This exciting Southern Africa itinerary offers a perfect mix of self-drive and guided tours. Start in Cape Town, where you can explore the Cape Peninsula, head to the top of Table Mountain, or sample native wines in the area's sprawling vineyards. Fly to Johannesburg for the second leg of your trip—you'll enjoy multiple safari excursions and visit magnificent Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

Highlights

  • The freedom of a self-drive tour through South Africa
  • Witness the stunning cultural and natural beauty of Cape Town
  • Enjoy a sunset cruise on the glorious Zambezi River
  • Safari and wildlife spotting in some of Southern Africa's best reserves

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town Cape Town
Days 2-4 Explore Cape Town and its surrounds Cape Town
Day 5 Cape Town to Graskop Graskop Hotel
Day 6 Graskop to Shindzela, Timbavati Nature Reserve Shindzela Tented Camp
Days 7-8 On safari at Shindzela Tented Camp Shindzela
Day 9 Shindzela to Johannesburg Johannesburg
Day 10 Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe Victoria Falls
Day 11 Victoria Falls Victoria Falls
Day 12 Victoria Falls to Chobe, Botswana Chobe Safari Lodge
Day 13 On Safari at Chobe, Botswana Chobe Safari Lodge
Day 14 Chobe to Johannesburg  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town

Lions Head, as seen from Table Mountain

On arrival at Cape Town Airport, make your way to the Avis counter to collect your rented car (a VW Polo Hatch or similar). Self-drive the 25 minutes into Cape Town and check in to your hotel

Days 2-4: Explore the Cape Town region

Penguins at the Cape Peninsula

These three days are at your leisure to explore this beautiful city. On one day you could explore the city of Cape Town, including ascending Table Mountain by cable car, taking a boat ride out to Robben Island or explore some of the shopping areas that abound. You could also head out to the nearby wine country and the Cape Peninsula.

Day 5: Cape Town to Graskop

Grasslands of the Highveld

This morning, return your car to the Cape Town Airport and board your flight to Johannesburg. Here, collect another rental car and set off through the rolling grasslands of the Highveld, through the Mpumalanga Highlands and on to the small village of Graskop, perched on the edge of the Mpumalanga Escarpment.

Day 6: Graskop to Shindzela - Timbavati Nature Reserve

On safari at Shindzela

Early this morning, take in some of the spectacular natural sightseeing points, such as the Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window, Bourkes Luck Potholes and some of the many waterfalls that characterize this forested and mountainous area. By lunchtime, descend the escarpment into Lowveld and make your way into the Timbavati Game Reserve. Check in to the Shindzela Tented Camp. Safari activities that you can enjoy here include a nature walk of about 2-3 hours or a 3-hour game drive.

Days 7-8: Safari at Shindzela Tented Camp

White lions in the Timbavati Game Reserve

Enjoy guided safari activities twice daily starting from your camp. These take place in the early morning and again in the late afternoon through early evening, when the weather is agreeable and the wildlife are more on the move to feed and drink.

Day 9: Shindzela to Johannesburg

The Hillbrow Tower over Johannesburg

After your morning safari and breakfast, drive the five-hour scenic route back to Johannesburg. A suggested stopping point for lunch is the quaint trout fishing village of Dullstroom, renowned for it many boutique shops and restaurants. Arrive in "Jo-Burg" in the afternoon and check in to your hotel. 

Day 10: Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Hotel pool at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

This morning, drop your rented car off at the OR Tambo International Airport and board your flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. On arrival at Victoria Falls, you will be met and transferred to the luxurious Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel, where you'll be staying for two nights.

Day 11: Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

After breakfast, take a guided tour of the Falls and Mpala village. The first stop is the Big Tree, a massive baobab many hundreds of years old with a girth of 72 feet (22 m)! The tour continues on to the Falls themselves, starting at Livingstone’s statue and Devil’s Cataract and proceeding through the rainforest to Danger Point. The total walk is 1.8 miles (3 km), with many spectacular viewpoints along the way.

The day’s insight into real African rural life starts a 15-minute drive out of town towards the airport, at Mpala Village. The village head will take you around the different homesteads in the surrounding area, including the rural school, where you can interact with the school children, teachers, and headmaster (although this is not possible on school holidays or weekends). Return to town in the early afternoon.

Later in the afternoon, head out for a cruise on the Zambezi River, which includes beer, wine and light snacks—and an incredible African sunset!

Day 12: Victoria Falls to Chobe Safari Lodge, Botswana

Chobe Safari Lodge, Botswana

This morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred across the border into northern Botswana. You will arrive at the Chobe Safari Lodge. Included in your stay are one game drive and one afternoon boat cruise. Additional activities can be booked at the lodge.

Day 13: Safari at Chobe, Botswana

Hippos at Chobe, Botswana

Today, enjoy guided activities around the Chobe National Park and Chobe River, including magnificent African scenery, wildlife, and spectacular sunsets. The game drives are conducted into the Chobe National Park, while the boat cruises are on the Chobe River, the park’s northern boundary.

Day 14: Chobe to Johannesburg

Johannesburg, South Africa

After breakfast, cross back into Zimbabwe and to the Victoria Falls Airport, where you will board your flight back to Johannesburg and continue your travels or return home.

Map

Map of South Africa, Zimbabwe, & Botswana - 14 Days
Map of South Africa, Zimbabwe, & Botswana - 14 Days