Our Favourite South African Hiking Trails

South Africa is a top safari and tourist destination for many reasons: the great weather, beautiful landscapes, plethora of activities and the breath-taking hiking trails for the avid hiker to the less enthusiastic walker who is simply looking for a great backdrop. 

Each one of South Africa’s trails beckons travellers with unimaginable vistas; from seaside mountain tops to in-land reserves and magical forest trails. At least one of these picturesque paths will satisfy even the most insatiable nature-enthusiast. 

Most safaris let you explore by vehicle or even horseback – but what better way than by foot. Brush up against rugged mountain or unspoiled wilderness on your next trip! We’ve put together our top 10 hiking trails with a little bit of ocean breeze, wildlife sightings and forest thickets for you here: 

Lions Head – One of the best places to see the sunrise and sunset. 

Hennops Trail Just 40 minutes from Johannesburg is the beautiful Hennops Trail that has streams along the way. There are two main hikes that takes you along hills with beautiful views. Cool off in the swimming pool after. 

Table Mountain’s Three Peaks – For the more avid, hard-core adventurists, this 9-hour hike will have you breaking a sweat. Starting at Devil’s Peak, move along the saddle up to Maclear’s Beacon, then down Kloof Corner to Lion’s Peak. If you aren’t scared of heights, then it’s hard to imagine a more exciting hike. 

Addo National Park – there are two hikes, one-day trails and a two-day hike along the coast. Both are beautiful and memorable. 

Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail – This coastal trail is a magical secret of the garden route. Cross various ridges and rivers and covers 64 kilometres before reaching Storms River Bridge.

The Otter Trail –  The Otter Trail is one of South Africa’s most famous hikes, and takes you through coastal forest, river crossings, and breathtaking viewpoints. Bookings open a year in advance – and sell out quickly. 

Hole in the Wall Hiking Trail – The Eastern Cape boasts a 31 kilometre distinctly memorable hiking experience that covers a combination of estuaries, mangrove swamps and seaside cliffs. The Wild Coast’s luxury trail can be completed over three days and is a bucket-list activity for all seaside lovers. 

Olifantsbos Shipwrecks hiking Trail – This is one of the Western Cape’s easier routes that cover a 5-kilometre distance. The short and sweet trail costs R110 and takes you through the Cape Point Nature Reserve.

Magiebaskloof Hiking Trail – This moderate trail is a beautiful way of seeing Limpopo’s ravines and sub-tropical forests. The full trail is almost 60 kilometres but shorter routes are optional. Forget the outside world under the canopy of trees and prepare for some light rain. 

Dolphin Hiking Trail – This easy 17 kilometre is another wonderful luxury three-night hike based on full board. It’s less daunting than the famous Otter Trail but still takes you to the Storms River Bridge and many other striking landmarks along the route. Perhaps you will even see some dolphins along the way. 

 

If you’ve undertaken one of these trails, or dream of trying one soon – we hope this helps you with your hiking bucket list.

Property of the Month – One&Only Cape Town

In the heart of Cape Town, minutes away from the bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, lies an oasis; a vibrant and sophisticated resort with unprecedented luxury. The hotel resembles an amphitheatre, surrounded and shaped by palm trees and romantic lighting.  

This is The One & Only Cape Town – a five-star escape that overlooks the mariner and offers panoramic views of Table Mountain. 

The name certainly speaks for itself as it really and truly is a wonder to behold. From The Bahamas to the Maldives the illustrious One & Only brand has taken the world by storm. With only the most impressive properties in the world’s most supreme locations, these exclusive resorts have one goal in mind to ensure that you, their prized guest “Live the Moment.” Each resort is individually designed and crafted to represent the distinctive life, energy and culture of its location.

Luxuriously Living the Cape

The One & Only Cape Town certainly ticks all of these boxes. Driving up to the ritzy, crescent-shaped palace with its fountains, columns, and grand entrance you certainly feel as though you have arrived into the lap of luxury and are in for some real spoiling! The high ceilings, massive glass frontages and never-ending Vista Lounge create the aura that this is your own little opulent savannah. 

Whether you are reclining on the fulsome armchairs, on the deck under the palms watching the stand-up paddleboards go by or relaxing at the infinity pool, there is no doubt that you will be in a very happy place! The One & Only is engineered for unprecedented luxury which will literally rejuvenate your soul from the moment you arrive.

Luxurious Suites

All 91 rooms have en suite bathrooms and private balconies with breath-taking views of the glorious Table Mountain. All are designed with chic African colours and contemporary patterns that represent the distinctive Cape landscape, are generous with space and filled with plush furnishings. Complete with every amenity you could possibly need as well as your very own 24-hour butler on standby, you will want for nothing. Treat yourself to an over-sized bubble bath with aromatherapy oils, or refreshing rain shower before ordering a private dinner and dine with the mid-blowing view on your balcony. Your dinner, inclusive of candles, flowers and music all organised by your expert butler will provide the finest romantic setting.

One and Only Cuisine

Five-star dining is also available downstairs and making a choice between the two amazing restaurants will be the most difficult decision you make during your stay. On the one hand, there is Reuben’s, run by South African Celebrity Chef Reuben Riffel, a bistro/brasserie that showcases some brilliant local flagship dishes. 

