From the bush to the beach, South Africa is one of my favorite destinations on the planet. In fact, I fell so in love with Cape Town I’ve made it my home base for traveling over the past year.
Whether you want to explore the urban jungles, the wine regions, or get out on a safari, you need to experience this one-of-a-kind African destination. There are SO many amazing things to do in South Africa.
Ready to see it all? Here are the top things to do PLUS an itinerary for two weeks in South Africa!
South Africa Itinerary Overview
Day 1-3: Cape Town
Day 4-6: Safari
Day 7-9: Cape Winelands
Days 10-14: Options 1 or 2
Days 1-3: Cape Town
Fly into Cape Town International Airport
You’ll want to devote at least three days in Cape Town to explore. The best way to start your trip is with a scenic helicopter flight over the city and southwest coast to get inspired.
Then, start the day in my favorite neighborhood, Woodstock, to explore the local cafes and shops. Be sure to check out the street art along the way.
In the heart of Woodstock, there’s the legendary Old Biscuit Mill Market. With day and night markets, workshop spaces, farm stalls, foodie hot spots, African ceramics, and so much more, you can’t miss this place.
Tip: After you’ve worked up an appetite, you have to try traditional braai (barbecue).
Another must-visit neighborhood is Bo-Kaap. Formally known as the Malay Quarter, this district is a fascinating mash-up rooted in Malaysian, African, and Indian culture. Soak in the vibrant history while you take a walking tour of the area. And don’t miss the cooking classes! This ‘hood does fusion like nowhere else.
Read More: 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Cape Town
Days 4-6: 2-Night Safari
Gondwana Game Reserve (Four-hour drive from Cape Town)
The Gondwana Game Reserve is a prime spot to see the Big 5 in their natural habitat. Around every corner, you’ll find African lions, African elephants, African leopards, Cape buffalos, and rhinos.
Kruger National Park (Three-hour flight from Cape Town)
One of the largest game reserves in Africa, Kruger National Park is a top pick. Depending on where you decide to stay for safari, you’ll likely fly to Phalaborwa Airport, Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMI).
If you travel through Johannesburg, be sure to extend your layover a day or two! South Africa’s largest city and a forty-minute train ride from Pretoria, Johannesburg is a must-see for any visitor to South Africa.
Read More: How Much to Budget for an African Safari
Days 7-9: Cape Winelands
45-minute drive from Cape Town
My favorite wine region in the world, the Cape Winelands are heaven for wino’s and nature lovers alike. The weather is amazing all year long, and you can have unique varietals and pairings (for great prices).
There are luxe spas and gorgeous boutique hotels all over Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. You’ll want to plan on at least a couple of nights to see the best of the area.
(Option 1) The Garden Route Road Trip
Hermanus, Swellendam, Knysna, Tsitsikamma National Park, Jeffreys Bay, Port Elizabeth
Spend your first night of the Garden Route in Hermanus– the ultimate getaway for locals looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Cape Town. Stay at One Marine Drive in Hermanus for a chill night, then spend the next week stopping along some of South Africa’s best destinations on the Garden Route.
(Option 2) Durban and Rovos Rail
Stay at the Oyster Box Hotel and Experience a Luxury Rail Journey
Rovos Rail is the leader in luxurious train travel in Africa. If you don’t believe me, just ask Vogue. There are routes around South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania ranging from three to fifteen days, so you can travel in style to dream destinations like Victoria Falls and Zanzibar.
With picturesque beaches and a unique Afro-Indian culture, Durban is a place you’ll definitely want to linger. Check out the beaches of the Golden Mile, and then make your way down to Florida Road for incredible shopping and nightlight.
You’ll want at least one night in the five-star luxury boutique hotel and spa, Oyster Box Hotel; it is a destination in and of itself.
Read More: 10 Tips for Your First Trip to South Africa