Get ready for 10 days of pure adventure and breathtaking scenery! This jam-packed jaunt around Cape Town and the Western Cape's Garden Route offers a mix of high-octane thrills, incredible wildlife, and rich cultural history. You'll meet sharks and elephants, tackle the world's highest bungee jump, and sample delicious local wines in the Winelands.

Highlights

  • Discover the vibrant city of Cape Town
  • Go diving with sharks and jump off the world's highest bungee bridge
  • Meet elephants, lions, ostriches and more
  • Take in gorgeous mountain and ocean views along the Garden Route

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town 
Day 2 Cape Town tour
Day 3 Cape Point tour and overnight in Stellenbosch
Day 4 Township tour and wine tasting
Day 5 Shark diving and whale watching
Day 6 Garden Route to Wilderness and Sedgefield
Day 7 Bungee jumping and zip-line adventures
Day 8 Big Five Safari at Addo Elephant Park
Day 9 Ostrich farm and Cango Caves in Klein Karoo
Day 10 Elephant sanctuary and return to Cape Town

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town 

Cape Town and Table Mountain
Cape Town amid the backdrop of Table Mountain

Upon landing in Cape Town, your guide will welcome you at the airport and bring you to your hotel. After setting in, you'll have the rest of the day to explore this vibrant, beautiful city. Sunbathe by the stunning turquoise waters of the Clifton Beaches, but don't let the idyllic white sand and palm trees fool you - the water is actually freezing! Grab a bite to eat at one of Cape Town's many delicious restaurants, offering everything from pan-African cuisine to sushi to tapas and beyond. Then stroll around the shops of Instagram-worthy Bree Street, or go bar-hopping on lively Long Street.

Day 2: Explore Cape Town 

Cape Town
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town.

After breakfast, you'll get a more official introduction to Cape Town's city center. Stretch your legs with a walking tour of the historical sites like the Castle of Good Hope - a 16th-century fort and the oldest colonial building in South Africa - and the Grand Parade, the city's main public square. You'll learn about life under apartheid at the Houses of Parliament and at the District Six Museum. Then shop for African arts and crafts in Greenmarket Square and St George’s Mall.

Alternatively, see all the sites from the comfort of your seat on a hop-on, hop-off bus tour. You'll visit the upscale neighborhood of Camps Bay, where you'll have an amazing view of the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Then head to the V&A Waterfront, a historical harbor made modern with plenty of shopping, restaurants, and live entertainment. And of course you'll explore Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain. Take the cable car to the top for sweeping views of the city and ocean below!

Day 3: Cape Point Tour & Overnight in Stellenbosch

Cape Point, South Africa
The rugged cliffs of Cape Point.

Today you will embark on a tour of the Western Cape. You'll travel to Hout Bay, a coastal town full of true “rainbow nation” energy, with colorful fishing boats anchored in a lively harbor. Take an optional trip to Duiker Island, home to thousands of adorable Cape fur seals, before driving down Chapman’s Peak. This scenic coastal road hugs the mountain cliffs and winds around the peninsula, offering spectacular views on your way to Cape Point.

Cape Point is set in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve on the tip of the Cape Peninsula. Hike along the stone paths to a historic lighthouse, or wander through the Cape’s unique fynbos (wild shrubs) landscape. Then it is back on the road to the university town of Stellenbosch in the Winelands, where you'll spend the night.

Day 4: Township Tour & Wine Tasting

Cape Winelands
Gorgeous vineyards in the Cape Winelands

After breakfast, take a guided walk through the vibrant Kayamandi Township, where you'll mingle with the locals. You'll learn about the rich Xhosa culture and “The Struggle" - the liberation movement to end apartheid. Later, you'll explore the Cape Winelands. Sample locally-produced wine, cheese, port, and chocolate at several wine estates in the area. Enjoy lunch in the pretty French-inspired village of Franschhoek, where you'll have plenty of top-class restaurants and charming shops to explore. 

From here you'll take the scenic route to the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. You'll spend the night here.

Day 5: Whale watching and shark diving

Whale watching in Hermanus
Whale watching in Hermanus

This morning, the daredevils among you will rise early to go cage diving with Great White sharks! This is an optional extra, but makes for an adrenaline rush you'll be talking about for years to come. If you'd rather not swim with the sharks, head to the laid-back town of Hermanus for some of the best whale watching in the world. Listen for the town whale crier's horn and spot southern right whales from the clifftops.

