I am going to South Africa ( Johannesburg and Cape Town) in first week of May. Still finalising my itinerary, any suggestions, especially off the beaten track things are welcome :
Day 1 Cape Town - table mountain hike, then go to Robben island. Is this logistically possible?
Day 2 Cape Town - wine tour. Any suggestions for half-day tours are welcome. We won't have a car there.
Day 3 Cape Town - Peninsula - see penguins, beaches etc.
Day 4 Fly to Johannesburg and then drive to Nelspruit. Any suggestions for good budget accommodations?
Day 5 - 6 - 7 Drive Panorama drive, and then back to Johannesburg - Is the area big enough for a 3-day drive? Any specific suggestions here are welcome.
Day 8 - 9 Johannesburg siteseeing
Is there any must do that I missed? I decided not to go to Kruger, it looks too touristy and I have been on safari before,
Hi Tulika, difficult to suggest what you would like to see, because South Africa is quite large and so much to choose from. Your first three days sound good, except not sure if you will manage Table mountain hike (a good few hours) and Robben island, May weather can be quite unpredictable in the Cape and it is the start of winter so that will affect the ferry crossing. There are so many wine farms to choose from and so many lovely areas but look at Franshhoek, Stellenbosch or Paarl area. The drive from Johannesburg to Nelspruit is about 5 hours - where will you be going and what do you want to see there? Have you thought of the Drakensberg for more hiking? also a large area and it will take time to see all parts of it because you cannot follow the mountain continuously - you will have to go back to the main highway and take the roads to the desired areas. If you have any further questions, let me know and I will see if I can assist you.
Thanks for reply.
In Cape Town I don't have a car, so planning to take public transport. I saw there is a train from Cape Town to Stellenbosch. So I am thinking of taking that and then doing some local wine-tour there.
From JNB, the plan is to first day drive to Nelspruit and stay there overnight. Our flight from Cape Town lands at 11:00, so I hope that gives us enough time to reach Nelspruit by 6:00.
Next day we are planning to drive to Graskop and see a bunch of waterfalls in the area and then stay in Graskop. I saw this - http://showme.co.za/nelspruit/tourism/the-panorama-route-mpumalanga-self-drive-part-1/
Then we have 2 more days to drive in that area. Then we have 3 days to do Panorama drive - here any itinerary help would be great. Someone suggested self-driving safari in Kruger is still worth, though I am not sure about it.
Public transport can sometimes be an issue as it is not so well planned as in other countries, so it may be worth hiring a car to visit some of the wine farms. Stellenbosch is not far from Cape Town.
You should get to Nelspruit by 6pm but beware of driving in that area in the dark and stay alert.
The Graskop/Mpumalanga area is worth seeing, but I would not allocate so many days for it - perhaps that is just me, because I live in South Africa. It certainly is worth doing at least a day trip into the Kruger and most of it is easy to self drive - very much a tourist spot, but lovely in places - it will take time though because of restrictions of speed limit and game viewing and not sure if you want to spend too much time looking for animals. You can enter one gate and exit another e.g. enter near Nelspruit and exit at Paul Kruger gate.
Another option is the small historical town of Barberton - SW of Nelspruit.
Alternate option: circular drive from Johannesburg - Nelspruit - Hoedspruit - Tzaneen - Mokopane (Waterberg area) - Johannesburg. This could be done in about 6 days. Search the internet to see what information is available and I can try to answer any questions you may have.
Hope this is helpful.
I hope to travel to Africa next year so I'll be watching your blogs and eager to hear all suggestions.
Thanks for all the information. Based on the responses, now we are doing 2 day Kruger drive and 1-day Panorama drive. Also renting a car in Cape Town for Peninsula drive. For wine tour we are taking a guided tour.
This is probably too late now, you are probably already there, or back, but in Cape Town there is a cool sightseeing bus which takes you around the Cape and to wineries etc.
Adding to what's already been said, I wouldn't miss Kruger. It is fabulous and so easy to self drive.
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