Guest post by CMarchetti
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
Our trip hit all the highlights of South Africa in a short period of time!
Day 1: Cape Town
- La Perla
- Three Wise Monkeys
- Mojo Market
We arrived around 2:00 pm and after a brief check-in at our hotel (O on Kloof Boutique Hotel & Spa), walked the 5 blocks downhill to the Sea Point neighborhood. Regent Road is dotted with shops and restaurants. Though most of the shops were closed on Sunday, we had a great time strolling and window shopping. We couldn’t choose a restaurant so we tried three, ending our evening with beers and live music at Mojo Market.
Day 2: Cape Town
- Chapman’s Peak Drive
- Cape Point
- Cape of Good Hope
- Boulders Beach
- Bree Street
- The Watershed
- The Butcher Shop & Grill
We booked a tour so we could see as much of the Cape Peninsula as possible in a short amount of time. We had time to hike up to the lighthouse at Cape Point (about 20 mins RT), but otherwise just hopped out to take a few photos at each stop along the way.
The Bo-Kaap neighborhood is small but historic and worth the stop, and it’s just a few blocks from the city center with it’s varied restaurants, bars, and businesses.
The Victoria and Albert Waterfront has a large collection of hotels, restaurants, and shops, but The Watershed stands out for it’s rows of stalls of goods exclusively made in Africa – beautiful designs and products, an amazing place for gifts and souvenirs.
The Butcher Shop is along the waterfront about a mile from V&A – it’s a beautiful flat walk though if the weather is nice. A traditional steakhouse with a great ambiance.
Day 3: Cape Town
- Lion’s Head
- Table Mountain
- Delaire Graff Estate
- TOKARA Wine Estate
- Boschendal Wine Estate
- Beau Constantia
Table Mountain is one of Cape Town’s must-do’s – unfortunately the experience is weather-dependent, and the top of the mountain can be socked in by fog. We opted to take the cable car to the top anyway. Lion’s Head offers a moderate hike (1.5 hrs RT) with 360 degree panoramic views of Cape Town and its peak is just below the fog line – it makes a great morning.
The Stellenbosch wine region is about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. We opted for a private driver vs. a tour so we could visit the wineries we wanted to visit and take our time. No reservations necessary at any wine estate mid-week – beautiful scenery and delicious wines!
Chef’s Warehouse is a three-course prix fixe – creative and delicious cuisine, and wines from the Beau Constantia estate lots we looked at while we dined.
Days 4-6: Arathusa Safari Lodge
We flew from Cape Town to Nelspruit, and then onto the private airstrip at the Arathusa Safari Lodge on the Sabi Sands private game reserve. Sabi Sands is directly adjacent to Krueger National Park – there’s no fence between, so the animals are free to roam, but the private reserve enables the safari guides to drive the jeeps off-road for super close encounters with the animals. We had 3-hour game drives twice daily, morning and evening; great food served in multiple locations around the lodge; and a gorgeous private suite in the bush where we could see giraffes and impala grazing 20 yards away.
We felt like we really maximized our time and had an amazing experience in South Africa. If we’d had a little more time, we might have liked another half day in Cape Town to be able to visit some of the shops we saw in Sea Point or to visit one of the other beach communities (Camps Bay or Kalk Bay). We also might have stayed one night in the town of Stellenbosch. Other travelers we met stopped in Europe (London or Amsterdam) for a few days either before or after their time in South Africa, which might be a nice way to break up the trip. Regardless, it was a magical week and a trip we can’t recommend highly enough!
Traveled in October 2019