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Cape Town tours

Cape Town tours

On our tours to Cape Town, discover why it’s a beautiful, modern city for any traveler. From Table Mountain to the Cape Winelands to Point Penguin Colony, Cape Town is a must-visit destination.

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South Africa: Cape Town to Kruger National Park
11 days | 13 days with Victoria Falls extension

4.6 star rating

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on 2023, 2024, and 2025 tours when you book by September 28†

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What travelers are say about their trips to Cape Town

Simply Amazing!
12/12/19 by 3rd-time traveler Fantasha
I went on this this tour in December 2019 and was simply amazing! There were so many beautiful sites that we were able to go to. Being at the Cape of Good was a surreal experience. The scenery was just beautiful! We also ventured to Table Mountain and the view on top was breathtaking!
A must visit
12/12/19 by 1st-time traveler Marcia Anne
Toured South Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg) with a Victoria Falls Zimbabwe extension. The extension was well worth it and enhanced the "Africa" experience with more animals and natural wonders.

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Your tour includes hotels, breakfast daily and other select meals, comfortable transportation, an expert Tour Director, guided sightseeing, and more.

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Your local Tour Director will meet you and your group on the first day, and be your go-to for the best sites, flavors, and stories of the region.

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Travel inspiration

Find travel tips, trip planning advice & more from our team of travel experts!

cliff over cape town in south africa
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When it comes to travel, we love to explore—no matter the location. We try not to play favorites, but it’s hard to deny that a breathtaking view makes a city all the more enchanting. If you want to explore charming towns perched atop soaring peaks and nestled into lush valleys, you’ll love visiting these cities in the mountains on tour with us. From cozy Alpine villages to sky-high cities in the clouds, these destinations will let you see the world from a whole new vantage point.

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Travel tips for Cape Town trips

How long should you spend in Cape Town?

Our Cape Town tours include four nights in the Mother City. (While exploring Cape Town, you'll likely hear the city referred to by this affectionate nickname, whose origin story varies depending on who you ask.) This gives travelers a chance to take in Cape Town's museums, restaurants, shopping centers, historical points of interest, cultural sites, and places to enjoy nature.

When you visit Cape Town, you’ll quickly discover that the city is also an ideal base from which to make day trips to areas such as the Cape Winelands, the beaches of Camps Bay, and the Cape of Good Hope. Want to extend your stay in the city and explore its surroundings more in depth? No problem. Our travel experts will happily help you plan an individual pre-or post-tour stay in Cape Town.

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When is the best time of year to visit Cape Town?

If you plan to travel to Cape Town, keep in mind that South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere and that its seasons occur in the reverse of North America’s. When it’s winter in North America, it’s summer in South Africa, and vice versa. Here are some season-by-season tips for planning a trip to Cape Town.

  • Shoulder season. The best time of year to visit Cape Town is during shoulder season—from March to May and from September to November. Travelers who go to Cape Town during these months will enjoy pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices.
  • Summer. December through mid-March is the most popular time of year for Cape Town vacations. That means that, although they’ll enjoy warm weather and frequently sunny skies, travelers on summer tours of Cape Town might also encounter larger crowds, longer wait times, and higher prices.
  • Winter. From June through August, or Cape Town’s winter, fewer travelers visit the city, which means that those who do book Cape Town travel packages during this season can enjoy a quieter, less-crowded travel experience. These months can be rainier and windier, but Cape Town's museums, restaurants, shopping centers, and entertainment venues provide plenty of options for indoor activities.
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What are the top attractions to see in Cape Town?

Here are several highlights you can check out on our Cape Town tours—either on a guided tour or during your free time:

  • Table Mountain. Visible from throughout Cape Town, Table Mountain is famous for its long, flat top and dramatic slopes. Travelers on our Cape Town tours can ride a cable car to the top for sweeping, panoramic views of the city and coast.

  • Robben Island. Between the 17th and 20th centuries, Robben Island— located off the coast of Cape Town and accessible by ferry—served as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups, and a military base. Most notably, it’s where the late Nelson Mandela spent the first 18 of his 27 years in prison before making history as South Africa’s first Black president. Travelers on our tours of Cape Town can visit during an optional excursion.

  • The Bo-Kaap. This iconic Cape Town neighborhood, which is famous for its candy-colored homes, dates back to the 1760s, when dozens of rental houses were built and leased to Cape Malays—enslaved people who were brought to Cape Town from Malaysia, Indonesia, and other parts of Africa to work in the Cape Town area. The neighborhood, whose name means “above the Cape” in Afrikaans, remains a hub of Islamic culture in Cape Town today.

  • Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. This lively, mixed-use area at the edge of Cape Town’s working harbor is packed with restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment venues. It’s also home to can’t-miss cultural landmarks, such as the ultra-modern Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), which opened in a massive, former grain silo in 2017. Looking for a million-dollar shot of the Mother City? Snap one from the top of The Cape Wheel, a giant observation wheel whose 30 air-conditioned cabins offer 360-degree, bird’s-eye views of Cape Town and its surroundings.

