Ultimate South Africa Self Drive • Freedom Destinations
Rhino, Kruger National Park
Blyde River Canyon, South Africa
Lions, Kruger National Park
Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Town
Elephants in Kruger National Park

Ultimate South Africa

21 day Self Drive Holiday - from £1519

With flights from £2269

Embark on the ultimate South African road trip from Johannesburg to Kruger, eSwatini and Durban, then along the Garden Route to Cape Town.


  • Go in search of the ‘Big 5’ in Kruger and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi
  • Enjoy cultural experiences in eSwatini and Zululand
  • Marvel at the great herds of Addo Elephant National Park
  • Drive over the Outeniqua Pass and through the Winelands
  • Stay by the V&A Waterfront in the heart of Cape Town

Your Self Drive Holiday Includes:

  • 9 days’ car hire between Johannesburg and Durban
  • 8 days’ car hire between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town
  • Pre-booked hotel accommodation
  • Well planned route, maps and information
  • Optional UK and internal flights
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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Johannesburg

Feel the excitement build as your plane touches down at Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport. Collect your choice of hire car and make the short drive to your hotel, where you can relax after your flight or head out to explore the city.

The Apartheid Museum and former prison and fort at Constitution Hill provide a thought provoking insight into South Africa’s past, whilst the Maboneng Precinct, with its collection of galleries and bohemian cafes and bars, points to the country’s dynamic future.

Hotel: Protea by Marriott Balalaika
Meals: Breakfast

Day 2 - Long Tom Pass (320 kms)

After breakfast, your great South African road trip begins! From Johannesburg, cross the provincial border into Mpumalanga and enjoy the ever-changing dramatic scenery of high mountain passes and fertile valleys as you drive towards Long Tom Pass.

Your accommodation tonight is in heavens, a welcoming lodge that sits 1,700 metres above sea level with majestic views across the escarpment and into the lowveld, and not far from the ‘The Long Tom’ field canon monument, after which the pass was named.

Hotel: Misty Mountain Lodge
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 - Panorama Route (70 kms)

This morning, continue along Long Tom Pass towards Sabie and then onto Graskop, stopping en route to marvel at Sabie Falls or Mac Mac Falls or taking a short detour to visit the historic gold mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest.

From Graskop, unbelievable vistas come thick and fast as you drive the Panorama Route, past the geological wonders of God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels, to Blyde River Canyon, the third largest in the world and arguably the most beautiful!

It’s then not too far to Hazyview, your base for the next two nights.

Hotel: Hippo Hollow
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 - Kruger National Park

Today is dedicated to big game spotting in the world famous Kruger National Park, home to nearly 150 different species of mammal, including lion, leopard and wild dog, and over 500 species of bird.

From Hazyview the Phabeni Gate is just a 20 minute drive or Numbi Gate a 25 minute drive, the later offering sweeping views over the reserve. You can explore Kruger on a self drive safari in your hire car, with an early start recommended, or pre-book a full day game drive led by an experienced guide.

Hotel: Hippo Hollow
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 - eSwatini (275 kms)

Travel today to the Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), one of Africa’s smallest nations, with a rich culture and welcoming people.

Your hotel is south of the capital Mbabane near the Ezulwini Valley and Mantenga Nature Reserve, which is home to the tumbling Mantenga Falls and a replica 19th century Swazi village, at which you can learn about traditional life and witness a high-kicking Sibhaca dance to the beat of African giant drums.

Hotel: Foresters Arms
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 6 & 7 - Hluhluwe-iMfolozi (260 kms)

Traverse the lowvelds of eSwatini, perhaps stopping at the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary or to go white water rafting on the Great Usutu River, before crossing back into the mountainous South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.

You’ll be staying for two nights close to the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park, where you can go game spotting in your own car or opt to join a guided safari with an experienced ranger will seek out the ‘Big 5’.

Hotel: Ghost Mountain Inn
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - St Lucia (125 kms)

This morning, a stop at Lake St Lucia in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park to join a wildlife cruise is highly recommended. 80 km long and 23 km at its widest point, the estuarine lake and its shores are home to hippo and Nile crocodile, as well as over 530 species of bird, including fish eagle, white stork and bee eater.

For the rest of the day you may like to enjoy the superb and often deserted beaches of this spectacular stretch of coast. This evening be sure to watch out for hippos wondering through town – a regular site enjoyed by visitors.

Hotel: Elephant Lake
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 & 10 - Durban (240 kms)

From St Lucia, the beaches and cafes of Umhlanga are a popular lunch spot en route to Durban, with this part of South Africa enjoying year-round warm weather.

You have two nights in Durban, giving you a full day at leisure. In the city centre, uShaka Marine World combines an impressive aquarium with rollercoasters and waterslides. Durban Botanical Gardens offer a more relaxing avocation, likewise a stroll along the promenades of the Golden Mile.

Hotel: Garden Court Marine Parade
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 & 12 - Addo Elephant National Park (65 km)

Drop your car off this morning at Durban Airport and board your 1.5 hour flight to Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. On arrival, pick up your new vehicle from the airport and head north to Addo Elephant National Park.

Your two night stay gives you time to explore the reserve; to marvel at the great herds of African bush elephant and spot lion, zebra, cape buffalo and the several species of antelope that live there. You can drive round the park in your own car or pre-book a day safari from your hotel.

Hotel: Elephant House – Stable Cottages 

Day 13 & 14 - Tsitsikamma & Knysna (250 km)

Make your way this morning from Addo to the village of Stormsriver on the N2 highway, the ‘official’ start/end point of the Garden Route. Here, turn off the main road to visit Tsitsikamma National Park, where ancient forests tumble down rocky cliffs, shaped by the waves of the Indian Ocean. Admire the view or follow a hiking trail to the Tsitsikamma Waterfall or across the suspension bridge over the mouth of Storms River.

Carry on to Knysna this afternoon, perhaps stopping at the upmarket seaside town of Plettenberg Bay to stroll along its beautiful sandy beaches or try to spot southern right whales from the Robberg Peninsula (June to November).

With a free day in Knysna, make sure to take a boat tour across the lagoon to Featherbed Nature Reserve, home to blue duiker antelopes, tortoises and blue cranes. The town itself has plenty of shops, galleries and eateries as well.

Hotel: Waterfront Lodge
Meals: Breakfast

Day 15 & 16 - Oudtshoorn (110 km)

From Knysna, there is a choice of routes to your lunchtime stop at the town of George. The easier N2 highway continues to hug the coast, with the beach on one side and lakes of Wilderness National Park on the other. Alternatively, you can take the winding Seven Passes Road, which crosses seven gorges as it meanders inland then back to the ocean.

Between George and Oudtshoorn, your base for the next two nights, is the spectacular Outeniqua Pass. Take your time as you climb 800 metres into the Outeniqua Mountains, stopping at the various viewpoints to admire the beauty of the Garden Route.

Oudtshoorn is on the edge of the Little Karoo region, with a visit to an ostrich farm almost essential! The impressive Cango Caves are also worth an excursion for a guided tour through the magnificent halls and limestone formations.

Hotel: Hlangana Lodge
Meals: Breakfast

Day 17 - Montagu (250kms)

The journey along Route 62 to Montagu is simply stunning, with several small farming communities to visit on the way. Stop at Calitzdorp to pick up a bottle of the town’s famous port wine, admire its sandstone church and historical buildings or take a dip in the nearby hot springs.

Your accommodation tonight is a charming guesthouse with just eight individually decorated rooms, each with a private patio and wonderful view of the beautiful gardens.

Hotel: Montagu Vines
Meals: Breakfast

Day 18 to 20 - Cape Town (150kms)

Today marks the last leg of of your journey, that started over two weeks ago in Johannesburg! Continue on Route 62 to the town of Worcester, with its fine botanical gardens, before heading through the glorious Winelands to the historic Dutch town of Stellenbosch, and finally onto Cape Town.

After dropping off your car, you have three nights to relax after your adventure, with the restaurants and bars of the V&A Waterfront offering a welcoming atmosphere and cuisine for all tastes. During your time in the Mother City, make sure to take the cable car up Table Mountain and visit its culturally important sites, such as Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. A day tour to the Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach, home to a colony of African penguins, is also recommended.

Hotel: Protea by Marriott Breakwater
Meals: Breakfast

Day 21 - Farewell from Cape Town

Gaze up at Table Mountain for one last time this morning before heading to Cape Town International Airport for your flight back to the UK.

21 day Self Drive Holiday - from £1519

With flights from £2269


  • Personalise your self drive, adding extra nights or destinations
  • Upgrade your hotels – please ask a Travel Consultant for options
  • Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class

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All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a twin or double room. Seasonal variations may apply, please call Freedom Destinations for more information and availability. Accommodation specified is subject to availability and may be substituted to a similar standard.

Ultimate South Africa


Relaxed and enjoyable self drive touring. You can book this itinerary as it is or ask your Travel Consultant to add extra days in the places you choose.

Your self drive tour includes:

  • Well planned route
  • Time to explore
  • Air-conditioned car
  • Maps and information
  • Pre-booked hotels

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For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to an Africa Expert on 0333 234 3667