This is more or less a 2 week vacation to South Africa. This trip covers all of the main highlights in South Africa.

This itinerary includes the following:

  • Capetown and surrounding area (All highlights from Robben Islannd to Cape Peninsula)
  • Cage Diving with Sharks
  • Garden Route
  • Self-drive Safari in Addo National Park
  • Golden Gate Highlands
  • Kwa Cheetah Breeding Project
  • Drakensberg Mountains (Royal Natal National Park)
  • Kruger National Park Safari
  • Blyde River Canyon
  • Shangana Cultural Village
  • Johannesburg – Soweto and Apartheid Museum


SA Southern Route 1







SA Southern Route 2

























Day 1 (Friday): Leave NYC at 6:30
Day 2 (Saturday): Arrive in Frankfurt
Day 3 (Sunday): Arrive at 7:25 AM; Fly to Capetown and walk around City
Day 4 (Monday): Robben Island & Victoria/Alfred Waterfront
Day 5 (Tuesday): Table Top
Day 6 (Wednesdayt): Cage Diving in Gansbaai
Day 7 (Thursday) –Cape Peninsula to Mossel Bay (4 hrs) – Cage Diving Fallback
Day 8 (Friday): Garden Route and Stay in Jeffrey’s Bay
Day 9 (Saturday): Drive to Addo (2 hrs); Addo National Park; Drive to Cradock
Day 10 (Sunday): Drive to Royal Natal NP via Golden Gate Highlands/Clarens (8 hours)
Day 11 (Monday): Kwa Cheetah Park; Drive to North Berg and Hike the Amphitheatre
Day 12 (Tuesday): Drive to Johannesburg (4 hours)
Day 13 (Wednesday): Drive to Kruger; Shangana Cultural Village; Afternoon/Sunset Safari
Day 14 (Thursday): Kruger
Day 15 (Fridayh): Kruger
Day 16 (Saturday): Blyde Canyon and drive to Johannesburg
Day 17 (Sunday): Soweto and Apartheid Museum and Fly Home at 8:20




Fly via Kulula.com – 886 ZAR per person ($80) leaves at 10:50 am (gets in at 1:00) (BOOKED)


Stellenbosch is one of the main wine regions.

This itinerary will probably leave the ability after visiting the peninsula to travel to the wine region.


Cable Car

The cable car takes 5 minutes to get to the top and leaves from 8 am to 6:30 pm, every 10 minutes

The one-way charge would cost 115 ZAR ($10.50) or 225 – 250 ZAR for return

Hiking up the Mountain

You can hike up the mountain with or without a guide. It depends a lot on how safe you feel on traveling up the mountain by yourself. If you are in a group of four or more, there shouldn’t be an issue.

The hike up the mountain can take only an hour or two or could take half-day depending on the route.

One of the more popular routes appears to be India Venster. I would ask the hotel or guides, which route is best based on your timeline and health.

Information about the trail:

You can pay guide $85.42 via Viator for guide. It is also possible to hike the mountain without guide. Unless in large group, it is probably best to hike with a guide.

Operators up the mountain:

The costs appear to range from $65 to $90 USD.

http://tablemountainwalks.co.za/booking.html (550 ZAR to go up Platteklip Gorge)


Ferry tickets cost R280 ($25) and departs at 9, 10, 11, 1, 2, and 3 from Victoria-Alfred Waterfront.

One should expect to spend 3.5 hours to see Robben Island and get back/forth if taking one of the quicker boats (e.g., Sikhi boat).


This is location of where the ferry departs.

Other Attractions

District Six Museum
Bao Kap
Slave Lodge
Groot Constania (Wine Estate by Botancial Gardens)
Botanical Gardens (Probably wrong time to see Gardens)


Suggested areas: Sea Point, Green Point, Mouille Point, Bantry Bay, Camps Bay, Three Anchor Bay, and Tamerskloof (Green Point over Tamerskloof)

City Bowl
Cape Town Lodge Hotel – $248 for 4 nights

Wood Stock
DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town Upper Eastside – $257 for 4 nights

Sea Point

Villa Costa Room – $272 for 4 nights (Sea Point)
Primi Royal Boutique Hotel – $275 for 4 nights (Sea Point)
Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa – $340 for 4 nights (Sea Point)
Premier Hotel Cape Manor – $395 for 4 nights (Sea Point)

