- Hike to the top of Table Mountain for fantastic panoramic views
- Explore the rugged and beautiful Cape Peninsula
- Visit a township to learn about South Africa's political and cultural history
- Spend a day cycling and wine-tasting in the picturesque Cape Winelands
- Options to customize activity level based on personal preference
Lying on the southern tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans collide, Cape Town's dramatic peaks and coastline, paired with its magnetic cosmopolitan appeal, attract travelers from around world. With a mix of breathtaking scenery, stirring history, and exhilarating outdoor activities, Capetown is an adventurer's paradise.
Our trip showcases Cape Town's natural and cultural highlights. Hike with our experienced guide to the summit of Table Mountain and explore the lovely vineyards of the Winelands by bicycle. Or for those preferring preferring a more relaxed vacation, enjoy the fantastic views after a cable-car ascent of Table Mountain, and travel the Winelands by motor vehicle. Evenings are spent in the comfort of a small boutique hotel, a perfect retreat after a full day of discovery.
We round out our exploration with a tour of the rugged Cape Peninsula and a visit to a local township: an apartheid community now working hard to improve its quality of life.
Our Cape Town Extension combines easily with any of our southern Africa safaris.
- Day 1 - Arrive in Cape Town and enjoy the evening at a comfortable boutique hotel.
- Day 2 - Hike iconic Table Mountain and visit one of Cape Town's local townships.
- Day 3 - Enjoy a tour of the beautiful Cape Peninsula and Cape of Good Hope.
- Day 4 - Discover the Cape Winelands during a full day of cycling and wine-tasting.
- Day 5 - Bid a fond farewell to the "Mother City" this morning.
Trip Itinerary and Details
Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.
Day 1 - Arrive in Cape Town and enjoy the evening at a comfortable boutique hotel.
Your trip begins today in Cape Town, South Africa. Affectionately known as "The Mother City", Cape Town's natural beauty, cosmopolitan atmosphere, outdoor accessibility and rich cultural diversity all combine to make South Africa's oldest city (founded in 1652) a fantastic destination to explore. Upon arrival, we'll be met at the Cape Town airport and transferred to our centrally-located hotel. We have the remainder of the evening at leisure to sample one of the city's great restaurants or just relax in the comfort of our hotel. Overnight in Cape Town for the next four nights. All meals on your own today.
Day 2 - Hike iconic Table Mountain and visit one of Cape Town's local townships.
We get an early start today as our sights are set on conquering the 3,000-foot summit of Table Mountain! Beginning at the lower cable car station and accompanied by an experienced guide, we hike up the front face of the mountain along the Platteklip Gorge route. This trail offers magnificent vistas from bottom to top as well as an introduction to the indigenous "fynbos" flora of the Cape region, the smallest but richest of the world's six plant kingdoms with some 8,600 flowering species. Upon reaching the top of the gorge, we're greeted with panoramic views of Table Bay, Robben Island, the nearby peaks of Lion's Head and Signal Hill, the Twelve Apostles and distant Cape Point. We spend some time on our lofty perch with Cape Town stretching out below our feet before boarding the cable car for a descent back to the base of the mountain. Those wishing to skip the hike will have the option to ride the Table Mountain cable car both up and down the mountain, still enjoying the unforgettable views from the summit.
After rendezvousing with our waiting vehicle at the cable car terminus, we'll take a short drive to the township of Langa. Like many townships, Langa was created during the apartheid era as a dormitory area for the non-white working class. In addition to a stop for lunch, we'll enjoy a walking tour of the township and gain a better understanding of the community efforts being undertaken to face some of the challenges of post-apartheid South Africa. Although dinner is on our own tonight, our guide will offer numerous restaurant recommendations for consideration. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 3-4 hours on trail with 2,500' elevation gain. This is a vigorous, weather-dependent hike.
Note: A cable car ascent/descent of Table Mountain is an available alternative to hiking this morning.
Day 3 - Enjoy a tour of the beautiful Cape Peninsula and Cape of Good Hope.
After breakfast this morning, we head out for a full-day tour of the wild Cape Peninsula. Our exploration begins with a 40-minute boat cruise from Hout Bay harbor providing a unique perspective of some of the Cape's spectacular scenery as well a chance to visit Duiker Island, home to a Cape fur seal colony numbering in the hundreds (thousands during the months of January-March). Upon returning to shore, we'll pay a visit to Boulders Beach and enjoy the antics of the waddling inhabitants of the nearby African Penguin colony. After lunch, we'll continue our drive down the coast to the Cape of Good Hope in Table Mountain National Park. Near the convergence point of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean currents, the Cape was first reached by European explorers in the late 15th century and later became an important stop along the spice trade route between Europe and the East Indies. Our own stop will allow for an optional hour-long uphill hike from the Cape of Good Hope to Cape Point, a rocky promontory offering awe-inspiring views of the rugged coastline and shimmering waters of False Bay. En route back to Cape Town, we'll navigate the 114 curves along Chapman's Peak Drive, one of the world's most dramatically scenic coastal roads, and visit the lovely Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens before returning to our hotel in late afternoon. Breakfast and lunch included.
