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Highlights of South Africa self-drive

15 days from £2,610pp

Includes flights
What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

    Places visited:

  • Cape Town
  • Franschhoek
  • Swellendam
  • Plettenberg Bay
  • The Addo Elephant Park
  • Hike up to the summit of Table Mountain for sweeping views over the city and ocean.

  • Indulge in wine tasting at some of the award-winning estates in the Winelands region.

  • Spot the Big Five and other wildlife species on safari in Addo Elephant National Park.

  • Take relaxing strolls along Plettenberg Bay’s golden sands.

  • Learn about Cape Town’s chequered history on a private guided walking tour.

Audley Travel specialist Alex

What our specialists say...

This leisurely self-drive trip takes in the best of South Africa's Cape Region, beautiful Garden Route and an Eastern Cape game reserve. You begin in Cape Town where you can explore the Waterfront area, take a private guided hike up Table Mountain and visit Nelson Mandela’s former prison on Robben Island. From here you drive to the pretty town of Franschhoek in the heart of the Winelands, exploring the countryside on foot or by bicycle and sampling some of the region’s wines. It's then onto the Garden Route for a stay in Plettenberg Bay with its golden beaches. The trip ends on a high with a three day safari in Addo Elephant National Park.

We recommend this trip for:

  • Cape Town
  • Franschhoek
  • Swellendam
  • Plettenberg Bay
  • The Addo Elephant Park

Itinerary idea in detail

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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

Cape Town

Upon your arrival at Cape Town International Airport you're met by your driver for the half hour private transfer to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, you may wish to start exploring the city. We recommend paying a visit to the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens during your stay, where you can stroll through the region's varied native flora, from fynbos heather to proteas, the country's national flower.

Accommodation options

Day 3 Cape Town

Cape Town

Spend today exploring Cape Town, starting with a private guided hike up Table Mountain for some excellent views over the city and the ocean beyond. There are several routes up the mountain of varying difficulty, and your guide will be able to choose the one best-suited to you. In the afternoon, enjoy a private tour exploring the historic heart of the city on foot and learning about South Africa’s dramatic apartheid history.

Accommodation options

Day 4 Cape Town

Cape Town

Your fully insured hire car is dropped at your hotel this morning as you embark on a full-day drive around the Cape Peninsula. The route down to Cape Point takes in the Chapman's Peak drive, pretty coastal villages and several untouched beaches. A stop at Boulders Beach is highly recommended to see the colony of African, or jackass, penguins; watching them glide effortlessly through the surf is a sight to behold. We also recommend visiting the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, which makes up much of the Cape Floral Kingdom with its varied vegetation. Look out for antelope, baboons and African black oystercatchers on the shoreline.

Accommodation options

Day 5 Franschhoek

Cape Town , Franschhoek

Leave Cape Town and drive for an hour to the pretty town of Franschhoek in the Winelands. After checking in to your hotel, you can explore the town and its countryside surroundings on foot or by bicycle. In the heart of the town are numerous upmarket shops, restaurants and cafes - we suggest leaving your car and strolling the streets, browsing the shops and stopping for something to eat.

Accommodation options

Day 6 Franschhoek

Franschhoek

Today you have the whole day to explore the Winelands. There are hundreds of farms and vineyards in the area, including internationally acclaimed places like Boschendal and lesser-known places popular with locals such as Babylonstoren. If you don't want to drive you can cycle to several different wineries. Alternatively, we can arrange for a private guide to help you find wines and wineries to your taste.

Accommodation options

Day 7 Swellendam

Franschhoek , Swellendam

The two and a half hour drive to Swellendam passes through craggy, mountainous scenery along traffic-free roads. The town itself is halfway between Cape Town and the Garden Route and sits in the shadow of the Overberg Mountains. The historic area of Swellendam contains some fine examples of Cape Dutch architecture along with art shops and restaurants, making it a pleasant place to explore. We also suggest visiting De Hoop Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area, which is home to a wide range of wildlife and marine life, including dolphins, seals, whales (seasonal), zebra, eland and many bird species.

Accommodation options

Day 8 Plettenberg Bay

Swellendam , Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay is around a four hour drive along the scenic Route 62, at the eastern end of the Garden Route. The drive has many places to stop en route. We suggest calling into Oudtshoorn to visit an ostrich farm or try an ostrich steak for lunch. You arrive in Plett in the late afternoon. Ideally placed for access to the Garden Route's many activities and attractions, the town's known for its beautiful white-sand coastline, and a relaxing stroll on the beach is a lovely way to wind down after a busy day of driving or sightseeing.

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Day 9 Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay

Today we recommend that you visit the Tsitsikamma Forest, a 45 minute drive from Plettenberg Bay. En route, you'll cross several precipitous canyons, with ocean-bound rivers far below - if you've a head for heights you'll be able to get some spectacular photographs. At Tsitsikamma Forest there are a number of walking trails to follow among the trees, which contrast with the crashing waves. The best-known lookout point is the suspension bridge where the Storms River meets the ocean.

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Day 10 Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay

A further day to enjoy the many attractions in and around Plett. You might want to visit nearby Robberg Beach, where you'll find long stretches of sand to explore, or take a boat trip to see some of the bay's dolphins, Cape fur seals and sharks. We recommend taking a cruise to Featherbed Nature Reserve, which has beautiful views of the lagoon and ocean and is home to birdlife such as the Knysna lourie and blue crane, as well as the tiny blue duiker antelope.

Accommodation options

Day 11 The Addo Elephant Park

Plettenberg Bay , The Addo Elephant Park

From staying by the ocean, in under four hours' drive you can be on safari in the game reserves of the Eastern Cape. Your accommodation is close to the Addo Elephant National Park, where you can either embark on a self-drive safari or join a guided game drive with an experienced ranger. Your ranger can help point out the park's wildlife, which includes the Big Five (elephant, lion, buffalo, black rhino and leopard) as well as hippo, warthogs, eland, kudu and bushbuck.

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Day 12 The Addo Elephant Park

The Addo Elephant Park

Spend the day on safari in the park, either self-driving or on a guided trip. Look out for elephant frolicking in the waterholes and lion lazing in the shade. If you're with a ranger, you can gain pointers on the best spots to find wildlife and have your hands free for taking photographs. However, self-driving gives you more flexibility in how long you spend in each area, how often you stop and which species you concentrate on.

Accommodation options

Day 13 The Addo Elephant Park

The Addo Elephant Park

You have the chance to explore the park further today, and with an early start you can get to some of the more remote sections of the park, such as the rocky Zuurberg range and the Darlington Dam. You can try ticking off the smaller species on your list or search for any of the Big Five you've yet to see.

Accommodation options

Day 14 International return flight

The Addo Elephant Park , International return flight

Drive the hour and a half to Port Elizabeth to catch your onward flights.

Day 15 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Audley Travel specialist Ruth
Audley Travel specialist Jack

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.

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When to go

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Place Daily Max Temperature Monthly Rainfall
Cape Town
 
 
 
Franschhoek
 
 
 
Swellendam
 
 
 
Plettenberg Bay
 
 
 
Addo Elephant National Park
 
 
 

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