On the other hand, there is Nobu, a completely different yet equally as astonishing experience. World Class chef Nobuyuki ‘Nobu’ Matsuhisa’s empire will wow you with traditional Japanese-styled cuisine. With the occasional South African spice or flavour, the dishes will no doubt take you on an epic culinary journey. 

Don’t forget to take a visit up to the wine-loft after your dinner to take in the city lights and sample some of the region’s most prestigious vintages.

Recharge at the World-class spa

The perfect place for families and couples, everyone will find themselves drawn to the private island situated in the centre of the amphitheatre. Here you will find serenity in the middle of a busy city centre at the One & Only Spa, surrounded by water and lush vegetation. Book a massage, treatment or signature experience unique to the One & Only Spa. 

For more information about incorporating Cape Town into your safari itinerary, click here.

Tour of the Month – Safari and Island Retreat

This month’s tour of the month is the pinnacle of African luxury safaris. Submerge yourself in the binary of Cape Town’s city life with luxurious relaxation and a hive of activity; tick off a majestic wilderness experience from your bucket list, and then surrender yourself to the seaside simplicity as you spend your last days finding peace and serenity on a tropical island. 

The Safari and Island retreat is a wonderful way to experience the highlights of Southern Africa, from the bustling city adjacent to the Atlantic to Africa’s unprecedented wildlife in Londolozi and the hues of blue at Benguerra – all in ultimate comfort and luxury. 

 Cape Cadogan nestled on the northern slopes of Table Mountain offers a perfect base from which to explore the awesome beaches, gastronomy and viticulture of the Cape. 

In between seaside splendour, Londolozi Private Granite Suites offer you discerning and opulent hospitality combined with the world’s best leopard viewing. 

Azura Benguerra, in the cobalt warm waters of the Indian Ocean, offers a new level of fresh sophistication, seclusion and serenity on pristine beaches and unspoilt reefs.

Itinerary:

Cape Cadogan is a 19th century Georgian and Victorian mansion in the leafy suburbs of Table Mountain. The More family’s luxury home away from home, an island of serenity in a city of splendour. The interiors are Bohemian chic with an emphasis on creating an informal atmosphere of sumptuous relaxation. Cape Town is filled with interesting cafés and fantastic restaurants and beautiful beaches to explore.

Londolozi is a family-owned and run lodge at the forefront of luxury safaris and pioneer of ecotourism in South Africa. The three suites in this haven of primal seclusion and contemporary luxury are nestled into the boulders on the banks of the tranquil Sand River. The superbly chic and sumptuous suites are surrounded with glass with expansive private decks and large heated private pools. The culinary experience at Londolozi is one you will not forget – from your morning coffee to your starlit dinner and everything in between. Londolozi boasts some of the world’s best leopard viewing.

Azura Benguerra Island is an eco-friendly, locally built tropical island paradise. The 17 hand-built villas are steps from one of the last stretches of undiscovered beach in the world. Each secluded, spacious haven is nestled in lush gardens with a secluded deck, private pool, beach sala and private access to the balmy Indian Ocean. The food is simple, sophisticated, scrumptious and locally sourced from the ocean and gardens. Benguerra offers you the chance to do to as much or as little as you like – whether it’s a romantic picnic, snorkelling or game fishing there is something for everyone and lots of exquisite sea life to be seen.

For more information about this tour, contact one of our team members here.

A South African Braai – Explained

The 24th of September was Heritage Day! Last month saw locals celebrating their heritage, culture and diversity and this nation-building tool definitely involved scrumptious traditions such as a good old “lekker braai.”

If you’re heading to South Africa on safari this is definitely something to add to your bucket list. As South Africans, we find any opportunity and occasion to get together as friends and family and have a braai (also known as a barbecue.). This is a social time when we sit back, relax and indulge in some of the country’s meat cooked to perfection on a hot flame. 

What is a braai?

A traditional method of cooking/roasting marinated meat or chicken over a grid on a wood fire. 

Wherever you go on safari in South Africa there will definitely be an outdoor boma and a safari braai. The boma symbolises an outdoor retreat, where guests gather to socialise, find warmth, eat good food and promises a really great time for all!

Whether it’s a mobile lunch or a sunset dinner, your camp will lead you to the bush braai site where they will prepare on display your magnificent flame-grilled meal. Enjoy a drink while your meat gets cooked to your satisfaction in front of you and bask in the fire’s warmth as you wait. Sit back, relax and listen for passing wildlife or to the rangers unmatched stories of their experiences in the bush. 

With a picturesque sunset in front of you, a G&T in hand, the calls of the wild surrounding you and a delicious African feast in front of you, … need we say more – there’s no place you’d rather be. 

How to make your own braai

If you’re sitting at home and aren’t able to visit us just yet you can still have a braai of your own! Here’s how:

Decide if you want to make a wood or charcoal fire, or braai on a gas griller. This will determine the taste of your meat. 

If you decide on a wood braai, the more wood, the better. The type of wood you choose will determine how long it will burn and adding/using coal will add a nice flavour. 

Use firelighter in between the logs to get the fire started. Make sure the smaller pieces of wood are at the bottom and the larger pieces on top. 

When you have decided that your fire is not too hot and will last you long enough to cook all of the meat, place the first meat onto the grid. 

Sausage (Boerewors) can be added on full heat and will cook quickly and is the perfect starter for those hungry guests who have been waiting.

Chicken is more difficult to braai as it takes the longest to cook properly and less heat is needed. 

