Spend a week exploring South Africa's Cape Town and Kruger National Park. You'll begin in Cape Town, discovering its highlights and history before driving along the Atlantic and False Bay coasts to reach destinations like Chapman's Peak, Cape Point, and Boulders Penguin Colony, ending the venture with stops at a couple of world-class wineries. Next, you'll have three days to go on day and night safaris to see Big Five animals, like elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinoceros, as well as plenty of avian species.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a scenic drive along the coast of the Cape Peninsula
  • Sip and sample wine from the cellars of the Cape Winelands
  • Meet the populous penguin colonies of Boulders Beach
  • Seek out the Big Five on a safari in Kruger National Park

Brief Itinerary

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  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town, City Tour & Table Mountain

Cable car to Table Mountain
Cable car to Table Mountain

Welcome to South Africa! Arrive at Cape Town International Airport and transfer to your accommodation to unpack and unwind. After you settle in, spend the rest of the day exploring the "Rainbow Nation." Meet your local guide in the city center for a four-hour walking tour of the historic city. You'll explore the different eras of Cape Town and learn about South Africa's history, as well as the people who shaped it. Stops along the tour include the Company's Garden, Parliament, Green Market Square, the Castle of Good Hope, and the Slave Lodge.

The Company's Garden dates back to the 1650s when European settlers farmed the land to grow fresh produce to replenish ships rounding the cape. Around the corner is the Iziko Slave Lodge, a national history museum dedicated to exploring the history of slavery at the Cape. Since its construction in 1679, the building has functioned as a center for the slave trade (primarily operated by the Dutch East India Company) as well as a government building and supreme court.

Nearby sits the historic Green Market Square, which has served as a slave market, vegetable market, and center for political protests under Apartheid. These days it hosts a flea market with African souvenirs and crafts for sale. Just down the street is the Castle of Good Hope, South Africa's oldest existing Dutch East India colonial building. On the way, you'll pass by several memorials and monuments, including the We Are Still Here Street Memorial to destitute children and the District Six Museum, which commemorates forced relocation under apartheid.

After strolling the streets of Cape Town, stop for lunch in the city center. In the afternoon, give your legs a rest with a hop-on-hop-off tour aboard the distinctive red open-top bus. Start at the Cape Town City Center Terminal, then take the bus to Table Mountain. From the bus stop, continue to the summit on the cable car for spectacular views of the city, mountains, and ocean. Return to Cape Town in time for dinner at the bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, where you'll find a variety of fine dining restaurants and pubs with views of the ocean.

Day 2: Full-Day Cape Highlights Tour

Chapman's Peak Drive
Chapman's Peak Drive

Today you'll enjoy a full-day guided highlights tour. Drink in Cape Town's magnificent coastline, fynbos-covered mountains, and indigenous wildlife as you embark on Chapman's Peak Drive. On the southwestern tip of South Africa lies Chapman's Peak, a spectacular coastal route affectionately known as Chappies, you'll wind your way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay along the Atlantic coastline to reach Cape Point. Rugged rocks and sheer cliffs tower more than 656 feet (200 m) above the sea, providing a stunning background for the southern section of Table Mountain National Park.

Returning up the coast along False Bay, you'll stop to check out the protected beaches, rockpools, and best of all, African penguins—in their thousands—of Boulders Penguin Colony—the only species of penguin found on the continent. Following the False Bay coastline, make a stop in historic Simon's Town and visit either the Toy or Navy museum, stopping in at the Sweetest Thing for a sweet treat, the Monocle & Mermaid for coffee and a snack, or local favorite, Bertha's for the catch of the day and views over the harbor.

Further up the coast is Muizenberg, a great spot to learn to surf with waves that aren't overbearing and plenty of kid-friendly facilities like miniature golf and water slides. Cap the day off with some of the Cape's finest wines in either the historical Constantia Valley or in the world-renowned Winelands district before retiring to your hotel.

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Day 3: Cheese, Wine & Chocolate Tour

Overlooking the Winelands
Overlooking the Winelands

Enjoy a full-day cheese, wine, and chocolate tour—a heavenly combination. You'll sample dark chocolates, creamy cheeses, and superb wine while experiencing South Africa's stunning scenery and acclaimed hospitality. Start the day with a one-hour drive to the Fairview Winery. With several hundred years of wine-making heritage originating on the farm, Fairview wine is a cornerstone of South African wine history. Enjoy a wine and goat cheese tasting in an intimate setting, then head outside to visit the winery's furry mascots (baby goats!) and take in the beautiful views.

Your next stop is the Tokara winery in Stellenbosch for wine tasting, located on the southern slopes of Simonsberg Mountain about 20 minutes down the road. Round out your wine tour with a 20-minute drive to visit Bilton, on the foothills of the Helderberg Mountains. Here you can sample fine South African wines, accompanied by dark Belgian chocolates to complement the flavors of the wines. Return to Cape Town in the evening.

Day 4: Cape Town to Kruger, Big Five Night Drive

A lioness and her cub drink at Balule Nature Reserve
A lioness and her cub quench their thirst at a watering hole in Balule Nature Reserve

Today you head to the Greater Kruger National Park Reserve, one of South Africa's most remarkable safari destinations. Depending on your preference and timing, you may choose to fly, shuttle with a driver, or rent a vehicle to complete the drive yourself. The park was created in 1926 when Sabi Game Reserve joined with the adjacent Shingedzi Game Reserve and local farms to develop South Africa's first national park. With a rich history and vast landscapes, the park is a must-see destination for unforgettable wildlife experiences.

After arriving at your accommodation, take some time to freshen up and relax. Have a drink at the bar to unwind, go for a swim, or stroll around the lodge to stretch your legs after the day's travel.

In the evening, board an open Land Cruiser for your first game drive in the park. The three-hour trip is a thrilling and exciting opportunity to see Africa's large animals up close. The Big Five include elephants, buffalo, rhinos, lions, and leopards and were named by big-game hunters for being five of Africa's biggest and most dangerous animals to hunt. Keep your eyes peeled for nighttime animals as you cruise around the park in the comfort of your vehicle. When darkness falls, the tour guides use spotlights to scan the night for nocturnal animals. Top off the evening with a drink as you listen to the sounds of the nighttime bush life.

Days 5-6: Safari in the Kruger National Park

Elephant family
Spot elephants in the wild on safari in Kruger National Park

Spend the day on safari in Kruger National Park, enjoying a variety of activities. Beat the heat with a dip in the pool or a relaxing lounge chair in the shade, then enjoy morning and afternoon game drives to see more of the park's wildlife. Birders will delight in the hundreds of bird species, including the southern yellow-billed hornbill, crested barbet, and Burchell's glossy starling. Keep your eyes peeled for wild animals—lions, elephants, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and dozens of other animal species that call the African bush home.

See the terrapins playing in the river pools, hear the calls of the pied kingfisher and the magpie shrike and listen to the chirping of tree frogs and the wind blowing through the savannah grass. 

Day 7: Depart Kruger via Johannesburg, Flight Home

Kruger plains
The Kruger plains

After your morning safari, check out of your lodge and transfer to Eastgate Airport in Hoedspruit to take your domestic flight to the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. From here, catch your connecting flight home, or continue your trip in South Africa. Safe travels!

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Map

Map of Explore South Africa: Cape Town & Kruger Safari - 7 Days
Map of Explore South Africa: Cape Town & Kruger Safari - 7 Days