll discover.
It’s additionally attainable to fly from Johannesburg to Nelspruit (nearest city to Kruger NP)on Airlink for simply $70 every approach. Flying cuts down the journey time from 6 hours by street to simply 40 minutes.
Finest Time to Journey South Africa
South Africa is a year-round vacation spot. Relying on the place you journey in South Africa, every area has completely different local weather and wildlife alternatives.
Normally, one of the best time to go to South Africa is from Might to September. These are the cooler winter months within the northern areas (Johannesburg space), which convey very good circumstances for viewing large sport.
Summer season in South Africa runs from November to February. Throughout these months, the southern coast (Cape City space) has stunning, scorching, dry climate. The typical temperature is round 73-79 °F (23-26°C). The very best time to go to the Cape for whale watching is between July and November.
2 Weeks in South Africa
With 2 weeks in South Africa, you’ll barely scratch the floor of this mega-diverse nation. However you’ll nonetheless be capable to expertise one of the best of South Africa in 2 weeks, should you comply with this itinerary.
On this South Africa itinerary, we are going to get to discover primarily the Cape, Johannesburg and Kruger areas. I like to recommend hiring a automobile in every space and flying between Cape City and Jo’burg.
Abstract of this South Africa Itinerary:
- Days 1-3: Cape City
- Day 4: Day Journey to Cape Peninsula
- Day 5: Day Journey to Cape Winelands
- Day 6: Fly to Johannesburg
- Day 7: Day Journey to Cradle of Humankind
- Days 8-10: Welgevonden Non-public Reserve
- Days 11-13: Kruger Nationwide Park
- Day 14: Fly house!
South Africa Itinerary Day 1: Cape City
Begin your South Africa itinerary within the Mom Metropolis: Cape City, certainly one of my favorite cities in the world. Cape City is a surprising coastal metropolis fringed by dramatic seashores and topped by the magnificent Desk Mountain.
Discover V&A Waterfront
Get your bearings on the V&A Waterfront, house to South Africa’s oldest harbor. In the event you’re fortunate (like me), there are excessive possibilities of seeing sea lions swimming across the harbor or suntanning on the deck right here.
With epic views of the Desk Mountain and a central location, the waterfront is a well-liked hangout spot for Capetonians. Right this moment it’s a assortment of eating places and retailers providing contemporary produce and native merchandise.
Go to Nelson Mandela’s Cell on Robben Island
The V&A Waterfront is the place you possibly can catch the ferry to Robben Island (which departs each 1-2 hours). Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of political imprisonment right here on the island.
The Robben Island tour is led by a former political prisoner, who’ll convey you to key websites on the island while recounting his personal private story of imprisonment right here. It offers a sobering however insightful peek into the oppression of the apartheid regime. Book your tour here!
Wander round Bo Kaap
After the eye-opening go to, head to Cape City’s most colourful neighborhood: Bo Kaap. This small downtown neighborhood is the Cape Malay Quarter and is legendary for the multicolour single-story Cape Dutch homes.
The origins of the world date again to the 1700s when the Dutch colonisers imported slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia and Africa to Cape City. When slavery was abolished within the 1830s, the slaves painted their properties in vibrant colours to have fun their freedom.
Watch Sundown at Camps Bay
Because of its location by the Atlantic Ocean, Cape City is blessed with stunning seashores and a browsing tradition. The most effective seashores to catch sundown is Camps Bay, poised alongside the foothills of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Vary.
Camps Bay is lined with palm timber, white sand and buzzing seashore bars. Do a romantic picnic together with your associate or sit in one of many cool seashore bars and watch the solar fade into the Atlantic Ocean with a cocktail in hand!
South Africa Itinerary Day 2: Cape City
What makes Cape City such a surprising place shouldn’t be the town itself, however slightly the placement. Desk Mountain dominates the town, looming over the Metropolis Bowl and Camps Bay space. There are two methods to summit Desk Mountain – by cable automobile or on foot. I like to recommend mountain climbing to the highest and descending by cable automobile for the complete expertise.
Hike up Desk Mountain
Mountaineering Desk Mountain is an excellent method to discover the indigenous fynbos (kind of forest), spot wildlife just like the dassies (rock hyrax), and revel in spectacular views.
The simplest and quickest path to the highest is by way of Platteklip Gorge, which leads hikers by way of a ravine on the face of the mountain. This route takes round 1.5-2 hours to finish and is the preferred.
Take the Cable Automobile Down
On the summit, there’s a chance to discover the mountain prime alongside three straightforward trails affording 360-degree views of the town, Atlantic Seaboard and the mountain chain stretching throughout the Cape Peninsula.
