Although Valentines Day dates back to the 5th century and is steeped in history and romance – let’s be honest, it has become quite commercial and over the top for want of a better description.
Yet again the 14th of February has creeped up on us. So why not… use it as a reminder to do something special with your loved one… get away from all the red and white chaos, and escape into the pristine African wilderness!
At Iconic Africa, we understand the need for spontaneity, romance and a little adventure so have crafted some special Valentines ideas for you– just in case you need some inspiration! There’s a little something for everyone… with four unique destinations that combine supreme luxury, complete privacy and opulent romance:
For a little Edwardian Passion: Ellerman House is the definition of modern sophisticated living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the marvels of Cape Town all around. The illustrious owner, Paul Harris, has spared no expense in ensuring this is a Relais&Chateaux haven of unparalleled luxury. Ellerman House boasts arguably Africa’s greatest art collection as well as a wine compilation which has been expertly selected over multitudes of decades so its perfect for wine fanatics and art aficionados alike. Cape Town’s endless sights, activities and beauty can keep you enthralled for months on end – however we know you will be hard fought to leave the luxurious confines of Ellerman House.
For some winelands majesty: La Residence is the jewel of Franschhoek – abject indulgence suspended in an impossibly beautiful valley of vineyards. Nestled in the vineyards and plum orchards of Franschhoek, La Residence is the most gorgeous boutique hotel in the most picturesque valley in South Africa. Liz Biden and her family have created a benchmark to luxury and comfort that will leave you gaping at the exquisite detail and love with which every furnishing, painting and sculpture has been selected. The hotel is infused with colour, fabulous antiques, vaulted ceilings from which Indian chandeliers twinkle and luxurious Persian Carpets while fresh flowers fill the magnificence with the sweet scent of contentment. The little village of Franchhoek – the undisputed culinary capital of South Africa has a distinctive café culture – probably from the French Huguenot settlers who arrived in the valley in that 17th century. They brought with them a culture of great wine and delicious food and that culture persists to this day through the more than 40 wine estates whose vineyards wash the valley floor in green.
For something a little more wild: Royal Malewane is impeccably tasteful grandeur surrounded by the majesty of the African wilderness. At Royal Malewane, the Biden’s Royal Portfolio has achieved perfection again. This time, on a private concession bordering the world-famous Kruger National Park, Liz Biden has conjured a marvel of wilderness romance and seclusion that blends seamlessly into this ancient land. Dinner is a gourmet affair of wholesome yet sophisticated splendour, either in the privacy of your suite or out in the wild, lit by the heart-melting romance of the star-sprayed sky and 100 lanterns suspended in an ancient Leadwood tree skeleton. Back at the lodge, the Royal Malewane Spa is a world-renowned and the ideal way to unwind with a uniquely healing African treatment. Royal Malewane’s guides and trackers are some of the most highly qualified in Southern Africa. They are an integral part of your safari experience because through them the wonders of the African wilderness will unfold in all their splendor.
For something a little royal: Royal Chundu is the ancient mystery and magic of the Zambezi in luxurious island seclusion. Royal Chundu is Zambia’s first Relais & Chateaux property – defined by sumptuous luxury that blends seamlessly into the private stretch of the Zambezi River Bank where Royal Chundu River and Island lodges nestle. Island Lodge is Royal Chundu’s romantic haven of seclusion. Set on a private island in the languid waters of the Zambezi, this lodge offers just four exclusive and indulgent villas. Each palatial haven boasts a private deck suspended over the river. The outdoor bath is a fantastic space to soak up the night sky while on cooler nights, keeping cosy in the plush lounge is an excellent option before retiring to your extravagant bed. A little down river from Royal Chundu, the Zambezi falls over the Victoria Falls to create one of the greatest demonstrations of nature’s power on planet earth. Stand in front of the falls on the Knife Edge Bridge as the thunderous spray of the world’s largest waterfall envelopes you. You can plunge into the gorge below on the end of a bungee rope, swing across or zip line it if you feel the need for an adrenalin rush. You might even take a leap of faith and dive into the Devil’s Pool – right on the edge of the falls – an experience to put life in perspective. Rounding off the day with a sunset cruise on the Zambezi is the ultimate way to experience the peace and contemplation of Africa’s magic and power.