South Africa,  Itineraries

Itinerary around Cape Town: the essentials of South Africa

Cape region is the part of South Africa with the most points of interest and it is the one that we recommend to visit as a priority. The itinerary below is filled with must-see visits and unique natural sites such as Cape Town, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Garden, Robben Island, Cape of Good Hope, Camps Bay and Clifton beaches or again the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek wine route. With all these visits, we promise you an exceptional circuit in the Cape region in South Africa ! 

If you are still unsure of which region to visit during your stay in South Africa, you can always consult our article: The best routes by region: What to do in South Africa?

Why take a tour to visit the Cape region of South Africa?

South Africa is THE African country to visit. It offers extremely varied landscapes (sea, mountains, metropolises, desert, savannah, etc.), a fascinating history to discover, safaris counting among the best in the world and delicious gastronomy. On the practical side, the country is stable, it is one of the most developed in Africa, malaria is non-existent and if you stay in tourist areas it is safe. So why deny it? With family, as a couple or with friends, you will enjoy this tour exploring the Cape region in South Africa.

Take a tour in South Africa: The best itinerary to visit the Cape region of South Africa

Safety on your route in the Cape region of South Africa

Insecurity in South Africa is not a myth but tourists are not affected if they do not venture alone in risky areas like townships or if they do not walk in the evening. deserted alleys. By staying on the beaten track and using common sense, you will never be attacked. Especially if you are staying in the Cape Peninsula as is the case on this tour (Cape Province being the safest region in South Africa)! Our feeling is that we often feel more in danger in certain streets of Paris than in this country! However, if you want to leave with peace of mind, we recommend that you take out insurance with AXIS. They are leaders in travel insurance and offer very good prices for full coverage (in addition to the medical / accident / sports aspect, they also provide many other things such as lost luggage or passports, cancellation of travel, etc.).

Summary of the 'visit the Cape region in South Africa' itinerary

NB: This route in the Cape region can be done as a road trip by sleeping in different places at each stage or you can also choose to return every night to Cape Town and thus avoid having to pack your bags every day. In view of short distances, both options are feasible.

(Click in the map below on 'show map' then on the right arrow to view your journey step by step.)

Where to go on an itinerary in South Africa?

As we said, this itinerary to visit the Cape region in South Africa is perfect for touring the country's must-see sites by choosing as a base one of the most beautiful cities in the world: Cape Town. It's the ideal circuit to enjoy your vacation without rushing and spending time in the car. On the other hand, if you absolutely want to take a road trip in South Africa, we recommend that you extend your stay to the magnificent garden route. Our itinerary to visit the garden route in South Africa (also called Garden Route) takes you in addition to Cape Town and its region: to the Wilderness, to Knysna, to Plettenberg Bay and it ends in the only national park in the Cape Province that hosts the Big 5: Addo Elephant Park. For those who do not want to miss out on a safari in Kruger National Park, then we recommend a tour that also goes through the North of South Africa (I invite you to read our best routes to visit the North and South of South Africa). As for the travelers who wish to make the complete tour of the country including the region of the Cape in the South, the Kruger and Johannesburg in the North, Swaziland and Durban in the East and the Drakensberg on the South African side and Lesotho in the center, then you will take between 3 weeks and 1 month minimum (we have written articles on the best 3 weeks itinerary in South Africa and those of 1 months).

Where and when to go on an itinerary in South Africa? The best itinerary to visit the Cape region of South Africa

When to go for an itinerary in the Cape region of South Africa?

Concerning the best time to go on an itinerary in the Cape region of South Africa, summer is from December to March and the tourist season from mid-December to the end of February. So leaving in November or March seems to us a good compromise to have the fewest possible travelers but always the sun. Those are the equivalents of June and September in France. July and August are the least touristy periods but it is winter so bring warm clothes. Even if it is never very cold, the Cape is often windy so a waistcoat and a windbreaker are essential.

