South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA

Welcome to the rainbow nation, blessed with a wealth of beautiful and diverse landscapes, an abundance of wildlife and natural attractions, and a cultural melting pot of talented and friendly people, the “Rainbow Nation” of South Africa is situated at the tip of the African continent. The terrain ranges from semi-desert to sub-tropical with each climatic region supporting a rich diversity of bird-, plant- and wildlife.
 

Here, you can immerse yourself in a wide range of experiences from bush safaris and birding expeditions to 4×4 adventures, kloofing and hikes through unspoiled landscapes. A fabulously affordable destination with world-class hotels, restaurants and shopping opportunities, South Africa is the vacation destination of a lifetime.

 

Click the images below to learn more about each region in South Africa.

 

CAPE-PENINSULA

Table Mountain, a cosmopolitan city, buzzing nightlife, exciting outdoor activities, gourmet dining, and world-class shopping destinations are all within reason. Cape Town’s city center is set beneath iconic Table Mountain, nestled in a bowl at the start of the beautiful Cape Peninsula. Explore historic sites such as the District Six Museum, the Company Gardens and the Castle of Good Hope before heading up Table Mountain to enjoy the superlative panoramic views. The city center is linked to the harbor area by the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with its myriad retail shops, buzzing restaurants, cinemas and destinations, including the Two Oceans Aquarium.

 

Shopaholics will love Cape Town, with its eclectic range of outlets from designer boutiques to street markets. Take to your car for a leisurely drive around the Cape Peninsula; you are welcome to stop in at some of the city’s most appealing destinations: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Constantia’s prestigious wine estates, the coastal hamlets of Noordhoek and Kommetjie, spectacular Cape Point, the resident penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach, the charming fishing village of Kalk Bay and the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Seaboard. This is the perfect place to end the day with a time-old Cape tradition of sun downer drinks while overlooking the beach. Those looking for adventure and action can go surfing, play golf on world-class courses, skydive, abseil, windsurf, kayak or jet ski. For an adrenaline rush of note try shark cage-diving! The Mediterranean climate, setting, and exciting destinations ensure a prime spot for the ‘Fairest Cape’ on any itinerary.

 

PREFERRED PARTNERS

Belmond Mount Nelson
Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel
Cape Grace
Ellerman House
One&Only Cape Town
Taj Cape Town
 

CAPE-BREAKAWAYS

Through charming villages, the r62, and wine farms, venture forth to discover the Cape, stretching from the dramatic coastline of the Overberg to the wilderness area of the Cederberg Mountains and the semi-arid Klein Karoo. Offering a distinctively different experience to visitors, each part of the Cape is home to unique wildlife, activities and options. Step onto the Cederberg’s floral spring carpet that blooms overnight between July and September and keep
an eye out here for the shy Cape Leopard and birds of prey. This is the place to view the largest natural gallery of rock art in the world and activities range from hiking, mountain biking, and fly-fishing, to wilderness drives and rock climbing.


 

Further down the coast, the Southern Cape and the Overberg link cosmopolitan Cape Town with the Garden Route. The town of Hermanus, perched on the cliffs of Walker Bay, offers the best land-based whale watching in the world as the beautiful Southern right whales head here during the winter months. In nearby Gansbaai, opt for an up-close experience with a Great White shark on a cage-dive or head to the Hemel-en-Aaarde valley to taste some of the country’s best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. A charming way to explore the Cape is to drive R62 which meanders through smaller towns heading towards the Garden Route region. The dramatic scenery and lots of must-stop destinations along the way make ‘the road less traveled’ an inspired choice.

 

PREFERRED PARTNERS

Birkenhead House & Villa
 

CAPE-WINELANDS

With premium wines, gourmet dining, delis, and just an hour’s drive northeast of Cape Town, you will step into a world of jagged mountain peaks and lush valleys that are lined with vineyards in some of South Africa’s most beautiful countryside. A trip through the Winelands of the Cape will take you through historic towns, quaint villages and to gracious Cape Dutch homesteads. The oldest town in the country is Stellenbosch and today you can see it’s beautifully preserved architecture along oak-lined streets filled with students of the prestigious university. With more than 100 wineries making up the Stellenbosch Wine Route, you will be spoiled for choice when visiting historic wine estates and cutting-edge boutique cellars. A drive away is the charming village of Franschhoek, settled by French Huguenots more than three centuries ago and set beneath mountains and amidst lush vineyards.


