10 days in South Africa - 5 travel itineraries

South Africa, often dubbed the Rainbow Nation for its rich diversity, is a land of contrasts — offering travel experiences that are as varied as they are unforgettable.  With 10 days at your disposal, you have the opportunity to delve deep into the heart of this country and uncover its many wonders. Here is our guide to creating the perfect 10 days South Africa itinerary. 

Is 10 days enough for South Africa?

A 10-day trip to South Africa is definitely a good amount of time to see most of South Africa’s most important sites. That said, it may not allow for extensive exploration of every corner of the country. 

To make the most of your time, planning is key. Think about what you really want to see and do – whether it's soaking up the urban vibes of Cape Town, getting lost in the wilds of Kruger National Park, or kicking back on the stunning beaches of Durban. Be sure to also consider the weather and what time of year is best for your trip.

If all that planning sounds like a bit much, why not let the pros handle it? Our tailor-made trip service takes the stress out of traveling by crafting personalized itineraries just for you. Leave the planning and booking to the experts – all you have to do is show up and enjoy the ride.

Robberg 5 Beach from Robberg Nature Reserve near Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route, South Africa © Shutterstock

Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route, South Africa © Shutterstock

Itinerary #1: Garden Route cycling adventure

Get ready to pedal your way through some of South Africa's most breathtaking landscapes on this thrilling 10-day cycling adventure designed especially for nature lovers. 

You’ll begin your journey in Cape Town on day one with a choice between a yacht excursion across Table Bay or a city walking or cycling tour, followed by a dinner featuring local cuisine. Day two promises an adrenaline rush as you ascend Table Mountain by cable car and hike through marshy frog breeding areas and endemic vegetation. Then, it's time to hop on your bikes for an exhilarating ride down Tafelberg Road to Rhodes Memorial – get ready for some fantastic views.

On day three, transfer to George in the heart of the Garden Route, where you'll lunch upon arrival and then cycle up Montagu Pass for stunning views of the Outeniqua Mountains before dinner and an overnight stay in Herold. 

Day four invites you to cycle through rolling hills and past sheep and ostrich farms in Klein Karoo, with a refreshing bath in rock pools at the lodge. Cycle to Avontuur on day five along farm roads and through Prins Alfred Pass, enjoying a thrilling freewheeling downhill into De Vlugt. 

On day six, conquer the top of Prins Alfred Pass for breathtaking mountain views and pass through Knysna Forest before lunch in Knysna. Day seven is a leisure day for optional activities like kayaking, whale watching, or hiking — or simply relaxing on beautiful nearby beaches

Cycle through Knysna Lagoon and Phantom Pass on day eight, checking into treetop cabins and exploring hiking trails. Day nine sees you cycling along Seven Passes Road from Sedgefield back to George, soaking in the scenic surroundings of forests and farms. Depart for Cape Town on day tenBook this trip.

South Africa, Tsitsikamma National Park, wooden bridge suspended above Storms River on Garden Route

South Africa, Tsitsikamma National Park © Shutterstock

The Garden Route in South Africa ©  LMspencer/Shutterstock

The Garden Route in South Africa © LMspencer/Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Check out this 10 days South Africa itinerary:

Day 1

  • Arrive in Cape Town.
  • Yacht excursion across Table Bay if weather permits, otherwise, city walking or cycling tour.
  • Dinner of local cuisine.

Day 2

  • Ascend Table Mountain by cable car.
  • Hike past marshy frog breeding areas and endemic vegetation.
  • Bike ride down Tafelberg Road to Rhodes Memorial with a snack stop.

Day 3

  • Transfer to George in the heart of the Garden Route.
  • Lunch on arrival.
  • Cycle up Montagu Pass for stunning views of the Outeniqua Mountains.
  • Dinner and overnight stay in Herold.

Day 4

  • Cycle through rolling hills and past sheep and ostrich farms in Klein Karoo.
  • Bathe in rock pools upon reaching the lodge.

Day 5

  • Cycle to Avontuur along farm roads and through Prins Alfred Pass.
  • Enjoy freewheeling downhill into De Vlugt.

Day 6

  • Cycle to the top of Prins Alfred Pass for breathtaking mountain views.
  • Pass through Knysna Forest and enjoy lunch in Knysna.

Day 7

  • Free leisure day for optional activities like kayaking, whale watching, or hiking.
  • Relax on nearby beautiful beaches if preferred.

Day 8

  • Cycle through Knysna Lagoon and Phantom Pass, the first of Seven Passes Road.
  • Check in to treetop cabins and explore hiking trails.

Day 9

  • Cycle along Seven Passes Road from Sedgefield back to George.
  • Enjoy the scenic surroundings of forests and farms.

Day 10

  • Departure for Cape Town with a 5-hour shuttle transfer.

Feeling curious? Take a step forward and book this trip now.

Chacma baboon Kruger National Park, South Africa © Shutterstock

Chacma baboon Kruger National Park, South Africa © Shutterstock

Itinerary #2: South African safari odyssey

For safari enthusiasts eager to make the most of their time in South Africa, this 10-day itinerary is an absolute dream come true. You’ll begin in Johannesburg on day one, where you'll have a chance to recharge after your arrival. 

Days two and three are where the real adventure begins, with day-long safari drives awaiting you in Kruger National Park. Get ready to witness the beauty of the African wilderness and spot the legendary Big Five in their natural habitat – it's an experience you'll never forget.

On day four, you’ll take a scenic drive back to Johannesburg and have some free time there. 

Days five and six take you to Madikwe Game Reserve via a flight from Johannesburg, where you'll engage in multiple days of safari drives, guided bush walks, and exploration of the breathtaking wilderness. 

Day seven offers a change of pace as you fly to Durban, where you can kick back and relax on the stunning beaches or get your adrenaline pumping with water sports activities like surfing and paddleboarding.

Days eight and nine are dedicated to exploring Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park on safari drives, encountering a variety of wildlife including the endangered rhino, and learning about Zulu culture through dance performances. 

As your journey draws to a close on day ten, you’ll bid farewell to Durban and head back to Johannesburg for your departure. Book this trip.  Book this trip.

One red hartebeest looking at the camera in the early morning sun in Mokala National Park in South Africa © LouisLotterPhotography/Shutterstock

Mokala National Park in South Africa © LouisLotterPhotography/Shutterstock

Kruger Park, Limpopo, South Africa © Rich T Photo/Shutterstock

Kruger Park, Limpopo, South Africa © Rich T Photo/Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Check out this 10 days South Africa itinerary:

Day 1

  • Arrive in Johannesburg.
  • Rest and relax after your journey.

Days 2-3

  • Day-long safari drive in Kruger National Park.
  • Spot the Big Five: lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard.
  • Experience the diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes of the park.

Day 4

  • Scenic drive from Kruger back to Johannesburg.
  • Arrive in Johannesburg in the evening.
  • Free time in Johannesburg.

Days 5-6

  • Fly from Johannesburg to Madikwe Game Reserve.
  • Engage in multiple days of safari drives to experience the breathtaking wilderness of Madikwe.
  • Guided bush walk to explore the reserve on foot and learn about the smaller creatures and plant life.

Day 7

  • Flight from Johannesburg to Durban.
  • Relax and unwind on the beautiful beaches of Durban.
  • Water sports activities such as surfing, paddle boarding, or snorkeling.

Day 8 & 9

  • Explore Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park on safari drives.
  • Encounter a variety of wildlife, including the endangered rhino.
  • Learn about Zulu culture by attending a Zulu dance performance.
  • Boat safari on the St Lucia Estuary to observe hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species.

Day 10

  • Depart from Durban and fly back to Johannesburg.
  • Departure from Johannesburg for your onward journey.
city-hall-durban-shutterstock_399008605

City Hall, Durban © Shutterstock

Itinerary #3: South African wine & dine discovery

On this 10-day trip, you’ll dive into South Africa’s culinary scene, sampling local dishes and wines. 

You’ll arrive in Cape Town on day one to explore the vibrant V&A Waterfront before indulging in a dinner at Belthazar Restaurant, followed by a stunning sunset cruise around the harbor. 

Day two whisks you away to the picturesque towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek for a day of wine tasting at Spier Wine Farm and La Motte Wine Estate, capped off with dinner at The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français. 

Enjoy a seafood lunch at Mariner's Wharf in Hout Bay on day three, followed by a visit to Cape Point and dinner at Harbour House Restaurant in Kalk Bay. 

Day four offers a seasonal whale-watching tour and wine tasting in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, with dinner at Bientang's Cave Seafood Restaurant. 

On day five, you’ll venture to an ostrich farm in Oudtshoorn for a taste of local cuisine at Kalinka Restaurant, followed by days six and seven filled with lagoon cruises, exploration of Knysna Heads, and dining experiences at île de païn and 34 South – truly foodie's paradise! 

Day eight brings us back to the wine trails of Plettenberg Bay, followed by beachside dining at Enrico's Restaurant. And because no trip to Cape Town is complete without a visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, we'll spend day nine strolling through the lush greenery before a farewell dinner at The Test Kitchen, with the option to catch a concert at the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts – the perfect ending to our culinary escapade. Book this trip.

Traditional south african lamb chunks © Shutterstock

Traditional south African lamb chunks © Shutterstock

Grapes of Robola wine in a vineyard on the greek island of Kefalonia © Shutterstock

Don't miss the opportunity to visit vineyards on your South Africa itinerary © Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Check out this 10 days South Africa itinerary:

Day 1

  • Arrive in Cape Town.
  • Explore the vibrant V&A Waterfront.
  • Dinner at Belthazar Restaurant, try the Bobotie (traditional South African spiced minced meat dish).
  • Sunset cruise around the harbor for stunning views of the city skyline and Table Mountain.

Day 2

  • Stellenbosch wine tasting at Spier Wine Farm.
  • Franschhoek wine tasting at La Motte Wine Estate.
  • Dinner at The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français, enjoy a Cape Malay Curry.

Day 3

  • Seafood lunch at Mariner's Wharf in Hout Bay, indulge in some fresh Cape Malay Fish Curry.
  • Visit Cape Point and enjoy panoramic views.
  • Dinner at Harbour House Restaurant in Kalk Bay, try their signature seafood platter.
  • Take the funicular to the Cape Point lighthouse for breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and False Bay.

Day 4

  • Whale-watching tour (seasonal).
  • Visit Hemel-en-Aarde Valley for wine tasting.
  • Dinner at Bientang's Cave Seafood Restaurant overlooking Walker Bay, savor the Grilled Kingklip.

Day 5

  • Oudtshoorn ostrich farm visit at Highgate Ostrich Show Farm.
  • Local cuisine dinner at Kalinka Restaurant in Oudtshoorn, taste the Karoo Lamb Shank.

Days 6-7

  • Lagoon cruise.
  • Knysna Heads exploration.
  • Local dining experiences at île de païn and 34 South, try the Knysna Oysters and Bobotie Spring Rolls.

Day 8

  • Enjoy more wine tasting in Plettenberg Bay.
  • Beachside dining at Enrico's Restaurant, sample the Grilled Prawns with Peri-Peri Sauce.

Day 9

  • Visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
  • Farewell dinner at The Test Kitchen, one of Cape Town's top restaurants, delight in their Braised Springbok Shank.
  • Optional: Attend a concert or performance at the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts series (seasonal).

Day 10

  • Depart from Cape Town for your onward journey.
Kirstenbosch National park in cape town, South Africa © Shutterstock

Kirstenbosch National Park in Cape Town, South Africa © Shutterstock

Itinerary #4: Explore the North

Welcome to a deep dive into the northern reaches of South Africa with this 10-day itinerary. Kick things off in Johannesburg on day one with a jaunt to the lively Maboneng Precinct. On day two, you’ll delve into South Africa's history with visits to the iconic Union Buildings and the Voortrekker Monument, followed by a guided historical tour of Pretoria. 

Days three and four invite you to embark on safari drives in the Waterberg Biosphere, with visits to Marakele National Park for wildlife viewing and overnight stays in safari lodges. 

On day five, you’ll switch gears with a cultural heritage tour in Mapungubwe National Park. Get ready to uncover the area's fascinating history and pay a visit to the Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre for an educational deep dive. 

Days six and seven are dedicated to discovering Baobab tree sightings, exploring Venda art and culture, and interacting with local Venda communities. Day eight brings us to Polokwane Game Reserve, followed by a leisurely exploration of local markets for unique souvenirs and crafts.

Day nine offers a tour of Soweto, including a visit to the Mandela House for a glimpse into history and exploration of the vibrant street food scene and local delicacies at food markets. Conclude your journey on day ten as you depart from Johannesburg for your onward adventure.  Book this trip.

Waterberg-Plateau-namibia-shutterstock_1643936449

Waterberg Plateau © Shutterstock

Cape Fox cubs come up from the borrow to play in the sun in the Kgalagadi, South Africa © AdobeStock

Cape Fox cubs, Kgalagadi, South Africa © AdobeStock

Itinerary overview

Check out this 10 days South Africa itinerary:

Day 1

  • Arrive in Johannesburg.
  • Explore the vibrant Maboneng Precinct.
  • Guided street art tour to discover the colorful murals and graffiti in Maboneng.

Day 2

  • Visit the iconic Union Buildings.
  • Explore the Voortrekker Monument.
  • Enjoy lunch at a local cafe.
  • Guided historical tour of Pretoria to learn about its significance in South Africa's history.

Days 3-4

  • Safari drives in the Waterberg Biosphere.
  • Visit Marakele National Park for wildlife viewing.
  • Stay overnight in a safari lodge.

