South Africa,  Itineraries

How to visit South Africa in 10 days: the complete itinerary

South Africa in 10 days allows you to visit all the must-see sites (except the Kruger National Park). The best itinerary to visit South Africa in 10 days keep the base of our circuit to visit Cape Town and its region in 1 week, but adds the magnificent garden route (also called Garden Route) very popular with locals. You can swim in the warm water of Plettenberg Bay lagoon, kayak up the Wilderness River or surf the legendary Jeffreys Bay spot. If you regret not having time to visit the Kruger National Park north of Johannesburg, rest assured because you will be able to go on the only safari in Cape Province which hosts the Big 5: Addo Elephant Park. This 10 day South Africa tour is the ideal duration for those who want to see all the sites not to be missed without compromising on safaris.

If you are still unsure of the length of your stay, you can always consult our article: How many days does it take to visit South Africa?

Why take a 10-day tour of South Africa?

South Africa is THE African country to visit. It offers extremely varied landscapes (sea, mountains, metropolises, desert, savannah, etc.), a fascinating history to discover, safaris counting among the best in the world and delicious gastronomy. On the practical side, the country is stable, it is one of the most developed in Africa, malaria is non-existent and if you stay in tourist areas it is safe. So why deny it? With family, as a couple or with friends, you will enjoy this personalised tour 10 days in South Africa.

Take a tour of South Africa: The best route to visit South Africa in 10 days

Safety on your 10-day itinerary in South Africa

Insecurity in South Africa is not a myth but tourists are not affected if they do not venture alone in risky areas like townships or if they do not walk in the evening. deserted alleys. By staying on the beaten track and using common sense, you will never be attacked. Especially if you are staying in Cape Province as is the case on this tour (it is the safest part of South Africa)! Our feeling is that we often feel more in danger in certain streets of Paris than in this country! If, however, you want to leave with peace of mind, we recommend that you take out insurance with World Nomads. They are leaders in travel insurance and offer very good prices for full coverage (in addition to the medical / accident / sports aspect, they also provide many other things such as lost luggage or passports, cancellation of travel, etc.).

Summary of the itinerary "visit South Africa in 10 days"

NB: This 10-day itinerary in South Africa can be done as a road trip by sleeping in different places at each stage or you can also choose to come back to sleep in Cape Town from Day 1 to Day 4 and thus avoid packing your bags for the first four days. In view of short distances, both options are feasible. Then the circuit will take you on the Garden Route to a 900 km road trip!

(Click in the map below on 'show map' then on the right arrow to view your journey step by step.)

How many days should you plan to make a route in South Africa?

As we said, this 10 day itinerary in South Africa is the perfect duration to go around the essential sites without compromising on safaris. It's the ideal circuit to explore the Cape Province and the Garden Route, ending with Addo Elephant Park. However, if you absolutely want to go on a Kruger National Park safari, we recommend that you leave for at least 15 days. Our 15-day itinerary in South Africa takes you to the North of the country to visit Johannesburg, Soweto, the Blyde River Canyon and the famous Kruger Park. As for travelers who wish to make the complete tour of the country, you will need between 3 weeks and 1 month minimum (we have also written articles on the best 3 week tours in South Africa and those of 1 months). If road trips are not for you, then your best bet is to stay a week in Cape Town to visit the essentials in relaxation mode.

When to go to South Africa and how many days? The best itinerary to visit South Africa in 10 days

When to go for a 10-day itinerary in South Africa?

Concerning the best time to go on a 10 day itinerary in South Africa, summer is from December to March and the tourist season from mid-December to the end of February. So leaving in November or March seems to us a good compromise to have the fewest possible travelers but always the sun. Those are the equivalents of June and September in France. July and August are the least touristy periods but it is winter so bring warm clothes. Even if it is never very cold, the Cape Province is often windy so a waistcoat and a windbreaker are essential.

