South African Gastronomy Tour

From $3,350 pp

  • Duration

    9 days
  • Departure Date

    Feb 23, 2024
  • Trip Style

    Small Group
  • Country

    South Africa
  • Physical Rating

    Easy

Overview

Immerse yourself in South African gastronomy as you discover its food, culture, and how the two are intricately connected on this tasty tour.

This slow travel, sustainable tour invites you to the table for a festival of flavors dipped in the rich cultural heritage of South Africa. We move at a leisurely pace and travel short distances, taking the time to walk and thoroughly enjoy each experience without being rushed.

A melting pot of many different cultures, South Africa's cuisine has stories begging to be heard! Come listen as you learn how to make some of our most popular dishes under the guidance of friendly locals. We will have you rolling your sleeves up, mixing spices, whisking away creams, trying delicious samples, and pairing wine with cheeses, desserts, and chocolates!

The 9-day gastronomy tour is designed for mindful foodies who want to indulge in great food and are curious to understand its history and origins.

Highlights

  • Participate in cooking classes while learning unique histories of traditional dishes
  • Sample great wines and pair them with cheese, chocolates, & "biltong", a local dried meat
  • Meet welcoming foodies & chefs as you indulge in South Africa’s favorite delicacies
  • Experience South African culture by sharing stories and homemade meals with locals
  • Forage indigenous food in the unspoiled spaces of the West Coast
  • Enjoy the tranquillity of the Winelands and try seasonal produce

We have put the perfect sustainable gastronomy tour together that combines good food, wine, and great stories from the rich cultures of the Rainbow Nation. This culinary journey will take you from the buzzing city to the lazy coastline, ending on a high in the Cape Winelands. Enjoy home-cooked favorites, sit around the fire with food that makes you feel good, and feel satisfied with the harvest of South Africa's award-winning farms.

While you eat, listen to the fascinating stories of where the food originated. We will take you to visit the homes of locals, authentic markets, traditional restaurants, and typical farms in different locations in and around Cape Town.

You will be spoiled for choice, and you might just be adding to your waistline...Sorry in advance!

The small group, guided tour starts on a Friday and is available several times throughout the year - generally once per season so you can experience the in-season cuisine.

Should you request this itinerary as a Self-Guided version and start on a day other than a Friday, the sequence of the tour will be altered.

Departure Dates

  • Feb 23, 2024 - Mar 2, 2024
  • May 10, 2024 - May 18, 2024
  • Jul 19, 2024 - Jul 27, 2024
  • Oct 18, 2024 - Oct 26, 2024

Seasonal Notes

South Africa enjoys mild winters and long summers, making it a popular year-round destination. Remember: in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are flipped!

  • December to March: Summer is the best time for all those seeking the sun and beach days. Harvest time in the wine industry is between February - March. The weather is typically warm and dry. Temperatures average from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 30°C). It's the peak tourist season, with plenty of sunshine and little rainfall, so popular attractions and wineries can get crowded.
  • April to September: This is considered the best time to visit with cooler weather. From March to May, autumn extends, with mild weather and temperatures ranging from 61°F to 77°F (16°C to 25°C). From June to August, when winter sets in, the weather becomes cool and wet, so the country is less crowded with tourists.

Regardless of when you visit, our food will be created from in-season produce.

Itinerary

Day 1 Cape Town [South Africa] (arrival day)

Arrive at Cape Town International Airport where your driver will collect you and take you to your accommodation. Your food journey starts in Cape Town, South Africa's culinary capital. The cosmopolitan city fuses all kinds of flavors and vibes, ready for you to enjoy.

Settle into your 4-star accommodation on the slopes of Table Mountain. Unpack and relax until dinner.

We'll meet at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and kick off this gastronomy tour with an African-infused night filled with music, dancing, and a variety of African cuisine!

  • Accommodation: Victorian-style guest house
  • Meals: Dinner

Day 2 Local Market Street Food; Free Time

After breakfast, we will take a drive...around the Peninsula! With a few stops on our way, you will end up in the uber-trendy Obz, a residential area in the city. This is a meeting place for locals and where Cape Town mixes culinary delights with fine local designs. Here, you can enjoy the market where street food is created and taken to a whole new level!

For the rest of the day, you can take a stroll along the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, hop aboard a boat and ride from the harbor to Robben Island, or summit Table Mountain via cable car.

  • Accommodation: Victorian-style guest house
  • Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Cape Malay Culture & Cuisine; Free Time

After breakfast, you will visit one of the oldest communities in the colorful Bo Kaap neighborhood on a street tour. Put your apron on, join a cooking class, and learn to mix your spices for a flavorful Cape Malay dish. Finish it off with the infamous sweet treat, the koe'sister, a traditional fried dough braid or ball sweetened with either honey or syrup and, sometimes, doused in shredded coconut!

