A location with very few equals….nestling under a mountain that has become one of the icons of travel. One of the oldest colonial settlements on the continent has a style that has developed into a plethora of choice: from luxury waterfront hotels to cutting edge boutique chic or colonial splendour and afternoon teas. There is something for everyone here: dance 'till the early hours and be whale watching a few hours later; enjoy haute cuisine after a day’s diving with great white sharks; explore a great coastline from land or sea and then marvel at fascinating plant life at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens; travel by cable car to the top of Table Mountain and venture to the southern most tip of Africa where two oceans meet; swim with penguins and visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.... The options are endless and it is a city worthy of time for exploration and enjoyment.
A common misconception is that South Africa produces ‘New World’ wines, except that wines have been produced here for well over 300 years! In these sun-drenched valleys, located approximately an hours drive from Cape Town, are some of the finest vineyards and estates with classic Dutch-gabled manor houses where visitors can enjoy world class restaurants to compliment the fine wines, wonderful picnics under ancient oaks and an eclectic range of hostelries that range from modern designs to 300 year old inns. The winelands can be enjoyed on a day trip from Cape Town but we recommend a night or two in the area to get a real taste of the superb wines and gourmet cuisine on offer.
This region is an amazing mix of flora, fauna and the bounties of two oceans. In one day you can dive with a great white shark, walk through a field with more plant species that the entire UK, indulge in fresh line-caught fish and sip a dozen different fresh fruit juices. A wonderful array of places to stay are available that range from ultra-luxurious beach houses a few steps from mile-long beaches to family retreats, where kids will fall into a contented and exhausted slumber after long fun-filled days of new and inspiring adventures.
The Garden Route
Only a day’s drive or a short flight from Cape Town but a world apart! Explore ancient hardwood forests and the beautifully colourful flora, watch frolicking dolphins and ride an ostrich with eyes bigger than their brains! Stay in a colonial palace, on a luxurious golf estate, in a superb coastal resort or in a tree-top suite overlooking a forest. You can bathe in crystal clear forest streams, catch a train that runs along the coast or sip champagne and devour local oysters watching the sunset over the blue hills and placid lagoons.
The old colonial ‘frontier’ with names like Port Elizabeth, East London, Berlin, Hamburg and Fort Beaufort where now you visit ‘Big Five’ malaria-free game reserves; play golf on world class courses; ski the mountains in winter or surf some of the finest waves in the world off miles of unspoilt beaches in summer. Relax in stunning gabion-built lodges, colonial hotels with intricate wrought iron verandahs, remote mountain retreats or family beach resorts.
Locations range from lush subtropical forests, the highest coastal dunes in the world, wide sandy beaches, towering mountains, battlefields rich in history and game reserves teeming with game and birdlife. Catch fish with your hands during the ‘Sardine Season’, go white water rafting on a tractor tube, explore 10,000 year-old rock art sites, visit a bustling local market or spot game from your open vehicle. Accommodation choices abound in this diverse province with a plethora of boutique and intimate retreats, stylish hotels, lodges and family resorts.
The beating heart of South Africa, where 70 per cent of the population live, work and produce more than the rest of the entire subcontinent; where gold and diamonds are king; where the hustle and bustle of this vibrant modernity is contrasted with the Cradle of Mankind where man has lived for nearly 3½ million years. Visit raucous street markets, shop in huge centres equal to the best worldwide, enjoy cutting edge theatre, lively clubs and pubs and dine in stylish restaurants serving superb cuisine. Stay in chic modernist hotels or in properties that retain the colonial splendour of the old ‘Rand Barons’.
Home to Sun City with its man-made beach that is 400 miles from the sea, world class golf courses and casinos and entertainment complexes. Stay in hotels ranging from the sumptuous extravagance of the Palace of the Lost City to the laid back family Cabanas. An easy drive away is a malaria-free game reserve where sweeping plains and folding hills are home to the ‘Big Five’ and a multitude of plains game; where you can stay in a lodge where dining in the wine cellar with crystal and silver is de rigueur.
Land of the ‘Rain Queen’ - verdant forests, abundant fruit farms and the ‘great, grey-green and greasy’ Limpopo of Kipling’s yesteryear. An area where Macadamia Nougat is made with forest honey and you can stroll through an orchard heavy with the heady aromas of tropical fruit or participate in walking safaris where the dark history of Crooks Corner is contrasted with the biodiversity ‘hotspot’ of the northern sector of the Kruger National Park. Stay in wonderful country retreats, glass-fronted lodges perched on cliffs or family tents in riverine forests.
Home to the deepest green canyon in the world, the renowned Robbers Pass, the famous gold rush town of Pilgrim’s Rest and scenic wonders including the aptly named God’s Window. This escarpment is the southern end of the Great Rift Valley and abounds with old hunting lodges with trout fishing high in the valleys, to sensual forest hideaways and world class spas in opulent country hotels, which would reduce the most jaded of travellers to supine serenity.
Greater Kruger Area
This vast bushveld ranges for hundreds of miles and has probably the greatest diversity of wildlife and birdlife in Africa, from the mighty elephant to the tiny field mouse and over 500 species of birds. Luxurious accommodation options are plentiful and you can sleep under the Milky Way with down duvets and percale cotton high in a tree or under Ralph Lauren sheets in a suite with your own heated pool.