To get down, catch the Table Mountain aerial cableway. Tickets are round USD $20-25 per grownup. They’ve been ferrying passengers to the highest of Desk Mountain for nearly 90 years, and with its 360* rotating flooring and epic views its positively value taking the journey.
Itinerary Day 3: Cape City
To get below the floor of Cape City, head out to the townships or casual settlements, or townships. These ramshackle cities that spill out for miles alongside the highways are probably the most seen scars of the apartheid period, when non-whites had been compelled out of their properties.
Go to the Townships of Cape City
Visiting townships could be controversial, however I imagine that touring with a accountable operator could make a giant distinction and convey consideration to individuals who need assistance.
I went on a township cycling tour by way of Masiphumelele, a township on the fringe of Kommetjie. The tour introduced us into the township, assembly locals and attending to know them. We had pap (maize porridge) and braai (barbecue) at a neighborhood eatery, and visited a sangoma (conventional healer). It was completely insightful and positively definitely worth the expertise.
Spend the Night at Lengthy Avenue
Operating by way of the centre of Cape City is Lengthy Avenue, a vibrant street flanked by native eateries and bars. That is the palpitating coronary heart of Cape City and it really comes alive at evening.
I stayed at Lengthy Avenue on certainly one of my journeys to South Africa, and had such time hanging out with locals right here. Don’t miss Mama Africa that serves meals from throughout Africa, in addition to Long Street Cafe, a Cape City establishment set in an outdated Victorian-style constructing.
Itinerary Day 4: Cape Peninsula
Subsequent day, lease a automobile and go on a scenic drive to the Cape Peninsula, and southwesternmost level of the African continent! In the event you don’t drive, take a look at this Cape Point day tour.
The street hugs the cliff, meandering alongside the sting of the Desk Mountain all the best way to Cape of Good Hope. On one aspect, the steep slopes plunge dramatically into the Atlantic Ocean; and on the opposite, needle-sharp peaks soar into the sky.
Go to Charming Fishing Villages
Begin out from Muizenberg (identified for the colourful homes on the seashore) and make your first cease at Kalk Bay, a bohemian village suffering from a flurry of vintage retailers, flea markets and indie boutiques.
Proceed all the way down to Simon’s City, the third oldest city in South Africa. The city is finest identified for the African Penguin colony that inhabit the close by Boulders Seashore. A picket boardwalk weaves by way of the penguin’s habitat, permitting intimate encounters with the lovable little animals.
Hike alongside Trails and BoardWalks
After making a cease on the Cape of Good Hope, proceed driving in direction of the Cape Level lighthouse, set dramatically towards the crashing ocean. Cliff trails wind across the vegetation and result in the lighthouse, we took simply twenty minutes to hike alongside the path, earlier than we had been handled to expansive views of the ocean.
Do the Chapman’s Peak Drive
Drive again by way of the Atlantic Seaboard by way of the city of Scarborough and the beautiful browsing seashore of Noordhoek. The day journey culminates at Chapman’s Peak Drive, the place you possibly can drink in a view of the crescent-shaped bay and spot sealions and sharks swimming beneath.
Itinerary Day 5: Cape Winelands
In your final day in Cape City, drive out to the attractive Cape Winelands (1 hour away) and go to a few of South Africa’s most well-known wine estates. You too can book a Cape Winelands tour or winelands ebike tour that features a few tastings.
The hottest city of the Cape Winelands is Stellenbosch, and it’s positively value visiting for its photogenic setting. When you’ve got some additional time, don’t miss the equally stunning Franschhoek only a 30-minute drive away.
Go to Spier Wine Farm
That is certainly one of Stellenbosch’s oldest working wineries, with a heritage courting again to 1692. The house owners are passionate artwork lovers and the vineyard is house to one of many largest collections of latest South African artwork on the earth.
Style Peter Falke Wine
Take pleasure in wine tasting on the Groenvlei Property, and admire the standard 18th century Cape Dutch buildings. The beautiful vineyard is open for tastings from Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm.
Trip the Wine Tram
Then, hop on the classic Franschoek wine tram, to tour wineries with out getting behind the wheel of a automobile. You may hop on and off everytime you need and go to as much as 5 wineries in a day. You have to guide your tickets upfront.
South Africa Itinerary Day 6: Johannesburg
It’s time to discover extra of South Africa! Catch a home flight to Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest metropolis. Flights from Cape City often value round US$70 every approach.
Many individuals skip Jo’burg altogether, however they miss out on many insightful museums and historic websites which can be quintessential to any South Africa journey. Town is now devoted to preserving the reminiscences of heroes who reworked the nation into what it’s at the moment.
