Sample a small slice of the Cape Town culinary scene with this five-day itinerary. You'll focus on the city and its surroundings as you both stroll the streets and venture out along the coast and into the Winelands, tasting as you go.

Highlights

  • Sample the vintages of the Cape Winelands
  • Taste Cape Town’s diverse history on a food tour
  • Walk amidst the treetops of the Kirstenbosch Gardens

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town Cape Town
Day 2 Cape Peninsula & Wild Lunch Pop-Up Cape Town
Day 3 Wine Tour in the Cape Winelands Cape Town
Day 4 Fauna & Flora at Kirstenbosch Gardens Cape Town
Day 5 Guided Cuisine & Culture Tour & Depart Cape Town

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town

Cape Town with Table Mountain in the background
Cape Town with Table Mountain in the background

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.

Day 2: Cape Peninsula & Wild Lunch Pop-Up

Chapman’s Peak Drive
Chapman’s Peak Drive

Hit the road with your guide for a full-day 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 southernmost point of 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 (a half-hour drive from Cape Town). 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 (an hourlong drive from Ou Kaapse Weg). 

Stop for lunch at a seasonal pop-up dining experience dedicated to sustainable cuisine. The interactive five-course meal includes fresh ingredients from the Good Hope Gardens vegetable garden alongside wild mountain herbs, seaweeds from the nearby coast, and edible flowers.

Afterward, head to Simon's Town (half-hour to the north) and visit the penguin colony. Head over to Chapman’s Peak Drive along the scenic roads of the Atlantic Seaboard. You'll pass by Llandudno and Camps Bay beaches, then stop at the iconic Maidens Cove (located an hour to the north) for a quick dip in the water before ending the day, or stick around Camps Bay to sample the seaside restaurants.

Day 3: Wine Tour in the Cape Winelands

Winery in Franschhoek
Winery in Franschhoek

Start the morning with a pick up from a local guide for a laidback, full-day wine tour through the Cape Winelands. From the minute you step out the door, your experience today is perfectly curated so you don't have to worry about a thing—besides sipping wine. 

The Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve, which extends from the Kogelberg Reserve in the south along the Cape Fold Mountain Chain to the north, is an internationally recognized area within the Western Cape's Floral Kingdom

You'll spend the day exploring the rolling hills of the Winelands, visiting wineries in the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, or Elgin Wine Regions. Today will be spent eating mouthwatering foods and drinking some of the best wines South Africa has to offer. The region's wineries offer a variety of whites and reds, as well as their own blends and styles. Enjoy the scenery and the beautiful vineyards and white-gabled farmsteads that dot the landscape, then return to Cape Town in time for dinner. 

Day 4: Fauna & Flora at Kirstenbosch Gardens

Southern Double-collared Sunbird
Treetop walkway in Kirstenbosch Gardens

Spend the morning enjoying nature in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, one of the world's most exceptional botanical gardens. Set against the slopes of Table Mountain, this lush paradise houses thousands of unique species of indigenous and exotic plants. Walk along the curved steel and timber Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway (informally known as the 'Boomslang') to see the views from the treetop canopy. 

In the afternoon head to La Colombe in Constantia, one of South Africa's several internationally acclaimed fine dining establishments. Enjoy a late lunch, a fusion of Asian and French cuisine made from the freshest seasonal produce. Pair your meal with the perfect wine from the restaurant's award-winning wine list for an unforgettable experience. 

Spend your evening strolling along Cape Town's waterfront, or return to your accommodation to relax.

Day 5: Guided Cuisine & Culture Tour & Depart

Colorful spices
Colorful spices

Spend the day exploring Cape Town's incredibly diverse cultures through an international medium: food. South Africa's multi-cultural culinary influences are as vibrant as the communities where they originate. A lot of the food in South Africa is sourced fresh, so the tastings will depend on the time of year and season. 

To understand South Africa's cuisine, you need to understand the country's history. From the indigenous Bantu and Khoisan people to the Dutch and English colonists, the formerly enslaved Indonesian, Madagascan, and East African peoples, and the Indian and Chinese indentured workers and immigrants, the country has a wide variety of ethnic and culinary diversity. 

It was South Africa's colorful cultures that prompted Nelson Mandela,  a leader of the anti-apartheid movement and the country's first black president, to coin the term 'Rainbow Nation' to describe the country. 

One of South Africa's many ethnic groups are the Cape Malays, a name that's derived from the Cape of Good Hope and the Malay people, originally from Southeast Asia and the East Indies. The Cape Malays are the only cultural group of their kind in the world. Originally brought to South Africa from Dutch colonies as enslaved people, political prisoners, or exiles, they trace their origins to communities from India to Eastern Indonesia. 

Multiple groups make up the Cape Malay ethnicity, but the commonality which ties them all together is the maize (corn) that serves as the primary food staple. You'll spend part of the day exploring Cape Town's Cape Malay cuisine, as well as others. 

Start your guided tour with a walk through the Company's Gardens, established by Dutch colonists as a supply station, to sample Rooibos Tea and Rusks, an Afrikaaner biscuit. Continue to the Earth Fair Market on St. George's Mall to sample local treats from a variety of vendors, then head to the Bo Kaap, the colorful Cape Malay district, for a traditional Cape Malay lunch. Stop in and visit Atlas Trading, a family-owned spice shop that's been in operation since 1946. 

Once your tour wraps up, you'll head to the airport to catch your flight home with a full stomach.