Malaria Free Family Friendly Safari with Cape Town & Garden Route Tour

A 11 day trip to South Africa 
4.93 out of 5 stars
398 reviews

South Africa inspires, the beaches filled with penguins and the wilderness packed with the big five. Every member of the family feels the surreal wonder of nature; whether it’s on a game drive or watching dolphins swim past the beach. Carefully tailored to impress all ages, this malaria-free itinerary connects the inspiring destinations of the south, from Cape Town to four days of big five safaris. It's an easy and seamless journey, yet one that's always packed with fresh experiences. 

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Table Mountain at sunset.
Two dueling elephants in South Africa.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Cape Town, Table Mountain, Boulders Beach, Cape Peninsula, Lion's Head, Wilderness, Garden Route, Knysna, Shamwari Private Game Reserve, Addo Elephant National Park

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Cape Town – Welcome to South Africa

With Table Mountain towering above the Atlantic Ocean, and the city streets doused in impossible colors, Cape Town provides an inspiring introduction to family travel in Africa. There's an irrefutable sense of how nature takes the center stage, with the city tucked away amongst the mountain slopes and crashing waves. Then there is the charms and tradition that respond to revered preconceptions of Africa. You know you've landed in a new and different destination. But Cape Town, like the rest of South Africa, finds a balance between African and Western comforts. The roads are in perfect condition, everyone speaks English, and facilities for tourists are easily on par with Europe or North America. You'll be accommodated from the airport and transferred to a luxury hotel at the V&A Waterfront. Leave the hotel, walk around the pedestrianized Waterfront, and immediately experience how safe and easy it is to visit South Africa as a family. Consider reading some of our travelers' African safari travel reviews to further refine and customize your South Africa vacation for your family. 

What's Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Cape Town – Penguins and Seals on a Cape Point Tour

Africa's wild animals always excite children. And you don't need to travel hours from the city to encounter them. Explore the Cape Peninsula on a private family tour, first taking the dramatic Chapman's Peak Drive south of Cape Town. Keep watching the road, as baboons regularly sit around watching the cars go by, even when you're in the city suburbs. After some handsome viewpoints, you weave down to Hout Bay for a 30-minute seal cruise. Just outside this cute fishing village, you're guaranteed to encounter the playful characters as they flop off the cliffs and go fishing.

Leave Hout Bay's lingering scent of fish and chips behind, and continue 20 minutes south to Boulders Beach. You can smell and hear the boisterous wildlife before you see them. Take the boardwalk and you stand just above the sand, looking across at a humongous colony of African penguins. This is not a zoo experience. They're very wild. Yet they play around just like in the movies. The penguins waddle across the sand, dive off the rocks, beak kiss in the bushes, and can compel children for hours. It's another short drive to the southeastern tip of Africa and a poignant sense of standing on the edge of the world. Looping back to Cape Town, you're back in the city by mid-afternoon and have the rest of the day at your leisure.

What's Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, lunch

Day 3: Cape Town – Cape Town and Table Mountain City Tour

Mystical Table Mountain looms over the city, a precipitous rock face that stands at the heart of most Cape Town postcards. In the morning, you head up the mountain, taking a glass-fronted revolving cable car to the summit. Active families can switch the cable car for a guided 90-minute steep climb to the summit, a challenging yet rewarding hike. The vistas from the top of the table are staggering. A 20-minute walkway gives you the 360-degree panorama of beach, ocean, city, and the rugged mountain chain. Descend by cable car and enjoy lunch on an al fresco terrace in the city. The central city streets are filled with vibrant markets, local sights, and houses painted in hundreds of different tones. You go on a short walking tour of the city that expertly reveals the stories behind the colors. The rest of the afternoon is free, and your guide is available to drop you off anywhere in the city; consider the beach at Camps Bay or the open-air swimming pool next to the Atlantic Ocean in Sea Point.

What's Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast, lunch

Day 4: Wilderness – Immersed in the Garden Route Coast

South Africa is a very safe destination. Its international image is often derogatory and undeserved; almost all those who visit are surprised at the ease of travel and overarching safety. Perhaps this is epitomized by the quality of the roads. The N2 highway skirts along the southern coast, allowing for a fast yet spectacular drive along the Garden Route. Your rental car is dropped off in the morning and you self-drive to Wilderness, a four to five-hour journey that starts with a wonderful mountain pass. As the road turns, you regularly glimpse the Indian Ocean, and you should reach Wilderness in time to start exploring a town that's hidden amongst indigenous forest. Pull yourself away from the monkeys that swing through the trees, and you're within walking distance of a long sandy beach that's always quiet.

