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Extension: The Best of Cape Town

Program Number: 13597RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/6/2014 - 11/10/2014; 4/14/2016 - 4/19/2016; 11/3/2016 - 11/8/2016; 11/20/2016 - 11/25/2016; 1/26/2017 - 1/31/2017; 2/16/2017 - 2/21/2017; 4/6/2017 - 4/11/2017;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: South Africa
Price starting at: $1,797.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 7; 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Explore South Africa’s cosmopolitan city, Cape Town, on this optional post-program extension. Witness the spectacular scenery of the area from the top of Table Mountain and learn about the unique, indigenous fynbos vegetation at the Cape Peninsula. Taste some of South Africa’s famous wines on an excursion to the Cape Winelands and visit historically important sites in the "Mother City."


• Visit the colorful Bo Kaap, Castle of Good Hope, and District Six, and learn about the history of apartheid in South Africa.
• Savor some of South Africa’s famous wines during a wine tasting in the beautiful Cape Winelands.
• Ascend Table Mountain and enjoy the spectacular view it affords, and stand at the southwestern-most point of the African continent at the Cape of Good Hope.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles on paved, possibly uneven paths with no handholds.

This program may only be taken as an extension to program #13938, "African Safari: a Close-up on Wildlife." Please refer to the day-to-day itinerary on the Road Scholar website or contact the Program Provider if you plan on booking your own flights for correct arrival and departure dates. Program limited to 15 participants.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Cape Town, 4 nights; flight to Johannesburg, departure.

Flight to Cape Town
4 nights
Flight to Johannesburg for departure
Overnight flight
1 night

Explore Cape Town’s sights, sounds and history through visits to historical city sites and the vibrant and colorful Cape Winelands. Discover the area’s unique ecosystems during a trip to the Cape Peninsula, Boulders Beach and Table Mountain.

South Africa

Released from prison in 1990 after 27 years, Nelson Mandela adopted a policy of reconciliation and negotiation that guided South Africa’s transition from apartheid into a true democracy. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, he became the first South African to win the presidency in fully representative democratic elections. Today’s visitors find a kaleidoscopic of wildlife rivaled only by the cuisine, art and music of the nation’s diverse cultures.

Unique hotel in heart of Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with great views of working harbor and Table Mountain.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Mervyn Sparks

A dual citizen of England and South Africa, Mervyn Sparks left the field of financial management in 1995 to devote himself full time to helping visitors explore his adopted home of Cape Town. Since then, Mervyn has gained extensive experience of South Africa’s diverse peoples and environments during a period of historic transformation. He enjoys giving Road Scholar participants a thorough picture of modern-day life in Cape Town and the history behind it.
Meals and Lodgings
   Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront
  Cape Town, South Africa 3 nights
 Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge boasts an enviable location in the heart of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, an exciting haven for harbor vessels, fishing boats, lounging seals, and travelers looking to see Nobel Square (statues of South Africa's four Nobel Prize winners) or to shop and dine with Cape Town's best. The lodge offers comfortable and stylish accommodation in the “Mother City." Within the hotel, enjoy stunning views of the harbor as well as Table Mountain. This modern, recently refurbished hotel provides a full range of services including multiple eateries, free wireless hotspots throughout the hotel and knowledgeable staff.
  Contact info: Portswood Road
V&A Waterfront
Cape Town,  8001 South Africa
phone: +27 -(0)21-406-1911
  Room amenities: All rooms offer full, en-suite bathroom facilities, air-conditioning, satellite television, radio, direct-dial telephone, coffee/tea making facilities and Wi-Fi internet connectivity.
  Facility amenities: Facility amenities include two on-site restaurants, a coffee/cocktail bar, room service, laundry facilities, fitness center, and business center with computer access. The hotel is within close proximity to several sporting facilities, too, including tennis, squash and golf. Wireless is available at this hotel, including the rooms. The first thirty minutes is free; after that thirty minutes guests must pay for the internet. To connect to wi-fi stop by reception for a voucher and use this voucher to connect on your personal device (alternatively, guest can connect on a hotel computer). For wireless and other miscellaneous charges, the lodge accepts South African Rand and Visa.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program begins with the 5:45pm flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town (at the end of main program #13938). You will be staying at Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 4:00pm when the flight from Cape Town arrives at Johannesburg airport. You will be staying at Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Passport must be valid for at least six months past trip return date; US passport holders need a minimum of five blank visa pages (not amendment/endorsement pages at back), and Canadian citizens need a minimum of seven blank visa pages in the passport, to cover all border crossings between the main program #13938 and this extension program. Signed liability waiver for program provider, Explore, Inc., required for participation.
  Parking availability:
None needed.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Cape Town
  Nearest highway: N2
  Nearest airport:  Cape Town International Airport
  Transportation to site: Since all participants on the extension program arrive in Cape Town on the same flight from Johannesburg (flight is included for everyone in the extension program cost), a hired coach transfer to the hotel is provided for everyone in the group. Once you clear baggage claim in Cape Town, exit to the arrivals hall and look for the transfer driver holding a sign that says ROAD SCHOLAR. Please be sure to wear your Road Scholar nametag so that the driver and/or Group Leader can spot you more easily. If you have not located him or her within 15-20 minutes, please call +27 (0)82-880-2766 for Mervyn Sparks of Visit SA. The information booth staff can point you to a phone you can use.
  From End of Program
  Location:  At Home
  Transportation from site: Group transfer from the hotel to the Cape Town airport included for everyone departing on the reserved group flight. The flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg is also included in the extension price. Upon arrival in Johannesburg you connect to international departures; no further ground transfers are needed unless ongoing travel is planned. If you would like to extend your stay in Cape Town or elsewhere, Explore can help with travel arrangements if needed.
Equipment Requirements: Suggested equipment: binoculars, camera.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: End of Main Program #13938/ Arrive in Cape Town
(Thursday, November 6)
 Afternoon: The group flies from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Johannesburg at the end of main program #13938, African Safari: a Close-up on Wildlife. Upon a mid-afternoon arrival in Johannesburg, you connect to your commercial flight to Cape Town. Arrive Cape Town in the evening, where you are met and transferred to your hotel, located in the heart of the vibrant V&A Waterfront.
 Dinner: Dinner in flight.
Accommodations: Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Robben Island/ Cape Winelands
(Friday, November 7)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast, you walk along the V&A Waterfront to the dock for the Robben Island ferry. Robben Island, just seven miles off the Cape Town coast, was for nearly 400 years a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During apartheid years, Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. This is where Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years in prison. From the island, enjoy spectacular views of the Cape. Following the end of the tour, you are transferred out to the Cape Winelands.
 Lunch: At Bread & Wine, located on the Moreson wine estate near Franschhoek. Bread & Wine exudes an old world charm, and is a character-filled, rustic restaurant that has won numerous accolades for its honest food. The menu changes seasonally and is inspired by the variety of ingredients available locally.
 Afternoon: Spend the afternoon touring the Cape Winelands. The wine-producing region around Stellenbosch and Franschhoek is not only the most important wine growing region in South Africa, but Stellenbosch is one of the oldest, most beautiful and well-preserved towns in South Africa. The vineyards form a patchwork in the fertile valleys and seem to be overshadowed by dramatic mountains. There is an almost European atmosphere with beautiful Cape Dutch architecture seen everywhere. You partake in a vineyard, cellar tour, and wine tasting complimented by a Lecture: on the area’s architecture, history and viniculture.
 Dinner: On your own account to explore the many restaurants in the area.
Accommodations: Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Table Mountain/ Cape Peninsula/ Boulders Beach
(Saturday, November 8)

Note: At the Cape of Good Hope, you have the option of walking up steep steps to get to the lighthouse at the very top; however, great views can be enjoyed without climbing the steps. At Boulders Beach, the coach must park in a parking lot that requires about a 15-20 minute walk to get to the entrance to Boulders; the walk is on flat, paved surfaces.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast at the hotel, head to Table Mountain where you take a cable car ride up the steep granite slopes (weather permitting) to see the splendid views of the city and peninsula; it is perhaps one of the most magnificent views in the southern hemisphere. Afterwards, depart toward Cape Point via the coastal route passing through Camps Bay (South Africa’s world famous beach resort), past the Twelve Apostle Range, through Hout Bay and along Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the most spectacular coastal roads to be found in Africa. Arrive at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Cape Point, where the cold Benguela current and the warm Agulhas current meet, is one of the world’s most beautiful places – a stretch of rocky mountain jutting southward into the sea. Here you find a myriad of pristine beaches, sheltered bays and coves, as well as a rich array of indigenous flora. The fynbos reserve (a unique vegetation type of the Cape Floral Kingdom) is home to a variety of wildlife and bird species. Whales (dependant on season), penguins and seals may be spotted from this point. Lecture: fynbos.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch taken at a scenic spot.
 Afternoon: Stop off at Boulders Beach to view the resident African penguin colony. Nestled in a sheltered cove between Simon's Town and Cape Point, Boulders has become world famous for its thriving colony of African penguins and magnificent wind-sheltered beaches. Boulders is one of the few sites where this vulnerable bird (Spheniscus demersus) can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected environment. Lecture: African “Jackass” penguins. Head back to the hotel for the late afternoon at leisure.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant back in Cape Town.
Accommodations: Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Waterfront
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Free Time/ Departure
(Sunday, November 9)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Following breakfast, you have the morning free to explore Cape Town on your own or participate in one of the multitude of activities offered in the area.
 Lunch: On your own account to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: You are transferred to the airport for an afternoon departure to Johannesburg. In Johannesburg, connect to your international flight home.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Arrive Home
(Monday, November 10)
 Morning: Early morning arrivals back in the USA and Canada.

Free Time Opportunities
  Cape Town Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch is acclaimed as one of the greatest botanic gardens in the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of its setting, against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa, and it was the first botanic garden in the world to be devoted to a country’s indigenous flora. On display in the gardens is a wide variety of the unique Cape Floristic Region plant life, as well as plants from all the diverse regions of southern Africa; there are over 7,000 species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, including many that are rare and threatened. In 2004, the Cape Floristic Region, including Kirstenbosch, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For additional information, visit
  South African Museum & District Six
Visit the South African Museum which houses a superb collection of Bushman rock paintings and extensive displays on the Stone Age peoples who once inhabited the Cape. Also visit the District 6 museum, which is home to an emotional collection of art and memories from the district's glory days before the neighborhood was leveled by the apartheid government.
  Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Explore the lively shopping, restaurants and entertainment on the waterfront.
  various museums
Cape Town has a variety of natural history, art and social history museums in town. Visit the website for more information on the numerous museums to choose from. Adult tickets are approximately $5. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Adventuring in Southern Afica

Author: Allen Bechky

Description: This comprehensive guide to game parks throughout Southern Africa includes an overview of the region, tips on watching wildlife and good descriptive information on each park or nature reserve.

Cape Town, A Lonely Planet City Guide

Author: John A. Murray

Description: A practical guide to the city and surroundings, featuring suggested walks, excursions and attractions. This surprisingly complete book also includes color photographs and a map.

Exploration of Africa, From Cairo to the Cape

Author: Ann Hugon

Description: This jewel of a book chronicles 19th century exploration of Africa with hundreds of contemporary paintings and prints, brief chapters on the expeditions and a very useful chronology.

Long Walk to Freedom

Author: Nelson Mandela

Description: An unpretentious tale of an extraordinary life. Mandela recounts the circumstances of his imprisonment and ultimately his successful drive to end Apartheid.

Southern Africa Wildlife, A Visitor's Guide

Author: Mike Unwin

Description: A popular, photographic guide to the mammals, birds, reptiles and habitats south of the Zambezi. With 300 color photographs and illuminating text.

The Myth of Wild Africa

Author: Jonathan Adams, Thomas McShane

Description: A no-holds-barred attack on old-style conservation in Africa, provocative and dead-on. The authors explore the fallacy of an untouched continent where animals roam freely in sanctuaries.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Description: McCall Smith’s detective, Mma Ramotswe, makes her debut. A pleasure in every respect, this novel – not really a mystery – evokes the cultures, customs and diverse landscapes of Botswana.

The Scramble for Africa

Author: Thomas Pakenham

Description: A well-written, meticulously researched history of the Victorian land grab in Africa. The book includes especially good portraits of the egomaniacal personalities who overran the continent.

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