Best for: Cape Town capers
The journey: 93 miles
In Cape Town, check in for three days at the luxury Table Bay Hotel on the V&A Waterfront. Before hitting the restaurant scene, take the cable car to catch the sunset view from the top of Table Mountain. Eat seasonal game kebabs at Belthazar for dinner and, after exploring the agapanthus-filled Kirstenbosh Botanical Gardens on its Tree Canopy Walkway, visit Robben island. It was in this infamous former prison that Nelson Mandela served 18 years of his 27-year sentence.
In this desert region of caves and switchback roads you might spot a meerkat, or even a meteor: the Klein Karoo desert is a perfect wilderness for star gazing.
Though Cape Town could pull you in for weeks if you let it, hire a car on day four. A short drive out takes you in to the heart of the winelands. With a history of viticulture from 1659, the bottles produced on the estates here don’t exactly put the ‘new’ in New World wine. At Stellenbosch, stay at Oude Werf Hotel and enjoy its pool in the dappled shade. Eat just down the road at Schoon de Comanje Deli. Where the vines grow, the best restaurants in South Africa gather. In nearby Franschhoek, have lunch at La Petite Ferme, and, from its sunny terrace, watch the green valley scenery tumbling down before you.