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Ultimate South Africa Travel Itinerary for 2 Weeks

Ultimate South Africa Travel Itinerary for 2 Weeks

South Africa is one of my top 3 favorite countries in the world. I truly believe that this country can be anyone’s favorite despite different preferences, as it can attract adventure seekers, luxury lovers as well as backpackers.

I used to live in Cape Town and traveled around South Africa extensively.

I suggest visiting South Africa for at least a month, because you don’t want to be rushed or forced to skip some amazing activities on the way. However, if you don’t have that much time off I prepared different itineraries 

Here’s what I propose for a 1 to a 2-week itinerary for South Africa, starting in Johannesburg and ending in Cape Town.

Ultimate South Africa Road Trip Itinerary

This 2-week South Africa itinerary starts in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town. It includes the most photogenic places in South Africa safari and wine route. 

I recommend that you catch a domestic flight to Port Elizabeth pick up your rental car there. Alternatively, you can take an overnight bus from Johannesburg (I’ve done it and it’s perfectly safe).

Best cheapest domestic airlines in South Africa are Mango and Kulula. You can also use their national airlines South African Airways, but you’ll spend more.

IMPORTANT: Car rental reservation is a MUST in South Africa.

I’ve made a mistake of not pre-booking my car two occasions and had to reschedule my plans as no cars were available, even during South African winter. is a good website to find the best deals on different types of cars and providers. 

south africa road trip


Safari in South Africa

  • Day 1-2: Johannesburg
  • Day 3-5: Kruger National Park (safari)
  • Day 6: back to Johannesburg

Week 1 Itinerary: Garden Route

  • Day 1: Port Elizabeth
  • Day 2: Jeffreys Bay
  • Day 3-4: Nature’s Valley
  • Day 5-6: Knysna / Plettenberg Bay
  • Day 7-8: Oudtshoorn

Week 2 Itinerary: Western Cape

  • Day 9: Route 62
  • Day 10-11: Stellenbosch
  • Day 12: Gaansbai & Simon’s Town
  • Day 13: Hermanus
  • Day 14-15: Cape Town

Kruger National Park Safari

Johannesburg & Pretoria

Fly into Johannesburg, as flights will probably be the cheapest to Tambo International Airport. As you might have heard ‘Joburg’ isn’t the safest place. I’d recommend renting a car at the airport if you’re planning on driving to Kruger.

Alternatively, you can take a domestic flight to Nelspruit and pick up your rental car there.

Best Things to Do in Johannesburg

  • Visit Pretoria – Pretoria might not be the most glamorous capital city in the world. But you can learn a lot about the history of South Africa before heading east for a safari.
  • The Apartheid Museum – To learn about the history of the city and country.
  • Market on Main – If you want to stuff your face with delicious food.

Accommodation in Johannesburg:
Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff
Guesthouse: Lucky Bean Guesthouse
Hostel: The Birches Backpacker Lodge

Kruger National Park

A trip to South Africa wouldn’t have been completed without a proper safari and what’s a better place to do it than Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves.

Kruger is larger than the whole country of the Netherlands, so you need to really plan your trip over there in advance.

As I mentioned in another article you should take a look at what animals interest you, calculate how much time do you want to spend in the park and remember not to make my mistake: book your accommodation in advance. Camps do fill up in advance, whether you’re booking a room or camping.

I suggest entering the park through Nelspruit or Crocodile Bridge and continuing your way up north inside the park, but the route is totally up to you.

Distance from Johannesburg Airport to Kruger National Park (Croc Bridge Entrance): 438 km

South Africa Itinerary

Duration: 4.5 – 5 hours

2 Weeks South Africa Itinerary: Part 1

Day 1: Port Elizabeth

Back in Pretoria, I’d recommend dropping the car off and hopping on a bus. South African buses are totally safe and comfy, so you don’t have to worry about anything. I’d actually say that the bus was way more comfortable than an American Greyhound.

You can extend your trip by going to Durban first, or head straight to Port Elizabeth to start your Garden Route exploration straight away.

From Johannesburg, you can either take an overnight bus to Port Elizabeth, or a short domestic flight. You could drive all the way from Johannesburg, but it would take you about 11 hours.


I don’t recommend it unless you’re planning on taking a short detour to Lesotho and spending a night there.

Things to Do in Port Elizabeth:

  • Addo Elephant Park – As the name indicates it’s a wildlife park with elephants, definitely worth a visit if you didn’t see enough of them at Kruger National Park.
South Africa in a month itinerary

Day 2: Jeffreys Bay

Jeffreys Bay is often a forgotten destination on the Garden Route. The small town of Jeffreys Bay is a nice base for 1 or 2 days to enjoy some sandboarding nearby or ride a horse on the beach. 

jeffreys bay south africa

Things to Do in Jeffreys Bay:

  • Sandboarding
  • Horseriding
  • Surfing

Distance from Port Elizabeth to Jeffreys Bay: 78 km

Duration: 45 min

south africa itinerary
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Accommodation in Jeffrey’s Bay:
Hotel: Funky Town
Guesthouse: On the Beach Guesthouse & Apartments
Hostel: Island Vibe

Nature’s Valley / Tsitsikamma National Park

A lot of people skip Nature’s Valley when visiting the Garden Route. I’d say it’s a must-do stop and I actually spent at least one night in one of the tiny bungalows in the forest.

bloukrans bridge bungy

Nature Valley is also the spot to face adrenalin and hop off Bloukrans Bridge, the tallest bungy in the world (from the bridge). It’s terrifying and I probably wouldn’t bungee jump ever again, but to me, it was one of these once in a lifetime moments.

You also shouldn’t forget to pay the Monkey Sanctuary a visit. I loved walking around the forest full of monkeys, lemurs, and other birds and watch them being fed.

You can’t pet the monkeys as it’s a nature reserve and they want the monkeys not to be disturbed, which makes me respect this place even more.

Distance from Jeffreys Bay to Nature’s Valley: 138 km

Duration: 1.5 hour


Accommodation options in Nature Valley:
Hotel: Trogon House and Forest Spa
Hostel: Tsitsikamma Backpackers

Day 3-4: Knysna

Knysna and Plettenberg Bay are probably my favorite place on the Garden Route. Knysna has a great animal sanctuary with extremely jaw-dropping coastal vistas and offers many great restaurants and little cafes. I planned on staying there for just 1 night and didn’t want to leave even after 3 days.

Plettenberg Bay South Africa

Distance from Nature’s Valley to Knysna: 65 km

Duration: 55 min

Accommodation in Knysna:
Hotel: The Plettenberg Hotel
Hostel: Albergo for Backpackers (hammocks for everyone and free braai every night)

Day 7-8: Oudtshoorn

I spoke about Oudtshoorn before, as it’s my favorite little town in South Africa. The world’s capital of ostrich has a lot to offer. Starting from ostrich farms, caves and you can even swim with crocodiles there. I had a great time there, so don’t skip Oudtshoorn!

Distance from Knysna to Oudtshoorn: 120 km

Duration: 1.5 hour


Accommodation in Oudtshoorn:
Hotel: Riverside Lodge
Guesthouse: Surval Boutique Olive Estate
B&B: Oasis Shanti Backpackers (awesome parties and ostrich egg for breakfast)

2 Weeks South Africa Itinerary: Part 2

Day 9: Ladismith & Route 62

Ladismith is a hidden gem, as I haven’t heard about it anywhere and stumbled upon it by accident. Now I can share my secret with you. Together with my friend we wanted to drive down the Route 62 throughout the mountains all the way to Stellenbosch.

The road was almost completely empty as the majority of people choose to drive along the coast, so it makes the experience even more enjoyable. There were private game reserves on the way, lots of wineries and stunning mountains and as much as we enjoyed the view we also had to find a place to sleep.

Since we really wanted to stay at one of the wineries we randomly drove to Oaksrest Vineyard which turned out to be the best decision we took that day. For just 30 euros (I know, crazy!) we got to stay at a 5-bedroom house that had literally everything you can think of. Pool table, table tennis, board games, barbecue, literally everything you might need to have fun.

The guesthouse is run by an incredible family who gave us some wine, prepared a bbq for us and made our stay incredible. Do stay there if you’re in the area, as this place just couldn’t have been better!

