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One and only cape town pool area external view 2400

Self Drive Family Vacation Cape Town Garden Route and Safari

Inspirational self drive family holiday to South Africa

This family self-drive takes in the popular Cape coastal route, all while staying in 5-star accommodation. This Cape Town, Garden Route and Safari route is a well-traveled route and for good reason, it is known for being one of the world's most picturesque drives, where the scenery dramatically changes with every stop from deserted sandy beaches and sheltered lagoons to bush land and mountain passes. The family's hire car offers the full flexibility. There are 4 stops in this family holiday including the city of Cape Town, with its many attractions, the Grootbos Nature Reserve offering a plethora of activities, but focused on marine explorations, the adventure playground that is the Garden Route, and finally a luxury, Big 5 safari in the Eastern Cape.

There is no shortage of activities to enjoy from cable car trips up iconic Table Mountain and seeing penguins at Boulders Beach, to shark diving, whale watching, surfing, biking, canoeing and boat trips. The possibilities for fun are endless.

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Day by Day summary

  • Starts - Catch your overnight flight from JFK to Cape Town International
  • 4 nights - One & Only Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2 nights - Grootbos Garden Lodge, Hermanus, South Africa
  • 4 nights - The Plettenberg, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
  • 2 nights - Kwandwe Ecca 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 12 Nights
  • City Icon City
  • Beach Icon Beach
  • Safari Icon Safari

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 {: 5900|toCurrency :} per person
High Season from {: 7400|toCurrency :} per person

Includes flights from JFK
Price per person based on a family of 4
Itinerary Details


Catch your overnight flight from JFK to Cape Town International

One and only cape town nobu sushi bar 1280
One and only cape town wine tasting with a somelier 1280
One and only cape town vista bar overlooking table mountain 1280
One and only cape town nobu sushi bar 1280 Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 1 - 5

Arrive at Cape Town Airport and collect your hire car. From here you will drive yourselves to the One&Only Hotel situated on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

  • 4 nights

One & Only Cape Town
Bed & Breakfast | Marine Table Mountain Room
South Africa

One and only cape town penthouse master bedroom 1280
Garden lodge cottage bathroom
T view of the pool at sunset
B The Boma restaurant
Garden lodge cottage bathroom Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 5 - 7

Today you will take the approximately 2 hour drive to the Grootbos Nature Reserve near to Hermanus.

  • 2 nights
  • Star Created with Sketch. Iconic

Grootbos Garden Lodge
All Inclusive | Two Bedroom Family Garden Suite
South Africa

Garden lodge cottage bedroom interior
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 7 - 11

Today you will take the drive to Plettenberg Bay along the Garden Route, approximately 4 hours.

  • 4 nights

The Plettenberg
Bed & Breakfast | Luxury Sea View Room
South Africa

The plettenberg villa bedroom 1280
Kwandwe ecca lodge swimming pool 1280
Kwandwe ecca lodge suite bathroom 1280
Kwandwe ecca lodge outdoor lounge at sunset 1280
Kwandwe ecca lodge swimming pool 1280 Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 11 - 13

Today you will take the approximately 3 hour drive to the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape.

  • 2 nights

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
All Inclusive | Family Suite
South Africa

Kwandwe ecca lodge suite with a private verandah and pool 1280

Day 13

Today you will drive to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) Airport where you will drop off your hire car and catch with your international 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


  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Drinks (excluding premium brands) at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
  • All scheduled safari activities offered by Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
  • Car hire, group C car (Toyota Corolla or similar) including full cover, unlimited km and taxes
  • National Parks and conservation entry fees
  • Private safari vehicle
  • Private guide
  • GPS with your car hire
  • Itinerary based on a family of 4 with 2 children aged between 3 and 12 years
  • Carbon-offsetting with One Tree Planted
  • Conservation donation to Save the Rhino
  • Community projects contribution with Uthando
Not included icon


  • Gratuities
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Additional activities not offered as scheduled by Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
  • Visas and visa fees where relevant
  • Petrol and additional driver's fee
  • Beverages with the exception of Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
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
  • 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 Snorkeling/Scuba Diving
  • Watersports Icon Watersports
  • Kids Club Icon Kids Club
  • Kids Bushcraft Icon Kids Bushcraft
  • Food Experience Icon Food Experiences
  • 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.