- Cape Town, the Garden Route, Phinda and Sabi Sand game reserves, Johannesburg
- The hotels and lodges: true South African experiences
- The food in Cape Town, the Big Five at Kruger, Gandhi's Johannesburg home
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South Africa in Every Sense
Classic Hotels and Dream LodgesLocated at the point where the ocean and mountains meet, your hotel in Camps Bay, Cape Town, is a haven of cosy comfort. In Plettenberg, it's all about countryside equestrian chic. In Johannesburg, Satyagraha House is the perfect aesthetic expression of Gandhi's spirit. In the bush, both lodges are known for their exceptional level of service: the first one sits, hidden and intimate,among the brush, while the second has more of a classic safari vibe, open to the undulations of the savannah. What's not to love? Travel by hire car during the first part of your journey, giving you the freedom to explore. In the parks, take transfers and travel in specially-equipped vehicles, while flights will be arranged for long-haul connections. As part of your Cape Town itinerary, enjoy dinner at gourmet restaurant, Aubergine. Follow in Mandela's footsteps in Johannesburg, where you'll be accompanied by an expert guide and have another gourmet experience at Satyagraha House. Safaris in Phinda and Sabi Sand game reserves are also included. If you experience any issues or want to add something to your itinerary along the way, just get in touch with our our on-site Concierge who's always on hand with a wealth of local knowledge.
Flight to Cape Town
Welcome, transfer and four nights' accommodation in Camps Bay, between Table Mountain National Park and the ocean. Admire Africa in all its splendour, with views of the sea from one side of the hotel and the mountainous landscape of the Twelve Apostles on the other. The hotel's interior is cosy and glamorous, with a comfortably opulent vibe and decor to match. The colour scheme alone promotes a sense of well-being, featuring tones of white, ivory and blue. There's also a manicured garden, beautiful swimming pool and all the necessary utensils for a good braai – the classic South African barbecue. The main restaurant's dining room opens out onto the Atlantic, where the chef serves up generous portions of contemporary South African dishes, made with organic ingredients and inspired by both local and international cuisine. The bar also extends out onto a terrace that's perfect for whale watching. The spa has an holistic African approach, with the cosmetic products used meeting the same sustainable standards as everything else in the hotel. Bikes are available at reception, so guests can cycle to the beach just a short distance away.
Collect your hire car. The hotel isn't far from the City Bowl, Cape Town's historic centre. At the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the city's former port, you'll find a host of shops, restaurants and bars, as well as the Two Oceans Aquarium. From there, you can take the boat to Robben Island, the former leper colony, quarantine station and prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for nearly 20 years. In the old town, visit the Castle of Good Hope (17th century), City Hall (1905), the stunningly Art Deco-style Mutual Building (Fred Glennie, 1935), Long Street and the history museum (Old Slave Lodge, 1679). Take a trip to Bo-Kaap, too, formerly known as the Malay Quarter, and check out the area's small colourful houses – it's worth the detour. Nearby De Waterkant is equally interesting. Table Mountain is also within easy reach. The nearest beaches are located in False Bay (east of the peninsula), the Atlantic Seaboard (west) and West Coast, north of Cape Town. In the evening, experience the city's night-time charm and venture out into Camps Bay to soak up its trendy, cosmopolitan vibe. To the east of Cape Town, winemakers in Stellenbosch welcome visitors with a corkscrew in hand.
On the itinerary - Dinner at Aubergine restaurant. Residents in the suburb of Gardens know how to live, so it's no surprise that one of the best restaurants in town is located here. Stylish and light, the interior features cream tones, light wood and a good atmosphere. The food itself is bold, but real. The waiters are always on hand to offer advice, and are experts when it comes to pairing dishes with the perfect wine. Chose from the restaurant's expansive cellar, lined with some of the country's finest bottles.
Cape Town - George - Plettenberg
Return your hire car at Cape Town Airport, then fly to George. Pick up your new car and drive to Plettenberg. Stay for three nights at an elegant Dutch estate at the foot of the Tsitsikamma Mountains, in a spacious and stylish suite overlooking the pool. In the dining room, tables are set to perfection, chandeliers add a romantic touch and chef Leon Coetzee's brilliant culinary imagination serves up an array of beautiful dishes. The spa is excellent, too, and features a hammam, sauna, treatment and relaxation rooms, hot tub and dedicated therapists. The property's 1,730 acres are also an equestrian paradise, with excellent facilities offering trail riding and polo to novice and experienced riders alike. For those who don't fancy such equestrian pursuits, hiking, mountain biking, quad biking and tennis are also all on offer.