Once the chicken is halfway done you can add your chops. This way, all the meat will be done at the same time and everyone can eat together. 

Don’t forget the garlic bread, salads and baked beans make the perfect side dishes. 

We hope you are looking forward to your next safari braai. 

Why Choose Africa 

“I hope you have an experience that alters the course of your life because, after Africa, nothing has ever been the same” – Suzanne Evans.

Africa receives millions of travellers each year – most of whom come to visit the variety of beaches, mountainside escapes and safari lodges and camps.  Experience everything from cultural immersion, history and enjoy a variety of wildlife at your fingertips. Let us share with you – why we have come to love the continent as much as we do. 

Africa has a special safari destination for every occasion, family size and travel needs. The continent is selected for the exceptional Big Five game viewing, year-round good weather, spectacular birding opportunities, family-friendly and malaria-free safari accommodations, romantic retreats, award-winning chefs, breath-taking sunsets, and unprecedented sceneries. Find luxury, opulence and extravagance in the great outdoors. 

Africa’s expanse and extremely diverse terrains, climate and wildlife can make deciding on a country a tedious task. You may want a view of Mount Kilimanjaro from your lodge or to climb the famous Table Mountain. The continent has been blessed with so many cultures, community projects and great service that contribute to truly wholesome travel – from the Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania to the San and Shona in the Kalahari and Zimbabwe. Experience modernity and rustic authenticity simultaneously in Africa’s pristine wilderness whilst returning to your luxury suites each night. Whether it is in the Kruger National Park, South Luangwa National Park or the Serengeti – you will stay mesmerised.

You can experience the best of everything, from nature’s wonders; getting up close and personal with some of Africa’s fiercest game accompanied by world-class guides; adventure activities; photography opportunities; artwork and museums and shopping!

We have put together a list of African safari destinations with the highlights from each to help you with your complex travel choices:

  1.     South Africa
  • Explore the beautiful Winelands of the Western Cape where you will find luxurious chateaux, local wines and exceptional views. 
  • Enjoy the beaches, mountains and city-life of Cape Town. The Mother City boasts beautiful architecture with a thriving night-life and an abundance of activities. 
  • Escape to the quiet of the Kruger National Park and enjoy some quality time with the Big Five.
  • Visit the rugged terrains of the Kalahari

  1.     Botswan
  • An untouched wilderness with incredible wildlife sightings. 
  • Cruise along the Chobe River and come face-to-face with the largest concentration of elephant and other predators. 
  • Diverse landscape from the Kalahari to the Okavango Delta. 
  • Selinda Game Reserve is an opportunity to awaken all your senses with the sceneries and wildlife. 
  • Spend some time in the Kalahari where time stands still 

  1.     Kenya
  • The place where safari originated. 
  • An abundance of wildlife. 
  • Visit the Masai Mara and experience a Maasai village. 
  • Experience the Great Wildebeest Migration. 

  1.     Tanzania
  • Explore the unfathomable magic of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater 
  • Bordering Kenya, Tanzania has a plethora of wildlife 
  • The Serengeti is one of the world’s most famous wilderness areas. 
  • Wonder off the beaten track to a more quiet safari location such as Tarangire National Park 
  • A high density of wildlife throughout the year
  • Choose between a variety of locations from forests to savannahs, beaches or volcanic areas such as Ngorongoro Crater. Even the weather can alter drastically, from snow-capped peaks to lush tropical mountainsides. 

  1.     Zambia
  • Birthplace of the walking safari. 
  • Experience the thrill and views of sitting in Devil’s Pools
  • An alternate and exceptional view of Victoria Falls
  • Great fauna and flora in 20 national parks, our favourites being Liuwa Plain, Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa for its dense leopard population. 

  1.     Rwanda 
  • The beautiful forests are magical and encompass a fairytale setting for outstanding wildlife with exceptional surrounding accommodations. It is the ultimate jungle escape – see Silverback Gorillas and trek through the dense mountainside.
  • Rwanda is home to numerous monkey species.
  • Explore the hilly landscapes and see volcanoes for the first time.   

                                    

  1.     Zimbabwe
  • The most tranquil setting for luxury and adventure. 
  • Explore the Zambezi River by boat cruise and watch a masterpiece sunset. 
  • Stand before the most breath-taking Natural Wonder – Mose-oa-Tunya – The Smoke That Thunders 
  • Thrill-seeking activities such as white river rafting, bungee jumping and many more.

  1.     Mozambique
  • The perfect beach escape for couples and families. 
  • Luxury hideaways that exude romance
  • Pristine beaches with silky white sand 
  • Enjoy snorkelling, diving, fishing or simply relaxing with a book
  • Find an amalgamation of flavours and cultures 
  • Find amazing marine life at Azura Benguerra and Azura Quilalea such as turtles, tropical fish, eels, dolphins and rays, maybe even a pod of Southern Right whales.  

Need we say any more? 

 

         

 

Tour of the Month – Africa’s Luxury Safari Classic

This month’s tour of the month is without doubt one of our greatest African experiences. It’s three of our most unique experiences combined into one rich and colourful journey. Immerse yourself in the Cape’s most tranquil sea-side setting, witness the gloriousness of the mighty Victoria Falls set on the doorstep of one of the continents best-kept secrets, and enter a world of heart-warming experiences that you’ll never forget!

