If you’re visiting South Africa for the first time, you may have realised in the planning process how easy it is to spend hours going in circles, stressing over what to include so you incorporate all the major highlights.

Take heart in the fact that it’s entirely possible to enjoy a South African holiday in just 10 days. If you’re short on time or looking for a nudge in the right direction, SW Africa have designed a collection of fully customisable, hand-crafted itineraries that tick all the right boxes when you’re visiting South Africa for the first time.

In just 10 days, you can witness prowling predators, savour exceptional Pinotage and soak up the sun on the Cape’s best beaches with this amazing package, the best part? We’ve done all the planning for you!

First up, Cape Town

Visiting South Africa for the first time

SW Africa knows that when you’re visiting South Africa for the first time, Cape Town is an absolute must. A great starting point for your holiday, Cape Town rugged mountain settings, jaw-dropping coastal drives and an energetic city centre. It’s okay to feel like a tourist on your first day as you pound the pavements near Long Street, ascend Table Mountain for the very first time, or savour your first sip of an artisan cocktail at the ever-popular V & A Waterfront. In four days you will soon begin to feel like a real local, especially with a road trip down the Cape Peninsula, stopping at Kalk Bay for freshly caught vis en tjips.

Here’s a Cape Town checklist when you’re visiting South Africa for the first time:

● Make a pit stop at Boulder’s Beach penguin colony.
● Visit the exquisite Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
● Take in the highlights of Cape Town City Centre such as Company Gardens, Greenmarket Square and the nearby Bo-Kaap area.
● Join a township tour together with a local guide.
● Drive up the signal hill at sunset to enjoy sundowners.

***Remember, Cape Town is experiencing a severe drought and all efforts must be taken to conserve and reuse water where possible***

Next up, Franschhoek

Visiting South Africa for the first time

The roads in the Western Cape are easy to drive and navigate as you head towards the French-inspired village-town of Franschhoek, merely an hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town. Just jump in your car and go. Over the next three days, you will be spoilt for choice as you eat and drink your way through this gourmet capital of Southern Africa. Once you arrive and make yourself at home, be sure to try out the infamous Franschhoek Wine Tram where you can hop from one wine farm to the next, savouring some of the best local wines in the country.

Here’s a Franschhoek checklist when you’re visiting South Africa for the first time:

● Make a pit stop at the historic town of Stellenbosch on the way to Franschhoek.
● Admire the Huguenot Memorial at the end of the high street.
● Take a break from wining and dining with an easy trail through the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve.
● Admire the vintage cars at the Franschhoek Motor Museum.
● Pop open some bubbly at Franschhoek MCC or Le Lude MCC and try Le Quartier Français – one of the top-rated restaurants in the world.

Finally, the Kruger Park

Visiting South Africa for the first time

Search for the rare and captivating creatures that inhabit the Kruger’s wild frontier at the Timbavati Private Reserve or the Sabi Sands. A direct flight from Cape Town will see your safe arrival at Skukuza Airport (Sabi Sands) or Hoedspruit (Timbavati) where safari lodge living awaits. Relax in absolute comfort and enjoy a front-row seat on 4×4 game drives led by an expert tracker-guide into the heart of the rugged wilderness over the next three days.

Here’s a Kruger Park checklist when you’re visiting South Africa for the first time

● On night drives, keep an eye out for hyena, honey-badger, civet, the bush-baby and owls.
● Try a bush walk on request, to get up close to the smaller animals, plants and trees.
● Rise early for a morning drive to enjoy freshly brewed coffee and rusks.
● Enjoy sundowners on a late afternoon drive as the sun sets over the horizon.
● Try tick off all members of the Big (or small) Five.

On this 10-day trip with SW Africa, your accommodation, Cape Town car rental and transfers to the Kruger are pre-arranged. When you’re visiting South Africa for the first time, it helps to have a travel expert take care of all the details. For more information, chat to one of the SW destination experts here.