12 days in South Africa Itinerary

12 days in South Africa Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in South Africa Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg
Fly:  3 h
1
Bloemfontein
— Few hours
Drive:  2 h
2
Gariep Dam
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 30 min
3
Cradock
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
4
Port Elizabeth
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h
5
Jeffreys Bay
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 45 min
6
Plettenberg Bay
— 1 night
Bus:  30 min
7
Knysna
— 1 night
Drive:  45 min
8
Wilderness
— 1 night
Bus:  15 min
9
George
— 1 night
Drive:  45 min
10
Mossel Bay
— 1 night
Fly + Taxi:  2 h 45 min
11
Hermanus
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 45 min
12
Cape Town
— 1 night
Fly:  4 h 15 min
End: Johannesburg

few
hours
Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein ©
Poetically hailed as the "city of roses" and the birthplace of J.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): take an in-depth tour of Anglo Boer War Museum and then take in the exciting artwork at Gallery on Leviseur.

To see photos, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Bloemfontein trip planner.

Johannesburg to Bloemfontein is an approximately 3-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Johannesburg in December, expect nights in Bloemfontein to be about the same, around 17°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 38°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Gariep Dam.

Things to do in Bloemfontein

Museums Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Anglo Boer War Museum ©
Anglo Boer War Museum
Gallery on Leviseur ©
Gallery on Leviseur

1
night
Gariep Dam

Gariep Dam ©
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): stroll through Gariep Dam Nature Reserve.

To find ratings, maps, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Gariep Dam trip itinerary builder app .

Drive from Bloemfontein to Gariep Dam in 2 hours. On the 27th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Cradock.

Things to do in Gariep Dam

Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Gariep Dam Nature Reserve ©
Gariep Dam Nature Reserve

1
night
Cradock

Cradock ©
Cradock is a town in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, in the upper valley of the Great Fish River, 250km by road northeast of Port Elizabeth. Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): admire the landmark architecture of St Peter's Church, tour the pleasant surroundings at Cat Conservation Trust, and then explore the striking landscape of Mountain Zebra National Park.

To find ratings and other tourist information, read Cradock trip itinerary planning tool .

Getting from Gariep Dam to Cradock by car takes about 2.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can travel to Port Elizabeth.

Things to do in Cradock

Parks Nature Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Mountain Zebra National Park ©
Mountain Zebra National Park
Cat Conservation Trust ©
Cat Conservation Trust

1
night
Port Elizabeth

The sprawling city of Port Elizabeth, nestled on the scenic Algoa Bay, draws visitors with its sandy beaches, mild climate, and an enviable location as the gateway to the famous Garden Route.
On the 29th (Sun), tour the pleasant surroundings at Kragga Kamma Game Park and then see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour.

For traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read Port Elizabeth trip itinerary builder tool .

You can drive from Cradock to Port Elizabeth in 3 hours. In December in Port Elizabeth, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 18°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can drive to Jeffreys Bay.

Things to do in Port Elizabeth

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Safaris
Kragga Kamma Game Park ©
Kragga Kamma Game Park

1
night
Jeffreys Bay

Jeffreys Bay ©
Jeffreys Bay is a town located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): indulge your thirst for a good beer at Brewhaha Craft Brewery, enjoy the sand and surf at Paradise Beach, and then kick back and relax at Dolphin Beach.

To see traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Jeffreys Bay vacation planning website .

Traveling by car from Port Elizabeth to Jeffreys Bay takes an hour. In December, daytime highs in Jeffreys Bay are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Plettenberg Bay.

Things to do in Jeffreys Bay

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Paradise Beach ©
Paradise Beach
Dolphin Beach
Dolphin Beach
Brewhaha Craft Brewery ©
Brewhaha Craft Brewery

1
night
Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay ©
As one of South Africa's most popular beach destinations, the resort town of Plettenberg Bay comes to life in December and January, when the holiday homes fill up with domestic tourists and foreigner visitors.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary, then stroll through Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, and then stroll through Plettenberg Beach.

For traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Plettenberg Bay online road trip planner .

