One week in South Africa is enough time to hit the highlights. Consider a trip split between Cape Town and Kruger National Park or a quick-paced tour that focuses on the country's southern coast. Those who like a more relaxed vacation might opt for the itinerary between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth; meanwhile, gourmands will enjoy a food and wine tour of the Winelands and Johanessburg. Then there's the two-country combo for nature lovers, featuring three days of game safari and Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls.

Itinerary #1: Explore South Africa: Cape Town & Kruger Safari

This highlights itinerary offers a classic combo of South Africa's two premier destinations, perfect for first-timers to the country who want to see a bit of everything. You'll take in Cape Town, plus the glories of the surrounding Cape Peninsula and Winelands, topped off by three days on safari in Kruger National Park.

South Africa, sunset over Clifton Beach
The sun sets over Cape Town's affluent Clifton Beach
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, City Tour & Table Mountain Cape Town
Day 2 Full-Day Cape Highlights Tour Cape Town
Day 3 Cheese, Wine & Chocolate Tour Cape Town
Day 4 Cape Town to Kruger, Big Five Night Drive Kruger National Park
Days 5-6 Safari in Kruger National Park Kruger National Park
Day 7 Depart Kruger via Johannesburg  

Arrive in Cape Town with time to explore this vibrant city, taking in such sights as Table Mountain, the Castle of Good Hope, and the District Six Museum. On Day 2, you'll drive south to venture the dramatically scenic Cape Peninsula covering Chapman's Peak Drive to the Cape of Good Hope. After viewing the Boulders Beach African penguin colony along False Bay, you'll head north to stop at Simon's Town for a bite to eat, then turn inland via Muizenberg—famous for its surfing—for wine tasting in the Constantia Winelands.

The following day, enjoy a full day of indulgence in the Cape Winelands, with visits to three notable wineries in and around Stellenbosch to savor fine wines, cheeses, and dark Belgian chocolates. Leaving the Cape behind, Day 4 takes you to Kruger National Park for three days of wildlife viewing during open-vehicle game drives in search of the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino) plus more elusive nocturnal wildlife. On Day 7, you'll transfer to Johannesburg for your connecting flight. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Coastal South Africa

Another classic itinerary that skips the flight to Kruger and focuses solely on the scenic and active adventures of South Africa's southern coastline, plus a half-day game drive. You'll begin in Cape Town and end in Port Elizabeth, discovering epic views en route, first visiting the southern tip of South Africa (Cape Agulhas), then hitting Route 66 for a taste of the interior, followed by the famed Garden Route.

View over coastal Knysna and the scenic Garden Route, South Africa
View over coastal Knysna and the scenic Garden Route
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, Explore Cape Town Cape Town
Day 2 Transfer to Cape Agulhas via Hermanus Cape Agulhas
Day 3 Ostrich Farm Safari & Cango Caves Tour, Transfer to Oudtshoorn Oudtshoorn
Day 4 Explore Wilderness National Park & Knysna, Transfer to Sedgefield Sedgefield
Day 5 Visit Tsitsikamma National Park, Transfer to Addo Elephant National Park Addo
Day 6 Game Drive at Addo Elephant National Park, Transfer to Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth
Day 7 Transfer to Cape Town via Mossel Bay & Depart  

Begin your trip in Cape Town with enough time to explore highlights like Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront for scenic views. Take to the coast on Day 2 to see African penguins at Betty's Bay, whales at Hermanus (season pending), and shark cage diving for the brave before reaching Cape Agulhas. Following Route 62, you'll stop to learn about and see ostriches and their hatchlings, then wander the labyrinth of the Cango Caves, ending the day in Oudtshoorn. On Day 4, you'll take to the mountains and drive the Outeniqua Pass, paddling, birding, and hiking as you work your way to the scenic Garden Route

Reach Knysna after driving via coastal mountains, rainforests, lagoons, and beaches. Relax and enjoy views of the Knysna River estuary, capping the day in Sedgefield. Day 5 has you transferring east to stunning Tsitsikamma National Park, stopping for a possible bungee jump off Bloukrans Bridge, or a paddle, hike, or swim in the park. Next, you'll venture to Addo, home to the Big Five and your hotel for the night. With cameras ready, you'll take on a safari in Addo Elephant National Park to see at least elephants. Overnight in Port Elizabeth, getting an early start the next day to hit a beach in Mossel Bay. Learn more

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

Itinerary #3: South Africa Adventure

Taking a more relaxed pace, this weeklong adventure of the southern Cape provinces is ideal for those who like to tour an area in-depth. You'll spend three nights in Cape Town discovering the buzzing city and its surroundings, including a motorcycle sidecar tour of the Cape Peninsula, before flying to Port Elizabeth for 1.5 days of safari in Addo Elephant National Park.