Our favorites during this 10-day itinerary in South Africa

  • Cape Town is the most beautiful city in South Africa and after staying there it will undoubtedly fit into your list of the most beautiful cities in the world. We would gladly stay there longer as there is so much to explore. Enclosed between the Atlantic and Table Mountain, Cape Town is surrounded by breathtaking nature. You can enjoy the mountains in the morning, the ocean in the afternoon and dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant with only a 15-minute drive during the day!
  • Our favorite excursion on this 10-day itinerary in South Africa will remain the discovery of the Cape Peninsula: Chapman's Peak Drive is one of the 5 most beautiful roads in the world, the Cape of Good Hope with its lighthouse on the cliffs is legendary and the penguin colony of Boulders beach near Simon's Town is right chewable.
  • What we preferred during our road trip on the Garden Route was Plettenberg Bay. You absolutely have to hike to the Robberg National Park peninsula! In addition, we had the chance to admire phosphorescent phytoplankton in the lagoon. It was magical.
  • Finally, our only regret was to have spent only one day in the wine region because there are a lot of great areas to visit. Being a lover of good bottles, we could easily spend the 10 days there!
Our favorites on this 10-day itinerary in South Africa: view of Table Mountain on Cape Town

What we liked least about this 10 days itinerary in South Africa

The 10 days of this itinerary in South Africa were perfect. The only thing that can be said is that between Knysna, Wilderness and Plettenberg Bay, Plettenberg Bay wins hands down. This was our favorite stop on the Garden Route. You can remove the Wilderness hitchhiking without remorse if you want to spend more time elsewhere. We suggest adding a day of your choice:

  • in Cape Town to enjoy all the activities the city has to offer such as the superb Lion's Head hike, seal diving, paragliding, dune snowboarding, Ciftons beaches, etc ... (see our article on the subject)
  • on the South African wine route to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to visit the many vineyards of the region and treat yourself to an exceptional night in a charming hotel surrounded by vineyards (see our article on these magnificent accommodations).
  • to Hermanus for a better chance of going to see white sharks.
  • to Addo Elephant Park to spend 2 days on a safari in the park and have more chance of seeing all the animals or to have fun in a private reserve in the most beautiful safari lodge in the region. (this is the option we recommend)
The best route to visit South Africa in 10 days: Clifton Beach in Cape Town

Also, if jumping from the highest bungee jump in the world (Guinness Record approved) doesn't appeal to you then we recommend that you skip DAY 9 “The best stops between Plettenberg Bay and Addo Elephant Parc”. Best to leave Plettenberg Bay in the late afternoon of DAY 8 and make the 3 hour drive to Addo Elephant Park to sleep there and start the DAY 10 safari in the reserve early the next day.

The best route to visit South Africa in 10 days: a group of elephants at Addo Elephant Park

The budget for this 10-day itinerary in South Africa

By being careful, we can have a wonderful trip of 10 days in South Africa for a budget of 875 € per person (flights excluded) or less than 88 € per day (see details of expenses below). The most expensive is the accommodation but if you book all the hotels that we recommend first in this article, then you will only pay around 600 € for 10 nights in double rooms in B&B, or on average 60 € per night. By sharing the room with your partner, it brings you back the night to 30 € per person. We strongly advise you to choose this option because quality guesthouses (tested and approved by us) at € 30 per night on average per person, it's unbeatable!

NB: Be careful though to book well in advance because during the high season these tips are often full ...

Breakdown of expenses for this 10-day itinerary in South Africa

To note :

