This 10-day South Africa family adventure starts with coastal fun in Cape Town, where you'll ride cable cars up Table Mountain and meet the penguins of Boulder Beach. Continue to Stellenbosch for kid-friendly excursions in the Winelands, then end with a bucket-list family safari experience in the malaria-free Eastern Cape—where you'll embark on game drives through the Shamwari Private Game Reserve and learn more about the reserve's wildlife rehabilitation efforts.


  • Take in endless views over Cape Town from the V&A Waterfront's Cape Wheel
  • Meet penguins and go whale watching off the Western Cape
  • Embark on wine (and grape juice) tasting adventures in the Cape Winelands
  • Spot elephants, giraffes, and cheetahs on game drives at Shamwari Game Reserve

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, Explore the V&A Waterfront Cape Town
Day 2 Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, Gardens, Wineries & Museums  Cape Town
Day 3 Full-Day Excursion to Cape Point, Penguins & Seaside Villages Cape Town
Day 4 Cape Town Whale Watching Adventure Cape Town
Day 5 Transfer to Stellenbosch, Family Winelands Excursions  Stellenbosch
Day 6 Winery Tours & Tastings Around the Winelands  Stellenbosch
Day 7 Fly to Eastern Cape, Transfer to Shamwari Private Game Reserve Eastern Cape Game Reserve
Day 8 Activities at Shamwari: Game Drives & Bush Walks Eastern Cape Game Reserve
Day 9 More Family Fun at Shamwari: Adventure Center & Sanctuaries Eastern Cape Game Reserve
Day 10 Transfer to Port Elizabeth, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town, Explore the V&A Waterfront

Ride the Cape Wheel at the V&A Waterfront

Welcome to South Africa! Your flight arrives in Cape Town, South Africa's legislative capital and oldest city. A private driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel, the luxurious Cape Grace Hotel, a 5-star accommodation located on a private quay between Cape Town's bustling V&A Waterfront and the tranquil yacht marina. Once you've checked in and had a chance to unwind, head out to explore the V&A Waterfront with the family. 

Considered one of the city's most iconic destinations, the V&A is located in the oldest harbor in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, you'll find more than 450 retail shops, restaurants, and activities suitable for all ages. Take a ride on the Cape Wheel, a more than 130-foot (40 m) observation wheel with full-enclosed cabins and incredible views of nearby Robben Island, or stop by the Watershed, where you'll find local arts, crafts, and fashion.

Chess players can try their hand at the waterfront's giant outdoor chess board, and any little ones in your group will love the Kids Ahoy Playground. You can also learn more about the fascinating history of diamonds at the Cape Town Diamond Museum, or if you'd like to get out on the water, take a boat tour or a sunset ride on a private yacht. End the day with dinner at one of the many local restaurants, then get a good night's sleep at your hotel, resting up for tomorrow's adventures.

Day 2: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, Gardens, Wineries & Museums 

Ride cable cars up Table Mountain for incredible views

Today you're free to see more of the city on your own and take in some of the local sights. If you want to catch Cape Town's main highlights, try the City Sightseeing Bus, also known as the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus. This is an easy way to see many of the city's important sites, with the option to disembark at various attractions and reboard the next bus—this is an especially great option if you've got small children with you or don't want to walk long distances! 

Make a stop at Table Mountain, an immense, flat-topped mountain and a prominent city landmark, riding the cable car to the top and enjoying spectacular views of the city and ocean. At the summit, there are walking trails you can explore, or have coffee or lunch in the restaurant there. Afterward, visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, it's acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world, covering more than 1,300 acres (528 ha) with several trails and pathways of varying difficulty.

Wine enthusiasts might enjoy a trip out to the Constantia Valley, a region where the oldest wine estate in South Africa proudly stands. Tour the historic vineyards and taste local wines, and if the family isn't too tired after the busy day, end at the District Six Museum & Gallery, a museum dedicated to the complex history of apartheid and its impact on the people of Cape Town.