South Africa, waterfront Cape Town lit at night, purple evening sky
Cape Town's Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (V&A Waterfront)
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town Cape Town
Day 2 Guided Cape Peninsula Sidecar Tour Cape Town
Day 3 Guided Sea Kayak & Table Mountain Tour Cape Town
Day 4 Guided Bike Tour of the Winelands Franschhoek
Day 5 Franschhoek to Eastern Cape Safari Eastern Cape Game Reserve
Day 6 Eastern Cape Safari Eastern Cape Game Reserve
Day 7 Depart Eastern Cape via Cape Town  

Beginning in Cape Town, you'll hop aboard a motorcycle sidecar on Day 2 to drive along the dramatically scenic Cape Peninsula to the Cape of Good Hope. After viewing the penguin colony at Simon's Town, head inland via Muizenberg for wine tasting in the Winelands. A sunrise kayak along the Cape Town coast from Moullie Point on Day 3 offers a chance for close-up encounters with whales and dolphins while you tour by open-top bus, plus a cable-car ride up Table Mountain for scenic hiking. Day 4 sees you biking the vineyards of the Franschhoek Valley, including a picnic lunch at a romantic wine estate, and spending the night in Franschhoek.

On Day 5, fly to Port Elizabeth and drive the dramatic Garden Route coastline to a private game reserve. You'll spend today and Day 6 thrilling to sightings of lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, and other wildlife on early morning and late afternoon game drives. At the same time, birders can count off hundreds of bird species on a peaceful boat cruise on the Bushman's River. On Day 7, fly from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town for your flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Food & Wine Tour: Cape Town, Winelands & Johannesburg

An itinerary fit for food and wine enthusiasts, this foodie tour indulges you in the fine wines and cuisines that define the region. After sampling an array of Cape Town's finest, you'll explore wine country and the Cape Peninsula, wining and dining as you go, then head to Johannesburg for a gourmand's immersion in pan-African fare.

"Biltong," a South African meat jerky snack, complete with spices and herbs
"Biltong," a South African meat jerky snack, complete with spices and herbs
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town Cape Town
Day 2 Wine Tour in the Cape Winelands Cape Town
Day 3 Guided Cuisine & Culture Tour Cape Town
Day 4 Cape Town to Johannesburg & Storytelling Around the Fire Johannesburg
Day 5 Soweto Township & Cooking Class Johannesburg
Day 6 The Cradle of Humankind, Sterkfontein Caves, & African Dinner Johannesburg
Day 7 Depart Johannesburg  

The adventure begins with your arrival in Cape Town with the balance of your first day on your own to explore this vibrant city. Shop for arts and crafts on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, admire the undersea life at the Two Oceans Aquarium, or enjoy a harbor cruise or helicopter flight. On Day 2, enjoy a full-day tour through the Cape Winelands, sampling South Africa's distinctive wines with winery visits around Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, and/or Elgin. The following day, sample South Africa's multicultural culinary influences, including a traditional Cape Malay lunch in Bo Kaap and craft beer and gin in the trendy suburb of Woodstock.

Fly to Johannesburg on Day 4, highlighted by storytelling and a traditional African dinner under the stars with residents of Soweto Township. On Day 5, you'll visit the Nelson Mandela Museum, shop for fresh produce in a local market, and learn to cook like locals: in potjies (cast iron pots) over a fire. Day 6 is about exploring the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, the world's richest early hominin site, boasting around 40% of all known human-ancestor fossils. End with an interactive pan-African culinary experience—from Moroccan dishes to antelope kebab—on a deck overlooking the Boma Dam. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Wild South Africa & Zimbabwe

Capturing a wilderness snapshot of South Africa and Zimbabwe, this outdoorsy trip plan is sure to suit nature lovers. You'll spend three days seeking wildlife in Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Game Reserve, overnight in Johanessburg, and a full day exploring Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River.

Victoria Falls
Catch rainbows at Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Johannesburg, Transfer to Sabi Sands Game Reserve Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Days 2-3 Two Days of Game Drives in Kruger National Park Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Day 4 Morning Game Drive, Transfer to Johannesburg Johannesburg
Day 5 Fly to Victoria Falls, Evening Boma Dinner Victoria Falls
Day 6 Guided Tour of Victoria Falls, Sunset Zambezi River Cruise Victoria Falls
Day 7 Fly to Johannesburg & Depart  

From Johannesburg, you'll catch a short flight to Hoedspruit, just outside the world-famous Kruger National Park, and then transfer to your lodgings at the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger. Board an open-top 4WD in the afternoon for your first game drive that lasts into the night. On Days 2 and 3, you'll head out into Kruger on safari for opportunities to spot African wildlife, returning to camp each night for dinner under the starlit night sky. On Day 4, enjoy one last morning game drive before returning to Hoedspruit for your flight to Johanessburg, where you'll overnight.

Day 5 sees you flying to Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls. The day will be yours to rest for your evening experience of a boma dinner. Enjoy dishes prepared over an open fire in a traditional enclosure, with storytelling, dancing, and drumming. The following day, with your guide, you'll head out to see Victoria Falls up close, stopping first at the centuries-old baobab, Big Tree. Hike the trails bordering the falls while the mist keeps you cool. There's time to helicopter over or raft the Zambezi River or bungee jump. Enjoy a cocktail sunset cruise down the same river the evening before your outbound flight the next day. Learn more

More Great 1-Week South Africa Itineraries

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


Map of 1 Week in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 1 Week in South Africa - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas