Tailor-make Your Own Luxury Self-Drive Holiday in South Africa
South Africa offers untold options for creating a bespoke self-drive itinerary that’s sure to delight. In fact, because there are so many combinations of city, coast, safari and wide open spaces that you can experience, it’s difficult to know where to start. Most holidaymakers planning a self-drive trip to South Africa will aim to commence their journey in Cape Town with a short stay in the city for a couple of nights. From there, decisions on the rest of the adventure can become endless. We’ve highlighted below a suggested trip that brings together the Western Cape, the Winelands, Garden Route and the best of the Eastern Cape’s coast in and around Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and added some recommended stays to complete your inspiration.
Coastal Cape Town rewards visitors with a gorgeous setting, sweeping beaches and a rich heritage. Stroll the V&A Waterfront or head down to Camps Bay for the relaxed cafe culture before heading out to Boulders Beach to join the colony of penguins as they dip in and out of the sea.
Few places in the world can claim to be quite as idyllic as the Cape Winelands. This beautiful region of wooded hillsides, river valleys, dramatic mountain passes and interlocking vineyards also boasts Michelin starred dining and, of course, some of the world’s most sought after wine. Explore the French colonial architecture of affluent towns of Franschhoek and Paarl with their boutiques, galleries and award winning cafes and restaurants. Close by is Stellenbosch, an area famed for its wine and grape producers and tasting rooms.
Recommended Stay: Pearl Valley Hotel
CAPE WINELANDS, PAARL
This luxury hotel accommodation and golf course in Paarl is situated on the award-winning Val de Vie Estate between Franschhoek and Paarl in the Cape Winelands, with tranquil surroundings creating an environment where guests can truly “Live. Play. Relax”. The hotel is ideal for holidays during any season of the year. The hotel consists of 64 one-bedroom suites and 6 two-bedroom suites. The high standards and ultimate comfort of your luxury hotel suite will prove to be ideal for relaxation and rejuvenation.
South Africa’s famed Garden Route will fulfill all your notions of discovery and adventure on Africa’s southern coast. Dramatic coastal scenery, strange and beautiful wild flowers, close encounters with exotic wildlife and some of the finest cuisine in the world. Spend time in Hermanus where seasonal whale watching is the big draw but you can also enjoy carefree coastal walks and horse riding on Pearly Beach. Inland is Oudtshoorn, famous for its ostrich farming, while along the coast you will find quaint towns and gorgeous boutique hotels in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Complete the leg of your Garden Route road trip with a stay in Gqeberha from where you can easily add on a safari to complete your African adventure.
Recommended Stay: Mantis No5
Boutique Art Hotel
STYLISH STAY, GQEBERHA
No5 is an immaculately restored boutique art-deco hotel in Gqeberha, South Africa. The property is nestled in the affluent Summerstrand suburb, away from the hustle and bustle, yet an easy stroll to the ocean which is less than 150 metres away. No5 is filled with gems – a privately-owned art collection and world-class facilities all hand-selected for the enjoyment of leisure travellers.
From the seaport of Gqeberha, next we recommend you head further east to enjoy a few days on a magnificent safari.
The country’s subtropical region of the Eastern Cape is ideal for supporting the exciting Big Five wildlife we all love and revere. There are numerous private game reserves offering an array of accommodation from tented camps to lodges and each offers two game drives a day so you can witness the animals at first light and then again later in the day as afternoon turns to dusk. During the day, why not relax by the pool, read-up on the local flora and fauna or just kick back with a good book and enjoy the serenity?
Recommended Stay: Mantis
SAFARI, EASTERN CAPE
This 7-suite wildlife safari lodge and the new exclusive use Founders Railway Carriage is permanently stationed on a hill on the reserve. It’s located in the Eastern Cape, just one hour from Gqeberha. Offering luxurious hospitality focused on tailored service, Founders offers a luxurious safari experience with a flair of romance for couples, and an intimate social environment for families and friends travelling together.
Following the excitement of an incredible safari, slow the tempo a little on the final leg of your South African journey and witness more of the Eastern Cape’s coast.
Along the bay from Gqeberha is the renowned kiteboarding and fishing destination of Cannon Rocks which boasts a nature trail into the Greater Addo park. Within the region, see the lovely beach village of Kasouga and the many gorgeous golden sand beaches that surround the town of Port Alfred.
If you do however wish to keep the blood pumping, why not witness the extremely wild and rugged landscape of craggy cliffs, desolate beaches and secluded bays of the Wild Coast Region that is located between East London and KwaZulu-Natal.
Recommended Stay: Oceana Beach
& Wildlife Reserve
BEACH & BUSH, PORT ALFRED
One of the few places in Africa where you can combine beach, bush and wildlife in one experience. Offering a variety of suite options; world-class, seasonal dining, and a sublime wellness centre; Oceana feels more like a boutique hotel in the bush. This is a unique experience that is easily enjoyed before or after taking in a Big Five safari. With a 13km stretch of private beach in Port Alfred – 2 hours east of Gqeberha, and an array of wildlife species such as giraffe, zebra, sable and black impala – the Oceana experience is distinctly South African.
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