47 days in South Africa Itinerary

47 days in South Africa Itinerary

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Route & dates

47 days in South Africa Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  21​h 45​min
1
Cape Town
— 8 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Hermanus
— 5 nights
Drive:  4​h 30​min
3
Oudtshoorn
— 6 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Graaff-Reinet
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
5
Plettenberg Bay
— 6 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
6
Nelspruit
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
7
Hoedspruit
— 5 nights
bus + taxi:  2​h 30​min
8
Kruger National Park
— 6 nights
Drive + Fly:  35​h
End: Chicago

8
nights
Cape Town

Cape Town ©
Sweeping beaches, towering hilltops, and picturesque vineyards adorn the landscape of Cape Town, dominated by the imposing Table Mountain.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Franschhoek Motor Museum and Chapman's Peak Drive. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Cape Town: Stellenbosch (Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden & Marze Botha Art Gallery) and Eikehof (in Franschhoek). There's much more to do: get great views at Cape Point, admire the natural beauty at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, take a leisurely stroll along Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, and enjoy the sand and surf at Bloubergstrand Beach.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Cape Town road trip planning website .

Chicago, USA to Cape Town is an approximately 22-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. You'll lose 8 hours traveling from Chicago to Cape Town due to the time zone difference. In May, plan for daily highs up to 70°F, and evening lows to 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can go by car to Hermanus.

Things to do in Cape Town

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Chapman's Peak Drive
Highlights from your plan
Cape Point ©
Cape Point
Franschhoek Motor Museum ©
Franschhoek Motor Museum

5
nights
Hermanus

Hermanus ©
Renowned as a premier whale-watching destination, Hermanus grew from a quaint fishing village nestled on Walker Bay.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Franschhoek Pass and Grotto Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hermanus: Cape Agulhas - Southernmost Tip of Africa (in Cape Agulhas), Stony Point Penguin Colony (in Betty's Bay) and First South African Perfume Museum (in Franschhoek). There's lots more to do: take in the pleasant sights at Hermanus Cliff Path, explore the galleries of Kunstehuijs Fine Art Gallery, look for gifts at Funky Vibes, and trek along De Hoop Nature Reserve.

To find more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Hermanus holiday planner.

You can drive from Cape Town to Hermanus in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of train and taxi. In May, daily temperatures in Hermanus can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Oudtshoorn.

Things to do in Hermanus

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Franschhoek, Swellendam, Cape Agulhas - Southernmost Tip of Africa, Stony Point Penguin Colony, De Hoop Nature Reserve Whale Trail
Highlights from your plan
First South African Perfume Museum ©
First South African Perfume Museum
Franschhoek Pass ©
Franschhoek Pass
Grotto Beach ©
Grotto Beach

6
nights
Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn ©
Nestled in the arid valley of Little Karoo, the town of Oudtshoorn remains the hub of everything ostrich-related, housing the world's largest population of the flightless birds.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Wilderness Beach and Wilderness National Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Oudtshoorn: La Chocolaterie Rococo (in Great Brak River), George (Outeniqua Transport Museum, Redberry Farm, & more) and Dolphin Point Lookout (in Wilderness). The adventure continues: relax in the rural setting at Highgate Ostrich Show Farm, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, admire the landmark architecture of St Jude's Anglican Church, and take in breathtaking views at Meiringspoort.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Oudtshoorn trip planner .

You can drive from Hermanus to Oudtshoorn in 4.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In May, daytime highs in Oudtshoorn are 71°F, while nighttime lows are 50°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to go by car to Graaff-Reinet.

Things to do in Oudtshoorn

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

George, Mossel Bay, Wilderness, Boplaas Garden Route Tasting Room, Meiringspoort
Highlights from your plan
Wilderness Beach ©
Wilderness Beach
Redberry Farm ©
Redberry Farm
Meiringspoort ©
Meiringspoort

3
nights
Graaff-Reinet

Graaff-Reinet ©
Regarded as the fourth-oldest town in South Africa, Graaff-Reinet represents a well-preserved historic Dutch colonial settlement, set 750 (2,460 ft) above sea level on the banks of the Sundays River.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Valley of Desolation and The Reinet House. Change things up with these side-trips from Graaff-Reinet: The Owl House (in Nieu-Bethesda) and Mountain Zebra National Park (in Cradock). The adventure continues: pause for some serene contemplation at Dutch Reformed Church, Groot Kerk and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St James the Great Anglican Church.