Day 3: Full-Day Excursion to Cape Point, Penguins & Seaside Villages

Say hello to curious penguins at Boulders Beach 

Get an early start this morning as you meet your guides and head to Cape Point, located an hour south of Cape Town on the Cape Peninsula. Start with a tour of Cape Town City Bowl, which takes you past the V&A Waterfront and along Blue Flag beaches, with the glistening Atlantic Ocean on your right and the towering Twelve Apostle mountains on your left. Arrive in Hout Bay, where you can take a boat cruise to Seal Island or stroll around the wharf and harbor, making friends with the friendly seals lounging on the docks. 

See the 1800s lighthouse at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, then hike to the newer lighthouse, built in the 1900s to solve visibility issues during cloudy weather. There's also a funicular available for an easier way up—a great option for families with smaller children. The morning ends with a stop in Simons Town, a legendary naval town overlooking False Bay. Here, you can visit Boulders Beach and its African penguin sanctuary, home to more than 2,000 endangered penguins.

Enjoy a traditional South African lunch, then drive back toward Cape Town, traveling along the False Bay coastal route and passing through the seaside towns of Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, St James, and Muizenberg. You'll have the opportunity to stop and stretch your legs, visiting the quirky bookstores, vintage clothing shops, and popular seaside restaurants along the way. Watch surfers conquer the waves in Muizenberg, and return to your hotel in time for a sunset stroll or dinner at a local restaurant. 

Day 4: Cape Town Whale Watching Adventure

See migrating whales breaching and playing in the open sea

Today's tour takes you out to the open sea for whale watching! This is an exceptional opportunity to view the most grandiose mammals of the ocean, who frequent the waters off Cape Town from July through December. Head to the pier and meet your guides, then depart for the ocean playground where the whales congregate. Your knowledgeable guides will help the kids with spotting and identifying southern right whales, humpbacks, and Bryde whales, sharing more about their history and habits as you watch them breach, play, and feed.

After a day on the water, you'll have the rest of the afternoon free to relax and rest up for tomorrow's change of scene. The kids might want to hang out around the pool, while parents can opt for a soothing session at the hotel spa.

Day 5: Transfer to Stellenbosch, Family Winelands Excursions 

The kids can roam the gardens and vineyards of the Spier Hotel and even meet the team of "pest control" ducks

After breakfast, check out of your Cape Town hotel and meet your private driver for your 45-minute transfer inland to Stellenbosch. Nestled against the vineyards of the Cape Winelands and the mountain reserves of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg, this picturesque town features peaceful, tree-lined streets, art galleries, cafés and stunning natural scenery.

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

You'll check in at the Spier Hotel, located on the Stellenbosch Wine Farm and a perfect base camp for your visit to the Winelands. This village-styled hotel features 80 rooms, six swimming pools, and a wealth of family-friendly amenities. After check-in, your day is free to start exploring. The Cape Winelands form what is considered the most well-known route in South Africa, encompassing the regions around Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl.

There are many beautiful wine estates worth visiting here, as well as fun attractions and activities the whole family can enjoy. You can book a historic walking tour of Stellenbosch, which takes you around the city highlights and includes wine tastings (soft drinks for children in the group), or head out on a 4WD for a wine safari adventure! You can also visit Franschhoek and ride their "hop-on, hop-off" wine train, stopping at different wineries for tastings, cellar tours, or lunch. Families seeking outdoor fun should check out the local hiking trails, do a bike tour, or take a high-flying zipline ride.

Day 6: Winery Tours & Tastings Around the Winelands 

Try delicious South African wines at local wineries 

The Western Cape of South Africa is home to more than 500 wineries, and today's tour takes you to a few of the most popular ones. Your guide will curate the tour to suit your or your family's preferences, as well as make time to stop for photos, walk through the historical streets of Stellenbosch, and have lunch at a local estate. 

