A perfect tour of South Africa

South Africa is a land of incredible variety: from the cultural cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, to the arid Kalahari Desert, to its game-filled national parks, whale-filled oceans and fine wines, there truly is something for everyone. Find out how to fit everything in with our perfect tour...
Tourists observing a female leopard, South Africa
Tourists observing a female leopard, South Africa

Day 1: Arrival 

Arrive in Johannesburg and fly to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport, 45 minutes away. Transfer to a private game lodge in Sabi Sands Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park. The luxurious Inyathi Game Lodge, in the western sector of the reserve, is a good option.  Arrive in time for lunch, followed by an afternoon game drive.

Day 2: Game reserve 

Spend the day at the game reserve. You may be lucky enough to see the Big 5 in just one day – not to mention zebra, hippo and giraffe. Don’t miss the chance to embark on an atmospheric night drive, where you’ll see smaller creatures like porcupine and civet as well as the major predators. Learn all about South Africa's wildlife with a guided tour of a national park with Insight Guides' Complete Cape Town: Wildlife, Wine and Whales trip

Day 3: Jo’burg or Pretoria

Return to Johannesburg, where you can get a fix of South African history at the MuseuMAfricA and enjoy the shops and hotels of upmarket Sandton.  Alternatively, opt for the nearby capital city of Pretoria – beautiful even when its famous jacaranda trees are not in bloom.

Jacaranda trees lining the street in Pretoria. Photo: Shutterstock

Jacaranda trees lining the street in Pretoria. Photo: Shutterstock

Day 4: Garden Route 

From Johannesburg, fly to George, in the heart of the Garden Route. Hire a car and drive the 50km (34 miles) to Knysna. This bustling holiday resort is located on a picturesque lagoon, the ideal spot to try your hand at angling or sailing. Stay overnight in a luxury tree house at the Phantom Forest Lodge.


Day 5: Beach break 

Drive to the seaside town of Plettenberg Bay and relax on one of Plett’s beautiful white-sand beaches, take a guided tour at primate rescue centre Monkeyland, or ride a pachyderm at the Elephant Sanctuary. Stay overnight at the Grand Café and Rooms for a touch of quirky opulence.

Day 6: Arrival in Cape Town 

Drive to Cape Town, just over 400km (265 miles) away, and head to the V&A Waterfront. After you have set up base at your hotel, it’s time to visit the top-class aquarium or go shopping for souvenirs. Then while the evening away at the many restaurants and bars. Experience the best of Cape Town with Insight Guides' Cape Amazing: Cape Town Explored trip.  

Aerial Shot of Knysna in the Garden Route. Photo: Shutterstock

Aerial Shot of Knysna in the Garden Route. Photo: Shutterstock

Day 7: Townships and Table Mountain

In the morning, take the cable car up Table Mountain and marvel at the panoramic views of Cape Town. Spend the afternoon on a township tour: you will learn how the majority of South Africa’s population lives, and the residents will benefit from your support. 

Day 8: Winelands

Take a day trip to the Winelands. After you’ve sampled the rich reds and crisp whites at Môreson wine estate, you’ll be ready for lunch at Bread & Wine restaurant. Stay overnight in lovely Franschoek and have dinner at Le Quartier Francais. Explore South Africa's best vineyards with Insight Guides' Complete Cape Town: Wildlife, Wine and Whales trip. The following day, fly out of Cape Town. 

Taking a holiday to South Africa: how to get started

Insight Guides can help you with planning, organising and booking your trip to South Africa. Simply, get in touch and share your budget, interests and travel style. Our local experts will create an itinerary exclusive to you and your requirements, which you can amend until it's just right. Alternatively, browse and modify ready-made holidays to create your dream trip today.