This itinerary will start in Cape Town, where you will have a few days to explore the culturally-rich and scenic city, including a visit to Robben Island as well as a cable car ride up to Table Mountain.  You will then drive through the Cape to the quaint town, Caledon, before exploring the Klein Karoo and spending a night in Oudtshoorn. Over the next few days, you will discover the famous Garden Route while staying in Knysna before heading to Amakhala Game Reserve for two days of safari.

Highlights

  • Get up close with penguins in Boulder's Beach
  • Visit Mandela's old cell during a Robben Island Tour led by an ex-political prisoner
  • Discover Africa's biggest show cave system at the Cango Caves
  • Enjoy a boat cruise up the Knysna Lagoon
  • Spot some of the Big Five during a game drive in Amakhala

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town Cape Town
Day 2 Full Day Tour of Scenic Cape Peninsula Cape Town
Day 3 Tour City Center - Table Mountain and Robben Island Cape Town
Day 4 Drive to Caledon Caledon
Day 5 Drive to Oudshoorn - Explore Klein Karoo Oudtshoorn
Day 6 Drive to Knysna along Garden Route Knysna
Day 7 Explore the Garden Route Knysna
Day 8 Discover Amakhala Game Reserve  
Day 9 Amakhala Game Reserve Safari  
Day 10 Transfer to Port Elizabeth - Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town

Entrance to the hotel
Entrance to the hotel

After arriving in Cape Town, your driver will transfer you to The Commodore Hotel. 

You will spend the next three nights in the Deluxe Room at the hotel as you explore what many believe is South Africa's most beautiful city. In the evening, you may want to visit Long Street or Bree Street (home to many bars and restaurants facing the vibrant street) or opt to go to the famous V&A Waterfront.

Day 2: Full Day Tour of Scenic Cape Peninsula

Get up close with the penguins
Get up close with the penguins

After breakfast, a private transfer will collect you for your full-day private tour of the scenic peninsula. 

Today, prepare yourself to take in Cape Town’s magnificent coastline, fynbos-covered mountains, and indigenous wildlife on this scenic adventure. You will get to climb the iconic lighthouse at Cape Point, get up close and personal with penguins at Boulder’s Beach, and admire rare plants in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

The itinerary includes:

  • Discovering unforgettable views at Chapman’s Peak Drive.
  • Visiting Cape Point Nature Reserve including the famous lighthouse with views of the dramatic sea below.
  • Going to Simon's Town, where you will visit the penguin colony in Boulder's Beach and the town's historic naval base.
  • Taking a trip to Hout Bay where you can indulge in fish and chips for lunch as well as meeting the friendly seals at the harbor.
  • Viewing South Africa's incredible flora and fauna, lovely views of the surrounding mountains, and discovering the state of the art aerial walkway at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Day 3: Tour City Center - Table Mountain and Robben Island

Views of Cape Town from the cable car line
Views of Cape Town from the cable car line

Today, you will enjoy breathtaking views over Cape Town from the cable car as you go up to Table Mountain. You will also learn about Cape Town’s colonial past and the years of apartheid when you visit historic landmarks such as the Castle of Good Hope and Nelson Mandela's prison of 27 years, Robben Island.

This itinerary Includes:

  • Visiting the top of Table Mountain with unbelievable views over Cape Town by cable car.
  • Viewing the vibrant colored buildings of Bo-Kaap at the Malay Quarter.
  • Discovering charming restaurants and cafés, squirrels in the Company Gardens, the authentic stalls in Greenmarket Square as well as the vibrant atmosphere of Cape Town's city center.
  • Visiting the Castle of Good Hope, a famous bastion built by colonizers in the 1600s.
  • Enjoying a boat trip across Table Bay to Robben Island where you'll have a scheduled tour with an ex-political prisoner through this historic maximum-security prison including visiting Nelson Mandela's old cell.
  • Taking a 45-minute guided bus ride through the city.

Day 4: Drive to Caledon

A quiet street in Caledon
A quiet street in Caledon

Your rental car will be delivered to you after breakfast in time for your drive to Caledon, a charming town in the Overberg region which is home to hot springs. You will spend one night here in the Hillside Suite of Rouxwil Country House. 

Along the way, you may want to visit some of the wineries in Franschhoek's wine region. After arriving, you can wander around this small town on foot or by car. You may also choose to visit the nearby hot springs, the Caledon Museum or enjoy some outdoor fun at SA Forest Adventures.

