On this 13-day adventure in South Africa and beyond, you'll check some major activities off your bucket list. Start on the coast of Cape Town, where you'll experience highlights like visiting Cape Point, walking with penguins, going on wine tours, and enjoying the views from Table Mountain. Then, spend a few unforgettable days on safari in Kruger National Park, followed by a jaunt to Mauritius for beach time and aquatic excursions in the Indian Ocean.

Highlights

  • Tour Cape Town highlights like Robben Island and Table Mountain
  • Visit South Africa's wine country for some tastings
  • Spend a few days on safari in Kruger National Park
  • Fly to Mauritius to explore an island in the Indian Ocean

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town Cape Town
Day 2 City Tour: Robben Island & Table Mountain Cape Town
Day 3 Cape Point & Penguins Tour Cape Town
Day 4 Cape Town Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Tour Cape Town
Day 5 Cape Town to Kruger National Park & Sunset Safari Kruger National Park
Day 6 Day Trip to Kapama Game Reserve Kruger National Park
Day 7 Full-Day Kruger National Park Safari Kruger National Park
Day 8 Kruger to Johannesburg & Blyde River Canyon Tour Johannesburg
Day 9 Johannesburg to Mauritius Mauritius
Day 10 Hike Le Morne Brabant Mauritius
Day 11 Mauritius Catamaran Tour Mauritius
Day 12 Full-Day Dolphins & Volcanic Wonders Tour Mauritius
Day 13 Depart Mauritius  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town

Welcome to Cape Town
Welcome to South Africa! Upon arrival at the airport in Cape Town, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel, where you can relax and unwind after checking in. If you have the energy later, head out and discover this incredible metropolis on a self-guided tour. You'll find history, culture, great food, and stunning scenery in Cape Town. Visitors come for the city's wealth of attractions, incredible landmarks, fun activities, and the natural beauty of its coast and mountains.

Day 2: City Tour: Robben Island & Table Mountain

Enjoy the views from Table Mountain
This morning, you'll board a ferry for the 40-minute ride to Robben Island. This island is notorious for having housed many Black South African political prisoners, the most famous being Nelson Mandela, who spent 18 of his 27 imprisoned years here. Today, it's a museum, and upon arrival, you'll take a bus tour around the island and a guided tour of the prison facilities, including Mandela's former cell. Afterward, you'll return to the mainland. 

Next is a drive through colorful Bo-Kaap, where the neighborhood's brightly-painted houses belie a painful history. In the late 18th century, enslaved people from Malaysia and Indonesia were brought to South Africa and housed in this area. When they were finally granted the right to own property, they painted their all-white houses bright colors as a symbolic expression of freedom. Their culture and cuisine also became a vital part of the city's fabric, which you'll get to see, hear, and taste on today's tour.

Continue your drive to see some historic buildings, like the 17th-century Castle of Good Hope, before hopping on one of the city's famous cable cars. This aerial cableway ascends 991 feet (302 m) above sea level to Table Mountain. From its plateau at 3,501 feet (1,067 m), you'll enjoy panoramic views over the city out to Robben Island. Time permitting, you may even witness the sunset over the Atlantic. 

Day 3: Cape Point & Penguins Tour

Boulders Beach Penguin Colony
Boulders Beach Penguin Colony
A driver will pick you up from your hotel, and you'll venture south of the city for a half-day tour down to the tip of the famous Cape Peninsula and the towering headland of Cape Point. Throughout the trip, you'll be treated to stunning views of the Atlantic coastline as you pass wide beaches and picturesque seaside villages. These include highlights like the upscale oceanfront area of Clifton, the beach community of Camps Bay, and the charming harbor town of Hout Bay

Continue on the scenic coastal drive around Chapman's Peak and down to Cape Point, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and protected nature reserve. Here you'll take a ride on the Flying Dutchman funicular railway from the lower station up to the iconic lighthouse. This vantage point offers incredible views over the rocky headland to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. 

Then, head to the eastern side of Cape Peninsula to Simonstown. Besides its naval base and maritime museum, the town is famous for its penguin colony at Boulders Beach. This sheltered inlet is home to a colony of African penguins, and you can view them up close via a network of wooden walkways. After spending some time with your new penguin friends, you'll return to Cape Town and your hotel. 

