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Tuesday
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Wednesday
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Thursday
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Friday
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Saturday
10am – 2pm

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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

South Africa Family Adventure Self-drive

By Helen Austin
Purchasing Manager for Alfred&

Take to the road on a free-wheeling journey across the stunning Cape region that offers fun for all the family. Along the way, you’ll explore unspoiled landscapes and meet the incredible local wildlife – from whales and big cats to tiny penguins and many others – on boat trips, on safari and even on the beach.

Places

Length
13 days
Best months to go
January to May, September to December
Guide price range
£3,880 - £4,975pp
including international flights

Top Experiences
Itinerary Highlights

Eastern Cape Game Reserves

Visit the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuaries at Shamwari Private Game Reserve

The rescued lions and leopards at our sanctuaries have grown up in appalling conditions of captivity...

Plettenberg Bay

Hog Hollow Country Lodge: turn off the Garden Route for a little piece of heaven

I was working overseas, in London, and I sat here looking at the forest and the river gorge and thought, ‘What am I doing in Peckham?’...

Eastern Cape Game Reserves

Kids on Safari at Shamwari Riverdene Family Lodge

We have a dedicated ‘Kids on Safari’ programme and each family has its own ranger and vehicle...

Day by day
Itinerary in detail

1

Arrival in Cape Town

On arrival in Cape Town, you’ll collect your hire car and make the 30-minute journey – easy thanks to the fact they drive on the left here, too – to your accommodation for the next three nights. With your serviced apartment perfectly located in the heart of the V&A Waterfront District, there’s no shortage of shops, cafés and things to do right on the doorstep. You could start with a panoramic view of the city from its ultra-modern observation wheel, before descending to ground level to check out the Two Oceans Aquarium, rounding it off with an optional sunset cruise on a vintage sailboat. Overnight at Waterfront Village Apartments.

Things to do:

2

Cape Town

Cape Town’s vibrant mix of cultures, a legacy of its position on what was once a major trade route, has left its mark on everything from its buildings to its culinary scene. Spend your first full day exploring this laidback coastal city however you choose, whether that means under your own steam or on an array of optional tours. Among the latter, the My Cape Town City Tour gives you a comprehensive overview of the local highlights or you could splurge on a helicopter tour of the Three Bays. When it comes to eating, back at V&A Waterfront there’s something for all tastes, from global snacks to grown-up seafood. Overnight at Waterfront Village Apartments.

Things to do:

3

Cape Town

After breakfast, you have another day to discover more of Cape Town’s natural and manmade delights. With your own set of wheels, you could go in search of the perfect beach for swimming, surfing or African penguin spotting or check out the best suburban green spaces and adventure parks. If you prefer to let someone else do the organising, some top choices include being whisked off to experience the dramatic scenery of the Cape Peninsula or getting an insight into South African history on a Walk to Freedom tour that takes you to townships and the infamous Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was a prisoner. Overnight at Waterfront Village Apartments.

Things to do:

4

Cape Town & Hermanus

In your own time, leave Cape Town and drive for around 2-hours along the Garden Route to Hermanus. Located on the Western Cape’s renowned Whale Coast, this charming former fishing village is a haven for marine life and wildlife experiences including spotting the Marine Big Five – sharks, whales, dolphins, penguins and seals. From June to December, southern right whales come so close to the shore that they can be viewed from land. For a relaxing afternoon, grab a picnic in the centre of town and stroll along the cliff path to secluded Voëlklip beach; it’s perfect for sunbathing, swimming and boogie boarding, and has its own changing rooms. Overnight at Abalone Guest Lodge.

Things to do:

5

Hermanus

After breakfast, explore the town on foot, while keeping an eye out for passing whales in the bay. If you’re lucky, you may even cross paths with the Hermanus Whale Crier. But for front-row wildlife viewing, hop aboard a 60-foot catamaran for an optional whale-watching tour around Walker Bay. This 400 square kilometre sheltered bay offers the warmer, calmer waters that southern right whales need for mating and calving. They generally spend around six months here before returning south to their feeding grounds. There’s also a good chance of spotting humpbacks and Bryde’s whales during the season, as well as other marine life. During the trip, a naturalist expedition guide will share their wide knowledge of whale behaviour with the guests. Overnight at Abalone Guest Lodge.

Things to do:

6

Hermanus & Plettenberg Bay

This morning, you’ll set off to Plettenberg Bay, which takes about 5-hours by the most direct route: inland at first, then along the coast beyond Mossel Bay where there are plenty of scenic viewpoints and roadside craft shops for much-needed pauses. Take an extended break in Knysna, known as South Africa’s ‘oyster capital’, where you have the option of joining an afternoon oyster-themed cruise in the mountain-framed lagoon or just chilling out over a late lunch overlooking the water. Another 30 minutes driving brings you to the holiday playground of Plettenberg Bay – ‘Plett’ to the locals – with its sweeping golden Blue Flag beaches and laidback vibe, your base for the next three nights. Overnight at Hog Hollow Country Lodge.

