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Grootbos forest lodge lodge exterior view 2400

The Cape Highlights Self Drive

Inspirational self drive holiday to South Africa

Road trip one of South Africa's most scenic routes. This is truly a showcase of the Cape in all its glory. See Cape Town's famous sights, taste the region's wines, get up close and personal with sharks and whales, enjoy nature-based activities on the Garden Route and end off with a Big 5 safari. South Africa really is a one-stop holiday destination. Self-drive doesn't have to mean a compromise on luxury accommodation. In Cape Town you will explore the city from your base at The Mount Nelson, a historic institution in the city and pinnacle of sophistication.

In the Cape Winelands you will be perfectly positioned in the Franshhoek Wine Valley at Leeu Estates, an exclusive 5-star boutique hotel offering fine dining and exquisite gardens. At Grootbos Forest Lodge enjoy panoramic views of mountain and sea in a luxurious pristine paradise showcasing the splendour of the Cape Floral Kingdom and the incredible marine life of the southern tip of Africa. In the scenic Garden Route region, you will be based at The Plettenberg Hotel, the ultimate South African seaside escape, and your safari will take place at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge. Fully immerse yourself in nature and enjoy day and night game drives in search of the Big 5.

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Day by Day summary

  • Starts - Catch your overnight flight from JFK to Cape Town International
  • 4 nights - The Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2 nights - Leeu Estates, Winelands, South Africa
  • 2 nights - Grootbos Forest Lodge, Hermanus, South Africa
  • 3 nights - The Plettenberg, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
  • 3 nights - Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa
  • Ends - Transfer to Port Elizabeth for your international flight home

At a glance

  • Country Icon South Africa
  • Nights Icon 14 Nights
  • City Icon City
  • Beach Icon Beach
  • Safari Icon Safari
  • Scenic Icon Scenic

Tailormade itineraries

Every Mahlatini trip is custom created to your exact travel wishes – no readymade tours or set departures. Get in touch with our experts to start creating your bespoke itinerary.

Guide Price

Low Season from {: 8500|toCurrency :} per person
High Season from {: 10900|toCurrency :} per person

Includes flights from JFK
Kwandwe great fish river lodge dinner by candlelight 1280
Kwandwe great fish river lodge suite bathroom 1280
The plettenberg swimming pool 1280


  • At-your-own pace road-trip adventure
  • The finest South African wine and cuisine
  • Malaria-free Big 5 safari experience in a private reserve
  • Luxurious hotels in pristine settings
  • The chance to go shark-diving and whale-watching
Itinerary Details


Catch your overnight flight from JFK to Cape Town International

The mount nelson hotel swimming pool and lounge 1280
The mount nelson hotel bar and lounge area 1280
The mount nelson hotel outdoor patio and seating area 1280
The mount nelson hotel swimming pool and lounge 1280 Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 1 - 5

Arrive at Cape Town Airport where you will collect your hire car. From here you will drive yourself to your hotel in the city.

  • 4 nights
  • Star Created with Sketch. Iconic

The Mount Nelson Hotel
Bed & Breakfast | Deluxe Room
South Africa

The mount nelson hotel guest suite 1280
Leeu estates swimming pool and lounge area 1280
Leeu estates private hot tub 1280
Leeu estates manor house bar 1280
Leeu estates swimming pool and lounge area 1280 Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 5 - 7

Take the scenic +-1.5 hour drive today to the Franschhoek valley in the picturesque Cape Winelands region.

  • 2 nights

Leeu Estates
Bed & Breakfast | Classic Room
South Africa

Leeu estates executive suite with a terrace 1280
Grootbos forest lodge flower safari 1280
Grootbos forest lodge wine cellar 1280
Grootbos forest lodge private deck with pool 1280
Grootbos forest lodge flower safari 1280 Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 7 - 9

A 2 hour drive today will take you to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, which is near the town of Hermanus.

  • 2 nights
  • Star Created with Sketch. Iconic

Grootbos Forest Lodge
Full Board | Luxury Suite
South Africa

Grootbos forest lodge suite bedroom 1280
The plettenberg dinner in the wine cellar 1280
The plettenberg the sandbar 1280
The plettenberg beach house lounge 1280
The plettenberg dinner in the wine cellar 1280 Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 9 - 12

Your longest drive today but a beautiful one. It's about 6 hours to Plettenberg Bay along the Garden Route.

