South Africa Escape
Welkom in Suid-Afrika! Welcome to South Africa! One of the most enchanting and diverse countries in the world! Designed by our South African founders, Carl Cronje and Jakes Maritz, this adventure-packed tour will show you the best South Africa has to offer! Starting in Cape Town, tread along the Atlantic and Indian coast, go south to Cape Point and visit a number of historic destinations in the Western Cape. Look for adventure along the forests and coastal towns of the Garden Route, traverse the fruit route of the Eastern Cape and even take to Oudtshoorn in the Great Karoo. An included internal flight will whisk you to our next stop, the incredible Kruger National Park, to track Africa's amazing wildlife! In the final leg of this amazing journey travel along the Panorama Route back to Johannesburg, the City of Gold. Like always, we've hand-picked and personally visited accommodation, restaurants and experiences. Are you ready for a grand South African adventure?
Like all Expat Explore vacation packages, this itinerary is a guaranteed departure. We use modern, air-conditioned private transport, and include free wifi at each hotel so you can stay connected and share all your incredible photos and memories with your friends and family while on your South Africa tour!
Photos of the Tour
Why this Trip
- All tour dates are guaranteed to depart.
- Only 10% deposit or minimum $80.00 required and no booking fees.
- Luxury, modern air-conditioned coach.
- Experienced and passionate tour leader.
- High quality accommodation.
Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here
DAY 1: Arrive in Cape Town
Wamkelekile e iKapa! Welcome to Cape Town! The Mother city is South Africa's oldest city and one of three official capital cities. For flights arriving today, an Expat Explore team member will meet and greet you at Cape Town airport. A complementary airport transfer is offered at selected times to take you to our starting hotel in the city. If you arrive early enough you'll have some free time to explore Cape Town and its many tourist attractions. This evening you will meet your tour leader as well as your fellow travellers from all over the world. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening and get to know your travel companions.
DAY 2: Cape Town city tour
Your first full day in South Africa kicks off with a driving tour of Cape Town city centre. Stops include the Castle of Good Hope, famous St. George’s cathedral and a stroll through the colourful Cape Malay quarters. You will also see the well-known Company's Gardens - the oldest garden in the country.
The afternoon is then yours free to explore this incredible city. With a drop off at the beautiful V&A Waterfront, this is the perfect place to have lunch and try a variety of local foods, including some fresh fish right next to the Cape Town harbour. After lunch, why not take a cable car ride up to Table mountain? This table-shaped mountain is a prominent landmark that towers over Cape Town. Table Mountain is one of the official 'New 7 Wonders of Nature'!
DAY 3: Cape Town - Free day
Today is your free day to explore Cape Town to your heart’s content! Outside of the famous Robben Island and Table Mountain, the list of travel attractions are endless. Visit the Botanical Gardens, Constantia wine valley, the Two Oceans Aquarium or District 6 Museum. You have the option to join the Cape Point & Peninsula day-trip and venture further south. Cape Point nature reserve is a one hour drive from Cape Town, on the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula. Expect beautiful landscapes, over 40 km of coastline and a variety of fauna and flora. The Cape Fynbos is a natural shrubland found here - the smallest floral kingdom in the world. Continuing along the peninsula we'll stop at Boulder’s beach to see free-roaming African penguins. You will then have free time for lunch in Kalk Bay, a quirky coastal town and the perfect location to try fish and chips. Enjoy the amazing views as we take the scenic route via Chapman’s peak back to the hotel.
DAY 4: Cape Winelands - Stellenbosch - Hermanus
This morning we explore the Cape Winelands! Following breakfast we take a scenic drive through the Cape wine region. South Africa has the oldest wine industry outside of Europe. This is your chance to taste South Africa's signature wine, Pinotage. A local wine expert will tell us all about Cape district wines and the wine-making process. Lunch is a delicious traditional meal served among the vineyards. Next stop is Stellenbosch, a special town settled by the French Huguenots in the 1600s. Explore the Cape Dutch architecture and many laid-back coffee shops, boutiques and art galleries. After one more wine tasting tour this afternoon we take a heavenly coastal drive to Hermanus. The evening is yours to explore the town of Hermanus.
DAY 5: Shark Diving Excursion - Swellendam - Mossel Bay
This is the official start of our Garden Route adventure! This morning you can stay put in Hermanus to explore this beautiful harbour town. It’s one of the world's best whale-watching destinations. In season, June to November, you can spot them right off the coast. Join in the optional excursion for the day: Shark Cage Diving! This is your chance to see Great White sharks in their natural habitat. The excursion includes a short drive to Gansbaai - a famous shark cage diving spots in South Africa. Free time for lunch is in Swellendam. Taste authentic Boerekos (traditional farmer’s food), or perhaps some Springbok (venison) carpaccio. After lunch stop outside of Albertinia to visit Cape Aloe Vera farm. Taste aloe tea, sample the facial cream and learn more about the health benefits and uses of this indigenous plant. The final destination for today is Mossel Bay, a coastal village and popular holiday destination. Before making for the hotel we stop at the Pinnacle Caves. This archaeological site is where the early evidence of modern human behaviour has been found. Fossil findings date as far back as 170,000 years ago.
