Plan for a week of safari adventures in South Africa to witness some of the most majestic animals on land and sea. It begins in coastal Cape Town, where you'll stroll its colorful harbor and visit iconic landmarks on the Cape Peninsula. After walking with African penguins and doing some whale watching, you're off to Sabi Sands, a private nature reserve where you'll enjoy safari game drives by day and spend your evenings in perfect comfort at luxurious bush lodges.


  • Explore Cape Town's scenic harbor and tour the Cape Peninsula
  • Walk with African penguins and spot whales and dolphins off the coast
  • Embark on game drives and bush walks to spot the Big Five safari animals
  • Dine on the bushveld under the stars in a luxury safari camp

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, Optional Activities Cape Town
Day 2 Visit Cape Peninsula, Penguin Tour Cape Town
Day 3 Garden Route Tour, Whale Watching & Caving Cape Town
Day 4 Fly to Sabi Sands Game Reserve via Johannesburg Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Day 5 Safari Activities in Sabi Sands Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Day 6 Morning Bush Walk, Dinner Under the Stars Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Day 7 Fly to Johannesburg, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town, Optional Activities

Aerial View of Cape Town
Cape Town's waterfront and the iconic Table Mountain from above

Welcome to South Africa and Cape Town! Upon arriving at Cape Town International Airport, your private driver will transfer you to your accommodation at the Cape Grace Hotel. Situated on a private quay between Cape Town's bustling V&A Waterfront and the tranquil yacht marina, this hotel is an excellent hub from which to explore a city famous for its diversity, history, and spellbinding scenery. After settling into your room, feel free to rest at the hotel or book a session at the spa. Then, you can venture out on a self-guided tour.

Resting at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and sandwiched between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain, this city is always abuzz with activity. You can visit its popular harbor, stroll its beaches, or escape into nature with a hike in the surrounding mountainous. If you prefer to stay in the neighborhood, there's plenty to do at the V&A Waterfront, including shopping, exploring the marina, visiting a museum, and riding the Ferris wheel.

In the late afternoon, return to your hotel and take advantage of personalized experiences, such as indulgent afternoon tea service, sumptuous tasting menus for dinner, and rare whiskey tastings.

Day 2: Visit Cape Peninsula, Penguin Tour

The Penguins of Boulders Beach
Walk alongside the penguins of Boulders Beach

This morning, meet your driver for a full day exploring the highlights around the dazzling Cape Peninsula. This rugged headland marks the southwesternmost point of the African continent and is known for its craggy mountains fronting white-sand beaches dotted with charming coastal towns. At the peninsula's southern end are famous landmarks Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, while the northern tip is crowned by the iconic Table Mountain looming over the city.

It begins with a drive south from Cape Town to the fishing village of Kalk Bay. Here, you'll mingle with the resident seals and cast a line over the harbor wall with the help of friendly fishermen. Next, make your way to Simon's Town and Boulders Beach for a stroll alongside members of the penguin colony. Weather permitting, you can opt for an active experience, such as snorkeling in rock pools, paddling a standup paddleboard, or kayaking. Eventually, you'll arrive at Cape Point to marvel at incredible views over the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. There's also an iconic lighthouse here you can visit.

After a picnic lunch on the Cape, you'll make the drive back up toward Cape Town. Along the way, you'll stop at the idyllic little town of Noordhoek and its Farm Village, an open-air food court and farmers market. Enjoy an artisanal ice cream and chat with friendly locals before making the scenic coastal drive back to Cape Town, stopping at Chapman's Peak to admire the sunset views. You'll make one final stop in Hout Bay, originally a small fishing village and now a popular suburb and beach destination. 

Day 3: Garden Route Tour, Whale Watching & Caving

Walk the coastal paths by Hermanus and spot whales offshore

Today's adventure takes you along South Africa's famous Garden Route, a scenic drive that extends 190 miles (300 km) along the nation's southwestern coast. Your destination is Hermanus. Situated 86 miles (140 km) from Cape Town along the cliffs of Walker Bay, this town has grown from a small seaside resort town to a globally renowned whale watching destination. Hermanus is also famed for its natural beauty, featuring long stretches of inviting beaches and coastal walking paths. 

