A perfect 2-week South Africa Itinerary


You have decided on traveling to South Africa for your next holiday and now you are looking for itinerary suggestions and things to do in the country? Then you have landed in the right place. This 2-week South Africa itinerary will guide you around the best attractions the country has to offer, touching a little bit of everything: safaris, wine tastings, cultural experiences and breath-taking beaches, dramatic cliffs, surprising wildlife and so much more.


Best Time to Travel South Africa

The best time for great beach weather in South Africa is in summer, between November and February. December is the peak holiday season when many locals have their summer holiday if you decide to come this time of the year, definitely book accommodation and tours beforehand. For watching animals winter months are the best time. Southern Right whales are around Cape Town between July and October. Winter months are the dry season in the Addo National Park. It’s easier to see animals since driven by thirst they come to a couple of big water holes inside the park. Visitors can sit in their cars next to a water hole waiting for animals to come.

Summer is a great time for kitesurfing in Cape Town. From December to February the wind pumps non stop here. On the contrary for surfing and diving, winter is a much better time.


Is South Africa Safe to Travel?

0. Coast-Cape-Town-2-weeks-in-South-Africa

Travelers have to be careful in big cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg.

If you go out at night don’t walk back to your hotel rather ask at the bar/restaurant to call a taxi or use Uber. Many people in Cape Town use Uber.

Don’t go to dodgy areas of the city, stick to the tourist route.

If you want to hike, do it inside a National Park or a Nature Reserve.

Don’t leave anything on the seats in your car, put it in the boot.

Always lock the car doors when you’re in.

If you do a self-drive safari get out of your car only at designated spots (campsites, picnic areas, etc.)

Don’t do wild camping in South Africa there are many good and inexpensive campsites everywhere in the country.


How to Get to South Africa?

There are many international flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town from all over the world including a couple of direct flights from Europe (Germany, the Netherlands and the UK). If you’re coming from the US, Canada or Australia it’ll be a longer journey with one or two layovers. There are several daily direct flights to South Africa from Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi.


How to Move Around the Country?

Renting a car is the best and the easiest way of moving around especially if you want to travel the country extensively. Many car rental companies offer an option of picking up and dropping off a car at different places. You can rent a car at the airport in Cape Town and drop it off in Johannesburg or Port Elizabeth.

It’s possible to travel South Africa with a tour. There are many multi-day tours that leave from Cape Town that you can join. It’s a great option for single travelers.

To cover longer distances (e.g. from Cape Town to Johannesburg) flying is the best option otherwise you risk to spend a couple of days getting from place A to place B.


A 2-Week South Africa Itinerary Highlights:

Day 1. Arriving in Cape Town

Day 2. The highlights of Cape Town

Day 3. Exploring the Cape Peninsula

Day 4. Wine tasting in Stellenbosch

Day 5. Whale watching in Hermanus

Day 6. Visiting Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa

Day 7-9. Garden Route road trip

Day 10. Driving from Storms River to Addo Elephant National Park

Day 11. Safari in Addo Elephant National Park

Day 12-13. Driving back to Cape Town

Day 14. Flying back home


Day 1. Arriving in Cape Town

1. V&A-Waterfront-and-Table-Mountain-Cape-Town

On your first day you probably won’t have enough time for sightseeing. You can go out in the evening to V&A Waterfront to enjoy dinner with a glass of wine while watching the sunset. As an option you can join the sunset Champagne cruise with dinner.

Places to stay:

A Sunflower Stop Backpackers

[email protected] Cape Town

Anchor Bay Guesthouse



Day 2. The highlights of Cape Town

2. Bo-Kaap-neighbourhood-Cape-Town

Like in any other city there are many amazing things to do in Cape Town. Start your day with visiting Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. The island is a 30-minute boat ride from V&A Waterfront. It can be visited only with a tour. There are 3 daily departures at 9am, 11am and 1pm. The tour takes about 4 hours.

After the island tour head to the Castle of Good Hope, the first fortified building in Cape Town. The Castle is just 10 minutes drive from the Waterfront.

