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Cape Town

Desert safaris

Our most recommended Cape Town Desert Safaris

From Cape Town: 2-Day Safari at Garden Route Game Lodge

1. From Cape Town: 2-Day Safari at Garden Route Game Lodge

Get the chance to see lions, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and more on a 2-day safari tour from Cape Town. Enjoy 2 game drives and an overnight stay with included dinner and breakfast. On the first day, depart Cape Town and drive along the scenic coastal road to Cape Agulhas via Hermanus, the whale watching capital of the world. Make a stop at the southernmost tip of Africa to admire the beautiful lighthouse. Continue on to Garden Route Game Lodge. Here, embark on a sunset safari in an open-air vehicle. Observe a variety of native animals, including elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes, hippos, and more. After the safari, settle in for a three-course dinner. Spend the night in one of the beautiful 4-star wooden chalets and admire the clear skies over the lodge. In the morning, head out for another game drive to see some of the animals you might have missed the evening before. After your drive, tuck into breakfast. Make your way back to Cape Town in the evening.

Cape Town: Atlantis Dunes Quadbike Adventure

2. Cape Town: Atlantis Dunes Quadbike Adventure

Traverse soft sand dunes on the back of a quad bike, also known as an ATV, on this outdoor adventure in the Atlantis Dunes just north of Cape Town. Take a short drive up the beautiful West Coast of Africa and you'll find the Witzands Aquifer Nature Reserve. An important conservation area protecting the Atlantis Aquifer and native wildlife, the reserve is also home to some of the best spots for quad biking with dunes up to 50 meters high. Check-in at the Parks office once you arrive and meet your instructor and guide, who will assist you with obtaining your parks permit. Once the paperwork has been handled, your instructor will take you through an introduction to quad biking and a thorough safety briefing. Now that you're comfortable with the quad bike, follow your guide out into the dunes to enjoy an hour-long, adrenaline-pumping ride in the soft sands. Explore the dunes and marvel at the surrounding landscape, including views of Table Mountain as you complete your ATV adventure.

Aquila Private Game Reserve: Sunset Safari with Entry Fee

3. Aquila Private Game Reserve: Sunset Safari with Entry Fee

Experience African hospitality at its best at the Aquila Private Game Reserve with a sunset safari accompanied by a game ranger. Get tickets to the park, sip on a welcome drink, savor refreshments, and relax by the pool. Upgrade to spa treatments on site. Arrive at Aquila Private Game Reserve by 3:00 PM. On arrival, a welcome drink will be served followed by a selection of teas, coffee, and snacks. At 3:15, you will start your 2-3 hour game drive. After a hot day in the African bush, the animals are just starting to stir, moving towards the watering holes and coming out of the shade. The safari is led by an experienced guide who will share exciting inside stories and facts about your surroundings, easily rousing your inner wild side. While at the reserve you can enjoy a number of complementary activities. You can relax poolside, browse the curio shop, visit the Aquila labyrinth or play a game of giant chess. Join this tour to witness wild animals and enjoy a magical sunset experience. 

Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

4. Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

Climb aboard and look for marine life in the ecosystem of Table Bay on a 1.5-hour eco-cruise from Cape Town. See species in their natural surroundings, such as humpback and southern right whales, depending on the season. Get the chance to watch pods of dolphins breaching close to the boat and marvel at their acrobatic displays. Be enchanted by Cape fur seals lounging on the jetties and get close to unusual species, such as sunfish. Watch African penguins diving for fish to take back to their breeding colony on Robben Island.  Encounter birdlife, such as terns, gannets, cormorants and mighty black-browed albatross.