 

A gourmet culinary destination of note, Franschhoek, with is plethora of wine estates and award-winning restaurants and delis, seduces all those who visit. The largest town in the region is Paarl, home to historical wine estates and a population of Afrikaans-speaking hospitable folk. The quiet country atmosphere of this tranquil town ensures a soothing and sophisticated wine experience. There is no shortage of accommodation or entertainment in the Cape Winelands from music festivals, game farms, shopping destinations to a range of outdoor activities ranging from golf and horse riding to fly-fishing, hot-air ballooning, hiking and canyoneering.


 

PREFERRED PARTNERS

La Residence
Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard
 

GARDEN-ROUTE

Jewel of the garden route – Knysna, enjoys some of the world’s most attractive coastal scenery on the N2 highway running east from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth through the Garden Route. Pass by an enchanting coastline of lagoons and lakes, beautiful bays and wide estuaries as well as steep cliffs, over hinterland mountains and spectacular passes, over rivers, and past waterfalls and ravines. The “jewel” of the Garden Route is the lagoon-estuary town of Knysna where you can take a boat trip across the lagoon to the popular Featherbed Nature Reserve, experience the bustling Knysna Quays and the Knysna Elephant Park.


 

A bit further along is upmarket Plettenberg Bay, a beach-lover’s paradise with its long stretches of soft white sand and warm Indian Ocean waters. An excellent base from which to explore the Garden Route, fill your days with whale- and dolphin-watching boat excursions, treetop canopy tours in the Tsitsikamma Forest or bungee jumping off the highest point in the world at the 216m-high Bloukrans Bridge. A great overnight stop is the inland town of Oudtshoorn. Home to the famous Cango Caves, a labyrinth of massive caverns, Oudtshoorn is also known as the ‘Ostrich Capital’. Head for the white-washed village of St. Francis Bay, with its sleepy charms, and then onto the “Friendly City” – Port Elizabeth, the gateway to the game reserves of the Eastern Cape. Combine a trip along the Garden Route with a safari experience here.


 

GAUTENG

Gauteng is the gateway into Africa as well as being the economic heartland of South Africa. Gold was discovered here in the late 1800s, setting a path of prosperity in this region that continues today. The capital city of Johannesburg, with its vibrant character and Afropolitan flavor, offers sophisticated pleasures and luxury living. Stay overnight in upmarket Sandton or its leafy neighboring suburbs in world-class luxury hotels. A shopper’s paradise, Sandton boasts malls featuring high-end fashion, lifestyle and jewelry stores.


 

To the south of Johannesburg is Soweto, an intriguing combination of luxury lifestyle offerings and an informal sector of hawkers, backyard industries and markets – absolutely and uniquely South African in character. A tour of Soweto will take you past Nelson Mandela’s home and to a traditional tavern. To the northwest of Johannesburg are the dramatic Wonder Caves as well as the famous Sterkfontein Caves. Both are in the ‘Cradle of Humankind’, a World Heritage Site due to its pale-ontological importance and incredible fossil findings. These include the hominid fossil that has been dated back to more than three million years. Just 50 kilometers north of Johannesburg, discover Pretoria, the administrative capital of the country with its colonial-style buildings and jacaranda tree-lined streets. Gauteng, with its vibrant urban character, luxury offerings, and proximity to regional game reserves, as well as being a departure point for Indian Ocean island getaways is a must-visit destination.


 

PREFERRED PARTNERS

Saxon Hotel
 

KWAZULU-NATAL

Mountain vistas, Zulu culture, and a visit to the home of the powerful Zulu nation all awaits in beautiful KwaZulu-Natal. The largest city in the province is Durban, with its laidback atmosphere, a fabulous mild sub-tropical climate and a large Indian population whose culture and cuisine have permeated the essence of the city. If you head north up the coastline you will find the luxury destination of Umhlanga, with its upmarket hotels and guesthouses, long white sand beaches and cosmopolitan offerings. Leaving Umhlanga, the highway links seaside towns in rapid succession and you will pass lush subtropical vegetation and the sugar plantations the region is famous for.


