Best of South Africa & Mozambique
This luxurious and action-packed itinerary takes in the highlights of South Africa before finishing up with 4 nights on the Mozambique coast.
Named the best place in the world to visit by both The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph, Cape Town is a beautiful harbour with mighty mountains, white sand beaches and a colourful chorus of stories, which give it the title one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world.
Located on the west coast of South Africa, near the tip of the continent, the city was once a major trading port and today is one of the largest cities in the country. However, despite the urban setting, Cape Town is best known for the great outdoors. Must-do activities include scaling flat-topped Table Mountain for epic views of the bay, taking a surf lesson, hiking and mountain biking, or even abseiling.
As many tours of South Africa start and end here, Cape Town is also a great place to get an introduction to South African history. For context, visits to Robben Island and the District Six Museum offer a comprehensive introduction to the country’s turbulent and tragic past.
Robben Island was once a maximum-security prison that held political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela, who spent 18 of his 27 years incarcerated here. Three former inmates of the prison have gone on to become President of South Africa, including Mandela, and today the island is a symbol of freedom and democracy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a sobering and thought-provoking museum.
District Six is a former inner-city residential area of Cape Town, where over 60,000 inhabitants were forcibly removed during Apartheid. As of 1994, the area has been home to a museum with an impressive collection of artefacts and testimonies from former residents. You can also take a tour of this National Heritage Site with an ex-resident, who offers a unique commentary on the events and can answer any questions you may have.
After a trip to the District Six Museum, you may also be interested in visiting one of the many townships; sprawling settlements designed as urban living areas for non-whites during Apartheid. Once cramped and unhygienic, these areas are continually being improved by the government and offer an insightful experience to life in South Africa.
Read our blog on things to do in Cape Town for more ideas.
Alternatively, you may wish to wind down at the end of your trip to the country, by reclining on one the gorgeous beaches, making friends with the local penguins or tucking into a plate of delicious seafood. Cape Town is a cultural melting pot with a chilled out surfer vibe.
Temperatures are at their highest in Cape Town between December and February, which makes the city a popular destination for a beach holiday. However, late January to April is the quietest time and rates are lowered, but the warm and dry days are perfect for sunbathing or exploring. The city’s Mediterranean climate experiences dry summers and rain in the winter months (May to July).
Look out for the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival (also known as Kaapse Klopse in Afrikaans), which takes place on 1st and 2nd January and sees costumed minstrels parade through the streets, playing both traditional and jazz music. Late March to early April also sees the city turn into a lively dance party with the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
Time in Cape Town is featured on many of our suggested South Africa itineraries, including our Best of South Africa & Mozambique tour; Cape Town, Kruger & Victoria Falls tour, South Africa Family Adventure and South Africa Self-Drive Honeymoon. With so much to see and do, including notable historical sites and white sand beaches, Cape Town is the perfect place to begin and end your trip.
Our tours to Cape Town feature stays at Cape Grace Hotel, which sits on its own private quay next to the Victoria & Albert waterfront. The incredible views of the bay, harbour and Table Mountain have attracted famous guests such as the Obamas and the Clintons. Make sure you take advantage of the gorgeous swimming pool, luxurious spa treatments and relaxation area with a complimentary health bar.