Planning Your Time

3 Days: Fly in to Port Elizabeth in the morning and head straight out to Grahamstown. Do a historical tour in the afternoon followed by dinner at your guesthouse or one of the restaurants in town. The next morning, drive out to Shamwari, Kwandwe, or Addo; plan to spend two days in one of these reserves (staying at one of the private luxury lodges or, at Addo, at an inexpensive SANParks camp) and then drive back to Port Elizabeth to fly out. Or if you choose to visit Kwandwe, you can cut the game-viewing down to one day, keep heading north of Grahamstown, and spend the third day exploring the pretty village of Hogsback and taking a brisk hike into the Amatola Mountains. Alternatively, you could spend two days in Port Elizabeth or its beautiful coastal environs—soaking up the sun, playing a round of golf, taking a cultural tour, and just relaxing—and a third day on a day trip to Addo for an animal fix.

5 Days: With five days you could fly in and out of East London to join the Wild Coast Meander tour with Wild Coast Holiday Reservations —your days filled with walking this wonderful coastline, and each night spent at a different beach hotel. For a glimpse of South Africa not on the usual tourist route, fly to Mthatha from Johannesburg; spend two days and three nights at Bulungula, immersing yourself in the local culture, and then drive from Mthatha to Addo, Shamwari, or Kwandwe for a good game fix. If you spend these last couple of nights at one of the private lodges, you can revel in the indulgence of absolute luxury after a few days of roughing it. Or if game parks aren’t your thing, head to Hogsback and hike through the mountains and forests for a day or two before returning to Port Elizabeth to fly out. A third option is to start in Grahamstown, as for the three-day itinerary; two days in Grahamstown will give you the opportunity to appreciate the history and culture of this lovely city. Then spend two days at the game destination of your choice—Addo, Shamwari, or Kwandwe—and one more day on the Sunshine Coast soaking up some culture, lounging on the beach, or playing golf.

7 Days: Start off as you would for the three-day itinerary but spend two days in Grahamstown and three days at your game destination. Then opt for some beach time on the Sunshine Coast, at Coffee Bay, or Cintsa. Alternatively, fly into East London to join the Wild Coast Meander or head inland toward the Amatola mountain range, with a few cultural stop-offs along the way; then spend two days at Addo, Shamwari, or Kwandwe. Head to Port Elizabeth or its environs and try to work in time to relax on the beach, play golf, or join a tour before flying out.

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