South Africa Impact trip

The ideal South Africa route
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The ideal route for your 28-day South Africa impact trip

  • Travel with a maximum positive impact
  • Get to know many authentic cultures
  • Spot the Big 5 in Kruger and other national parks
  • Visit breathtaking landscapes in beautiful Cape Town

During this 28-day South Africa impact trip you’ll get to know the heart and soul of South Africa. This South Africa vacation shows you the diversity and variety of the people and the land through unique activities and cultural experiences. Your journey will begin in bustling Johannesburg. You will meet the local Venda people. After spotting wildlife in Kruger National Park you will travel across the country and see the landscapes change. Via the peaks of Drakensberg and an intimate encounter with the Basotho people you will explore the Cape’s wine country and Cape Town itself. Take in the landscapes, the cultural experiences and enjoy yourself during this amazing South Africa holiday.

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What is impact travel?

Better Places Travel is a social enterprise and certified B Corp. This means that we are committed to making a social impact above making a profit. As a social enterprise we find it important that the people in the countries we work with fully profit from tourism. This means, for example, that the people we work with receive a fair wage and have decent working hours and conditions. For you as traveller it means you’ll often stay in small-scale, locally owned hotels and accommodations and take part in local excursions that offer you a truly authentic experience. We also invest a portion of our profits in various social and environmental projects.

See Daily ItinerarySee Positive Impact
Route Tanzania Impact Trip
  • Johannesburg
  • Soutpansberg
  • Kruger National Park
  • Hazyview
  • eSwatini (Swaziland)
  • Hluhluwe Park
  • Drakensberg
  • Eastern Free State
  • Lesotho
  • Oostkaap
  • Karoo
  • Jeffrey’s Bay
  • Oudtshoorn
  • Stellenbosch
  • Cape Town
Share your travel wishes with Nina and she will send you a tailor-made proposal

Day 1 – Johannesburg – Beginning of your South Africa vacation

Today marks the beginning of your South Africa impact trip. You will land in Johannesburg where a local driver will be waiting to take you to your accommodation in Melville. This is a lively place with lots of little restaurants and shops. Depending on your arrival time you will have the chance to explore them. Your bed & breakfast is well-located in the area and will be where you will stay for the next two nights.

Day 2 – Johannesburg and Soweto

You will be picked up in the morning by a local guide who will take you to Soweto. You will get to know a lot about this important Apartheid monument. You will learn about the spirit of the inhabitants of Soweto and the community projects. There is also a small bike tour to see more of the surroundings.

Day 3 – Johannesburg to Soutpansberg Mountain Range

A rental car will be delivered to your bed & breakfast. You will drive to Soutpansberg and pass beautiful landscapes, Swaziland and Lesotho along the way. Your accommodation tonight has an amazing restaurant and your breakfast is included.

Day 4 & 5 – TAHS-SA African Homestay

The next two days of your South Africa vacation will give you a unique and authentic experience. After a short drive you will be welcomed by the inhabitants of the village. They will receive you with local dances and traditional meals. The coming two days you will stay here. You will have a private room and the locals will keep you busy with a variety of activities. You will learn a lot about the local Venda culture and make interesting new friends. An amazing experience!

south africa impact trip

Day 6 – Kruger National Park

Unfortunately, it’s time to say your goodbyes to everyone you met at TAHS-SA, as now you will head down to spot some wildlife. Off to Kruger! This world-famous park is a must-see during your South Africa trip. Here you can spot the Big 5 and many more animals on your game drive with a park ranger. You will spend the night in a camp in Kruger.

Day 7 – Kruger National Park

You will set off in the morning with a local park ranger to learn more about the flora and fauna during a hike through the bush. You can ask the rangers anything – they are true experts. Tonight, you will also go on a night game drive where you will get to see very different animals than during the day.

Day 8 – Kruger National Park and Leydsdorp

The last day in Kruger you will go on another game drive. Hopefully you will spot a large variety of wildlife. You will drive around all day to see the majority of the park. You will stop for lunch and at the end of the day you will leave the park. Tonight, you will stay in Leydsdorp, an old gold-seekers town. Here you can see the historical mines and the abandoned village. You will stay here one night, and breakfast is included.

Day 9 – Leydsdorp to Hazyview

During the drive up to your next destination you will drive along the so-called Panorama Route: an absolute highlight of your vacation in South Africa. On this drive you will see the Blyde River Canyon, a 26-km long canyon with gorgeous red rocks surrounded by valleys and rivers. You can’t miss this. On the way there are several hotspots to visit with your car, such as viewpoints, old villages like Graskop and Pilgrims Rest. Your accommodation is in Hazyview, in an old guesthouse with breakfast included.

south africa impact trip

Dag 10 – Hazyview to eSwatini (Swaziland)

You will drive to eSwatini (former Swaziland) today. This little country located in South Africa is where you will spend the coming two nights. Your lodge is located next to one of the oldest mountain regions of the world, near the Maguga dam. It’s beautiful here and there is an amazing restaurant on the spot. You have the opportunity to discover the area or to discover the quiet surroundings. Breakfast is taken care of.

south africa impact trip

Day 11 – eSwatini

A wide range of activities is waiting for you today at the Maguga Dam. You can take several boat tours, visit cave paintings or go on guided walks. There is also the possibility to go fishing in the reservoir at the dam or to visit a Swazi-homestead and enjoy traditional song and dance. There is a lot to do here!

