18 days in South Africa Itinerary

18 days in South Africa Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Africa attractions planner

Make it your trip
Fly to King Shaka International Airport, Drive to St Lucia
1
St Lucia
— 2 nights
Fly
2
Nelspruit
— 2 nights
Fly
3
Plettenberg Bay
— 3 nights
Fly
4
Hermanus
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Cape Town
— 6 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
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St Lucia

— 2 nights
The small coastal town of St Lucia provides travelers with a base for exploring the area's wetlands park, a World Heritage Site of lakes and rich, diverse wildlife.
On the 18th (Sat), tour the pleasant surroundings at Crocodile Centre St Lucia, then contemplate the waterfront views at Saint Lucia Estuary, and then see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Hluhluwe - iMfolozi Park Wilderness Area and then stroll through iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

To find reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the St Lucia travel website.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands to St Lucia is an approximately 20-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time (CET) to South Africa Standard Time (SAST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can fly to Nelspruit.

Things to do in St Lucia

Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:

Nelspruit

— 2 nights

Gateway to the Lowveld

Nestled on the banks of the Crocodile River, Nelspruit provides visitors with a convenient base point boasting two airports and an enviable location on the road between Johannesburg and the Mozambican border.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): admire the natural beauty at Lowveld National Botanical Garden, see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Eden Sanctuary. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the sheer force of Montrose Falls, then explore the fascinating underground world of Sudwala Caves, and then admire the sheer force of Lone Creek Falls.

To see where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Nelspruit trip itinerary planning tool.

You can fly from St Lucia to Nelspruit in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to fly to Plettenberg Bay.

Things to do in Nelspruit

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:

Plettenberg Bay

— 3 nights
As one of South Africa's most popular beach destinations, the resort town of Plettenberg Bay comes to life in December and January, when the holiday homes fill up with domestic tourists and foreigner visitors.
Escape the urban bustle at Garden Route National Park and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Featherbed Nature Reserve and Brenton on Sea. Step out of Plettenberg Bay to go to Wilderness and see Wilderness Beach, which is approximately 1h 10 min away. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Radical Raptors and contemplate the waterfront views at Knysna Lagoon.

To see ratings, photos, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Plettenberg Bay online trip builder.

You can fly from Nelspruit to Plettenberg Bay in 5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Nelspruit in December, expect nights in Plettenberg Bay to be about the same, around 19°C, while days are slightly colder, around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) to allow time to fly to Hermanus.

Things to do in Plettenberg Bay

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 21 — 24:

Hermanus

— 4 nights
Renowned as a premier whale-watching destination, Hermanus grew from a quaint fishing village nestled on Walker Bay.
Step off the beaten path and head to Cape Agulhas - Southernmost Tip of Africa and Panthera Africa - Big Cat Sanctuary. Cape Agulhas Lighthouse and Drostdy Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Hermanus: Franschhoek Pass (in Franschhoek) and Wine Boutique on the Shipwreck Coast (in L'Agulhas). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Voelklip Beach, look for gifts at Funky Vibes, go for a walk through Hermanus Cliff Path, and stroll through Grotto Beach.

To see traveler tips, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Hermanus route maker tool.

Traveling by flight from Plettenberg Bay to Hermanus takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. December in Hermanus sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 18°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can drive to Cape Town.

Things to do in Hermanus

Outdoors · Parks · Historic Sites · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 24 — 28:

Cape Town

— 6 nights

Mother City

Sweeping beaches, towering hilltops, and picturesque vineyards adorn the landscape of Cape Town, dominated by the imposing Table Mountain.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Franschhoek Motor Museum and Fairview Wine and Cheese. Explore hidden gems such as Wine Flies Wine Tours - Day Tours and Eikehof. Explore Cape Town's surroundings by going to !Khwa ttu (in Yzerfontein), West Coast National Park (in West Coast National Park) and Kraalbaai Beach/Lagoon (in Langebaan). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Boulders Beach Penguin Colony, enjoy the sand and surf at Clifton Beaches, look for all kinds of wild species at Platteklip Gorge, and step off the mainland to explore Robben Island Museum.

To see reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Cape Town driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Hermanus to Cape Town takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. In December, daytime highs in Cape Town are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in Cape Town

Parks · Outdoors · Wineries · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 3:

South Africa travel guide

4.3
Nature & Parks · Wineries & Vineyards · Mountains
Rainbow Nation
The landscapes of South Africa match its people in terms of diversity, richness, and vitality. From desert lands and coastlines, to the famous nature reserves sheltering the "Big Five" game animals, the country has natural charm in spades. The main cities provide a wealth of bars, clubs, shopping districts, and entertainment options to please the most demanding visitors, while traditional life can still be admired and respected in a collection of villages with beehive-style huts and an age-old cultural heritage. When in need of a minute to digest all that's happened during your trip to South Africa, sit down to a braai (traditional barbecue), and a bottle of wine made at one of the country's thriving vineyards.