Make the Most of Your Time in South Africa

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See impressive Drakensberg's Amphitheatre—crescent shaped cliffs of basalt rock
How Many Days to Spend in South Africa

While 10 days is the most popular duration for kimkim travelers, two weeks is recommended for a satisfying trip to South Africa. You can venture farther outside Cape Town, discover the Winelands, drive the Garden Route, and go on a safari (or two) in Kruger National Park. This gives you enough time to explore outside of the main cities at a more relaxed pace and cover some beautiful parts of the country.

Spot hippos in Kruger National Park on a five-day South Africa safari
Map of 5 Days in South Africa - 4 Safari Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in South Africa - 4 Safari Itinerary Ideas

With five days to dedicate to a South Africa safari, you can embark on a classic tour featuring Kruger National Park and the neighboring Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Or, opt for an active adventure that includes guided bush walks and a thrilling zipline experience in Magoebaskloof. If you're seeking a family-friendly trip addition, the Eastern Cape is an excellent choice, while travelers with an affinity for lesser-trodden trails and luxury accommodations will find the Limpopo province a perfect match.

Discover Cape Town on any of the following five-day itineraries
Map of 5 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With only five days to explore South Africa, you can focus on a single region or visit two. Thanks to the frequency of domestic flights, you can start and end your trip in Cape Town and also enjoy a safari in Kruger National Park. Or indulge in a foodie tour in the Winelands or delight in a coastal drive to the Cape of Good Hope, along the Garden Route, or into the Cederberg Mountains. These unique itineraries will help you make the most of your time.

Baboons
Map of 6 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
6 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Combining the highlights of the Cape Town area with a classic "Big 5" safari in Kruger National Park is a popular choice for a six-day trip to South Africa. Culinary travelers may want to skip the wildlife watching in favor of a food and wine tour that spans top restaurants, vineyards, and cooking classes. And if you don't mind a whirlwind itinerary, consider a multi-country itinerary that hops from Cape Town to Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park.

View of Table Mountain from the Bloubergstrand, Cape Town
Map of 1 Week in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

One week in South Africa is enough time to hit the highlights. Consider a trip split between Cape Town and Kruger National Park or a quick-paced tour that focuses on the country's southern coast. Those who like a more relaxed vacation might opt for the itinerary between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth; meanwhile, gourmands will enjoy a food and wine tour of the Winelands and Johanessburg. Then there's the two-country combo for nature lovers, featuring three days of game safari and Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls.

Watch the sunset at your luxury safari lodge (photo courtesy of Rhino Ridge)
Map of 1 Week in South Africa - 4 Luxury Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in South Africa - 4 Luxury Itinerary Ideas

With one week for a luxury South Africa trip, it's best to focus on two regions. Foodies and wine aficionados will appreciate vineyard-hopping in Franschhoek and fine dining in Cape Town. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot the Big Five on safaris in the Eastern Cape or Timbavati, while those seeking a beach getaway can snorkel and indulge in spa treatments at Mabibi Beach. Travelers looking for unique cultural experiences can enjoy a private jazz concert in Johannesburg and the chance to meet a Zulu healer.

Seek out elephants on a weeklong South Africa safari
Map of 1 Week in South Africa - 4 Safari Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in South Africa - 4 Safari Itinerary Ideas

With one week to spend on a South Africa safari, you can seek out incredible wildlife while splitting your time between Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Or, swap in Cape Town, which will add a bit of city fun and a drive along the Garden Route to your itinerary. If you have young ones along, the malaria-free Eastern Cape and its Shamwari Private Game Reserve is an excellent choice, while the farther afield Limpopo province perfectly suits those eager to explore less-trodden trails.

