12 Day Self Drive Itinerary

Garden Route and Eastern Cape Safari

South Africa's most scenic drive

This 12-day self drive holiday gives you the opportunity to explore the vibrant city of Cape Town and its surrounding scenery, including Table Mountain and Robben Island, as well as stunning beaches and pretty coastal villages. 

Leaving Cape Town, you'll visit Hermanus to spot southern right whales (dependent on season), before driving further along the iconic Garden Route to stop off at Klein Karoo, Oudtshoorn and Knysna.

At the end of your trip you'll experience the excitement of a game drive, accompanied by a ranger, tracking the Big Five on safari in the Eastern Cape Reserve.

Our Experts Recommend:
  • Discover multi-faceted Cape Town.
  • Spot whales from the clifftops in Hermanus.
  • Visit an ostrich farm in Oudtshoorn.
  • Explore the waterfront and feast on fresh oysters in Knysna.
  • Experience a safari in the Eastern Cape.

Sample Itinerary Summary

We can tailor any part of this itinerary or create a new one just for you.

Duration
12 days
Destination Breakdown
Options
Private basis
Included
  • Accommodation as detailed in a double or twin room with private facilities (alternative but similar hotels may be used at certain times of year).
  • Meals included as stated.
  • Full board basis and game drives at Kariega main lodge (drinks payable locally).
  • Hertz Group B vehicle (Chevrolet Aveo Hatch or similar) including airport surcharge and one-way drop off fees.
  • International flights.
Not included
  • Incidental car hire surcharges including contract fee, delivery and collection fee, young driver surcharge (if applicable) and any optional extras.

Itinerary Breakdown

Arrive into Cape Town and collect your hire car. Your accommodation is situated on the lower slopes of Signal Hill, a short walk from the V&A Waterfront.

Overnight Accommodation

  • De Waterkant House or similar

Spend a full day enjoying the wonders of Cape Town and its surrounding areas. Why not take the boat ride to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated, or the cable car to the top of Table Mountain?

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • De Waterkant House or similar

Spend a second day exploring. We recommend driving along the Atlantic seaboard, past stunning beaches and picturesque coastal villages, to the towering headland known as Cape Point.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • De Waterkant House or similar

This morning, leave Cape Town and travel to Hermanus, famous for some of the best whale watching to be found anywhere as, every year from June until December, southern right whales migrate from the sub-Antarctic to calve in the sheltered sea of Walker Bay. Please note the peak time for whale spotting is from September to October.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Les Baleines Hermanus or similar

Today you can spend time exploring this quaint town with its Old Harbour Museum, which focuses on the area's whaling days. Some lovely beaches in the area – such as Die Platt, which stretches for seven miles – are perfect for coastal walks or even horse riding.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Les Baleines Hermanus or similar

After breakfast, leave Hermanus and continue to the Klein Karoo area for your first night at your accommodation.

Overnight Accommodation

  • De Opstal Country Lodge or similar

Today, spend the day at leisure enjoying what the Klein Karoo has to offer. Discover the Cango Caves where water, time and simple chemistry have combined over hundreds of thousands of years to create carved caverns, corridors and dripstone formations deep within the Swartberg Mountain Range. We also recommend a visit to one of Oudtshoorn's ostrich farms to see the worlds largest flightless bird.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • De Opstal Country Lodge or similar

This morning you will continue your journey towards Knysna, where you will check into your accommodation which enjoys a spectacular view of the popular coastal town and its waterfront.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Protea Hotel Knysna Quays or similar

Spend today exploring this beautiful, scenic stretch along the Garden Route, with a bustling waterfront, magnificent trails and activities to suit all.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Protea Hotel Knysna Quays or similar

After breakfast, depart Knysna and head towards Port Elizabeth and onwards to your safari lodge. Your time at the lodge will be spent tracking the Big Five and other mammals on morning and afternoon game drives accompanied by a ranger.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Kariega Main Lodge or similar

Today you can choose to go on another morning and evening game drive, or simply spend the day at leisure by the pool or with a picnic lunch in the lush gardens.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Kariega Main Lodge or similar

Today make your way to Port Elizabeth, where you will drop off your hire car at the airport and continue on your onwards journey.

  • Cape Town

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Time to explore the city and surrounding areas
  • Hermanus

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Whale watching
    • Panoramic ocean views from the cliffs
  • Oudtshoorn

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Cango caves
    • Wildlife ranch
    • Visit an ostrich farm
  • Knysna

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Time to explore this coastal town with its lively waterfront
  • Eastern Cape

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Morning and evening game drives