In Africa’s Luxury Safari Classic, Iconic Africa hand picks the quintessential essence of luxury southern Africa – the boutique opulence, the Out of Africa safari experience and the adventure of legend. The Cape Grace – in the heart of the world’s most beautiful city – is bountiful comfort while the city has natural beauty, gastronomic delight and heart-wrenching history in abundance. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is sumptuous safari in the world-famous greater Kruger National Park. The Royal Livingstone Hotel, on the banks of the mighty Zambezi, in the spray of the Victoria Falls is a luxurious launching pad for the natural spectacles and adventures of the falls. Click here for full interactive itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1-3: A Sea Side Affair

Cape Grace is in the ideal position for you to enjoy all the enchantments of the Mother City including the harbour, yacht basin and Table Mountain. The Cape Grace offers various choices of expansive, luxurious suites and rooms to suit all needs. You are guaranteed to the ultimate opulence – from the African Spa that offers a full suite of beauty and massage treatments, a gym and a hair salon. Suites boast endless panoramic views of the marina, mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.

Accommodation: Cape Grace

Day 3-6: Sumptuous Safari

Lion Sands Ivory Camp is the More family’s showpiece of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Here you will find complete intimacy, exquisite comfort and primal joy in the heart of South Africa’s most abundant safari destination. There are only six glorious suites at Ivory – each a spacious testament to luxury, African beauty and natural tranquillity. The enormous bedroom, bathroom and inviting lounge with fireplace, look out onto your private deck with plunge pool.

From an open safari vehicle, your highly-trained ranger and tracker team will show you the primal wonders of the Kruger.

Why not try the luxurious tree house suite – surrounded by golden lantern light and the calls of distant lions under the canopy of the Milky Way.

Accommodation: Ivory Lodge

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

Day 7-9: Touched By the Healing Spray

The Royal Livingstone Hotel is situated in the heart of the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls. It radiates Victorian elegance and local charm. The luxurious Afro-chic rooms are generous spaces each with their own secluded terrace and view over the mighty Zambezi. Try from a list of endless adventures and activities, or simply explore. You will experience one of the best sundowner spots at the Royal Livingstone Hotel – as dusk turns the falls’ mist a golden pink.

Accommodation:The Royal Livingstone Hotel

For more on this tour or some of the others that we offer click here now.

Why Tailor-made Luxury African Safaris are the Way to Go

Iconic Africa specialises in bespoke African safaris, custom designed for the discerning traveller. We love  what we do; have loads of knowledge, and have been lucky enough to visit and experience most of our destinations themselves, and… have long standing relationships with many of the lodge owners.

Here’s why we think that choosing a tailor-made safari is definitely the best choice for your African adventure.

  1. Discover Africa’s Most Sought-After Destinations

Browse our destinations to explore everything Africa has to offer. There are countless amazing experiences to enjoy, so take your time.

We are here to help. Once you have an idea of what you would like to experience in Africa let one of our African travel experts guide you according to your preferences and budget. It is never too soon to contact us.

2. Relax & Let Us Do The Rest

Our team will design a luxury itinerary specifically for you, complete with accommodation, activities and travel designed specifically around your very own needs.  We will make sure you have a trip you will remember forever.

So relax, take a deep breath and imagine yourself basking in the hot African sun, sipping a cold cocktail and marvelling at the majestic wildlife we are so privileged to enjoy on the extraordinary continent we call Africa. We will take care of the rest!

Here are just a few more benefits of tailor-made safari…

3. Experience unique and luxurious safari moments.

4. Celebrate the incredible cultures, hospitality, food and wine.

5. Explore uncharted territories with private guides.

6. Choose and plan around specific activities you are interested in

7. See Africa’s breath-taking Natural Wonders of the World in luxury

Giraffe Manor Colonial Luxury Courtyard Aerial

8. Choose between fast-paced adventure destinations and slow safaris

9. Enjoy personalised tours and trips that gets you face-to-face with all the action.

Tailor-made safaris can/may include all flights, transfers and private guides, accommodation, breakfast, all meals on a full board basis, complimentary transfers, wireless internet access, morning tea and coffee with wake up calls, use of spa areas and fitness studio, game drives, walking safaris, private tours and many additional complimentary experiences.

Our consultants will be sure to explain this all to you depending on the trip they have planned for you but these are many of the additional services that are provided. For more info on planning your ultimate tailor-made safari getaway click here. 

 

 

Ellerman House & Tswalu Combo Special

Don’t miss out on this incredible special from two of our most luxurious, out-of-this-world destinations. 3 nights in the stunning Cape and 3 in the Kalahari wilderness for the price of 4.

From the most representative South African art collection in existence at Ellerman House, to the newly renovated Motse camp at Tswalu, we invite your guests to an experience that includes Cape Town’s most exclusive address, with the exuberant, soulful beauty of the southern Kalahari.

From the 1stJuly to 30thNovember 2019, Ellerman House and Tswalu are offering guests the opportunity to enjoy 3 memorable nights at each property and only pay for 4.

Ellerman House

Built in 1906, Ellerman House was the very first house in Bantry Bay and thus holds prime position on the mountainside. Surrounded by rich wooden panelling, soft lush carpets, spectacular lighting and bursting with incredible local masterpieces the interior has all the trappings of the definitive luxury. The hotel itself is the pinnacle of indulgence. The beautiful rolling grass terraces of which there are 3 will provide the best position to relax with a cocktail and take in the breath-taking African sun set over the sea or watch the whales coming into the bay. Last but certainly not least the rooms themselves guarantee luxury at its highest and with eleven rooms, two suites and two 3-bedroom villas there is something for everyone.