NOTE: Security continues to be a difficulty in Johannesburg. Don’t stroll round at evening, and don’t go away something seen within the automobile.
Go to Apartheid Museum
Lease one other automobile and make a beeline for the Apartheid Museum, a must-see in my view. It’s a sobering expertise, however a necessary one if you wish to perceive South Africa’s historical past and id.
The museum exhibits the rise and fall of the apartheid system by way of spine-chilling movie footage, images and historic artifacts. It’s an emotional and eye-opening expertise — put together to shed some tears. Book a guided tour in advance here.
Discover Soweto Township
Brief for “South Western Township”, Soweto is the epicenter for a lot of essential turning factors all through South Africa’s historical past. It’s straightforward and protected to discover Soweto by yourself, however should you choose to have a information, take a look at this guided township tour.
Probably the most well-known spot in Soweto is Vilakazi Avenue – as soon as house to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Mandela’s former abode is now a museum, and Archbishop Tutu nonetheless resides in his Soweto house.
One other Soweto museum thats recount the wrestle to finish apartheid embrace the somber Hector Pieterson Museum that honors the schoolchildren slain in a police bloodbath.
Dine at Carnivore Restaurant
One of the crucial well-known eating places in Jo’burg is Carnivore, positioned in Muldersdrift (you’ll want a automobile or taxi to get right here). It provides genuine African braai (barbecue) and a buffet of grilled venison meat and South African aspect dishes. Book a table here!
South Africa Itinerary Day 7: Cradle of Humankind
Subsequent, rise early for a day journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Website: The Cradle of Humankind. It’s internationally recognised because the place the place humankind started.
Found in 1924, the first-ever hominid fossil is on show right here on the Maropeng Customer Centre. There are13 excavation websites, together with the Sterkfontein Caves. You too can catch a glimpse of pre-human cranium dubbed “Mrs Ples”, and a near-complete hominid skeleton known as “Little Foot”.
Additionally located inside the World Heritage website reserve is the Lion and Safari Park, a 1,000ha (2,471-acre) animal sanctuary. You may guide a guided sport drive or go wildlife-watching in your individual rented automobile. In the event you’re not driving, check out this day tour.
Itinerary Days 8-10: Welgevonden Recreation Reserve
Lastly, it’s time to go into the African bushveld to see the Big Five! There’s no scarcity of nationwide parks and reserves close to Johannesburg — I like to recommend Welgevonden because it’s 3 hours from Jozi and it breaks down the lengthy drive to Kruger Nationwide Park.
Welgevonden is a small, personal reserve. There’s a restrict on automobiles allowed within the park, so it’s not as saturated as many Kruger. I really choose small reserves as animals are extra concentrated and simpler to identify. I like to recommend a minimum of 2 nights right here as you’ll have solely 2 sport drives/day.
Welgevonden is house to over 50 completely different mammals, together with the Big Five, hippo, kudu, giraffe, zebra, warthog, and cheetah. The reserve additionally has one of many largest populations of white rhino of any of Africa’s personal reserves. We noticed a lot, which is a good signal of the work they’re doing towards poaching!
Itinerary Days 11-13: Kruger Nationwide Park
We’ve saved one of the best for the final — put together for the spotlight of your South Africa journey! Kruger is undoubtedly the most important and hottest national park in South Africa. Right here’s the place you’ll get one of the best wildlife watching alternatives.
The nationwide park has a excessive density of wildlife — together with every kind of chook life and the Huge 5. I had my closest wildlife experiences right here in Kruger: being charged by an elephant, seeing lions mate, and watching the lilac breast curler exhibiting off his rainbow coloured feathers.
You’ll wish to spend a minimum of 3 nights in Kruger. Each single sport drive is exclusive and also you’ll get completely different experiences. I like to recommend reserving guided game drives as guides are educated to identify animals from a distance.
South Africa Itinerary Day 14: Fly house!
Sadly your 2 weeks in South Africa have come to an finish. It’s a 6-hour drive again to Johannesburg from Kruger Nationwide Park. Be certain to present your self sufficient time to catch your flight house.
I counsel staying at an airport lodge to relaxation up earlier than flying house the subsequent day. Protea Hotel by Marriott Transit is positioned contained in the airport terminal and is a wonderful place to relaxation earlier than flying.
Extra South Africa Itinerary Concepts
In the event you’ve received greater than 2 weeks in South Africa, there are positively much more of the nation value exploring. Listed below are some elements of South Africa that I’ve been and would advocate visiting.
