Consider the people of Cape Town and how they are going to manage once you return home. These changes might seem like an effort, but being a responsible tourist is absolutely vital.
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.
You’ll also want one full day to explore Cape Peninsula. Meet the African penguins at Boulders Beach, and then spend the day hiking and taking in the incredible natural beauty.
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.
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).
There are a range of eco huts, luxury villas, and campsites to choose from. Some of my favorites reserves in the Kruger are Royal Malewane and Lion Sands Game Reserve.
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.
From the Apartheid Museum to the Botanical Garden to the Wits Art Museum, Johannesburg has an incredibly diverse array of things to do.
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.