Day 5

  • Cultural heritage tour.
  • Wildlife viewing in Mapungubwe National Park.
  • Learn about the rich history of the area.
  • isit the Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre to learn about the ancient African kingdom that once thrived in the region.

Day 6 & 7

  • Discover Baobab tree sightings.
  • Explore Venda art and culture.
  • Interact with local Venda communities.
  • Enjoy traditional meals and storytelling.

Day 8

  • Visit Polokwane Game Reserve for wildlife encounters.
  • Explore local markets for souvenirs and crafts.
  • Traditional dinner.
  • Guided bushveld walk to spot wildlife and learn about the ecosystem of the Polokwane Game Reserve.

Day 9

  • Tour of Soweto.
  • Visit the Mandela House for a glimpse into history.
  • Explore the vibrant street food scene in Soweto and taste local delicacies at food markets..

Day 10

  • Depart from Johannesburg for your onward journey.
surfer-surfing-wave-durban-south-africa-shutterstock_221514811

Surfing in Durban, South Africa © Shutterstock

Itinerary #5: South African family fun safari

This 10-day South Africa itinerary gives you the chance to take your family on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Buckle up as you kick off day one in Johannesburg with a thrill-packed visit to Gold Reef City – an amusement park guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping for kids and adults alike.

Days two and three are all about family-friendly safaris in Pilanesberg National Park. Get ready to spot the Big Five and soak in the wild wonders of nature. Plus, a stay at Sun City Resort means endless fun with connected water parks and entertainment .

On day four, fly to Durban and visit Shaka Marine World, an exciting marine theme park featuring aquariums and water slides. Days five and six offer family hiking in the picturesque Drakensberg Mountains, a visit to Falcon Ridge Bird of Prey Centre for educational bird shows. 

Explore the charming Midlands Meander route on day seven, stopping at craft shops and artisanal food markets, and enjoy horse riding through scenic countryside. 

Days eight and nine are safari time again, this time in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park. You’ll also enjoy a boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary to see hippos and crocodiles and experience traditional Zulu culture with performances and demonstrations of traditional dance and music. 

Wrap up your unforgettable family getaway with a return to Johannesburg on day ten, where you'll have some free time to soak in the memories before saying goodbye. Book this trip.

Hobie Beach, Port Elisabeth, South Africa © Shutterstock

Hobie Beach, Port Elisabeth, South Africa © Shutterstock

South African lions © Shutterstock

South African lions © Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Check out this 10 days South Africa itinerary:

Day 1

  • Arrive in Johannesburg.
  • Visit the thrilling Gold Reef City amusement park.
  • Enjoy rides, entertainment, and dining options.

Days 2-3

  • Family-friendly safaris in Pilanesberg National Park.
  • Spot the Big Five and other wildlife.
  • Stay at Sun City Resort, and explore the connected water parks and entertainment.

Day 4

  • Flight to Durban.
  • Visit Shaka Marine World, an exciting marine theme park.
  • Explore aquariums and water slides.

Days 5-6

  • Family hiking in the picturesque Drakensberg Mountains.
  • Visit Falcon Ridge Bird of Prey Centre for educational bird shows.
  • Opportunity to see the explore the local nature.

Day 7

  • Explore the charming Midlands Meander route.
  • Stop at craft shops and artisanal food markets.
  • Horse riding through scenic countryside.

Days 8-9

  • Safari adventures in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park.
  • Spot a variety of wildlife, including rhinos and elephants.
  • Boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary and see hippos and crocodiles.
  • Traditional Zulu cultural experience with performances and demonstrations of traditional dance and music.

Day 10

  • Return to Johannesburg.
  • Free time.
  • Departure.

Ready to pack your bags? Book your trip now.

stairs-johannesburg-south-africa-shutterstock_1208264443

Don't miss Johannesburg on your 10 days South Africa itinerary © Shutterstock

Prepare your South Africa itinerary

Allow our team of local travel experts to curate your dream trip to South Africa. When you're ready to embark on your adventure, reach out to us, and we'll craft a personalized itinerary just for you.

Browse our pre-designed South Africa itineraries for ideas, and remember that all can be tailored to meet your specific needs. For more information, read our South Africa travel tips, discover some of the best things to do in South Africa, or check out our Rough Guide to South Africa

Dre Roelandt

written by
Dre Roelandt

updated 20.05.2024

Dre Roelandt is originally from the United States but lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Dre is a freelance writer and artist with a passion for travelling. They are an in-house Content Editor at Rough Guides.

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