South Africa Self-Drive

Explore on your own from Cape Town to Kruger and in between
Overview

overview

Discover the beauty of South Africa at your own pace on this unique, self-guided driving tour. You'll pick up your rental car as soon as you arrive, along with a detailed kit of driving instructions and reservation vouchers. The route is flexible to include sights of interest to you. The driving route includes some of South Africa's most famous sights such as Cape Point, the Cape Winelands, Plettenberg Bay, and Addo Elephant National Park. Most people begin in Cape Town or Johannesburg, but you could begin at most airports. Hotel reservations will be made for your overnight stops, but the choice of vehicle and content and timing of your daily activities are yours. It is possible to add or remove certain stops, add extra days in certain cities, or shorten or lengthen the entire itinerary.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Cape Town
    Breathtaking Table Mountain

    Welcome to South Africa! After arriving at the Cape Town Airport you’ll pick up your group B rental car (VW Polo 1.6 Classic or similar, with manual gears and air-conditioning). The vehicle comes with insurance and unlimited mileage. You will also receive a booklet with directions, telephone numbers, restaurants, activities, emergency numbers, and your itinerary to help you on your journey. Continue to your Cape Town hotel and check-in for your overnight.

    Please note: A one-way fee of R890 (approximately $100 US, includes GPS) is payable directly to Avis for the rental car and is not included in the price.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Breakwater Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Days 2-3: Cape Town

    Spend two days pursuing the activities of your choice in the Cape Town area. Sightseers may want to visit Robbens Island, where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of his 27 years in prison, or visit one of the townships. You may also want to take a drive down to Cape Point (the Cape of Good Hope), where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, visit Kirstenbbosh Botanical Gardens, or ride the cable car to the top of Table Mountain for a scenic view overlooking the city. Adrenaline junkies can go scuba diving with great white sharks, hanglide from Table Mountain, or go skydiving over Table Bay. The evenings are a good time to wander around the Cape Town waterfront, exploring its charming restaurants and shops. Your overnights will be at Mandela Rhodes Place, or similar, in a superior room.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Breakwater Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: Franschhoek Valley
    Cape Dutch architecture

    Depart Cape Town today and drive to Franschhoek Valley in the beautiful Cape Winelands. It was settled over 300 years ago by members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, the Hueguenots, whose French wine and food culture made this area the wine capital of South Africa. The historic, buzzing village of Franschhoek boasts art galleries, world-class restaurants, and exciting wine estates. You may also want to go on a peaceful mountain walk through the indigenous fynbos (Afrikaans for “fine bush”), or simply laze beside the pool with a sun umbrella and a good book. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Cathbert County Inn (or similar)
  • Day 5: Cape Winelands
    Enjoy a wine and cheese tasting

    Today is at your leisure to explore the Cape Winelands as you wish. Try a wine and cheese tasting at one of the local vineyards, or learn about the history of the Afrikaaners, who are sometimes referred to as the “White Tribe of Africa.” The Paarl Museum, the Afrikaans Language Museum, and the Huguenot Memorial Museum are also possibilities. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Cathbert County Inn (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Plettenberg Bay
    Beautiful Plettenberg Bay

    Leave the winelands behind and drive up the Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay, where you’ll spend the next few days enjoying the beach. Venture into the town of Plettenberg Bay for lunch or dinner at one of its many restaurants, or schedule a game of golf – the Garden Route is home to many of South Africa’s finest golf courses. There are plenty of adventure sports and activities available for the intrepid and active travelers, from bungee jumping off the Bloukrantz Bridge (one of the highest jumps in Africa) to hiking through the Garden Route’s Tsitsikamma forests. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Robberg House (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Days 7-8: Plettenberg Bay
    There are many activities in the area

    Enjoy your lovely surroundings in the Plettenberg Bay area for the next two days.  Hike the Robberg Peninsula and take in the spectacular scenery along the trails, go cycling along the Harkerville Cycle Routes, canoe on the Keurbooms River, or go horseback riding.  There are also seasonal boat trips available for travelers interested in whale and dolphin watching.  

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Robberg House (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: Addo Elephant Park

    Drive to Addo Elephant National Park on the Eastern Cape today. Situated in a malaria-free area just one hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth, this finely-tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 450 elephants, cape buffalo, a variety of antelope species, and the unique flightless dung beetle that is found almost exclusively in the park.  Check in at your hotel, where you’ll experience the delight of the lodge’s hospitality by helping the cooks prepare African fusion cuisine in the interactive kitchen.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Nguni River or Lalibela Treetops Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: Addo Elephant National Park
    Get up close with the wildlife

    Take advantage of the safari activities offered through your lodge at the Addo Elephant National Park today. This reserve offers some of the most spectacular elephant viewing opportunities in the world. There are also several species of antelope in the main game area, such as the red hartebeest, eland, kudu, and bushbuck. The arid Namakaroo area of the park is home to black wildebeests, Gemsbok antelopes, springboks, buffaloes, and black rhinos. In addition, you may see Burchell’s zebras, Cape Mountain zebras, spotted hyenas, mountain reedbucks, baboons, blue duikers, aardwolves, and red rock rabbits on your safari. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Nguni River or Lalibela Treetops Lodge (or similar)
  • Day 11: Port Elizabeth / Onward

    Your adventure in South Africa ends today. Drive to Port Elizabeth Airport, where you’ll return your rental car and fly home.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,450
Peak Season (Oct-Apr): $3,450 Off Season (May-Sept): $3,250
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
11 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
3
small inns and hotels
Group Size:
2-4
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
1
small inns and hotels

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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