24-Day South Africa Complete & Beyond (Self - Drive)

24-Day South Africa Complete & Beyond
(Self – Drive)

$3195/per person

based on 2 people

This magnificent tour will take you to South Africa’s most well known highlights and “off the beaten track” places! From hectic Johannesburg to the beautiful cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, you will discover the treasures of these 3 countries. With 5 unique wildlife game reserves, high mountains, deep canyons, breathtaking scenery & enchanting activities, this holiday offers you a concentration of wonderment. A journey to the delights that these magical Southern African countries have to offer.

Day 1 – Soweto and Johannesburg

A day at your leisure to explore the area. You can hire a local guide for an afternoon visit to Soweto Township, Freedom Square and Hector Pieterson museum and memorial.

A walking tour and drive will take you to various points of interest like the home of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Winnie Mandela and the FNB stadium. You can visit, time permitting, Lilliesleaf where Nelson Mandela was captured which lead to the famous Rivonia trial. From here to Constitution Hill, you discover the secrets of the past and the tales of the true struggle for freedom.

NB: We will arrange and pass on all extra activities, entrance fees and excursions for you at our discounted rates!

Main Destination:

Soweto (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Lancaster House

Mid-range guest house located in or near Soweto

Meals & Drinks:

Meals at own expense

Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 2 – Blyde River Canyon & Pilgrims Rest

Depart for the beautiful Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga. Follow the scenic Panorama Route and admire God’s Window, Three Rondavels, Blyde River Canyon, Long Tom Pass, the battlefields, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the various Canyon waterfalls. Pilgrim’s Rest is an authentic historical village dating from the first South African gold rush and now a National Monument.

Lunch

Time permitting, a swim in the beautiful MacMac pools to cool off.

Accommodation is on the edge of the canyon.

Distance Calculator: Sandton to Blyde River Canyon – 496 km

5 h 49 min via N12 (5 h 22 min without traffic).

Graskop (South Africa)

AccomMain Destination:modation:

Graskop Hotel

Mid-range hotel located in or near Graskop

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 3 – Kruger National Park

You arrive in the late morning at the famous Kruger Park and begin your visit with lunch on the banks of the mighty Sabie River.

A glorious 4×4 sunset safari (included) with professional ranger pursuing the Big 5 and other rare and endangered species.

Enjoy a great barbecue dinner.

Accommodation in National Park chalets.

Distance Calculator: Blyde River Canyon to Kruger National Park – 71.3 km

1 h 22 min via R40 (1 h 22 min without traffic).

Main Destination:

Kruger National Park (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Lower Sabie

Mid-range bungalow located inside Kruger NP

Meals & Drinks:

Meals at own expense

Drinks not included

Day 4 – Kruger National Park

Around 4.30 am you can leave camp for a 3 hr morning 4×4 safari with a professional ranger (included) to witness the African Savannah and wildlife in all its splendor.

Return to camp for a hearty breakfast followed by a full day safari with your guide.

Accommodation in National Park chalets.

NB: If accommodation is outside the Kruger Park a Full day 4×4 safari with a professional ranger will replace the 2 x 3 hour game drives.

Main Destination:

Kruger National Park (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Lower Sabie

Mid-range bungalow located inside Kruger NP

Meals & Drinks:

Meals at own expense

Drinks not included

Day 5 – Kingdom of Swaziland

Depart for the Kingdom of Swaziland (passport required). The landscapes are very similar to those of Switzerland. You can visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory and the oldest mine in the world.

At Mbabane, capital of Swaziland you can see the Royal Palace, Parliament, the Kings Mausoleum and a craft market in the Ezulwini Valley.

Overnight “hotel de charme” bed and breakfast, dinner included.

Distance Calculator: Kruger National Park to Swaziland – 159 km

2 h 20 min via MR1 and R570 (2 h 20 min without traffic)

This route crosses a country border.

Main Destination:

Ezulwini Valley (Swaziland)

Accommodation:

Mogi Boutique Hotel

Mid-range guest house located in or near Ezulwini Valley

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 6 – Lake St Lucia, iSimangaliso Wetland Park

After breakfast depart for St Lucia situated along the tropical coast of Zululand. En route, you can visit a typical Swazi village and many other attractions.