For historical manor buildings and garden-to-table cuisine, start at Boschendal. Tour the beautiful grounds, have lunch at their restaurant, or request a picnic basket lunch that you can enjoy outside. The estate also has a kids' play area for the little ones and offers horseback riding, bike rentals, and an art gallery with rotating exhibits. Chocolate connoisseurs will love Blaauwklippen Valley's Waterford Estate, where wine tastings are paired with gourmet chocolate for a sweet treat. Their Porcupine Trail Wine Walk takes you along local trails, with guides sharing information on local flora and fauna.

Visit Muratie Wine Estate, which dates back to 1685 and is one of the oldest estates in South Africa, for an elegant wine-tasting experience or a wine safari via helicopter. Finish the day at Delaire Graff for a final round of tastings and dinner at their popular Indochine restaurant—considered one of the top dining experiences in the Winelands. Afterward, your guide will drive you back to your hotel for the night. 

Day 7: Fly to Eastern Cape, Transfer to Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Start spotting wildlife right away with an afternoon game drive (photo courtesy of Shamwari Game Reserve)

Your next destination is the Eastern Cape, where you'll begin your safari adventure. In the morning, take a private transfer to the airport for your flight out, meeting up with your driver upon arrival to travel to the malaria-free Shamwari Private Game Reserve. Established in the 1990s, this nearly 100 square-mile (250 sq km) reserve was created to rebuild the once-abundant wildlife of the region and preserve its ecological diversity. You'll be staying at Riverdene Family Lodge, a luxury accommodation located inside the reserve, with expansive views of the African bush and plenty of activities for both adults and kids. 

Depending on your arrival time, you'll have lunch or high tea at the lodge, then start your immersion into wildlife viewing with an afternoon game drive. Head out with your guide, who will take you to the best spots to see Africa's Big Five game animals: the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, African elephant, and buffalo, so-named by hunters who determined these were the most dangerous animals to hunt. Return to the lodge and relax for a bit before dinner, which you can enjoy in the restaurant or outside by the fire. 

Day 8: Activities at Shamwari: Game Drives & Bush Walks

Kids over four can join exciting game drive adventures with the family (photo courtesy of Shamwari Game Reserve)

Experience the incredible wilderness of Shamwari today, making the most of the various activities on offer through the lodge. You can start the day with a game-viewing drive, as mornings are often the best time to see the animals here. Together with your guide, you'll explore via open-topped 4WDs, seeking out Big Five game animals as well as sighting birds of prey, colorful songbirds, and other wildlife such as antelopes, leopards, or the elusive cheetah.

Families with kids under four (not allowed on game drives) might enjoy a professionally guided bush walk, trekking along the many trails around the reserve as your guides share insight into the varied flora and fauna of the region. You can also visit Shamwari's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, where they take in sick, injured, or orphaned animals and nurse them back to health. Tour the facility with the center's team members, learning more about local wildlife and the reserve's conservation efforts. 

Day 9: More Family Fun at Shamwari: Adventure Center & Sanctuaries

 In between game drives, let the kids run wild in the adventure center (photo courtesy of Shamwari Game Reserve)

Another full day of fun awaits at Shamwari. In addition to more game drives, guided walks, and other outdoor family excursions, you can sign the kids up for the lodge's Kids Safari Adventure Center, which offers a host of activities that include climbing walls, zipline rides, and indoor crafts.

If you've got a mix of older and younger ages, the lodge has an on-site children's coordinator, as well as childminding services for an additional fee—making it easy to take older children along on the game drives while the younger kids relax at the lodge. Families can also visit the Julie Ward or Jean Byrd Centers, both of which provide sanctuary for Africa's big cats alongside educational and informational tours. 

Day 10: Transfer to Port Elizabeth, Depart

Farewell to beautiful South Africa! 

The time has come to say goodbye to South Africa. Your driver will collect you from the lodge this morning and transport you to the airport at Port Elizabeth for your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Family-Friendly South Africa: Cape Town, Stellenbosch & Eastern Cape Safari - 10 Days
Map of Family-Friendly South Africa: Cape Town, Stellenbosch & Eastern Cape Safari - 10 Days