Help Us Plan our South Africa Road Trip!

I am so so excited! We’ve just booked flights to South Africa for the beginning of January and have an epic trip planned. This is a big trip for us—it’s our first time in Africa and we’ll be taking at least a month off work, much of it offline and sometimes even without electricity. 

I may have gone a bit overboard with the planning, but I love planning and the more I do now, the less I have to worry about on the road. We’re currently housesitting for two months in a tiny village in Spain (again) with nothing much to do, so researching South Africa keeps me from getting too restless.

Please let us know your thoughts on our plan and any tips you have for anywhere we’re visiting along the way (vegetarian food, beaches, hikes, off-the-beaten-track activities etc).

We’ll have a total of 90 days in South Africa (the maximum you get on arrival). We’ll start with a few days in Johannesburg where I think we’ll rent an Airbnb in the artsy Maboneng Precinct. A Soweto tour seems like a must—let me know if you have any recommendations for good guides/tours.

We’ll then rent a car for just over a month to road trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town. This is our rough itinerary. Other than the first Kruger section we won’t book too much in advance to give ourselves the option to stay places longer. We don’t usually travel at such a quick pace so I’m not sure how we’ll get on.

Kruger

  • Graskop 2 nights – Visit Blyde River Canyon and the Panorama Route. 
  • Umlani Bushcamp 2 nights – An all-inclusive lodge in the private Timbavati Game Reserve on the edge of Kruger National Park. This is one of the more affordable lodges and is off-the-grid and eco-friendly. We’re hoping to spend a night in their treehouse!
  • Klaserie Sands River Camp 3 nights – A more luxurious safari lodge in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve. This family-run, intimate lodge only has four rooms and looks beautiful. 
  • Kruger National Park 3 nights – We’ll self-drive and stay in bungalows in rest camps (Olifants and Lower Sabie). The budget Kruger experience.

Drakensberg

Drakensberg, South Africa

Drakensberg. Photo by Gareth Williams.

  • Wakkerstroom 1 night – Just to break up the long drive to the Drakensberg mountains.
  • Central Drakensberg 3 nights – Inkosana Lodge looks like a good base for hikes.
  • Southern Drakensberg 2-3 nights – To break up the drive down to the Wild Coast. Possibly stay at Khotso Backpackers for horse riding.

Wild Coast

  • Coffee Bay 2 nights – To hike to the Hole in the Wall.
  • Cintsa 3-5 nights – The sea view rooms at Buccaneers Lodge look gorgeous. Possibly a good place to stay for a while and relax.
  • Hogsback? 2-3 nights – If we have time we’ll take a detour inland to this hippy mountain village. I like the look of eco-friendly Terra Khaya and their natural horsemanship, but I don’t know if we could deal with the lack of electricity/wifi and shared long drop toilets.

Or alternatively we could stop at Addo Elephant Park if we wanted to see more wildlife.

Garden Route

Wilderness, South Africa

Wilderness. Photo by South African Tourism.

  • Nature’s Valley 3 nights – Wild Spirit Backpackers has been recommended to us. Possible activities in the area include hikes, zip lining, and swimming with seals.
  • Wilderness 2 nights
  • Oudstoorn? 2 nights – If we have time we’ll go inland to the Little Karoo to drive the scenic Swartberg Pass to Prince Albert and possibly do the Meerkat Adventure.

Cape Town

Cape Town. Photo by Werner Bayer.

Cape Town. Photo by Werner Bayer.

Cape Town will be our final stop. We’ll spend just under two months here and it looks like there is tons to do and eat. We’ll probably rent an apartment in advance on Airbnb as it’s easier, even though it’s more expensive. I haven’t found any other way of finding an affordable short-term rental and we don’t want to waste time and energy searching when we arrive. I’m leaning towards the Sea Point neighbourhood as we’d love to be by the sea and the promenade looks like the best and safest place for walking and running.

We’ll also do side trips to wine country and Cape Point.

South Africa Road Trip Map

I figured out this route by entering all the places I was interested in visiting into this custom Google map. We won’t be able to visit everywhere but it helps to have all the options laid out.