In the afternoon visit Bo Kaap. This colorful neighbourhood is a great spot for taking photos. All houses in Bo Kaap are painted in different colors; red, yellow, blue, green, yellow, purple, etc. The neighbourhood is also known as a Malay Quarter, its first residents were slaves brought from Malaysia and Indonesia. You can stop here for 30 minutes to take photos or spend here a couple of hours learning to cook traditional Cape Malay dishes.

It’s time to visit Table Mountain, the most famous attraction in the city. The easiest and fastest way of getting to the top is to take a cable car. The ride takes 15 minutes. If you are up for a challenge you can hike to the top following the Platteklip Gorge route. It’ll take between 60 and 90 minutes to get to the top depending on your fitness level. You can combine both ways; walk up and take the cable car down or other way around.

Watching the sunset from Lion’s Head is a perfect way to finish the day. Make sure you arrive at least one hour before to have enough time to find a parking spot and to get to the top of the hill.


Day 3. Exploring the Cape Peninsula

3. African-penguins-Boulders-Beach-Cape-Town

Total distance – 150km

Driving route; Cape Town (Sea Point) – Camps Bay – Hout Bay – Chapman’s Peak Drive – Kommetjie – Cape Point National Park – Simons Town (Boulders Beach) – Muizenberg – Constantia – Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden – Cape Town.

The drive around the Cape Peninsula is an amazing way to spend the day. There are many stunning places to visit and awesome things to do along the route. The drive will take the big part of the day. It’s better to start early in the morning in order to have enough time to visit the main attractions.

Start the day at Sea Point in Cape Town and drive along the coast past Camps Bay to Hout Bay. Stop at Camps Bay for taking photos. Hout Bay is a great place for watching Cape Fur seals. There are many seals in the area. You can see them at the harbour. For a closer encounter with these playful animals join a snorkeling tour. Tours leave daily from the Hout Bay harbour.

From Hout Bay continue driving along the coast following the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive, a 9km coastal road with breathtaking views. There are several look-out points where you can park your car and take some photos.

Visiting the Cape Point National Park is a must-do thing in Cape Town. You can spend a couple of hours exploring the area. There are several hiking trails leading to the lighthouse, sandy beaches and stunning look-outs. The park is one of the best and safest places in Cape Town for hiking.

Not to miss here; The Old Lighthouse, Diaz Beach, Cape of Good Hope, and Cape Point.

From Cape Point drive to Boulders Beach in Simons Town. This beautiful white-sand beach is famous for the colony of African penguins. Visitors can see many of these cute guys walking around, hopping on the rocks or swimming in the sea. Boulders Beach is one of the tourists’ favorite places in Cape Town.

Finish the coastal drive in Muizenberg. This popular surfing town is a great place to learn surfing but you’ll need more than a couple of hours to do that. One of the main attractions in Muizenberg are colorful wooden beach cabins lined along the sealine.

If you have some time left on the way back to Cape Town you can stop at a couple of wine farms in Constantia and do some wine tasting. Another option is to visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, a green paradise within the city.

Check out this Cape Peninsula full day tour from Cape Town. 


Day 4. Wine Tasting in Stellenbosch

4. Tokara-wine-farm-wine-tasting-in-Stellenbosch

Distance from Cape Town to Stellenbosch – 50km (one way)

Places to stay:

Stellenhaus Guest Cottage

Governor’s Apartments


Another day exploring the surroundings of Cape Town. Stellenbosch is a well-known wine destination in South Africa. Some of the best wine estates in the country can be found here. There are over 150 wine farms in the Stellenbosch area. It’ll take years to visit all of them. The best way is to visit four or five estates to have enough time to enjoy the tasting without rushing around.

Some of our favorite wine estates in Stellenbosch

  • Spier – wine and chocolate pairing is a must-try here
  • Waterford – a little Italian corner in Africa
  • Tokara – one of the most beautiful farms in the area
  • Fairview – a great place to do wine and cheese tasting.


You can visit Stellenbosch as a day trip from Cape Town or stay here for the night. It’s possible to do a self-drive tasting or to join one of the wine tours from Cape Town. Doing a tour is easier; you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. Most tasting rooms are open daily between 10am and 4pm, no pre-booking needed.

Besides wine tasting there are many other things to do in Stellenbosch such as hiking, cycling or mountain biking, horseback riding, etc. Hiking is the most popular activity here. Beautiful Jonkershoek Nature Reserve just outside the town has many hiking trails. Several wine farms have hiking and cycling routes; you can combine wine tasting with outdoor activities.