  • Car and gas rental costs were cut in half because there were two of us. If you are 3 or 4, the budget will be even smaller.
  • We ate every day for lunch and dinner in classic restaurants (nothing gourmet but it was always very good). Alcohol was not taken into account.
  • The 'activities' budget includes entry to national parks, diving with white sharks, the ferry to Robben Island, bungee jumping, the Addo Elephant Park self-drive safari, etc. In short, we did not deprive ourselves.
  • The 'Housing' budget has been calculated according to all accommodation recommended first in this 10-day itinerary in South Africa. These are always double rooms in hotels or quality B & Bs where we have already booked. The other accommodations recommended by following the links give you other options at different prices (from hostel to luxury hotel) and they are recommended either by us or by friends who have stayed there. You can easily reduce your budget to 70 € per day and per person if you decide to book in the youth hostels we recommend by following these links (they all offer double, family and dorm rooms).
  • This budget does not take into account the return flight to Cape Town to give you an idea of ​​the budget per day to be expected on site. A flight booked in advance in March or November costs around € 550 round trip. To book a ticket at the best price, it is best to find out about the skyscanner comparator. The internal flight Elizabeth Port-Cape Town to book in advance is included in our budget. At that price, the 10 days in South Africa following this itinerary will cost you € 1425 per person (550 € of flights + 875 € on site)!
  • This budget excludes souvenirs and shopping.
10 DAY ROUTE BUDGET IN SOUTH AFRICA
Per person in euros
CAR (10 days shared by 2)€65
ESSENCE€50
MEAL€130
ACTIVITIES€250
HOUSING€300
INTERNAL FLIGHT Port Elizabeth-Cape Town€80
TOTAL€875

Our tips for renting a car on this 10-day tour of South Africa

  • It is best to have your rental car to do this. 10 day itinerary in South Africa and be free of these movements. However, you can also do all the excursions offered in this circuit from Cape Town without having to rent a car thanks to the many tour operators that take you on the wine route, to the Cape of Good Hope or even to Hermanus and thanks to the Baz Bus that takes you from youth hostel to youth hostel along the Garden Route. For each stage of the Garden Route, find the youth hostel served by the Baz Bus that we recommend in the link on other accommodation options at the end of the paragraph.
  • Ce 10 day road trip in South Africa is a circuit that requires rent a car in Cape Town and return it to Port Elizabeth. Most rental agencies offer it with a small supplement except for Budget Car which does it for free.
  • Don't forget to take your international license. It is free on request at the prefecture.
  • Here, we drive on the left like the English do!

Tip: Hire a car in South Africa at the best price with this car rental comparator.

The best 10 day itinerary in South Africa day by day

You will find below the best 10 day itinerary in South Africa day by day with all essential sites to visit and the best activities to do absolutely. For each step, you will find links to access all additional information : the journey times to plan per day, the best providers for the excursions not to be missed, the advice to know and especially a list of the best hotels, guesthouses and youth hostels at every stage.

DAY 1: Discover the most beautiful neighborhoods of Cape Town in South Africa

Stroll through the Cape Town's most beautiful neighborhoods: Bo-Kaap, Camps Bay, Sea Point, Green point and Waterfront. In the evening, enjoy the sunset above Table Mountain and end the day on the busy street of Kloof Street.

To stay, La Rose Bed & Breakfast is an excellent central B&B.

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For more details :

The best itinerary to visit South Africa in 10 days: view of Cape Town

DAY 2: The essential Cape Town excursions in South Africa

Besides Table Mountain, you should definitely visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and prison on Robben Island where Mandela was locked up. When you return from the ferry, you can go shopping at the craft market Water Shed. You will sleep again at La Rose Bed & Breakfast.

For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa in 10 days: the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

DAY 3: On the way to the Cape of Good Hope, at the tip of South Africa

This 10 day tour in South Africa continues with the tour of the Cape Peninsula which includes the legendary Chapman's Peak route, the famous Cape of Good Hope and finally the penguin colony of Boulders National Park.

You will end the day at Muizenberg where you will spend the night at The Muize.

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If complete, our second crush is Admiralty B&B.

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You can also decide to return to Cape Town in less than 30 min and sleep again at La Rose Bed & Breakfast or in another of the recommended accommodation.

For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa in 10 days: the Cape of Good Hope

DAY 4: Discover the magnificent South African wine route

Today you can pet cheetahs in a sanctuary but you will especially do tastings in the best vineyards of Stellenbosch and de Franschhoek on the wine route of South Africa.

In the evening, the ideal is to sleep on site at theEendracht Hotel.

