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10 Days in South Africa: Itinerary Ideas

South Africa offers a variety of things to do. Those who are looking for an active holiday will be happy to find hiking and walking trails in many national parks and even in botanical gardens; those who want to soak up the sun will love the beaches ; those passionate about the wild life will love Kruger Park and those passionate about history will find a variety of important landmarks to visit.

During a 10 days vacation you can visit quite a lot of places, especially if you have enough budget to fly between the cities. This itinerary starts in Johannesburg, takes you to Kruger, then to Cape Town with its wine regions , Robben Island and Table Mountain. The itinerary ends in Durban, where you can learn about coffee and enjoy a relaxing day before the flight back home.

Itinerary assumptions:

  • fly into Johannesburg
  • fly out of Durban
  • you will stay in hostels, which were booked ahead of time
  • rent a car in Johannesburg in order to drive to Kruger National Park and in Cape Town so that you can explore the surrounding areas
  • fly from Johannesburg to Cape Town and from Cape Town to Durban

Day 1

Check in the Johannesburg hostel and spend some time in the city. You can get to the Carlton Center and see the view from above.

Consider renting a car and if you have enough time, visit the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. It’s a huge site covering 47,000 hectares. There are guided tours every half hour (the last one leaving at 4 p.m.)

Days 2- 4

Kruger National Park

You can drive from Johannesburg to Kruger in about 7 hours. Of course, you’ll be making stops along the way, so you’ll probably reach the park in about 9 hours or so. Alternatively, you can fly into Nelspruit (Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport) as airfare is cheapest and the flight time is less than an hour.

Once you get here, check in (campsites are the cheapest option) and decide what you’ll do during the next two days.

You can bike, hike, walk or drive. There are seven wilderness trails in the park so it’s definitely worth it to try at least one of them. Guided tours are also available (make sure to book one in advance though).

>>read more about Getting from Johannesburg to Kruger

Days 5 – 8

Drive (or fly) back to Johannesburg. Catch a flight to Cape Town on the same day. Check in at the hostel.

On Day 6, go to Victoria and Albert Waterfront. Have breakfast, explore the area and do some shopping. Then take the ferry to Robben Island. You’ll tour the island and the prison (make sure to book in advance). Get back to V&A Waterfront for lunch and then go to the top of Table Mountain (weather permitting). You can either take the cable car or hike.

On Day 7, rent a car and take a wine route. Both Stellenbosch and Franschhoek areas are very good choices. You can stop for lunch at one of the restaurants along the way. Get back to Cape Town and enjoy an afternoon at the beach.

On Day 8, you should drive to Boulders Beach and greet the penguins. Then go all the way to Cape Point (Africa’s southern point).

>>read more about 3 Days in Cape Town

Day 9 – 10

Fly from Cape Town to Durban. If you fly during summer (December 2011), it would set you back about US$160 (on South African Airlines). The flight time is 2 hours.

There are quite a lot of things to do in Durban . On Day 9 you can check out Victoria Street Market and get some gifts for the family and friends back home or take a walk on the promenade.

Should you have enough time, visit the Old Fort or the For Victoria.

On Day 10, make sure to visit the Assagay Coffee Farm and then spend some time in the Botanical Gardens.

>>read more about Getting from Cape Town to Durban

Photo credits : Kruger National Park , Table Mountain , Durban market