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Located at the Southern tip of the African continent where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, Cape Town and the Western Cape are strikingly beautiful. At the foot of Table Mountain, the city of 3 million is a charismatic blend of cultures, renowned for its scenic setting, creative cuisine and world-class local wines. Outside the city, enjoy spectacular beaches, sheer sea cliffs along the Cape of Good Hope, and wildlife encounters from penguins to sharks.
The Safari Experience
Cape Town is much more than a city. It is a modern collage of diverse cultures, varied architecture, stunning topography, notable vineyards, and the ocean right at the city’s edge. Classic Cape experiences include riding the cable car up Table Mountain, driving over the coastal mountain passes to the Cape of Good Hope, visiting Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner for 18 years, viewing marine wildlife, wine-tasting in the Cape Winelands, and meeting locals in one of the many townships. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a lively location to discover world-renowned restaurants, or stick to the more local atmosphere of the City Bowl, where sidewalk cafes, bars and restaurants are often in walking distance. Several high-quality markets, like the Saturday food and goods market at the Old Biscuit Mill, offer a chance to pick up unique crafts and gifts.
The marine wildlife of the Cape is spectacular. The “Marine Big Five” include the Southern right whale, dolphin, Cape fur seal, great white shark and African penguin. Seasonal pelagic birds also frequent the region. Visitors can view penguins on walks or by kayak, cage-dive with great white sharks, and experience the world’s best land-based whale watching on a seasonal basis. Within Cape Point Nature Reserve and Table Mountain National Park one may spot eland, Cape mountain zebra, bontebok, caracal, rock hyrax, Cape grysbok, klipspringer, ostrich, Chacma baboons, and the endemic Cape mountain ghost frog, as well as over 400 bird species. In the Cape Winelands region, enjoy close-up interactions with cheetah at the Cheetah Outreach program, and a birds-of-prey experience for those who would like to try their hand at falconry.
How to Include Cape Town in Your Safari Itinerary
Recommended Number of Nights
Nature Travelers: 3 nights for wildlife highlights
Photographers: 3-4 nights for landscape, wildlife and cultural experiences
Families: 4-5 nights for many activities, both wildlife- and culture-focused
Active Travelers: 4-6 nights for kayaking, cycling, hiking, surfing, golf, diving and much more
Other Regions to Include
Located at the southwest tip of the continent, Cape Town is a captivating complement to southern Africa safari destinations such as Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and all regions of South Africa. A classic South Africa safari would combine Cape Town with a traditional wildlife experience in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Sabi Sand Game Reserve and/or Botswana’s Okavango Delta. There are also direct flights between Cape Town and the Southern Kalahari, where unique species and predators roam nearly 250,000 acres. With direct access into Namibia, visit the giant sand dunes of Sossusvlei and the wildlife of Damaraland and Etosha National Park. Within driving distance, a short extension to the Cape Winelands encompasses natural beauty, colonial history, stunning architecture, gourmet food and world-class wine estates. Slightly farther are coastal nature reserves on the Garden Route, offering the world’s best land-based whale watching, shark cage-diving and exceptional botanical diversity.