The Motse

Most of the staff at Motse have been there for over 15 years and so know just how to make your experience just that much more special. Whether it’s by making a glorious fire for you in your room, treating you to an unforgettable massage or treating you to the exclusive “Mocha-choca-rula” on your early morning game drive they will do just this. They take great pride in their work and in sharing their love for the Kalahari with their guests.

Make sure you go on at least one day’s horse safari, ask for a “Dune Dinner” (a special culinary treat in the middle of the bushveld) or for a night’s stay at the Malori Star-Bed the exclusive, private suite that lets you sleep under the stars!

Book:

  • 3 nights at Ellerman House (Deluxe room category or higher) and only pay for 2
  • 3 nights at Tswalu Kalahari (The Motse) and only pay for 2

Terms and Conditions:

Valid for 1 July – 30 November 2019

Book a six night combination at Tswalu and Ellerman House (Deluxe room category or higher – 3 nights at each property, consecutively).

All standard inclusions apply to both properties.

Valid for new reservations and cannot be applied to existing bookings – please quote promotion at time of booking.

Properties reserve the right to limit number of rooms available and/or discontinue when deemed necessary.

Rates are commissionable and STO Rates apply.

Cannot be combined with other Ellerman House or Tswalu promotions.

For more contact us here. 

In Pictures: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa – Cape Town

The Twelve Apostles is perfectly nestled into the mountainside on one of Cape Town’s most breath-taking coastal routes. This majestic Cape Dutch masterpiece is ideal for all big celebrations from your honeymoon to wedding anniversary or a romantic getaway! Set on a charming location where luxury meets mountain, sky and sea, this 5-star accommodation is close enough to all your city needs and far enough away that you feel like you’re on vacation.

 

There are no words to describe the sensual treat you are in for.Whether you are inside or out you will be immersed in a world of fantastic aromas, splash of colour and grand opulence. Sit on the deck with a cocktail in hand and overlook the full expanse of the Atlantic Ocean in front of you; be sure to take it all in.

Luxury hotel accommodation

Situated in four secluded wings, the sumptuous suites (55 Deluxe and 15 Luxurious) are specifically designed to ensure maximum appreciation of the views and so all are equipped with expansive windows and over-sized luxurious bedsteads looking out. The Lion’s Head Wing boasts paramount views, a combination of mountain and ocean, and most definitely our favourite! Steeped in pride, the interior style is elegant and exquisite with bespoke arrangements and characters per suite. Immediately, they invite you to unpack, to immerse yourself and to relax; be it in your large free-standing tub, amongst the softness that is your deluxe duvet or on your balcony, feet up and taking in the fresh sea air.

 

Africa’s superior Spa

The award-winning spa is literally hidden into the mountainside. Here exists this magical, underground wonderland. The experience will have you instantaneously at peace with the world. Freshly pampered, take a wander to the private cinema and enjoy an old classic completely at your leisure. Or why not go for a hike on one of the nature trails and encounter the fabulous fynbos plants. The hotel will even pack you a special picnic for your adventure!

Here are our favourite pictures that perfectly convey the grandeur of this breath-taking hotel:

 

For more – click here.

Five things to do in Cape Town This Winter

The best time to visit safari Africa depends on what you want to do and see. Most countries’ peak travel season depends on the rainfall and wildlife. If you are planning on visiting South Africa – book some time in the Kruger National Park. The best time to visit is during the dry winter months (April to September). During this time, it is also Cape Town’s slow season (May – August) that brings along some light rain. The best part about visiting Cape Town on your safari trip is that you can come at any time of the year and see so much. While most people head to South Africa for the exceptional wildlife, you can also do some wonderful sightseeing without the long queues and crowds during the U.S. and UK summer.

Cape Town should be on everyone’s travel bucket-list with such iconic attractions. Here are our top five things you can add to your itinerary for a memorable time in the Mother City this winter:

Whale Watching in Hermanus

Plan to include a relaxing stay at Birkenhead House in Hermanus and spend some time spotting some Southern Right Whales in their breeding grounds during the winter months until November. The whales can sometimes get close enough to spray you from their blowhole.

Visit the Winelands

June is the ideal time to visit Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to see the harvest and even taste spectacular local wines and cheese. The sceneries are truly something to behold! Enjoy scrumptious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in front of the fire and overnight at one of these beautiful destinations. Enquire about a private cellar tour or simply bask in the luscious grounds and mountains surrounding you.

Spend Time in the Kruger National Park

The inland areas are dry during the winter months making vegetation sparse. This is perfect conditions for safari as the animals are easier to spot since they cannot hide amongst the thick, long grass. Your view is likely to be obstructed from the vehicle and the fewer waterholes means that animals will congregate in large numbers – making for exceptional photographs. There is lots of wildlife activity and your chances of spotting all your favourite animals are excellent.

Table Mountain

Take advantage of the short queues and take a cable-car ride up the iconic Table Mountain with 360 degree views. Or for those more adventurous, summit this majestic mountain by foot on one of many hiking paths.

First Thursdays

If you want to take it easy after an exhilarating safari experience and you happen to be in town on the first Thursday of the month – experience Cape Town’s arts and culture scene with dozens of art galleries and cultural events open to the public. The aim is to showcase local artists that you can experience at your own leisure.