Please let us know if you have any thoughts on our route, special places to stay, tips for places to eat and visit along the way, or advice on finding a Cape Town apartment. Thank you and we look forward to sharing details of the trip with you once we’re underway.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with AccommoDirect.com, a South African company who have over 15,000 accommodation listings across the country with lots of great travel deals. The site is easy to use, all listings are verified, and there are no booking fees. 

Main photo of Cape Point by Nicolas Raymond

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34 thoughts on Help Us Plan our South Africa Road Trip!

  1. I might bw a bit late, but you must definitely try stop in at One on Hely in Mtunzini. It’s a wonderful bed and breakfast close to game reserves, a short distance from the beach and with great little adventures around the town (walks through mangroves and forests, bird watching, cycling etc)

  2. I’m a little late seeing this and you are no doubt already there – but don’t miss Oudtshoorn or the drive over the Swartberg pass to Prince Albert. We spent 3 months in the Cape region earlier this year and it was just fantastic, just the most beautiful region in the world as far as I’m concerned.

    Frank (bbqboy)

  3. hey,
    well i dont have alot to offer in the way of advice ( looks like you have that covered ) but just wanted to say it looks like a great trip im sure you should enjoy it. SA looks like a great place.
    hope your both well as i havent spoke to you in along time.
    enjoy and stay safe.
    lots of love
    your amazing brother ?

  4. Wow!!! You guys are finally coming to Africa.
    I am a proud South African, born in Jhb, raised in CT and have travelled a large portion of our beautiful country. We South African’s are truly blessed, we have forests, plains and deserts. We have sun and sea and mountains. We have quiet coutryside and busy cities. We have multi-nations, 11 national languages and a love for all cultures. Yes we have crime, but no more than other places in the world. But best of all, we have a love for music, for friends and companionship, for story-telling, amazing food and delectable wines and of course we own the braai.
    Our history is short compared with Europe, but it is as varied as can be.
    One place I can highly recommend whilst in Jhb is a trip to Gold Reef City – it is a theme park – but you can also go underground into a working gold mine! South Africa has been built on the back of gold mining and we boast the worlds deepest at 3.8km below surface. We have world class deposits of gold, platinum, iron-ore, vanadium, manganese and diamonds to name but a few. (I’m a geologist – hence all the talk about rocks).
    We would love to meet you so let us know when you’re in Jhb and perhaps we can show you a glimpse of our amazing country.
    Thanks for all the travel inspiration.

  5. Part 2.

    Hi Erin & Simon,

    A few more bits of advice/tips from my journey….I’ve had a look at the map you’ve got on here and where you’re going. The road trip I did was from Pretoria across to Durban taking in the battlefelds – Rorkes drift, Blood river, Isandlwane – then all the way down the east coast back to Cape Town. The one thing I hadn’t really factored in was just the sheer size of the country and how far I was having to drive and the time it took…not all the roads are good roads…..and some just aren’t roads!! You have to factor in a lot more time to get from A to B than you normally would if you were in Europe say. I’m just wondering looking at your plans whether you may have to cut a couple of days here and there as you go along because of the miles.

    I flew from Cape Town to Joburg to go and see the 4th test SA v Eng at Centurian in Pretoria. I used the Gautrain to get from the airport to Pretoria…very easy, modern and safe. I then used Uber taxis to get to my hotel and about. I stayed in the Lynwood area and there was a whole cluster of restaurants and bars opposite the hotel so I didn’t really move from that area at night. I went a couple of times to a bar called Eastmans which is near the rugby stadium. Its a good bar used by a lot of the embassy staff (The British embassy is nearby) as well as locals so safe to drink and the area is quite safe as well…it felt it anyway.

    I didn’t go to Kruger so can’t offer any tips there..I did do some safari though…I went to a private reserve called Cheetah Ridge which is part of the Nambiti game reserve near Dundee/Rorkes drift area. Check out the website. It was a great place and has the big 5. Make sure you have some good Binos for safari…you’ll need them.