Our favorites during this itinerary to visit the Cape region in South Africa

  • Cape Town is the most beautiful city in South Africa and after staying there it will undoubtedly fit into your list of the most beautiful cities in the world. We would happily stay there longer as there is so much to explore. Enclosed between the Atlantic and Table Mountain, Cape Town is surrounded by breathtaking nature. You can enjoy the mountains in the morning, the ocean in the afternoon and dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant with only a 15-minute drive during the day! Our favorite part of Cape Town was the lion's head hike to see the sunset. It is absolutely necessary to do it!
  • Et our favorite excursion on this itinerary to visit the Cape region in South Africa will remain the discovery of the Cape Peninsula : Chapman's Peak Drive is one of the 5 most beautiful roads in the world, the Cape of Good Hope with its lighthouse on the cliffs is legendary and the colony of penguins of Boulders beach near Simon's Town is just to eat. Our tip: Go early to have time to do the Shipwreck Trail of Cape Point. It runs along the coast of the Cap de Bonne Esperance National Park for only 1,5 km and there is never anyone there as 99,9% of tourists enter the park, drive to the tip of the peninsula to see Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope and they set off again. This short walk allows you to see the animals of the park which do not show themselves in the most touristic places: baboons, antelopes, dassies, etc… And you can also see several wrecks along the beach as well as whale vertebrae. We highly recommend it. 
  • Finally, our only regret was to have spent only one day in the wine region because there are a lot of great areas to visit. Being a lover of good bottles, we could easily spend the stay!
Our favorites during this itinerary to visit the Cape region in South Africa: view from Table Mountain over Cape Town

What we liked least about this itinerary for visiting the Cape region of South Africa

This itinerary to visit the Cape region in South Africa was perfect. The only thing that can be said is that the day along the coast between Muizenberg and Hermanus can be avoided. If you are not a surfer, Muizenberg Beach is not worth Clifton Beach. Then, Betty's Bay et Kogel Bay have some very beautiful, idyllic beaches but having already spent time on Cape Town's beaches, it didn't seem necessary to waste more time lounging on a towel! But that is our personality… If you like to bask in the sun then you will love this day! But if like us, the beach is good in small doses, then we advise you to skip this step and add time either on the South African wine route in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, or in Cape Town to enjoy of all the activities that the city has to offer.

The best tour itinerary to visit Cape Town and its region in South Africa: Clifton Beach in Cape Town

Our little tip : the road between Muizenberg and Hermanus is short so you can leave Muizenberg in the morning of DAY 4 and go directly to the whale / white shark day of Hermanus (DAY 5). If you have decided to come back to Cape Town to sleep every night, it is also possible to do the white shark and whale activities of Hermanus during the day. Most tour operators even pick you up in Cape Town and take you back to your hotel in the late afternoon. To choose your tour operator correctly, we invite you to consult our article on Hermanus.

The budget to plan for this itinerary to visit the Cape region in South Africa

By being careful, we can have a wonderful trip in the Cape Town area in South Africa for a budget of 540 € per person (flights excluded) or € 77 per day (see details of expenses below). The most expensive is accommodation in Cape Town but if you book all the hotels that we recommend first in this article, then you will only pay around € 430 for 7 nights in double rooms in B&B, or on average € 60 per night. By sharing the room with your spouse, it brings you back the night to 30 € per person. We strongly advise you to choose this option because quality guesthouses in Cape Town (tested and approved by us) at € 30 per night on average per person, it's unbeatable!

NB: Be careful though to book well in advance because during the high season these tips are often full ...