Capture Beautiful Photographs at Cape Point

Winter brings with it epic photo opportunities in the Cape. Head down to Cape Point where the two seas meet and see how the clouds, rain, and clear skies come together in a single hour to bring the natural scenery to life and create beautiful backdrops. Spend the day here admiring the fauna and flora and be mesmerised by the towering cliffs that rise from the sea.

Cape Town certainly has something to bring everyone out of hibernation. Whether you’re starting or ending your safari journey in Cape Town, there is a whole world of coffee shops, restaurants and jazz shows waiting for you.

For more on the wonders that await you in the Cape – contact us now. 

 

6 Different Ways to Experience the Bush

Most people list an African safari as a top bucket-list activity. For those of you who have already been, you’ll know how addictive it is. For our first-timers, here are a few secrets to seeing some amazing wildlife and getting the most fun out of your trip…

While some travellers are privileged to see almost everything on their first safari – from the Big Five to wild dogs, birds and marine life, others may only spot a handful of wildlife. But that’s okay! A safari can be more than sitting at the back of an open 4×4 vehicle, walking alongside a guide or looking down from a hot air balloon.

Here are six incredible activities to add to your itinerary to maximize your time in the bush. Take your time, enjoy the excursion and take in the scenery for an experience of a lifetime.

  1. Horse riding

This is an incredible opportunity to experience nature and a very unique way of going on safari! Some lodges in Africa let you ride in the wild even if you are a complete novice. The more seasoned rider can choose from further options, like riding alongside an elegant giraffe or carefully walking with an elephant.

  1. Stargazing

Far away from any light pollution, the stargazing in Africa is phenomenal! It is as if the sky was made for the sole purpose of displaying the stars’ beauty. While you lie back and focus on absorbing all the sounds and calls of the animals and birds; your guide will take you on an astrological journey through the universe.

  1. Camel safari

A camel safari is almost like being on horseback, but you have a slightly more elevated view and the ride is a bit quieter thanks to the extra padding in camels’ feet. Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya all offer camel safaris, as an additional activity or solely as your mode of transport on a mobile safari. Kenya is by far the best place to do this!

  1. Canoeing

Canoeing can be done as a single activity or as part of a trail where you canoe between campsites for 3–7 days. Among the more popular canoe trails is the 4-day Selinda Canoe Trail in Botswana. You can expect to see an array of birdlife, as well as larger animals like hippos and elephants.

  1. Hides

Zimbabwe has some of the best hides in Africa and a large elephant population that is reliant on the pumped waterholes making this an incredible experience. There is nothing quite like being at arm’s length from a herd of elephants simply going about their routine, drinking and splashing in the waterhole. If this is on your bucket-list, check with your safari specialist whether the lodges you are going to stay at offer this activity.

Lions Sands Sabi Sands Luxury Safari Leopard

  1. Fishing

Africa plays host to some of the most fearsome freshwater fish species in the world such as the tigerfish. The waterways of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana offer your best chance of coming face to face with it. The coasts of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique also offer some of the most productive saltwater fishing in the world!

We hope you return to tick off more wildlife sightings and safari experiences. Keep notes of everything you see, so that you can keep track of which animals you have seen and properly identify them in your pictures. It will also help you with you ‘must-see’ list for your next trip.

 

Golfing in South Africa on Your Next Safari

Longstanding as a top safari destination, South Africa boasts exceptional weather and offers magnificent golf courses set in beautiful scenery, doubling it as a golfer’s paradise.  South Africa gives travellers the gift of options – incorporating a golf tour into any well-deserved holiday, romantic trip or family vacation.

Choose from the breath-taking Cape Town or the City of Gold – the perfect start with brilliant shopping for the non-golfers. Or perhaps the appeal of a seaside setting will lure travellers to the Garden Route or for another life-changing bush experience to the world-famous Kruger National Park. Those familiar with South Africa will understand the phenomenal natural beauty of the surroundings that will form the backdrop for your next tee-off.

 

Here are our top three reasons to add golf to your next safari:

Wide Variety of Championship Courses

South Africa is home to more than 500 golf courses – many of which are championship courses. A lot of South African gold courses have been designed by international designers or have the patriotic stamp of resident golfing legends.

Spectacular Settings

South Africa is one of the top countries with many diverse golf course settings. You can tee off inland or near the sea; from a clifftop at Pinnacle Point; or within view of some big game near or in the Kruger National Park, where it is common for wildlife to wander onto the course.

Additional Activities

While your vacation may focus on having an exceptional golfing experience, you will still be able to incorporate traditional highlights such as a Big Five safari or visiting world-renowned tourist attractions, ensuring your visit to South Africa is unforgettable.

Here are our top four golf destinations in South Africa:

Cape Town

The Western Cape is blessed with magnificent mountain ranges and bordered by coastal settings. This creates picturesque sceneries for impeccably maintained courses such as Erinvale Golf Club in Somerset West and Steenberg Golf Club near the Tokai Forest designed by golf-legends, Gary Player and Peter Matkovich.

While you’re in Cape Town, you can stay at one of our beautiful city residences or countryside homes-away-from-home.

Garden Route

The Garden Route offers a distinct climate specific to that area. Combine moderate temperatures with the surrounding greenery and golden beaches and you have yourself a bucket-list destination! This area has a number of beautiful golf courses and at least four of the top ten golf courses in South Africa are located here. Two of our favourite courses include Fancourt and Pezula. The area also offers a treasure of other fun activities for non-golfers and families.