Check out this wine tasting tour in Stellenbosch from Cape Town.


Day 5. Whale Watching in Hermanus

5. Cape-Fur-seals-Hermanus-South-Africa-travel-itinerary

Distance from Cape Town to Hermanus (along the coast) – 140km, from Stellenbosch to Hermanus (along the coast) – 114km.

Driving route; Cape Town/Stellenbosch – Gordons Bay – Betty’s Bay – Hermanus.


Places to stay:

Zzzone Boutique Hostel

The Mayflower Hotel


It’s time to start a road trip adventure along the East Coast of South Africa.

The drive from Cape Town to Hermanus offers some breathtaking views. Make sure to take a longer route from Gordons Bay, along the coast. If you want to see more penguins you can stop at Betty’s Bay. The Stony Point Nature Reserve is a home to thousands of African penguins. You can see them nesting. There are more penguins here than at Boulders Beach and it’s less touristy.

Hermanus is a beautiful coastal town about 100km east from Cape Town. It’s one of the best places in the country for marine safaris. Tourists can see so-called Marine Big 5; whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, and penguins. The best season to observe marine life in Hermanus is July to September when Southern Right whales come to the area. It’s possible to see them even from the shore but doing a whale watching tour is a much better option. It allows you to admire these majestic animals from close by. During the tour you’ll get a chance to see Cape seals, African penguins, dolphins and if you’re lucky a couple of sharks.

Hermanus is a popular place for shark cage diving. People from all over the world come here for a close encounter with great white sharks. Bronze sharks can be seen during the dive as well.

There are several wine farms near Hermanus. The area is famous for seafood; mussels, prawns, oysters, etc. There are many great restaurants in the town. Choose one located close to the shore in the peak season you might be able to see whales through the window.

Check out this whale watching tour in Hermanus.



Day 6. Visiting Cape Agulhas, the Southernmost Tip of Africa

6. Cape-Agulhas-light-house-South-Africa-travel-itinerary

Distance from Hermanus to Cape Agulhas – 111km

Driving route; Hermanus – Elim – Struisbaai – Cape Agulhas


Places to stay:

Cape Agulhas Backpackers

Redsky Agulhas Apartments


From Hermanus the scenery along the road changes drastically. The road doesn’t go along the coast instead it turns inland and continues past the rolling wheat fields.

Many tourists think that the Cape of Good Hope inside the Cape Point National Park is the southernmost point of Africa and the meeting point of two oceans but it’s not right. Cape Agulhas 220km east from Cape Town is the southernmost tip of the continent. The Atlantic and the Indian Oceans meet here as well. Cape Agulhas is a lesser-known place with fewer tourists. The Lighthouse at Cape Agulhas is one of the oldest operating lighthouses in the country.

On the way, do a short detour to Arniston, a small fishermen village 40km from Cape Agulhas, a hidden gem of the area. Two main attractions here are traditional white fishermen’s houses and Waenhuiskrans Cave, a massive cave opening into the ocean. Before going there don’t forget to check tides. The cave can be accessed only during low tide.

Just before entering Cape Agulhas stop at Struisbaai harbour to see Pari, a massive stingray that resides there. It’s been living at the harbour for many years, locals named him Pari. He swims in shallow waters waiting for fishermen to toss leftovers of fish into the water. Sometimes there are two or three stingrays at the harbour.

Check out this Cape Agulhas day tour from Cape Town.



Day 7-9. Garden Route road trip

The Garden Route is one of the most beautiful areas in South Africa and an incredible place for nature and outdoor lovers. It has a great combination of the beautiful coast, lush green forest, unspoiled beaches and charming towns. There are many things to do in the area from camping and hiking to diving and bungee jumping. Despite being a popular tourist destination, the Garden Route has many hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path places to explore.

You can rent a car and do a road trip or join one of the Garden Route tours from Cape Town.

Check out this Garden Route & Addo Elephant National Park tour from Cape Town.