    The drive from Pretoria to Dundee took me about 6 hours and I stayed at a place called the Last Post which was ok. I had a small separate thatched cottage to sleep in, but there are plenty of other places. If you are in to your military history then Rorkes drift (as in the film Zulu), Isandlwana, blood river memorials and battlefields are a must. If I did it again though I would stay at the Rorkes drift hotel just outside Rorkes drift. It is run by an old English couple and is just a stunning place to stay, right on the Buffalo river. Or there is another private reserve nearby called Fugitives drift which is highly recommended. It also has the gravestones of the first 2 posthumous recipients of the Victoria Cross – an amazing story in itself.

    The roads to Rorkes drift are just mud roads but I managed it in my hire car. I took out extra tyre and windscreen insurance on the advice of friends but wondered why…until I was on these roads and was glad I had…although I didn’t need it in the end. Once I’d finished on the battlefields I headed to Durban and then down the coast. Great curries in Durban..but I don’t think you’re going there.

    From Durban my next stop was Port St John. That was a long drive I seem to remember. I stopped for lunch at a really pretty town called Southbroom. I wish I could have stayed longer and it looked well worth a stop. Well signposted off the main drag and near to Margate and Ramsgate…just like being back in blighty haha.

    In Port st John I stayed at Amapondo back packers. It’s an eco friendly place and you can get free board and lodge if you are accepted as a volunteer to help run the place and look after it. Great atmosphere in the bar at night which is used by locals as well. Monkeys running over the roof at night may keep you awake but otherwise ok. Lots of pets there and when I was there even a foul wandering around that they were looking after as it had been abandoned by its mother…strange when it wanders into the shower block though!!

    Coffee bay is a couple of towns down. I would point out though…don’t be deceived by your map. Port St Johns, Coffee bay, hole in the wall….they are all reached by spur roads from the main road running parallel with the coast. It doesn’t look much on the map…but most are around 100 miles long (To Port St John was 110 from the turn off)..so my thoughts of a quick stop off in Coffee bay when I left Port St John were quickly dashed as it was about a 200 mile round trip from the main road!!

    Port Alfred was my next stop. Stayed at Villa Del Mar which is right on the west beach road – lovely place and picked it up for £30/night from Booking.com. Its a quiet town but I had a couple of good nights there. Theres a good local museum, great micro brewery in the centre with good food as well. The main reason for me going there was that my uncle learnt to fly Spitfires there during the war so I was able to go to the airfield and museum out side the town to have a look.

    Port Elizabeth next stop – Again this was cricket for me Eng v SA. Enjoyed my nights out there though. Stayed at Cape flame guest house. It was a steal on Booking.com at £32/night..fantastic place and great value for money for the executive room I had. I didn’t do Addo but a mate went last month and said they enjoyed it.

    Knysna – Quiet but cute. Some good places around the marina/quay. I found a good eating place in the centre on Gray St…. loads of vinyl on the ceiling, good music selection and great steak – can’t remember the name, sorry.

    Gansbaii – Cage diving. Well the first thing I learnt was that Feb is a bad time to do this as there are not many great whites about in Jan/Feb. They hadn’t seen any for over 2 weeks when I went but thought I’d give it a try… I stayed there overnight so didn’t have the half 3 start that those coming from Cape Town do. It was 7.30 at the boat. We went out…4 hours of watching a guy throw chum in the water…and not one shark!! But thats nature. I will be trying again this time as my ticket was valid for a return within 2 years if no sharks were seen..

    When you come of the main road to drive down to Hermanus/Gansbaii you’ll pass a couple of vinyards. Both well worth a stop…can’t remember the names, sorry.

    One of the best drives I did was the drive along the coast road from Hermanus back to Cape Town via Bettys bay, Cape Hangklip to Gordans Bay….and you must do it in this direction as you will be on the side closest to the sea. It was just stunning. I saw whales and dolphins, amazing scenary…it was just beautiful and a must do with plenty of places to stop, take pics, have a swim… And a stop in Gordans bay at the end for a wine by the beach is worth doing to.

