One of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth, South Africa, fondly known by locals as the 'Rainbow Nation', boasts 11 official languages, and its inhabitants are influenced by a fascinating mix of cultures. Discover the gourmet restaurants, impressive art scene, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches of Cape Town. Enjoy a local braai (barbecue) in the Soweto township, browse the bustling Indian markets in Durban, or sample some of the world's finest wines at the myriad wine estates dotting the Cape Winelands. Some historical attractions to explore include the Zululand battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, and Robben Island, just off the coast of Cape Town. Above all else, its untamed wilderness is astonishing: wildlife roams freely across massive unfenced game reserves such as the world-famous Kruger National Park.
Madikwe Game Reserve
Days 1 - 4
Bordering Botswana in South Africa’s North West Province, Madikwe Game Reserve is the fifth-largest reserve in the country and is home to a great number of animal species. It contains a wild dog reserve, and is inhabited by the world-renowned Big Five, as well as Brown Hyenas, Cheetahs, and Aardwolf. Visitors will also be surrounded by over 300 bird species, including vulture, ostrich, and the large kori bustard. The landscape is characterised by vast grasslands, woodlands, and the rugged Tshwene Tshwene hills - creating enthralling scenes that often attract photographers and artists. Visitors can look forward to sunset drinks overlooking the Madikwe Dam. Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the only reserves in South Africa that is malaria free.
Days 4 - 5
Set on Algoa Bay in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, Port Elizabeth also referred to as PE, is known as the Friendly City as well as the Windy City. Port Elizabeth was established to home British settlers who were brought out on a government-sponsored programme to provide a buffer between the Cape Dutch and the Xhosa conflict. The little port grew from there and today it is the gateway to the beautiful Garden Route and serves as an excellent base to explore the Eastern Cape’s magnificent game reserves and pristine beaches. Visitors can explore the Addo Elephant National Park, inhabited by hundreds of elephants and other wildlife; climb the area’s largest dune at Maitland’s Beach, and jump on a boat tour to spot rare seabirds and whales.
Days 5 - 7
The seaside town of Plettenberg Bay is a popular holiday destination situated just 2.5 hours’ drive west of Gqebertha, on the spectacular coastal Garden Route, The Portuguese explorers called it the 'Beautiful Bay', and it’s easy to see why – Plettenberg Bay is a picturesque, charming town with endless pristine beaches, tranquil lagoons, clean rivers, indigenous forests, and a dramatic rocky peninsula. Playground to the wealthy, beach mansions overlook the Indian Ocean, often dotted with luxury yachts, while leisure time is given over to polo and golf, among other things. However, all kinds of visitors will feel at peace here as simply swimming in the warm water on a safe beach is a great way to experience the beauty of Plettenberg Bay. Adrenaline seekers can visit Bloukrans Bridge, a 30-minute drive away, to do the highest bungee jump on earth.
Days 7 - 9
Sandwiched between the towering Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean, Knysna is a large town often referred to as the ‘Garden of Eden’, surrounded by stunning bays perfect for sailing, boating, and swimming; picturesque beaches and lagoons; and world-renowned forests. This well-catered town is also a perfect base for safari expeditions at nearby parks such as Knysna Elephant Park, and close-up animal experiences at centres such as Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, Birds of Eden, and Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary. From here, enjoy ample opportunities for surfing, swimming, yachting, jet-skiing, boating, fishing, and golfing. Visitors can also look forward to an array of wonderful markets, a picturesque waterfront filled with superb restaurants and shops, and several fantastic art galleries. Make sure to take a ferry trip to the famed Knysna Heads and sample the local oysters.
Days 9 - 10
Located along the well-known Route 62 in South Africa’s beautiful Klein Karoo, the charming town of Oudtshoorn is known as the ostrich capital of the world. It is surrounded by numerous ostrich farms and the golden arid landscape of the Karoo. Visitors can enjoy the locally produced wine and port; sample ostrich meat and biltong; learn about the ostrich feather boom at the C.P. Nel Museum; and visit the world-renowned Cango Caves, the largest cave system in Africa featuring ancient rock formations and sparkling stalactites and stalagmites. Other popular activities include: mountain biking, paragliding, horse riding, and taking a day trip to the quaint town of Prince Albert over the scenic Swartberg Pass.
Days 10 - 11
Situated just 140 kilometres from Cape Town and built between the beautiful shores of Walker Bay, Hermanus has grown from a small seaside resort town to become arguably the best-known place for whale watching in the world. This town is also famed for its natural scenic beauty, featuring long stretches of pristine beaches. An excellent variety of restaurants, cafes and bars are also on offer. Today, Hermanus is more than just a popular holiday destination and offers visitors all kinds of activities, both energetic and relaxing. Visitors can explore the Old Harbour Museum, which is comprised of the charming fisherman’s village, the old harbour, and the Whale House Museum; hike through the nearby Fernkloof Nature Reserve, and sample an array of top-quality wine along the famous Hermanus Wine Route.
Days 11 - 14
Set at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans and backed by the iconic Table Mountain, the bustling city of Cape Town presents an alluring combination of drawcards. Incredible powdery white beaches, highly acclaimed wine routes, and astonishingly beautiful mountain trails surround a cosmopolitan hub. This diverse metropolis is filled with superb shops and restaurants, extraordinary heritage monuments, a multitude of entertainment venues, and a spectacular, chic waterfront harbour. Highlights include the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art; Table Mountain's jaw-dropping views; Boulders Beach, where penguins might swim right up to you in the warm Indian ocean waters; the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where you can walk along a treetop canopy among incredible native flora or watch an open-air concert at the base of the mountain; Robben Island, where visitors can see the cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years; and many more.