One Week in South Africa: Our Recommendations

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In addition to its ‘Big Five’ population, a trip to South Africa will include jaw-dropping coastlines, sun-soaked beaches, dramatic mountains, and idyllic towns. If you plan it well, then one week in South Africa is enough time to explore the country’s world-class wilderness, go on stunning road trips and sample its underrated wineries. Check out our 5 to 8-day itineraries below for more ideas.

5 days in South Africa: Northern Drakensberg Tour

Hiking the Drakensberg in South Africa

South Africa offers hiking trails that are fit for anyone 

Drakensberg Mountain in South Africa
Drakensberg Mountain in South Africa
Day 1 Retrace the footsteps of dinosaurs in Maluti-Drakensberg range
Day 2 Hike the dramatic sandstone cliffs of Golden Gate Highlands
Day 3 Trek to the summit of Drakensberg
Day 4 Cover the highlights of Royal Natal National Park
Day 5 See the famous Amphitheatre in Tugela Gorge

See the best of South Africa on foot and turn each daily hike into a new adventure with this trip to the Maluti-Drakensberg range. Starting off in Clarens, you will enter the Drakensberg Mountains where dinosaurs once roamed free. Continue to Golden Gate Highlands Park, where imposing, ochre-hued sandstone cliffs jostle for your attention with diverse and unique flora and fauna. Summit Drakensberg via its iconic chain ladder, then head off to Tugela Gorge, home to the awe-inspiring Amphitheatre, a South African landmark. See tour.

6 days in South Africa: Kruger Experience

Best time to visit Kruger National Park in South Africa
A tourist captures a shot of a couple of Elephants in the Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park in South Africa
 A herd of elephants stop for a drink from a pool of water in the Kruger National Park
Witness a hippo on the luxury safari in South Africa
A hippo enjoys the cool watering hole in the reserve
Kruger National Park in South Africa
The plains zebra is the most common zebra that you will encounter in the Kruger National Park
Day 1 Arrive in Johannesburg, relax or explore the city
Day 2 Rise and shine for a trip to Greater Kruger, enjoy a game drive
Day 3 Chase the ‘Big Five’ in Kruger
Day 4 Enjoy scenery along Panorama Route
Day 5 Have a free day in Greater Kuger
Day 6 Go on guided bush walk, return to Johannesburg

Combine game drives in one of the world’s most sought-after wildlife destinations with the scenic Panorama Route during this six-day trip. Your first safari experience is on the second day of this trip at a wildlife reserve abutting Kruger. Chase the ‘Big Five’ in Kruger the day after. Done with nature reserves, you will then drive through South Africa’s must-see highlight along the Panorama Route before heading back to Johannesburg. See tour

7 days in South Africa: Venda Cultural Experience & Safari

Johannesburg is the largest and the wealthiest city in South Africa.
Johannesburg is a cultural hub suitable for all traveler types
Day 1 Arrive in Johannesburg
Day 2 Drive your rental car to Bela-Bela, stay in private game reserve
Day 3 Leave Bela-Bela for exciting cultural experience in Limpopo
Day 4 Learn more about Makushu culture
Day 5 Explore Kruger on your own, spend the night in a hut
Day 6 Check into bush lodge in Phalaborwa
Day 7 Visit Mpumalanga province, return to Johannesburg

Enjoy an all-round culture and adventure experience during your one week in South Africa with this self-driving trip. Take the road less travelled as you explore the country’s hidden gems and learn more about local cultures and traditions along the way. Stay at a private game reserve in Bela-Bela, known for its hot springs, and be part of an exciting cultural experience in Limpopo. Continue to Phalaborwa, where you will spend the night in a bush lodge, before returning to Johannesburg via scenic Mpumalanga province. See tour

8 days in South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route and Vineyards

Cape Town in South Africa
 The Table Mountain looms over Cape Town
Cango Cave is one of the oldest attraction of South Africa
  The paintings and artifacts found in the Cango cave reveal that the caves were in use throughout prehistory
Day 1 Begin in Cape Town, where you will head to the Western Cape for wine & cheese tastings
Day 2 Enjoy a wonderful road trip to the Du Toits Kloof Mountains passing picturesque towns and vineyards
Day 3 Explore the Cango Caves before driving over the Meeringspoort Pass towards Addo Elephant National Park
Day 4 Experience a game drive in the national park where you may spot elephants, rhinos and lions
Day 5 Hike through Tsitsikamma National Park where stunning views of the Storms River Mouth awaits
Day 6 Have a free-roam day with the option of dining on a double-decker floating restaurant
Day 7 Adventure around the southernmost point of the African continent where you will enjoy local wine and a historic lighthouse
Day 8 Return to Cape Town for your onward journey

Unique experiences unfold amid picture-postcard scenery during this eight-day tour. Having enjoyed wine and cheese in Paarl, one of South Africa’s premiere wine regions, you will drive through the Cape Winelands to Oudtshoorn. While there, head for the Cango Caves, located at the foothills of the Swartberg. A game drive in Addo Elephant National Park is followed by a trip to Knysna, a scenic location along the famous Garden Route known for its rocky outcrops dotting and dashing into the ocean. Spend the last night of this tour in Hermanus, where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic and pods whales drift off the coast. See tour.

Although one can spend months exploring the country’s wilderness and still be left with a long list of destinations, one week in South Africa is just about enough to cover most highlights. For more exciting itineraries and travel tips, check out our article on how many days to spend in South Africa. Get in touch with our South Africa travel experts today if you want professional advice on vacationing in South Africa.

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  • Victoria Erskine
    Victoria Erskine
    Travel Expert in Kenya & South Africa
  • Mbali Makhoba
    Mbali Makhoba
    Travel Expert in South Africa
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