Lunch on the way.

Upon arrival you can take a boat cruise on the St. Lucia wetlands, home to a multitude of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and a World Heritage Site. It is in this complex ecosystem where bush meets beach, mangrove and sand forests are home to a stupendous diversity of wildlife and flora. You have the opportunity to encounter hippos, crocodiles, eagles and maybe even the elusive leopard.

Luxury B&B in the heart of the St Lucia wetland park.

Distance Calculator: Swaziland to Lake St. Lucia – 274 km

3 h 40 min via MR8 and N2 (3 h 33 min without traffic)

This route crosses a country border.

Main Destination:

Lake St Lucia (South Africa)

Accommodation:

St Lucia Wetlands Guest House

Mid-range guest house located in or near Lake St. Lucia

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 7 – Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve

Early morning start out for St Lucia for Hluhluze / Umfolozi Park, the 2nd oldest national park in the world and home to the “Big 5″ and also renowned for saving the white rhino from extinction.

You can spend the day exploring this vast reserve accompanied by a professional ranger in a 4×4. (optional activity, we will arrange)

Dinner in St Lucia.

Main Destination:

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve (South Africa)

Accommodation:

St Lucia Wetlands Guest House

Mid-range guest house located inside Hluhluwe-iMfolozi GR

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 8 – ISimangaliso Wetland Park to Cape Vidal

This morning can you head into iSimangaliso Wetland Park where you can visit the western and eastern shores exploring the incredible diversity with the opportunity to snorkel the world’s southernmost coral reefs, and home to hundreds of fish species.

This is also the place where one can dive with the dolphins at Cape Vidal.

Or you can head north to Sodwana Bay where you have the opportunity to swim with the dolphins, snorkel among the richest coral reefs on earth or if you have your PADI qualification, scuba dive.

The coastline of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is the only remaining nesting site in Africa where Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles still lay their eggs. In the summer season you can partake in a night safari to visit these endangered marine animals.

Main Destination:

Isimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa)

Accommodation:

St Lucia Wetlands Guest House

Mid-range guest house bordering iSimangaliso WP without fences

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 9 – Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park

This morning you depart for the Drakensberg mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

A good place to stop for lunch is Howick, the peaceful capital of the Natal Midlands, where the Umgeni River plunges 95 m forming a spectacular waterfall.

Lunch

Head to the Mandela Capture Site, where the late Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962 before the famous Rivonia trial when he was sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Robben Island. A monument commemorates this event that changed the course of history.

Distance Calculator: St Lucia to Drakensberg – 550 km

6 h 21 min via N3 and N2 (5 h 57 min without traffic)

This route has tolls.

Main Destination:

Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Umzimkulu River Lodge

Mid-range lodge located in or near Ukhahlamba

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 10 – Drakensberg up the Sani Pass into Lesotho

Many offered and optional activities are available in this region, which may vary depending on where you are situated in the Drakensberg.

Your choices:

You can opt for a 4×4 excursion and visit Lesotho for the day, via the Sani Pass, the highest in Africa or similar if situated in the Northern Drakensberg. (optional but highly recommended) you can go on a guided hike to the famous cave paintings left by the Bushmen of about 4000 years, You can Trek to the Tugela Falls, the 2nd highest the world, Or visit the Golden Gate National Park, with its unique sandstone rock formations and wild life, browse around the pretty town of Clarence, with its many little restaurants, orVisit the historic battle fields of the 18th century where the English, Afrikaans and Zulu armies, engaged in bloody battles.

Main Destination:

Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Umzimkulu River Lodge

Mid-range lodge located in or near Ukhahlamba

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 11 – The Wild Coast Coffee Bay

After breakfast you will set off for the Wild Coast one of the most unspoiled parts of the country where the population still lives in an authentic and traditional way. You will have the opportunity to visit Umtata and Nelson Mandela Museum, and a few miles away, Qunu, a small village where Nelson Mandela grew up and now hosts his final resting place. You will learn about the legends that have affected the course of history.

