- Savor world-class wines and innovative gastronomy on the Western Cape
- Spot the "Big Five" on game drives in Kruger and Chobe National Parks
- Learn about South Africa's tumultuous past and bright future on a tour of Soweto
- Soar over the spectacular Victoria Falls by helicopter
- Paddle past elephants and antelopes in the marshes of the Okavango Delta
|Day 1||Arrive in Cape Town, Dinner at GOLD Restaurant||Cape Town|
|Day 2||Visit Community Projects, Explore Table Mountain, Belly of the Beast Dinner||Cape Town|
|Day 3||Cape Peninsula Day Trip & Lunch at Crofter's Kitchen||Cape Town|
|Day 4||Transfer to Franschhoek, Full-Day Western Cape Wine Tour||Franschhoek|
|Day 5||Explore the Franschhoek Winelands||Franschhoek|
|Day 6||Fly to Kruger National Park, Evening Game Drive||Kruger N.P.|
|Day 7||Spend the Day in the Kruger Bush with Two Game Drives||Kruger N.P.|
|Day 8||Morning Game Drive, Transfer to Johannesburg, Maboneng Walking Tour||Johannesburg|
|Day 9||Culture & History in Soweto, Fly to Victoria Falls, Sunset Dinner Cruise||Victoria Falls|
|Day 10||Free Day at Victoria Falls, Dusty Road Township Dinner Experience||Victoria Falls|
|Day 11||Transfer to Chobe National Park, Chobe River Photo Safari||Chobe N.P.|
|Day 12||A Full Day of Wildlife Spotting & Photo Safaris in Chobe||Chobe N.P.|
|Day 13||Fly to the Okavango Delta, Guided Walking Safari||Okavango Delta|
|Day 14||Explore the Delta by Mokoro, Afternoon Game Drive||Okavango Delta|
|Day 15||Fly to Johannesburg & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Cape Town, Dinner at GOLD RestaurantWelcome to Cape Town! Upon arrival, your driver will transfer you to your accommodations. One of South Africa's three official capitals, Cape Town is situated along the country's southwestern coast, nestled in a magical setting between the imposing Table Mountain and the turquoise waters of Table Bay. After settling in, take the rest of the day to rest after your flight or stretch your legs with a stroll to the Victora & Albert Waterfront, where you can browse artisan gifts and souvenirs at the adjoining Watershed Market.
As evening falls, head to Cape Town's GOLD Restaurant for an immersive African gastronomic experience. Embark on a 14-course tasting safari paired with traditional live entertainment and served in a welcoming, communal style. While you savor a kaleidoscope of flavors and spices throughout each course, a backdrop of djembe drums and marimba percussion sets the scene for African stories told through theater, song, and incredible Mali puppetry.
Day 2: Visit Community Projects, Explore Table Mountain, Belly of the Beast DinnerDespite the country's natural wonders and cultural diversity, millions of South Africans still live in extreme poverty and face daily struggles to survive. Today you'll join Uthando South Africa, an award-winning responsible tourism model, to visit several inspiring community projects. Stops might include urban agriculture collectives, youth-led dance or music programs, special education schools, and refugee support centers. Learn about Cape Town's unsung community heroes and groundbreaking philanthropic projects as your guide shares an insightful overview of the city's history.
Next, you'll summit Cape Town's most iconic landmark with a cable car ride up Table Mountain. Traveling from the lower station to the top in just five minutes, this gentle cableway ride offers breathtaking views across the city and seas below. Bring along a packed picnic to explore more of Table Mountain National Park on foot. At 3,500 feet (1,067 m), you'll find a protected ecosystem home to rock hyrax, lizards, butterflies, and the odd porcupine. There's also a wide array of birdlife, from eagles to sunbirds flying above great patches of fynbos, the Cape's distinctive native flora.
After working up an appetite on Table Mountain, try an innovative spin on the traditional South African barbeque tonight with dinner at Belly of the Beast. Helmed by chefs Anouchka Horn and Neil Swart, this small restaurant showcases local, sustainable food and ethically-produced meats that utilize every part of the animal. The ever-changing menu is always a surprise—but you can be sure it will feature exquisitely-presented dishes that highlight the best of seasonal, local South African produce in innovative ways.
Day 3: Cape Peninsula Day Trip & Lunch at Crofter's KitchenTake in some of the best views in the country today on an excursion to Cape Point—where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Located just 37 miles (60 km) south of Cape Town, this rocky promontory lies on the southeastern corner of the scenic Cape Promontory. Look out over stunning vistas as you stand with ocean cliffs on three sides. Explore the surrounding landscape blanketed in lush fynbos and rich with wildlife—including baboons, Cape mountain zebras, ostriches, eland, and sugarbirds. If time allows, see more of the area with a self-guided hike, choosing from various marked routes.
