This South Africa Highlights and Adventure Vacation was created for some of our favorite repeat clients, a family of 6 from Illinois. They wanted all the South Africa highlights—Cape Town, wine tasting, shark cage diving, and a Kruger safari—with unique, private tours. This itinerary ticked all the boxes while providing unexpected highlights every day.
They started their South Africa Highlights and Adventure Vacation in the stunningly beautiful city of Cape Town. They had a private tour of the city’s quirky highlights and went behind the scenes with creative locals who gave them unique insight into Cape Town life. The next day was filled with amazing adventures: cage diving with Great White Sharks in the morning, visiting penguins on a local beach away from the crowds, and hiking in the Cape Peninsula Reserve.
Next up, they had a private wine tasting tour in the Cape Winelands en route to the magnificent Grootbos Forest Lodge. This lodge is a true oasis, offering 5-star service and breathtaking views of the coast, forest, and mountains. Here, they had a marine life cruise and took a guided coastal walk in Grootbos Nature Reserve.
Continuing their South Africa Highlights and Adventure Vacation, they headed to the Greater Kruger National Park for a Big 5 safari! They spent 4 nights at the absolutely incredible Royal Malewane safari lodge, located in a private game reserve bordering Kruger. Their game viewing was unreal, with thrilling sightings of elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, and much more.
After their safari adventure, they flew to the vibrant city of Johannesburg. They had a half-day private tour where they were free to explore Johannesburg and surrounds as they pleased with the help of a friendly local guide. Then, their guide dropped them off at the airport to begin their journey home.
Today is the start of your South African adventure! Jet into Cape Town, meet your driver, and transfer to your luxurious accommodations at Kensington Place. Sink into the comfort of your luxury suite in this exclusive hotel in the leafy suburb of Higgovale, surrounded by Table Mountain and overlooking the city. Enjoy a delectable, fresh dinner on your private terrace.
Get a true feel for Cape Town on a private, full-day tour of the city’s highlights and hidden gems. First, head to the top of Table Mountain, the cable car spreading the city out before your eyes as you rise above the rest of the world. Back down on earth, sample some of Cape Town’s finest coffee varietals.
Hit the streets of the trendy East City Precinct, also known as the “design district.” This area is a treasure trove of fashion and jewelry boutiques, studios, quirky home décor, atmospheric pubs, craft beers, and concept stores. Meet a few of the captivating characters behind the roasteries, distilleries, and workshops—creative souls who reveal the more offbeat side of town. Meet the folks behind the uplifting urban art and craft township projects, responsible for enriching so many lives.
This afternoon, explore Woodstock’s street art, murals, and galleries. One of the oldest suburbs, this village is now the poster child for urban regeneration, polished to a level of trendy cool and hip inner-city living. Craft beer and gin tasting caps a well-rounded day.
Rise early this morning for the adventure of a lifetime: cage diving with Great White Sharks! You’ll be submerged in the water in a metal cage and hold your breath as the king of the ocean swims right up to you. This unique tour also allows you to see Great White Shark breaching, a rare sight where the sharks actually jump out of the water!
Enjoy another private tour this afternoon, this time exploring the Cape Peninsula south of Cape Town. Begin at bohemian Kalk Bay and the history-rich Simon’s Town. Then, see adorable penguins away from the crowds on a secluded beach known only to locals. Your tour ends with a gentle hike in the Cape Peninsula Reserve, exploring secluded beaches, shipwrecks, and unique wildlife. Weave back to Cape Town via Noordhoek Farm Village, and perhaps stop for a little wine tasting at Cape Point Vineyards, producer of some of South Africa’s finest sauvignon blanc.
Today, you’ll get to explore the beautiful (and delicious) Cape Winelands on a private tour. Visit Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, visiting a handful of wineries with an itinerary tailored to your interests and preferred varietals. Today is about so much more than just sipping the wines. Depending on time and season, stroll through the vines, learning about farming methods and techniques. Take an intimate wine-tasting and cellar tour and possibly meet the driving force behind the estate. If lucky, your behind-the-scenes experience could include grape picking or barrel tastings. Conclude your tour with a gourmet lunch in a scenic location before your driver drops you off at the magnificent Grootbos Forest Lodge. This evening, enjoy a 5-course gourmet dinner at the lodge.
Grootbos Forest Lodge
Get an early start today and embark on a marine life cruise. Keep an eye out for whales and dolphins as you make your way to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary. After your excursion, return to Grootbos for a day at leisure. Guided nature walks, horseback riding, and more are included in your stay, or you can choose to simply relax and soak up the gorgeous views of forest, mountains, and coast.
Grootbos Forest Lodge
What’s a South Africa vacation without a Big 5 wildlife safari? Today, take a private transfer to Cape Town, where you’ll catch a flight and road transfer to Thornybush Private Game Reserve (part of the Greater Kruger National Park). Your home for the next 4 nights is Royal Malewane safari lodge, one of the most exclusive and luxurious lodges in South Africa. The safari experience here is unparalleled!
Day 7 – 9
Spend the next 3 days on safari and experience the thrill of seeing African wildlife in the wild. Royal Malewane boasts incredible game viewing; be prepared to see elephants, lions, antelopes, giraffes, wild dogs, and much more! In between game drives and walking safaris, you can relax in your spacious suite—which features a private deck, day beds, a plunge pool, and a well-stocked mini bar—or unwind at the spa.
Your safari adventure comes to an end today as you fly to the metropolitan center of Johannesburg. A private guide will pick you up from the airport and take you on a tour of the Gauteng province tailored to your interests. Enjoy complete freedom to explore whatever you prefer: sightseeing, shopping, museums, art galleries, or even casinos. Your guide will drop you off at the airport, where you’ll catch your flight home.