Meet the penguins at Boulders Beach
Map of 1 Week in South Africa - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in South Africa - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

With one week in South Africa, you can visit two to three destinations. First-timers can hit the highlights in Cape Town, Kruger National Park, and Johannesburg. Or wildlife enthusiasts can combine whale watching and game drives on a tour focusing on the coast, while families keen on cultural experiences and waterparks will enjoy adding Sun City Resort and Johannesburg to the mix. Those with little ones will appreciate the variety of kid-friendly activities, including the Adventure Center in Shamwari, with time spent in the Eastern Cape.

Hippos
Map of 8 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
8 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

In eight days, you can combine the highlights of Cape Town and Johannesburg with two nights in Kruger National Park. Or, start with a tour of the windswept Western Cape, flying to the Eastern Cape province to end your trip with a safari. Yet another option is making it a multi-country itinerary, with stops at the legendary Victoria Falls and Botswana's Chobe National Park.

Leopard
Map of 9 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
9 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With nine days, you can see three of South Africa's regions or national parks, or focus on one area like the Western Cape, including the Winelands or a scenic drive along the Garden Route. Thanks to the frequency of domestic flights, you can start and end your trip in Cape Town, spend a few days in wine country, and also thrill to a classic safari in Kruger. Or, take a food-focused trip that includes detours to Johannesburg. Read on for five unique itineraries.

Seek out the Big Five on a 10-day South Africa safari adventure
Map of 10 Days in South Africa - 5 Safari Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in South Africa - 5 Safari Itinerary Ideas

Ten days is the perfect amount of time to dedicate to a South Africa safari, allowing you to pick and choose destinations that align with your interests. Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Game Reserve are excellent choices for first-time travelers eager to check out wildlife hotspots, while the Limpopo region suits those who prefer less-trodden trails. If you have young ones along, you'll find Cape Town and the Eastern Cape are very kid-friendly, while Cape Winelands is sure to impress wine aficionados.

A South Afria giraffe upclose
Map of 10 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

South Africa is a large country, but with 10 days, you see quite a bit, from the southern Cape provinces to Kruger National Park in the north. Or you can focus your energy on getting to know a particular region like Cape Town, the neighboring Winelands, and the coastal Garden Route in-depth. And safari buffs can even combine South Africa with the highlight sights of neighboring countries, such as Victoria Falls and Botswana's Chobe National Park.

There's no need to rough it on safari with a 10-day luxury South Africa trip (photo courtesy of Walkers Plains)
Map of 10 Days in South Africa - 4 Luxury Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in South Africa - 4 Luxury Itinerary Ideas

Ten days in South Africa is a generous amount of time to experience the country's luxurious safari camps, fine cuisine, and welcoming cities. A highlights itinerary will introduce you to Cape Town, the Garden Route, and the Eastern Cape, while an off-the-beaten-path trip features Hluhluwe Game Reserve and the dreamy Thonga Beach Lodge. If you're a fan of top-notch cuisine and wine, include Cape Winelands. Or, pick up the pace and hop between South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.

Introduce the kids to the South African bush on Big Game safaris of the wildlife-rich country
Map of 10 Days in South Africa - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in South Africa - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days in South Africa, your family can embark on a highlights tour that ticks off the famous sites of Cape Town, Kruger National Park, and Johannesburg. For a wildlife-focused trip, opt for an adventure along the Garden Route, stopping at Gondwana Private Game Reserve and Featherbed Nature Reserve, or for families with younger children, discover the quirky side of South Africa and split your time between Cape Town and Sun City resort.

A winery in Cape Winelands, South Africa
Map of 11 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
11 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

South Africa is a large country, but with 11 days you see quite a bit, from the southern Cape provinces to Kruger National Park in the north. Or you can focus your energy on getting to know a particular region in-depth, like Cape Town, the neighboring Winelands, and the coastal Garden Route. And safari buffs can even combine South Africa with the highlight sights of neighboring countries, such as Victoria Falls and Botswana’s Chobe National Park.

