Rough Draft: Two Week Itinerary for South Africa

May 2020

Rough Draft: South Africa

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.

Activity Food Stay
Day 1 Morning
Afternoon Land in Cape Town

Check into Airbnb

Explore Downtown

  • V&A waterfront
  • Bo-Kaap
  • Woodstock
Clarks 
Evening  Downtown / Lion’s Head Black Sheep Cape Town
Day 2 Morning Table Mountain Hike
Afternoon Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Jasons
Evening Downtown / Lion’s Head The Pot Luck Cape Town
Day 3 Morning Cape Peninsula Loop:

Muizenberg Beach

Kalk Bay

Boulder’s Beach

Cape of Good Hope

Chapman’s Peak

Camps Bay

Olympia Cafe
Afternoon Snoekies
Evening Downtown Chefs Warehouse and Canteen Cape Town

Coffee is huge in Cape Town! Here are all the coffee stops I have marked to visit:

  • Tribe 
  • Espresso Lab
  • Delux Coffeeworks
  • Truth Coffee
  • Origin Coffee
  • Kamili Coffee
Day 4 Morning Stellenbosch vineyards:

Kanonkop

Tokara

Glenelly

Jordan

De Waal

Kleine Zalze

Meerlust

Keermont (reservation only)

Afternoon Overture / Deck / Spekbone

Kleine Zalze

Tokara

The Table (closed Mon and Tues)

Delaire Graff

Evening Cape Town
Day 5 Morning Drive to Hermanus

Cliff Path

Ferkloof Nature Reserve

Oskars Bakery
Afternoon Whale Watching

Beaches

Pear Tree
Evening Downtown Barefoot Cook Hermanus
Day 6 Morning Early drive to Mossel Bay

Pit stop in L’Agulhas

Struisbaai Seashack
Afternoon Check in

Gondwana Game Reserve (Safari)

Evening
Day 7 Morning Safari
Afternoon
Evening
Day 8 Morning Safari
Afternoon Check out Safari
Evening Drive to Wilderness

  • Dolphin Point
  • Map of Africa Viewpoint
Wilderness

(Serendipity)

Day 9 Morning Wilderness Canoe Hoekwil Country Cafe
Afternoon Drive to Knysa

  • Featherbed Reserve
  • East Head View Point
Bistro Celerio (if open)

Ile de Pain

East Head Cafe

Evening Zinzi Restaurant Plettenberg Bay
Day 10 Morning Knysa Elephant Park Surf Cafe
Afternoon Robberg Hiking Trail
Evening Plettenberg Bay Enrico Restaurant Plettenberg Bay

(Emily Moon)

Day 11 Morning Bird of Eden / Monkeyland / Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary
Afternoon Bloukrans Bridge Bramon Restaurant Wine Estate
Evening Tsitsikamma/Storms River Mouth National Park Tsitsikamma

(Wild Spirit)

Day 12 Morning Storms River Kayak and Lilo

Drive to Port Elizabeth

Afternoon SANCCOB Seabird Rehabilitation Centre Fynboshoek Cheese
Evening Cubata Port Elizabeth
Day 13 Morning Raggy Charters Big 7 – Boat AM; Addo PM Seattle Coffee
Afternoon
Evening Downtown Port Elizabeth
Day 14 Morning Urban Express
Afternoon Flight to Cape Town
Evening Flight Home

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!

Don’t forget to check out all DESKRIB itineraries here!

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