South Africa Self-Drive Tours & Itineraries

Explore 11 self-drive trips designed by local kimkim specialists to get ideas for your trip to South Africa.

Discover South Africa's landscapes and wildlife at your own pace with self-drive itineraries tailored for different experiences. For a week-long, family-friendly adventure, consider something like this 7-day journey featuring penguins, Table Mountain, and a safari in Gondwana Game Reserve. For a more extended family trip, you might choose an itinerary similar to this 14-day journey, where you'll drive to Cape Town, Langebaan, and Kruger National Park. Alternatively, for a trip focused on scenic drives and hikes without kids, consider something like this 10-day South African self-drive adventure.

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Bloukran's Bridge
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 10 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 10 Days

Spend 10 days taking in the Western Cape with this trip plan. You'll explore Cape Town and see Table Mountain from both a distant beach and right under your feet, sample the wines of Stellenbosch, and dive into a great white cage encounter before you hit the road on the Garden Route for canoeing, hiking, animal encounters, and more.

View of the Atlantic from Table Mountain, Cape Town
Map of South Africa and Victoria Falls Adventure - 14 Days
South Africa and Victoria Falls Adventure - 14 Days

This itinerary is sure to satisfy any adventurer looking to explore the best of Southern Africa's natural scenery. From the coast of Cape Town up along the Garden Route and into the deserts of the Great Karoo, you will be able to experience all the defining ecoregions of South Africa and beyond.

Chapman's Peak outside of Cape Town
Map of Scenic South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town & Garden Route - 13 Days
Scenic South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town & Garden Route - 13 Days

Spend 13 days in South Africa enjoying the highlights of Cape Town, plus a jaunt through wine country and down to the Cape of Good Hope. You'll then embark on an epic road trip along the Garden Route, one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world. Stop in national parks, visit charming towns, hit the waves in surf towns—you'll even have time to search for the "Big Five" on multiple safari game drives.

Family on Safari
Map of South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route & Safari - 10 Days
South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route & Safari - 10 Days

Experience the best of South Africa's stunning scenery and wildlife with this 10-day family trip. Whiz up iconic Table Mountain by cable car, then explore the country's scenic Garden Route and vineyards before going on a safari at the luxury Shamwari Game Reserve. Along the way, you'll make pals with African penguins, see the Big Five, zipline across a ravine, and get in some beach time at beautiful Knysna.

Relax and reconnect on a family holiday to South Africa
Map of South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route & Safari - 14 Days
South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route & Safari - 14 Days

This two-week wildlife and adventure-packed family vacation takes you from the Western to the Eastern Cape via South Africa's stunning Garden Route. Start in lively Cape Town, where you and the kids will scale Table Mountain, make pals with the penguins at Boulders Beach, and relax in the surrounding wine country. If that sounds too sedate, you'll also plunge the depths of Shark Alley in a reinforced cage, meet the Big Five during a luxury safari, and tour the Stone Age Cango Caves.

Drakensberg
Map of South Africa Self-Drive Adventure - 10 Days
South Africa Self-Drive Adventure - 10 Days

Hit the road on this 10-day self-drive adventure to explore the highlights of South Africa's eastern region. First, travel along the Panorama Route, one of the most scenic drives in the country, then continue to the majestic plateaus of the Drakensberg escarpment. After enjoying nature hikes and mountain fun, travel to the coast for boat tours and safaris to spot exotic animals like leopards and rhinos.

Sunset over Clifton Beach, Cape Town
Map of Self-Drive Tour of South Africa's Coast: Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Durban & St Lucia - 10 Days
Self-Drive Tour of South Africa's Coast: Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Durban & St Lucia - 10 Days

From bustling Cape Town to secluded St Lucia, you'll see the best that South Africa's Atlantic and Indian coasts have to offer on this 10-day self-drive itinerary. Experience golden beaches in Durban, take in stunning views from atop Table Mountain, and come face to face with hippos and crocodiles in iSimangaliso Wetland Park as you create lasting memories on this South African adventure.

Rhinos in South Africa
Map of Epic South Africa Road Trip: Mountains, Wetlands & Wildlife - 18 Days
Epic South Africa Road Trip: Mountains, Wetlands & Wildlife - 18 Days

This unforgettable 18-day road trip combines the best of eastern South Africa's wildlife, natural wonders, and cultural highlights. The adventure begins in the metropolis of Johannesburg, and from there you'll visit massive river canyons plus take self-drive safaris in Kruger and Hlane National Parks. Then you're off to protected wetlands for snorkeling and wildlife tours before finishing the trip hiking and horseback riding around the incredible Drakensberg Mountains.

Rock Formations in Cederberg National Reserve
Map of South Africa's Hidden Gems: Cape Town, Langebaan, Cederberg & Kruger National Park  - 12 Days
South Africa's Hidden Gems: Cape Town, Langebaan, Cederberg & Kruger National Park - 12 Days

Go off the beaten path in South Africa on this diverse trip which explores the southern tip of the country and its plentiful wildlife. Start in Cape Town and learn its living history, then visit West Coast National Park to discover aquatic life along with rock formations, wildflowers, and prehistoric cave art. Take a series of big game drives in search of the "Big Five" at Kruger National Park, and finish up your journey marveling at the sumptuous vistas of Blyde River Canyon.