Driving time: 2 hours
Driving distance: 93 miles (149 km)

Day 5: Drive to Oudshoorn - Explore Klein Karoo

A view over Swartberg Pass
A view over Swartberg Pass

After breakfast, you will depart for the ostrich capital, Oudtshoorn, which is in the heart of the scenic Klein Karoo. On the way, try to stopover at Diesel & Creme in Barrydale for lunch and their famous milkshakes. You will spend one night in Oudtshoorn at Mooiplaas Guesthouse.

Suggested afternoon activities include:

  • Visiting the famous Cango Caves (Africa's biggest show cave system).
  • Going for a hike in the Swartberg mountain range where you'll discover three distinctive plant biomes (the Succulent Karoo, Cape Thicket, and Fynbos) in this Cape Floral World Heritage Site. 
  • Riding an ostrich in Cango Ostrich Show Farm.

Driving time: 3 hours 41 minutes
Driving distance: 204 miles (329 km)

Day 6: Drive to Knysna along Garden Route

A view of Knysna from Featherbed Nature Reserve
A view of Knysna from Featherbed Nature Reserve

This morning, you will depart for Knysna, a lovely seaside town along the Garden Route, where you will spend two nights at Brenton Haven. While driving, enjoy scenic sea views of the Garden Route and perhaps visit the seaside towns George and Sedgefield en route.

Suggested activities include:

  • Explore one of the local hiking trails such as Fisherman's Pass, Garden Route National Park or the Perdekop Trail.
  • Visit Waterfront Drive for lunch or sundowners.
  • Discover the scenic view of the Knysna Heads.
  • Learn about local history at Knysna Museum or the Old Gaol and Art Gallery.
  • Do some shopping at Knysna African Arts and Craft Market.

Driving time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Driving distance: 75 miles (120 km)

Day 7: Explore the Garden Route

Boats on Knysna Lagoon
Boats on Knysna Lagoon

You will have a day to either relax and enjoy Knysna's picturesque beaches or explore some of the nearby tourist attractions.

Suggested activities include:

  • Enjoy a boat cruise on the Knysna Lagoon or up the Keurbooms River.
  • Take a guided walk through Featherbed Nature Reserve.
  • Discover lovely views of sea and land while traveling in the Outeniqua Choo Tjoe steam train which runs between Knysna and George.
  • Drive to Plettenberg Bay and visit Monkeyland, the world's first free-roaming, multi-species primate sanctuary.

Day 8: Discover Amakhala Game Reserve

An elephant in Amakhala Game Reserve
An elephant in Amakhala Game Reserve

After breakfast, you will depart for Amakhala Game Reserve, where you will spend two nights at the Safari Lodge. This expansive game reserve focuses on conserving South Africa's natural heritage by reintroducing animals to the Eastern Cape.

In the reserve, you will discover unforgettable views of the varied Eastern Cape landscape, view the diverse and indigenous flora and fauna, the vast birdlife, views over the majestic Bushman's River, and of course spot some of the fascinating African game animals.

The tour includes two game drives. You can opt for a day game drive or a night game drive. You may also choose to enjoy a slow cruise down the Bushman's River which offers great birdwatching opportunities. To get up close and personal with the plants and wildlife, you can also opt for a guided walk through the reserve.

Driving time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Driving distance: 205 miles (330 km)

Day 9: Amakhala Game Reserve Safari

A game drive in Amakhala Game Reserve

The game drive, which is offered twice a day in an open Land Rover, will take you across the vast reserve and through five of the seven natural biomes in South Africa. The complex and diverse ecosystem of Amakhala Game Reserve provides a habitat to over 60 mammal species. The spectacular Bushman's River, which winds through the reserve, offers an essential source of water to the myriad of wildlife and birdlife.

As you explore the reserve during the game drive, you will discover that the dramatic and ever-changing topography of Amakhala Game Reserve hosts an abundant tapestry of sights and sounds. During a daytime game drive, you can spot lions, over 16 species of antelope, both black and white rhinos, cheetahs, black wildebeests, tortoises, and much more. You can also enjoy a game drive sundowner with wine and cheese before taking a night game drive to spot some of the nocturnal species such as porcupines, the lynx, and spring hare.

Bird lovers may enjoy a boat cruise along the Bushman's River which is great for birdwatching and spotting some of the 250 species of birds listed to be in the reserve.

Day 10: Transfer to Port Elizabeth - Departure

Plane awaiting departure
Plane awaiting departure

After a final game drive and breakfast, you will depart Amakhala Game Reserve for Port Elizabeth Airport. You can return your rental car at the airport before departing. 

Driving time: 52 minutes
Driving distance: 47 miles (76 km)

Map

Map of Highlights of South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Safari - 10 Days
Map of Highlights of South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route, & Safari - 10 Days