Known as the Garden Route, the southern hemisphere spring makes the coastal area east of Plettenberg from Mossel Bay to Tsitsikamma Park resemble a carpet of flowers, while the region's well-maintained farms and natural parks ensure exceptional landscapes all year round. Drive around the region and go hiking to explore the parks. Running alongside the Tsitsikamma coastline, one section of the Otter Trail hike is particularly stunning, with a beautiful white sand beach and lagoons that will pique anyone's interest in the outdoors. Experience life on the salty side in the small seaside resorts of Mossel Bay (Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex, Shell Museum), Knysna (primary forest) and Plettenberg (dolphins, southern right whales, fur seals, etc.) trying out the local seafood. In nearby Klein Karoo, visit the local farms and CP Nel Museum in Oudtshoorn, the world's ostrich capital, to learn all about ostrich farming.
Plettenberg - George - Phinda Private Game Reserve
Return your car to George Airport and fly to Richards Bay. Transfer to the Phinda Game Reserve. Stay for two nights in a forest lodge. These stilted bungalows feature floor to ceiling bay windows that open onto a forest of balanites maughamii, more commonly known as torchwood trees. The trees give the bungalows privacy and filter the light, while duiker and suni antelopes can also be spotted running between the trunks. The rooms feature a refined Zulu Zen style with local decorative touches, and the common areas are equally simple and comfortable. Meals are served either on a shaded terrace or in a traditional African boma, and the beautiful infinity pool is the ideal place to relax. The quality of service found in this corner of the bush is amazing.
On the itinerary - Safari. The sand forest is a significant part of Maputaland, but the reserve also features many open spaces and an abundance of wildlife. Cheetahs thrive there and are easy to spot, and both black and white rhinos are present in the area, too, as well as nyala antelopes (Tragelaphus angasii), who like to stay under cover. The males are grey in colour, with fine white stripes and strong, spiral-shaped horns, while the females, although graceful, are less visually striking. Observational outings (which take place in the early morning and again at the end of the day) are done on foot or in specially-equipped vehicles. The accompanying rangers are fluent in interpreting the surrounding wilderness, and there's always something exciting to be seen on the savannah.
Phinda - Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve
Flights to Sabi Sand, a private game reserve associated with Kruger National Park. Stay for three nights in a Transvaal twenties-style lodge. The layout has been updated to suit today's travellers, in particular the bathrooms, but the decor is still very much of the era. The rooms mirror this twenties-style atmosphere, and the common areas follow the same theme. Tables are set up at mealtimes in either the well-kept garden or the boma (enclosure), while afternoon tea is served on the veranda. Between outings, sit back and enjoy the hotel's elegant and relaxed atmosphere. There is also a good-sized pool, too, and the view of the park as you lift your head from the water and rest it on the edge is breathtaking.
On the itinerary - Safari. The lodge is located above the Sand River Valley, with the safari starting from the minute you look outside the window. After an early start, and with a cup of tea or coffee in hand, the rangers will decide your route. The area is known for its leopards, stealthy big cats that can be hard to spot, so hop on board and see what you can find. A lavish breakfast awaits on your return. During the day, take a stroll to discover the nearby wildlife. Swimming, croquet and tennis are all on the menu, too. The evening safari begins at sunset: see and hear spotted hyenas on the hunt, cross paths with a warthog and catch a glimpse of a civet. After dinner, end the day catching up around a roaring campfire.
Sabi Sands - Johannesburg
Transfer to Johannesburg. Overnight stay at Satyagraha House. Located in the suburb of Orchards, the house where Gandhi lived between 1908 and 1911 is now a museum dedicated to him, as well as a guesthouse based around the principles that inspired the future Mahatma's famous philosophy. The bright and simple rooms here (two of which face directly into the museum area) are comfortable without being extravagant, while the vegetarian cuisine on offer is tasty and fortifying. This historic Kraal designed by Hermann Kallenbach and the contemporary building by Rocco Bosman each pay tribute to the spirit of openness and peace that inspired one of the great political and humanitarian minds of the 20th century.
In the itinerary - An Africology massage is offered to guests upon arrival. Afterwards, head out to explore Mandela's Johannesburg with a private guide. Pass through Soweto, a township known for its role in the anti-apartheid struggle, now full of positive energy. See the Hector Pieterson Memorial here, in memory of a black schoolboy killed by the police in 1976 – the photo that Sam Nzima took of the event is as emblematic as that of the napalm girl Nick Ut took in Vietnam. Visit the Apartheid Museum. In the evening, enjoy a vegetarian dinner at the hotel.
Johannesburg - return flight
Transfer to the airport and return flight.
A la carte
South Africa in a Convertible
Majestic landscapes where the horizon stretches as far as the eye can see; narrow roads winding their way through the immaculate countryside; spectacular landscapes; well-maintained trails and beautiful weather: South Africa is the perfect place to go for a drive in a convertible, so put the top down and feel the wind in your hair.
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