Breakdown of expenses for this itinerary to visit the Cape region of South Africa

To note :

  • This budget excludes souvenirs and shopping.
  • Car and gas rental costs were cut in half because there were two of us. If you are 3 or 4, the budget will be even smaller.
  • We ate every day for lunch and dinner in classic restaurants (nothing gourmet but it was always very good). Alcohol was not taken into account.
  • The 'activities' budget is quite small because most of the sites to visit are free! It includes entry into national parks, diving with white sharks, the ferry to Robben Island, etc ... In short, we did not deprive ourselves.
  • The 'Housing' budget has been calculated according to all the first recommended accommodation in this itinerary for visiting the Cape region of South Africa. These are always double rooms in hotels or quality B & Bs where we have already booked. The other accommodations recommended by following the links give you other options at different prices (from hostel to luxury hotel) and they are recommended either by us or by friends who have stayed there. You can easily reduce your budget to less than 60 € per day and per person if you decide to book in the youth hostels that we recommend by following these links (they all offer double, family or dormitory rooms).
  • This budget does not take into account the return flight to Cape Town to give you an idea of ​​the budget per day to be expected on site. A flight booked in advance in March or November costs around € 550 round trip. To book a ticket at the best price, it is best to find out about the skyscanner comparator. At that price, visiting the Cape region of South Africa following this itinerary will cost you less than € 1100 per person (550 € of flights + 540 € on site)!
Per person in euros
CAR (7 days shared by 2)50€

Our tips for renting a car during this tour to visit the Cape region of South Africa

  • It is best to have your rental car to do this. itinerary in the Cape region in South Africa and be free of these movements. However, you can also do all the excursions offered in this tour from Cape Town without having to rent a car thanks to the many tour operators that take you on the wine route, to the Cape of Good Hope or even to Hermanus.
  • Don't forget to take your international license. It is free on request at the prefecture.
  • Here, we drive on the left like the English do!

Consulting : Rent a car in Cape Town at the best price thanks to comparators et

The best itinerary to visit the Cape region of South Africa day by day

You will find below the best route to visit the Cape region in South Africa day by day with all essential sites to visit and the best activities to do absolutely. For each step, you will find links to access all additional information : the journey times to plan per day, the best providers for the excursions not to be missed, the advice to know and especially a list of the best hotels, guesthouses and youth hostels at every stage.

DAY 1: Discover the most beautiful neighborhoods of Cape Town in South Africa

Stroll through the Cape Town's most beautiful neighborhoods: Bo-Kaap, Camps Bay, Sea Point, Green point and Waterfront. In the evening, enjoy the sunset above Table Mountain and end the day on the busy street of Kloof Street.

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To stay, The Villa Rosa is an excellent central B&B.

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For more details :

The best itinerary to visit the Cape region of South Africa: view of Cape Town

DAY 2: The essential Cape Town excursions in South Africa

Besides Table Mountain, you should definitely visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and prison on Robben Island where Mandela was locked up. When you return from the ferry, you can go shopping at the craft market Water Shed. You will sleep again at The Villa Rosa.

For more details :

The best route to visit the Cape region of South Africa: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

DAY 3: On the way to the Cape of Good Hope, at the tip of South Africa

This tour to visit the Cape region in South Africa continue with around the Cape Peninsula which includes the mythical route of Chapman's Peak, the famous Cape of Good Hope and finally the penguin colony of Boulders National Park.

You will end the day at Muizenberg where you will spend the night at The Muize.

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If complete, our second crush is Admiralty B&B.

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You can also decide to return to Cape Town in less than 30 min and sleep again at The Villa Rosa or in another of the recommended accommodation.

For more details :

The best itinerary to visit the Cape region of South Africa: the Cape of Good Hope

DAY 4: The beautiful coastal road between Muizenberg and Hermanus

Relaxing and / or surfing day along the coast: Muizenberg beach, Betty's Bay, Kogel Bay… It's not the dream beaches that are missing on the journey! If you have time before you get to Hermanus, end the day by exploring the city wine route.

To accommodate you, 6 Stemmet Lodge is the best value for money from Hermanus.

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Alternatively, if you have chosen to remain based in Cape Town, you may return to The Villa Rosa after your day at sea and save Hermanus for the next day.