Day 12 – eSwatini to Hluhluwe

You will continue your trip through South Africa by discovering another culture today: the Zulu. You will set off in the direction of Hluhluwe, the oldest national park of South Africa. You have a good chance to spot the big 5 here. You can discover the park by yourselves or ask a guide to join you, the choice is yours. You will stay here two nights with breakfast included.

south africa impact trip

Day 13 – Hluhluwe national park

Early in the morning you will go on a hike through the bush, accompanied by a ranger. Afterwards another cultural highlight awaits. After a short drive you will reach St. Lucia for an experience with a Khula villagers. You will learn about the Zulu that live here and their way of life in this remote village. At the end of the day you will be brought to your accommodation on a cruise where you will undoubtedly spot many hippos and crocodiles.

south africa impact trip

Day 14 – Hluhluwe to Umdloti

Today you will see the coast of South Africa. You will drive along the dolphin coast towards Umdloti beach. The garden of your accommodation is right on the beach. It’s a wonderful place where you can enjoy a cocktail on the beach or many of the fine restaurants.

Day 15 – Umdloti to Drakensberg

The next destination is in a completely different setting. Via the valley of 1000 hills and the waterfalls of Howick you will drive to the Southern Drankensberg mountains. Surrounded by the beautiful mountain scenery you can get some well-deserved rest here. Your accommodation is located on the border with Lesotho. You will spend two nights here, with breakfast included.

south africa impact trip

Day 16 – Drakensberg

Today will be spectacular! With a 4x4 you will drive to the Sani Pass where on the way you will stop at breathtaking views on the border of Lesotho. Along the way you will have enough opportunities to enjoy the surrounding area. You will also stop at the Mokhotlong village where you will get to see how the Basotho people go about their daily life. Many traders come here to sell their products at the market. You will visit the house of the local chief and have lunch with him. He will teach you about many local products. On the way back, you will pass a small village for a short meeting with a local family – a special experience. At night you will stay again in Underberg in beautiful accommodation.

south africa impact trip

Day 17 – Drakensberg to Clarens

For today’s route there are two options. The short route along the Southern border of Lesotho or the slightly longer, but very beautiful route where you will see even more of the Northern Drakensberg and the Golden Gate National Park. You have the whole day to spend to your liking, so the choice is yours! Upon arrival in Clarens you can visit one of the many galleries, cafes and restaurants. Clarens is known as the art capital of South Africa. In the morning, your lodge offers breakfast.

Day 18 & 19 – Clarens to Lesotho

Located between the Maluti mountains of Lesotho you will spend the night in Semonkong Lodge. It’s an area with many activities you can do. For example, book a tour to discover the area on horseback, go rock climbing or take a cultural tour of the area. But the most exciting part of your visit to this area is your accommodation. Read more about this Semonkong Lodge in the sidebar to the right. Your breakfast is included.

south africa impact trip

Day 20 – Lesotho to the Eastern Cape

Today you will again have the choice of different routes, but one thing is for sure: you’re going back to South Africa. Along the beautiful Orange River you will find your lodging. This is a nice complex with beautiful rooms and breakfast is included. You have the opportunity to discover the surroundings or simply to relax. 

Day 21 – Eastern Cape to Karoo

After check out, it’s time to head to a new province. On the way there are many fun options for lunch and visiting small villages. You will stay on a farm that has a large collection of fossils that have been found in the area. Very interesting to see! The owners are very excited to show you more. Seeing as you’re staying in the Karoo area you should also get to know the Karoo cuisine. You’ll do this together with other travellers and locals.

south africa impact trip

Day 22 – Karoo to Jeffery’s Bay

Back to the coast! You will drive past some beautiful nature reserves on the way to the surfer paradise called Jeffrey’s Bay. You will spend one night in a cute accommodation with breakfast included. It’s lovely to enjoy the beach here, but there are also plenty of options for your lunch or dinner.

south africa impact trip

Day 23 – Jeffreys Bay to Oudtshoorn

During this South Africa holiday you will drive along the most beautiful part of the “Garden Route”. First you will head to Tsitsikamma with its indigenous forests and afterwards you will see the beaches of Plettenberg Bay. There is much to do on the way and there are many ostriches you can spot. At the end of the day you will reach your guesthouse where you will spend the next two nights. Breakfast is again included.

