A trip in self drive perfectly organized to guarantee you an unforgettable experience, at your own pace but with the security of constant local assistance. You will visit classic places, exclusive reserves, staying in beautiful and typical structures: you will see Cape Town and the magnificent De Hoop Reserve. You can admire birds of all kinds, crocodiles, elephants and many other savannah animals. You will end the journey by passing through the breathtaking landscapes offered by the panorama route.
Travel idea to customize
Day 1: Arrival in Cape Town
Arrive at Cape Town International Airport where you will pick up the car. Check-in and visit the picturesque Malaysian neighbourhood and V&A Waterfront. If the weather is good, climb the cable car to Table Mountain. The show is as breathtaking as the birdlife and the fynbos that covers the park.
Day 2: Cape of Good Hope and penguins
Today explore the Cape of Good Hope until you reach Cape Point. Travel via Hout Bay where you can observe many seals and continue along the spectacular Chapman’s Peak. You can admire more than 1100 different species of fynbos plants including 25 types of protected. Also, the fauna in particular with the presence of mountain zebras, different types of antelopes and baboons. You can choose between a couple of beautiful treks or go up to the lighthouse with the funicular. Continue with the penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
Day 3: Gardens, Kirstenbosch and Wine Route
Spend the day exploring the city on Long Street, the Green square market, proceed to the District Six Museum, the Castle, the Parliament Gardens and the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. You can visit a winery in the exclusive Constantia area and spend the day visiting the Wine Route with the beautiful villages of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
Day 4: Departure for the De Hoop Nature Reserve
Moving eastwards via Hermanus until you reach the De Hoop Nature Reserve; an expanse of very white dunes, natural pools and whales that can be admired from the coast during the austral winter. The reserve is rich in animals and, as there are no predators, you can leave your car at any point to explore the area on foot by bicycle.
Day 5: Whale watching and exploration of natural pools
Free day to discover the magnificent landscapes of the reserve, the rich flora and fauna. The natural pools that the tides form are rich in molluscs, corals, fish and polyps.
Day 6: Karoo Desert to Plettenberg Bay
Continue with the exploration of the Karoo, stop off at the ancient city of Swellendam and then enter the coast until you reach Knysna: visit the Waterfront, the Knysna heads or the Feather Bed Nature Reserve. Continue to Plettenberg Bay where you will stay overnight.
Day 7: Tzitzikamma Park and Storms suspension bridges
Visit the Tsitsikamma National Park up to the suspension bridge enjoying the breathtaking views of this stretch of coast. If you like walking, opt for the Waterfall route, a magnificent stretch of coast that takes you up to a waterfall and that also forms the first stop on the famous Otter Trail.
Day 8: Trekking to the Robberg peninsula with a visit to the seal colony
Visit the magnificent Robberg Nature Reserve where you can see the seal colony on one side and the beautiful sandy beach on the other with large herds of dolphins lining it at sunset.
Day 9: Transfer to the elephant coast and St. Lucia
Transfer day: Port Elizabeth flight – Durban. New car collection and departure for another fantastic National Park, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the nearby village of St. Lucia.
Day 10: Boat safaris with the observation of hippos and crocodiles
Dedicate this day to an excursion with your car in the iSimangaliso park to admire zebra, elephants and rhinos, continue until you reach Cape Vidal beach where you can swim in the Indian Ocean. In the afternoon, at 3.30 pm, you will leave for a boat trip on Lake St. Lucia where you will admire some of the 800 hippos and 1200 crocodiles that naturally inhabit it. During this excursion, birdwatchers will be amazed: here Goliath Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Knysna Lourie, African Fish Eagle, Crested Eagle are regular sightings.
Day 11: Safari in Hluhluwe with BIG5 observation and wild dogs
Meeting with the ranger at 05:00 and departure for the 4×4 safari in the Hluhluwe National Park which hosts all the Big 5, the five largest and most feared animals in the savannah, and the rare Licaoni. Picnic lunch in the park before returning to St. Lucia.
Day 12: the State of Swaziland and Hlane National Park
Visit part of Swaziland, the state within South Africa that extends along the border with Mozambique. The landscape changes drastically: you will travel through sugar cane plantations with the Lebombo and Ubombo mountain ranges on the horizon. Arrival in the afternoon at Hlane National Park. The lodge is situated in front of a pool of water where hippos and rhinos come to drink.
Day 13: Kruger National Park and observation of large mammals
Return to the state of South Africa and proceed north to the Kruger National Park. Explore the banks of the Sabie River. The meeting with large herds of elephants, giraffes, zebras and hundreds of impalas is guaranteed. Reach the rest camp before sunset.
Day 14: Thornybush Reserve in search of predators
Today you reach the private Thornybush reserve. Arrival by lunchtime. You will leave for the first safari in open 4×4 vehicles in the afternoon. Safaris are well rewarded by the cooperation between rangers and trackers who, following the tracks, are able to guarantee you always special sightings. The private reserve gives vehicles the chance to get out of the marked trails and admire the animals from a very close distance. This is not possible within the Kruger. After the aperitif enjoyed at sunset in the savannah, you will return to the lodge for dinner.
Day 15: Thornybush, looking for animals on foot and in 4×4
Wake up very early for a coffee and departure for the photo safari in search of felines, particularly active at this time of day. Return to the lodge for brunch and a little relaxation or to take a nature hike on foot accompanied by armed guides. This will allow you to learn to recognize the traces of animals and the medicinal use of many plants as well as to make possible encounters with the inhabitants of the savannah. You will leave for a new afternoon safari. The possibility of spotting leopards, cheetahs and the rare black rhino is excellent in this reserve.
Day 16: Blyde River Canyon and breathtaking views
Time to do a new safari in search of new situations and enjoy the delicious brunch before leaving for Graskop. On the way visit Bourke’s Luck Potholes famous for the particular erosions made by the water and the magnificent Blade River Canyon considered one of the greatest natural wonders of South Africa.