A Taste of South Africa
Scenic and historic Cape Town then 4 game drives in the Greater Mabula Game Reserve
|Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. (Some exceptions, including special promotional packaged, may accommodate up to 24.) More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|16 travelers max
|Active, Bucket List, Nature & Wildlife
|What to Expect
|This moderately-paced, locally hosted tour package to South Africa includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.
|Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.
Get updates about this package
We’ve spent over 35 years creating tours to some of the world’s most incredible destinations, and we can confidently say that South Africa has always stood out as exceptional. Few places offer such an alluring variety of gorgeous scenery, historical relevance, modern cities, and world-class wildlife viewing. You’ll start your Taste of South Africa small group tour with four nights in Cape Town. Experience the city’s vibrant neighborhoods and storied past during a panoramic city tour, including a trip to the top of Table Mountain. Your ticket is pre-purchased, so you won’t spend hours waiting in line to buy one. Enjoy some free time on your own to explore the city, or join an optional excursion to Cape Point & Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens or the Cape Winelands & Robben Island. Then head north for four game drives in the Greater Mabula Game Reserve. Safari Plains boasts a one hundred and twenty square kilometers, Big Five, private game reserve. Because Safari Plains is private, there will be less safari vehicles and no public cars or coaches to compete with when tracking the Big 5 with your Ranger and open aired vehicle.
Want even more? See our A Taste of South Africa with Victoria Falls.
- Round-trip flights from New York (JFK) via South Africa Airways wide-bodied jet service, including taxes & fees
- Flights, ground transportation and transfers within South Africa
- 6 night accommodations in first class hotel and game lodge
- 11 meals: 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 2 dinners
- Professional English-speaking guide and game rangers
- Sightseeing in Cape Town and 4 game drives at the Greater Mabula Game Reserve
- Exciting excursions in and around Cape Town
Why you'll love it
- Explore the townships of Langa, Bonteheuwel, and Gugulethu where you will meet with locals and try a variety of delicious cuisine.
- Ascend to the top of Table Mountain via cable car (weather permitting) for the view of a lifetime.
- Spend two days exploring Cape Town independently or enjoy optional excursions to Cape Point, Robben Island and more.
- Enjoy 4 amazing game drives at a game reserve, home to five ecosystems, the “Big 5”, and a wide variety of birds, fauna and flora.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1 Depart USA
- Depart New York on your overnight flight for Cape Town via Johannesburg
Day 2 Cape Town
- Arrive in Cape Town, meet your guide, and transfer to your hotel
- Remainder of day at leisureFull Day Itinerary
Sawubona (welcome)! Arrive today in Cape Town, a beautiful jewel nestled between stunning Table Mountain and a dramatic coastline. Cape Town is a modern, bustling and vibrant city boasting gorgeous scenery, fabulous restaurants, hotels and beaches, and is bursting with history and culture. Upon arrival at Cape Town's airport, you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 3 Cape Town
- Morning township tour
- Enjoy a traditional Cape Malay lunch
- Afternoon panoramic city tour of the scenic and historic highlights
- Weather permitting, cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain
Radisson RED Cape Town Breakfast & lunchFull Day Itinerary
Your exploration of Cape Town begins with a morning tour to the townships of Langa, Bonteheuwel, and Gugulethu. Drive through Gugulethu and see the memorials dedicated to anti-apartheid activists, the Gugulethu Seven and Amy Biehl. Arrive in Langa for a walking tour with a local guide who will tell you about the community's cultural traditions and rituals. Meet a local in their home and hear their stories about daily life in the township. Visit a community center and learn about the programs they have in place. Stop at a former men's hostel that has been renovated to accommodate families. Previously 6 to 8 families would share a room, thanks to the renovations only 2 families share a room now. See what life here was like previously, and how it has been improved today. Then, drive through Bontheheuwel to a local cafe for a typical lunch full of local favorites such as samoosa - pastries with savory fillings, traditional Cape Malay curry, and koeksisters - a sticky donut treat often flavored with homemade sugar syrup and sprinkled with coconut. Afterwards, head to District Six, a former inner-city residential area that is now a mostly vacant lot. During the sixties and seventies, over 60,000 residents were forced to leave by the apartheid regime. Continue to the District Six Museum, where a former resident will guide you through the exhibit.
Return to Cape Town to enjoy a panoramic city tour showcasing the scenic and historic highlights of this vibrant city. Weather permitting, ascend by cable car to the top of Table Mountain, Cape Town's most striking landmark. Proceed to the country's oldest building, the Castle of Good Hope, an imposing 17th century Dutch fort set against the dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain.
(If the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is closed due to maintenance or inclement weather, visit Signal Hill instead)
Continue to the Malay Quarter (Bo-Kaap). Lined with brightly colored houses and decorative mosques, this historic neighborhood was founded by former slaves from Malaysia whose Islamic culture gives the neighborhood a distinct character and contributes to Cape Town's rich cultural diversity.
