Experience the best of South Africa's stunning scenery and wildlife with this 10-day family trip. Whiz up iconic Table Mountain by cable car, then explore the country's scenic Garden Route and vineyards before going on a safari at the luxury Shamwari Game Reserve. Along the way, you'll make pals with African penguins, see the Big Five, zipline across a ravine, and get in some beach time at beautiful Knysna.


  • Summit Table Mountain by cable car
  • Tour the Western Cape's family-friendly vineyards
  • Sandboard down the dunes of Mossel Bay
  • Search for the Big Five at the Shamwari Game Reserve

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town, Explore Cape Town
Day 2 Mountain Peaks & Pirate Ships Cape Town
Day 3 Peninsula Day: Cape Point, Penguins & Playgrounds Cape Town
Day 4 Western Cape Vineyard Tour, Drive to Elgin  Elgin
Day 5 Elgin Valley: Ziplining, Vineyard Maze & Beach Zorbing Elgin
Day 6 Panthera Big Cat Sanctuary, Drive to Oudtshoorn Oudtshoorn
Day 7 Meet the Meerkats, Sandboarding, Drive to Kynsna Knysna
Day 8 Drive to Shamwari Game Reserve Eastern Cape Game Reserve
Day 9 Shamwari Game Reserve, Relax & Explore Eastern Cape Game Reserve
Day 10 Transfer to Port Elizabeth & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town, Explore

Cape Town
Welcome to Cape Town!

Welcome to South Africa! Nicknamed "Rainbow Nation" by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, this extraordinary country is a melting pot of diversity home to people of Indigenous Khoisan and Bantu, European, Asian, and mixed-race ancestry. The country offers incredible diversity and fantastic nature, wildlife, culture, and history, making it a truly remarkable destination for visitors and families. 

Upon arrival, a driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your Cape Town hotel, your base, for the next few nights. Settle in before heading out with the kids to explore. The town's many historical parks are perfect for little legs to run around after a long flight. Afterward, browse the arts and crafts at Watershed Market, explore underwater life at the Two Oceans Aquarium, or simply head to the famous V&A Waterfront—it's a perfect spot to catch the Cape Town vibe while relaxing with a drink and savoring the waterfront views against the epic Table Mountain backdrop.

In the evening, either treat the family to a harbor cruise as you watch the sunset or, for the ultimate kid-friendly experience that combines dinner and fun, book a table at Strolla Restaurant & Bar. This seaside eatery has a fab Kiddies' Corner where younger ones can become pizzaioli (pizza makers) and create their own edible masterpieces. Treat yourselves to a cocktail as you toast the start of your holiday adventures while the kids relax post-flight in the restaurant's kid-themed games room.

Day 2: Mountain Peaks & Pirate Ships

Table Bay view from Table Mountain
The stunning view from Table Mountain

It's another fun-packed day in Cape Town, and after breakfast, you'll start with an up-close visit to Table Mountain, nicknamed the "Mother of all Mountains." It's a four-hour medium to steep hike to the top, so take advantage of the cable car that flies you up to the summit. Kids will love the rotating carriage that gives splendid views over Robben Island and Signal Hill. Enjoy the panoramic views and a walk around the top before floating back through the clouds as you return to the base.

Enjoy lunch before getting ready for an excursion sure to delight the little ones. The Jolly Roger pirate ship, moored on the waterfront, is an authentic replica of the real thing. Board the boat with your mini pirates-to-be and set sail for an hour-long sail along the bay and enjoy the fabulous views from the water. After plenty of "Ahoy me hearties!" return to land, and as the sun starts to go down, don't miss a family sunset ride on the Cape Wheel.

Day 3: Peninsula Day: Cape Point, Penguins & Playgrounds

Play with the penguins
Make pals with the penguins

Embark on an unforgettable tour as you and the family pick up your rental car and head on a scenic drive south to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cape Point. Here on the tip of the famous Cape Peninsula, discover fabulous beaches, lighthouses, and an array of wildlife, including zebras, baboons, ostriches, and sugarbirds. Kids will adore a trip on the Flying Dutchman funicular railway, where the vantage point from the iconic lighthouse at the top offers stunning views across both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Nearby, Simon's Town is an excellent lunch stop for fresh seafood.

If the younger ones thought the funicular was fun, wait until they see the adorable penguins at the Boulders Beach African Penguin Sanctuary. View the tuxedoed waddle up close via a network of wooden walkways or rent a sea kayak and watch the penguins dive for the day's catch. Take time to visit the nearby Kometjie Imhoff Village Farm at Kommetjie, where kids can pet the animals, or the Noordhoek Village Market (kids will love the village playground), where you'll find plenty of local crafts and delicious treats. Finish the day in style with a trip to the Cape Point Vineyards

Day 4: Western Cape Vineyard Tour, Drive to Elgin

Family Day out in a winery
Enjoy a relaxing family day in the Winelands 

Wake up and leave the city behind as you embark on an excursion that ticks the boxes for wine-enthusiast parents and nature-loving little ones. South Africa's Western cape is home to more than 500 wineries, and today you'll visit a selection of the best. First up is the Babylonstroen Winelands & Gardens in Franschhoek, a beautifully restored property with a vast array of herb, fruit, and vegetable beds. Enjoy the full sensory experience as you and the kids touch, taste, and smell the garden's offerings before sampling the estate's wines while the little ones sip grape juice 

Continue on to Boschendal, the country's oldest winery. Tailor-made for families, kids can take part in a number of farm-based learning experiences at the educational play center and meet the cute forest-fed pigs and free-range chickens that graze among the fruit trees. Meanwhile, you can get down to the serious business of wine tasting, knowing the kids are playing safely nearby. 