Cape Town: Marine Big 5 Ocean Safari from V&A Waterfront

5. Cape Town: Marine Big 5 Ocean Safari from V&A Waterfront

Escape of the hustle and bustle of the city to smell the fresh ocean air and learn about the Atlantic coastline's unique marine ecosystem. Your skippers and guide are experienced enthusiastic and love sharing knowledge and experiences of the ocean. Gaze at the beauty of the ocean as well as at the beauty of the Cape Town Atlantic Coastline. Cruise along and see the city from a different perspective. During the tour, you have the chance to see dolphins, cape fur seals, whales, penguins, sunfish, and more depending on the season. Get views of the 12 Apostle Mountain Range, Signal Hill, Lions Head, and Table Mountain as you make your past Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay, and Oudekraal. 

2-Day Glamping Safari Big5 South African Wildlife Tour

6. 2-Day Glamping Safari Big5 South African Wildlife Tour

Leave Cape Town or Stellenbosch early in the morning on Day 1 of your tour and trade the silhouette of Table Mountain for the scenery of the Garden Route. Enjoy the scenic route along the way to the 3,500 hectare Botlierskop private game reserve. Located in a malaria-free area, the reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife including four of the Big Five, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, and more than 200 bird species. Spot some of the wild animals native to the region from the back of an open-top 4x4 vehicle and keep your eyes peeled for lion, elephant, buffalo, and rhino sightings. Leopards are nocturnal hunters, evasive, and not contained by fences so it's unlikely to see them during these game drives. After the 2-hour game drive, it's time for an up close and personal encounter with nature on a short bush walking safari. Hop off the safari vehicle, following your game ranger as you look for wildlife through the coastal renosterveldt and Cape fynbos. After an hour's walk, you'll reach Oudtshoorn and the Buffelsdrift Game Lodge – an unexpected oasis that wows from the first glimpse. In the heart of the Klein Karoo, luxe canvas tents are decked out with all the creature comforts, including a beautiful claw-footed bath, rustic outdoor shower, and an inviting king-sized bed. Wooden balconies overlook the dam where hippos wallow languidly in the glassy water. On the horizon line, giraffes snack on the tops of tall trees as the sun dips below the horizon. Take in the calm veld surroundings as you lounge at the pool deck amongst giant aloe vera, framing your perfect view of the birds and game that visit the water's edge at sunset. After breakfast on Day 2, jump straight into the thick of the Klein Karoo bush and set out on an open-top 2-hour 4x4 safari drive to seek out more of the local wildlife. Your expert guide and ranger will help spot wildlife and share some of nature’s secrets while teaching you about the region’s fauna and flora. This bush drive focuses more on getting close to nature and pointing out insects, plants, seeds, and smaller mammals as the reserve is not home to many big game species. Nevertheless, look out for buffalo, giraffe, kudu, porcupine, and meerkat from the open-air jeep. Join rangers on an optional Elephant Bush Walk to have the opportunity to walk alongside three rescued elephants on their morning stroll to the nearby waterhole (own expense). Learn about these gentle giants – easily the largest land mammals on earth – under the watchful eye of the elephant guides as you walk beside them. End the day with a drive along Route 62, the longest wine route in the world. Soak in the beauty of the high mountains, twisting passes, and rugged Karoo plains, during this 5 to 6-hour journey (with extra rest stops and subject to traffic) before arriving in Cape Town or Stellenbosch by late evening.

Aquila Private Game Reserve Early Morning Safari Drive

7. Aquila Private Game Reserve Early Morning Safari Drive

Look for amazing wildlife at their most active time of day on an early morning safari drive through the stunning Aquila Private Game Reserve. Start no later than 07:00 AM to make sure you see the animals as they begin to stir at the start of the day. Benefit from the services of an experienced ranger who will share exciting stories and facts about your surroundings to awaken your inner wild side! Get a welcome drink of tea or coffee and rusks on arrival before your 2 to 3-hour game drive. Enjoy a pre-packed continental breakfast to savor during your morning out in the wilderness. Extend your stay at the reserve, with prior notification, if you want to enjoy any of the other facilities on offer. Avail of different spa treatments, including manicures, pedicures and massage, or enjoy the heated pools, steam room and sauna at leisure. Take the opportunity to go for a horse back ride or explore by Quad Bike.

