2 Week Itinerary in South Africa: From Cape Town to Johannesburg

Advisor - Brigid Finley
Curated By

Brigid Finley

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  • South Africa

  • Cape Town

  • City Travel

  • Safari

  • Active Travel

  • Beaches

  • Adventure Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • National Park

  • Outdoors

  • Multi-City

aerial coastal views of city and mountain
Curator’s statement

While many travelers venture to South Africa just for safari experiences, the country is rich with stunning scenery, wild beaches, amazing wildlife and even a world-class wine region, making it a rich and diverse destination to spend several weeks. To really experience how varied the country is, begin your trip in Cape Town and travel across the country, departing from Johannesburg. Take in the cosmopolitan Cape Town, taste wine in the Cape Winelands, visit a national park or two, such as Addo Elephant Park or Storm's River Mouth, spend a few days relaxing on the coast, splurge on a safari in Kruger National Park, and then wrap up with a culture and history tour in Johannesburg.

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Where to stay

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Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Town

A historic standout in pink at the base of Table Mountain, stay here for the storied history, art-focused activities and luxe spa.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • Afternoon/evening tea for two.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Ellerman House Cape Town

On the cliffs over Cape Town, this 13-room mansion never disappoints, with a spectacular ocean-facing pool.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

  • A paired chocolate and South African Brandy tasting with the hotel sommelier ($150 value) in the Wine Gallery and 10% discount on first spa treatment at EH Spa.

  • OR Complimentary round-trip private airport transfers (must have a minimum value of $100 USD equivalent).

  • OR in lieu of the above\*, a donation towards Click Foundation, to support the education of a South African child for one year.

Singita Sabi Sand

A privately owned game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park, and together the two areas make up some of South Africa’s most incredible and pristine land.

Fora Perks
  • $100 worth gift.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Day 1-4: Cape Town

an ascending cablecar and mountain peak emerging through a blanket of clouds

Avoid the jet lag from your early morning flight, and start your day with a city tour. Context Travel offers a great "Introduction to Cape Town" itinerary that gives the lay of the city, as well as offers plenty of interesting history. Spend a morning hiking up Table Mountain (or take the cable car). The hike is grueling, but after a long plane ride, it could be just what the body needs. The views atop the mountain are stunning. Spend an afternoon on Camp's Bay Beach dining in one of the many restaurants along the promenade and, if you are there in the summer season, hang out at one of the many beach clubs. Pay a visit to Robben Island to see where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, take a day trip to Simon’s Town and Boulders Beach to see the Penguin colony, and enjoy some R&R at high tea at 12 Apostles, taking in the restaurant's stunning views.

Day 5-7: Cape Winelands

blue sky above a valley of wine vineyards and mountains in the distance

After a few days running around Cape Town, take 48 hours to sit by the pool, book a spa treatment and enjoy what the wine country does best - wine tasting! Babylonstoren is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa with eight-acres of gorgeous gardens that you can explore before or after a wine tasting. Haute Cabriere, a wine farm with a deep history, offers some of the best views in Franschhoek, with a patio overlooking the valley. Delaire Graff Estate is luxury all the way. Book a meal at one of their fabulous restaurants, Delaire Graff Restaurant or Indochine.

Day 8-10: South Coast

aerial view of a coastal town with rolling green hills

From Durban traveling south along the border of the Eastern Cape, there are miles of beaches dotted with residences and small coastal towns. In addition to the beaches, one incredible wildlife experience is the sardine migration that takes place annually around June and July. The sardines are so plentiful that locals can walk into the water and scoop out as many as they need. The sardines also attract sharks and dolphins, making it a very exciting time to visit. In addition to bracing coastal walks and exploring a few of these cute towns, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife and adventure experiences, including whale watching, horseback riding, fishing, hiking and zip-lining.

Day 11-14: Kruger National Park

orange sunset and silhouette of a tree

Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa is one of Africa’s largest game reserves at nearly 5-million acres. It has an incredibly high density of wild animals including the Big 5: Leopards, Lions, Rhinos, Elephants and Buffalo. There are also hundreds of other mammals who make their home in Kruger, along with hundreds of types of birds. Days begin early for guests, with coffee or hot chocolate before dawn and breakfast enjoyed in the bush. During the heat of the day, you'll enjoy a nap or a good book, before heading back out for more wildlife spotting, usually enjoying a sundowner or two at sunset. In the evening, come back to camp for a multi-course meal and early bedtime. Each day is different, but no less exhilarating!

Day 15-16: Johannesburg

cityscape with tress and blue sky

Spend your last full day in South Africa with a visit to the Nelson Mandela Museum, a guided tour of the Soweto township, a stop at the Apartheid Museum and an early dinner in the Maboneng Precinct, a former industrial area that has been transformed with art galleries, restaurants, markets, and nightlife.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my guide for A Perfect Weekend in Turks & Caicos.

Advisor - Brigid Finley

Travel Advisor

Brigid Finley

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