Zebra in Chobe National Park
Map of 12 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
12 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 12 days in South Africa, your itinerary can bring you from the southern Cape provinces to Kruger National Park in the north. Or you can focus your energy on getting to know a particular region like Cape Town, the neighboring Winelands, and the coastal Garden Route. And safari buffs can even combine South Africa with the highlight sights of neighboring countries, such as Victoria Falls and Namibia’s Chobe National Park.

Wellington grapes grow at the foot of the Groenberg Mountain, Cape Winelands, South Africa
Map of 13 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
13 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 13 days to spend in South Africa, you'll have time to see much of the country, from the southern Cape provinces to Kruger National Park in the north. Safari buffs can even combine a South Africa park or two with the highlights of neighboring countries, such as Victoria Falls, Botswana's Chobe National Park, and the Okavango Delta. Of course, you can also opt for a deep dive in a particular region, like Cape Town and the neighboring Winelands.

Rhino at sunset
Map of 2 Weeks in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With two weeks, you can cover much of South Africa. Choose an action-packed adventure that takes you from the southern Cape provinces to Kruger National Park in the north. Or you can focus your energy on getting to know a particular region like Cape Town, the neighboring Winelands, and the coastal Garden Route. Safari buffs can even combine South Africa with the highlight sights of neighboring countries, such as Victoria Falls and Namibia's Chobe National Park or South Africa's own Kalahari.

Get up close to impressive wildlife at luxury South African lodges (photo courtesy of Sindile at Shamwari))
Map of 2 Weeks in South Africa - 4 Luxury Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in South Africa - 4 Luxury Itinerary Ideas

Two weeks in South Africa is an excellent amount of time to discover the country's luxurious side. If you're eager to experience a bit of everything, opt for a fast-paced tour that whisks you between Cape Town, Cape Winelands, and the Eastern Cape. Or, seek out impressive safari animals while hopping between Sabi Sands, the Okavango Delta, and Chobe National Park. Other excellent destinations are Thonga Beach Lodge for a relaxing getaway and Johannesburg for a deep dive into the country's history.

Seek out cheetahs and more on a two-week South Africa safari trip
Map of 2 Weeks in South Africa - 5 Safari Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in South Africa - 5 Safari Itinerary Ideas

With two weeks to spend on a South Africa safari, you can hop between Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands, Victoria Falls, and Cape Town on a well-rounded highlights tour. Or, opt for an off-the-beaten-path adventure featuring the lesser-visited game reserves of the north. If you're traveling with kids, Cape Peninsula and the Eastern Cape are excellent destinations to visit, while Cape Winelands adds a touch of luxury to your itinerary and Tzaneen is perfect for adventure lovers.

Enjoy spending quality time with the family as you explore South Africa together
Map of 2 Weeks in South Africa - 6 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in South Africa - 6 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas

With two weeks in South Africa, you and your family can tick off the highlights of Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Victoria Falls on a best-of itinerary crafted especially with younger ones in mind or opt for a fun and wildlife-filled trip that includes stays at Club Mykonos and Kruger National Park. Active families will enjoy a self-drive adventure along the Garden Route, while families with older children looking for a more relaxing trip can split their time between the beaches of Cape Town and Sun City.

Two weeks allows you time to dive deeper into South Africa's natural wonders, like the off-the-beaten-path Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Map of 2 Weeks in Southern Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Southern Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Two weeks in southern Africa is enough time to visit two to three countries. Travelers wanting to hit the highlights should begin with tours of South Africa's Cape Town and Winelands before Big Five wildlife viewing in Kruger National Park and Chobe in Botswana. Consider adding Namibia for adventures through its red sand dunes, or Lesotho for a road trip across one of Africa's most scenic mountain passes. For relaxation and a slower pace, choose a wellness retreat that includes Mauritius.

Elephants in Chobe National Park
Map of 15 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
15 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 15 days to spend in South Africa, you can choose an action-packed adventure that takes you from the southern Cape provinces to Kruger National Park in the north. Or you can focus your energy on getting to know a particular region like Cape Town, the neighboring Winelands, and the coastal Garden Route. Safari buffs can even combine South Africa with the highlight sights of neighboring countries, such as Victoria Falls and Botswana’s Chobe National Park. And 15 days allows for the ultimate road trip of South Africa end to end.