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But if the next day you go to Hermanus early for a whale-watching cruise or a cage dive with white sharks, then we strongly advise you to make the 1 hour journey at the end of the afternoon and sleep on the spot at 6 Stemmet Lodge, which is for us the best value for money in town.

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For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa in 10 days: the Cape wine route to Stellenbosch

DAY 5: Spot whales and cage dive with white sharks in Hermanus

Hermanus is THE city to see Whales et cage diving with white sharks. Don't miss it! (You don't need to know how to dive!)

After an emotional day, you will spend the night on the Garden Route at the inexpensive B&B The Old Trading Post.

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Warning: read our detailed itinerary below to choose a service provider in Hermanus but also to get an idea of ​​the distances because your road trip on the garden route begins now.

For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa in 10 days: cage diving with white sharks in Hermanus

DAY 6: Best Wilderness Park Activities on South Africa's Garden Route

The 10-day itinerary in South Africa continue on the garden route with a first stop at the parc du Wilderness where you can go up the river by kayak to the magnificent waterfall. At the end of the day, go to Plettenberg Bay via Knysna.

The B&B 113 on Robberg is your best choice for sleeping near the city center.

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For more details :

The best itinerary to visit South Africa in 10 days: kayaking in wilderness on the garden route

DAY 7: Visit of Plettenberg Bay and walk in Robberg National Park

Make it the most beautiful hike of the whole garden route at Robberg national park de Plettenberg Bay. At the end of the afternoon, stroll around town until dinner because you sleep again at the B&B of 113 on Robberg.

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The best itinerary to visit South Africa in 10 days: Plettenberg Bay and walk in the Robberg national park on the garden route

DAY 8: Enjoy the best activities Plettenberg Bay has to offer

There is so much to do in Plettenberg Bay that one more day seems obligatory to us. Today do the activities you prefer: relaxation, surfing, kayaking, canyoning, walking in the forest,… There is even a monkey park for children! In the evening, try to see the phosphorescent plankton in the lagoon before returning to the B&B in 113 on Robberg.

For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa in 10 days: Plettenberg Bay and its monkey park

DAY 9: The best stops between Plettenberg Bay and Addo Elephant Park

Le 10 day road trip continue with the program the highest bungee jump in the world at Bloukrans Bridge and the super tubes of the surf spot of Jeffreys bay to finish at Addo Elephant park where you will spend the night.

We recommend the B&B Zuurberg Mountain Village which offers a magnificent view of the reserve.

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The best route to visit South Africa in 10 days: bungee jumping from the Bloukrans Bridge on the garden route

DAY 10: Go on a safari in Addo Elephant Park at the end of the Garden Route

Take a self-drive day safari in the reserveAddo Elephant Park at the end of the garden route. When the doors of the reserve close at 18 p.m., turn around to sleep at Port Elizabeth.

We advise you Sir Roys At The Sea to be close to restaurants;

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Or to Treetops Guesthouse to be close to the airport;

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Or at the youth hostel Lungile Backpackers if you take the Baz Bus.

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For more details :

The best itinerary to visit South Africa in 10 days: safari at Addo Elephant park on the garden route

The next day, you will fly from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town to return to France or elsewhere.

(Book your flight from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town at the best price on Skyscanner comparator)

The best route to visit South Africa in 10 days: return flight from Port Elizabeth

We hope this 10-day itinerary in Cape Province and on the garden route you will like it as much as we liked. He goes around unmissable sights of South Africa and ends in apotheosis in the magnificent Addo Elephant Park reserve!

Find out more about South Africa

If you want to extend or shorten your tour, we have also written articles on the best routes for visit South Africa in 1 month , 3 weeks, 2 weeks, 17 days ou 7 days.

In addition, you will find links below that may interest you about South Africa:

Itinéterre is a travel blog written by a team of expatriates and locals. They share their experiences so that you can enjoy the best tours in their countries. Their advice will help you plan your vacation easily as if a local is accompanying you!