 

In the north of KwaZulu-Natal, discover the region known as Maputaland, or the Elephant Coast, home to the largest protected wetland in southern Africa, the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, as well as several Big 5 game reserves. In Sodwana Bay you can dive with ragged-tooth sharks and Aliwal Shoal is the world-famous diving destination. Inland, heading to the foothills of the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains, lies the Midlands, with the famous Midlands Meander, a rural route that makes its way through the villages and hamlets of the region and into the studios of crafters and artists. Whether you want to dip into the culture of this region with its dramatic battle history or get outdoors on bracing hikes and mountain walks, there is an abundance of impressive and unforgettable vistas to enjoy in KwaZulu-Natal, one of South Africa’s richest destinations in terms of cultural and natural attractions.


 

PREFERRED PARTNERS

The Oyster Box Hotel
andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve
 

LIMPOPO-MPUMALANGA

Limpopo and Mpumalanga promise an escape to a magical landscape that is unspoiled and characterized by forested valleys and deep ravines, all leading to prestigious game reserves filled with an abundance of African wildlife. Step into a land of crystal streams and crashing waterfalls to view the Blyde River Canyon; this massive gorge, with its sheer ochre-colored cliffs, is regarded as one of Africa’s wonders. From the top of the canyon, looking into the crashing river below, you will find God’s Window and the Three Rondavels; along the way, visit the beautiful waterfalls of Bridal Veil, Lone Creek, Berlin, Lisbon, and the Mac Mac Falls. The area is rich in history, with the town of Pilgrim’s Rest, named for the late 19th century gold prospectors who struck it rich in the area.


 

Today, the village is an interesting destination offering a glimpse into living conditions of the time. These two provinces provide the setting for world-class game reserves, including the famous Kruger National Park, the wildlife hub of the area. Operating as a reserve since 1898, this superlative wildlife destination is surrounded by private game reserves including the Sabi Sand, Timbavati and Manyeleti Reserves. All offer luxury safari experiences, opulent accommodation, and decadent dining. Tour these private reserves with highly experienced guides and rangers in top-class open Land Rover vehicles or on bush walks to experience authentic and unspoiled Africa.


 

PREFERRED PARTNERS

Royal Malewane
Singita Lebombo Lodge
Singita Ebony Lodge
Singita Boulders Lodge
Ulusaba Cliff Lodge
Savanna Private Game Reserve
 

KALAHARI

The southern Kalahari and Northwest province are extremely popular destinations and located conveniently close to Johannesburg. Sun City Resort is hailed as South Africa’s mini-Las Vegas, and there are a multitude of activities and attractions to keep the entire family occupied – from golfing, gambling and Waterworld, to live entertainment and much more. Conveniently situated nearby is the Pilansberg Game Reserve which is home to the world’s third-largest white rhino population as well as the Big 5 and a celebrated wild-dog program. There are unique game viewing opportunities at Pilanesberg Game Reserve, including the magical hot-air balloon safaris. You will find one of South Africa’s largest game reserves, Madikwe, on the border of Botswana and just a three hour drive from Johannesburg.

 

Madikwe is a sustainable joint venture between the state, local communities, and the private sector, and is testimony to a truly enlightened conservation plan that preserves a unique wilderness area of the Kalahari thornveld, in a remote region of South Africa. Madikwe is not open to the general public and only visitors that are accommodated in one of the luxury lodges within the reserve can gain access to this rich and diverse safari destination. In the Southern Kalahari, walking safaris are on offer along with rhino monitoring and the opportunity for superlative stargazing and sleeping outdoors under the African sky. Track wildlife on foot at the malaria-free Tswalu Kalahari and immerse yourself in the magic of the African bush.

 

CLICK HERE TO START YOUR JOURNEY

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