South Africa 18 Days Itinerary – Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Kruger

Yep, I’m currently in Africa right now – a continent not exactly in my current bucket’s list (cause it is known to be a really pricey destination) but who cares, I’m here right now.

Disclaimer: For this trip, I did not plan anything at all. I didn’t even have time to change money so I’m pretty much penniless right now.. The only souvenirs I’ve bought (It’s Day 12 today) were 2 postcards from the gift shop at Table Mountain.

If you’re looking for information about keeping costs low in your holiday to Africa, I’m afraid that this is not the post for you. My trip is rather pricey because we were traveling with a toddler (3 years of age) and 2 seniors citizens (60+). As a result, we stayed in hotels (not airBnB) and had to go on private game drives in the national parks (min. age to join public drives is approximately 7).

In this post, I’ll be sharing where I visited and stayed for all my 18 days.
Will continue with the detailed write-up in time to come.

Total Damage ~ $5.5k (exclude food + shopping)

Flight (Singapore to Cape Town) Return  SGD 82.76 + 50,000 miles
6D5N Private Tour to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), Kruger National Park  USD 1,268  SGD 1,725
Flights within Africa

  • Cape Town to Johannesburg
  • Johannesburg to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
  • Livingstone (Zambia) to Kruger
  • Kruger to Cape Town
 USD 1,077  SGD 1,465
6 nights accommodation + 1 night in Aquilla Private Game Reserve + 8-day Private Tour (Guide/Driver)  ZAR 18,754.40  SD 2,206.40
 SGD 5,479.16 + 50,000 miles

Exchange Rate: 1 USD = 1.36 SGD | 1 SGD = 8.5 ZAR

Air Tickets

We took Singapore Airlines (yay! support local brands) from Singapore to Cape Town (12h 55 mins with 1 hour stop at Johannesburg).

I paid 50,000 Krisflyer miles + SGD 82.76(taxes) for my return ticket while the folks paid approximately $1.9k for premium economy. Note: We booked 6 months in advance.

Click here to read how I clocked KFmiles with my various Credit Cards and why the SG-Cape Town route is the most worthwhile redemption

Should you want to ‘save’ money in exchange for your time, you can consider Qatar (19h), Emirates (20h) or even Air Mauritius but to be honest, I don’t think the extra time spent is worth it (assuming you have to take more days of leave). On my return flight home, I couldn’t even sleep a wink as it was at an 11am flight out of Cape Town. Even as I type (now its 12 midnight in SG on my first day of return), I am not yawning or tired yet (as it is 6pm in Cape Town). #jetlagwoes

Accommodation

My travel entourage had 5 adults + 1 toddler. I have absolutely no idea why most accommodations in Africa do not have triple sharing rooms.
We booked all our accommodation via local agents (you save a lot of time by not having to arrange your own transport) so ‘cheating by declaring 2 but appearing 3‘ is not an option at all.

For all our accommodations, we had to book 3 rooms: 2 adults + 1 toddler, 2 adults, 1 adult (me). That’s me having my own room every night. While I do enjoy the privacy and freedom of my own space which I’m kind of used to, I do feel the heartache that each adult had to pay approximately 20% more. #ifonly I could force a ‘plus one’ to go with me just to share the room..

Anyway, I tried doing searches on booking.com for 3pax and they only offered options for guesthouse/apartments/chalets or 2 rooms for hotels. It seems like the addition of an ‘extra bed’ does not exist as an option.

Tip: Always try to visit Africa in adult pairs (kids under 12 shouldn’t be an issue).

All price quoted below are based on twin sharing and using a crappy exchange rate of 1 SGD – 8.5 Rands (It was 10 a couple of months back)

Cape Town

Island Club Hotel (6 nights) @ $106 pppn
– includes Breakfast

We had to stay at Island Club Hotel which was located in a pretty decent neighbourhood, within walking distance to this mega shopping Mall Canal City. Apparently, it feels a lot ‘safer’ to stay in this neighbourhood as compared to the city/downtown area where you may encounter many homeless/beggars in the evening/night.

Aquila Game Reserve (1 night) @ $247 pppn
– includes 1st Day Lunch & Dinner, 2nd Day Breakfast + 2 Game Drives (afternoon + morning)

Victoria Falls @ Zimbabwe

Azambezi River Lodge (2 nights) @ $150.75 pppn
– includes Breakfast

Kruger @ South Africa

Sabi River Sun Resort (3 nights) @ $143 pppn
– includes Breakfast & Dinner

Oudtshoorn (Garden Route) @ South Africa

Yamkela Guest House (1 night) @ $57 pppn
– includes Breakfast

Knysa (Garden Route) @ South Africa

The Graywood Hotel (2 nights) @ $61pppm
– includes Breakfast

Average price we paid per night for this trip: $120 per night for 15 nights

Note: 2 nights were spend crashing in a ‘free‘ guest room of someone’s house.

Food Costing Estimation

It is a little difficult for me to estimate the cost we spent for food because I did not make payment nor collect the receipts. We always pay for our Tour Guide meals (which we invite him to join) and the food is sometimes shared so this estimation is really numbers pluck from the sky. Do note that tipping culture exists in South Africa and you generally add a 10% to your bill, but sometimes we just get them to keep the change.