Aquila Game Reserve: Quad Bike Safari

8. Aquila Game Reserve: Quad Bike Safari

The quad bike safari day tour is a firm favorite. The day trip safari requires that you arrive at Aquila at 9:00 AM in the morning. The program includes a welcome drink, a scrumptious buffet breakfast, a 4-star lunch and a 1 to 2-hour quad bike safari led by an experienced guide who will share exciting inside stories and facts about your surroundings, easily rousing your inner wild side. You will have ample time at leisure to either add on a spa treatment, a horseback safari or enjoy a safari in an open safari vehicle. It is recommended to book them in advance to avoid disappointments. Complimentary extra activities include the use of the pool, a visit to the Aquila labirinth and access to the curio shop and the lounge bar. 

Garden Route 5-Day Tour and Addo Elephant Park Safari

9. Garden Route 5-Day Tour and Addo Elephant Park Safari

Get back to nature on a 5-day tour of the beautiful Garden Route and look for wildlife in nature reserves including Tsitsikamma National Park and Addo Elephant Park. Day 1: (D) Depart Cape Town and head towards Oudtshoorn in the semi-desert of Little Karoo with a stop at Ronnie’s sex shop for a refreshing drink! Explore the magnificent Cango Caves and visit an ostrich farm, where you can try to ride one! Spend the night in Oudtshoorn and enjoy a delicious ostrich braai dinner. Day 2: (D) Cross the mountain range to reach the coast and famous Garden Route. Get panoramic views from the Map of Africa lookout before visiting the charming town of Knysna. Continue through Plettenberg Bay to spend the night at Storms River village. Day 3: (B, D) Get back to nature in Tsitsikamma National Park. Walk the coastal route to the hanging bridge over Storms River Mouth. Continue to Addo Elephant National Park to spot huge elephant herds, antelope species and more. Alternatively, go straight to the surfing capital of South Africa at Jeffrey’s Bay, where you will spend the night. Day 4: (B, D) Head back towards the Garden Route to brave the world's highest bungee at Bloukrans. Enjoy a night in luxury accommodation at the Garden Route Game Lodge (guesthouse option). Go for a late afternoon safari drive to look for rhinos, lions, buffalo, cheetahs, and antelopes. Day 5: (B) Take an early morning safari drive to look for animals when they are most active. Depart for Hermanus, where Southern Right whales have returned after almost 50 years of being near extinct. Arrive in Cape Town in the late afternoon via the stunning False Bay coastline.  

Aquila Game Reserve Full Day Combo Safari

10. Aquila Game Reserve Full Day Combo Safari

The Aquila combo safari combines a 2 to 3 hour game drive in an open safari vehicle and a 1.5 hour horseback or quad bike outride, tasty buffet breakfast and lunch. Horseback safaris are alongside horseback safari specialists, who will demonstrate and show you the wild facts of this region. A slow walk across the plains or cantering at full throttle are options dependant on the skills of the other riders in the group. No experience is necessary. The quad bike safari day tour involves roughing it up within the 10,000 hectare conservancy of Aquila Game Reserve. The Aquila quad bike safari day tour is a firm favorite. For both the Quad Bike and Horseback Safaris guests must be 16 years and older and not weigh more than 95 kilograms.

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Frequently asked questions about Cape Town Desert Safaris

What are other things to do than Desert Safaris that are worth visiting in Cape Town?

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What people are saying about Cape Town

Great trip for a very good price. Before the Safari there is even a huge food buffet inclusive and during the safari you get free drinks. Really great experience, thank you!

It was just amazing..The people are extremely friendly and we had our bike guide his name is Sandile if I still remember the name very well.. deserves a bells

The 2 Day Safari Tour was breathtaking! Overall the trip was very well organized. Our tour guide Mawande was super nice as well! Thanks a lot!

It was absolutely fantastic!!! Loved it soooo much ....would DEFS reccommend and perhaps even do it again

Had so much fun, thanks to Reggie and Team!!!! Will be back soon for the experience