Go whale watching, shark diving, wine tasting, meerkat spotting, ocean kayaking, and so much more on this fantastic two-week tour of South Africa. Kick things off in Cape Town with the best food, art, and history experiences, get up close with nature on a drive along the famously scenic Garden Route, and end your adventure with a ride through the vineyards on the famous wine tram of Franschhoek.


  • Meet wild meerkats, penguins, sharks, whales, and ostriches
  • Taste your way through Cape Town's best restaurants
  • Ride the wine tram in Franschhoek
  • Explore Tsitsikamma National Park by kayak
  • Learn about key events in South Africa's history on Robben Island

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town Cape Town
Day 2 Cape Town Food, City & Table Mountain Tour Cape Town
Day 3 Visit Living History on Robben Island Cape Town
Day 4 Free Time in Cape Town Cape Town
Day 5 Meet Penguins on the Cape Peninsula Cape Town
Day 6 Full-Day Wine Tour Stellenbosch
Day 7 Go E-Biking in the Winelands Stellenbosch
Day 8 Whale Watching in Hermanus Hermanus
Day 9 Try Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai Plettenberg Bay
Day 10 Explore Tsitsikamma National Park Plettenberg Bay
Day 11 Greet Ostriches in Oudtshoorn Oudtshoorn
Day 12 Meet Wild Meerkats, Transfer to Franschhoek Franschhoek
Day 13 Franschhoek Wine Tram Franschhoek
Day 14 Transfer to Cape Town & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town

Airport Transfer from Airport to Accommodation in Cape Town
An aerial view of Cape Town

Welcome to Cape Town, South Africa's second-largest city. Your driver will meet you at the arrivals lounge and transfer you to your accommodation. The rest of the day is yours to explore the vibrant and beautiful coastal metropolis. From the forest to the beach, the mountains to the ocean, and the grasslands to the Winelands, Cape Town's diverse natural landscape is just the beginning. Head downtown and you'll uncover a melting pot of cultures, creativity, and cuisine.

Day 2: Cape Town Food, City & Table Mountain Tour

Cape Town Food, City & Table Mountain Private Day Tour
Sample the local specialty of biltong
On your first full day in Cape Town, start with a trip up the famous Table Mountain before touring the city. You'll meet locals from all walks of life as you taste your way through this underrated culinary destination. Your first city stop is a coffee tasting at the oldest artisan coffee roasters in South Africa. From here, you'll stroll through the leafy Company's Garden with local snacks, and later head to Woodstock, a vibrant hidden gem on the outskirts of town for a craft beer and food pairing. You'll visit a special chocolatier to sample the goods and enjoy a hot chocolate before heading back to the city.

Commence a walking tour of Bree Street, Cape Town's coolest strip, where you'll try South Africa's favorite snack—biltong—before heading off to the colorful district of Bo Kaap. Taste the Cape's Eastern-influenced traditions including samosas, koeksisters, and an amazing array of spices. End this delicious day out at a cheesemaker, where you can ask questions while enjoying a cheese platter accompanied by a tasting of South Africa's best wines.

Day 3: Visit Living History on Robben Island

Robben Island
The gates to Robben Island

South Africa's first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in jail on Robben Island before his rise in politics. Dive into history when you spend half a day exploring the place that has become a symbol of the triumph of democracy and freedom over oppression. The World Heritage Site and museum offers daily tours beginning at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront. View a multimedia exhibition before taking the scenic half-hour ferry to the island. Your tour will be guided by a former political prisoner of the island who will share their unique insights into the island's history.

Day 4: Free Time in Cape Town

The scenery of Cape Town
Cape Town is a both cosmopolitan city and a celebration of natural beauty at every turn. Today you could head to the waterfront and hire kayaks, or venture into the hills again and look down at Table Bay's sapphire waters from the top of Table Mountain. While up here, explore the Tree Canopy Walkway at Kirstenbosch, a 1,300-acre (527 ha) botanical garden before returning to town. Get a dose of culture at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art, home to the largest collection of contemporary African art in Africa, or explore Long Street's quaint cafés, chic boutiques, and vintage stores.
Despite the country's remarkable natural wonders and cultural diversity, millions of South Africans still live in extreme poverty. Join Uthando (Love) South Africa, an award-winning model of responsible tourism, on a tour that shines a light on Cape Town's unsung community heroes and philanthropic projects. Visit the city's eastern townships and hear an insightful overview of South Africa's turbulent history and today's ongoing challenges when you visit inspiring community projects, such as urban agriculture collectives, youth-led dance or music programs, and refugee support. 
Later in the evening, choose to join chef Nicky Gibbs around the kitchen table of her Cape Peninsula home for a memorable six-course meal paired with herbal and floral teas. Nicky forages in her garden and along the coast in the breathtaking Noordhoek Valley to produce a world-class seasonal menu inspired by the gifts of the Cape floral kingdom.
Plan your trip to South Africa
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Meet Penguins on the Cape Peninsula

Penguins on Boulders Beach

The early bird gets the worm—or in this case, the penguin. Get an early start for the best views of Cape Point, an hour south of Cape Town on the Cape Peninsula. Here, the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, creating a remarkable ecosystem where flora and fauna flourish. Fynbos, baboons, Cape mountain zebra, ostriches, eland, and sugarbirds all reside here. Journey to Simon's Town for a seafood lunch with views before visiting the famous Boulders Beach where you can see the African penguin sanctuary from elevated platforms.

To see the charismatic birds up close, rent a sea kayak and watch the penguins fishing. Alternatively, this afternoon you could visit the Kommetjie Imhoff Village farm animals, play a round of paintball, go horseback riding along the beach, or enjoy a coastal train ride from Simon's Town to Muizenberg. End the day at the Cape Point Vineyards with a glass of wine and a gourmet picnic dinner. Stroll through the Noordhoek Village Market shopping for crafts and foodie delights before watching the sunset along the scenic Chapmans Peak Drive on your return trip to Cape Town.

Day 6: Full-Day Wine Tour

Full-Day Wine Tour
Beautiful vineyards of the Western Cape

South Africa's Western Cape is home to more than 500 wineries, ranging from boutique estates to international producers. Today you'll experience a bit of both as you meet the region's local winemakers and learn about South African wine. Whether you're a fan of bubbles, chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz, or the local cultivar of pinotage, you'll be able to sip, swill, and sample it all. Taste the region's top wines and enjoy special pairings with foods such as chocolate, cheese, biltong (local cured meat), olives, oysters, nougat, ice cream, cupcakes, and even salt!

Day 7: Go E-Biking in the Winelands

Explore the vineyards of the Cape Winelands by e-bike

Cycle from Stellenbosch to Boschendal Wine Estate via a spectacular valley on today's half-day e-bike tour. You'll follow trails past lush vineyards and charming towns, spot eland and blue wildebeest, and cross clear mountain streams through the Banhoek Conservancy. Along the way, your local guide will share stories and give you a deeper understanding of the valley and its history. Put your feet up and enjoy a coffee or lunch at Boschendal before an afternoon transfer back to Stellenbosch.

Alternatively, experience the beauty of the Kogelberg Biosphere and Elgin Valley with an adventurous zip lining tour that takes you from mountain top to mountain top. Stop for lunch at one of the many beautiful places in the valley, and enjoy a Cape Brandy tasting and chocolate pairing at Oude Molen. Or turn the adrenaline down with a food walking tour through Stellenbosch. Sip award-winning gin, pair craft beer and food, taste artisanal biltong, learn about sustainable food practices, and hear about the fascinating artworks that dot the historic streets.

Day 8: Whale Watching in Hermanus

Whale Watching
Whale watching near Hermanus
Today you'll board a purpose-built catamaran to witness majestic southern right whales splash, play, and breach while whale watching in Hermanus. The whales pass by between June and November, but you might also spy humpbacks and Bryde's whales, African penguins, Cape fur seals, and even pods of dolphins. The vessel will stop as close as 55 yards (50 m) from the curious marine creatures, who often come right up to the boat to "people watch." A whale specialist will provide insights en route while an onboard videographer captures the action.
After the experience, use your free time to explore the shops, restaurants, and galleries along the Hermanus waterfront, or join another half-day wine safari through the Winelands.