Camps Bay

Sea Mount – ($273 for 4 nights) or $428 for Sea View
3 on Camps Bay Boutique Hotel – $309 for 4 nights (Camps Bay)
The Bay Atlantic Guest House – $395 for 4 nights (Camps Bay)
Primi royal Boutique Hotel – $275 for 4 nights (BOOKED)


The Walden Suites (5 Star) – $258 for 4 nights (1 room left)

Rental Cars

Aroundaboutcars.com – 5150 ZAR ($442);
+400 drop-off; GPS; Super cover; unlimited KM; VW Polo (BOOKED)

Note: sixt.com – $287 vs. $205 with aroundaboutcars.com for 4 days

Insurance: Insure4hire.com

Cape Peninsula

Top attractions:

  • Cape of Good Hope / Nature Reserve (Cape Point)
  • Cape Floral Region / Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (Don’t know if will see much in July)
  • Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town – See African penguins   (Could do 8 hr tour for $75 per person via Viator)
  • Duiker Island (Optional) – colony of Cape fur seals (need to take boat there)

It sees that this will take half day to full-day depending on how much time that you want to spend at these locations.

Cage Dive in Gansbaai

Cage diving leaves from Gansbaai for 1,350 – $1,500 ZAR ($120 – $150 dollars)

Boat leaves at 10:00 and arrives back between 2 and 4 in the afternoon

Underwater camera is for rental of 200 ZAR and another 250 for DVD

Great White Shark Tours has good reviews

Near Gansbaai – there is Hermanus which is one of best places to see whales from the shore.

This other company called “White Shark Diving Company” finishes up around 12:00 pm.

Book Shark Adventure


Mossel Bay Hotels

Point Village Hotel – $77
Aquamarine Guest House – $73 (Book)
Mossel Bay Backpackers (Room 3) – 680 ZAR ($60) or (Room 12)   – 550 ZAR ($48) – both available


Garden Route

This technically runs from Mossel Bay (4 hours from Cage Diving) to the Storms River Mouth (2.5 hrs from Port Elizabeth)


Garden Route



Many people will spend multiple days on the Garden Route. If you plan on spending more than two days in the Garden Route, travelers will typically stop in Oudtshoorn (1 hour N of Mossel Bay). The main attraction of Oudtshoorn is ostriches and cango caves.

The next main attraction after Mossel Bay is the town of “Wilderness.”  The main attractions are the white sand beach, “Map of Africa” Viewpoint, and “Dolphins Point,” where get photo of Kaaimans River Bridge, and the Wilderness National Park.   You can also rent a canoe and paddle up Kaaimans river

The most popular attraction on the Garden Route is a visit to Knysna.

These are the main attractions of Knysna:

  • Visit the “Heads” – 10 minute drive
  • Cruise in Lagoon
    • Sunset Cruise at 4:00 pm for 1.5 hours in July (R370 per adult at knysnacharters.com)
    • 75 minute cruise ot the Knysna Heads for R250 leaving at 9, 10:30, or 12
  • Visit the Knysna Forest

The next main attraction heading further east is Tsitskamma National Park (Near Storms River Mouth). There are number of interesting hikes with various little suspension bridges along the walkway.

The Suspension Bridge and Lookout Trail (2 kms and 1 hour) aka Mouth Trail

Other Activities in Area

Blackwater Tubing – looking like fun (http://www.tsitsikamma.info/listing/blackwater_tubing)
Kayak & Lilo – up Storms River Mouth (http://www.untouchedadventures.com/activities/kayak-and-lilo)

Bloukrans Bridge – highest bungee jump bridge is near


Hotel towards Addo National Park

  • Stormsriver: Tsitsikamma Village Inn – $48
  • Humansdorp (1 hr 12 min): Humansdorp Boutique Hotel – $47
  • Jeffrey’s Bay (1 hr 25 min): Stone Oliver Guest House – $60 w/booking.com (Booked)

This would leave 2 hr 15 minutes to Addo National Park from Jeffrey’s Bay


Addo National Park

Addo National Park is 75 km from Port Elizabeth. You have the ability to do a self-drive safari.

Information on park:

Port Elizabeth is 2.75 hours from Tsitsikamma National Park; Addo is 3.5 hours from Tsitsikamma National Park.

The full trip at Addo takes 5 to 6 hours.

Cradock is 2 hours north of Addo National Park

Hotel in Cradock (2 to 3 hours from Addo)

  • Die Tuishuise (1,000 ZAR /$85 USD) – (Booked)

Traveling to Durban

$156 per person

I felt that it made more economic sense to drop.


Drive to Ladysmith

We could stop at the Kwa Cheetah Breeding Project, which is 4.5 hours from Johannesburg


The tour starts at 11:00 hr for 80 – 100 minute interaction. The cost is R250 per person.

You can also have the interaction with ZAR 400 per person to walk with Cheetah. This typically starts at 7:30 am.


The drive to Ladysmith would cost 8 hr and 45 minutes.


Memra Guest House (http://www.memra.co.za/) – $60 per booking on booking.com (Booked)

Drakensberg Mountains




Parts of the Park

It is not easy to travel from one part of Drakensberg Mountains to the next part. As a result, you will need to selectively pick your destinations and/or give yourself extra time.

The main areas:

  • Royal Natal National Park (main area)
  • Giant’s Castle Reserve (second area)
  • Castle Peak

Royal Natal National Park

This park is 3.5 hours from Durban and then 4.5 hours t J’burg.

The Tugela Gorge hike, which is a 23 km hike, is a 5.5 hour to 7 hour hike along the Amphitheatre. You can also get a view of the Tugela Falls, wich is the 2nd highest waterfall. You can stay at the Thendele Camp, which costs 920 ZAR for lower camps or 1050 ZAR for upper camp. The upper camp was recommended as the best option.

Rates can be found here: http://www.royalnatal.info/Rates-2014-2015.htm   (Chatlet 15 or 16)

If you are spending more than one day in the area, the policemen’s helmet is a 14 km hike that takes 4 hours.



  • Thendele Camp (1,050 ZAR per night) –(Booked)
    • Food and lodge provide food
    • https://bookings.kznwildlife.com
  • Mount Aux Sources (1,299 ZAR per night) – D119 The Cavern Road
    • Standard Room

http://www.cavern.co.za/ – 2080 ZAR without TV

Articles on hike:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/africa/topics/tugela-gorge-hike (blog article)
http://www.nightjartravel.com/hiking/tugela-gorge-trail (good article on trail)
The second most popular area is Giant’s Castle Reserve.

Some of the more popular short hikes include Bushman’s River Trail (3.2 km or 2 hours) and
Berg View (5 km / 2 hr)


The southern part of Drakensberg region is the least visit part of the park.

Areas skipped: Monk’s Cowl Nature Reserve and Cathedral Peak State Forest



Drive to Johannesburg

Drive from Natal to Johannesburg = 3 hr 40 min

This will give us to time spend time relaxing in Johannesburg


Raddison Blu Hotel Sandton – $85


Drive to Kruger National Park

Drive is 4 hr 20 min from Johannesburg to Hazyview

  • Shangana Cultural Village (Hazyview – http://www.shangana.co.za/)
    • 9 – 4pm; very touristy recreation of a traditional Shangaan community
    • Midday Tour Starts at 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm
    • 288 ZAR per person for Midday Tour
    • Day tour (1 hr to 1.75 hr); midday tour; evening program (3 hrs) with dinner, which starts at 5:00 pm


  • Botshabelo Historical Village (Middelburg)
  • Ndebele Village at Botshabelo



It is 1 hour from Skukuza.


Kruger National Park (including Blyde River Canyon)

Given timelines, I think a four day safari should be suffice. You will also have the ability to stop at Blyde River Canyon.

Camping safari would be at a minimum of $500 but can be 4x or more if staying in luxury camps.

Budget Safari (Fly into Skukuza Airport – 10 am and in at 10:50 am for #128; Return; 2:50 -3:35

  • SA Dream Tours (http://www.southafricandream.co.za); Safaribookings.com/tours/t3302
    • Starts: Hoedspruit; Ends: Nelspruit
    • Rest: Olifant Rest Camp; Skukuza Rest Camp; Berg-En-Dal Rest Camp
    • Price: 5,490 ZAR per person ($478 per person)
    • Email from Carla Lombard on Feb 6th
    • Flight to Hoedspruit on July 8th leaves at 10:15 am and gets in at 11:20 am for $190
    • Drive: 5 hours
    • Size of Vehicle:
    • No Blyde
  • Nhongo Safaris (nhongosafaris.co.za)
    • Start: Johannesburg (9 am); End: Johannesburg Airport (3:30 – 4pm)
    • Rest: Pretoriuskop Camp
    • Price: 5,950 ZAR per person ($530 per person)
    • Chalet Accommodation with Beds
    • Exclude: Lunch
    • Email: Feb 5th
    • Size of Vehicle: Up to 9 people
    • Company mentioned that only do tours for 9 people
  • Outlook Safaris (https://krugerparksafari.com/)
    • Start/End: Skukuza (W/O Transfer); Johannesburg w/ Transfer (Leave 7; Return 6 pm)
    • Price: 5,400 ZAR per person; 1,200 ZAR per person ($105) with a return transfer
    • Tent with Beds
    • Vehicle: Never take more than 21 people in 3 vehicles
    • Rest: Skukuza
    • Would need to meet at Skukuza
    • No Blyde
  • Kruger Park Tour (com/packages/4-day-kruger-adventure-package/)
    • Start: Johannesburg; End: Johannesburg
    • Price: 6,900 ZAR includes Transport from Hotel to Airport and Hotel Stay
    • Accommodation: Tents with Beds
    • Vehicle: Holds 9 people
    • Includes BLYDE
  • Southern Circle (http://www.southerncircle.com)
    • Waiting for Price?
  • African Budget Safaris (africanbudgetsafaris.com)
    • Price: 6,600 ZAR per person
    • Name of Trip: Budget Camping Safaris: 4 Days Camping in the Kruger Park Safari
  • Viva Safaris
    • Price: 6,495 ZAR per person

















  • Day 1 (July 8th)
    • Skukuza (147 km / 90 miles or 6 hours to Olifants)
  • Day 2 (July 9th)
    • Olifants ( 86 km / 54 miles or 3.5 hours to Mopani)
  • Day 3 (July 10th)
    • Mopani

It is 3 hours (74 km) to Phalaborwa Gate








Sunrise/Sunset: 240 ZAR per person;   5:00 am for Sunrise; 3:30 pm for Sunset (3 hours)
Night: 205 ZAR per person; 8:00 pm start (2 hours)


General Information:

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/africa/south-africa/4-day-kruger-national-park-itinerary?page=1#post_21433014 (Ideas for self drive)

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/africa/south-africa/kruger-recommendations (good article with options)

Book on Self Drive: http://www.african-safari-journals.com/guide-your-own-safari.html

Purchase Wild Card











South African Temporary / Permanent Residency (Work) Permit: Please remember to send us your Name, Application / Wild Card / Receipt (PMT) number, with a copy of your Passport and Permit, in order for your Wild Card Membership to be activated and, if applicable, your card to be posted to you. Fax to +27 (0)86 502 6704 or email: wildcard@sanparks.org



Safari’s Activity

Sunrise/Sunset: 240 ZAR per person;   5:00 am for Sunrise; 3:30 pm for Sunset (3 hours)
Night: 205 ZAR per person; 8:00 pm start (2 hours)

Emailed: reservations@sanparks.org


Drive back to Johannesburg (Blyde River Canyon)

Blyde River Canyon – East route is best

Mopani Rest Camp to Blyde River Canyon – 3.5 hours
Olifants Camp to Blyde River Canyon – 3.5 hours




















Lowveld Viewpoint & Three Rondavels Viewpoint: the two main viewpoints

8 hr and 25 minutes to get from Mopani Rest Camp to Johannesburg’s Airport



Apartheid Museum (Based in Soweto – half day event)

For $67, you can do a full day event that includes Soweto and Apartheid Muse.

Open Mon – Sunday from 9 to 5:00

Soweto – $45 per person (Soweto Guided Tours – Half Day)


Raddison Blu Hotel Sandton – $85


  • Gold Reef City
  • Gold Mine Tours from Gold Mine Tours
  • Museum Africa (near Gold Reef City)

Gautrain from Airport – 15 min to Santron


I completed the trip in July 2015.  On another post, I have highlighted the lessons learned from this  trip.

Click Here