Gauteng

While not as scenic as other parts of South Africa, Gauteng does offer exceptional quality golf courses. Some of the top courses in Gauteng have hosted various competitions, including the South African Open and the PGA Championship. Try a round of golf at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

Distance from Johannesburg to the Kruger National Park: +- 4 hours by vehicle.

Kruger Park

The Kruger National Park has a range of pristine golf courses bordering the park or nearby in the Lowveld region. This is one of the only areas in South Africa where golf is best enjoyed during the dry autumn and winter months. Often ranked as South Africa’s best golf course, Leopard Creek should be on top of your golfing to-do list.

Here are is a list of our top accommodation in the Kruger National Park.

Add a round of golf – or two – to the itinerary on your next South African vacation. South Africa is the perfect family getaway and your golfing experience will be enriched by the possibility of combining it with the ultimate luxury safari. In between rounds of golf, see the legendary Big Five, do a Cape Winelands wine tour or simply relax on the beach.

 

 

Birkenhead House – In Pictures

Ninety minutes from Cape Town awaits another Liz Biden masterpiece. No trip to the Mother City is complete without a visit to one of the Cape’s treasures, the coastal town of Hermanus. Hermanus offers beauty, history and charm, with authentic African markets, unusual boutiques, galleries and the Old Harbour Museum. The exceptional Birkenhead House is right on top of the reasons to visit and stay in this dreamy seaside village. Stroll on the cliff-top walkways and breathe in the soothing Indian Ocean air while the whales frolic in the bay below and the gulls swoop on the updrafts.

If you want to live like royalty with the comforts of home, this property immediately comes to mind.

This home-away-from-home is perched on a cliff overlooking magnificent Walker Bay. The bay is fringed with pristine white sand beaches and secluded coves while in the water surfers carve the waves and, for several months of the year, hundreds of southern right whales call the waters of the bay home.

Birkenhead House offers 11 individually appointed suites of sumptuous grandeur, lounges of sophisticated home living, a double-level pool, sheltered courtyards and a spa with its breath-taking sea view!  The 11 suites are all individually appointed with exquisite combinations of furniture and art. The bedrooms are fitted with pieces ranging from antique four-poster king and queen size beds, to glamourous red armchairs, original paintings, gilded headboards, leather desks and even a two-seater love couch. Every suite has a panoramic view of Walker Bay, the whales breaching out to sea, or the epic mountains of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve – and sometimes both. The large bathrooms boast freestanding Victorian baths, sunken marble tubs, spacious vanity areas and elegant showers.

This is the very designation of luxury at the tip of the continent, where awe-inspiring nature, gourmet Cape cuisine; exceptional service and ultimate indulgence meet in glorious harmony on the edge of Africa.

And where else will you find gourmet meals that look as beautiful as your hotel?

Meals are a gourmet fusion of African, Cape and French cuisine with touches of Asia and Italy. There is an emphasis on fresh local seafood – crayfish, mussels, red roman and Kabeljou are some of the delicious regular features. Hearty and exotic soups are a comfort and delight – especially in the winter. The Birkenhead chef’s enchantments can be enjoyed in the seclusion of your suite, in a sheltered spot on the manicured grounds overlooking the sea or in the opulent glass-fronted dining room with the ocean stretching to the horizon.

Every detail of your stay at Birkenhead House is beautiful and tastefully done – in more ways than one. Here are our top pictures to get your taste buds watering:

 

Where to Safari – East or Southern Africa?

The idea of a safari was conceived in East Africa, but soon reached Southern Africa where luxury safaris became popular. Today both parts of the continent offer state-of-the-art designed lodges and camps, unparalleled game viewing and bucket-list worthy activities. But with so many countries to choose from, it’s not surprising that one would find it difficult deciding where to go – especially if it’s your first safari. Here’s what makes each region a unique and memorable safari destination:

East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda

East Africa is synonymous with the incomparable Mara-Serengeti triangle and the indigenous ecosystems that fall part of these areas. If you want to experience the seasonal Great Migration between Kenya and Tanzania, then an East Africa safari should be right on top of your travel-list! The seasonal rain patterns are nothing short of awe-inspiring, supporting over a million wildebeest and other game. East Africa, like other parts of the continent, boasts diverse habitats from lush, green forests to aquatic bodies that see large flocks of flamingos, baobab forests, and gorilla families. Not forgetting Mount Kilimanjaro and the famous Ngorongoro Crater where you will find incredible lodges that offer panoramic views. East Africa has many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks with vehicle trails, ensuring exceptional game viewing at a close range. Unlike Southern Africa’s reserves and parks, off-road and night-drives are less likely unless you are visiting a private concession. However, you can look forward to life-changing bush walks with Maasai locals who will show you the area on foot.

 

What you can expect from a safari in East Africa:

  • Massive herds of wildebeest and zebra
  • Two dry seasons: January to March and June to October
  • Great for family safaris as most accommodations allow young children; there are fewer internal flights and the interactive game drives keep kids interested
  • All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals
  • Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles with English-speaking guides
  • Hot air balloon safaris over the Mara plains
  • Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
  • Fun walking safaris in some private reserves
  • Numerous cultural encounters with local tribes

Angama Mara East Africa Kenya Safari Tour

Click on the links below to see our top accommodation in East Africa:

Kenya– Great Migration, Maasai warriors, pink flamingos, Giraffe Manor, hot air balloon safaris.