Sixteen days gives you time to combine South African wildlife safaris with cultural tours of urban centers like Cape Town
16 Days in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 16 days in South Africa, you can fit in city tours, wildlife safaris, and aquatic activities. Culinary travelers can learn how to cook Cape Malay fare and vineyard hop through the Cape Winelands. History enthusiasts will appreciate a Soweto Township tour and a visit to Robben Island. Animal lovers can go whale watching in Hermanus, spot hippos in St Lucia Estuary, track the Big Five in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, or opt for a multicountry trip that includes game drives and a river safari in Botswana.

Elephants in Chobe National Park, Botswana
Map of 3 Weeks in South Africa - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
3 Weeks in South Africa - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With multiple weeks in South Africa, you can truly explore far and wide, returning home with memories of the game parks, Cape Winelands, and neighboring Botswana, Namibia, and even Mauritius. Wildlife lovers can follow the Garden Route to Addo Elephant National Park and Kruger National Park or paddle the Okavango Delta and take a sunset boat ride to Victoria Falls. Or, spend your time on a wellness retreat that includes spa treatments, gourmet dining, and water activities in the Indian Ocean.

Travel to incredible viewpoints around Blyde, South Africa on a three-week trip that includes Mozambique
Map of 3 Weeks in Southern Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
3 Weeks in Southern Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With three weeks in southern Africa, you can experience two, three, or four distinct countries. The national parks and game reserves of Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa are perfect destinations for wildlife lovers, while the deserts and coastlines of Namibia and South Africa are an excellent match for nature lovers with a penchant for fine dining and wine. You can also swap in Benguerra Island for a tropical getaway or experience a bit of everything on an ultimate highlights tour.

Meet elephants in Kruger National Park, South Africa
How Many Days to Spend in Kruger National Park

Kruger is the park with the greatest diversity of wildlife in South Africa, and you could spend up to a week enjoying safaris and nature walks here. A minimum of two days will give you a real taste of the park's stupendous wildlife viewing, but you'll want at least five days to truly appreciate its diversity. With a park this spectacular, even two weeks isn't too long, especially when combined with Victoria Falls.

Cape Town is situated between the mountains and the sea
How Many Days to Spend in Cape Town

Sun, surf, great wine, and incredible vistas: these some of the things that define Cape Town, South Africa. Within 24 hours, you can go beyond the city and travel around the gorgeous Cape Peninsula. Spend 2-3 days here and add a kayak excursion and cable car ride up to iconic Table Mountain. With closer to a week, you can test your mettle on a shark-diving adventure plus enjoy a bit of culture with visits to an African art museum and Robben Island, the prison where Mandela spent 18 years of his life.

Experience the Garden Route's Robberg Nature Reserve
How Many Days to Spend on the Garden Route

The approximately 250-mile (400 km) stretch of South African coastline from Heidelberg to the Tsitsikamma Forest and Jeffreys Bay boasts a remarkable kaleidoscope of topography and outdoor activities. This area includes top attractions, like Cape Town, vineyards in Cape Winelands, Oudtshoorn (with its abundance of ostriches), nearby game parks, and even cage diving with great white sharks. The information below will help you plan a trip for your timeframe and interests.

Elephants in Kruger National Park
How Many Days to Spend on Safari in South Africa

You can have a great safari adventure in South Africa in as little as a long weekend. With game parks scattered throughout the nation, you can easily access one or more reserves close to Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, or Durban if you have only a few days to spare. Of course, a week or more is recommended for a more diverse experience across different parks and regions, including game drives, bush walks, and even a hot-air balloon “safari.” Two weeks would let you combine several distinct parks and reserves in South Africa as well as its neighbors, including Greater Kruger, Victoria Falls, and the Kalahari, plus other highlights of the region.