Journey seekers alert! Simply 1-2 hour’s drive from Cape City is the city of Gaansbaai, well-known for its dense inhabitants of nice white sharks. Right here you possibly can go cage shark diving, an exhilarating expertise the place you stand up near the good white. Learn the way misunderstood these creatures are and get to know them on a deeper stage.
One of the crucial well-known street journeys in South Africa, the Backyard Route is a scenic and ecologically various area close to Cape City. It stretches 300-kilometers (190 miles) from Mossel Bay (a 5+ hour drive from Cape City), ending in Storms River. You may positively add this to your itinerary when you’ve got 3 weeks in South Africa. Don’t miss the Addo Elephant Nationwide Park, one of many best national parks in South Africa.
Residence to the iSimangliso Wetland Park, St Lucia is an journey hub providing a number of out of doors actions and wildlife safari alternatives. Take a cruise within the estuary and spot a whole lot of hippos and crocodiles, or go on a whale watching tour to see humpbacks within the Indian Ocean.
Durban is a hip, coastal metropolis with the vitality and character of an African metropolis intertwined with British heritage and Asian affect. Keep on the iconic Oyster Box Hotel, admire colonial structure in downtown Durban, attempt a dish of bunny chow that Durban is oh-so-famous for, or take a protracted stroll alongside the beachfront boulevard of Umhlanga Rocks.
Recognized affectionately because the Berg, the mighty Drakensberg Mountains are completely spectacular. The rugged mountains are sometimes described as a ‘barrier of spears’, which runs alongside the border of South Africa and Lesotho. We spent a couple of days right here when traveling to Lesotho and had been completely floored by the dramatic landscapes.
How A lot Does this South Africa Itinerary Value?
South Africa isn’t an affordable vacation spot, however it’s positively extra reasonably priced than most of US, UK and Canada. Automobile rental is reasonable, you’ll find charges as little as $15/day. Lodging can be reasonably priced — you’ll find luxurious flats on Airbnb for $70/evening.
Nonetheless, wildlife safaris are usually costly, with lodges charging a minimal of $250/evening. Understand that all of your meals, lodging and sport drives are included. The most affordable 3-day budget safari in Kruger you’ll find is $450/ particular person.
Anticipate to spend a minimum of $2000 over 2 weeks in South Africa. That is primarily based on midrange lodging and hiring your individual automobile.
Journey South Africa Independently or on Guided Tour?
South Africa is comparatively straightforward to discover independently, particularly within the space surrounding Cape City. I like to recommend hiring a automobile and doing the South Africa journey by yourself.
In the event you don’t drive, it is likely to be simpler to hitch a guided tour. Having a information, particularly within the nationwide parks, could make a giant distinction as wildlife guides are educated to identify animals and have a wealth of data on wildlife.
On my first journey to South Africa, I went on this 28-day Southern Africa Overland tour with G Adventures. I’ve traveled with G Adventures many instances (to Antarctica, Brazil, Mongolia and Nepal) and had a blast on each single journey. For these with simply 2 weeks in South Africa, take a look at this 10-day Cape Town to Kruger journey.
In the event you’re solely on the lookout for funds tenting safaris, take a look at these funds wildlife safari that embrace transport from main cities:
Well being and Vaccines in South Africa
Sure elements of South Africa have malaria and yellow fever dangers. Kruger Nationwide Park, as an example, is a malaria zone. There are a couple of urged vaccinations and medicines for South Africa, however none are necessary.
For malaria, seek the advice of your physician and convey malaria remedy from house (Malarone is the preferred). Observe that they could have unintended effects. You’ll want to begin taking them a couple of days earlier than your journey and proceed for a couple of weeks after your South Africa journey.
Don’t go away this till the final minute. Test the CDC website to see what vaccinations you want.
Instructed vaccinations for South Africa:
- Yellow fever
- Hepatitis A and B
Take pleasure in Your Journey to South Africa!
2 weeks in South Africa will certainly mean you can expertise one of the best of the nation. I hope this South Africa itinerary will aid you plan your individual journey. Be at liberty to bookmark it or print it out and convey this itinerary with you in your South Africa journey.
In our opinion, that is one of the best South Africa street journey you are able to do. It’s the right steadiness of wildlife, out of doors, historic and cultural experiences. It’s not too rushed and also you’ll get to see South Africa at a cushty tempo.
Be sure you go away a remark beneath when you’ve got any questions. We’ll be completely happy to assist in any approach we will!
Disclaimer: This submit accommodates affiliate hyperlinks i.e. I’ll get a small fee if you guide something by way of my hyperlinks, at NO additional value to you. I solely advocate firms I’ve personally used and loved.
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