In the afternoon, there will be free time to explore the city's iconic attractions on foot, like the District Six Museum, the Company Gardens, or Green Market Square where you can find great artisanal products. If you love shopping, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront awaits for some retail therapy! This will leave you breathless and hungry! And we sure have the remedy for that...FOOD!

  • Accommodation: Victorian-style guesthouse
  • Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 South Africa's Indigenous Heritage: the San Peoples

After breakfast, we venture to the West Coast to learn the rhythm and rhymes of the First People. You will get a taste of the food and life practices of the Indigenous people of South Africa. You will have the opportunity to walk through their medicinal gardens and hear the stories of the San peoples - Bushmen who are proud to preserve their ancient cultures. Meet some wonderful earthlings in close relationship with nature and all her beauty. A guided tour will help you understand their love and devotion to Mother Earth.

  • Accommodation: Beach guest house
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 5 A West Coast Beach "Boma"

Today, you can start slow and take a walk to explore the fishing village along the Langebaan Lagoon on your own until lunchtime. Gather at the Strandloper "Boma" for lunch - an enclosed space near the sea or under a tree in the bush. In this case, we'll be by the water where we'll enjoy a seafood paella on the beach. As great music plays in the background, locals will share their skills in preparing fresh fish using aromatic ingredients for a delicious meal along with bread cakes ("rooster brood") made over an open fire!

  • Accommodation: Beach guest house
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 6 Wander in the Winelands

After breakfast, our drive away from the ocean takes you onto the wine route. Check into tranquillity on a country wine estate with an incredible story to tell!

After lunch on the deck, we will spend a few hours in the beautiful neighboring town of Paarl, where a local guide will share the history of the Winelands gem. The tour ends with a meal with local women from the town, who will treat you to some real South African food...along with great chatter!

  • Accommodation: Country wine estate
  • Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 7 Vineyards & Olive Groves: An Italian Affair

Wake up to the soothing sounds of the farm and enjoy breakfast on the balcony of the restaurant overlooking the Drakenstein Valley, known for its scenic beauty in addition to its winemaking and agriculture.

Today, we'll wander into nature to be amongst the vineyards. You will visit a farm producing virgin olive oil in its boutique-style olive mill. You will learn about the unique relationship between the olive grove and vineyards. Who knew South Africa had an Italian story?

For the rest of the day, you can spend some time at the Spice Route, a farm marketplace where you can purchase in-season produce and souvenirs.

  • Accommodation: Country wine estate
  • Meals: Breakfast and olive oil tasting

Day 8 Franschhoek: A French Affair

After breakfast, you travel to Franschhoek, where French Hugenote farmers settled in 1694. You will visit the historic estate where a portion of land was awarded to the first female in South Africa. Here you will take part in a wine tasting, or enjoy something more unique, such as a wine blending experience, or "Sabrage", a technique to open a bottle of wine with a sword!

For the rest of the afternoon, take a stroll down the high street filled with French flair. We conclude the tour with a traditional meal on a boutique farm in the wine valley.

  • Accommodation: Country wine estate
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 9 Franschhoek (departure day)

It is the final day of this gastronomy adventure, and there is always time for one last treat to show you the magic of South African food and culture. You will join the table of a local couple, who turned their home into a meeting place. They warmly welcome all those who just want to enjoy a cup of good coffee and the great food of yesteryear.

To finish this experience, you will be transferred to Cape Town International Airport for your departure.

  • Meals: Breakfast

Self-Guided Version

This itinerary can be enjoyed as a Self-Guided trip throughout the year.

Route Map

Route map of South Africa showing the stops on the sustainable gastronomy tour where travelers can learn about food and culture.

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • In-person welcome briefing (day 1)

  • 8 nights at 4-star accommodations

  • All meals as specified on the itinerary

  • Airport transfers (2)

  • All transfers between locations

  • 5 Guided tours

  • Cooking class, olive tasting, food & wine tasting, indigenous food experience

  • Community levy

  • Financial protection

  • Flights to/from South Africa

  • Meals not mentioned

  • Entrance fees at attractions

  • Medical & Travel Insurance

  • Visa-related costs

  • Gratuities

  • Personal expenses

  • Touristic taxes

  • Anything not mentioned as 'Included'

Pricing

Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.

Prices are for double room occupancy unless indicated otherwise.

  • Deposit per person

    40% of the trip price

  • Shared Room - sleeps 2 - price per person

    $3,350 (Small-Group) $2,270 (Self-Guided)

  • Single Supplement

    $300

Sustainability

Sustainability is at the very heart of what we do. Our focus is on local culture, the people, the environment and making a positive impact. We believe a collective consciousness is necessary for the traveler, locals, and environment to grow.

