Having visited South Africa several times, over the course of many years, both Gill and I were already converts to the Rainbow Nation, so we were eager to see what had changed over recent years. With so many new properties to visit, exciting excursions and tours to enjoy, plus new safari lodges to explore, we were seeking an even richer travel experience this time around. Our trip was a busy one and we were fortunate to visit several areas of this diverse country - we travelled from the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, taking in the nearby Cape Winelands, along the scenic Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay, then finally up to the gateway city of Johannesburg, with its connections to the famous safari game reserves.
By mixing the new city attractions with wildlife sightings and authentic cultural experiences, we were privileged to sample some of the best highlights available to travellers. From classic favourites, such as taking a cable car up Table Mountain in Cape Town, or an emotive boat trip to Robben Island, to hiking around Cape Hope's Lighthouse - we embraced them all. As with any city visit, part of this trip was to discover the latest restaurant openings, cuisine trends and popular culture trends - from design themes to cool street foods and organic produce - we aimed to see, taste and experience as much as possible! Our highlights were too many to mention, however we have collated a Top 10 in order to showcase the variety on offer throughout this colourful and eclectic country. With the Sterling exchange rate so favourable against the Rand, now is a perfect time to travel south and sample the finer things in life - good weather, superb cuisine, fine wines, scenic splendour and wonderful wildlife! What's more, you can afford to experience the best, in style too. Why not consider taking a scenic helicopter flight along the Cape coast, dine and indulge in a private wine cellar, savour the warm hospitality of a luxury safari lodge, or take an enlightening plus enriching tour of Soweto in Johannesburg? The possibilities and attractions are simply endless...
Our Top 10 Highlights:
1) Take an unforgettable tour of Robben Island and absorb the history
2) Admire the views, stylish décor and boutique appeal of 21 Nettleton
3) Dine at local favourites, Test Kitchen or The Pot Luck Club restaurants in Cape Town
4) Experience a sublime Spa Treatment at Leeu Estates, Franschhoek
5) Savour incredible wines, including local Pinotage, at Delaire Graff, Stellenbosch
6) Stay at a pretty Cape Dutch working farm and sample their deli treats at Babylonstoren
7) Try a tasting tour by bicycle, enjoy a wine tram tour, or take a horse-riding tour in the winelands - sampling local cheeses, olive oil or chocolate along the way
8) Spot rare Wild Dogs in Madikwe Game Reserve and dine under the stars in a traditional Boma
9) Be thrilled by 'Big Five' game viewing and enjoy warm hospitality at Makanyi Game Reserve
10) Be moved by a visit to the Apartheid Museum and take a cultural cycle tour of Soweto, before staying at the historic Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa
Whether you choose to visit South Africa during the popular summer season, or prefer to travel during the cooler winter months, which are ideal for game viewing, there are a plethora of attractions to savour and an abundance of unique experiences to add to your bucket list. It is a definitely a destination to remember!
In order to create your own luxury tailor-made journey to South Africa, please call our expert Travel Consultants on 01244 897 111. They will be pleased to advise on how you can also combine your visit to South Africa with a luxurious beach destination, such as Mozambique or Mauritius. Alternatively, you may wish to start your luxury holiday with a stay in the fantastical city of Dubai. For an inspiring combination of city and safari journeys, or a wonderful family adventure, please see our collection of Elegant Journeys.