Optional Hiking: 2 miles on a well-marked path with 850' elevation gain.
Day 4 - Discover the Cape Winelands during a full day of cycling and wine-tasting.
Located approximately one hour's drive from Cape Town, the majestic mountain scenery, picturesque vineyards and historic estate architecture of the Cape Winelands combine to make this famous region one of the most beautiful wine-growing regions in the world. We set out to explore the Winelands by bike today, cycling the quiet back roads and stopping at some of the estates to taste the celebrated vintages produced here. Our ride begins this morning just outside the lovely village of Franschhoek, founded by the French Huguenots in 1688 and nestled in a valley between towering mountains in the heart of the Winelands region. Our route leads us through the peaceful countryside to a number of charming wine farms before meandering back to Franschhoek. Time permitting, we stop in Stellenbosch for some additional tastings on our way back to Cape Town this afternoon. Breakfast and lunch included.
Cycling: Approximately 15 miles over gently rolling terrain on a combination of paved and dirt roads. Note: Those preferring to skip the cycling today will be accompanied by your guide and taken to a selection of wine farms and vineyards by vehicle.
Day 5 - Bid a fond farewell to the "Mother City" this morning.
Bid a fond farewell to Cape Town this morning and transfer to the airport in time for your departing flight. Breakfast and airport transfer included.
Although we will do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control including weather and terrain conditions.
Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.
Accommodations as specified on the itinerary; transfers as noted on itinerary including arrival/departure transfer from/to Cape Town airport; all meals as noted on the itinerary; professional guide accompaniment throughout; all daily excursions/activities and associated gear as noted including bicycles for Winelands cycling; wine tasting.
Round-trip international airfare to Cape Town; 4 dinners; international entry/departure taxes; travel insurance; excess baggage charges; pre and post-trip tours; items of a personal nature; gratuities.
Special payment and cancellation policies apply to this trip. The $400 per person deposit is non-refundable at time of sign up. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. At 60-31 days prior to departure, 50% of the land cost is non-refundable. At 30 days or less prior to departure all costs are non-refundable.
This trip is rated Moderate  but participants will have the option to skip the Table Mountain hike and/or cycling in the Winelands at their discretion, allowing you to customize the activity level based on your personal interests/desire. Our itinerary incorporates a variety of different activities including hiking and cycling. The Table Mountain hike is a vigorous hike approx. 4 hours long with an elevation gain of 2,500'. Our 20-mile cycling day in the Winelands is on mostly paved roads using hybrid bikes with flat handlebars. Participants planning to hike and/or cycle should arrive in good physical condition, having begun a regular exercise regimen at least 3-4 months prior to departure. Recommended exercises include hiking/walking incorporating as much elevation gain as possible and cycling 15-20 miles daily as frequently as possible leading up to departure.
Due to its coastal position, lying between the Indian and Atlantic oceans, Cape Town enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate for most of the year. Summers (December – March) are the warmest season with daytime temperatures in the 70s and evenings dropping into the 50s and 60s. Winter (June – September) temperatures generally climb into the 60s during the day and drop into the 40s and 50s at night. Spring and fall are great seasons to visit Cape Town as daytime temperatures are pleasantly warm (60s – 70s) rarely dropping below 50° F at night. Winter months are typically the rainiest months of the year although you are likely to encounter some sunny and mild days as well. Regardless of the time of year you plan to visit, please arrive equipped with appropriate gear and clothing based on the specific recommendations of the trip Gear List.
This extension can be reserved for single travelers. If you are traveling alone, you will be asked to pay the full single supplement noted on the trip itinerary.
This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).
We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.
Cape Town Extension Gear List
The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary.
- Hybrid bicycles
- Bicycle helmets
- Group first aid kit
- Valid passport
- Airline tickets
- Duffel bag or soft-sided suitcase (wheels and retractable handle are fine)
- Passport security pouch or belt
- Daypack for camera, water bottles and extra clothing
- Luggage tags and luggage locks
- Lightweight, easily washable items for city wear or when traveling
- Lightweight rain jacket and pants, waterproof and breathable
- T-shirts, some synthetic
- Long sleeve shirts
- Shorts, some synthetic
- Hiking pants (zip-off legs are great)
- Liner socks
- Swimsuit (for hotel swimming pool)
- Sun hat
- Bicycle shorts
- Hiking boots - lightweight, water resistant, broken in (for those planning to hike Table Mountain)
- Comfortable walking shoes for use while touring and cycling
Things to Consider
- Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, hiking boots, a pair of shorts/shirt/fleece top/sandals and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
- Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
- Make sure boots are broken-in. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip. Bring your favorite blister-prevention remedy such as Moleskin or Blister Block.
- If you wear prescription glasses, use a safety cord and bring an extra pair if possible. Contact lens wearers should also bring an extra set, or bring eyeglasses for a backup.
- We recommend that you carry a photocopy of your passport (the personal id information page) with you and keep it separate from your passport.
Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.