With one week in South Africa, you can visit two to three destinations. First-timers can hit the highlights in Cape Town, Kruger National Park, and Johannesburg. Or wildlife enthusiasts can combine whale watching and game drives on a tour focusing on the coast, while families keen on cultural experiences and waterparks will enjoy adding Sun City Resort and Johannesburg to the mix. Those with little ones will appreciate the variety of kid-friendly activities, including the Adventure Center in Shamwari, with time spent in the Eastern Cape.

Itinerary #1: Family Fun in South Africa: Cape Town, Kruger National Park & Johannesburg

Ideal for families visiting South Africa for the first time, this family fun itinerary combines safari and urban adventures seamlessly. Visit iconic Table Mountain, meet the penguins of Boulders Beach, and search for the Big Five in Kruger National Park. As visitors to Kruger must be over age five, this trip is unsuited for families with younger children. 

You might have to part with your binoculars as the kids search for wildlife on a South African safari
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town & Explore, Dinner at Strolla Cape Town
Day 2 Cape Point & African Penguin Sanctuary Cape Town
Day 3 Table Mountain & Jolly Roger Pirate Ship Cape Town
Day 4 Fly to Kruger National Park, Private Safari  Kruger National Park
Day 5 Full-Day Kruger National Park Safari Kruger National Park
Day 6 Fly to Johannesburg, Soweto Guided Tour & Storytelling Dinner Johannesburg
Day 7 Gold Reef City Theme Park, Depart  

After your flight to Cape Town, refuel at Strolla Restaurant & Bar, where the kids can build their own pizza and watch a movie in the games room. Ride the Flying Dutchman for views of Cape Point, then watch the kids' faces light up when they see the penguins at Boulders Beach African Penguin Sanctuary. Enjoy a sunset picnic at Cape Point Vineyards, where parents can sip wine while children frolic on the lawn. Day 3 is dedicated to Table Mountain—hike or take the cable car up, depending on your family members' ages and abilities. Then, if the kids are keen to play pirates, set sail on the Jolly Roger pirate ship. 

Fly to Kruger National Park for your first game drive. Give the kids a wildlife checklist and see how many they can cross off, then let them stay up past bedtime as your guide helps you search for nocturnal wildlife. Start Day 5 at the Orpen Gate, an area where the greatest concentration of animals can be found in the park. The whole family will enjoy looking for zebras, giraffes, and more from the open-roof 4WD vehicle. On Day 6, you'll fly to Johannesburg and take a tour of Soweto that ends with storytelling under the stars with local freedom fighters (an alternative tour can be arranged for younger kids). Learn more

Itinerary #2: South Africa Coast & Safari Family Adventure

Families with younger children and those who may want to skip Johannesburg and spend more time in nature will appreciate this South African coastal adventure's outdoor activities. You can take a harbor cruise in Cape Town, watch whales in Hermanus, and then track wildlife at Gondwana Private Game Reserve. All ages are welcome at Gondwana; kids can participate in the Junior Ranger Program, and childcare can be arranged for children under two (not allowed on game drives). 

Little ones will love seeing zebras in South Africa
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, Optional Activities Cape Town
Day 2 Cape Point & Boulders Beach Penguin Tour Cape Town
Day 3 Table Mountain Cable Car, Pirate Ship Sail, African Dinner Experience Cape Town
Day 4 Drive to Hermanus, Explore Hermanus
Day 5 Drive to Herbertsdale, Gondwana Private Game Reserve Herbertsdale
Day 6 Gondwana Game Reserve, Junior Ranger Program Herbertsdale
Day 7 Transfer to George Airport, Depart  

Ease into your South Africa adventure with a harbor cruise in Cape Town on arrival. Take a family road trip to Cape Point and enjoy the beaches, views, and a picnic at the lighthouse before visiting Boulders Beach African Penguin Sanctuary—a great spot to snap photos of your kids with penguins in the background. Take a hike or cable car ride up Table Mountain (depending on the energy and abilities of your family). Then, refuel with a 14-course immersive meal; the kids can even jump on stage and play drums with the performers. 