    I’ve probably bored you to death now….but I hope you find something of value from these posts.

    Paul.

  6. Hi Erin and Simon,

    I spent 5 weeks travelling South Africa last year so thought I’d share some of my journey with you.

    I’m very lucky in that my best friend lives in Cape Town as part of the embassy so I had a built in guide for part of my time there.

    The first thing I’d say to you regarding where to stay in Cape town is it may be worth looking a bit further out. My friend lives in Kalk bay which fronts onto false bay. This little area is just beautiful and up and coming. Its very safe to walk out at night. The buildings have a very colonial feel and the church is even thatched. It has a train station so getting about is easy. I used the train a couple of times to get into Cape town. It cost about £2 return and took about 40 mins and I had no problems…although my friends and some others had reservations about me using it. Just along from Kalk bay you have St James and Muizenberg. These are both good areas as well. Muizenberg has a great beach and this is where a lot of the surfers go. My mate takes the kids swimming here and its got a good vibe around the place. Make sure you heed the shark warnings though.

    There are some great places to eat and drink in Kalk bay. Cape to Cuba springs to mind. A good bar, live music sometimes, the beach is the carpet and does great chilli and mango mojitos. There are also some great thrift/antique/picking shops there – I spent ages in them.

    Around Cape Town

    Boulder beach – This is where the penguins are. It costs about 3 or 4 quid to get into the beach. When you get down there you’ll see the penguins straight away. You’ll also see lots of people there so it gets a bit crowded. Turn left and walk all the way along the beach to the end where you’ll come to a wall of rocks. Theres a small gap which you can crawl through. Go through this and then clamber over the 2 big rocks the other side into the sea. Wade around the corner (about waist high) and you’ll come to a couple of smaller beaches with no other people there…but plenty of penguins. Its a much better experience and you’ll find they’ll get in the water around you. Just watch your stuff on the beach..they are inquisitive and may go of with stuff if they can hehe.

    Simons Town – This is the last town before Cape point. Its a bit of a navel base and there. Theres a few good cafes etc in the centre and you can stop off here when you do boulder beach which is just outside Simons Town. Its also the town where Capt Scott stayed before setting of for the South Pole. There is a brass plaque on the building he stayed in but you can’t go in to it.

    Hout Bay – This is a great little town South of Cape Town. It has an amazing view from a place called Chapmans Peak which you’ll find in all guide books. In the town there is a fantastic covered market (Hout bay market) selling local crafts and you can get just about anything you can think of to eat here. The food is amazing and the smoothies and the shakes and the cheese sticks and the……..It’s open Friday night, Sat & Sun day. Theres a great fish and chip shop there to…and you can see the seals sunbathing on the rocks behind it.

    Llandudno and Camps bay are the posh areas of Cape town. Great beaches and good for watching the beautiful people there. I had my most expensive meal in SA there and most expensive bottle of wine in a restaurant…the wine was £15….god knows what it would have cost over here…The meal for 2 was about £45 quid but well worth it…seafood was amazing. Generally though you’ll pay 4-6 quid to eat out, maybe a bit more.

    I won’t bore you with sight seeing stuff…you’ll have it covered of I’m sure. The only thing I’d say is if you go to Robben Island you will have to book in advance. Don’t expect to be able to turn up on spec and get on. I tried that twice and failed twice. Also going up to table mountain. If you do the cable car (you can hike as well) don’t worry about rushing in to get a good photo spot. The car actually rotates so you will get a 360 view wherever you stand. If you are into rugby the Springbok museum just by the V&A is worth a visit as well.

    I’m going to send you some more stuff later…but think this will keep you going for a bit. I’m actually going to be in Cape Town from 7th Feb for a month so I may even bump into you.

