Mapary Logo Mapary Logo

South Africa

DAYS STYLE BUDGET
9 Active $$
profile-picture

Shweta Reddy

Introduction

It's a country for wild life, wine, beaches, shark diving and mountains. You can't go wrong with any of them except not having enough time to do it all. This guide is more for hiking and wild life. Itinerary starts in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg.

How to get here: All major airlines from major cities fly to Cape Town.

Itinerary

Day 1

City Sightseeing Day 1

Hop on off Bus

The best and easiest way to see Cape Town is riding on the two decker sightseeing buses. You can hop on and off at any stop. Two day pass is recommended with which you get a free harbor tour and sunset drive. Two days gives you enough time to see:

  1. Table mountain via cable car - Buy your ticket to the cable car with the bus tour to skip the lines at the mountain.
  2. Camps Bay
  3. Clifton Beach
  4. V & A Waterfront

Cape Town Hotel

Anywhere in the City Center


Day 2

City SightSeeing Day 2

Option 1: Lion's Head Hike

It's short fun hike with rewarding views of the city from the top. You should start early to beat the crowd and the heat. The trail head is not on the sightseeing bus route, take a taxi or Uber to the trail head. It's about a 2hr round trip. Continue with the city tour for the rest of the day.

Option 2: Robben Island

Take a trip to the former prison museum where Nelson Mandela spend a good part of his life.

Cape Town Hotel

Same as day 1.


Day 3

Cape Point

Boulder's Beach

Rent a car and drive to Cape Point via Boulder's Beach to see penguins along the eastern coast. Boulder's beach is among the few places you will find African penguins. I didn't even know there are penguins in Africa.

Cape Point

Continue to Cape Point. There are many short hikes that start from the visitor center. You hike to Cape of Good Hope which takes about couple of hours or do a short walk to the ship wrecks on the beach and the Cape lighthouse.

More Information:

  1. Cape Point Reserve
  2. SA Table Mountain National Park

Cape Town Hotel

Same as day 1.


Day 4

Drive from Johannesburg to Phuthadithjhaba

plane icon Fly to Johannesburg

Take an early morning flight to Johannesburg so that spend some time in the city enroute to Royal Natal National Park. Rent a car at the airport.

Apartheid Musuem

It's the best thing to do in Johannesburg. You will learn a lot about the country and history.

car icon Drive to Witsieshoek Lodge

The Witsieshoek Lodge near Phuthadithjhaba town is a 3.5 hrs drive from Johannesburg. It's located inside the Royal Natal National Park and has scenic views of the Drakensberg mountains. This region boasts some of the best hiking trails in South Africa.

Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge

The lodge is just 7 km from Sentinel Park which is the trail head fro Amphitheater/Tugela Falls hikes. Couple of other trail heads start from the lodge and its well situated for other hikes and activities in this region.


Day 5

Tugela Falls

Tugela Falls Hike

The road from the lodge to Sentinel Park is half paved and half unpaved as of 2016. The plan is to pave the entire road, until then unless you have a sturdy rental car, hire transfer from the lodge.

This is long and strenuous hike but the view from the top is well worth it. It's about a 7 hr round trip from the lodge. You don't need a guide if you just follow the trail. The trail has an interesting chain ladder to go up a cliff. You can come back via the same route.

There is another route to the top via Gully which is more difficult and involves a lot of scramble and some of it over lose rocks. This diversion is hard to spot unless you are with a guide or a group. We inadvertently followed a group to the Gully and came down via the chain ladders.

Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge

Same as day 4.


Day 6

Drakensberg Day 2

Option 1: Hike to the Crack

Another scenic hike in the Drakensberg mountain region. The trailhead starts behind the lodge.

It's a loop to the Crack and back via Mahai Falls, it's somewhat difficult hike. Ask the front desk for a map. There are few other easier and scenic hikes starting from the lodge as well.

Option 2: Royal Natal Park

Drive to the Royal Natal Park visitor center/Thendele car park which is the other side of Witsieshoek. Its about a 2.5 hrs drive. If you don't feel like hiking you can go checkout the aboriginal prehistoric rock art at the park. Ask at the visitor center for directions.

Or else you can do the beautiful Tugela George walk in the same Park. At the far point of the walk you will see spectacular view of the Amphitheater, Sentinel and Tugela Falls.

If you do plan to do either of the two, it will be more convenient to stay back in the nearest town rather than drive back to Witsieshoek.

Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge

Same as day 4.


Day 7

Witsieshoek - Johannesburg - Kruger

car icon Drive from Johannesburg

Drive back to the airport. Its a 3.5 hrs drive.

plane icon Fly to Kruger

The Kruger Mpumalanga Airport (KMI) is 1.5hrs from the Kruger Park. You can rent a car from the airport or have the hotel pick you up. If you want, you can also drive to Kruger from Johannesburg and skip the flight all together. It's about a 4.5 hrs drive from Johannesburg.

Protea Hotel Kruger Gate

There are many ways to do Safari. You can do a a multi day package and stay in various camps and lodges inside the park. You will find safaris anywhere from luxurious to super luxurious. On the other hand you can stay ay the Protea hotel which is right at the Kruger gate and do the same drives inside the park and enjoy it's stunning deck overlooking the Sabi river. If you are lucky you can see wild buffalos, hippos and elephants along the river.

Night Safari

It's a drive through the park from 8-10 in the night run by the National Park. It's a chance to see some nocturnal animals using spot lights and the starry sky.


Day 8

Safaris

Game Drives

Kruger is all about game drives, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The game drives done by the national park are significantly cheaper than drives done by private tour groups. You also have to pay for park entrance separately if you use a private tour groups.

Make time to enjoy the hotel deck between drives.

Protea Hotel Kruger Gate

Same as day 7.


Day 9

More Wild Life

Last Game Drive

Last morning game drive before you head out to Johannesburg.

plane icon Fly to Johannesburg

Fly or drive or combination of both. This is the end of a wonderful trip.


survey button