Drive to Hermanus, the "Whale Watching Capital of the World." Take a walk along the coastal paths and task the kids with scanning the water for whales. Even if you don't find any, you can impress the kids with a massive whale skeleton at Whale House Museum. Head to Gondwana Private Game Reserve in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains, where you'll set out on a safari to spot lions and elephants. On your final full day, send the kids to learn about tracking, fishing, and conservation in the Junior Ranger Program while you take a guided hike or treat yourself to a spa treatment. Learn more

Plan your trip to South Africa
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Itinerary #3: South Africa for Families: Cape Town, Sun City & Johannesburg

This relaxed-paced trip focuses on Cape Town and Sun City Resort, ideal for families looking to combine cultural experiences with a couple of days of fun at a resort. You'll take a walking tour of Cape Town, play in the pools at the Vally of Waves waterpark, and learn about the history of Johannesburg through a tour of Soweto and an evening of storytelling. 

Make memories with the kids and check out the views from Table Mountain
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, Family-Friendly Activities Cape Town
Day 2 Table Mountain Cable Car, City Walking Tour, Escape Room Cape Town
Day 3 Bloemendal Estate Wine Tasting & Kids' Sweet Pairing Cape Town
Day 4 Fly to Johannesburg, Transfer to Sun City Resort Sun City
Day 5 Full Day at Sun City Resort Sun City
Day 6 Transfer to Johannesburg, Soweto Tour & Storytelling Dinner Johannesburg
Day 7 Depart Johannesburg  

Take the cable car up Table Mountain and capture family photos with the Cape Town views. Then head out on a walking tour of the city with stops that include Greenmarket Square and the Castle of Good Hope before challenging the older kids to an escape room game (families with younger ones can opt for a boat ride). The kids will be tickled to try a "tasting" of juices and sweets at Bloemendal Estate while parents sample wine, followed by a family bike ride through the vineyards. Fly to Johannesburg, and transfer to Sun City Resort, a surf and safari property located on the border of Pilanesberg National Park.

Spend a full day experiencing a variety of family-friendly activities at Sun City. The kids can race through the Maze of the Lost City, splash around in the waterpark, and go bowling. Alternatively, you can opt for a family safari in Pilanesburg. Return to Johannesburg on Day 6 and take a guided tour of Soweto to learn about the important history here. Let the kids sample "bunny chow," a popular dish of stew or curry, in a bread bowl. On your final night, join local artists and freedom fighters for an evening of storytelling under the stars (if you have little ones or prefer an alternate activity for your family, one can be arranged). Learn more

Itinerary #4: South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands & Safari

The variety of activities on this family adventure, combined with the on-site childcare provided at the Shamwari Game Reserve, makes it an excellent choice for outdoorsy and animal-loving families with children of all ages, including little ones. You can kayak with penguins at Boulders Beach, explore the Babylonstroen Winelands and Gardens (kids can sample the fresh produce, and parents can partake of the wine), and learn how to track animals in Shamwari Game Reserve. 

Have some family fun on Cape Town's beaches
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, Family Time on the Beach Cape Town
Day 2 Mountain Peaks & Pirate Ships Cape Town
Day 3 Peninsula Day: Cape Point, Penguins & Playgrounds Cape Town
Day 4 Family Fun in Franschhoek, Transfer to Elgin Elgin
Day 5 Transfer to Shamwari Game Reserve Eastern Cape Game Reserve
Day 6 On Safari at Shamwari Game Reserve Eastern Cape Game Reserve
Day 7 Transfer to Port Elizabeth, Depart  

Start with a harbor cruise or a helicopter flight over Cape Town. Experience Table Mountain two ways on your second day: first, pack a picnic and hike (or for less experienced hikers and little legs, opt for the cable car), then admire it from the water while playing pirates on the Jolly Roger ship. Kids of all ages will be delighted to see the penguins at Boulders Beach; to catch more of the action, rent kayaks and watch them dive for lunch. If the kids are clamoring for more animal-related activities, take them to meet the farm animals at Kommetjie Imhoff Village or go for a horseback ride on the beach.

Give the kids a sensory experience—they can taste, touch, and smell the fruits, vegetables, and herbs—on a tour at Babylonstroen Winelands and Gardens, then continue to Boschendal, where children ages 4-14 can participate in farm activities while adults sample wine. Spend the next couple of days at Shamwari Game Reserve, and let the kids go wild on the climbing wall and zipline in the Adventure Center. Your budding naturalists (aged four and up) will be thrilled to spot wildlife and learn tracking skills on game drives or bush walks (on-site care is provided for kids under four). Learn more

More Great 1-Week South Africa Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to South Africa? Check out these other one-week South Africa itineraries, with outdoor adventures, family-friendly trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 1 Week in South Africa - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
Map of 1 Week in South Africa - 4 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas