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SELF-DRIVE ITINERARY

South Africa

Spectacular South Africa

16 NIGHTS FROM £7,789 per person

A South African adventure that ticks every box, this action-packed itinerary is brimming with rich culture, stunning scenery and memorable wildlife. Vibrant cityscapes, picturesque towns and coastal wonders are complemented by luxury lodgings and delectable cuisine on a fantastic journey from Cape Town to some of the country’s most remarkable locations, and self-driving allows you to take it at your own pace, stopping to breathe in the views whenever you’d like. Three days searching for the Big Five in a pristine game reserve is the thrilling finale to your journey, staying in an exquisite lodge for a memorable safari experience in complete comfort.

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS expand_more

Take in views of Cape Town and beyond from the top of Table Mountain

Enjoy land-based whale watching from the shores of Hermanus (between June and November)

Drive along the breathtaking Route 62

Seek out the Big Five during thrilling game drives in Thornybush Game Reserve

Authentic Experience

Wildlife experiences in South Africa are not only about the Big Five – this early morning experience at De Zeekoe farm, the original meerkat conservation site, offers the unique chance to watch meerkats waking up at the beginning of their day. As the sun rises, you’ll sit around the burrow before the meerkats appear and start their morning routine, warming themselves in the sun as they brush their teeth and comb their hair ready to start the day.

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ITINERARY DETAILS

    DAY 1 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Arrive in Cape Town and transfer to Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel. This stunning property is a refined oasis in the city. From the moment you enter on the grand, sweeping driveway you will relax, unwind and feel like you have arrived at your home from home in the city of Cape Town. Vast, manicured gardens heighten the sense of serenity and yet just minutes from the hotel, you can enjoy the vibrant offering on Kloof Street, home to some of the city’s top restaurants and bars. The cable car to ascend Table Mountain is just a short drive from the hotel, a great first day activity, as the panoramic views allow you to see the city from above and get your bearings of the many neighborhoods, whilst enjoying the laidback vibes of fellow view seekers as the sun sets and a twilight glow descends upon the Mother City.

    TRANSFERS

    Private car transfer from Cape Town International Airport to Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel

    Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Townkeyboard_arrow_right
    • Type: Luxury Hotel
    • Summary: An elegant hotel set close to the iconic Table Mountain
    • Feature: Offers its guests superb Cape hospitality
    • Rooms: 198 rooms & suites
    • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
    • Star rating: 5 Star
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 2 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    With so much to see and do in Cape Town and its surrounding areas, your second day can be as busy or as relaxed as you wish. Start the day with a beautiful breakfast served up in the poolside Oasis restaurant, take a refreshing dip, a gentle stroll around the gardens or indulge in a massage. If you do choose to explore beyond the hotel,  the V&A Waterfront is a short drive away or you can make use of the hotel's complimentary shuttle. With a huge range of eateries, bars and shopping, it is easy to see why this is such a hotspot for visitors to Cape Town. Or you may prefer the more laidback and local vibes of Camps Bay, located southwest of the city. If you are looking to get out and stretch your legs, hikes such as Lion’s Head and Signal Hill offer enjoyable trails with rewarding views.

    Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Townkeyboard_arrow_right
    • Type: Luxury Hotel
    • Summary: An elegant hotel set close to the iconic Table Mountain
    • Feature: Offers its guests superb Cape hospitality
    • Rooms: 198 rooms & suites
    • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
    • Star rating: 5 Star
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 3 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Collect your hire car in the city before heading off on a full day adventure. Leave Cape Town behind and travel along Chapman’s Peak, often hailed as one of the best drives in the country, heading west down the Peninsula towards the Cape of Good Hope. This rocky peninsula is located within the Cape Point Nature Reserve, an area rich in flora and fauna and you are likely to spot baboons and ostrich on your travels. Spend the night just outside of Simon’s Town. 

    Tintswalo at Boulders
    • Summary:

      A boutique guesthouse known for exceptional service and beachfront location

    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 4 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Wake early for an exclusive opportunity to see the penguin colony of Boulders Beach before the crowds. Tintswalo at Boulders is uniquely located directly behind the beach where this African Penguin colony congregate and a private walkway leads from your own room directly to the entrance to the beach. The penguins can also be spotted from a variety of viewing areas around the property, including the front deck and rooftop pool area. Later, travel inland to the world-famous wine region of Franschhoek.

