Rough Draft: Two Week Itinerary for South Africa including the Garden Route
Due to the COVID quarantine, I am creating rough draft, “off the shelf” travel itineraries for when travel resumes normal operations so we do not waste any time getting out and exploring!
Once we committed to canceling our Vietnam trip ahead of COVID, I certainly wondered what the rest of our travel year would hold. Since the weather in Vietnam would mean that this trip would need to be rescheduled for 2021, I wanted to have another “big trip” for 2020 in case we could sneak it in. Planning a new trip certainly helped distract me from the sadness of missing Vietnam this year. *Update that South Africa restricted international travelers for the rest of 2020 so will have to hope for a 2021 visit*
One country that has been high on my list is South Africa and discovering it by creating this itinerary has only made more more excited to travel here. There is such a variety of activities that reminds me of our trip to New Zealand – there is culture, all sorts of outdoor activities, wine scene, amazing food, and of course, the animals.
First off, South Africa is huge! There are so many iterations of a two week trip to South Africa that can be done – my focus was Cape Town and the Garden Route. I wanted to incorporate a safari that would not consume a lot of travel time to get there so while most South Africa trips suggest Kruger National Park, I opted for a smaller, private reserve along the Garden Route. Since I have not been able to test this itinerary out, it is my best stab at what we would be doing if we left tomorrow. Ideally, I would like to do this trip in August / September of this year so we will see how the international travel market shakes out. Even though it is “winter time” there, it does not get that cold like it does at home and its whale season!
The idea is to arrive in Cape Town, spend a few days there exploring including a day in wine country, then make the drive to Port Elizabeth over the next week and a half making various stops along the way. I also included where we expected to crash each day to help the drive as well as food spots that were recommended.
|Day 0||Travel / Arrival in Cape Town|
|Day 1||Explore Cape Town:|
– V&A Waterfront
– Lion’s Head
|Day 2||Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens|
|Day 3||Drive Cape Peninsula Loop|
– Muizenberg Beach
– Kalk Bay
– Boulder’s Beach
– Cape of Good Hope
– Chapman’s Peak
– Camps Bay
|Day 4||Drive to Stellenbosch wine region|
– De Waal
|Day 5||Drive to Hermanus|
– Cliff Path
– Ferkloof Nature Reserve
– Whale Watching
|Day 6||Drive to Mossel Bay|
– Pit stop in L’Agulhas
– Gondwana Game Reserve (Safari)
|Day 7||Gondwana Game Reserve (Safari)|
|Day 8||Drive to Wilderness|
– Dolphin Point
– Map of Africa Viewpoint
– Wilderness Canoe
|Day 9||Drive to Knysa|
– Featherbed Reserve
– East Head Viewpoint
|Day 10||Knysa Elephant Park|
Robberg Hiking Trail
Drive Plettenberg Bay
|Day 11||Bird of Eden / Monkeyland / Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary|
Tsitsikamma/Storms River Mouth National Park
|Day 12||Storms River Kayak and Lilo |
Drive to Port Elizabeth
SANCCOB Seabird Rehabilitation Centre
|Day 13||Raggy Charters Big 7 |
|Day 14||Flight from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town|
Help me turn this rough draft itinerary into the perfect trip! For those that have visited this area before:
- Is fitting Kruger National Park an essential part of the South Africa experience that should be reworked into this itinerary?
- Have you experienced a private reserve for safari before?
- There are three elephant sanctuaries on this route – Knysa Elephant Park, Elephant Sanctuary Plettenberg Bay, and Addo Elephant Park – which ones are reputable, safe for the animals, and worth the visit?
If you have been to South Africa, let me know what I missed and what your favorites are!
And in 2021, we had to blessing of turning parts of this rough draft into reality!
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