    Hope this all helps

    Paul

  7. Some comments from a South African 🙂
    Car rental – if you’re going to rent your car to drive around in Kruger its worth getting a higher vehicle so you can see a bit better. If this doesn’t fit in your budget I think you could probably swop it out in Mbombela or Polokwane. Actually, you won’t need a car for the 5 nights that you are in the lodges at all – so you could drop one off in Graskop and then maybe pick up a different car there after your lodges? Olifants and Lower Sabie are great choices of camps inside Kruger. Well done on getting a booking at Lower Sabie as its really tough to get into!
    Do the maths, but it might be worth buying a Wild Card at Kruger if you stop at other national parks. Make sure you buy the right one if you do – there are various options which are cheaper but exclude different regions.
    The drive to Wakkerstroom is going to be a killer – I would recommend a stop in Sabie and then maybe Clarens instead (Clarens is a cool arty little town next to Golden Gate Park) and cut off one night in the berg.
    Drakensberg is awesome and beautiful – if you wanted to get longer on your visit, you could pop over the border into Lesotho and maybe extend your stay when you come out? I’ve done quite a bit of work in Lesotho and its really stunning and very remote. There is an amazing lodge there http://www.semonkonglodge.com/ where you can do the world’s highest abseil.
    Wild Coast is amazing – super relaxing, enjoy the cows on the beach
    I’ve heard very mixed reviews about Addo, so as long as you feel you’ve got your wildlife fix – skip it.
    The rest all looks good…so I’ll skip to Cape Town (my hometown).
    Apartment wise you can also look at https://www.gumtree.co.za/ and http://www.privateproperty.co.za/ for furnished short term rentals. Its peak season when you’re here so its not going to be cheap. I would recommend checking out Tamboerskloof and Oranjezicht areas as well, they are slightly better priced and on the MyCiti bus route so very accessible. From there you can also run on the mountain.
    I have run on the seapoint promenade hundreds of times and never had any safety issues all (although obviously its possible). There is also an awesome company called Run Cape Town who will be happy to show you routes through the city and on the mountain. http://www.runcapetown.co.za/
    We take UberX all the time and haven’t had any issues at all so far.
    Restaurants – there are loads to try out and plenty of vegetarian options available in Cape Town. A few of my favourites:
    Manna Epicure
    Black Sheep
    Sotano by Caveau
    Pot Luck Club
    South China Dim Sum
    La Moutte
    Can’t remember if you guys eat fish – but if so Panama Jack’s and Miller’s Thumb
    To do:
    Lots of hiking on Table Mountain/Lions Head/Silvermine – in summer there is a half price sunset special after
    pm on the cable car
    Lots of wine tasting in Constantia/Paarl/Franschoek/Stellenbosch – an overnight in winelands might be worthwhile.
    Overnight trip to Hermanus (since you probably won’t drive in that way) and the Hemel en Aarde Valley – probably need two nights
    Sunset concert in Kirstenbosch (the botanical gardens)
    Free Sunday concerts at de Waal Park in Oranjezicht
    Park runs in Greenpoint
    Boulders beach for the penguins
    Biscuit Mill and Hout Bay markets
    I personally think the waterfront is overpriced.
    Feel free to contact me for any questions at all – we’ll happily take you wine tasting one weekend if you would like?
    Erica
    PS We used your travel wallet on our RTW trip and various trips since and recommend it to everyone! So good job!

    • Thank you so much for all these amazing tips, Erica!

      I thought Wakkerstroom would be a good place to break the journey. Google Maps says from Lower Sabie to Wakkerstroom is 5.5 hours, whereas from Sabie to Clarens is 6 hours. Do you think these times are inaccurate?

      We’d love to meet up when we’re in Cape Town! And glad you liked Trail Wallet 🙂

      • Admittedly I think I checked your distance from Olifants for some reason…and you have to take into account that the Kruger Park is my absolute favourite place in the world…but basically you normally want some extra time on the day you leave the Kruger Park – the max speed limit is 50km/hr but the optimal for game spotting is between 25-30km/hr, which means it will take you just over an hour to get out if you see absolutely nothing. If you see good sightings, then it could take ages. So even though the distances are similar, its the drive inside the park that could take you a while. Also – if you stayed in Sabie then you could drive past Skukuza Camp and out Paul Kruger, Phabeni or Numbi gates which will give you more time in the park and also probably a bit of an explore of different areas.

