How to Spend 10 Days in South Africa

by shortgirlontour

There is so much to see and do in South Africa that 10 days is barely enough time. However, if this is all the time you have (It is all the time I had), then let’s make the best of it! From the Panorama Route in the east to the lush Western Cape, South Africa is unbelievably beautiful and has diverse and unique landscapes. It’s also rich is amazing fauna, from sea and land predators like great white sharks and lions to gentle mammoths like African elephants and whales. This post covers how to spend 10 days in South Africa and see some of the highlights of the country!

Notes on the Itinerary

  • You can easily fly between Cape Town and Johannesburg. With only 10 days in South Africa, this is the best and only way to make this itinerary work
  • If you have more time in South Africa, consider driving the Garden Route in the south
  • I am keeping this post high-level as I have detailed posts on each of the days listed below. I will link these posts. They will give you a lot more information so take a look.
  • You can visit Johannesburg, Kruger and Cape Town in any order. Although, the most efficient is to visit Johannesburg and Kruger back to back
  • You can either drive or fly from Johannesburg to Kruger. If you opt to fly, only do it one way as I recommend you drive the Panorama Route (which is between Johannesburg and Kruger)

Sample Itineraries

Here are some sample itineraries that will help you plan your 10 days in South Africa!

  • Land in Johannesburg -> Johannesburg -> Drive the Panorama Route -> Kruger -> Fly to Cape Town -> Cape Town -> Fly out of Cape Town
  • Land in Johannesburg -> Drive the Panorama Route -> Kruger -> Fly or drive back to Johannesburg -> Johannesburg -> Fly to Cape Town ->Cape Town -> Fly out of Cape Town
  • Land in Cape Town -> Cape Town -> Fly to Kruger -> Kruger -> Drive the Panorama Route -> Johannesburg -> Fly out of Johannesburg
  • Land in Cape Town -> Cape Town -> Fly to Johannesburg -> Johannesburg -> Drive the Panorama Route -> Kruger -> Fly out of Johannesburg via Kruger

How to Spend 10 Days in South Africa

Day 1 – Johannesburg

The thriving city of Johannesburg is worth at least one day during your time in South Africa. Johannesburg is the largest city in the country and was established in the 19th-century as a gold-mining settlement. It was home to two prominent world leaders, namely Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You can actually visit Mandela’s house in Johannesburg and Archbishop Tutu’s house is coincidentally on the same street!

Places Not to Miss in Johannesburg

  • Nelson Mandela’s house (now museum)
  • Apartheid Museum
  • Constitution Hill
  • Soweto
Read my post on how to spend one day in Johannesburg HERE

Day 2 – Panorama Route

I really enjoyed the Panorama Route and think it is fully worth dedicating one day of your 10 days in South Africa to drive it. The Panorama Route lies between Johannesburg and Kruger National Park so it makes for an easy addition to this itinerary. You can either drive it on the way to Kruger from Johannesburg or from Kruger back to Johannesburg. Regardless of direction, leave your starting point early as there is much to see.

Places Not to Miss

  • Three Randavals
  • Blyde River Canyon
  • Bourke’s Luck Potholes
  • Berlin Falls
  • Lisbon Falls
  • God’s Window
Read my guide and detailed post on the Panorama Route HERE

If you are coming from Johannesburg, spend the night near Kruger National Park if possible so that you can do an early morning game drive in Kruger.

Day 3 – Day 4 – Kruger National Park

You could probably spend a lifetime in Kruger! The interesting thing about wild life is that you could spend a few hours in the park and see all of it or spend weeks and see only a few of the coveted animals. Since you only have 2 days my recommendation is to stay inside the park and to stay at Skukuza Rest Camp. There is an airport just a few miles from the rest camp and therefore this makes for a very convenient location for anyone on a time crunch. Skukuza is huge! If Kruger were a country, Skukuza would be its capital.

How do you see the park and do game drives? Check out my very details posts on Kruger! I cover all you need to know about planning a visit and how to self-drive.

Complete Guide to Kruger
Self-driving Kruger National Park

Day 5 – Day 10 – Cape Town and Surroundings

Cape Town is one of the most spectacular places I have been to. With distinct mountains, cliff slide views, stunning beaches, and an amazing food scene, it is no wonder that so many people who visit Cape Town keep wanting to go back.

Places Not to Miss

  • Table Mountain
  • Robben Island
  • Bo-Kaap
  • Beaches


  • Lion’s Head
  • Table Mountain

Day Trips and Experiences

  • Boulders Beach for penguins and Cape of Good Hope
    • Read my post on how to visit Boulders Beach and Cape of Good Hope HERE
  • Chapman’s Drive (scenic cliffside drive)
  • Stellenbosch Wineries
    • Read my post on the best wineries in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek HERE
  • Gansbaai for great white sharks and Cape Agulhas (Southern-most point of Africa)

Read my detailed post on what to do in Cape Town in 6 days HERE

Places to Eat

Read my post on where to eat in Cape Town HERE

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salsaworldtraveler July 29, 2023 - 7:02 pm

Outstanding itinerary!

shortgirlontour July 30, 2023 - 10:44 pm

Thank you so much! Felt like we got to see a lot in 10 days 🙂


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Welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting! Believe it or not this blog is not my full time job! I work 8-5 in Supply Chain and run this blog after work!  I’ve dreamed of traveling the world since I was a child and at 44 countries and counting, I am so grateful to get to live that dream.

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