Day 9: Try Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai

Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai

Afraid of sharks? Today's your day to conquer those fears. After an early transfer to the town of Gansbaai, the heart of shark cage diving in South Africa, enjoy a light breakfast while being briefed on your upcoming adventure. Each person will get the opportunity to spend some time in the cage, and when you're not at eye level with these dangerous creatures you can see them from the boat's viewing deck. If you're lucky you'll lure a great white! When you return to dry land, enjoy a soul-warming soup and tasty lunch before continuing on to Plettenberg Bay.

Day 10: Explore Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park
Float down the Storms River in Tsitsikamma National Park

Indigenous forest meets the beautiful Indian Ocean coastline at Tsitsikamma National Park, where you can enjoy hiking, swimming, and the thrills of a suspension bridge. En route, stop at Bloukrans Bridge to see the world's highest bungee jump bridge at 708 feet (216 m) high before diving into the wilderness. The best way to explore is with a kayak and lilo experience, where you paddle across the ocean, under the famous Storms River Mouth Suspension Bridge, and up the majestic river. This is when the real adventure begins.

Spend time gazing up in awe at the spectacular cliffs, and then say goodbye to the kayaks and hello to lilos (inflatable loungers). Float deeper up the river gorge on the lilos, feeling weightless while soaking up the serenity of paradise. Eventually, make a U-turn and float back down the river to the kayaks.

Day 11: Greet Ostriches in Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn street
Curious ostriches in Oudtshoorn
Spend today exploring the "ostrich capital of the world." Oudtshoorn is a relaxed town that relies on ostrich farming, with plenty of farms offering tours to meet and interact with the big birds. Just be sure to look and not touch, and avoid offers to ride the ostriches—this activity ranks high on the animal cruelty spectrum. After spending time face-to-beak, swap the town for the trails and explore Karoo's arid landscapes with a mountain bike. If you prefer a slower-paced activity, opt for a hot air balloon ride over the region instead.

For lunch, venture to the countryside at De Kombuys Winery and try the wagyu beef burger followed by a wine or olive tasting, and a wander through the vineyards. Afterward, visit the Cango Caves, an extensive underground system of limestone chambers and tunnels. Join the Heritage Tour to check out the cave's stalactite and stalagmite formations, as well as remnants of Khoikhoi paintings. Or if you're up for a thrill, take the Adventure Tour and navigate a series of tight squeezes and narrow limestone chimneys.

Day 12: Meet Wild Meerkats, Transfer to Franschhoek

See wild meerkats
See wild meerkats
Eager to see meerkats in the wild? Set an early alarm, this special wildlife tour starts at sunrise and is dependent on good weather—these little creatures will (understandably) not venture outside their burrows on cold, cloudy and rainy days! This is the only place in South Africa where you can observe how wild meerkats wake up, brush their teeth, and go about their regular routine of foraging and frolicking. Meerkats are part of the so-called "Shy Five" family, which also includes the bat-eared fox, aardvark, porcupine, and aardwolf.
After the meerkat experience, you will transfer to the charming town of Franschhoek. Check into your accommodation and use your free afternoon to walk around this lovely town in the heart of wine country. Enjoy dinner at one of their world-class restaurants and relax.

Day 13: Ride the Franschhoek Wine Tram

Franschhoek Wine Tram
Hop on the Franschhoek Wine Tram for a day of wine tasting

One of the most memorable ways to see the vineyards of the Franschhoek Valley is by tram, with a choice of eight different lines that showcase a selection of the valley's best wine estates. Choose the hop-on/hop-off experience to curate and plan your day, choosing how long to spend at each winery, where to eat lunch, and which activities to enjoy along the way. Taste your way through some of South Africa's greatest wineries while taking in panoramic views of the surrounding countryside aboard the famous wine tram.

Day 14: Transfer to Cape Town & Depart

View from The Rock viewpoint in Cape Town over Camps Bay
View from The Rock viewpoint in Cape Town over Camps Bay

It's time to say goodbye to South Africa. Your driver will take you from Franschhoek to Cape Town International Airport in a private car, where you can catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

More Great South Africa Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to South Africa? Check out these other South Africa itineraries, explore different ways to spend two weeks in South Africa, or discover the best time to visit South Africa.


Map of Cape Town, Franschhoek & Garden Route - 14 Days
Map of Cape Town, Franschhoek & Garden Route - 14 Days