38 days in South Africa, Botswana & Namibia Itinerary

38 days in South Africa, Botswana & Namibia Itinerary

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1
Johannesburg, South Africa
— 4 nights
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2
Cape Town, South Africa
— 7 nights
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3
Knysna, South Africa
— 4 nights
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4
Durban, South Africa
— 4 nights
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5
Gaborone, Botswana
— 3 nights
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6
Ngamiland East, Botswana
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Chobe National Park, Botswana
— 2 nights
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8
Windhoek, Namibia
— 3 nights
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9
Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia
— 3 nights
Drive
10
Swakopmund, Namibia
— 5 nights
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Johannesburg, South Africa

— 4 nights

City of Light

Founded when gold was discovered in the area in the late 19th century, Johannesburg quickly grew into a bustling metropolis, South Africa's largest city and the region's economic hub.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Johannesburg: Pretoria (Union Buildings & National Library of South Africa) and Ukutula Conservation Center (in Brits). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Apartheid Museum, try your luck at Montecasino, contemplate the long history of Mandela House, and laugh and play at Gold Reef City.

To see photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Johannesburg trip itinerary planner.

Zurich, Switzerland to Johannesburg is an approximately 14-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Central European Standard Time to South Africa Standard Time is 1 hour. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Zurich in April: high temperatures in Johannesburg hover around 28°C and lows are around 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to Cape Town.

Things to do in Johannesburg

Museums · Casinos · Fun & Games · Theme Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Apr 20 — 24:

Cape Town, South Africa

— 7 nights

Mother City

Sweeping beaches, towering hilltops, and picturesque vineyards adorn the landscape of Cape Town, dominated by the imposing Table Mountain.
Cape Town is known for nature, beaches, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take some stellar pictures from Cape Point, take a leisurely stroll along Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Lion's Head, and admire all the interesting features of Robben Island Museum.

To see maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Cape Town trip planner.

Fly from Johannesburg to Cape Town in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. April in Cape Town sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 14°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) so you can catch the flight to Knysna.

Things to do in Cape Town

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature
Find places to stay Apr 24 — May 1:

Knysna, South Africa

— 4 nights
Enshrouded in lush indigenous forest and surrounding a scenic lagoon of the same name, the Garden Route town of Knysna has plenty to offer.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Knysna: Cango Caves (in Oudtshoorn), Birds of Eden (in The Crags) and Plettenberg Bay (St. Christopher Catholic Church & Robberg Nature Reserve). The adventure continues: take in the views from Suspension Bridge, stroll through Knysna Elephant Park, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Garden Route National Park, and hike along The Dolphin Trail.

To find ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Knysna tour builder app.

You can fly from Cape Town to Knysna in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In May, daytime highs in Knysna are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to catch the flight to Durban.

Things to do in Knysna

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 1 — 5:

Durban, South Africa

— 4 nights

Surf City

Sunny weather and golden beaches await you on a vacation in Durban, a busy port city on the Indian Ocean known for its outdoorsy atmosphere.
Explore Durban's surroundings by going to KartingKZN Galleria (in Amanzimtoti) and Mac Nicol's Caravan Park (in Sihangwane). There's still lots to do: meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, cool off at uShaka Marine World, take in nature's colorful creations at Durban Botanic Gardens, and look for gifts at Awesome Africa.

For traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our Durban trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by flight from Knysna to Durban takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Knysna in May, with highs in Durban at 31°C and lows at 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) to allow time to fly to Gaborone.

Things to do in Durban

Parks · Outdoors · Theme Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 5 — 9:

Gaborone, Botswana

— 3 nights
Planned as the capital after Botswana gained independence in the 1960s, Gaborone quickly transformed into a bustling city and the country's commercial center.
Step out of Gaborone to go to Moremi Game Reserve and see Khwai Concession, which is approximately 9 hours away. And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at ISKCON Gaborone (Krishna Balaram Palace), browse the different shops at Sebele Centre, and pause for some serene contemplation at Trinity Church.

To see photos, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read Gaborone day trip planning tool.

Fly from Durban to Gaborone in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Durban in May: highs in Gaborone hover around 24°C, while lows dip to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Tue) so you can fly to Ngamiland East.

Things to do in Gaborone

Historic Sites · Shopping · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 9 — 12:

Ngamiland East, Botswana

— 2 nights
Ngamiland East, a sub-district of Botswana's North-East District, is all about the wildlife and safaris.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Wed): stroll through NG/32 Okavango Kopano Mokoro Community Trust. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Thu): stroll through Moremi Wildlife Reserve.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Ngamiland East day trip planning tool.

