Cape Town and Kruger Safari
Cape Town, Kruger National Park
By far our most popular South Africa holiday, this 12-day self-drive tour features the highlights of South Africa with a big five malaria-free safari for good measure. Driving is minimal, the sights varied and the game viewing excellent.
Starting in Cape Town or with a malaria-free Big Five safari in the Eastern Cape ( , this self-drive tour brings you the best of South Africa in 12 days of glorious scenery, spectacular sights, seaside fun and a magnificent wildlife safari.
Taking the self-drive option, along great roads in complete safety, makes this trip both affordable and flexible as you can go as fast or as slow as you like between destinations. Even if you intend to zip through to your next destination there are so many attractions en route that despite your best efforts you'll probably find a gentle, leisurely pace is the only one that fits.
From the wonderful city of Cape Town with its beaches, bars, nature reserves and cultural wealth you head east along the coast. The Garden Route starts where the Cape Winelands end your first detour will be to meander along the scenic coastal road. During whale season - between June and November with calving in August/September - a stop at Hermanus is essential for the best land-based whale watching on the planet.
Continue along the coast to the charming seaside towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay (or Plett if you want to sound like a local) in the heart of the Garden Route.
From the Garden Route you continue eastwards into the Eastern Cape and the home of the Garden Route Safari. With the advantage of being in a malaria-free area, there are several excellent private game reserves with all the wildlife, big game and birdlife of the more famous - and hence more popular - Kruger Park .
After your safari, it's a short hour or so drive to Port Elizabeth airport from where you can connect to your flight home. The whole trip - excluding detours, zig-zags, backtracks and wrong turns - covers a distance of 800km in 12 days, which means less driving and more fun for you and your family.
Arrive at Cape Town international airport, collect your hired car and drive to your Cape Town hotel, which will be your travel base for the next four days. Explore Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula at your leisure: the roads are excellent and finding your way around, with the help of a friendly GPS, is a breeze.
Our recommended Cape Town activities:
The list goes on and on and on. Talk to your travel expert about what to do in Cape Town while you're there (the season makes a difference and we can make all the recommendations and advance bookings you need).
Our recommended Cape Town accommodation:
And this list goes on and on and on. Where you stay depends on your budget, the type of accommodation you like (small and intimate or large and care-free) and what you want to do in Cape Town. If you want to laze on the beach all day, then a hotel on the beachfront at Camps Bay is the best option. If you want to spend time exploring the city and the waterfront or you prefer the gentle mink and manure countryside of the winelands or a family-friendly beach holiday.
Follow the Big Sur-style road along the coast to Hermanus about two hours from Cape Town.
Hermanus is brimming with seaside activity from whale watching, boat rides, sea kayaking, swimming in the lagoon to wonderful restaurants, nature reserves and even wine tasting nearby.
Spend two days in Hermanus where there is a good chance of seeing whales from June until November, which is South Africa's winter and the best time for game viewing. The crowds descend upon Hermanus during whale calving season, usually at the end of September, and though the whale watching is good at this time you must be prepared for a lot of slow-moving traffic and fully-booked everything. It is a fun and festive time if you can take the crowds.
Our recommended Hermanus accommodation:
Head inland from Hermanus over yet more impressive mountain passes and drive towards George of the Garden Route proper and then along the coast to either Knysna or Plettenberg Bay, the latter favouring the typical beach holiday while the former offers plenty of outdoor and nature activities.
Spend two days at the beach, on the lagoons and rivers, exploring nature reserves, coastal hikes, forest canopy rides, whale-watching, boat cruises and the gamut of seaside attractions, cafes and restaurants.
Our recommended Knysna accommodation:
Drive along the coast through Cape fynbos toward Port Elizabeth - capital of the Eastern Cape Province - before heading inland into the hilly regions of the Garden Route Safari area for genuine big five malaria-free safari.
We recommend dropping your hired car off in Port Elizabeth and hopping on a transfer to your safari lodge. Once there your guided activities include afternoon game drives into the night; early morning game drives; walking safaris and a whole lot of relaxing in between.
The Eastern Cape Garden Route safaris are truly first-class and some of the best game viewing in South Africa. With exclusive access, the private game reserves can manage visitor numbers and wildlife movements making for quality wildlife and bird sightings daily.
The scenery is gentle, timeless and wild; the game guides are exceptional and your safari lodge is pure luxury regardless of whether you opt for the standard or exclusive accommodation.
The game reserves we recommend include:
All of them have safari lodges within ranging from standard to ultimate luxury. Talk to your Travel Expert for the Garden Route safari to suit you.
Our recommended Garden Route Safari lodges:
On your last day transfer back to Port Elizabeth Airport about 90 minutes from your safari lodge and connect to your flight home via Cape Town or Jo'burg and the end of a wonderful South Africa Garden Route holiday.
Customers who enquire about this tour end up making many changes to the standard itinerary. Below are the most recent variations of this base tour booked by us for our clients. Have a look at their itineraries, see what changes they requested, what the final cost was and read what they have to say about their holidays.
Or take a look at all of our recently booked tours and make your own dream holiday. Just drop us an enquiry and we'll do the rest.