- Cape Town
- Plettenberg Bay
- The Addo Elephant Park
Explore the history of Cape Town and tour the Cape Peninsula with a private guide.
Drive through incredible scenery and visit charming towns along the Garden Route.
See whales off Plettenberg Bay (July - November) and spot seals and dolphins all year round.
Enjoy guided game drives on an Eastern Cape safari, looking out for the Big Five.
What our specialists say...
Traversing the country from west to east, this self-drive trip takes in the beauty and breadth of South Africa's landscapes, from craggy coastlines and curved mountains to wild beaches and open grassland where elephant roam. You begin in Cape Town, sandwiched between Table Mountain and the ocean, where you explore the city’s history and windswept coast. From here, continue through the Garden Route, stopping in Oudtshoorn, famed for its ostrich farms, and Plettenberg Bay with its long stretches of beach and whale watching opportunities. Your journey ends with a safari in the Eastern Cape, looking for the Big Five on guided game drives.
We recommend this trip for:
- Cape Town
- Plettenberg Bay
- The Addo Elephant Park
Itinerary idea in detailOpen all Close all
Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Day 1 International outbound flight
International outbound flight
Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Cape Town.
Day 2 Cape Town
Upon arrival into Cape Town, you're met by an Audley representative and then driven in a private vehicle to your accommodation. . After checking in, the rest of the day is free for you to relax after you flight or begin your exploration of Cape Town. We suggest heading to the V&A Waterfront to browse its many trendy shops, cafes and restaurants.
Day 3 Cape Town
Begin today with a private guided hike up Table Mountain for some spectacular views over the city and ocean. You're collected from your accommodation and driven to the lower cable car station ready for your ascent. Your guide then leads you up steep, rocky trails to the mountain's summit, with plenty of stops to catch your breath while taking in the views - you may see Camps Bay and the 12 Apostles in the distance. You take the cable car back down the mountain. This afternoon, your guide leads you on a private tour around the city to explore its past. Visits include the Houses of Parliament, the 17th-century Castle of Good Hope (South Africa's oldest building) and the lively market at Greenmarket Square.
Day 4 Cape Town
Today your private driver and guide takes you on a tour around the Cape Peninsula's beautifully rugged coastline. Highlights include passing through the affluent suburb of Camps Bay, seeing the jackass penguin colony at Boulders Beach, strolling around the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and visiting the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, which is home to baboons, several antelope and bird species, as well as seals and dolphins offshore. There are plenty of opportunities to stop for photographs en route, and you can purchase lunch in one of the area's pretty towns.
Day 5 Swellendam
Your hire car is delivered to your accommodation this morning - your car hire package includes all insurance, road maps and a sat-nav. You then set off on the two and a half hour drive to Swellendam, set at the foot of the Overberg Mountains and surrounded by green countryside. Once you've settled into your accommodation, spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring this historic town. The third-oldest in South Africa, it's home to some fine examples of Cape Dutch architecture, a museum where you can learn about the area's past, and a good selection of restaurants and cafes.
Day 6 Oudtshoorn
Set off on your two and a half hour drive to Oudtshoorn. The journey takes you through a breath-taking mountain pass, the arid Karoo area and along Route 62, said to be the most scenic route in South Africa, cutting through an expanse of vineyards, huge mountains and deep-cut valleys. We recommend taking your time to enjoy the views. After checking into your accommodation, begin to explore Oudtshoorn. The town is known as the 'ostrich capital of the world, becoming wealthy through its ostrich feather industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today you can see the ornate sandstone houses once belonging to those who grew rich from the trade.
Day 7 Oudtshoorn
Take the day to explore the beautiful mountainous area. The drive up to the Cango Caves is stunning. The caves offer guided tours daily including a walk around the caves with a guide but for those that are looking for more adventure, there is the adventure tour that take you deeper into the caves through the tunnels with a guide.
Day 8 Plettenberg Bay
Leave Oudtshoorn behind and drive for two hours to Plettenberg Bay. As you join the Garden Route at the town of George, the road runs along the coast, offering some beautiful views over the ocean. You may wish to stop for lunch in one of the coastal towns along the way. On arrival in Plettenberg Bay, settle into your accommodation before heading out to explore. You may wish to take a stroll along the sandy beach or walk along the dramatic cliff tops, looking out for sightings of whales (July - November) and dolphins offshore.
Day 9 Plettenberg Bay
The high mountains of the Garden Route run parallel to the coast and collect most of the winter rainfall that the Cape region receives. The rains cascade down the precipitous slopes, forming fast flowing streams and rivers that carve deep gorges through the stands of indigenous forest before eventually meeting the Indian Ocean. Make your way to the Tsitsikamma National Park. On arrival you will leave the heights and get down to sea level. This will allow you to see and experience the coast from an entirely different perspective. Led by enthusiastic guides, you will paddle a kayak from the open ocean to the Storms River mouth and onward, passing under its photogenic suspension bridge. The upper reaches of the river gorge are explored by lilo, which are better able to navigate the shallower waters. All around you, the overhanging cliffs are draped with foliage, creating a cathedral-like stillness punctuated only by the burble of the river as it flows around gigantic boulders.
Day 10 Plettenberg Bay
Join a small group cruise around the Featherbed Nature Reserve, led by a knowledgeable guide who can tell you more about this privately owned nature reserve and point out its wildlife. The reserve, dominated by milkwood forest, covers much of the western Knysna Head, and affords wonderful views of the lagoon and ocean. Keep a look out for Knysna loerie, blue crane and the blue duiker, a tiny antelope found in the area.
Day 11 The Addo Elephant Park
Today you drive the three and a half hours to the Eastern Cape and the Addo Elephant Park. The park is home to over 600 elephant, as well as lion, spotted hyena, buffalo, black rhino and leopard. After settling into your accommodation, you could head out with a guide for a sunset walk or simply relax in your wilderness surroundings.
Day 12 The Addo Elephant Park
Spend today enjoying the various activities available in the park. You have the option to either self-drive through the park or join a guided game drive, learning about the Big Five and any other animals you encounter. We also recommend fly fishing or canoeing on the Sundays River. The birdlife in the park is very diverse as the area includes five vegetation biomes, so birdwatching with a guide on foot, in a 4x4 or by boat is a popular choice.
Day 13 The Addo Elephant Park
Day 14 International return flight
The Addo Elephant Park , International return flight
This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, you leave Addo Elephant Park behind and drive for around an hour and a half to the city of Port Elizabeth. Here you drop your car off at the airport before catching your onward flights.
Day 15 International return flight
International return flight
Arrive home today to complete your journey.
Contact a specialist
The specialist who designs your trip to South Africa will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.Watch our tailor-made process ›
When to go
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