Lunch – 15 occurrences @ $15
Dinner – 12 occurrences @ $20

Total – $465 + $120 (La Colombe Lunch – ZAR 990) = $585

On hindsight, I can’t believe I actually spent so much for lunch at La Colombe. I’m not like a food gourmet but the food was not bad but.. not a place that I would return often cause it’s simply too expensive.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Friday
[01:00] Depart Singapore (12 hr 55 mins flight)
[09:20] Arrived in Cape Town (-6 hours)
[12:00] Lunch @ Canal City (I ate KFC, which was pretty cheap. approx $3-4 for a 2pc chicken meal)
[14:00] Check-in to Island Club Hotel
[17:30] Dinner @ Sushi House (Home-based Japanese Food)

Day 2 – Saturday
[07:30] Depart Cape Town for Johannesburg (ComAir by British Airways)
[09:30] Arrived at Johannesburg
[11:25] Depart Johannesburg for Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe (ComAir by British Airways)
[13:05] Arrived at Victoria Falls airport
[14:30] Guided Tour at Victoria Falls
[17:30] Zambezi Explorer Sunset Cruise (Signature Deck VIP)
[19:30] Dinner at Hotel (Azambezi River Lodge)

Day 3 – Sunday
[07:14] Transport to Zimbabwe/Botswana Border
Clear Zimbabwe and Botswana Custom
[08:26] Transfer to Safari Vehicle in Botswana
[09:23] 3-hour game drive in Chobe National Park
[12:56] Lunch at Chobe Safari Lodge
[13:46] Boat (River Cruise) experience along Zambezi River
[15:46] Transport back to Botswana/Zimbabwe Border
Transfer back to pick up bus
Back to Hotel (Azambezi River Lodge)
[19:14] Dinner at Boma Restaurant
[21:20] Back to Hotel (Azambezi River Lodge)

Day 4 – Monday
[10:03] Transport to Zimbabwe/Zambia Border
[10:25] Clear Zimbabwe’s Custom
[10:33] Go across the Victoria Falls Bridge
[11:03] Clear Zambia’s Custom
Transfer to Livingstone Airport
[13:45] Flight from Zambia to Kruger Airport
[15:00] Transport to Hotel – Sabi River Sun Resort

Day 5 – Tuesday
[07:00] Full Day Game Drive in Kruger National Park
Spotted Zebras, Elephants, Hippos, Rhinos, Giraffes, Leopard
[14:30] Lunch @ Wimpy
[15:15] Left Kruger National Park & Return to Hotel

Day 6 – Wednesday
[07:00] Full Day Game Drive in Kruger National Park
Spotted Zebra, Elephants, Leopard, Lion and Lioness
[14:25] Lunch @ Wimpy
[15:30] Back to Hotel
[16:50] Walked around the Hotel area (a super big area which includes timeshare properties)
Spotted hippos in the lake

Day 7 – Thursday
[10:30] Transfer from Hotel to Kruger Airport
[13:00] Flight from Kruger to Cape Town
[15:45] Arrival at Cape Town
Transfer to Island Club Hotel
[18:31] Dinner at Mama’s Kitchen (Chinese/Sushi Resturant opened by Taiwanese)

Day 8 – Friday
[10:00] Transfer from accommodation to Aquila Private Game Reserve
[12:30] Lunch at Game Reserve
[15:15] Afternoon Game Drive
[18:30] End of Game Drive
[19:30]Dinner at Game Reserve
[20:45] Stargazing session

Day 9 – Saturday
[06:09] Early morning Game Drive
[07:50] End of Game Drive
[10:15] Depart Aquila Private Game Reserve
[12:47] Lunch at La Petite Ferme
[14:00] Drive back to Hotel
[16:00] Check-in @ Island Club Hotel
[19:30] Dinner at Canal Walk Shopping Centre (Col’ Cacchio; Italian Food)

Day 10 – Sunday
[08:45] Depart Hotel
[10:00] Arrive @ Hout Bay for a boat cruise to see Seals
[12:05] Groot Constantia Cellar Tour + Wine Tasting
[12:58] Lunch at Vineyard
[14:13] Visited Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
[15:10] Depart for Table Mountain
[15:57] Cable Car up to Table Mountain
[17:12] Cable Car down from Table Mountain
[18:00] Back to Hotel
[19:31] Dinner at Canal Walk Shopping Centre (Had kebab which was.. not delicious)

Day 11 – Monday
[09:00] Depart Hotel
[09:41] Visited Rhodes Memorial
[11:11] Stopped by Fish Heok and Clovelly Beach
[12:00] See the Boulders Penguin Colony
[13:15] Lunch @ Asian Restaurant (where the average tasting food took forever to be served)
then again, we can’t blame anyone cause.. we requested the guide to bring us for asian food.
[14:57] Entered Cape of Good Hope National Park
[15:30] Took the tram up to the lighthouse @ Cape Point
[16:00] Tram down
[16:54] Took photo with the most ‘South-Western Point’ of the African Continent
[17:40] Drive along Chapman’s Peak (supposedly the most scenic drive of it all)
There was a super bad jam (due to an accident) and we took almost +2 hours to get back to Hotel
[19:50] Chinese Food @ Sables Bar & Bistro