Day 24 – Oudtshoorn

There are many activities in Oudtshoorn and you can start your day with a meerkat experience on the farm where you’re stay. After breakfast you will drive to the Cango caves where you can choose from a variety of tours. On the way back you will stop at the ostrich farm of Cango for an interesting encounter with these huge birds. A lovely lunch is waiting for you in the afternoon.

south africa impact trip

Day 25 – Oudsthoorn to Stellenbosch

While driving along Route 62 you will see the landscapes change from the dry Karoo to valleys of vineyards and roses. You will spend the night at the Spier Hotel. This is an active wine farm with a number of award-winning wines. Make sure to try some of the products here and book one of the tours that the hotel offers. The next morning after breakfast you will leave.

south africa impact trip

Day 26 – Stellenbosch to Cape Town

The last two nights of your holiday in South Africa you will spend in Cape Town. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the world and there are many things you can do here. There are different ways to explore the city: rent a bike or book a tour with a guide. If the weather is good, then it is worthwhile to visit Table Mountain. Today you also get to take part in a cooking class. You will learn a lot about the preparation of local dishes and you will get a tour through the Bo-Kaap area of the city. You will spend two nights in a lovely villa.

Day 27 – Cape Town

Another full day in this amazing city. We recommend exploring the surrounding area of Cape Town. Book a tour or take a rental car down to the peninsula. There is a lot to see here. You can visit Robbeneiland, Chapmans Peak or the Cape of Good Hope. The rental car gives you all the freedom you need to discover the highlights.

south africa impact trip

Day 28 – End of your South Africa holiday

The last day of your holiday in South Africa is here. Depending on the time of your flight you have some time to explore Cape Town some more. You will hand in your rental car and be taken to the airport to catch your flight back home.

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A day with the locals

During your stay at TAHS-SA you will have the opportunity to experience the lifestyle of the Venda. The local people will open their doors to dance, eat, drink and share their traditions with you. The programme consists of diverse activities and this excursion aims to promote small-scale tourism in the remote areas of South Africa.

Zulu culture from up-close

During your stay in Hluhluwe you get the chance to submerge yourself in the rich and varied culture of the Zulu. Discover the different forms of craftsmanship and enjoy the traditional dances. These types of tours are an important source of income for the people and they help keep tourism in this area small-scale and community-based.

Fairtrade Tourism 

South Africa is the birthplace of Fair Trade Tourism, the leading organization in the field of responsible tourism in Africa. This South Africa vacation is full of small-scale accommodations and local excursions that are certified by Fair Trade Tourism. What better way to authentically experience the ‘soul’ of South Africa and travel responsibly at the same time?

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Surrounded by nature

During your holiday in South Africa you will spend two nights in the beautiful Old Hatchery. This B&B is located in an amazing spot in the mountains of Drakensberg. With rivers and lakes right next to you and bewildering nature all around you, you will find yourself in an oasis of tranquility where you can recover from the experiences of the last few days. A very special overnight stay!

Daily life of the Basotho

During this holiday in South Africa you will get to know many local cultures and tribes. One of these tribes is the Basotho community in the Mokhotlong. See how the traders collect and trade local products. The chief will welcome you and you will have breakfast with a local family. A unique cultural exchange!

Everyone benefits

Semonkong Lodge lies hidden in the Maluti mountain range and offers travellers a beautiful landscape view. The lodge employs many locals, helping create a sustainable income for everyone in the community.

Learn to make local dishes

Located in the historical neighborhood of Bo-Kaap, you will spend one of the last days of your holiday in South Africa learning how to make traditional dishes. Get to know the Cape Malay kitchen and choose your favorite ingredients. You will prepare the meal together with a chef. At the end of the day you will know all about the most delicious local meals.

Share your travel wishes with Karin and she will send you a tailor-made proposal

Sustainable Development Goals


At the end of 2015, the United Nations set up 17 global goals to bring an end to poverty, inequality and climate change: the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals set guidelines to make the world a better place for everyone. At Better Places Travel, we believe that by travelling in a responsible way, tourism can make the world a better place. The great thing about responsible travel? Making the world a better place is goes hand-in-hand with making memories and having unique and authentic travel experiences. Want to know how you can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals while travelling? Click here to learn more.



Book a Direct Flight

By booking a direct flight you significantly reduce the CO2 emissions of your trip. And that’s just one of the many reasons to choose for a non-stop flight. Read more

Plastic-Free Travel

We strive to make all our trips plastic-free by 2020. This means no more use of single-use plastic bottles. As a traveller you will on average use 15 water bottles per person in one week! This leads to a large amount of plastic waste, which unfortunately often ends up in the sea. Have a look at our many practical tips on how to reduce your plastic waste while travelling. Read more

Reduce Emissions

Better Places Travel compensates the CO2 emissions of your entire trip, including the international flight you book separately. We use an award-winning carbon calculator to accurately compensate for all parts of your trip. We do this by investing in a Gold Standard project for efficient cooking appliances in Ghana. Read more 


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