Safari Cape Town | 6 Best Safaris Near Cape Town


Nestled within the captivating landscapes and diverse terrains surrounding Cape Town lies a world brimming with wildlife and natural wonder. The allure of embarking on an enthralling safari adventure near this vibrant city is an invitation to explore the untamed beauty of the region’s game reserves. From the majestic presence of elephants to the stealthy movements of big cats, the safaris near Cape Town offer an up-close encounter with nature’s most awe-inspiring creatures.

As you delve into the many game reserves near Cape Town, you’ll realize just what an array of wonderful options are out there, each one promising an unforgettable journey into the heart of South Africa’s wilderness. The allure of these safaris extends far beyond mere observation; they immerse travelers in a symphony of sights, sounds, and sensations that connect them intimately with the natural world.

In this guide, we’ll traverse the landscape of the top game reserves near Cape Town, each holding its own unique allure and promising an enriching safari experience. Whether you seek the thrill of encountering the Big Five or yearn for a more serene exploration amidst the flora and fauna, these safaris encapsulate the essence of adventure and discovery.

Join me as we embark on a safari escapade, exploring the gems of the game reserve Cape Town vicinity, each promising an encounter with the wild that’s as breathtaking as it is unforgettable. When you’re back from your adventure in the wilderness, don’t forget to stop off for a bite to eat at the famed V&A Waterfront

Summary of Best Cape Town Safaris

  1. From Cape Town: Round-Trip to Aquila with Game Drive
  2. 2-Days Cape Town Safari Game Reserve
  3. South African Wildlife Safari 2-Day Tour from Cape Town
  4. 5-Day Garden Route & Addo Safari from Cape Town
  5. 2-Day Safari at Garden Route Game Lodge from Cape Town
  6. Big-Five Safari Full-Day Guided Return Transfer from Cape Town


Safari in Cape Town – What to Expect

Embarking on safaris close to Cape Town offers an enthralling glimpse into the rich biodiversity of South Africa’s wilderness. Visitors can anticipate encountering a diverse array of wildlife, including the renowned Big Five: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, and buffaloes. Additionally, sightings of zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, various antelope species, and an assortment of birdlife enrich the safari experience. 

The best time to go on a safari in South Africa near Cape Town typically aligns with the dry season from May to September, offering optimal wildlife viewing as animals congregate around water sources. This period also tends to offer cooler temperatures, making for a more comfortable and rewarding safari experience amidst the enchanting landscapes of the safari South Africa Cape Town region.

Cape Town Safari Tours

If you’re looking for the best safari from Cape Town, consider these options as to which will be the best fit for your travel itinerary. 

From Cape Town: Round-Trip to Aquila with Game Drive

safari vehicle next to buk

Embark on an unforgettable day trip from Cape Town to the Aquila Private Game Reserve, a haven where you’ll encounter an impressive array of Africa’s iconic wildlife. Your journey begins with a morning departure, cruising along the picturesque N1 Highway, treating you to breathtaking vistas of the Hex River Valley before reaching the renowned Aquila Private Game Reserve.

The reserve’s rich biodiversity promises an exciting adventure for wildlife enthusiasts and bird lovers alike. Prepare to witness a diverse tapestry of animals, from the regal lions, elusive leopards, majestic elephants, powerful rhinos, to the formidable Cape Buffalos. But the marvels don’t end there – the reserve boasts an abundance of wildlife, including giraffes, blesbok, wildebeest, zebras, springbok, ostriches, baboons, and an impressive variety of bird species, numbering up to 172, among which the magnificent black eagle soars.

Guided by knowledgeable rangers, a thrilling game drive in an open-top, all-terrain vehicle awaits, offering an up-close and personal encounter with the enchanting wildlife and captivating landscapes of the reserve. Following this exhilarating excursion, indulge in a delectable lunch served at the lodge, providing a perfect interlude amidst the wilderness. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and the wonders of the Aquila Private Game Reserve, where every moment promises an extraordinary adventure and a deeper appreciation for the diverse wildlife thriving in this remarkable sanctuary.

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2-Days Cape Town Safari Game Reserve

elephant with safari vehicle

Escape the rush and immerse yourself in a comprehensive Cape Town adventure without the pressure of cramming everything into a single day. Opt for a two-day expedition that seamlessly blends sightseeing with safari escapades, ensuring a fulfilling and relaxed exploration. Traverse the scenic landscapes of the Klein Karoo wine region and the bountiful Ceres fruit-growing area while maximizing your wildlife encounters with both evening and morning safari drives.

This thoughtfully curated itinerary allows ample time to seek out diverse wildlife, including the captivating presence of big cats, across two distinctive safari excursions. Take delight in mouthwatering meals, savoring two lunches and breakfast, elevating your experience beyond wildlife sightings. Beyond the thrill of animal encounters, delve into the charm of the wine region and the allure of fruit orchards, capturing unforgettable moments while traveling in an open-top 4×4 vehicle, presenting excellent photo opportunities along the journey. Embrace the freedom to relish each moment, creating lasting memories across this enriching two-day escapade that seamlessly blends the best of Cape Town’s natural beauty and wildlife adventures.