Lunch

Finally you reach Coffee Bay, a haven for swimming, fishing and lazy occupations. This coastal is home to beautiful beaches, estuaries, lagoons and indigenous hard wood forests.

Accommodation at the hotel

Distance calculator: Underberg to Coffee Bay 369 km

4 h 57 min, via N2 and R617 (4 h 27 min without traffic).

Main Destination:

The Wild Coast (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Ocean View

Mid-range hotel located in or near Wild Coast

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 12 – The Wild Coast & the Hole in the Wall

After breakfast you can take a hike along one of the most stunning coastlines in the world dotted with Xhosa huts and ‘kraals’
Fresh crayfish and oysters are on offer on the way. They will literally prepare it on the beach, where else can you expect such a delicacy at an incredibly reasonable price.

On our way to the “Hole in the Wall” a natural wonder, where the sea has tirelessly dug a hole in the cliff. The coast on either side of the Hole in the Wall is precipitous and notorious for the number of shipwrecks.

On return you may relax on the beach or take the opportunity to visit another prime ‘spot’ on this magic coastline.

Accommodation at the hotel which is on the beach.

Main Destination:

Hole in the Wall (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Ocean View

Mid-range hotel located in or near Hole in the Wall

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 13 – Hogsback in the Amatola Mountains

Dating back to the 1800’s, the charming and vibrant village of Hogsback is high up on the Amathole Mountains of the Eastern Cape, overlooking the rivers and slopes of the Tyume Valley. Hogsback offers you a welcoming peace and tranquillity, and plenty to do and see. It is named for its 3 flat-topped Hogsback Mountains. It is said that the Amatola Forest, was the inspiration for SA born author, J. R. R. Tolkien’ famous The Lord of the Rings, and the Hobbit books and series, hence the many Tolkienesque names.

Activities: From aromatherapy massages to adrenaline filled activities, abseiling, bird-watching, more than 150 species, including Cape Parrot, Knysna Loeries, etc. The Amatola Mountains present the visitor with artistically wind-carved rock formations and other shapes such as bell rocks. Mist forests have also formed as a result of moisture in the higher regions.

Distance Calculator: Coffee Bay to Hogsback

4 h 50 min (378 km), via N2 and R63. (4 h 27 min without traffic).).

Main Destination:

Hogsback (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Arminel Hotel

Mid-range hotel located in or near Hogsback

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 14 – Hogsback

After breakfast you can besides the many nature based activities (trout fishing, horse riding, mountain biking, hiking, river rafting) visit special places, like Diane Graham’s International Award-Winning Echo Shrine, the world famous gardens, like Applegarth, with its exotic plants from all over the earth, the magic of Camelot Fairy Meander, a Chartres design Labyrinth, one of the largest in the world, St. Patrick’s on the Hill Chapel, Robinson dam, the Bird sanctuary, the Arts & Crafts route and more.

Nearby places: Take a drive via the Hogsback Pass for panoramic views of the Tyume valley and beyond, where you will see the “three Hogs”, and at a height of 1700 m, the top of Gaika’s Kop. Here you have views of the Elandsberg mountains Seymour valley and to the coastline 120 km away as the crow flies.

Main Destination:

Amathole Mountains (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Arminel Hotel

Mid-range hotel located in or near Amathole

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 15 – Graaff-Reinet, the Great Karoo & the Camdeboo National Park

Travel to Graaff-Reinet, a stylish town in the Eastern Cape and the only town in South Africa that is surrounded by a national park. Founded in 1786, in a bend in the Sundays River, this historic Karoo town is the fourth oldest settlement in South Africa. It is a vibrant tourist destination with over 200 historical buildings and more national monuments than any other town in the country.

Places of interest: Visit the Dutch Reformed Church, The Reinet Museum, the Algave Distillery, The Valley of Desolation, a National Monument and geological wonder of weathered dolerite rock pillars. Here you have endless, magnificent views over the Karoo plains. The Camdeboo National Park is on the outskirts of the town and has an abundance of unique flora and fauna. From here, you can see the town and the Valley of Desolation – and a sense of the utter vastness. Visit the Owl House in Nieu Bethesda village

Distance calculator: Hogsback to Graaff-Reinett

3 h 25 min (297 km) via R63.