    Mont Rochellekeyboard_arrow_right
    • Type: Boutique Hotel
    • Summary: All rooms overlook the vineyards, mountains or gardens
    • Feature: Vineyard tours and private wine-tasting are a highlight
    • Rooms: 26 rooms & suites
    • Location: Cape Winelands, South Africa
    • Star rating: 5 Star
    DAY 5 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Known for its breathtaking scenery, rich history, exquisite wine estates and renowned culinary scene, Franschhoek is often referred to as the food and wine heartland of South Africa. Enjoy a wine-tasting session, sampling the vineyards offerings and learning about the winemaking process during your stay at Mont Rochelle. Part of the Virgin Limited Edition, owned by Sir Richard Branson, this exclusive hideaway epitomises exclusivity, relaxation and indulgence.

    Mont Rochellekeyboard_arrow_right
    • Type: Boutique Hotel
    • Summary: All rooms overlook the vineyards, mountains or gardens
    • Feature: Vineyard tours and private wine-tasting are a highlight
    • Rooms: 26 rooms & suites
    • Location: Cape Winelands, South Africa
    • Star rating: 5 Star
    DAY 6 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    The adventure continues today with a leisurely two-hour drive to the coastal town of Hermanus, renowned for its fantastic land-based whale watching during the migratory months of June to November. However, a stay at charming boutique hotel Birkenhead House is well worth including in your itinerary whatever time of the year your travels take you to South Africa.

    Birkenhead Housekeyboard_arrow_right
    • Type: Boutique Hotel
    • Summary: An excellent all-inclusive boutique hotel
    • Feature: Enjoys a sophisticated 'house party-style' atmosphere
    • Rooms: 11 suites
    • Location: Western Cape, South Africa
    • Star rating: 5 Star
    MEAL BASIS

    All-Inclusive

    DAY 7 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Take in the fresh sea air strolling along the coastal path from the hotel to Hermanus or simply relax in and around the hotel. The all-inclusive offering here is sublime, with gourmet cuisine, delicious wines and cocktails, unparalleled service and even complimentary laundry combining for a true luxury experience, and of course, if it is the right time of year watching whales lobtailing from your private balcony or the elevated ocean facing infinity pool is a once in a lifetime experience.

    Birkenhead Housekeyboard_arrow_right
    • Type: Boutique Hotel
    • Summary: An excellent all-inclusive boutique hotel
    • Feature: Enjoys a sophisticated 'house party-style' atmosphere
    • Rooms: 11 suites
    • Location: Western Cape, South Africa
    • Star rating: 5 Star
    DAY 8 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    From the coast to the mountains, start to travel back in-land today to take an alternative route east from the traditional Garden Route. Depart Hermanus after lunch and travel first towards Swellendam where you can break the journey and spend an evening in Schoone Oordt Country House, a boutique family run property that servers up a delectable breakfast offering.

    Schoone Oordt Country House
    • Summary: A charming country house hotel featuring 11 luxury bedrooms, set apart from the Manor House, amidst lush gardens
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 9 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Today’s drive is a magnificent one. Travel along Route 62 from Swellendam to Oudtshoorn and marvel at the variety of landscapes, from rugged mountain passes through semi-arid deserts and charming rural towns. Take time to stop off and enjoy some local cuisine or browse the quirky arts and crafts roadside stalls. Admire the breathtaking views and changing landscapes as you journey further along this celebrated route before arriving at Oudtshoorn, located in the picturesque Klein Karoo. Your hotel for the next two nights is Rosenhof Country House. This boutique property has been carefully renovated to retain its historical charm whilst offering comfortable and luxurious accommodation.

    Rosenhof Country House
    • Summary:

      A luxury boutique hotel offering a blend of tranquillity and exquisite service

    DAY 10 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Today is action-packed, waking before the sun rises for a meerkat safari. Return to Rosenhof for a hearty breakfast before getting back in the car and heading to the Cango Caves. This interesting cave complex is one of the oldest in the country and as you travel deeper into the carefully preserved natural wonder you will learn about the history of the indigenous people who inhabited the site. A short drive from the caves is Swartberg Pass, a hair-raising mountain pass that runs through the Swartberg Mountain range connecting Oudtshoorn with the town of Prince Albert in the Great Karoo. Not for the faint-hearted, this narrow winding pass demands a confident driver. The views of the unbelievably dramatic landscape from the peak and as you descend into the valley are not to be missed. Enjoy a delicious freshly prepared late lunch at the quaint Lazy Lizard in Prince Albert as your reward and then take the circular route back to Oudtshoorn.

