Planning a holiday to South Africa is always a challenge. There is so much to see and do, so many awesome destinations to explore. People are constantly asking me what I would recommend. So, I have compiled a 10 Day Bespoke South African Holiday itinerary, designed to maximise your time, experiencing some of my top destinations in South Africa.
Day 1- 3: South African Wildlife Safari
Fly directly into the South African Lowveld and get whisked off with a private transfer to start off your holiday with a 3-day, ‘Big 5’, African Safari.
The Umlani Bushcamp Lodge is located within the Greater Kruger National Park (GKNP) offering you the ultimate South African Safari. Experience the African Bushveld at this magical safari camp in the Timbavati Game Reserve. Umlani is a private nature reserve that shares an unfenced border with the legendary Kruger National Park.
The Umlani Bushcamp is an award-winning eco-lodge located off the beaten tourist track. This lodge offers personal and thrilling wildlife encounters, award-winning meals, and a chance to reconnect with nature in one of Africa’s world-renowned, unspoilt wilderness reserves.
The Timbavati Game Reserve is situated on the Western boundary of the Kruger National Park. The Umlani Bushcamp offers guests a vast sanctuary of more than 10,000 hectares of unspoilt African bushveld.
Enjoy Game Drives in ‘open top’ 4-wheel drive safari vehicles. The morning game drive leaves at dawn and the night drive in the late afternoon. The Game Drives and Bush Walks at Umlani are guided by professional rangers and trackers. They share their knowledge, expertise and understanding of the bush with you while they search for game.
Many animal and bird species are habitual and territorial allowing the trackers and rangers to build up a personal understanding of the bush they are traversing. The game is wild so there are no guarantees of sightings. However, Umlani is renowned for its Awesome game viewing.
Apart from the ‘Big 5’ (Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion, and Rhino), Cheetah, Hyena, African Wild Dog, Hippo and a large selection of antelope and nocturnal animals are found in this pristine environment.
If you are a bird lover, the Greater Kruger National Park is home to over 500 species including numerous large raptor species. It is a birders heaven.
On your last day, enjoy an early morning game drive, followed by a hearty breakfast. After packing up, enjoy a private transfer from Umlani Bushcamp to the Hoedspruit Airport for your onward flight to Cape Town.
Day 4 & 5: South African Winelands Experience
Retrieve your luggage at Cape Town International Airport and collect your vehicle from the car-hire kiosk. Your self-drive starts off with a road-trip through the glorious Winelands region of the Western Cape to the quaint town of Franschhoek.
So many people ask: ‘Which side of the road do you drive on in South Africa’? In South Africa, you drive on the left-hand side of the road, and the vehicles are right-hand drive, the same as in the UK. All signage, distances, speed limits etc, are indicated in kilometres.
Your first destination is just an hour’s drive from Cape Town Airport. Located in the heart of the Winelands, the charming and picturesque town of Franschhoek has built a reputation for producing top-class wines and internationally acclaimed restaurants, earning it the title of: ‘The Gourmet Capital of South Africa’. That is where you are heading.
The Franschhoek Valley was settled by the French Huguenots over 300 years ago, establishing a rich heritage and culture still evident today. Franschhoek boasts 8 out of the top 100 restaurants in the country.
Check-in at the Ivy Apartments conveniently located on the gorgeous main strip in the Franschhoek Village. The luxury holiday apartments are within walking distance of numerous restaurants and shops, just close enough to the vibrant buzzing energy of Franschhoek but far enough away to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet that this wonderful little town has to offer. If you enjoy shopping there are plenty of beautiful crafts, art, and antique shops that line Franschhoek’s main road.
The air-conditioned apartments offer complimentary Wi-Fi, pod coffee machines, satellite TV and full kitchens with washing machines. The apartment is serviced daily.
You may well be wanting to burn some extra calories to make space for the awesome food and wine this spectacular region has to offer, trust me you will be tempted. Enjoy complimentary access to the Franschhoek Health Club Gym by simply showing their Ivy apartments room keys.
At The Ivy, enjoy the swimming pool and sundeck, especially handy after a day exploring the local area.
For the more energetic, there are several walking trails in Franschhoek’s picturesque mountains, offering unrivalled views over Franschhoek and neighbouring towns.
Franschhoek Wine Farms
The region is densely populated with wine-farms. Franschhoek offers a wide range of wine tasting experiences to suit the palate of connoisseurs and wine novices alike. I would highly recommend:
Haute Cabrière – Spectacular food and wine makes this wine farm a real winner. Try the Karoo Lamb it is delicious!
