- Drive the scenic route out to the Cape of Good Hope
- Take in the views from atop Table Mountain
- Spin through the Winelands on a guided bike tour
- Seek out the “big five” and their friends on safari
|Day 1||Arrive in Cape Town||Cape Town|
|Day 2||Guided Cape Peninsula Sidecar Tour||Cape Town|
|Day 3||Guided Sea Kayak & Table Mountain Tour||Cape Town|
|Day 4||Guided Bike Tour of the Winelands||Franschhoek|
|Day 5||Franschhoek to Eastern Cape Safari||Eastern Cape Game Reserve|
|Days 6-7||Eastern Cape Safari||Eastern Cape Game Reserve|
|Day 8||Depart Eastern Cape via Cape Town|
Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town
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 your day exploring the city.
Known as the 'Rainbow Nation,' Cape Town and South Africa have a long and complicated history involving a multitude of ethnic and cultural groups. The area's history starts with the indigenous Khoisan and Bantu people, who were the primary residents of the area until the Portuguese and Dutch arrived in South Africa, beginning a centuries-long occupation.
These days, South Africa is home to a diverse population. Roughly 80% of South Africans are of Bantu ancestry from a variety of ethnic groups, each with a distinct language. The remainder of the community is made up primarily of European, Asian (Indian, Chinese, and others from the formerly enslaved and indentured population), and mixed-race (Cape Coloured) ancestry.
After checking in to your accommodation, spend the afternoon relaxing, taking in the views, and exploring the town. In the evening, head to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Shop for art and crafts at the expansive Watershed market, visit the Two Oceans Aquarium to explore underwater life, or enjoy a harbor cruise as you watch the sunset. Other options include the Diamond Museum, which explores the history of the diamond rush in South Africa, or a helicopter flight to see Cape Town's sights from the sky.
For dinner, choose from a variety of restaurant and bar options.
Day 2: Guided Cape Peninsula Sidecar Tour
Hit the road with your guide for a full-day sidecar adventure on this Cape Peninsula tour. The Cape Peninsula is a rocky peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean at the south-western extremity of the African continent. At the southern end of the peninsula are Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. On the northern end is Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town. The Cape Peninsula has outstanding flora and fauna and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Cape Floral Region.
Head out from Cape Town early in the morning, passing Cape Town University and Constantia before heading for Ou Kaapse Weg in Noordhoek. Stop here for a coffee break and some photos, then head to the Cape Point Nature Reserve where you will visit the Cape of Good Hope and the lighthouse.
Afterward, head to Simons Town and visit the penguin colony before breaking for lunch at a local seafood restaurant along the water in the sleepy fishing town.
In the afternoon head to the scenic Boyes Drive above Muizenberg—famous for its surfing—then continue to the Constantia Winelands district. Pick from the many wineries to experience a South African wine tasting, then return to the city in time for dinner.
Day 3: Guided Sea Kayak & Table Mountain Tour
Start your morning off with a sunrise kayak on the Cape Town coast. Meet your guide at Moullie Point, then cruise on comfortable and stable kayaks as you keep watch for dolphins, sunfish, and whales. Depending on your ability level, enjoy a relaxed morning paddle or test your skill on the water as you cruise around looking for wildlife.
In the afternoon, let your arms rest with a hop-on-hop-off tour aboard the distinctive, 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 rotating cable car for spectacular views of the city, mountains, and ocean. Once at the top, take in the scenery from the walking paths. Keep an eye out for the playful dassies sunbathing in the sun (surprisingly, the little creatures are actually the elephant's closest living relative).
Take the cable car down the mountain, then return Cape Town in time for dinner at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, where you'll find a variety of fine dining restaurants and pubs with views of the ocean.
Day 4: Guided Bike Tour of the Winelands
Start your morning with a pickup from your accommodation for your full-day biking tour. Spend the day riding a mountain bike through the vineyards of the Franschhoek Valley, stopping along the way for wine tastings. End the tour with a picnic lunch in the shade of centuries-old oak trees at a wine estate.
Although the biking distances are short (maximum 12 miles/ 20 km), there's always an option to ride along in the support vehicle if you need a break.
Return to Franschhoek afterward for a relaxing rest of the day.
Day 5: Franschhoek to Eastern Cape Safari
After breakfast transfer to Cape Town, then fly to Port Elizabeth. Transfer to a private game reserve. Tonight head out for your first evening game drive. Take in the sunset views while enjoying drinks and snacks like biltong—a South African favorite.
Spend your time at the reserve enjoying daily morning and evening game drives and exploring the abundant wildlife, diverse flora, and dramatic coastlines of the Eastern Cape.
Days 6-7: Eastern Cape Safari
Start your day with an early morning wake up call. Enjoy a cup of coffee and homemade baked goods as you drive along the landscape in search of wildlife.
The game reserve houses a complex and diverse ecosystem, with over 60 species of mammal (including the Big 5) present in the park. Lions, elephants, cheetahs (only 7,000 left in the wild!) and giraffe all call this landscape home. On the plains, you'll find herds of game animals including zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, oryx, and eland (to name a few).
As the day draws to a close, nocturnal species begin to forage. Rangers will shine spotlights on your way back to the lodge to spot aardvark, endangered brown hyena, and others.
Birding enthusiasts will love spending time on the Bushman's River, which winds its way through the reserve. Enjoy a peaceful boat cruise and see if you can spot some of the area's 239 bird species. For the serious birder, local highlights include Knysna turacos, secretary birds, Denham's Bustard, and an array of barbets, woodpeckers, and sunbirds.
In the evening, enjoy a fire and local cuisine as you share stories of your day beneath a canopy of stars.
Day 8: Depart Eastern Cape via Cape Town
After your last game drive and breakfast at the lodge, drive to Port Elizabeth and board your flight to Cape Town. From here, catch your flight home.