Day 7. Cape Agulhas to Mossel Bay

7. Santos-Express-train-hotel-in-Mossel-Bay-South-Africa

Distance – 275km

Driving route; Cape Agulhas – Swellendam – Mossel Bay


Places to stay:

Mile Crunchers Backpackers

Linkside 2 Guest House

If you want to stay in a special place close to the beach Santos Express Train Hotel is a great option. An old blue train “parked” on the railways at Beach. The accommodation options in the train range from a bed in a dormitory (a sleeper class cart) to luxurious en-suite honeymoon rooms with a king-size bed and a private deck.


Stop for breakfast in Swellendam there are a couple of nice cafes with home-made food next to the road. Some tourists stop here on the way to the Garden Route. The town is nice but it gets very hot here in summer, rather stay in Cape Agulhas and stop here on the way.

Mossel Bay, a beautiful beach town, is the beginning of the Garden Route. There are a couple of sandy beaches in the town. Santos Beach is the most famous and popular beach here. The best way to finish the day is to enjoy the beautiful sunset while having dinner at one of the restaurants along the coast.


Things to do in Mossel Bay:

Walking St.Blaize trail, a 14km trail along the cliffs

Do an archeological tour in the Point of Human Origin Cave

Visit the Bartolomeu Dias Museum, don’t miss the 500 old post office tree here

Relaxing on the beach

Surfing, there are a couple of surf schools and board rental places

Diving or shark cage diving

Skydiving with landing on the beach


Day 8. Mossel Bay to Knysna

8. Noetzie-Beach-Knysna-South-Africa-2-week-itinerary

Distance – 105km

Driving route; Mossel Bay – Wilderness – Map of Africa view-point – Sedgefield – Knysna


Places to stay in Knysna:

Shepherds Tree Backpackers

Knysna Pearl View Guest House


The drive is quite short, just over 100km but there are several great places to stop in between. You can stop for breakfast in Wilderness. The Green Shed, a small charming cafe is one of our favorite coffee places in the area. In Wilderness don’t miss Map of Africa, a stunning view-point over the green canyon.

The next stop is Sedgefield. This small beach town has spectacular beaches with white sand dunes and very few people. You can rent a paddle board or a surfboard here.

Knysna is a perfect stop on the Garden Route. The town is famous for the Knysna Heads (a couple of dramatic cliffs in the Lagoon), seafood restaurants and endless sandy beaches. There are many great places to stay here. If you want to go more off the beaten track instead of staying in the town, drive 20km into the Diepwalle Forest. Wooden camping decks surrounded by the huge Outeniqua trees in the middle of the indigenous forest is a great place to spend the night. If you don’t have a tent you can stay at a forest chalet. There are several hiking trails from the campsite.


Things to do in Knysna:

Go up to the Knysna Heads

Visit stunning Noetzie Beach

Rent a kayak or a paddle board on the Lagoon

Go hiking in Diepwalle Forest

Do a yacht sunset tour

Spot whales and dolphins from a boat

Taste fresh local oysters


Day 9. Knysna to Storms River

9. Suspension-bridges-Tsitsikamma-National-Park-South-Africa

Distance – 105km

Driving route; Knysna – Plettenberg Bay – Nature’s Valley – Bloukrans Bridge – Tsitsikamma National Park – Storms River


Places to stay:

Tsitsikamma Backpackers

Storms River Guest Lodge


This is one of our favorites days on the Garden Route. To start the day, stop at Garden of Eden, a beautiful part of the Knysna Forest with a short and easy hiking trail. There are a couple of interesting animal sanctuaries just outside Knysna like Wolf Sanctuary, Knysna Elephant Park, and Birds of Eden. You can choose one of them or visit all. If you travel with kids they’ll definitely enjoy it.

For adrenaline junkies the Bloukrans Bridge is a must-stop on the route. It is famous as the highest bungee jumping bridge in the world. This is a truly breathtaking activity. You’ll need a couple of hours to prepare for the jump. Even if it’s not the kind of activity you’d enjoy, just drive in here for the stunning views of the bridge and the canyon.

The Tsitsikamma National Park is another not to miss place. It has some of the most beautiful scenery on the entire Garden Route. Here you can find unspoiled sandy beaches, lush green forest, rugged cliffs, beautiful waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. It’s a real paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. There are many things to do here; hiking, kayaking and lilo, snorkeling, swimming, watching animals, and chilling on the beach. There are several hiking trails and suspension bridges that take visitors to the most incredible parts of the park. Hiking in the forest, watchout for animals. If you’re lucky you can see sea otters, genets, many monkeys and squirrels. If you follow one of the coastal routes you can spot dolphins and whales.