Therefore, we intentionally collaborate with those who want to be part of rebuilding an inclusive, more sustainable model that benefits all stakeholders in the tourism industry. All our tours/trips are a combination of celebrating all cultures, connecting travelers to local community experiences and bringing awareness about conservation. Travelers will enjoy the heart of the country through colorful and collaborative journeys that positively impact and empower.

Conscious of our impact on people and planet, we provide travelers with a Pre-Trip Guide to familiarize themselves with the culture, customs, traditions and how to minimize their carbon footprint on the destination.

Environmental Initiatives
South Africa has a conservation culture and from the start, we encourage our guests to join us in our efforts to ensure the preservation of water, save energy, and respect our natural environment. We share tips in our PreTrip Guide which we send guests before departure. Together with our partners, we are committed to running responsible tourism businesses. We carefully select our suppliers to provide locally sourced products. Our accommodation partners on this tour and all our tours are conscious of our impact on the environment. We have incorporated walking tours to minimize our carbon footprint. Sustainability initiatives include solar power and reduced water usage. At our wine estate, we use glass water bottles, compostable cardboard takeaway containers, and biodegradable straws. On-site, there's a recycling sorting plant for glass, cardboard, and paper, and we create compost for the gardens.

Economic Initiatives
We have co-designed this food tour to tell the stories of the local people, many of whom have been marginalized. This tour brings dignity and respect to ordinary people, including the indigenous community who have been overlooked. We have created a platform for wonderful food and life stories to be told in an authentic way. We focus on food entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Cape Town area which will give an economic boost to their communities. We have partnered with a wine farm foundation that offers learning experiences to disadvantaged and abused women, who have no source of income. These women receive training to produce and maintain their own vegetable crops. The vegetable gardens not only provide a sustainable primary source of nourishment for themselves and their dependents but also form a meeting point where women with similar and different life experiences can connect and share with one another and learn entrepreneurial skills to help them live self-sufficient lives.

Sociocultural Initiatives
We are committed to promoting the cultural stories with the good food of the region. We use in-season products from local suppliers. From the finest food to homemade dishes, participants will get an all-round taste of South African cuisine. We are staying primarily at guest houses that help us in our sustainability journey as they are committed to changing the lives of their local communities.

Health & Safety

Be sure you have traveler's insurance.

All health and safety guidance will be given to guests on guided tours. The Pre-Trip Guide also gives tips on how to travel safely. Travelers do not need to be vaccinated for South Africa.

South Africa is considered a meat-consuming country, but it has a variety of vegan and vegetarian restaurants and most eateries cater to all. Participants need to share their dietary requirements prior to arrival. Meals are provided from in-season produce, and alternative meals will only be replaced when notified ahead of time.

FAQs

What does the Physical Rating of "Easy" mean for this trip?

The tour includes walking short distances and is suitable for all ages. We move at a leisurely pace and travel short distances, taking the time to walk and thoroughly enjoy each experience without being rushed.

What are the accommodations like?

The three different accommodations are actively adding to our sustainability efforts. The wine estate uses glass water bottles in the restaurant & tasting room on the wine estate. They use compostable cardboard takeaway containers in the restaurant and biodegradable straws to be used. There is a recycling sorting plant on site to separate glass (wine bottles), cardboard (wine boxes), and paper (office paper) for recycling. The estate makes its own compost on-site for the gardens.

How is this trip safe for female, solo, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC travelers?

Cape Town is a welcoming city to LGBTQ+ and BIPOC travelers. The tour is best enjoyed within a group and safe for solo travelers with local guidance.

Does Cape Town cater to vegans or vegetarians?

As a cosmopolitan capital city, there’s no shortage of vegetarian and vegan options in the city’s restaurants, despite the more traditionally meaty culture. Our tour is designed to accommodate both vegans and vegetarians, as South Africa has a variety of vegan and vegetarian restaurants and most eateries offer options for both dietary preferences. To ensure your dietary needs are met, we kindly ask participants to share their specific requirements in advance. Please note that alternative meals can only be arranged when we receive advance notice. Meals are provided from in-season produce.

Which day is the best day to start the food tour?

You can start on any day of the week, we would need to alter the itinerary as some places might be closed. Starting the tour over a weekend is the best option.

This trip is a small group, guided experience with pre-set departure dates. You only need to choose a start date if you opt for the self-guided version of this trip; or if you privatize the trip for a personalized, guided experience.

Can we do the tour as a group?

Eating is better with friends and family! We can accommodate groups of up to 10 guests because we want you to connect with other fellow foodies.

I am a picky eater, can I still join in?

The tour is designed for foodies, for those who are open to trying new flavors and equally learning about the cultures. If you are a solo traveler, we can recommend specific places, but once there are more than three people on a tour, we may not be able to accommodate individual preferences.

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