Main Destination:

Graaff-Reinet (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Buitenverwagten Guest House

Mid-range guest house located in or near Graaff-Reinet

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 16 – Addo National Elephant Park

After breakfast you take a relatively short drive to the wonderful Addo Elephant National Park, a diverse wildlife conservation park which is one of the country’s 19 national parks. It is famous for the “Big Seven”, “the Big Five” plus whales and sharks! But especially the magnificent elephants we will encounter at the waterholes.

Lunch

This afternoon your safari (optional but highly recommended) at the beautiful Schotia private game reserve with a professional ranger in a 4×4. Refreshments, tea, coffee and wood-fired baked rolls.

Second part of the safari will last until into the evening.

A delicious dinner will be served in the “Boma”. The magic of the boma lies in the design, a type of enclosure with central glowing fireplace lending a mystical and earthy quality.

Late in the afternoon you arrive in the area of the Addo National Park and will stay on a citrus farm on the banks of the Sunday’s River

Distance calculator: Graaff-Reinett to Addo National Park 140 km

1 h 35 min via R75.

Main Destination:

Addo Elephant National Park (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Happy Lands

Mid-range guest house located just outside Addo Elephant NP

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 17 – Knysna & the Garden Route

Enjoy the park at your leisure. Before leaving town, admire the view from “The Heads”, two cliffs that form a narrow passage at the entrance to the lagoon. Discover lush green coastal forests where once many elephants lived.

A short drive brings you to the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay, a small luxurious resort town. View the famous Bloukrans Bridge where bungee jumping is the highest in the world.

At the Tsitsikamma National Park you can walk in the indigenous forests and cross the mouth of the river on a suspension bridge. Beautiful scenery of the dramatic coastline. Leaving the Tsitsikamma area you can stop to admire the “Big Tree” an ancient tree in ironwood with impressive dimensions.

The next stop will be in the town of Jeffrey’s Bay a surfer’s paradise where you can enjoy shopping at Billabong and Quicksilver factory shops!

Lunch

Distance calculator: Addo National Park to Knysna 298 km

3 h via N2. (2 h 50 min without traffic). This route has tolls.

Main Destination:

Garden Route (South Africa)

Accommodation:

River Tide Lodge

Mid-range guest house located in or near Garden Route

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 18 – Oudtshoorn

The town of Oudtshoorn is the capital of the Little Karoo, renowned for its spectacular arid landscapes, fossil finds, succulents, desert plants and of course as the Ostrich Capital of the world as well as home to one of the world’s most spectacular cave systems.

You can visit the Cango Caves; said to be the most beautiful in the world where a succession of galleries, finest dripstone caverns and extraordinary limestone formations can be admired. The Cango Caves are located in Precambrian limestone at the foothills of the Swartberg range near the town of Oudtshoorn,

A visit to the world’s oldest working Ostrich farm for a tour and an opportunity to ride on one of these strange birds. Here you have the opportunity to taste the world’s finest Ostrich steak.

Distance calculator: Oudtshoorn to Agulhas (330 km)

3 h 45 min via R62 and R319 (3 h 31 min without traffic).

Main Destination:

Little Karoo (South Africa)

Accommodation:

De Denne

Mid-range guest house located in or near Little Karoo

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 19 – Arniston

After breakfast, depart for Agulhas at the southernmost point of the continent and also renowned for its ancient Khoisan fish traps.

Where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Cape Agulhas describes in Portuguese the sharp rocks which threatened the route to India for navigators of old.

We then drive onto Arniston, a ”jewel” on the east coast, with it’s emerald sea and white sand dunes, a late afternoon swim or if low tide a short hike into the sea cave.

Dinner on the beach in a fisherman’s cottage in the authentic fisherman’s village, or an African barbecue, weather dependent.

Overnight in Cape Agulhas or Arniston

Distance calculator: Oudtshoorn to Agulhas (330 km)

3 h 45 min via R62 and R319 (3 h 31 min without traffic).