A kayaking or lilo tour through the Storms River Gorge is a great way to see the parts of the park that are not accessible by car or on foot. Snorkeling along the shore you can see a lot of different fishes and even small sharks.

It’s possible to stay inside the park. Visitors can camp by the sea at the campsite or stay in wooden cabins or more luxurious bungalows along the coast.


Days 10. Storms River to Addo Elephant National Park

10. Stunning-scenery-Garden-route-South-Africa-itinerary

Distance – 230km

Driving route; Storms River – Jeffreys Bay – Port Elizabeth – Addo Elephant National Park.

A trip to South Africa can’t be complete without visiting a safari park. Addo Elephant National Park is not as well known as Kruger National Park in the north of the country, but is an excellent alternative to visit. The park is massive, you can drive for days here. Visitors can see many African animals here including the Big 5 (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard).

You can stay in Port Elizabeth the capital of Eastern Cape Province and visit Addo as a day trip from there, it’s only 60km away. I’d recommend spending a night or two inside the park. It gives you an opportunity to do a night safari and an early morning sunrise drive. There are different accommodation options inside the park from camping to staying in a luxury lodge.

Check out this full day safari in Addo National Park from Port Elizabeth.



Day 11. Safari in Addo Elephant National Park

11. African-elephant-Addo-National-Park-South-Africa

Addo National Park is considered to be one of the best places in the world for watching elephants in their natural habitat. There are around 600 elephants in the park. Elephants are not the only African animals tourists can see here. The biodiversity of the park is impressive. Addo is home to the famous African Big 5; elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and an elusive leopard. You have much better chances of seeing big cats during morning or night safaris. Besides the Big 5 visitors can see here spotted hyenas, zebras, warthogs, jackals, leopard tortoises, many different antelopes, birds, reptiles and insects.


Day 12-13. Driving Back to Cape Town

12. Giraffe-safari-drive-South-Africa-travel

Distance from Addo Elephant National Park to Plettenberg Bay/Mossel Bay – 264km/403km

Distance from Plettenberg Bay/Mossel Bay to Cape Town – 522km/385km

Driving route; Addo Elephant National Park – Port Elizabeth – Plettenberg Bay – Knysna – Sedgefield – Wilderness – Mossel Bay – Swellendam – Riviersonderend – Caledon – Somerset West – Cape Town


On the way back you can visit some places on the Garden Route that you didn’t have enough time to visit. If after spending a couple of days in Addo you didn’t get a chance to see some African animals like giraffes you can visit one of the private game parks e.g. Plett Game Reserve near Plettenberg Bay or Gondwana Game Reserve near Mossel Bay. You can stop there for a safari drive or spend the night at one of the reserves.


Plett Game Reserve

Gondwana Game Reserve


Depending on how far you want to drive you can stop at Plettenberg Bay or Mossel Bay and the next day drive to Cape Town. Another option is to drive to Oudtshoorn a town 60km inland from Mossel Bay. It’s famous for the Cango Caves and the Ostrich farm. It is a great place to visit for travelers with children.


Day 14. Flying Out of Cape Town

If your flight is later in the afternoon/in the evening you’ll still have time to enjoy breakfast at V&A Waterfront, buy some souvenirs (you can do it at the airport but it’ll be quite a bit more expensive), or maybe even visit Two Oceans Aquarium.



Author’s Box: Campbell & Alya from Stingy Nomads

An adventurous travel couple based in Cape Town where they spend three to four months every year. They love hiking, outdoor activities, road tripping and camping. The rest of the time they travel the world seeking for new adventures.



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42 thoughts on “A perfect 2-week South Africa Itinerary

  1. Lani says:

    These places in South Africa are stunning! From what I’ve read it seems like I’ll have a fun time traveling there! Thanks for sharing to us the beauties of South Africa 🙂

  2. Blair villanueva says:

    Such an amazing vacation you had. I never been outside Asia and Oceania, and maybe we could visit South Africa soon. After all, it is located on the same hemisphere like Victoria State.

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