To find ratings and tourist information, read our Graaff-Reinet trip maker tool .

You can drive from Oudtshoorn to Graaff-Reinet in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can drive to Plettenberg Bay.

Things to do in Graaff-Reinet

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Mountain Zebra National Park, The Owl House
Highlights from your plan
Valley of Desolation ©
Valley of Desolation
Mountain Zebra National Park ©
Mountain Zebra National Park
The Reinet House ©
The Reinet House

6
nights
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary and Garden Route National Park. Venture out of the city with trips to Knysna (Buffalo Bay, Brenton on Sea, & more). The adventure continues: stroll through Radical Raptors, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Christopher Catholic Church, kick back and relax at Plettenberg Beach, and stroll around Plett Puzzle Park.

For traveler tips, photos, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Plettenberg Bay trip planning website .

Drive from Graaff-Reinet to Plettenberg Bay in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. May in Plettenberg Bay sees daily highs of 70°F and lows of 55°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can travel to Nelspruit.

Things to do in Plettenberg Bay

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Knysna, Suspension Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Garden Route National Park ©
Garden Route National Park
Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary ©
Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary
Brenton on Sea ©
Brenton on Sea

5
nights
Nelspruit

Nelspruit ©
Nestled on the banks of the Crocodile River, Nelspruit provides visitors with a convenient base point boasting two airports and an enviable location on the road between Johannesburg and the Mozambican border.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Dullstroom Bird of Prey & Rehabilitation Centre and Safaris. Explore Nelspruit's surroundings by going to Mary Shire Falls (in Sabie) and Hazyview (Elephant Whispers & Zipline). There's still lots to do: explore the fascinating underground world of Sudwala Caves, look for gifts at Joubert en Seuns Padstal, take in nature's colorful creations at Lowveld National Botanical Garden, and examine the collection at Sudwala Dinosaur Park.

To see traveler tips, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read our Nelspruit attractions planning app .

Fly from Plettenberg Bay to Nelspruit in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. May in Nelspruit sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 55°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Hoedspruit.

Things to do in Nelspruit

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trips

Hazyview, Dullstroom Bird of Prey & Rehabilitation Centre, Mary Shire Falls
Highlights from your plan
Elephant Whispers ©
Elephant Whispers
Sudwala Caves ©
Sudwala Caves

5
nights
Hoedspruit

Hoedspruit ©
Hoedspruit offers proximity to Kruger National Park and features an airport, making it a popular jump-off point for a variety of tours and safaris.
Explore hidden gems such as Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre and Bourkes' Luck Potholes. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hoedspruit: Phalaborwa (Qualito Craft Distillery & Amarula Lapa) and Graskop (Wonder View & Lisbon Falls). There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, take in the exciting artwork at iNyoka Art Gallery, stop by Kumbaya Home Decor, and take in the dramatic natural features at Three Roundavels.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Hoedspruit trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by car from Nelspruit to Hoedspruit takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of flight and taxi. June in Hoedspruit sees daily highs of 73°F and lows of 50°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Kruger National Park.

Things to do in Hoedspruit

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Phalaborwa, Mpumalanga, Graskop, Bourkes' Luck Potholes
Highlights from your plan

6
nights
Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park ©
One of Africa's largest game sanctuaries and part of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Program, Kruger National Park provides an immersive experience of wildlife.
Spend the 10th (Wed) surrounded by wildlife at Game drives at Phalaborwa Gate in Kruger National Park. There's still lots to do: stroll through Sweni Wilderness Trail, hike along Mphongolo Backpacking Trail, get great views at Nkumbe View Site, and contemplate the long history of Masorini Archaeological Site.

For maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Kruger National Park online road trip planner .

Getting from Hoedspruit to Kruger National Park by combination of bus and taxi takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive. June in Kruger National Park sees daily highs of 73°F and lows of 50°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Kruger National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Sweni Wilderness Trail ©
Sweni Wilderness Trail
Bushmans Trail ©
Bushmans Trail

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