Main Destination:

Cape Agulhas (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Arniston Cottages

Mid-range self catering accommodation located in or near Cape Agulhas

Meals & Drinks:

Meals at own expense

Drinks not included

Day 20 – Hermanus to Cape Town

Hermanus is known as the world’s best land based whale watching spot between the months June to December. Enjoy this charming village at your leisure. Walker Bay, a protected bay, offers privileged vantage points to view the Southern Right whales that come very close to our shoreline to calve every year during the austral winter.

An option and highly recommended is a cruise in the bay in order to observe these magnificent giants more closely.

Continue to Stoney Point in Betty’s Bay, home to Africa’s larger and lesser known penguin colony.

You then wind your way along the spectacular Clarence drive on your way to Cape Town.

Distance calculator: Hermanus to Cape Town 121 km

1 h 38 min via N2 (1 h 29 min without traffic).

Main Destination:

Hermanus (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Bergzicht

Mid-range guest house located in or near Hermanus

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 21 – Cape Peninsula

This Region is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its exceptional floral diversity. Follow the west coast via Clifton with a stop at Maiden’s Cove to enjoy a magnificent view of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay then to Hout Bay, a charming little town where you can enjoy a boat cruise to Duiker Island, home to the world’s largest fur seal colony.

The scenic Chapman’s Peak Pass offers breath-taking scenery.

The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is where the cold Atlantic waters meet the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. This famous landmark was named by the early Portuguese mariners.

Journeying down to the False Bay coast, lunch is at the old harbor of the historical naval port of Simon’s Town.

You can finish your day with a visit to Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest Cape Dutch manor house and wine farm built by the first Governor of the Cape.

Dinner at a restaurant of your choice.

Main Destination:

Cape of Good Hope (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Bergzicht

Mid-range guest house located in or near Cape of Good Hope

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 22 – The Cape Winelands

Drive to Stellenbosch, a fertile area where oak trees, wheat and vines quickly replaced the giraffes, elephants, Hottentot and Khoisan peoples.

Today, Stellenbosch is known for its beautiful varied architecture, renowned wines and university where the language of instruction is still mainly Afrikaans.

You can visit a museum, historical shop and partake in a cellar tour before traveling over the beautiful Hels Hoogte Pass on our way to Franshhoek. Visit the Huguenot Museum.

At an exceptional boutique wine farm you can taste local vintage including a pinotage, which is South Africa’s own unique cultivar. At Paarl you stop in front of Mandela’s statue at the entrance to the prison from which he was liberated in 1990.

Paarl means “Pearl”, in Dutch, and refers to the imposing granite mountains surrounding the town. The Taal monument, dedicated to the Afrikaans language, is the world’s only monument to a language.

Main Destination:

Stellenbosch (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Bergzicht

Mid-range guest house located in or near Winelands

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 23 – Cape Town

Today you can visit Cape Town, historical places, parks, Dutch East Indian Garden, Castle, South African Museum, Malay quarter, District 6 and Green market square. Before noon you can also visit the noon gun in action on the slopes of Signal Hill. It is the world’s oldest canon still in action. After lunch you can visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, the only botanical garden situated in a world heritage site which has more endemic plant species than any other in the world.

Lunch

In the late afternoon you can head along the west coast towards Blouberg where you can enjoy a “postcard” view of Table Mountain, Robben Island and Table Bay.

Tonight, enjoy an authentic African dinner of many culinary dishes from across the continent, Traditional African dance, music & theater at your meal. (We will book for you on request).

Main Destination:

Cape Town (South Africa)

Accommodation:

Bergzicht

Mid-range guest house located in or near Cape Town

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Day 24 – Robben Island Cape Town International Airport

Drive to the airport where you will leave your car. Close to the terminal building.

Depending on your departure time, various activities can be arranged.

Like the half day trip and tour of Robben Island, Table mountain, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa or even the Two Oceans Aquarian.

Main Destination:

Robben Island (South Africa)

Accommodation:

No accommodation (End of tour)

Meals & Drinks:

Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

Drinks not included

Request a Quote