7 Day Guide to Cape Town & Johannesburg South Africa
Written By: Rebecca and Sukina Added Pictures: By Mechelle
Early May, my friends and I got together for a group trip to South Africa to celebrate our Queen Rebecca King’s 30th birthday. Somehow we managed to fit what seemed like a 10 day trip into 5 days. We visited both Cape Town and Johannesburg, two distinctive and must see cities when visiting South Africa! During this time of the year, South Africa is in their fall season. Although the temperatures were okay, our first day was rainy and cloudy. May 8th was also the presidential election. Between the rain and the holiday, we didn’t go precisely by our itinerary, but we managed to check off almost everything on our to do list.
Unfortunately, the weather and timing did not permit us to visit Boulders Beach, but it’s something to look forward to seeing when I return. This was an amazing trip and I hope this itinerary can be guide to help plan your next trip to South Africa!
***Please Note: Time and days are tentative. Liable to change if we have a different preference***
Day 1- JFK- AMS- CPT
3:30 pm– Arrive at JFK Airport to catch flight to Amsterdam
6:30 pm– Flight departs
Day 2- Arrive in Cape Town
7:50 am– Arrive in Amsterdam
10:05 am– Depart from Amsterdam
9:25 pm– Arrive in CAPE MF TOWN!!!!!!!
9:45 pm– 10:00 pm- Depart airport and head to the Airbnb
10:30 pm– Arrive at Airbnb, get settled and prepare to walk di people dem streets
11:15 pm (optional)- Walk the streets and find a nearby restaurant for takeout. Maybe TheGolden Dish where we can get the famous “Gatsby Sandwich”.
Day 3- First full day in Cape Town
9:00am– Table Mountain (Cable Cars $30) **Advance Purchase**
Table Mountain is one of the 7 wonders of the world and the most iconic landmark of South Africa. It is much more than a scenic photograph background or a place from where you can take a breathtaking photo of Cape Town.There are about 2,200 species of plants found on Table Mountain and 1470 floral species. Many of these plants and flowers are endemic to this mountain. Besides the parks, the whole area has a biodiversity that is rare to find in other places on earth. Its many valleys and streams make it an idyllic getaway from Cape Town. The national park’s most unique feature is its fynbos vegetation that is displayed here better than anywhere in the world.
We have the option of hiking for free: In order to participate at the walking guides, hikers must wear strong boots. They must also have a hat, sunscreen, water, raincoat and a snack. A wild card must be obtained from the Tokai Tourism Sales Office (+27 021 712 7471)(closed daily from 12:30 – 13:00). There is no payment for the walk. Enquiries at John 021 782 2379; Ian 021 782 8552.
11:30am– Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden ($3)
Kirstenbosch is an important botanical garden nestled at the eastern foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town. The garden is one of ten National Botanical Gardens covering five of South Africa’s six different biomes and administered by the South African National Biodiversity Institute.
2:00pm– Boulders Beach ($5)
The beautiful Boulders Beach is one of Cape Town’s most visited beaches and the only place in the world where you get close to African Penguins. Cape Town definitely has no shortage of amazing beaches, but Boulders Beach in False Bay offers something extra special – a colony of African Penguins in all their smartly dresses, waddling glory, right under your nose. In fact, it’s the only place in the world where you can get close to African Penguins.
5:00pm– Holden Manz Vineyard ($9)
Sheltered next to Cape Town’s Franschhoek Kitchen and tasting venue, the Holden Manz Winery features state of the art design which enables our winemaker to fully express the terroir and its fruits in every possible way. With average production sitting at 100 tonnes of manually harvested, high quality grapes, an intimate approach with emphasis on ‘attention to detail’ is maintained throughout. Smaller tanks allow for separate, small-batch fermentations, while an open-plan barrel cellar provides our winemaker the access to tend to each barrel individually. A smooth flow from delivery to bottling rounds off the winery, minimising handling and shock on the wines – another way we ensure our wines arrive in the glass in premium condition exhibiting character and bouquet in all its glory.