  • 3 nights

The Plettenberg
Bed & Breakfast | Luxury Double
South Africa

The plettenberg villa bedroom 1280
Kwandwe great fish river lodge dinner by candlelight 1280
Great Fish River Lodge outdoor shower
Great Fish River Lodge private deck swimming pool
Kwandwe great fish river lodge dinner by candlelight 1280 Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 12 - 15

Journey today for +- 4 hours to the Eastern Cape region and your safari lodge in the private Kwandwe Reserve.

  • 3 nights

Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge
All Inclusive | Suite
South Africa

Great Fish River Lodge bedroom at sunrise

Day 15

Take the drive to Gqeberha (previously Port Elizabeth) Airport where you will drop off your hire car and connect with your onward flight home.

Make it yours

Tailormake this itinerary to your exact wishes

We've got you covered

Our trips are unashamedly high-end but always deliver excellent value for money. Our guide price covers the majority of trip costs upfront, on a per person basis, including international flights and all transfers.

Included icon


  • International flights as specified
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Drinks (excluding premium brands) on safari
  • All scheduled safari activities offered by the camps or lodges
  • Car hire, group B car (Toyota Yaris or similar) including full cover, unlimited km and taxes
  • One way drop off fee for hire car plus GPS
  • Carbon-offsetting with One Tree Planted
  • Conservation donation to Save the Rhino
  • Community projects contribution with Uthando
Not included icon


  • Gratuities
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Visas and visa fees where relevant
  • Petrol
  • Beverages with the exception of all inclusive hotels
  • Additional activities not included as scheduled at hotels, lodges or camps
Indulge your passions


This sample trip offers countless adventures and activities to ensure lifetime memories are made. From unforgettable thrills to indulgent relaxation, choose those that appeal most and we will curate your perfect itinerary.

  • Big 5 Safari Icon Big 5 Safari
  • 4 WD Safari Icon 4WD Safari
  • Birdwatching Icon Birdwatching
  • Boat Trip Icon Boat Trip
  • Guided Walking Safari Icon Guided Walking Safari
  • Night Drive Icon Night Drive
  • Ocean Safari Icon Ocean Safari
  • Whale Watching Icon Whale Watching
  • Helicopter Flights Icon Helicopter Flights
  • Hot Air Balloon Flights Icon Hot Air Balloon Flights
  • Quad Biking Icon Quad Biking
  • Scenic Flights Icon Scenic Flights
  • Shark Diving Icon Shark Diving
  • White Water Rafting Icon White Water Rafting
  • Conservation Experience Icon Conservation Experience
  • Cultural Experience Icon Cultural Experience
  • Canoeing Kayaking Icon Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Cycling Icon Cycling
  • Fishing Icon Fishing
  • Golf Icon Golf
  • Hiking Icon Hiking
  • Horseriding Icon Horse Riding
  • Snorkelling Scuba Diving Icon Snorkelling/Scuba Diving
  • Watersports Icon Water Sports
  • Kids Club Icon Kids Club
  • Kids Bushcraft Icon Kids Bushcraft
  • Food Experience Icon Food Experiences
  • Photographic Safari Icon Photographic Safari
  • City Sights Icon City Sights
  • Natural Wonders Icon Natural Wonders
  • Wellness Spa Icon Wellness/Spa
  • Wine Tour Icon Wine Tour
Enriching encounters


Whether you want to tick off the Big Five or encounter specific safari species and sea creatures on your safari and coastal stay, our expert guides reveal the typical wildlife sightings to expect on this sample trip.

  • Zebra
  • Wildebeest
  • White Rhino
    White Rhino
  • Rock Hyrax
    Rock Hyrax
  • Ostrich
  • Pangolin
  • Orca
  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Humpback Whale
    Humpback Whale
  • Hippo
  • Great White Shark
    Great White Shark
  • Elephant
  • Crocodile
  • Cheetah
  • Cape Fur Seal
    Cape Fur Seal
  • Buffalo
  • Brown Hyena
    Brown Hyena
  • Bottlenose Dolphin
    Bottlenose Dolphin
  • Black Rhino
    Black Rhino
  • Baboon
  • African Fish Eagle
    African Fish Eagle
  • Southern Giraffe
  • Aardvark
  • Aardwolf
  • African penguin
    African Penguin
  • Southern right whale
    Southern Right Whale
Sample Itineraries


From majestic wildlife to out of this world natural wonders, cultural melting pots and enchanting beaches, every bespoke Mahlatini journey is thrilling. Unsure where to visit? Whether it’s a bucket-list adventure, a milestone celebration or simply a much-needed escape, experience the joy with this inspiring selection of favorites.

  • Bespoke itineraries
  • Flights and transfers included
  • Best rates guaranteed

Ready to
explore more?

Our travel experts are ready to start creating your tailormade trip.