Fly from Gaborone to Ngamiland East in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. While traveling from Gaborone, expect a bit warmer days and slightly colder nights in Ngamiland East, ranging from highs of 33°C to lows of 14°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can travel to Chobe National Park.

Things to do in Ngamiland East

Parks · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 12 — 14:

Chobe National Park, Botswana

— 2 nights
A trip to Chobe National Park awakens the naturalist in every traveler and opens numerous possibilities for adventure.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Fri): stroll through Serondela Reserve and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Nogatsaa and Tchinga. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Sat): stroll around Seboba Nature and Recreational Park and then tour the pleasant surroundings at CARACAL Biodiversity Center.

For reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Chobe National Park online road trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Ngamiland East to Chobe National Park with the Route module. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) to allow time to fly to Windhoek.

Things to do in Chobe National Park

Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay May 14 — 16:

Windhoek, Namibia

— 3 nights
Located in the heart of the country, Namibia's capital city Windhoek receives a constant influx of tourists, in part because of its international airport.
Windhoek is known for museums, parks, and shopping. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour, stroll through Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve, tee off at Omeya Golf and Residential Oasis, and explore the galleries of Trans-Namib Railroad Museum.

For maps, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read Windhoek day trip planning site.

Fly from Chobe National Park to Windhoek in 4 hours. Traveling from Chobe National Park to Windhoek, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In May in Windhoek, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) to allow time to fly to Namib-Naukluft Park.

Things to do in Windhoek

Wildlife · Outdoors · Parks · Tours
Find places to stay May 16 — 19:

Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia

— 3 nights
One of the world's largest nature and game reserves, the vast Namib-Naukluft Park boasts sweeping desert and mountain landscapes, a diverse range of animal life, and the surreal Sossusvlei, a scenic saltpan sprinkled with towering red sand dunes and petrified acacia trees.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Namib-Naukluft Park: Gobabeb (Dorob National Park & Gobabeb Desert Research Station). There's more to do: don't miss a visit to Spreetshoogte Pass and admire all the interesting features of Kuiseb Pass.

For more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read Namib-Naukluft Park travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Windhoek to Namib-Naukluft Park takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In May, daily temperatures in Namib-Naukluft Park can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 14°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) so you can travel to Swakopmund.

Things to do in Namib-Naukluft Park

Nature · Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 19 — 22:

Swakopmund, Namibia

— 5 nights
Nestled on Namibia's Atlantic coast and surrounded by the sand dunes of the vast Namib Desert, the resort town of Swakopmund enchants visitors with its distinct German colonial architecture and pleasant climate.
Get out of town with these interesting Swakopmund side-trips: Spitzkoppe (in Damaraland) and Walvis Bay (Off-Road Tours & Kayaking & Canoeing). There's still lots to do: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, admire the striking features of Hohenzollernhaus, and stroll around Long Beach Leisure Park.

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Swakopmund trip planner.

You can drive from Namib-Naukluft Park to Swakopmund in 1.5 hours. In May in Swakopmund, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 14°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Swakopmund

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay May 22 — 27:

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.

Botswana travel guide

3.7
Nature & Parks · Safaris · Nature & Wildlife Tours
Sparsely populated Botswana possesses some of the most unadulterated wilderness and animal-rich areas in Africa. Largely unfenced national parks allow the world's largest population of elephants to roam freely--these protected areas also shelter varied birdlife and many endangered and rare mammal species. Tourism in Botswana largely caters to visitors seeking luxury lodges and exclusive safari experiences, but expeditions into traditional villages are also strongly recommended. The preserved cultures of these agricultural settlements show a link between man and nature formed over centuries, a relationship that many visitors to Botswana come to reconsider in their own lives.

Namibia travel guide

4.1
Nature & Parks · Deserts · Landmarks
Land of the Brave
Since gaining independence from South Africa in 1990, Namibia has sought to rival its neighbor in terms of tourist appeal. While it hasn't yet gotten up to the numbers of South Africa, Namibia tourism sector has plenty to work with. The desert and mountainous areas represent a real source of appeal, with species of classic African game animals, such as desert lions, zebras, and elephants real highlights of safaris through the national parks. Namibians are rightly proud of their country, and the myriad traditional villages, colonial German towns, and lively urban centers all deserve your attention.