Day 4: Sightseeing/ Bday Dinner for Rebecca
10:00am– Tandem Paragliding **Advance Purchase**
Return to Airbnb to Relax or walk di people dem streets until we’re tiree. There’s a lot of other local things that can occupy our time. We can continue on the hop-on hop-off tour.
Soaring high over Cape Town’s iconic mountains makes tandem paragliding a truly awesome experience. With flights taking off from Lion’s Head or Signal Hill, visitors get a bird’s eye view of the city that is like no other. Cape Town Tandem Paragliding accepts guests of all ages and fitness, as their trained and experienced guides accompany each flight to ensure the safest and most exhilarating experience possible. Tandem paragliding involves a passenger being securely strapped into a flying harness in front of a trained pilot. The passenger is securely connected to both the pilot and the glider by spreader bars. Cape Town Tandem Paragliding launches from two sites in Cape Town, that vary depending on the wind direction: Lion’s Head and Signal Hill. The popular Lion’s Head launch site has a lower launch allowing for trips during strong wind, as well as an upper launch for light wind. Launches from Signal Hill require a North-Westerly or Westerly wind for an ideal flight.
1:00pm– Robben Island ($26) **Advance Purchase**
Robben Island, the unique symbol of “the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, suffering and injustice” with a rich 500 year old multi-layered history, is visited every year by thousands of people eager to understand and honour the important aspects of South Africa’s history that the Island represents. It is known for being the place former South African president Nelson Mandela was jailed for 18 of his 27 years, but the Island was the home of prisoners from outside South Africa, notably Namibia (can take a ferry from here).
4:30pm– V&A Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront is a mixed-use development comprising residential and commercial property, hotels, retail stores, dining, leisure and entertainment facilities. Spanning 123 hectares, it’s a space where you can work, live, eat and play.
Can do a Harbor (Sunset) Cruise for $4.
7:30pm- Return to Airbnb
Get dressed for dinner.
9:00pm– Birthday Dinner- Gold Restaurant Cape Town-African Cuisine and Experience
Get cute to head out to a beautiful restaurant for Rebecca’s birthday dinner!
5:50am– Depart Cape Town
7:50am– Arrive in Jo’Burg!!!!!!
8:50am- Arrive at Insignia Luxury Apartments (122 Patricia Road, Sandton, 2031 Johannesburg, South Africa) to drop off excess bags. Check in is not until 2:00pm.
10:00am– Soweto Bicycle Tour (2-$39 or 4-$45 hour tour–lunch included)
A shorter tour of Soweto that will take you to some of the most interesting historical sites around Soweto. Visit the formal migrant workers hostel and be introduced to conditions of male mine workers and meet the families that live here today. Get the opportunity to have a taste of Soweto by tasting the home brewed beer at the local shebeen as well as some local treats at the street market. Cycle through the vibrant community of Meadowlands, and continue to the Hector Pieterson Memorial, the historical landmark of the 1976 student’s uprising, proceed to the famous Vilakazi street where Nelson Mandela used to live. Cycle back to Lebo’s where we invite you to chill and relax with a drink or two.
1:00pm or 3:00pm– Return to hotel (Rest up and get prepared for dinner).
7:00pm– Yeoville Dinner Club ($30)
10:00pm– Return to hotel
11:30pm– Taboo Night Club
9:00am– Lion & Safari Park (Prices vary from $5-$60 depending on desired experience)
The new park offers a wealth of exciting activities such as animal interactions, guided game drives and self-drives. You are guaranteed to get super-close to some of Africa’s favourite animals whether you go on an informative guided tour or self-drive. Guests also have the opportunity to engage in the experience of hand feeding a selection of animals including giraffes, ostriches and various other antelope species that roam freely on the 600-hectare property and frequently visit the wetlands in front of ‘the Wetlands’ Bar and Restaurant.
4:00 pm– Return to hotel to pick up bags
5:00pm– Head to airport
8:00pm– Departure from Jo’burg
10:00pm– Return to Cape Town
DAY 7- Last day
Back to Cape Town & Back to NYC
7:00pm– Head to Airport
11:05 pm- Departure from CPT
Fish and Chips
Green Market Square (shopping)
Kloop & Long Nightlife