DAY 6: Garden Route: Game Drive - Knysna - Garden Route
First thing this morning we head to Botlierskop Private Game Reserve for a unique safari experience. Enjoy close encounters with impala, wildebeest, rhinos, lions, giraffes and more! Over lunch we’ll be in Knysna, the heart of the Garden Route. Jump aboard a unique paddle-boat for an optional lunch cruise (fresh oysters anyone?!). The lagoon cruise will take you along Knysna Bay for spectacular views of the area. You can even do some bird watching from the deck. If you don't feel like a cruise, explore the beautiful harbour area and dine in a local restaurant.
From Knysna we depart for more exciting animal adventures. Roam free with the monkeys at Monkeyland, a multi-species monkey sanctuary. Alternatively, visit Birds of Eden, a unique eco-tourism experience, and the world's largest free flight aviary and bird sanctuary.
DAY 7: Tsitsikamma National Park & Storms River - Eastern Cape
The Tsitsikamma forest forms part of the greater Garden Route National Park. The area encompasses rivers, gorges, mountains and lush forests and plantations - the perfect place to get adventurous! The morning is yours to explore outdoors. Options to consider include tree-top canopy tours, bungee jumping at Bloukrans bridge (the highest bridge bungy in the world!), or going for a bush walk to learn more about the fauna and flora in this region.
We'll then drive to the Storms River mouth in Tsitsikamma National Park. You can take a walk along the coast, cross the longest suspension river in South Africa, and have some free time to enjoy lunch overlooking the ocean. This afternoon we take a drive to the Eastern Cape coast where we'll spend the rest of day. Holiday destinations like Jeffreys Bay and Cape St. Francis are known to be some of the best surfing locations in the world. Here you can enjoy long sandy beaches in idyllic surroundings.
DAY 8: Fruit Route: Route 62 - Oudtshoorn Ostrich Farm - Cango Caves Excursion
Get set to explore a different region of South Africa as we leave the Garden Route behind and meander along Route 62. We head for the arid Karoo, and the drive takes you through the Langkloof. Nestled between the Kouga and Tsitsikamma mountains, this area offers spectacular views. You will see vineyards, fruit and vegetable farms dotted along the road. Soon we'll reach Oudtshoorn, South Africa’s famous ostrich capital! We stop off for a guided tour of a working ostrich farm and learn more about these big feathered animals. You'll then have the option to explore one of South Africa's hidden treasures, the Cango Caves. This cave valley is a series of dripstone caverns that are more than 20 million years old. Explore on a heritage walking tour of the caves or go for the adventure rock- and cave climbing experience (especially if you're feeling a bit adventurous). Tonight we sit down for a lovely Karoo dinner.
DAY 9: George - Johannesburg - Nelspruit
This morning we travel from Oudtshoorn to George for an early morning flight to Johannesburg. On our way to the airport we'll see the sun rise over the Langkloof. The first stop is on the Outeniqua pass to take in the truly magnificent views. After taking our included flight to Johannesburg in the Gauteng province, we'll land in the "City of Gold". We'll travel east to Nelspruit. The day ends as we arrive at Bundu Lodge on the outskirts of the Kruger National park. Tonight you can settle down for a meal under the African sky.
DAY 10: Kruger National Park
Today we will go on a full-day game drive of the park! Sitting elevated in the tour bus you can easily spot animals in the bush, perhaps even the iconic Big 5! The Kruger National Park stretches over 20,000 square km and is just a bit smaller than the country of Belgium. In the park you can see all African game in their natural habitat. Spot wild animals like cheetahs, wild dogs, leopards, elephants and the white and black rhino. En route we stop at rest camps like Skukuza, Tshokwane and Satara. Late afternoon we make our way to our safari lodge/hotel on the western edge of the park, where we'll enjoy a multi-night stay. Time for a relaxing swim in the pool and a sun-downer or two before our included dinner this evening!
DAY 11: Kruger National Park - Free day
Time to further explore the Kruger National Park! You can embark on safaris from the safari lodge/hotel in open safari trucks led by local wildlife specialists. Your options include sunrise and/or sunset safaris that last about three hours. Or choose a full-day safari drive and spend the day driving in prime game viewing areas, stopping at various waterholes and rest camps. Snacks and lunch are served picnic style along the way. Try to spot some of the resident antelope, birds and wildlife from your truck. Fingers crossed you’ll be able to tick off more animals on your list! Did you know that Kruger National Park is home to 114 different species of reptiles, 507 kinds of birds and 147 mammal species? You are sure to come across some of the most amazing creatures in Africa. Slip into the pool on return to cool down before enjoying an included dinner.