Drive from Jeffreys Bay to Plettenberg Bay in 2 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Plettenberg Bay can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to catcht the bus to Knysna.

Things to do in Plettenberg Bay

Parks Wildlife Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary ©
Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary
Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary
Plettenberg Beach ©
Plettenberg Beach

1
night
Knysna

Knysna ©
Enshrouded in lush indigenous forest and surrounding a scenic lagoon of the same name, the Garden Route town of Knysna has plenty to offer.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Garden Route National Park, enjoy the sand and surf at Buffalo Bay, and then kick back and relax at Brenton on Sea.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Knysna tour planner .

Knysna is very close to Plettenberg Bay. In December, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to go by car to Wilderness.

Things to do in Knysna

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Garden Route National Park ©
Garden Route National Park
Brenton on Sea ©
Brenton on Sea
Buffalo Bay ©
Buffalo Bay

1
night
Wilderness

Wilderness ©
On a vacation in Wilderness, a coastal resort town on the Garden Route, you'll have easy access to a multitude of nature trails and activities set among the rivers, beaches, and forests of Wilderness National Park and Goukama Nature Reserve.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): explore the activities along Kaaiman's River, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and then kick back and relax at Wilderness Beach.

For photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Wilderness trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Knysna to Wilderness takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January in Wilderness, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 18°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) so you can catcht the bus to George.

Things to do in Wilderness

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Wilderness Beach ©
Wilderness Beach
Parasailing & Paragliding
Kaaiman's River ©
Kaaiman's River

1
night
George

George ©
Benefiting from a pleasant climate and prime location on the Garden Route, the town of George serves as the Southern Cape's premier tourism hub.
On the 3rd (Fri), relax in the rural setting at Redberry Farm, see the interesting displays at Outeniqua Transport Museum, and then don't miss a visit to Montagu Pass Old Toll House.

For more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the George journey planning app .

George is just a short distance from Wilderness. In January, daytime highs in George are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to drive to Mossel Bay.

Things to do in George

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Outeniqua Transport Museum ©
Outeniqua Transport Museum
Montagu Pass Old Toll House ©
Montagu Pass Old Toll House
Redberry Farm ©
Redberry Farm

1
night
Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay ©
A popular stopover on South Africa's famous Garden Route, Mossel Bay charms tourists with its picturesque sandy shore that stretches along the Indian Ocean, and its pleasant, mild climate.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): observe the fascinating underwater world at The Shark Lab, then trek along St. Blaize Trail, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Santos Beach.

For reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Mossel Bay trip itinerary builder app .

Traveling by car from George to Mossel Bay takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Mossel Bay can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can travel to Hermanus.

Things to do in Mossel Bay

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Santos Beach ©
Santos Beach
St. Blaize Trail ©
St. Blaize Trail
The Shark Lab ©
The Shark Lab

1
night
Hermanus

Hermanus ©
Renowned as a premier whale-watching destination, Hermanus grew from a quaint fishing village nestled on Walker Bay.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Grotto Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Voelklip Beach, and then stroll through Panthera Africa - Big Cat Sanctuary.

To find traveler tips, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Hermanus trip site .

Do a combination of flight and taxi from Mossel Bay to Hermanus in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in January, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Cape Town.

Things to do in Hermanus

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Panthera Africa - Big Cat Sanctuary
Highlights from your plan
Grotto Beach ©
Grotto Beach
Voelklip Beach ©
Voelklip Beach
Panthera Africa - Big Cat Sanctuary ©

1
night
Cape Town

Cape Town ©
Sweeping beaches, towering hilltops, and picturesque vineyards adorn the landscape of Cape Town, dominated by the imposing Table Mountain.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): get great views at Cape Point, kick back and relax at Boulders Beach Penguin Colony, and then explore the striking landscape at Twelve Apostles.

For photos, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Cape Town road trip planner.

Getting from Hermanus to Cape Town by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cape Town

Parks Wildlife Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Cape Point ©
Cape Point
Boulders Beach Penguin Colony ©
Boulders Beach Penguin Colony
Twelve Apostles ©
Twelve Apostles

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