What's Included: accommodation, transfer, breakfast

Day 5: Wilderness – A Canoe Safari Through the Forest

Exotic birds call along the riverbanks, their chirping echoing throughout the forest. Nothing manmade breaks the morning serenity as a canoe takes you deeper into the forest. Keep paddling as the river narrows, and you reach a towering waterfall that's hidden far from any road. As always in this part of South Africa, keep a look out for monkeys and baboons. Return by mid-morning and the rest of the day is free. Wilderness is ideally situated in the heart of the Garden Route, within a 30-minute drive of various other destinations. See the famous cliffs of Knysna, explore the Tsitsikamma Forest on a Segway tour, enjoy hundreds of hiking trails or find your own private family beach for the day.

What's Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Wilderness – Beaches and Wildlife Around Wilderness

Serene and surreal, Wilderness provides a relaxing base on the Garden Route. It's easy to spend a day on the beach, splashing in the calm Indian Ocean waters and enjoying countless miles of empty sand. Rent mountain bikes for adventurous trails through the forest. Visit Knysna Elephant Park or head out on an ocean safari to get closer to dolphins (they're seen from the beach on a daily basis). Wilderness can be as tranquil or as active as you want it to be, from all-day hiking trails to hidden caves with ocean views. It's a preferred family destination on the Garden Route because it always provides you with space. Magically and mystically, there is always a sense of being in the true wilderness, even though you're just a couple of miles from restaurants, cafes, and shops.

What's Included: accommodation, transfer, breakfast

Days 7 – 8: Shamwari Private Game Reserve – Big Five Safari for the Whole Family

Now experience safari, the highlight of any Africa itinerary as you intimately encounter the famous animals of the savannah. Picture golden-mane lions yawning beneath an acacia tree, herds of buffalo rumbling across the grass, elephants locking trunks at a waterhole, and springboks skipping across the horizon. These revered scenes become the norm for the next four days. Award-winning Shamwari is a compact private reserve along the Garden Route, home to the full big five and possessing tailored activities for children. With the unbridled excitement of your first safari, Shamwari ensures you get to encounter all the famous animals without having to take long bumpy game drives. For most of the two days, you'll be able to watch the wildlife from the luxury of your own suites.

Create your own family itinerary with twice-daily guided activities. Game drives in open-sided vehicles provide the introduction to the big game, taking you alongside the giraffe towers and lion prides. Guided nature walks introduce the children to the intricacies of the bush and the skill of animal tracking; clues are everywhere, and they quickly learn which antelope left the print in the sand. Enjoy family picnics with wonderful views of wild rhinos and hippos, and then fill the afternoon with another game drive through Shamwari's evocative savannah. For a first-time family safari, this private reserve offers an indelible ease and luxury. The question isn't what you will see, but rather how often you will see it.

What's Included: accommodation, transfer, all meals

Day 9: Addo Elephant National Park – Driving Through Hundreds of Elephants

Safari is too good to take up only two days of your vacation. While Shamwari was about intimacy and close encounters with Africa's diverse cast, nearby Addo Elephant National Park helps unravel the scale of the wilderness. Elephants roam in the hundreds, the great pachyderms swinging their trunks as they cross the savannah. Babies are carefully guarded by mothers, yet they escape the watchful clutches to chase after warthogs. Great-tusked males face each other, and there's a brief, stern stare before each takes their herd onwards. Trunks poke out from the water as they bathe in small pools while the odd lone elephant wanders past the camp after dusk.

It's not just elephants. Addo is a haven for many of the plains animals, and you'll see large herds of zebra, buffalo, kudu, eland, springbok, and more. The predators are harder to see, although there are both lions and leopards roaming wild in the park. Upon arrival, you'll be taken on a guided game drive through the park, a chance to sweep around the scale of Addo and enjoy the abundance. While Shamwari provided luxurious lodge-style accommodation, you spend the night in an enchanting camp, surrounded by the unusual sounds of the bush. This camping is often a vacation highlight for children; it always feels like you're alone with Africa's famous animals.

What's Included: accommodation, transfer, breakfast

Day 10: Addo Elephant National Park – Final Safari Memories

Wake to the sound of elephants bashing through the forest, and look out to see dozens of giraffes elegantly wandering around. Enjoy breakfast overlooking the savannah and feel nature's irrefutable rhythm. Addo is unique in that you can drive through the park on your own. So today is an opportunity for creating your own final safari memories. Take the rental car through the park, seeking out the famous animals and gazing over the great herds of zebra and elephant. The roads are in good condition, and a guide will provide a detailed map so you can plan out a route. It's a different safari experience, one imbued with a certain thrill, especially when the wildlife is bigger than your car.

What's Included: accommodation, transfer, breakfast

Day 11: Addo to Port Elizabeth – Departure

From Addo, it's less than an hour drive to Port Elizabeth, where you return the rental car at the airport. Elephants are spotted as you leave the park, abiding final memories to take back home. A representative will assist you at the airport and help you check into your flight. From Port Elizabeth, it's a short flight to Johannesburg, where you can connect to your international departure.

What's Included: transfer, breakfast


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.