For lunch, you'll join celebrated chef Nicky Gibbs around the kitchen table of her Cape Peninsula home for a memorable six-course meal paired with herbal and floral teas. Nicky forages her garden and the coast of the picturesque Noordhoek Valley to produce a seasonal menu that showcases the gifts of the Cape's natural kingdom. Each course is plated in front of you and introduced by Nicky to create an intimate and unique experience that weaves global cooking techniques with local fresh ingredients and stories of adventures.
Afterward, it's time to take in the views with a glass of wine in hand at the Cape Point Vineyard before driving along Chapman Peak Drive—considered one of the world's most scenic stretches of coastal road. Continue through Houtbay to reach Camps Bay, where you can sit with a beachside cocktail and watch the sunset before returning to Cape Town for the evening.
Day 4: Transfer to Franschhoek, Full-Day Western Cape Wine TourJoin your driver this morning for the transfer east toward Franschhoek and the heart of the Cape Winelands. South Africa's Western Cape is home to over 500 wineries, from intimate boutique estates to popular international producers. On today's excursion, you'll experience a bit of both as you meet some of the region's local winemakers for an authentic introduction to South African wine. If you'd prefer a more active day out in wine country, you could also opt to explore the countryside by e-bike.
Day 5: Explore the Franschhoek WinelandsOne of the best ways to see the vineyards of the Franschhoek Valley is by tram, with a choice of eight different routes that showcase a selection of the area's best wine estates. Choose the hop-on/hop-off experience to curate and plan your day independently, choosing how long to spend at each spot, where to eat and drink, and which activities to enjoy. Setting off from the Franschhoek Terminal on a double-decker tram, you'll taste your way through some of South Africa's greatest wineries while taking in panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Fly to Kruger National Park, Evening Game DriveTransfer to the airport this morning to catch a 2.5-hour flight east to Kruger National Park. Upon arrival, your driver will take you into the park to your comfortable lodge accommodations and your base for the next two nights of safari adventure. Kruger is Africa's oldest and largest national park, encompassing over 7,580 square miles (19,633 sq km) and six distinct ecosystems. It's also considered one of the best locations to spot the Big Five of African wildlife: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and Cape buffalo.
Day 7: Spend a Day in the Kruger Bush with Two Game DrivesThe best time to spot Kruger's famous residents (including the popular Big Five) is in the early morning and late afternoon, when the sun is not too hot, and the animals are more active. Today you'll embark on two game drives, starting at dawn as the sun rises over the savanna. Spend as much time as you like observing the flora and fauna of Kruger, stopping along the way to visit busy waterholes, scenic viewpoints, and beautiful picnic sites, where you can take a break from all the wildlife spotting and stretch your legs.
Day 8: Morning Game Drive, Fly to Johannesburg, Maboneng Walking TourRise early today for another game drive in Kruger, watching the sun rise over the park and its diverse wildlife one last time. After breakfast at the lodge, your driver will pick you up for the transfer to the nearby airport, where you'll catch a quick flight west to Johannesburg. Known locally as "Jo'burg," South Africa's largest city is also one of the world's largest urban areas, with a sprawling system of surrounding townships that date back to the segregation of Apartheid. After checking into your hotel, join your guide for a walking tour of Jo'burg's Maboneng neighborhood.
Day 9: Culture & History in Soweto, Fly to Victoria Falls, Sunset Dinner CruiseSoweto has witnessed some of the most important events in South Africa's modern memory, and a tour of the urban township should be a highlight of any visit to Johannesburg. Whether by foot, bicycle, or tuk-tuk, you'll experience living history at the Apartheid Museum, learn about the seminal student protests of 1976 at the Hector Peterson Memorial, and stroll Vilakazi Street to see the houses of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Break for lunch at an outdoor restaurant in the community park, where you'll be served an authentic meal of South African braai (barbeque).
Tonight you'll experience the magical colors of the Zambezi River at dusk with a luxurious dinner cruise. After a transfer to the jetty, board your riverboat and enjoy your favorite drink on deck. As you glide downstream, you'll be ushered to your table to savor a four-course dinner against the backdrop of the setting sun—keeping an eye out for the silhouettes of elephants and hippos along the shore.
Day 10: Free Day at Victoria Falls, Dusty Road Township Dinner Experience
Today is free for you to explore Victoria Falls at your own pace. Choose an adventure that suits your style, whether trekking along the well-signposted trails that skirt the falls, taking a dip in the dizzying Devil's Pool, or rafting down the mighty Zambezi River. To truly experience the scale and magnificence of Victoria Falls, opt for a helicopter flight. Depending on your chosen route, you can also take a whirl around the Batoka Gorge, the Victoria Falls Bridge, and the Zambezi River before flying over the Zambezi National Park to spot game from above.As dinnertime approaches, don't miss a visit to The Dusty Road, a traditional Zimbabwean restaurant situated in the bustling heart of Chinotimba. Step inside a welcoming local home and experience the community's vibrancy as local vendors sell their wares while enticing smells waft across from the charcoal fires. Food is cooked the Zimbabwean way: on open fires and in cast iron pots and ovens, giving guests an authentic, wholesome, and tasty gastronomic experience with a true purpose at its core—dining here helps to support the welfare and empowerment of local women.
Day 11: Transfer to Chobe National Park, Chobe River Photo SafariGet ready for more safari action today as you transfer to 90 minutes southwest of Victoria Falls and through the gates of Chobe National Park. Located along the banks of the Chobe River in the north of Botswana, this vast reserve is home to a flourishing population of elephants, buffalo, hippos, and magnificent birdlife. Botswana's oldest national park is also its most diverse, with four contrasting ecosystems within its borders.
Upon arrival, get settled into your lodge on a hillside overlooking the Caprivi Floodplains, then grab your hat and sunscreen and head out on a sunset cruise for your first photo safari. With the sun at your back, you'll scour the banks for wildlife coming out of the bush to drink from the river. It's not unusual to drift past large herds of elephants quenching their thirst, jostling for position with buffalo, zebras, and giraffes. Your expert guide will help you learn how to take the best possible photos with state-of-the-art cameras and zoom lenses.
Day 12: A Full Day of Wildlife Spotting & Photo Safaris in ChobeRise early to experience the wonders of Chobe at sunrise on this morning's game drive cruise. As any photographer will tell you, the real magic happens at first light—so be ready to meet on the boat at 6 am. With the sun rising over Kasane Plateau and the hippos returning to the river from a night of foraging inland, this is a spectacular time of the day to be on the river. It's a great opportunity to snap photos of crocodiles and the abundant fish eagles that nest and hunt along the river. After your morning outing, enjoy brunch on the river banks with a soundtrack of morning bird calls.
Return to your hotel and settle in for a day of relaxation by the pool before heading out in the afternoon for another sunset cruise safari. In the evening, you'll be treated to dinner accompanied by the soundtrack of the savanna.
Day 13: Fly to the Okavango Delta, Guided Walking Safari
Head out on one last sunrise game drive in Chobe by 4WD or boat. After a final morning of wildlife spotting, you'll be transferred by road to Kasane Airport, where you will board your charter flight to the Okavango Delta. Located in northern Botswana, the nearly 5 million acres (2 million ha) of the world's largest island delta are fed by the Okavango River. Every spring, a surge of water floods this lowland trough, creating verdant aquatic grasslands amid a desert and attracting one of the highest concentrations of animals on the continent.After some downtime to get settled into your lodge, join your experienced walking safari guide to tread in the tracks of the Okavango Delta's plentiful wildlife. You'll discover the complexities of tracking and learn how to spot each imprint in the soil or bent blade of grass. On this quiet excursion, you'll be particularly well-positioned to observe the delta's magnificent birdlife. Spot the rare grey go-away bird, glimpse the iridescence of the lilac-breasted roller, and scan the treetops for the unmistakable silhouette of the brown snake eagle or the grey-headed kingfisher.
Day 14: Explore the Delta by Mokoro, Afternoon Game DriveGlide through the Okavango's maze of clear channels and opaque lagoons this morning on a traditionally-made mokoro boat. Sit mere inches above the water as you silently cruise past unsuspecting wildlife, getting an incredibly immersive look at this biodiversity hotspot. At the heart of the delta lies a secluded network of waterways and islands, where life slows down even further. Encounter grazing herds of elephant and red lechwe antelopes on palm islands while crocodiles and hippos wade nearby under the watchful eye of the elegant African fish eagle.
Later in the day, embark on a game drive into the heart of the remote and secluded delta. In this untamed landscape, sensitive off-road driving practices allow you to get close to the area's exceptional wildlife. Splash through shallow crossings in your rugged safari vehicle to search for predators like lions, cheetahs, leopards, and African wild dogs. Scan the open woodlands for sable antelope, giraffes, and zebras, and marvel at herds of elephants frolicking in the cooling waters. Your drive will continue into the night for some nocturnal animal encounters—like the rarely-spotted serval and armored pangolin.
Day 15: Fly to Johannesburg & Depart
Savor one last sunrise over the spectacular Okavango Delta. When the time comes, your adventure will end with a transfer to the Kasane Airport, where you'll hop on a flight back to Johannesburg and your onward connection. 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 15 days in South Africa, or discover the best time to visit South Africa.