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The best itinerary to visit the Cape region of South Africa: Muizenberg surf beach and these colorful cabins

DAY 5: Spot whales and cage dive with white sharks in Hermanus

Hermanus is THE city to see Whales et cage diving with white sharks. Don't miss it! (You don't need to know how to dive!) After an emotional day, you will spend the night again at 6 Stemmet Lodge.

Alternatively, if you have chosen to stay based in Cape Town, many tour operators offer to pick you up from Cape Town early in the morning and will drop you off at night. The Villa Rosa or others. To choose the best provider with whom to do these cruise and diving activities, we invite you to read our very informative article on the subject (see below).

For more details :

The Best Itinerary For Visiting The Cape Region Of South Africa: Cage Diving With White Sharks In Hermanus

DAY 6: Discover the magnificent South African wine route

Today you can pet cheetahs in a sanctuary but you will especially do tastings in the best vineyards of Stellenbosch and de Franschhoek on the wine route of South Africa.

In the evening, the ideal is to sleep on site at theEendracht Hotel. (Drink or drive, you must choose !)

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If you are based in Cape Town The Villa Rosa, no problem ! You can make the trip between Cape Town and Stellenbosch in 45min but the driver will not have to do all the tastings… If there is no volunteer to drive, a very nice tour of the vineyards by tram is offered by the city of Franschhoek and in addition they pick you up from your hotel in Cape Town. For more information on all of these options, we invite you to read our guide to the South African Wine Route (see below).

For more details :

The best route to visit the Cape region of South Africa: the wine route from Cape Town to Stellenbosch

DAY 7: The best activities to do in Cape Town

For the last day of your itinerary to visit the Cape region in South Africa, enjoy the many Cape Town activities: hiking, museum, shopping, extreme sports, relaxation… there is something for everyone. At the end of the afternoon, climb to the top of lions head for sunset or admire the view from Signal Hill. If your plane is the next day, you will sleep again at The Villa Rosa.

For more details :

The best route to visit the Cape region of South Africa: view from the top of Table Mountain at sunset

We hope this itinerary to visit Cape Town and its region in South Africa you will like it as much as we liked. He goes around unmissable sights of South Africa guaranteeing you a fantastic stay!

Our tips for a successful trip:

  • Book your flight in advance to take advantage of the best prices

Airline ticket prices are cheaper when booked 6 to 3 months in advance. To be sure of getting the best price, we recommend using a flight comparator such as Skyscanner.

  • Book your accommodation before departure to have access to the best offers

You will always find a room at the last minute, but the best located accommodations are necessarily those that are always full. That's why it's best to book your accommodations as soon as possible. We recommend going through Agoda which offers the best prices. In addition, this site allows you to be easily reimbursed in the event of cancellation.

  • Skip the line to visit the most popular attractions

By booking your excursions in advance on Civitatis, you do not queue on site to get your tickets. Less time waiting = more time enjoying your vacation! Plus, their guided tours ensure you have a knowledgeable guide who speaks your language.

  • Use a comparator to find a rental car at the lowest price

Save yourself hours of research with ou These comparators are the best for finding rental cars at the lowest prices.

  • Don't leave without travel insurance

For us, it is unimaginable to leave without travel insurance. We recommend the one proposed by AXIS. This is the best guaranteed way to leave with peace of mind. However, consider taking out additional specialized insurance for activities not covered (such as skiing or scuba diving).

  • Want more information about your destination?

Do not hesitate to complete the information present on this blog with a travel Guide. You can take it in your luggage and refer to it throughout your vacation.

Find out more about South Africa

If you want to explore other regions, we have also written articles on the best routes to visit the Garden Route (in French called route des jardins), the Kruger, Lesotho, or the Swaziland.

To stay in Cape Town, you can follow our guide: Discover the best Cape Town hotels in South Africa: from the best hostels and B & Bs to the finest residences.

In addition, you will find links below that may interest you about South Africa:

Itinéterre is a travel blog written by a team of expatriates and locals. They share their experiences so that you can enjoy the best tours in their countries. Their advice will help you plan your vacation easily as if a local is accompanying you!