    Rosenhof Country House
    • Summary:

      A luxury boutique hotel offering a blend of tranquillity and exquisite service

    DAY 11-12 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    The coastal town of Plettenberg Bay is the next destination on your remarkable South African journey. Known for its long stretches of beautiful beaches and the nearby Robberg Nature Reserve, it’s a popular spot and offers a variety of activities for those seeking nature, relaxation and adventure activities. On route, stop off at Knysna, another popular coastal town and spend some time browsing the boutiques and enjoying lunch at the marina. Spend two nights at The Old Rectory, located within the oldest surviving building in Plett. The property celebrates its historic roots while providing all the modern conveniences of a luxury hotel, including suites with private gardens and delicious, freshly prepared cuisine.

    The Old Rectory
    • Summary:

      A luxurious beach retreat combining old-world charm with modern elegance

    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 13 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Today marks the end of your epic road trip adventure. Depart Plettenberg and continue east towards Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) to drop your hire car off and take an evening flight to Johannesburg. Tsitsikamma National Park is an excellent spot to break the journey offering a fantastic range of hiking and water based activities. Overnight accommodation will be at an airport hotel conveniently located close to the arrivals hall at Johannesburg ready for an early flight to Kruger the following morning.

    DAY 14 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    A South African safari is truly a bucket list experience and nowhere in the country is better known for its range of luxury lodges and magical wildlife encounters than the Greater Kruger National Park. Arrive at Hoedspruit Airport and take a transfer to Thornybush Game Reserve. The final three nights of this spectacular South African sojourn will be spent in Saseka Tented Camp. Spacious beautifully designed tents are a stunning juxtaposition of nostalgic safari-inspired décor and contemporary glamour featuring a private plunge pool and large private deck overlooking the dried river bed.

    Saseka Tented Camp
    • Summary:

      A luxurious lodging option within the Thornybush Game Reserve

    MEAL BASIS

    All Inclusive

    DAY 15-17 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Get ready for an early morning wake up call ready for your first exciting game drive in Thornybush Nature Reserve, known for it’s high density of wildlife including the Big Five. Your expert tracker and ranger guide will lead you in the most memorable of safari experiences before heading back to the lodge for a wonderful breakfast selection. Spend the next few days enjoying thrilling morning game drives and spending your afternoons relaxing by your private pool, learning about Thornybush’s commitment to conservation or chatting with fellow explorers and the lodges ever friendly and knowledgeable team before heading back out on more adventures. Dining at Saseka is a rare treat and the selection is wide and varied with each dish as delicious the last. On day 17, depart from Hoedspruit and connect with your international flight home in Johannesburg.

    Saseka Tented Camp
    • Summary:

      A luxurious lodging option within the Thornybush Game Reserve

DAY 1ACCOMMODATION
Cape Town

Arrive in Cape Town and transfer to Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel. This stunning property is a refined oasis in the city. From the moment you enter on the grand, sweeping driveway you will relax, unwind and feel like you have arrived at your home from home in the city of Cape Town. Vast, manicured gardens heighten the sense of serenity and yet just minutes from the hotel, you can enjoy the vibrant offering on Kloof Street, home to some of the city’s top restaurants and bars. The cable car to ascend Table Mountain is just a short drive from the hotel, a great first day activity, as the panoramic views allow you to see the city from above and get your bearings of the many neighborhoods, whilst enjoying the laidback vibes of fellow view seekers as the sun sets and a twilight glow descends upon the Mother City.

TRANSFERS

Private car transfer from Cape Town International Airport to Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel

Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Townkeyboard_arrow_right
  • Type: Luxury Hotel
  • Summary: An elegant hotel set close to the iconic Table Mountain
  • Feature: Offers its guests superb Cape hospitality
  • Rooms: 198 rooms & suites
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Star rating: 5 Star
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 2ACCOMMODATION
Cape Town

With so much to see and do in Cape Town and its surrounding areas, your second day can be as busy or as relaxed as you wish. Start the day with a beautiful breakfast served up in the poolside Oasis restaurant, take a refreshing dip, a gentle stroll around the gardens or indulge in a massage. If you do choose to explore beyond the hotel,  the V&A Waterfront is a short drive away or you can make use of the hotel's complimentary shuttle. With a huge range of eateries, bars and shopping, it is easy to see why this is such a hotspot for visitors to Cape Town. Or you may prefer the more laidback and local vibes of Camps Bay, located southwest of the city. If you are looking to get out and stretch your legs, hikes such as Lion’s Head and Signal Hill offer enjoyable trails with rewarding views.

Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Townkeyboard_arrow_right
  • Type: Luxury Hotel
  • Summary: An elegant hotel set close to the iconic Table Mountain
  • Feature: Offers its guests superb Cape hospitality
  • Rooms: 198 rooms & suites
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Star rating: 5 Star
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 3ACCOMMODATION
Simon's Town

Collect your hire car in the city before heading off on a full day adventure. Leave Cape Town behind and travel along Chapman’s Peak, often hailed as one of the best drives in the country, heading west down the Peninsula towards the Cape of Good Hope. This rocky peninsula is located within the Cape Point Nature Reserve, an area rich in flora and fauna and you are likely to spot baboons and ostrich on your travels. Spend the night just outside of Simon’s Town. 

Tintswalo at Boulders
  • Summary:

    A boutique guesthouse known for exceptional service and beachfront location

MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 4ACCOMMODATION
Simon's Town

Wake early for an exclusive opportunity to see the penguin colony of Boulders Beach before the crowds. Tintswalo at Boulders is uniquely located directly behind the beach where this African Penguin colony congregate and a private walkway leads from your own room directly to the entrance to the beach. The penguins can also be spotted from a variety of viewing areas around the property, including the front deck and rooftop pool area. Later, travel inland to the world-famous wine region of Franschhoek.

Mont Rochellekeyboard_arrow_right
  • Type: Boutique Hotel
  • Summary: All rooms overlook the vineyards, mountains or gardens
  • Feature: Vineyard tours and private wine-tasting are a highlight
  • Rooms: 26 rooms & suites
  • Location: Cape Winelands, South Africa
  • Star rating: 5 Star
DAY 5ACCOMMODATION
Franschhoek

Known for its breathtaking scenery, rich history, exquisite wine estates and renowned culinary scene, Franschhoek is often referred to as the food and wine heartland of South Africa. Enjoy a wine-tasting session, sampling the vineyards offerings and learning about the winemaking process during your stay at Mont Rochelle. Part of the Virgin Limited Edition, owned by Sir Richard Branson, this exclusive hideaway epitomises exclusivity, relaxation and indulgence.

Mont Rochellekeyboard_arrow_right
  • Type: Boutique Hotel
  • Summary: All rooms overlook the vineyards, mountains or gardens
  • Feature: Vineyard tours and private wine-tasting are a highlight
  • Rooms: 26 rooms & suites
  • Location: Cape Winelands, South Africa
  • Star rating: 5 Star
DAY 6ACCOMMODATION
Hermanus

The adventure continues today with a leisurely two-hour drive to the coastal town of Hermanus, renowned for its fantastic land-based whale watching during the migratory months of June to November. However, a stay at charming boutique hotel Birkenhead House is well worth including in your itinerary whatever time of the year your travels take you to South Africa.

Birkenhead Housekeyboard_arrow_right
  • Type: Boutique Hotel
  • Summary: An excellent all-inclusive boutique hotel
  • Feature: Enjoys a sophisticated 'house party-style' atmosphere
  • Rooms: 11 suites
  • Location: Western Cape, South Africa
  • Star rating: 5 Star
MEAL BASIS

All-Inclusive

DAY 7ACCOMMODATION
Hermanus

Take in the fresh sea air strolling along the coastal path from the hotel to Hermanus or simply relax in and around the hotel. The all-inclusive offering here is sublime, with gourmet cuisine, delicious wines and cocktails, unparalleled service and even complimentary laundry combining for a true luxury experience, and of course, if it is the right time of year watching whales lobtailing from your private balcony or the elevated ocean facing infinity pool is a once in a lifetime experience.

Birkenhead Housekeyboard_arrow_right
  • Type: Boutique Hotel
  • Summary: An excellent all-inclusive boutique hotel
  • Feature: Enjoys a sophisticated 'house party-style' atmosphere
  • Rooms: 11 suites
  • Location: Western Cape, South Africa
  • Star rating: 5 Star
DAY 8ACCOMMODATION
Swellendam

From the coast to the mountains, start to travel back in-land today to take an alternative route east from the traditional Garden Route. Depart Hermanus after lunch and travel first towards Swellendam where you can break the journey and spend an evening in Schoone Oordt Country House, a boutique family run property that servers up a delectable breakfast offering.

Schoone Oordt Country House
  • Summary: A charming country house hotel featuring 11 luxury bedrooms, set apart from the Manor House, amidst lush gardens
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 9ACCOMMODATION
Oudtshoorn

Today’s drive is a magnificent one. Travel along Route 62 from Swellendam to Oudtshoorn and marvel at the variety of landscapes, from rugged mountain passes through semi-arid deserts and charming rural towns. Take time to stop off and enjoy some local cuisine or browse the quirky arts and crafts roadside stalls. Admire the breathtaking views and changing landscapes as you journey further along this celebrated route before arriving at Oudtshoorn, located in the picturesque Klein Karoo. Your hotel for the next two nights is Rosenhof Country House. This boutique property has been carefully renovated to retain its historical charm whilst offering comfortable and luxurious accommodation.