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South African Wildlife Safari 2-Day Tour from Cape Town

elephants by the watering hole

Embark on a two-day adventure departing early from Cape Town or Stellenbosch, venturing towards the Garden Route region covering about 450 kilometers in a scenic journey. Begin by exploring Botlierskop private game reserve, spanning 3500 hectares and housing various wildlife, including four of the Big Five, giraffes, zebras, and over 200 bird species. Enjoy a 2-hour game drive in an open-top 4×4 vehicle, with opportunities for a tranquil bush walk to explore smaller wildlife and plants. Afterwards, head to Oudtshoorn, known as the ostrich capital, for an optional local dining experience or restaurant meal before overnighting in selected accommodations.

Day two commences with a 2-hour bush drive at Buffelsdrift Private Game Reserve, focusing on observing smaller wildlife. Opt for an additional Elephant Observation in Nature activity, witnessing three rescued elephants in their natural habitat and learning from elephant guides. Conclude the day with a 400-kilometer drive along Route 62, marveling at high mountains, winding passes, and the rugged Karoo plains before returning to Cape Town or Stellenbosch by evening.

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5-Day Garden Route & Addo Safari from Cape Town

horseback riding on the beach

Embark on an enriching 5-day expedition along South Africa’s mesmerizing Garden Route, departing from Cape Town. Led by an expert guide, this journey encapsulates the essence of the region, featuring visits to Addo Elephant National Park, Wilderness, Jeffreys Bay, and Oudtshoorn. Experience the diverse landscapes through exhilarating hikes in Tsitsikamma National Park and serene canoe rides amidst picturesque waters. Immerse yourself in nature reserves, encountering Africa’s endangered species, while basking in the sun on the soft, sandy beaches.

This comprehensive tour offers a delightful blend of guided adventures and opportunities for self-directed exploration. Revel in the breathtaking vistas while trekking through Tsitsikamma National Park and capturing scenic views at lookout points around the Knysna Heads. Indulge in beach activities in Jeffreys Bay, from swimming and surfing to leisurely strolls along renowned shorelines. At Addo Elephant National Park, witness the majestic elephants, big cats, and a host of other wildlife.

Delve into the region’s cultural richness by visiting a working ostrich farm and engage in optional extra activities at your expense, such as thrilling bungee jumping, a 4×4 game drive, or an adrenaline-pumping ziplining experience. This 5-day Garden Route adventure promises a perfect blend of exploration, adventure, and relaxation, creating lasting memories of South Africa’s captivating landscapes and diverse wildlife.

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2-Day Safari at Garden Route Game Lodge from Cape Town

safari vehicle with leopard

Experience an immersive 2-day safari tour departing from Cape Town, promising thrilling encounters with Africa’s majestic wildlife. Delight in two captivating game drives and an overnight stay complete with dinner and breakfast included.

Setting off from Cape Town, journey along the picturesque coastal road, passing through Hermanus, renowned as the world’s whale-watching capital, en route to Cape Agulhas. Take a moment to admire the stunning lighthouse at the southernmost tip of Africa before continuing the scenic drive.

Arriving at Garden Route Game Lodge, embark on a mesmerizing sunset safari adventure aboard an open-air vehicle. Witness a diverse array of indigenous animals, including elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes, hippos, and more, against the backdrop of the African wilderness. Following the safari, indulge in a delectable three-course dinner and unwind in the comfort of a charming 4-star wooden chalet, offering a serene view of the lodge’s clear skies.

As the morning breaks, set out for another enthralling game drive, providing another chance to spot the wildlife you might have missed during the previous evening’s expedition. Following this adventure, savor a hearty breakfast before commencing the return journey to Cape Town, concluding this unforgettable safari experience.

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Big-Five Safari Full-Day Guided Return Transfer from Cape Town

buffalo in the bush

Embark on an express tour from Cape Town tailored for those seeking a Big Five safari experience despite limited time. Travel in a luxurious air-conditioned vehicle, reveling in scenic views of Breede River, Hex River Wine Valley, and Table Mountain. Arrive at a private game reserve and join a group safari drive guided by experts, maximizing your chances of encountering the iconic lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. 

Indulge in a delicious buffet lunch, complemented by a glass of champagne, before returning to Cape Town in comfort and style with round-trip transportation included. This tour offers an incredible wildlife-watching opportunity, ensuring an unforgettable day of adventure amidst South Africa’s remarkable landscapes.

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Wrapping Up Safaris Near Cape Town

hippos by the watering hole

In conclusion, Cape Town serves as a gateway to a world of captivating wildlife and exhilarating safari adventures. The region boasts an impressive array of game reserves and safari experiences that offer a glimpse into the raw beauty of nature. From the iconic Big Five safaris to the diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity, the best safaris from Cape Town promise an immersive journey into South Africa’s wilderness.

Exploring the Cape Town game reserves unveils a tapestry of experiences, each offering unique encounters with Africa’s incredible wildlife. Whether embarking on a guided safari drive in search of lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffaloes or immersing oneself in the tranquility of nature on a bush walk, these safaris near Cape Town present opportunities to connect intimately with the natural world.

As travelers seek the thrill of spotting majestic animals and discovering the wonders of the African bush, Cape Town stands as an ideal starting point for unforgettable safari escapades. The diverse offerings of game reserves and the chance to witness the richness of wildlife in their natural habitat make these safaris an essential part of any visit to this vibrant city. With a promise of adventure, discovery, and a deeper connection with nature, the safaris from Cape Town ensure an extraordinary and unforgettable exploration of South Africa’s wild side.

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