DAY 12: Kruger National Park - Free day
Today you have another full free day to take advantage of the incredible safari options available in Kruger National Park. Continue to explore the park on safari, or spend a relaxing day in the lodge/hotel next to the pool. Tonight we enjoy our last dinner at the safari lodge/hotel. Spend time around the campfire exchanging safari stories and sipping Amarula.
DAY 13: Three Rondawels - Bourke’s Luck Potholes - Blyde River Canyon Viewpoint - Johannesburg
We leave the Kruger National Park behind and discover the Panorama Route through the Mpumalanga province. Our first destination is a quick photo stop at one of the oldest and largest Baobab trees in the world. We make our way to the renowned Three Rondavels viewpoint with a stunning vista over the Blyde River Canyon. This canyon forms part of the Drakensberg ridge and known for storybook views. Next is Bourke’s Luck potholes, a natural water feature with hundreds of natural potholes and plunge pools. This area marks the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon. On a clear day, you can see the Kruger and even Mozambique in the distance. We continue our final leg of the tour back to Johannesburg, arriving at our hotel, where we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner with all of our new friends!
DAY 14: Johannesburg: End of tour
Today is the last day of the tour. After breakfast, we say goodbye to our travel companions. Johannesburg is a great destination to end the trip. Guests are welcome to stay on to explore Jozi and the surrounding area. If you are flying home today, a complementary airport transfer is offered to take you to Johannesburg airport.
- 13 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
- Services of your Expat tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips to ensure that you get the most from your trip. You can also book any of the optional excursions available during your tour with your tour leader – please see the 'Essential Information' tab for more details.
- 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 10 dinners
- Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
- 23 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)
- Free Expat Explore tour souvenir – a memorable gift of your once in a lifetime trip.
- Internal flight George-Johannesburg
Optional ExcursionsOptional excursions are payable in cash currency to your tour leader whilst on tour.
- Shark Cage Diving
- Knysna Boat Cruise
- Bloukrans Bungee Jump
- Tsitsikamma Craft Beer Tasting
- Tree Canopy Zip-lining
- Sunrise Game Drive
- Sunset Game Drive
- Half-day Game Drive
- Full-day Game Drive
- Cape Point & Boulders Beach
- Star Gazing
- Birds of Eden
- Cango Caves Heritage Tour
- Cango Caves Adventure Tour
- Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves
- Johannesburg City Tour
- Soweto Half Day Tour
Return customers get 10% off!
If you have traveled with us before you qualify for a 10% rebate. To claim your rebate, simply type your previous Booking Number in the "Special Notes" box at the final Payment step of the checkout.
Save - without compromising on quality - by booking directly with the leading tour operator
How we make awesome trips affordable
- No intermediary: You book directly from the tour operator so you don't have to pay any travel agent.
- As a Europe leading bus tour operator we have 11 years of experience finding the best hotels for your budget and continuously optimizing our selection based on customer feedback.
- We book our hotels well in advance so we get early bird rates that we can pass on to you!
- Thanks to the great number of people who travel with us each year, we can negotiate great deals that would be quite impossible for you to find on your own.
Detailed Info Pack
- Tour start & end points
- Pre-departure information
- Pre-tour accommodation
For more information on, starting points & times, emergency contact details, budgeting for your tour & much more you can download our information pack here.
Helpful Pre-Trip Info
Certain nationalities may require a visa for this tour. Please see our visas page for more information. It is your responsibility to contact the relevant embassy to confirm your visa requirements. We can provide support documentation upon request, please contact us for more information.
On tour costs
Please refer to the tour itinerary for full details of the activities and meals that are included in the tour cost, and those which are optional/extra. We would recommend budgeting 200-350 ZAR per day (this excludes optional excursions).
Please note, by default all rooms are twin bed rooms.
- Partners: When you book for more than one person, we will by default group you together in a room (unless you specifically request us not to). If you are unequal numbers (3, 5, 7 etc.) and we are unable to secure a triple room then the the remaining traveler will be roomed with another passenger of the same gender.
- Single Travelers: If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.
- Triple Room requests: We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple may be a double and a single bed, or the third bed may be a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.
In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.
Your tour starts in Cape Town and finishes in Johannesburg. Please have a look at our essential tour information page for detailed information.
This should be valid for at least six months after you have returned home from your trip. You should also have at least two blank pages as visas and entry/exit stamps can take up a whole page.