Day 4: Cape Town Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Tour

The stunning Cape Winelands region of South Africa
The stunning Cape Winelands region of South Africa
Just outside the city is the Cape Winelands region of South Africa. This incredibly fertile area is home to an abundance of vineyards and wineries that produce award-winning, world-class wines. On this full-day tasting tour, you'll visit a handful of the best estates in the region. But wine isn't the only treat on the menu—you'll also pair different vintages with artisanal cheeses and chocolates. 

Your first stop after meeting your guide is Fairview Wine & Cheese. At this combined vineyard/goat farm, you'll sample eight different wines, during which you'll learn the finer points of how best to pair them with cheese and olives. Then, continue to Franschhoek, a small town home to many world-class wineries, luxury hotels, and Michelin-starred restaurants.
 
After a stroll around town followed by lunch, you'll hit the road again to Waterford Estate for a decadent finale to the day's tour. This winery has partnered with a master chocolatier to create the perfect pairings to tantalize your tastebuds. Get ready to lose yourself in a dream of shiraz, cabernet, and sweet wines served with light and dark milk chocolates. Afterward, your guide will take you back to Cape Town. 

Day 5: Cape Town to Kruger National Park & Sunset Safari

Spot rhinos on a sunset safari
Spot rhinos on a sunset safari
Bid Cape Town farewell this morning as a driver transfers you to the airport to catch a 2.5-hour flight northeast to Kruger National Park. Upon arrival, a private driver will pick you up and transfer you to the premier safari lodge in the area: Tremisana. Here, walkways pass between palm and bougainvillea-filled gardens to 15 chalets, each equipped with modern conveniences like en suite bathrooms and air conditioning. After check-in, feel free to relax and perhaps take a refreshing dip in the pool.

At dusk, you'll board an open-topped 4WD vehicle and embark on a sunset safari to try and spot Africa's Big Five animals: lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos. After enjoying an African sunset over the savanna, your guide will lead you on a nocturnal wildlife tour. With powerful spotlights, you might spy animals like hyenas and lions out for their nightly hunt. Before returning to the lodge, you'll break for a traditional bush braai (South African bbq) dinner.

Day 6: Day Trip to Kapama Game Reserve

Spend a day on safari at Kapama
Today you'll visit Kapama, one of the finest luxury game reserves in the greater Kruger National Park. It's a private reserve home to over 350 bird species and 40 species of mammals, including the "Big Five." Here, you have the option of embarking on a couple of different family-friendly game drives. The first safari leaves at dawn and has you back at the lodge in time for breakfast; the other is a sunset safari that departs in the afternoon and returns for dinner. 

If you'd rather enjoy a safari on foot, you can join on a bush walk led by an expert ranger. This excursion is fun for both young and old, as along the way, your guide will point out medicinal plants, creepy crawly insects, and exotic birdlife like hornbills and eagles. You'll even learn some traditional tracking skills, such as using footprints and scat to identify animals and their likely locations.

For relaxation, Kapa offers several spa treatments in its wellness center. These include massages, facials, exfoliation, body wraps, beauty treatments, and more. There's also a full gym and inviting swimming pool, and yoga and meditation sessions can also be arranged. 

Day 7: Full-Day Kruger National Park Safari

Spot leopards on a safari in Kruger National Park
Spot leopards on a safari in Kruger National Park
After an early wake-up call, hop in a 4WD vehicle and head to the Orpen Gate, one of the western entrances to Kruger National Park. The day is guaranteed to be exciting, as this region has the greatest concentration of animals in the whole of Kruger. And from your elevated position in an open-topped safari vehicle, you'll enjoy the perfect vantage point from which to snap great photos. 

Leading this unforgettable wildlife tour will be an expert guide who will search out giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and impalas—because where these animals are found, lions and other apex predators aren't far behind. You're also sure to spot some of Kruger's incredible 517 species of birds, which include starlings, hornbills, and the occasional ostrich. You'll return to the lodge in time for dinner at the end of the afternoon.

Day 8: Kruger to Johannesburg & Blyde River Canyon Tour

The Three Rondavels, at Blyde River Canyon
The Three Rondavels, at Blyde River Canyon

Today you'll leave the savanna behind as your driver picks you up for the ride to Johannesburg. Along the way, you'll stop at Blyde River Canyon. At 66,585 acres (26,946 ha), this is the third-largest canyon in the world. Its soaring cliffs rise as high as 2,625 feet (800 m), and much of it is blanketed in subtropical foliage. Besides its many impressive vistas, the canyon also offers breathtaking views of Three Rondavels: huge rock formations that resemble ancient stone beehive huts.