This day trip begins early with a scenic mountain drive from Cape Town, following Sir Lowry's Pass through Elgin Valley, ending on the coast and Hermanus. Here you'll hop on a boat for a whale watching cruise to spot the Marine Big Five: southern right whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, and penguins. The best time to spot these graceful aquatic mammals is from June to November. Afterward, continue to a nearby town perched on a cliff overlooking a bay. From this vantage point, you'll have a good chance of spotting the great pods of southern right whales who come near shore to breed.

Later, make your way to the base of the cliffs to explore the area's underground caves. The crashing waves have carved a series of caves, which feature an array of stalactites, stalagmites, and rock pools—perfect for a swim. Lunch will be in the Overberg village of Stanford, followed by a drive to Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty's Bay. This area is home to a breeding colony of seabirds and penguins. After snapping plenty of photos, you'll return to Cape Town via a scenic coastal route with incredible ocean views at sunset.

Day 4: Fly to Sabi Sands Game Reserve via Johannesburg

Welcome to Sabi Sands, where Big Five animals like elephants await

Time to say goodbye to the coast and hello to the savanna, as today marks the start of your first safari adventures in South Africa. Transfer to the airport in the morning for the two-hour flight east to Johannesburg, the nation's largest city. You'll arrive in time to make your connecting charter flight to Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

The country's first-ever private nature reserve covers 494 square miles (1,283 sq km) encompassing vast bushveld (tropical dry forest) savanna landscapes. Throughout this area are watering holes, dry river beds, and woodlands that are a habitat for various exotic animals, including the Big Five: lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos. That makes Sabi Sands a perfect spot for a safari.

Your hosts will meet you on the airstrip and transfer you to Londolozi Pioneer Camp for your all-inclusive stay. Set within the shade of 500-year-old ebony trees, Pioneer Camp's three interconnected luxury suites and generous bush homestead make this the most secluded and flexible of the Londolozi camps. It features private suites with river views, a lounge, an interactive kitchen, a lookout deck, and a full-length lap pool. You can spend the rest of the evening relaxing at the property before getting to bed early—you have a big day of safari fun tomorrow.

Day 5: Safari Activities in Sabi Sands

Zebras Crossing the River
Zebras fording one of the rivers in Sabi Sands

Rise and shine! You get to spend the day cruising around the Sabi Sands in an open-topped safari vehicle. It's an early start as you embark on a dawn game drive to see the denizens of this reserve when they're fresh and energetic before the afternoon malaise sets in. The day consists of two activities: a morning game drive and an afternoon drive. Alongside the Big Five, plenty of other fascinating animals call the reserve home—keep your eyes peeled for more elusive animals like hyenas, honey badgers, cheetahs, and warthogs alongside herds of zebras, giraffes, and impalas.

More than 500 avian species can also be found in the reserve, making it a haven for birders. In between the safari activities, you'll have time to relax by the pool and enjoy delicious meals prepared by the friendly staff. You'll also want to avail yourself of the spa facilities, where you can enjoy a massage or wellness treatment to rejuvenate your body and mind. These treatments are often outdoors, allowing you to relax amid the natural splendor of Sabi Sands. 

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

Day 6: Morning Bush Walk, Dinner Under the Stars

Hit the trail and explore the far reaches of the Sabi Sans bushveld

This morning, explore Sabi Sands on foot on a guided bush walk. See the wonders of the bushveld up close as you explore trails inaccessible by vehicle. Your guide will be there every step of the way, pointing out the exotic flora and fauna native to the reserve. Interesting specimens, like African termite mounds, are often missed when traveling by car, and this is a great way to spot them. A highlight is learning to track animals by their prints—the way bush folk have been doing since time immemorial.

For your final evening in South Africa, you'll have dinner on the camp's viewing deck, which overlooks the vast savanna. There, under a canopy of native trees and the constellations gleaming overhead, you'll enjoy a gourmet meal prepared by expert chefs utilizing local ingredients—paired with a fine South African wine, of course.

Day 7: Fly to Johannesburg, Depart

Farewell, South Africa

It's time to say goodbye to South Africa, but not before one last memorable morning game drive. Maybe this will be the lucky morning you spot a leopard—Sabi Sands is one of the best spots on Earth to get close to these shy big cats. Afterward, you'll transfer back to the airstrip and board a charter flight to Johannesburg, where you'll meet your connecting flight home. Until next time!

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Map of South Africa Coastal & Safari Highlights: Cape Town & Sabi Sands - 7 Days
Map of South Africa Coastal & Safari Highlights: Cape Town & Sabi Sands - 7 Days