South Africa is quite simply magic. With roads to thrill even the most discerning of drivers, unparalleled wildlife experiences, scenery that is pinch-yourself beautiful and bursting with history and culture to uncover at every turn… this 21-day South Africa holiday really does have something for everyone.
(Remember, when you book a holiday with HA it is completely tailor-made to you and your interests. This is just a flavour of what you could hope to see over three weeks…)
Your ultimate 21-day South Africa Holiday
Days 1-3: Cape Town
Cape Town is considered to be one of the most popular cities on earth, and for good reason. Boasting incredible scenery (we’re looking at you Table Mountain), pristine white-sand beaches and an array of bars and restaurants that could give London a run for its money, it’s the perfect place to start your South Africa holiday.
Cape Town is alive with the pulse of culture and adventure. Take the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain for a view of Cape Town you’ll never forget. Amble around the vibrantly coloured streets of Bo-Kaap. Spend a day walking in Nelson Mandela’s footsteps at Robben Island prison. Round it all off with a trip out to Camps Bay to enjoy a sundowner whilst the pastel colours leak across the horizon. The perfect spot to toast the adventures ahead.
Day 4: The Cape Peninsula
Your first experience of South Africa’s spellbinding roads winds you around Chapman’s Peak, on the western side of the Cape Peninsula. Often heralded as one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world, it’s as beautiful as it is exhilarating. Keep your camera handy! And you’re in for a treat as the destination is just as thrilling as the journey…
Walk up to Cape Point lighthouse for a view over the jagged rocks below. Standing on top of the world with nothing between you and Antarctica but crashing waves, you’ll really get a sense of how remote and rugged this corner of Africa is. You can’t miss visiting the suited and booted penguins of Boulder’s Beach either… You can even go for a dip with the friendly fellas if it’s warm enough, so pack your swimmers!
Day 5: The Winelands
Just over an hour’s drive from the Cape, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a completely different landscape. Nestled in the beautiful valleys, sheltered beneath the steep mountains are the quaint towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek; oozing with character, cafes, art galleries and – of course – wine.
We’d always recommend spending a day exploring the wine estates on your South Africa holiday, taking in three or four different vineyards, learning about the winemaking process and, of course, indulging in the delicious array of tipples on offer.
For a quirky experience, hop on the Franschhoek Wine Tram and enjoy the picturesque transfers between some of the best estates in the area. After this day, you’re sure to emerge relaxed, smiling and potentially with your belt loosened a notch or two.
Day 6: The Overberg
We’re so fond of the Overberg region here at HA. All too often missed by those rushing through, on your way to enjoy the famous Garden Route, take the road less travelled and enjoy the beauty that this lesser-known region has to offer.
Follow the winding back roads away from the Winelands and explore the beauty of the De Hoop Nature Reserve. You’ll be treated to staggering scenery that changes by the minute and the contrasting beauty of the rolling, grassy hills as they give way to the pristine sandy beaches. Keep your eyes peeled for ostriches, antelopes and the rich birdlife that call this region home – if you’re lucky you may even spot a whale frolicking in the waves beneath the horizon.
Days 7-9: The Garden Route
The Garden Route is appropriately named, being all about the wows of nature at every turn. Lagoon-dotted shorelines, expanses of white sandy beach, jagged canyons and emerald forests are all ripe for exploring. Feeling active? Take to the waves for a spot of kayaking or white-water tubing in Mossel Bay. Feeling adventurous? Hike over the low-slung rope suspension bridge at Storms River Mouth. Feeling fancy? Explore Plettenberg Bay, often considered the swanky St Tropez of South Africa. However you choose to fill three days on the Garden Route, one thing’s for sure, its natural beauty won’t fail to seduce you.
Day 10: The Crags
We’d always recommend spending a day in The Crags on your South Africa holiday, particularly if you’re travelling with children. With an abundance of attractions and activities to enjoy, it’s the perfect place to get another taste of South African wildlife.
Visit the elephant sanctuary or enjoy an afternoon at the Birds of Eden aviary; home to countless species of rescued birds, all flying free. If mischievous primates are more your bag, head to Monkeyland right next door and enjoy the authentic forest habitat that’s been created to house rescued gibbons, spider monkeys and other cheeky chappies from all over the world.
Day 11: Fly to Durban
Take a flight to Durban, the gateway to KwaZulu-Natal, and spend a day unwinding in one of the beautiful hotels, sunning yourself on the pristine beaches or indulging in all kinds of aqua-based adventures at uShaka Marine Park.
Days 12-13: The Drakensburg Mountains
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, you’ll be in your element with a hike in the Drakensburg Mountains. With mile upon mile of jaw-dropping trails, suitable for all fitness levels, this is the perfect place to really get away from it all and surround yourself with nature. ‘Drakens’ is Afrikaans for ‘dragon’ and ‘berg’ translates to ‘mountain’, and we assure you these dragon mountains are just as magical as their namesake.
Days 14-15: Explore the battlefields
So far, your South Africa holiday has wowed you with its cities, scenery, wildlife and wine… now for the ace up its sleeve; lashings of history and culture. Submerse yourself in the history of both the Anglo-Zulu war and the Anglo-Boer wars of the late 19th century. The historical sites you will visit and remarkable stories of heroism and desperation you’ll hear, make this stop-off a must on your South Africa adventure, whether you’re a history buff or not. The guides here are second-to-none, and never fail to bring these phenomenal moments of history to life in the most memorable way.
Days 16-17: Blyde River Canyon
Drive north from the battlefields to the Escarpment region and feast your eyes on the spectacular natural vista of Blyde River Canyon. Stretching out for 25 kilometres and plunging 800 metres deep, the beauty really is something to behold. Whether you view the forested slopes from God’s Window or The Three Rondavels, prepare to be astounded by the impressive display of nature rolling out before you. If you want to get more up close and personal with the landscape, lace up your hiking boots and take a walk along the floor of the canyon. From whatever perspective you view this magical landmark, you’re sure to feel dwarfed by the hand and beauty of Mother nature.
Days 18-20: Kruger National Park
If you were ever going to end your South Africa holiday adventure on a high, Kruger National Park is the place to do it. Over the next three days you’ll collect more stories of goosepimple inducing animal encounters than you’ll know what to do with. Few experiences are as mesmerising as coming face-to-face with one of the Big Five in its natural habitat. If you’re able, turn the wild adventure up a notch with a guided bush walk. Imagine the invigoration and thrill of coming across a lion track made just a few hours earlier and knowing you’re walking in the very footsteps of the king of cats. Guided safaris, self-drive safaris and walking safaris, however you choose to experience this wild jewel in South Africa’s crown, neither you nor your camera will be disappointed!
Day 21: Time to fly home
Time to pack your bags and grab a hankie, as today you fly home. Make sure you take your camera on the flight with you so you can spend the hours looking back on the last 21 days of adventure, experience and awe-inspiring animal encounters with a smile.
Contact our resident South Africa holiday experts and ask any questions about tailor-made trips to explore the many wonders South Africa has in store.