With Table Mountain as its backdrop, a bevy of bays at its feet, and the lushest foliage this side of paradise, Cape Town arguably occupies one of the most spectacular natural settings on Earth. Here is your chance to revel in it—and to witness the amazing social transformation of the “Rainbow Nation.”
- It's Included:
- Airfare from Johannesburg to Cape Town
- Accommodations for 4 nights in Cape Town
- 6 meals—4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 1 Home-Hosted Dinner
- 3 small group activities
- Services of an expert local driver-guide
- All transfers
- Porterage for 1 bag per traveler
After Ultimate Africa: Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe Safari, we fly from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg, South Africa, arriving in the late afternoon before our flight to Cape Town.
We are met at the airport in Cape Town and transferred to our hotel.
After an early breakfast, we depart for our tour of Cape Town's many points of interest. Depending on wind conditions, we will travel by cable car up the face of Table Mountain, one of Cape Town's most dramatic natural landmarks. From the top, we have mesmerizing views of the Atlantic Ocean, the bays, the city below, and the stunning peninsula that meanders south to the Cape of Good Hope. Some 1,400 species of wild flowering plants grow on and around Table Mountain, which is also the home to the unusual rock hyrax (often called dassies), rodent-like creatures whose closest living relative is the elephant. Perhaps you'll see some during your optional walk around the mountaintop.
We will also visit the lovely National Botanical Gardens of Kirstenbosch, a dazzling showcase of nearly 4,000 varieties of indigenous flowers and plants. The garden rests on the lower slopes of Table Mountain, with the forest interspersed with the broad lawns and cultivated pathways of the gardens.
We'll also have the opportunity to learn more about South Africa's diamond industry before lunch on your own. Later, you have time to independently explore this lively area—or join us for our optional tour Townships of Cape Town, which takes us to the nearby townships of Langa, Guguletu, and Bonteheuwel. Meet the people who live here, and learn about their rich and fascinating culture from a resident.
This evening, enjoy a Home-Hosted Dinner at a local family's residence.
Departing after breakfast, we head along the coast, with majestic Table Mountain rising in the distance. We continue further onto the Cape Peninsula itself, along the spectacular coast road, the Atlantic Ocean's crashing surf endlessly splashing the rocks below. Soon we reach the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, with its wild fynbos landscapes, beautiful flowers, elusive bontebok, baboons, and ocean views.
Contrary to popular belief, the Cape Peninsula is not consistently where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Because of shifting currents, that distinction is shared with lesser-known Cape Agulhas, 100 to 200 miles east of the Cape Peninsula. Nevertheless, when you get to the tip of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, you'll see Cape Point, the technical "Cape of Good Hope." Rapidly changing climactic conditions and the Indian Ocean currents coming from Cape Agulhas make this a particularly dangerous spot for ships. Your local guide will tell you that more "sightings" of the legendary ghost ship, the Flying Dutchman, are reported here than anywhere else in the world. Who knows what you'll spy on the distant horizons as you gaze from the Cape Point viewing platform? We explore some of the fascinating vegetation and more remote corners of this nature reserve. Next, we enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant.
On our return trip to Cape Town, we stop along the False Bay coastline for a chance to see the penguins at Boulders Beach. Passing Simon's Town and Fish Hoek, we arrive back in town in the early evening. You are free tonight to seek out an interesting restaurant for dinner on your own, or ask your local guide for suggestions.
Today you are at leisure to explore Cape Town on your own. Or, join us for an exciting optional tour of Stellenbosch Wine Country.
During this optional tour we'll visit the heart of South Africa’s beautiful wine country and the historic area around the town of Stellenbosch. We'll visit various wine estates, tasting and sampling their delicious offerings. The scenery includes rolling hills, farms, and dramatic mountain vistas. This area is also the heart of Cape Dutch culture, and you will see fine examples of traditional architecture while learning about the history of early settlements here.
Dinner is on your own tonight.
This morning, simply relax, or take the opportunity to do some last-minute sightseeing on your own. In the late afternoon or early evening, you’ll transfer to the Cape Town Airport for your flight to the U.S.