        Obviously its up to you though 🙂 and if you are pressed for time then you can stick to the Wakkerstroom plan – Sabie and Clarens are just nicer little towns I think. When you are in that area (probably from Graskop) go and check out Bourke’s Luck Potholes and also Mak-Mak Pools – climb up to the top pool and swim there. It will be really hot when you are there so perfect for swimming.

  8. South Africa was one of the best trips we’ve ever taken.

    I would recommend Pilanesberg National Park as its only a 2 hour drive from Jo’berg and malaria free! It can be a bit hard to book online but we managed to do so via http://www.goldenleopardresorts.co.za (note this is the official website other websites add a commission). Once there we got up at 445am to take the sunrise safari drive in the park. Each resort can arrange drives for you at about R700 ($80 or £50) for two people for 2 and a half hours – they have a little kiosk near the check in where you can book. You can also book with independent tour guides but the cost was more like R2000 for two people for roughly the same time!

    Also The Cradle of Humankind and Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve http://rhinolion.co.za/ and the Wonder Cave (very cool). We also stopped at the Elephant Sanctuary, Hartbeespoortdam which was wonderful and well worth it http://www.elephantsanctuary.co.za/

  9. Cintsa is the best place for couples.You can find tons of hotels but it is quite expensive. i ve been there twice and i had professional driver for really good price 🙂 if you are not planning to budget travel i should definitely recommend that. Hope to see you first impression in south africa. Safe Travels guys

  10. So excited you’re going to be visiting my side of the globe! I’ve been living in South Africa for 8 years now and have split my time between Cape Town and Jo’burg 🙂 Maboneng is a great area to stay in Jo’burg… super hipster / trendy with lots of cool eateries, wine bars, and street art.

    If you stop one place on your road trip, make it Hogsback and stay in one of the cliffside bungalows at The Edge – my husband and I visited last year for the first time and its near the top of our list in South Africa (we’re going back again at the end of this month). Great value for money as well. The Drakensberg are absolutely magical and also a must.

    On the Wild Coast I can also highly recommend staying at Mtentu Lodge (it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and is so off the grid you have to follow photo directions of landmarks to get there, but once you arrive you won’t believe the views and what they’ve managed to set up in the middle of nowhere). Wilderness is also a must, and Cape Town is a great place to spend at least a week, with side trips to Stellenbosch and the Winelands.

    If you’d be up for meeting for a coffee or a drink when you’re in Cape Town, let me know 🙂

    • Thanks so much for the fantastic tips Jenna! You’ve convinced us to make Hogsback a priority! We’ll be in Cape Town for most of February and March and would love to meet up.

  11. SO excited for you! We’ve been to South Africa twice; once on a fully escorted, group tour type experience seeing all of the usual sites and staying at some super high end accommodations (think Earth Lodge at Sabi Sabi). The second time we were ending a 3month camping/ overlander journey from Nairobi to Cape Town so really just did Fish River Canyon, the vineyards at Stellenbosch, and a few days in Cape Town on a budget. Totally different trips but just remarkable. You will LOVE it. Kate gave you loads of amazing advice but just wanted to add you’ll love the food. While there is a lot of meat eaten (and I, not being a vegetarian, enjoyed it all), there is a great deal of vegetarian/ Indian -Cape Malay curries and such. Can’t wait to read about your time there. (as I type this we’re sitting in the very cottage you had rented at Pasajcap on Lake Atitlan.. so gorgeous here)

  12. Aw yay! This is in my wheelhouse! I love South Africa, have done three very different trips, and have tons of suggestions for you.

    First off, these three posts in particular are heavy on the information and suggestions:

    http://www.adventurouskate.com/the-ultimate-south-africa-road-trip-itinerary/

    http://www.adventurouskate.com/offbeat-guide-to-cape-town/

    http://www.adventurouskate.com/how-to-rock-a-trip-to-johannesburg/

    From your itinerary:

    –I’m not that familiar with Maboneng in Joburg, but if it were me, I’d stay around Rosebank or Parkhurst because those are the only two areas where I feel safe walking around (only for short distances) at night.