You'll continue on to the seaside village of Betty’s Bay, where you'll discover a colony of over 5,000 adorable African penguins. Return to Cape Town via the picturesque Clarence Drive. Enjoy stunning ocean and mountain views as you drive along the coast beside the ruggedly beautiful Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. You'll spend the night in central Cape Town.

Day 6: Garden Route to Wilderness and Sedgefield

Wilderness
Swartvlei lake in Sedgefield

Start your day with a beautiful drive towards the Garden Route and an area known as Wilderness. The town of Wilderness and the surrounding Wilderness National Park feature 11 miles (18 km) of beaches and lush landscapes. Canoe on the Wilderness lagoon and spot beautiful birds as you glide over the water in a relaxing encounter with nature. Then you'll head to the sleepy town of Sedgefield, where you'll spend the night at Myoli Beach. Take your first swim in the Indian Ocean, enjoy some sundowners (South African happy hour!) and reminisce around the campfire.

Day 7: Bungee Jumping & Zip-Lining Adventure

Zip-line across a river gorge in Tsitsikamma

Your first stop of the day is the artsy holiday town of Knysna at the heart of the Garden Route. You'll take a quick drive to the Knysna Heads, where the sea crashing into two massive sandstone cliffs below makes for a great photo opportunity. Next up is the (optional) ultimate adventure activity on this tour and every adrenaline junkie's dream: plunge 708 feet (216 m) off of the world’s highest bungee jump bridge at Bloukrans Bridge for the thrill of a lifetime.

Then calm your nerves with a visit to the serene Tsitsikamma National Park, where you'll explore the marine reserve's unique mix of striking coastal and forest landscapes. Keep an eye out for otters and dolphins along the way. Ramp things up again with a trip on the Waterfall Zipline in Tsitsikamma. You'll zigzag across the Kruis River gorge 160 feet (50 m) in the air on eight cable slides, the longest of which is 692 feet (211 m). If heights are not your thing, take a stroll through the forest instead. Finally, you'll make your way to the surfer's paradise of Jeffreys Bay, where you'll spend the first of two nights.

Day 8: Big Five Safari at Addo Elephant Park

Elephants in Addo Elephant Park
Elephants in Addo Elephant National Park

Today you'll encounter the "Big Five" at Addo Elephant National Park. Created to protect the few wild elephants left after government-sponsored culling in the early 20th century, the park is now home to the densest concentration of wild elephants in the world. You’ll enjoy a two-hour game drive in the tour vehicle where you'll focus on spotting and observing these majestic creatures. If you'd like more time to spot the other Big Five animals (lions, leopards, rhinos, and Cape buffalo), opt for an additional two-hour safari in a 4×4 vehicle with a ranger, where you can search for them in their natural habitat.

On the way home, stop by the Billabong, Rip Curl and Quicksilver factory shops for excellent deals on surf gear and beachwear ahead of your second night in Jeffreys Bay. In the afternoon try a surfing lesson, or just take it easy.

Day 9: Ostrich Farm & Cango Caves in Klein Karoo

The Cango Caves of Klein Karoo

Today you'll head inland towards the Klein Karoo, a beautifully enigmatic valley between two mountain ranges. You'll take a quick tour of an ostrich farm and learn more about the world’s largest bird in the rural town of Oudtshoorn. If you want to get up close and personal, make sure to get hug and kiss from the world’s friendliest female ostrich, Betsie. From here, you'll descend into the meandering passageways and chambers of the Cango Caves. This subterranean wonderland is filled with colorful ancient stalactites and stalagmites as far as the eye can see. You'll spend the night in Oudtshoorn.

Day 10: Elephant Sanctuary & Return to Cape Town

Route 62
View of Route 62

You'll start your last morning of the trip with an unforgettable animal encounter. Learn about orphaned elephants, and interact up close with these lovable creatures. Give them a rubdown and a scratch behind their ears, and you might even get a gentle trunk hug! From here you'll go to the Cango Wildlife Ranch, where you'll come across some of the world’s most endangered species. Look out for white lions, cheetahs, Nile crocodiles, hippos, meerkats, birds and more. 

In a fabulous end to the trip, you'll make your way back to Cape Town on South Africa’s historical scenic highway, Route 62. Take in the beauty of towering mountains, winding roads, rugged plains, and lush vineyards. You'll pass through well-preserved towns where time has stood still for 40 years, and make an unusual stop at a famous country pub in the middle of nowhere. Then say goodbye to Cape Town as you head back to the airport for your departing flight.

This article is based on an itinerary created by kimkim local travel specialist Carla Ferreira.