The wonder of South Africa is the dramatic and irresistible diversity of its cultures, landscapes and wildlife. The challenge is how to experience the best without committing to an extended visit that’s too long to make sense on your travel calendar. This carefully curated and wisely proportioned itinerary is the answer. You’ll go on thrilling safari in a wonderful preserve with abundant chances to see the Big Five and more. You’ll walk in gorgeous vineyards…taste your way to wine nirvana…and pair it all with remarkable cuisine. There are days in Cape Town with memorable visits to the Cape of Good Hope, the cultural townships and Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Throughout, you’ll have the fulltime company of a fine local guide who helps you make sense of the complex history, the startling landscapes, and the native and colonial cultures that have clashed, sought common ground, and welcome you with warm hospitality.
After meeting in Cape Town, you’ll go for a guided walk in the historic city and take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain for panoramic views of the city and the rugged Atlantic coast. A scenic ride on Chapman’s Peak Drive takes you to the Cape of Good Hope, the turning point for navigators rounding the southern tip of Africa. At nearby Boulder Beach, you’ll visit the largest colony of African penguins.
To appreciate the challenges of apartheid and the cultural changes since its end, you’ll travel with your guide to one of the townships on the periphery of Cape Town. There, you’ll meet the students in a small local school and talk to a traditional healer. You will also visit Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, that’s now a symbol of resistance and forgiveness. Nelson Mandela was held prisoner here for almost 20 years.
DAYS 4-5 – THE CAPE WINELANDS
South Africa’s wine region is one of the world’s finest, and you’ll have ample chances to see why for yourself. Your base is in Stellenbosch. You’ll head out for amazingly scenic walks through vineyards and scenic wine estates. (Prefer to see it by bike or ebike? You can do that too!) You can count on tastings at some of the most interesting boutique wineries…and a really fun (and delicious) progressive food walk punctuated with samples of local food specialties.
DAYS 6-9 – SAFARI
Your explorations so far have all led to the exclamation mark at the end of the week, as you’ll fly to the northeast coast of South Africa for a few days of safari excitement at Phinda Private Game Preserve. Your luxury accommodations are perfectly sited inside the preserve, so it’s fantastically easy to get to prime viewing areas for the Big Five – elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion and leopard – as well as zebras, hippos, cheetahs and more. Over the course of several expertly guided rides and walks, you’ll explore the preserve’s seven unique ecosystems and see wonderful examples of animal behavior. During these quintessential safari experiences, you can count on capturing amazing Instagram-worthy photographs and unforgettable memories. On the last morning of your trip, you’ll transfer to Cape Town or Johannesburg where you can connect with your homeward flights or continue your South African adventure on your own.
Starting Point:Cape Town – 9:00 am – Lobby of hotel
Ending Point:KwaZulu-Natal – – Phinda Private Game Reserve
Why Choose Classic Journeys
Travel + Leisure has awarded Classic Journeys the #1 World's Best Tour Operator multiple times and says, "Classic Journeys provides unbeatable access to experiences around the globe." Here's what that access means for you.
- Experience the world on foot and at eye level. Each day, join your guide on the most cinematic footpaths in the region.
- Exceptional full-time local guides who become your well-connected friend. Our amazing guides are with you throughout each day of the tour, share their lifelong connections as well as engaging anecdotes about the history and culture of the region.
- Small groups that provide you unrivaled access. An average of fewer than 10 guests per departure means we can offer you special access to sites like Stonehenge so you experience the stone circle when it's closed to the general public, a guided visit to Zion Narrows that other companies cannot arrange because of larger group sizes, and vineyard walks with a count and countess in Tuscany.
- Award-winning hotels are waiting for you at the end of every day. Luxuriate in the finest and most distinctive accommodations in the region you're exploring, including rainforest lodges, 16th century villas, and award-winning properties that show up on World's Best and Gold lists.
- Eat like (and with) the locals. Food is a foolproof way into the hearts, homes and history of the places you visit with us. From gourmet picnics to coveted local restaurants, our meals offer you opportunities to explore native food traditions and fine dining.
- Handcrafted itineraries with all activities included. With our long-term friendships, we know our walking tour regions more personally than anyone else. So you get thoughtfully curated itineraries that combine explorations of the villages, organic farms, archeological sites and the people who know them best.
- Sustainable travel that supports the places you're visiting. We put our local currency into the pockets of the people who live where we travel. It's your guarantee that you'll have authentic, up-close experiences on your trip. Best of all, our person-to-person approach helps sustain their ways of life.
Dates & Prices
Not ready to book just yet? Talk with one of our travel experts at 800-200-3887.Talk to an expert
Select our “Family Departure” to travel with other families.
This trip includes 1 internal flight, which is priced separately from the land tour. The total cost for the internal flight is approximately $600 per person.
- All breakfast, 7 lunches and 5 dinners
- Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip and handle behind-the-scenes logistics
- Admissions to scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary
- Gratuities for hotels, meals, and baggage
- All land transportation during the trip
- Award-winning boutique hotels and game lodges that provide you unlimited access to the people and places, animals and wildlife you came to experience
Above & Beyond Benefits
Privileged Access Events
- One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.
- When your group arrives, we whisk you and your bags to your room immediately. No waiting – no tipping.
Wine on Us
- In many regions, we uncork wonderful local wines at every dinner, compliments of Classic Journeys.