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15 days in South Africa – an amazing itinerary idea

We visited South Africa at the beginning of our round the world trip in 2019. This country is very rich in gastronomy, culture, wildlife, and natural beauty so we decided to travel for 15 days in South Africa. The time we had was limited since the flight out of the country was already scheduled well in advance, however, 15 days in South Africa was enough for everything we had planned to visit and do in the country.

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When we built our 15-day itinerary in South Africa, there were a few things we wanted to visit or do:

  • Visit Cape Town;
  • Explore South Africa’s wine culture;
  • Explore wildlife;
  • Take a road trip on the Garden Route;
  • Go on a Safari.

Many more places can be visited and unique experiences in the country, however, 15 days in South Africa would not be enough to do everything, so we left this discovery for a new trip.

We chose to start our trip in Cape Town and end in Johannesburg with a visit to Kruger Park. Our 15 days in South Africa were incredible – find out here what we have included in our itinerary.

Day 1 to 3 – Cape Town

We arrived in Cape Town on a flight from Lisbon with a stopover in Luanda. Upon arrival at the airport, we acquire a data card so we can go to the city of Uber. There are other options, such as taxis or buses, but taking into account the price of Uber and the organized way these transports work in South Africa, we opted for Uber.

Cape Town has a lot to do and see, such as visiting Table Mountain, exploring the city center, visiting Boh Kaap, exploring the city’s gastronomy and surrounding beaches such as Camps Bay.

Check here 10 of the best reasons to visit Cape Town

On the third day in the city, we rented a car and left the city in the morning after visiting Camps Bay. We went to Simons Town, a small port town about 40 minutes away from Cape Town. Next to this city is Boulders Beach, where there is a colony of African penguins that you can visit and be very close to while they stroll along the beach.

To visit the colony from the inside, it is necessary to pay a conservation fee. Check here the fee value

After visiting the penguin colony, we went to Cape of Good Hope. This place, where the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean come together, is within a nature reserve. To access, you have to pay a conservation fee.

Check here the conservation fee to enter the park

Our next destination was Stellenbosch where we were going to explore the wine culture in that region. On the way to this area, we took the opportunity to stop at Muizenberg beach, the famous beach with colorful wooden houses.

It is a beach with a great place for those who practice surf and has a fantastic sunset. If during your 15 days in South Africa you want to surf, this could be the ideal place to do it.

Day 3 to 5 – Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch together with Franschhoek are two of the main places of interest in the Western Cape wine region. We would have liked to have had time to visit both areas, but 15 days in South Africa were not enough to explore both areas, so we opted only for Stellenbosch, which is 40 minutes away from Cape Town.

In this area it is possible to find many wine production farms, some are dedicated only to wine activity, but others also have restaurants and accommodation.

We chose to stay at Monte Angelis and visit the Dornier Wines wine-tasting cellar and both experiences were fantastic. Waking up in the middle of the vineyards with the scenic landscape of the surrounding mountains is undoubtedly one of the best experiences we had during the 15 days in South Africa.

In addition to wine culture, it is worth exploring the center of Stellenbosch and choosing one of the modern restaurants to enjoy a meal.

We left Stellenbosch towards Overberg where we went to visit a nature reserve and without realizing it we had already spent 5 days of our 15 days in South Africa.

Day 5 to 7 – Overberg – De Hoop Nature Reserve

De Hoop is a nature reserve in the Overberg area that is dedicated to nature conservation. It is a park by the coast that allows you to observe the coastal fauna and flora. It is possible to do various activities in this huge park, such as visiting the beach, whale watching, cycling, or hiking. Inside there are some accommodation units. We stayed at the De Hoop Collection.

The De Hoop Collection has suites and small houses where it is possible to make a romantic or family getaway in harmony with nature. It also has a fabulous pool, a river where you can ride a boat and watch birds and marine species, and a restaurant with excellent cuisine and a delicious breakfast.

We loved visiting this nature reserve and recommend that you visit it when traveling in South Africa.

After visiting De Hoop we continue our journey to the Garden Route.

Day 7 to 8 – Garden Route – Wilderness

The Garden Route is a 200km route along the N2 road on the southeast coast of South Africa and runs from Mossel Bay to Storms River. This route is full of fantastic landscapes of mountains, sea, and fabulous beaches.

The road is of excellent quality and well signposted, as is the case throughout the whole area of South Africa, and has several pleasant places along the way to stop and enjoy the trip. The service areas in that area are of excellent quality and can be a good option for a quick meal or a little rest before continuing the journey.

Along the way there are many attractions and radical activities that you can do.

Wilderness is a small town by the beach where we decided to stop for convenience. In the area, you can enjoy the beach, visit the Wilderness National Park, visit the Map of Africa viewpoint or the Dolphin Point.

We continue our journey on the Garden Route, enjoying all the wonderful landscapes that alone make this trip worthwhile on your 15-day itinerary in South Africa.

Day 8 to 10 – Garden Route – Knysna

Our first stop was Knysna, where in addition to having dinner at the city’s marina, we explored Leisure Island and Thesen Island and went whale and dolphin watching with Ocean Odyssey.

We chose the Rexford Manor Boutique Hotel to stay in the city. It is a small hotel in a residential area that, in addition to being very comfortable and welcoming, has an inviting outdoor pool for warmer days and serves a very tasty breakfast.

Day 10 to 11 – Port Elizabeth

After visiting Knysna we continue our trip to Port Elizabeth. We didn’t really intend to visit the city, we only stayed one night to catch the flight to Johannesburg in the morning. On the way to Port Elizabeth we visited three sanctuaries of the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance – SAASA that are dedicated to the conservation and protection of animal life.

We visited Monkeyland, a sanctuary dedicated to the conservation of primates, the Jukani which is dedicated to the conservation of felines, and the Birds of Eden which is dedicated to the conservation of birds.

Day 11 to 15 – Kruger National Park

As a Safari was a mandatory requirement for us when we returned to Africa, we opted to reserve a few days of the 15 days in South Africa to visit Kruger National Park.

Our visit to the Kruger National Park started in Johannesburg. When we planned our visit to the park, we considered the following options:

  • Take a flight to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport which would avoid us a 6-hour car trip from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park, but at the time the flight cost was too high;
  • Hire the transport service with the company with which we were going to do the safari;

We chose the second option because it was much cheaper.

We chose Wildwings Safaris because it seemed like the best option for what we wanted and it had accommodation and food service included. Optionally it is also possible to make the visit to the park autonomously, however as it was our first time, we do not feel confident in doing so.

We chose a hotel near the airport in Johannesburg (we had no intention of visiting the city) and we booked a night before the safari and another for the day after the end of the safari since we would then leave the country through Johannesburg airport. The advantage of booking the same hotel is that we left clothes in the laundry service and left part of the luggage on-site since we were only going to need luggage for the two days we were going to spend the night in the park. Wildwings Safaris arranged an hour with us and picked us up from the hotel. The mini-bus ride was comfortable and with a few stops to eat along the way.

We did a 3-day safari where we saw the main animals in the park, namely the Big Five. We spent the night at Skukuza Rest Camp inside the park and all meals were prepared by the company. The accommodation was in double rooms with a bathroom, but there are other options with more or less comfort and with variable prices.

In the end, we had also included a transfer back to the same hotel in Johannesburg.

The contact with the wildlife in that place and the experience with Wildwings Safaris were a unique experience.

If you decide to go on a Safari with Wildwings Safaris, you can use our TBTW5 code which gives you 5% discount

Our 15 days in South Africa allowed us to change our mind about the country and have an incredible experience. The places we visited, the natural diversity, the security, the gastronomy and the friendliness of everyone made us love this country and want to come back as soon as possible to explore more.

If you are planning a road trip take a look on Road Trip Explorer.

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