Colorful Cape Town
Map of South Africa Highlights: Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Durban & St Lucia - 9 Days
South Africa Highlights: Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Durban & St Lucia - 9 Days

Explore the magic of South Africa on this nine-day, self-drive adventure. Start in Cape Town, where you'll take a cable car up Table Mountain and visit penguins on Boulders Beach. Then, it's off to the seaside town of Mossel Bay for a guided safari and close encounters with wildlife like zebras, elephants, and rhinos. Hop a flight to the beaches of Durban for some swimming and surfing, then finish your trip in St Lucia, where you'll cruise the St Lucia Estuary and see the hippos and crocodiles that live there.

Set off on a South African safari
Map of South African Family Safari: Cape Town, Langebaan & Kruger National Park - 14 Days
South African Family Safari: Cape Town, Langebaan & Kruger National Park - 14 Days

This family adventure starts in South Africa's Cape Town, where you'll visit majestic Table Mountain on foot or via cable car. Tour the harbor on an authentic pirate ship and see penguins at play, then head to Langebaan for beach time and waterparks. Take a private safari in Kruger National Park, and search out Africa's Big Five game animals on a sunset drive. End in Johannesburg for a tour of the historic Soweto district and a revisit of the Gold Rush days at Gold Reef City Theme Park.

Family time on the beaches of Cape Town
Map of Adventure, Safari & Family Fun in South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route - 10 Days
Adventure, Safari & Family Fun in South Africa: Cape Town & the Garden Route - 10 Days

This 10-day family trip to South Africa blends the perfect mix of adventure, excursions, and luxury downtime as you explore the country's scenic Garden Route and Western Cape. Start in lively Cape Town, where you'll scale Table Mountain by cable car before touring the surrounding wine country. Introduce the kids to Africa's iconic Big Five as you safari in Gondwana before winding up on the pristine shores of Knysna and catching a sunset cruise along the lagoon.

Discover the best of South Africa on this two-week family vacation
Map of Relaxing South Africa Family Adventure: Oceans, Wildlife & Safari Self-Drive - 14 Days
Relaxing South Africa Family Adventure: Oceans, Wildlife & Safari Self-Drive - 14 Days

Two weeks in South Africa gives families plenty of time to relax, explore the country's incredible wildlife, and travel from east to west without feeling hurried. Start in Cape Town to summit iconic Table Mountain, discover authentic African cuisine, and tour the Western Cape vineyards. Then it's on to the Eastern Cape, where you'll unwind on Knysna's beaches, soar along the country's fastest zipline, meet ostrich flocks and elephant herds, and cruise the infamous Shark Alley.

Little ones will love seeing zebras in South Africa
Map of South Africa Coast & Safari Family Adventure - 7 Days
South Africa Coast & Safari Family Adventure - 7 Days

Treat the kids to the holiday of a lifetime as you journey to South Africa for an unforgettable trip that starts in vibrant Cape Town and ends with a stunning couple of days on safari at the Southern Cape's Gondwana Game Reserve. Along the way, you'll scale iconic Table Mountain by cable car, play alongside penguins at Boulder Beach, and cruise the Cape on a pirate ship before encountering Big Five wildlife in the stunning surroundings of the Garden Route.

Hike in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park on your way to Clarens
Map of Road Trip Through South Africa & Lesotho: Iconic Cities & Natural Landscapes - 14 Days
Road Trip Through South Africa & Lesotho: Iconic Cities & Natural Landscapes - 14 Days

Immerse yourself in South Africa and Lesotho's natural landscapes on this two-week road trip across both countries. Start in Cape Town with community development tours, a cruise to Robben Island, and a day trip down the Cape Peninsula. Then, drive yourself to Stellenbosch to explore the Cape Winelands, followed by Hermanus for a boat cruise to spot whales, sharks, seals, and penguins. From here, explore the Gondwana Private Game Reserve before ending with an epic waterfall in Lesotho.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve is famous for its thriving leopard population
Map of Self-Drive Safari in South Africa - 5 Days
Self-Drive Safari in South Africa - 5 Days

Looking to tack a quick safari adventure onto your South Africa vacation? This self-drive itinerary starts with game drives and bush walks in the unspoiled Sabi Sands Reserve. After spotting Big Five wildlife like lions and rhinos, you'll drive to Tzaneen to spend a day at a local farm and finish strong with nature hikes and thrilling zipline tours in the mountains of Limpopo province.

Spot vervet monkeys as you explore Kruger National Park on game drives
Map of Adventurous Self-Drive Safari in South Africa - 14 Days
Adventurous Self-Drive Safari in South Africa - 14 Days

You don't have to stick to just the highlights when planning the perfect South African safari adventure—especially when you're the one behind the wheel. This two-week itinerary begins with culture and history in Johannesburg, then hits the road northeast to Kruger National Park—one of the grandest safari destinations in the world. But that's not all: you'll also follow the famous Panorama Route, spend time on game drives in Sabi Sands, and go hiking and ziplining in the lush forests of northern Limpopo.

Your safari adventure starts in Kruger, where you'll spot elephants and other Big Five wildlife
Map of Adventurous Self-Drive Safari in South Africa - 10 Days
Adventurous Self-Drive Safari in South Africa - 10 Days

With 10 days in South Africa, you can combine the ultimate safari experience with the freedom of an adventurous road trip. Hop between Kruger and Sabi Sands for a packed itinerary of game drives and bush walks, spending your evenings in comfort at luxury bush lodges. Then it's time to trade big game for natural wonders as you strike out north toward the dramatic landscapes of Blyde River Canyon and the Graskop Gorge.