If you can tear the kids away, hop back in the car and head up the Franschhoek Pass toward the cooler climate of the Elgin Valley. Nestled between streams and the peaks of the Hottentots Mountain Range, the valley is rich in vineyards and fruit orchards. Your overnight destination of Elgin is just a short drive away.

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

Day 5: Elgin Valley: Ziplining, Vineyard Maze & Beach Zorbing

Zipline adventure
Kids will love the zipline!

Enjoy a leisurely family breakfast before heading out to explore the Elgin Valley. Earn some major parental brownie points with a trip to the Cape Canopy Tour Adventure Park. Adventurous kids over six will adore the park's zipline rides. Soar above the steep ravine on a series of crisscrossing lines as you gaze across the giant trees, mountains, and waterfalls. Afterward, reward your bravery with a delicious lunch at family-friendly Southill Vineyards. Safely on terra firma, the kids can run around in the Southern Hemisphere's largest vineyard maze.

In the afternoon, make the most of your last night in the Elgin Valley and head to Old Mac Daddy, where the mountaintop lake and beach are the perfect place to relax after this morning's adrenaline-filled adventures. Don't worry if the kids still need to burn off some steam; there are paddleboards for hire, little ones can enjoy a tractor ride, and there are even zorb balls for those wishing to channel their inner hampster. The rest of the evening is yours to spend as you wish. 

Day 6: Panthera Big Cat Sanctuary, Drive to Oudtshoorn

Visit the Big Cat Sanctuary
Don't miss a visit to the Panthera Big Cat Sanctuary

It's an early start this morning as you hit the road, ready for the next leg of your family adventure. On the route between Elgin and Oudtshoorn (your overnight destination), you'll find the Panthera Big Cat Sanctuary. Dedicated to rescuing and protecting any captive-bred big cats, the sanctuary offers educational tours and activities for the whole family while learning more about the realities big cats such as leopards, lions, cheetahs, and jaguars face in captivity. 

Kids will love the enrichment tour, where they will work with one of the keepers to make a small handmade toy for the cats. After you and the kids have spent time with the volunteers and staff, hearing the stories of these magnificent creatures, visit the big furry recipients of the kids' handmade toys. Say your goodbyes and hit South Africa's iconic Route 62. If tummies are rumbling, the town of Barrydale is the perfect spot for a stretch of the legs and a bite to eat. Don't miss vintage diner Diesel and Creme, where you can feast on gourmet burgers and milkshakes. 

Continue through fertile planes and along grapevines and fruit orchards until you reach Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo Valley. Check in at your accommodation and spend the rest of the evening at leisure. 

Day 7: Meet the Meerkats, Sandboarding, Drive to Kynasna

Sandboarding experience
Sandboard surfing? Yes, please!

After yesterday's long drive, you have a couple of options this morning. Either enjoy a natural wake-up or set a pre-dawn alarm for a meerkat encounter at a nearby game reserve. If the weather's decent (these creatures won't leave their burrow if it's cold and rainy!), your early start will be rewarded with sightings of these notoriously shy but adorable mongooses. Watch them venture out and go about their business against the backdrop of the rising sun. It's a surprisingly peaceful and rewarding way to start your day. 

After breakfast in the bush (or at your accommodation if you chose to skip the early wake-up call), head to Mossel Bay on the coast, home to one of the largest sand dunes in South Africa. Rent a sandboard or opt for a private family lesson before spending a fun-packed few hours surfing down the sandy slopes.

If all that sand-surfing has built up an appetite, head to the nearby strawberry farm where along with the berries the kids can pick themselves, you can enjoy a light lunch. From here, it's an hour's drive to the beautiful seaside town of Knysna. Surrounded by ancient forests and hemmed in by soaring headlands, its picturesque setting is perfectly placed to explore the nearby Wilderness Park. Either head straight to your accommodation and go in search of good food and relaxation at one of the gorgeous seafood restaurants or treat yourselves to a sunset cruise along the lagoon. 

Day 8: Drive to Shamwari Game Reserve

Go game-spotting
It's time to spot the Big Five 

Enjoy breakfast by the beach this morning before saying goodbye to Knysna and driving three hours east to the luxury Shamwari Game reserve on the Eastern Cape. Settle into your accommodation and head out with your expert guide as you and the kids go in search of the Big Five. Capture the kids' faces as they spot their first lion, tiger, and elephant, and hear stories from your guide about the habits and environment of these magnificent animals. Back at the lodge, a gourmet dinner at one of the on-site restaurants and an evening of complete relaxation await. 

Day 9: Shamwari Game Reserve, Relax & Explore

Game drive time
See the majestic lions on safari

Today is yours to enjoy the African safari experience however you wish. The reserve's game drives are offered at sunrise and sunset, so head out early with the kids, where bleary eyes will soon be replaced with wide grins as they spot their first lion or elephant as the sun slowly rises. Head back for a hearty breakfast where you have plenty of time to relax before the next outing at sunset. Either take a dip in the pool with the kids, enjoy a leisurely lunch, or relax at the on-site spa.

If you've spotted the Big Five during your previous game drives, spend the day relaxing at your lodge or exploring the local area on a guided bush walk. Kids will love the reserve's Adventure Center, where they can zipline, practice their climbing skills, and take to the slides. Later, as evening falls, dine in style at one of the superb restaurants and recount your favorite moments of your grand South African adventure. 

Day 10: Transfer to Port Elizabeth, Depart

Farewell South Africa
Farewell South Africa!

Sadly, today marks you and your family's last day in South Africa. In the morning, transfer to the airport, drop off your rental car, and catch your connecting flight home. Safe travels!

More Great South Africa Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to South Africa? Check out these other South Africa itineraries, explore different ways to spend 10 days in South Africa with your family, or discover the best time to visit South Africa.


Map of South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route & Safari - 10 Days
Map of South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route & Safari - 10 Days