Things to do:

7

Plettenberg Bay

After yesterday’s road trip, you may decide to take things easy on your first full day in Plettenberg Bay. You could go in search of your dream stretch of soft, warm sand – there are ones with lagoon areas for small children or waves for the older and more energetic – for a few hours of R&R. You could linger over a lazy lunch courtesy of the excellent local food scene, which offers casual beachfront seafood grills and rustic cafés where even the pickiest young eaters will find something they love. And you could take to the water in a host of different ways, from renting a kayak for a gentle paddle or heading out into the bay, a protected marine reserve, on an optional eco-friendly dolphin-spotting trip. Overnight at Hog Hollow Country Lodge.

Things to do:

8

Plettenberg Bay

Today could be the perfect occasion to explore the Plett area’s natural beauties and get a spot of gentle exercise at the same time. A 30-minute drive from your hotel brings you to Robberg Nature Reserve, which is a World Heritage Site and a National Monument in one. Here, with the open ocean on one side and Plettenberg Bay on the other, you can stretch your legs on a range of scenic trails. You’re free to explore independently or opt for a guided two-hour tour that will open your eyes to sights you might miss on your own, from shadowy shipwrecks to fun facts about the local plants. Overnight at Hog Hollow Country Lodge.

Things to do:

9

Plettenberg Bay

Enjoy a leisurely al fresco breakfast at your hotel, soaking up the sights and sounds of the wooded private nature reserve in which it’s situated, while you make plans for your final day in Plettenberg Bay. If you can tear yourself away from the pool, and the mountain views, there are lots of nature walks right on the doorstep. Alternatively, the dramatic scenery of Tsitsikamma National Park, crisscrossed by walking trails, is just a short drive away. Here, you could follow paths used by migrating elephants on an optional guided Woodcutter Journey through the park’s lush indigenous forests, travelling in a specially designed off-road vehicle. Overnight at Hog Hollow Country Lodge.

Things to do:

10

Plettenberg Bay & Eastern Cape Game Reserve

Leaving Plettenberg Bay behind this morning, you’ll make the 3.5-hour drive to Shamwari Private Game Reserve for a three-night safari adventure. You should have time for a late brunch and a cool-down in the pool overlooking the waterhole before high tea, the prelude to your first late-afternoon game drive. Thanks to 25 years of diligent conservation work, Shamwari has a thriving population of everything from big cats to elephants and hippos, not to mention a wealth of spectacular birdlife. That means you’re all but certain to have lots to discuss over dinner, whether that’s indoors or under the stars. Overnight at Riverdene Family Lodge.

Things to do:

11

Eastern Cape Game Reserve

Your first of two game drives in the company of a skilled local ranger will give you an insight into the morning routines of many of the reserve’s wild inhabitants and is a perfect way to begin the day. After a hearty breakfast, you’ll pay a call at the Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary and Education Centre, where you’ll hear about some of the animals that they’ve rescued from captivity, and which remain in their care, and their goals for the future. After lunch, you could laze by the pool while the children check out the Kids Adventure Centre and other family-friendly facilities before heading out for the second game drive of the day as the air cools and the sun dips in the sky. Overnight at Riverdene Family Lodge.

Things to do:

12

Eastern Cape Game Reserve

You’ll have more opportunities to spot everything from lions, leopards and cheetahs to secretary birds on today’s early-morning and late-afternoon forays into the reserve’s five biomes, as well as learning about habitats, tracking and the history of the area from your expert ranger. In between, you’ll drop in at Shamwari’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, where injured and orphaned animals are cared for until they can be returned to the wild; it’s a fascinating insight into the challenges that they face in this modern world. All too soon, it will be time for a final delicious evening meal and a chance to trade not-to-be-forgotten wildlife encounters with your fellow guests. Overnight at Riverdene Family Lodge.

Things to do:

13

Eastern Cape Game Reserve & Departure

After breakfast, make the 1-hour drive to Port Elizabeth International Airport where you’ll return your hire car before flying to either Cape Town or Johannesburg for your return flight to the UK or onward travel.

Holiday Budget
Guide price information

Low Season

01 May - 31 Aug

£3,880

Mid Season

01 Apr - 30 Apr, 01 Sep - 31 Oct

£4,550

High Season

01 Jan - 31 Mar, 01 Nov - 31 Dec

£4,975

Family price

Consisting of 2 adults + 2 children. Please contact us for other family group sizes.

£3,180

Alfred & Helen Austin

Helen was fascinated by travel from an early age, avidly watching holiday programmes and dreaming of future travel plans. Fantasy became reality when she joined Kuoni just over 20 years ago, and she has continued to explore ever since. She fell in love with Africa on her first safari experience in Zambia, watching an elephant herd meander across a dusty track as the sun set dramatically. Subsequent trips to South Africa, Namibia, and Kenya have further fuelled her passion for the wildlife, diverse cultures, and beautiful landscapes of her favourite continent.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Andy, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656