    –Kruger NP proper is where you’re going to see the REALLY good wildlife. It’s such a step up from many of the surrounding private reserves.

    –Are you renting a zoom lens for Kruger? I found it to be very much worth it. If you can do it direct from South Africa, you could do it for just ten days or so.

    –Cintsa is wonderful — one of my favorite places in South Africa — and Buccaneers is such a cool place to stay. Be warned, it IS a backpackers’ hostel, but those rooms overlooking the water are perhaps the best value luxury rooms I have ever seen (it cost around $50 USD per night when I stayed there). The internet was terrible and not available in the room itself.

    –Addo will be VERY underwhelming after Kruger. Play it by ear, but I’d skip it if I were you.

    –On the Garden Route, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay are both super nice and next door to each other. I highly recommend spending time in them both, especially a water safari if you can swing it.

    –Swellendam is really nice on the Garden Route, too, but you could swing that as an overnight trip from Cape Town because it’s so close by.

    –Stellenbosch is an awesome getaway from Cape Town. My friend and I stayed three days and that was perfect. Stay in an Airbnb in the center of town because there’s a lot to see. They also have Uber in Stellenbosch, albeit limited, if you want to enjoy the wine without one of you having to stay sober. There’s also a hop-on-hop-off wine bus that I did one day and enjoyed a lot. Franschoek is cute but it’s so tiny that you don’t need more than an afternoon there.

    –Sea Point is nice, but I would talk to locals about walking and running. Pretty much everywhere except the V&A Waterfront can be dicey, even in the middle of the day. I have friends in Muizenberg who will only run or take their dogs for walks within their gated community. (If you’d like, I can pass you on to them and they’d be happy to answer your questions.)

    –Also, just be aware before you go that South Africa can be exhausting because you will constantly be on guard. It depletes your energy. For that reason, you may want to take getaways from Cape Town to relaxing, easier places like Stellenbosch or resorts on the Garden Route (comped stay, maybe?) to give yourself a breather. Even though this will mean double-paying for accommodation.

    –Also — any plans for Durban? It could fit into your itinerary nicely and there are awesome vegetarian bunny chows.

    Have fun! You’re going to love it.

    • Thanks so much for all the excellent tips Kate! Your road trip post was useful in my planning and that’s where I fell in love with that sea view room at Buccaneers! I hadn’t seen your other posts so they will be helpful.

      I have actually bought a 75-300mm lens for my camera so hoping that will be enough.

      Will definitely visit Knysna and Plettenberg Bay while we’re in the area.

      It seems like the Sea Point promenade is the most popular place to run in Cape Town, and as it’s so busy, it’s safe.

      We will be taking some side trips from Cape Town like wine country for a nice break!

      I don’t think we’ll have time for Durban. Maybe. But I really wanted to focus on small towns and the countryside.

      Thanks again!

  13. We spent 3 weeks on the garden route and around Cape Town in 2013. I’ve been back for a conference, and we’re headed again to Cape Town for Americans Thanksgiving. If you can work it into your schedule, you should stop in Plettenburg Bay and hike the Robberg Nature Reserve! It’s stunning. Sunscreen and water are a must. Knysna is a cute town. We wished we had stayed 2 days instead of one. Also the Addo Elephant Park east of Port Elizabeth was amazing. Go to Stellenbosch and do wine tasting. Regardless of what you do you’ll have an fabulous time. Always be alert while traveling there. Unfortunately crime is still an issue. I had a young man attempt to grab my necklace in broad daylight in Cape Town when we were their for an educational conference.

    • Thanks for the tips Amanda. We definitely plan to visit Plettenberg Bay and Knysna as they are close to Nature’s Valley where we plan to stay. The Robberg Nature Reserve sounds great!

    • Addo is a definite maybe. We’ll see if we have time and if we feel like we want some more wildlife action after Kruger.

      And penguins, yes! Luckily we’ll have lots of time in Cape Town to explore the surrounding areas.

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