  • City Hall. On February 11, 1990, just hours after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela made his first public speech from the balcony of this grand, Darling Street building that was built in 1905. City officials and South African luminaries unveiled a bronze statue of Mandela on the same balcony in July 2018, the centenary of Mandela's birth.

  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Travelers on our group tours to Cape Town who want to enjoy a bit of nature in the city can head to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which is situated at the foot of the eastern end of Table Mountain. In addition to housing thousands of plants, trees, flowers, and insects, the garden plays host to indoor and outdoor art exhibitions and is filled with sculptures.

  • District Six Museum. Exhibits inside this poignant museum memorialize the 60,000 displaced residents of Cape Town’s District Six who were forced to move to shanty towns on the city’s outskirts in 1966, when pro-apartheid officials declared the area a white neighborhood. Travelers on our tours to Cape Town can explore the district alongside a District Six Museum Foundation guide.

  • Boulders Penguin Colony. One of the best things to do in Cape Town if you love animals is to pay a visit to Boulders, a protected marine habitat that’s home to a thriving colony of more than 2,000 endangered African penguins. Travelers on our South Africa: Cultural Cities & Wildlife Safaris tour can visit during an included guided tour of the Cape Peninsula.

    Officials’ efforts to protect and grow the colony landed South Africa on our list of the world’s top destinations for responsible wildlife experiences.

  • The Cape of Good Hope. This dramatic seascape at the very tip of the Southern Peninsula is where the Indian and Pacific oceans me

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What should I pack for a tour in Cape Town?

The time of year that you visit Cape Town will determine some of what you should pack, but these items will come in handy regardless of when you go on one of our trips to Cape Town.

  • Comfortable walking shoes. You might even want to bring a pair of hiking boots if you plan to explore Table Mountain.
  • Layers. Because it’s situated along the coast, Cape Town can be, and often is, windy. We suggest taking a windbreaker, a rain jacket, a light jacket, and long pants for the occasional windy or chilly evening.
  • Your favorite night-out outfit. Cape Town is a cosmopolitan city, and home to dozens of world-class restaurants, wine bars, and performance venues. Although casual clothing is welcome at many of the city’s restaurants, you might want to dress up a bit for an evening out.
  • Sun protection. The sun can be strong no matter what time of year you visit Cape Town. We suggest bringing a brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • A camera. From Table Mountain to the Cape Winelands to Cape Town’s vibrant waterfront, photo ops await at every turn, and you won’t want to miss them.
  • Wine sleeves. With the Cape Winelands in its backyard, Cape Town is a paradise for wine enthusiasts. Pack a few padded, travel-safe wine sleeves so you can bring a few of your new favorite bottles home.
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What are some common foods, dishes, and drinks to try in Cape Town?

Cape Town is a melting pot of cultures, a characteristic that’s reflected in its cuisine. Here are a few dishes to try when you visit the city on our Cape Town multi-day tours.

  • Bunny chow. This popular fast food and street food dish consists of half a loaf of white bread that’s been hollowed out and filled with curry. (Despite the dish’s name, no rabbit meat is involved; variations typically include beef or chicken.) Although bunny chow originated among Indian South Africans in Durban—a city along South Africa’s eastern coast that’s home to a significant Indian population—it’s plenty easy to find in Cape Town, too.
  • Gatsby. Travelers on tours in Cape Town, South Africa, will want to seek out this Capetonian specialty. The massive, foot-long, sub-style sandwiches are packed with a combination of meat (think: polony, a bologna-style cold cut; masala steak; chicken; or even calamari), French fries, sauce (often piri-piri), and other options, such as cheese, fried eggs, and “salad” (fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion). Our advice: Share one of the hulking creations with a few of your hungry fellow travelers.
  • Bobotie. Somewhat similar to moussaka, this Cape Malay dish (pronounced ba-boor-tea) consists of a flavorful base of curried meat and fruit and a savory, custard-like topping.
  • Biltong. Think of this popular snack food as South Africa’s answer to beef jerky. The savory, chewy snack is made by drying and curing meat (often beef, ostrich, or an antelope species called kudu), and adding a special blend of spices. 
  • Wine. Local wine is a must-try when you visit Cape Town. The granite mountains that surround the Cape Winelands are more than 600 million years old, giving many of the world-class wines that are produced here subtle mineral notes. Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, and blends made form Bordeaux and Merlot are just a few to try.
  • Rooibos tea. This herbal tea, whose name means “red bush,” is made from a plant that only grows in South Africa.
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What should I know before visiting Cape Town?

Currency in Cape Town is the South African rand. Like the U.S. dollar, one rand is divided into 100 cents.

Cape Town has three official languages: Afrikaans (a language derived from the form of Dutch that Protestant settlers brought to the Cape in the 17th century); English; and Xhosa. The latter, late President Nelson Mandela’s first language, is often referred to as the “click click language” because of the clicking sound made when pronouncing the letters X, C, and Q.

Taxis and Ubers are convenient modes of transportation for exploring Cape Town’s countless offerings during your free time.

Check out more travel tips for Cape Town in our Cape Town Travel Guide ->

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