The Franschhoek Cellar – Enjoy wine tastings paired with Belgian chocolate or handmade cheese.
Boekenhoutskloof – Wine tasting by appointment only, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11h00.
La Petite Ferme – This wine farm offers exceptional cuisine and excellent boutique wines, try the Shiraz, Superb.
Franschhoek Motor Museum
The Franschhoek Motor Museum offers visitors a glimpse into a world gone by. The Franschhoek Motor Museum maintains a collection of vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles dating back over 100 years. This museum is truly worth a visit, the collection is amazing.
Day 6 & 7: South Africa’s ‘Whale Capital’ – Hermanus
After breakfast pack your bags for your scenic road-trip to the coastal town of Hermanus on the Indian Ocean. Your next destination is the Awesome Mosaic Private Sanctuary, a real gem located on the Klein River Lagoon, between the Indian Ocean and the Overberg Mountains.
Check into the Fynbos Studio at the Mosaic Private Sanctuary and enjoy 2 days in this amazing setting. Enjoy the beach, go Whale Watching and for the more adventurous get your adrenalin racing with a Shark Cage Dive.
This boutique guest resort is also the perfect location for nature and activity lovers wanting to explore the Overberg Wine Region.
From the deck outside the Lagoon Lodge you will be able to enjoy the stunning views over the Overberg Mountains. Both Greater and Lesser flamingos are frequent visitors to the Lagoon along with a large variety of other birdlife.
The quaint stone self-catering Mosaic Cottages, on the Hermanus Lagoon, are surrounded by milkwood trees and fynbos gardens. You will find this location the perfect setting to chill out and explore the local area. There is a Pool for use by all residents with beautiful views overlooking the Mountains and the Lagoon.
The comfortable, well-appointed Mosaic Cottages have been built in an environmentally-friendly way with stone from Mosaic and natural finishes. All have kitchen facilities, indoor fireplaces, outdoor patios, and BBQs, and are serviced daily.
The Fynbos Studio cottage was amazing with glass doors leading onto a patio with magnificent mountain views. The bathroom has a separate tub and shower.
The cottage is well-equipped with cutlery, crockery, cooking utensils, and an outdoor BBQ and firewood for a proper South African ‘Braai’.
Day 8 – 11: Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Only 3 days left of your South African Adventure. I would suggest a fairly early start for your drive into the ‘Mother City’ – Cape Town. Enjoy the scenic drive over Sir Lowry’s pass into this picturesque City. Your next destination is the exclusive suburb of Camps Bay, arguably one of Cape Town’s most sought-after addresses.
This idyllic town offers beach lovers the most stunning setting, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with Table Mountain acting as a natural back drop. It is seriously the most stunning of destinations. Being based in Camps Bay affords you easy access to the many sights and destinations in and around Cape Town.
Check into the 4-star Crystal Apartments, an idyllic setting with enviable vistas over the ocean and surrounding mountains. The complex offers guests the choice of two swimming pools with stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean and the perfect place to relax after an adventure packed day exploring the region. The sunsets are magnificent.
The gorgeous apartments provide you with a patio with direct access to either the garden or a private balcony. The kitchen is fully equipped with a stove, microwave and fridge. There is also a washing machine and tumble dryer which comes in very handy.
Inside the air-conditioned apartments are fully equipped with satellite television, DVD players and they have internet access which is very handy.
After an action packed 10 days in South Africa it will be time to return home.
This Awesome 10 day South African Adventure will provide you with a truly amazing holiday.
From a ‘Big 5’ Wildlife Safari experience in one of South Africa’s premier wildlife destinations. To an incredible self-drive through the highlights of the Western Cape, enjoying the Winelands, the scrumptious cuisine, the finest award-winning wines, the beautiful beaches, the awe-inspiring scenery, the vibrant city of Cape Town and everything in between.
This holiday will highlight some of the best destinations that South Africa has to offer. It is a taster, South Africa has so much to offer, you will be back for more, and there is so much more to enjoy.
Travelling to South Africa presents a wealth of truly amazing holiday options. You can traverse many landscapes, interact with many cultures, enjoy many wildlife encounters, indulge in the finest cuisines and select the very best world-class wines. The various cities, towns, and villages along many of the South African tourist routes will delight you.
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I specialise in designing tailor-made Southern African itineraries. If you need any help planning a safari to South Africa, please reach out. I will only be too happy to help firstname.lastname@example.org