After some time snapping photos around Blyde, you'll get back on the road and should arrive in Johannesburg around dinnertime. When you do, your driver will drop you off at your accommodation. You can then spend the evening relaxing at your hotel or have dinner at one of the prestige restaurants in the city's heart. Perhaps even head to a historic nightclub to hear some live jazz. 

Day 9: Johannesburg to Mauritius

Welcome to Mauritius
Fly to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius
Leave the mainland behind today as your driver transfers you to the airport in Johannesburg to catch a four-hour flight east to Mauritius. When you think of the quintessential island paradise, Mauritius is just the kind of postcard image that comes to mind. This volcanic island lies east of Madagascar and makes the perfect tropical getaway. Surrounded by coral reefs, the island is a haven for divers and snorkelers, while the rainforest-covered and mountainous interior offers some great hiking.
 
Upon arrival at the airport in Mauritius, a driver will transfer you to your hotel. After check-in, you'll have the remainder of the day free, so leave your cares behind and head straight to the beach!

Day 10: Hike Le Morne Brabant

Le Morne Brabant
The dramatic Le Morne Brabant
At the southwestern end of Mauritius lies the narrow peninsula of Le Morne Brabant. Sitting atop it is a 1,824-foot (556 m) basaltic rock monolith, the most recognizable landmark on the island. This mountain is particularly known for its wide, flat summit, which covers 30 acres (12 ha).
 
Early in the morning, you'll embark on a moderately challenging hike to the summit, which follows a 4.3-mile (7 km) roundtrip trail. Along with your guide, you'll ascend through lush foliage, passing mountain caves where escaped enslaved people took shelter in the early 19th century. Once at the top, you can stay for a while and marvel at the 360-degree views of Mauritius, its beaches, coastal reefs, and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 11: Mauritius Catamaran Tour

Enjoy some time on the water
Enjoy some time on the water
Get ready for an unforgettable excursion sailing the turquoise and crystalline waters that ring Mauritius. It begins in the morning in the lovely fishing village of Trou d'Eau Douce on the island's east coast. From there, you'll board a catamaran and begin the adventure, heading south along Mauritius' reefs and across the multi-hued waters of the Indian Ocean.

Shortly after embarking, stop to do a bit of snorkeling, then head up the mouth of the Grand River to a romantic waterfall. As you sail north to the incomparably beautiful islet of Île aux Cerfs, you'll enjoy lunch on the boat's deck. Then, you'll spend some time lazing on Île aux Cerfs' white-sand beaches before returning to the jetty in the afternoon.

Day 12: Full-Day Dolphins & Volcanic Wonders Tour

The Seven Coloured Earths
This full-day tour is perfect for outdoor adventurers who want to experience Mauritius' geological wonders and go swimming with wild dolphins. It starts in the morning when you board a speedboat bound for Tamarin Bay, located on the island's southwestern coast. Here, you and the guides will hop in the water and go swimming with the bottlenose and spinner dolphins that congregate in these waters. If there's enough time left over, you can snorkel in the Aquarium, a popular site with beautiful corals abounding with tropical fish.

Afterward, your driver will take you to Trou aux Cerf, a dormant volcano in the town of Curepipe,  where you can hike around the 984-foot (300 m ) crater rim and enjoy the views. Then, continue to Grand Bassin. This serene crater lake in the island's mountainous interior has been a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site since the late 19th century. A testament to this is the massive statue of Shiva nearby, which stands 108 feet (33 m) tall. 

The last leg of the trip will take you to the Black River Gorges, the largest national park in Mauritius. Here, you'll stop at a viewpoint to admire Alexandra Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the island. Another is Chamarel Falls, which plunges 272 feet (83 m) into a romantic lagoon surrounded by dense vegetation. Nearby is the popular Seven Coloured Earths, an otherworldly geological formation comprised of sand dunes tinged with seven distinct hues. 

Day 13: Depart Mauritius

Sunset over Mauritius
It's been an incredible 13 days, but unfortunately, this is where it comes to a close. After checking out of your accommodation in Mauritius, your driver will transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map

Map of Cape Town, Kruger National Park & Mauritius - 13 Days
Map of Cape Town, Kruger National Park & Mauritius - 13 Days