Day 12 – Tuesday
[08:57] Sent the baby to her kindergarten
[09:27] Had breakfast @ cafe nearby
[12:00] Lunch at La Colombe @ Constantia (Best fine dining restaurant according to recommendations)
[16:11] Brought the baby home
[18:20] V&A Waterfront
[19:20] Dinner @ V&A Food Market (Food Court)
[20:40] Back to Hotel

Day 13 – Wednesday
[09:00] Start of Garden Route [430km drive]
[12:33] Arrive @ Montagu Dried fruit shop
[13:40] Lunch
[16:30] Visited Cango Wild Ranch (somewhat like a zoo)
Saw crocodiles, flamingos, leopards, lions, tigers, cheetahs
[18:00] Stay at Yamkela Guest House
[19:20] Dinner @ Bello Cibo (Italian food, pretty delicious)

Day 14 – Thursday
[09:00] Breakfast @ accommodation
[10:30] Arrived @ Cango Cave but decided not to enter
[13:00] Highgate Ostrich Farm (had a super short tour as it was raining)
[14:20] Lunch at Ostrich Farm
[17:11] Arrive @ Kynsna
[17:45] Took the John Benn Cruise around Knysna Estuary(but we didn’t exactly enjoy it much)
[20:20] Dinner at 34 degrees south
[21:40] Stay at Graywood Hotel

Day 15 – Friday
[10:37] Visited East Head View Point
[12:54] Visited the World’s Highest Bungee Jump from Bloukrans Bridge
[13:51] Lunch at Storms River (Marily 60’s Diner)
[15:30] Storms River + walk to suspension bridge
[16:09] Arrived @ suspension bridge
[16:50] Back to vehicle
[20:00] Dinner at Turbine Hotel (nothing nice)
[21:50] Stay at Graywood Hotel

Day 16 – Saturday (500km drive)
[10:00] See the ‘map of africa’ view point
[14:00] Lunch somewhere
[19:00] Back at Cape Town
[19:50] Dinner @ Steamboat ‘House’

Day 17 – Sunday
[08:45] Breakfast at Chinese eatery which serves youtiao and soybean milk
[10:45] Visited Audacia weekend Market and had super fresh oysters
[12:30] Explored Vineyards and had lunch at Webersburg
[15:30] Back to Cape Town City
[19:51] Chinese food again at a restaurant owned by Taiwanese

Day 18 – Monday
[06:30] Depart to Airport
[07:15] Settled tax refunds, Check-in etc.
[08:30] Breakfast @ airport
[11:00] Depart Cape Town

Day 19 – Tuesday
[06:30] Arrival in Singapore

*************************************************************************

I’ll try my best to do a longer write-up for my trip but my free time is quite limited these days. Should you require advice/tips/recommendations for South Africa, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll reply as best as I can.

Meanwhile, do enjoy the photos that I will be uploading slowly to my Facebook Album or check out my instagram hashtag!

Other posts you may be interested in:

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  • hi
    1. can you share how was the experience at Aquila Game Reserve, as i couldnt decide which game reserve to visit.
    2. may i know how was the safety or security at downtown, as you mention there were homeless and beggers?
    3. is Cango Wild Ranch, worth visiting since you went to so many game reserve. my intention of visiting Cango Wild Ranch is purely for the encountered.
    4. will you be uploading any pics for sharing or recording in your blog?
    Lastly, thanks for sharing.

    • Hello! Here are my answers.
      1. Aquila Game Reserve was chosen because it was a relatively more affordable options (given that it includes 3 meals). Given that I’ve already visited the national parks prior to my visit to the game reserve, it didn’t feel very ‘wow’. There were only 2 elephants, 2 giraffes and a couple of rhinos, hippos, zebras and the common ones. They have like 6 to 8 lions (can’t recall) but they are specially enclosed in an area and they are fed and they don’t really hunt. To me, it felt like the reserve was more like a super big zoo cause the animals are all enclosed. Then again, it is not a guarantee to find any of these animals cause the land is very big.
      2. I can’t really comment about the safety/security of downtown as we only drove past the area and we didn’t stay there. However, when we drive past the city area at night, you can see the homeless roaming/sleeping along the streets. I don’t think they will kind of disturb you but the atmosphere wouldn’t be welcoming.
      3. Cango Wild Ranch – to me it was like a zoo. We had a guided tour and the information shared with us was pretty interesting! You can see many animals like crocodiles, flamingos and the lions, cheetahs, leopards and tigers. We didn’t do any encounters so I can’t comment on that. If you’re not going to a national park, I think that a game reserve experience + Cango Wild Ranch would be good. However, having visited 2 national parks, it feels pretty sad to see these animals enclosed and locked up.
      4. Yes, I intend to upload the pictures and do a writeup on my blog but I would take quite a while. You can check out my instagram @flyhoneystars and I’ll upload the photos of my trip slowly. I have an IG story highlight on all the animals that I’ve seen too.

      Thanks for leaving a comment =)