Day 4 Cape Town
- Day at leisure to explore Cape Town, or participate in an exciting optional tour of Cape Point
Radisson RED Cape Town BreakfastOptional Excursion: Cape Point & Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Your trip to Cape Point begins this morning with a scenic drive past secluded coves, beautiful beach towns and spectacular mountain scenery. Stop at famous Chapman's Peak. Enter the nature reserve that covers the southern part of the Peninsula, and drive through the unique scenery towards Cape Point. Travel by funicular railway to Cape Point where you can take in stunning views of the Cape of Good Hope.
Later, make a brief stop to visit the African jackass penguins at Boulders Beach, and then continue to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where you'll enjoy a magnificent display of indigenous South African flora.
Day 5 Cape Town
- Last day to explore Cape Town at leisure, or join an optional excursion to Cape Town's famous wine region and Robben Island
Radisson RED Cape Town BreakfastOptional Excursion: Cape Winelands & Robben Island
This morning, depart by ferry from the V&A Waterfront to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years of his incarceration. See the island's facilities and learn its history on a tour, guided by a former political prisoner. This afternoon, head to the heart of the Cape Winelands. Explore fine art galleries, architecture, history, and curious and quaint shops. But first, take a leisurely drive to get acquainted with the beauty of this world-renowned region, before venturing into the wine-making process in a fascinating cellar tour with wine tasting. Depending on availability of the ferry tickets, the itinerary of this excursion may be reversed or the excursion may be operated on Day 4.
If the ferries to Robben Island are not operating due to poor weather conditions, a Township tour will be provided instead, followed by the above scheduled Cape Winelands tour.
Note: Ferry tickets to Robben Island are limited and may not be available locally. We strongly recommend prepaying for the optional excursions package, which includes Cape Winelands & Robben Island. Regretfully, we cannot pre-sell the excursions individually. Prices for locally purchased tours are subject to change as park fees and fuel can increase without advance notice.
Day 6 Cape Town & Greater Mabula Game Reserve
- Transfer to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg
- Transfer to the Greater Mabula Game Reserve
- Late afternoon head out for your first game drive
- Check in at hotel after game drive and enjoy dinner at the lodge
Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg. Once there, you will be met and transferred to the Greater Mabula Game Reserve. Upon arrival at Safari Plains in the late afternoon, switch to open vehicles for your first game drive with an expert ranger, ending at the lodge, in time for check-in and dinner. Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Waterberg Mountains, this Big Five private game reserve is home to 300 bird species, 60 mammals, and numerous plants, reptile and insect species.
Day 7 Greater Mabula Game Reserve
- Early wake-up call and second game drive
- Return to lodge for breakfast and balance of day at leisure or optional excursions such as horseback riding, bush walks, or helicopter flights (available locally for extra cost)
- Later this afternoon set out on your third game drive
Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After an early wake-up call, depart on your second game drive. Return to the lodge for breakfast. Enjoy the remainder of the day relaxing at the lodge, or take part in other optional activities such as horse riding, bush walks, or helicopter flights, available for purchase locally. In the late afternoon, set off, once again, for your third game drive.
Day 8 Greater Mabula Game Reserve & Johannesburg
- Early wake-up call and fourth and final game drive
- Return to lodge for breakfast and some time to relax
- Late morning transfer to the Johannesburg Airport OR Tambo International Airport for overnight flight back to the USA
- Your amazing adventures come to an end as you arrive in the USA tomorrow morning
Breakfast & lunchFull Day Itinerary
This morning, wake up early for your fourth and final game drive. Return to the lodge for breakfast and some time to relax.
In the late morning, you will be transferred to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport for your overnight flight back to the USA. En route, enjoy a panoramic tour of Pretoria, passing by the Union Buildings and courts. Wishing you hamba khale (safe journey) as you bid South Africa tot siens (farewell).
Special package includes:
- Cape Point & Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
- Cape Winelands & Robben Island
You can book the excursion to Cape Point & Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in South Africa.
However, the excursion to the Cape Winelands & Robben Island must be pre-purchased as tickets to Robben Island are extremely limited.
Save money and reserve your space when you purchase this special package ahead of time—with or before your final payment.
2021 departures: Cost is $260 per person
Proposing a unique lifestyle experience within Silo district, the Radisson RED Hotel V&A Waterfront Cape Town is the first of its kind, focusing on art, fashion and music to connect people. The hotel features a rooftop sun terrace and views of the sea. Free high-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.
Reviews & Photos
We love hearing your stories and seeing your photos! Here are some moments other travelers captured on this package. Or check out our entire fan photo gallery.
- What should I know before I go? We've compiled a comprehensive checklist, including information on how to pay your balance due, flights & transfers, packing & luggage, and more.
- Do I need a visa or other documents? Are there any entry requirements? Travel visas are required for this package. Please review the visa & entry requirements.
- Can I make changes to my trip? Want to upgrade your seats? Depart from another city? Stay a few extra days? Something else? Just ask!
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 18 or older. Your traveling companions must be 8 or older at time of travel.
- Should I purchase travel insurance? Yes! We recommend you purchase travel insurance to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer a plan provided by Travelex Insurance Services.
- What's the fine print? Review the terms & conditions for this package.
- What should I know about South Africa? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
More Common Questions
- Common Questions Answers to our travelers' most frequently asked questions.