Distance from Oudtshoorn to Ladismith: 110 km

Duration: 1.5 hour


Accommodation in Ladismith:
Guesthouse/villa: Oakrest Vineyards

Day 10-11: Stellenbosch

Right before you head to Cape Town stop at Stellenbosch for some wine tasting. This friendly student town is surrounded by many wineries.

I personally recommend my favorite wine available in just a few spots – Blanc de Noir. It’s a white wine that looks like a rose as it’s colored with red grapes’ skins. Yummy!

Distance from Ladismith to Stellenbosch: 110 km

Duration: 1.5 hour

Accommodation in Stellenbosch:
Hotel: Wild Mushroom Boutique Hotel
Guesthouse: Stables Lodge

Baia Seafood Restaurant

Day 12: Gaansbai & Simon’s Town

I recommend taking a day trip to Simon’s Town to see a beach full of penguins! If you love wildlife as much as I do you’ll be the happiest person on earth with these little cuties running around you.

If you’re already in Simon’s Town you can also set an excursion to Gansbaai to face the adrenaline and dive with great white sharks.

Distance from Stellenbosch to Gaansbai: 140 km

Duration: 2 hours


Day 13: Hermanus

Hermanus can be easily reached on the way to Cape Town. The town got famous by whales as it’s a great spot for watching them. Funnily enough, when I was there I thought I saw no whales and took some photos of the shore just to discover that there was a whale behind me this whole time!

Distance from Gaansbai to Hermanus: 42 km

Duration: 30 min

Accommodation in Hermanus:
Hotel: Birkenhead House
Guesthouse: Whale Away Guest House

Day 14-15: Cape Town

When someone asks me what my favorite city is, I don’t hesitate much before saying it’s Cape Town. I’m glad I had the pleasure of living there for a while. Cape Town is simply amazing and offers so many things starting from parties, through farmers’ markets and finishing on nature. Don’t skip it on your South Africa itinerary.

Not to mention the food scene in Cape Town is unbelievable. You can spend every weekend scrolling around a different pop-up cafe or get an amazing champagne brunch at Old Biscuit Mill or any other market. Yum!

Distance from Hermanus to Cape Town: 120 km

Duration: 1.5 hours

Accommodation in Cape Town:


Cape Town

Suggested Additional Guide for South Africa:

Ultimate South Africa Travel Itinerary

Any questions about my South Africa itinerary? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll be happy to clear all your doubts.

Jason Grice

Friday 22nd of September 2023

The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is $1800/night for the cheapest room, is there another you might recommend for normal people?


Friday 22nd of September 2023

It must be something going on, because it normally doesn't cost us much.

There are various others I stayed at and would recommend: Pepperclub Hotel or Grand Daddy.


Friday 20th of July 2018

Absolutely love South Africa, and especially Cape Town ???? It really is an amazing place, and my favourite country in the world! Unfortunately I haven’t been able to visit either Johannesburg or Durban but its something I will look to do in April hopefully! I have also heard mixed stories about safety in Johannesburg, but have also heard that it can be an incredible city to experience. Really great post with lots of information :)


Sunday 16th of April 2017

Hi, Thank you for sharing and so inspirational. What time of year did you travel? We are planning June 17 to July 17, do you think it will be too cold at this time of year? We are a family of 4 with two girls (one redhead!) that 11 and 14 and do you think we should have any concerns traveling with teens? Seems like you booked all of your accommodations in advance do you think we will still need to this time of year.

Many thanks!



Monday 17th of April 2017

Hi! It will be cold, but remember it's South African 'cold' which means you'd need a jacket, but not a giant one. I actually haven't booked my accommodation in advance, it was all improvised upon arrival. But I was just traveling with one other person so that was easier than if that's four of you. I think your teens will love South Africa honestly.


Tuesday 29th of March 2016

Thank you for your advice and photos ; we are going to South Africa in two weeks and are very thrilled about it. We have booked in advance and it is really necessary as already three weeks before departure, we couldn't find a single bungalow left in Lower Sabie Rest Camp, Kruger. Have fun in your next travel ...


Sunday 31st of July 2016

Anna, I am planning a trip around Christmas. Will all venues be open during Christmas week?

Danielle Des

Monday 28th of March 2016

South Africa is on my list for 2017! I didn't know that Kruger was larger than the Netherlands, knowing what you want to do and see will help with time for sure.

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