Mozambique– Snorkelling, diving and untouched coral reefs.

Tanzania– Great Migration, Mt Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Tarangire National Park, hot air balloon safaris.

Rwanda– Gorilla trekking, golden monkeys, chimpanzees and canopy walks.

Gorilla Treks Rwanda Uganda Iconic Africa

Southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe,

Southern Africa has an array of different geographical features and weather conditions. You can tailor-make your safari to include the Kruger’s savannah grasslands, Zambia’ s woodlands, Zimbabwe’s thundering Victoria Falls, the dry desert of the Kalahari or the Okavango Delta’s heavy rains. Or combine the rugged mountains and luscious winelands with beautiful golden beaches and the bustling city life of Cape Town. You can have it all in one Southern Africa trip!

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

Guests look forward to low -volumes of people and smaller camps or lodges that often only accommodate up to a dozen people at a time. With the abundance of private concessions, you can create a more exclusive and personalised safari.

Contrary to East Africa’s vast open landscapes found in the Serengeti or Mara region and high concentration of wildlife, Southern Africa focuses more on personal encounters and walking safaris which can be done in Botswana and Zambia. You will also have the chance for exciting night game drives to spot elusive nocturnal animals, charming water safaris and nights out under the stars. While cultural experiences are limited unlike the many found in East Africa, you can plan a visit to the San Bushman of the Kalahari which is equally as rewarding.

What you can expect from a safari in Southern Africa:

  • Varied topography and habitats
  • Smaller concentration of herds in private concessions
  • One dry season: May to October
  • South Africa is great for family safaris with some lodges and camps located in malaria-free areas
  • Many camps outside of South Africa require minimum age of eight years old, unless you reserve the entire camp
  • All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals
  • Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles
  • Choose from many small, remote and exclusive private camps with limited guests of 8-12
  • Guides usually share meals with guests at small lodges/camps developing close relations
  • More private concessions with fewer tourists which makes for great wildlife viewing
  • Wider variety of safaris activities such as walking safaris, mokoro tours, night drives, hot air ballooning, kayaking and food safaris

Click on the links below to see our top accommodations in Southern Africa:

Botswana–, Madikwe Game Reserve, Mokoro trips in the Okavango Delta, Big 5 safaris, hot air balloon safaris, boating trips.

South AfricaKruger National Park, Table Mountain, Cape Winelands, Big Five safaris, marine safaris, hot air balloon safaris, Garden Route.

Zambia– Trekking, Lake Malawi, adventure activities in Victoria Falls, Devils Pool, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, village tours, safaris in South Luangwa.

Zimbabwe– Adventure activities in Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, Batoka Gorge.

Both East and Southern Africa offer amazing opportunities to spot the Big 5 wildlife, amongst other game and indigenous fauna and flora. Each region has its own unique wildlife and landscape attractions, but East Africa definitely has a higher density of animals in one area – especially considering the Great Migration and gorillas. Needless to say you will see plenty of cool animals in both parts of the continent and Southern Africa will entice you with its diverse topography in a single city such as Cape Town. So which is better for safari? Whether you’re interested in seeing tens of lions on your first day or basking in opulence at small, private lodges with low visitor concentration, you can’t go wrong with either choice.

Property of the Month – More Quarters Apartment Hotel

Cape Town and its surrounding winelands are an excellent way to start or finish your once-in-a-lifetime journey. Whether you’re heading to or returning from one of Africa’s many magnificent safari destinations, More Quarters will provide the comforts of home with added luxury. This month’s gorgeous property of the month is the perfect launch pad to Cape Town’s delights, suitable for couples and families.

Perfectly situated in one of the world’s most vibrant cities, this property is in close proximity to all the delights one can imagine. From romantic strolls on pristine beaches and mocktailson the Camps Bay strip to family outings up Table Mountain or to Cape Point National Park where the awesome power of the Atlantic smashes up against Africa.

There are fifteen beautifully and individually decorated one bedroom apartments at the More Quarters. Each boasts a light and airy free-flow feel with en-suite bedroom, comfortable lounge area and kitchenette. Four have folding sleeper couches ideal for young children.

The sumptuous two bedroom apartments offer two gorgeous en-suite bedrooms with a generous living area and kitchen. The apartments are ideal for families and groups of friends – offering both privacy and a space for people to enjoy each other’s company.

Redcliffe house is the ultimate in Cape Town living for up to eight people. The hardwood floors, high pressed ceilings and exquisite furnishings offer glorious Victorian charm and luxury. There are four individually decorated en-suite bedrooms, outside entertainment area, secluded pool and private balcony that looks onto majestic Table Mountain.

Contemplate which activities you will tick off your bucket-list over freshly baked pastries and South African fruit in the sunny breakfast room. The sumptuous lounge and library offer the perfect places to read and reflect on a day spent enjoying the natural wonders and scenic splendour of the Cape peninsular. And if you’re visiting the Cape during the rainy season, cosy up by the fire and enjoy a complimentary port with your favourite book or play a board game in the library with your family before heading to bed to dream of tomorrow’s adventures.

The More Quarters is the perfect Cape Town home away from home. If you are a family on holiday or a couple seeking romance, the apartments will surround you in comfort and luxury in the centre of the world’s most beautiful city