Rosenhof Country House
  • Summary:

    A luxury boutique hotel offering a blend of tranquillity and exquisite service

DAY 10ACCOMMODATION
Oudtshoorn

Today is action-packed, waking before the sun rises for a meerkat safari. Return to Rosenhof for a hearty breakfast before getting back in the car and heading to the Cango Caves. This interesting cave complex is one of the oldest in the country and as you travel deeper into the carefully preserved natural wonder you will learn about the history of the indigenous people who inhabited the site. A short drive from the caves is Swartberg Pass, a hair-raising mountain pass that runs through the Swartberg Mountain range connecting Oudtshoorn with the town of Prince Albert in the Great Karoo. Not for the faint-hearted, this narrow winding pass demands a confident driver. The views of the unbelievably dramatic landscape from the peak and as you descend into the valley are not to be missed. Enjoy a delicious freshly prepared late lunch at the quaint Lazy Lizard in Prince Albert as your reward and then take the circular route back to Oudtshoorn.

Rosenhof Country House
  • Summary:

    A luxury boutique hotel offering a blend of tranquillity and exquisite service

DAY 11-12ACCOMMODATION
Plettenberg Bay

The coastal town of Plettenberg Bay is the next destination on your remarkable South African journey. Known for its long stretches of beautiful beaches and the nearby Robberg Nature Reserve, it’s a popular spot and offers a variety of activities for those seeking nature, relaxation and adventure activities. On route, stop off at Knysna, another popular coastal town and spend some time browsing the boutiques and enjoying lunch at the marina. Spend two nights at The Old Rectory, located within the oldest surviving building in Plett. The property celebrates its historic roots while providing all the modern conveniences of a luxury hotel, including suites with private gardens and delicious, freshly prepared cuisine.

The Old Rectory
  • Summary:

    A luxurious beach retreat combining old-world charm with modern elegance

MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 13ACCOMMODATION
Johannesburg

Today marks the end of your epic road trip adventure. Depart Plettenberg and continue east towards Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) to drop your hire car off and take an evening flight to Johannesburg. Tsitsikamma National Park is an excellent spot to break the journey offering a fantastic range of hiking and water based activities. Overnight accommodation will be at an airport hotel conveniently located close to the arrivals hall at Johannesburg ready for an early flight to Kruger the following morning.

DAY 14ACCOMMODATION
Thornybush Game Reserve

A South African safari is truly a bucket list experience and nowhere in the country is better known for its range of luxury lodges and magical wildlife encounters than the Greater Kruger National Park. Arrive at Hoedspruit Airport and take a transfer to Thornybush Game Reserve. The final three nights of this spectacular South African sojourn will be spent in Saseka Tented Camp. Spacious beautifully designed tents are a stunning juxtaposition of nostalgic safari-inspired décor and contemporary glamour featuring a private plunge pool and large private deck overlooking the dried river bed.

Saseka Tented Camp
  • Summary:

    A luxurious lodging option within the Thornybush Game Reserve

MEAL BASIS

All Inclusive

DAY 15-17ACCOMMODATION
Thornybush Game Reserve

Get ready for an early morning wake up call ready for your first exciting game drive in Thornybush Nature Reserve, known for it’s high density of wildlife including the Big Five. Your expert tracker and ranger guide will lead you in the most memorable of safari experiences before heading back to the lodge for a wonderful breakfast selection. Spend the next few days enjoying thrilling morning game drives and spending your afternoons relaxing by your private pool, learning about Thornybush’s commitment to conservation or chatting with fellow explorers and the lodges ever friendly and knowledgeable team before heading back out on more adventures. Dining at Saseka is a rare treat and the selection is wide and varied with each dish as delicious the last. On day 17, depart from Hoedspruit and connect with your international flight home in Johannesburg.

Saseka Tented Camp
  • Summary:

    A luxurious lodging option within the Thornybush Game Reserve

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

This itinerary is ideal for travel year round.

  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Best

16 NIGHTS FROM £7,789 per person

Price based upon economy flights from London, transfers, UK airport lounge passes and meals and excursions as specified.Pricing based upon a departure date of 31 Aug 2024 with economy flights from London. Transfers, UK airport lounge passes, meals and excursions as specified.

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