Whether you're sipping world-class vintages in the Winelands or barbecuing around the braai, you'll sample many of the typical flavors of South Africa with this weeklong itinerary. Split your time between Cape Town and Johannesburg for wine tours, food walks, interactive storytelling experiences, and more.


  • Walk the bright streets of Bo Kaap
  • Taste Cape Town's diverse history on a food tour
  • Hear the complex history of Soweto Township
  • Search for fossils in the Sterkfontein Caves

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cape Town Cape Town
Day 2 Wine Tour in the Cape Winelands Cape Town
Day 3 Guided Cuisine & Culture Tour Cape Town
Day 4 Cape Town to Johannesburg & Storytelling Around the Fire Johannesburg
Day 5 Soweto Township & Cooking Class Johannesburg
Day 6 The Cradle of Humankind, Sterkfontein Caves & African Dinner Johannesburg
Day 7 Depart Johannesburg  

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.

In the evening, head to the Victoria & 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: 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 3: Guided Cuisine & Culture Tour

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.

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. From here, take the city bus to the trendy suburb of Woodstock to sample craft beer and locally produced gin, then round out the day with a visit to an artisanal chocolate factory.

Return to your accommodation in the late afternoon to enjoy a free evening in the Cape Town city center.

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Day 4: Cape Town to Johannesburg & Storytelling Around the Fire

Johannesburg skyline
Johannesburg skyline

In the morning, head to the airport for your domestic flight to Johannesburg. After arriving, take some time to settle in, then head out for a storytelling evening in the Soweto Township. Soweto's history stems back to the early 1900s, when the government began forcibly separating blacks from whites by removing the black population from the city and relocating them into separate areas. These were separated from the white neighborhoods by a cordon sanitaire (sanitary corridor) like a river, road, or industrial area.

Several prominent individuals have called the district home, including Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and South African comedian Trevor Noah. The area experienced civil unrest during the Apartheid era, with the most notable riots occurring in 1976. The riots followed a rule that Afrikaans should be the official language for schools of black Africans in the area (most of whom spoke Indigenous African languages). Tens of thousands of black students took to the streets to protest the decision. The demonstrators were met with police violence and brutality; several hundred students were killed, and many more were injured.

One of the murdered students was 12-year-old Hector Pieterson. His story became the face of the student uprising after a photo of his body being carried by an older student gained international fame. The Hector Pieterson Memorial Site commemorates the students' bravery.

Spend the afternoon exploring on your own. In the evening, experience first-hand accounts of Soweto's history from the township's residents. You'll listen to stories of freedom fighters, students from the 1976 uprising, and other key historical figures. Enjoy live art performances and music as you feast on a traditional African dinner under the starry night skies.

Day 5: Soweto Township & Cooking Class

Street art
Street art

In the morning, head out for a half-day tour of the Soweto Township. Take a bicycle or yellow tuk-tuk, or stroll around the Orlando West area with your guide. You'll pass by historical sites and learn the history of this vibrant community.

Stop by the Hector Pieterson Memorial, then enjoy a quiet stroll down Vilazaki Street to see the former homes of Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu. Visit the Nelson Mandela Museum to learn about the legacy of South Africa's first black president, then continue exploring the area. Along the way, you'll pass street vendors selling fresh fruit, snacks, and various African art—the perfect excuse to stop for a mid-morning treat and a quick shop for souvenirs. Enjoy lunch at a relaxed outdoor restaurant.

In the evening, join the chefs of the outdoor kitchen and restaurant and learn to cook the traditional way: in potjies (cast iron pots) over a fire. Combine the fresh vegetables and herbs from the on-site garden with local ingredients from the market, then blend it all with spices to stir up a typical Sowetan braai, a South African take on the barbecue. Enjoy your dinner under the starlight at the community park around the boma (an outdoor dining enclosure with a fire at the center)

Day 6: The Cradle of Humankind, Sterkfontein Caves & African Dinner

Art exhibit at Cradle of Humankind
Art exhibit at Cradle of Humankind

In the morning, make your way to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, one of 10 similar sites in the country. The area is famous for its complex of fossil-bearing caves, many of which contain a superbly preserved record of the evolution of humankind over the past 4 million years. It's the world's richest early hominin site and boasts around 40% of all known human-ancestor fossils. The recent discovery of Homo Naledi, a previously unknown species, in a remote and hard-to-access cave put the Cradle of Humankind back in the global spotlight.

Learn about all this and more at the Maropeng Visitor Center, which features award-winning exhibits that explore the development of humans and our ancestors through time. View fossils, learn about the history of humankind, and see million-year-old stone tools as you journey through human history. 

After lunch, visit the Sterkfontein Caves, famous for their fossils and easy visitor access. Tour the caves on the modern walkways and boardwalk that pass by the excavation site. Here, dozens of notable discoveries took place, including the unearthing of the fossils of Mrs. Ples and Little Foot—a nearly complete Australopithecus skeleton that dates back more than three million years.

For dinner, head to the Chief's Boma Restaurant for an interactive culinary experience that spans the African continent. Enjoy sundowners or craft beer on the deck overlooking the Boma Dam, then meander through the herb garden before sitting down to enjoy your meal to the music of the African Marimba Band. With over 120 options ranging from North African Moroccan Dishes to a "Big Five Game Kebab" made from five kinds of antelope, you're sure to find something to suit your tastes. After dinner, enjoy a glass of wine and roasted marshmallows over a cozy fire.

Day 7: Depart Johannesburg

Vendors selling food and wares in Soweto

Transfer to the airport for your connecting flight home.

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Written by Sonya Pevzner, updated Oct 12, 2022