Cape Town’s Top 10 Cocktail Spots

Our wildlife are not the only ones searching for a drinking hole this summer…

With summer descending and the hustle and bustle beginning to slow down, Cape Town is preparing for its most festive and fun time of year – sun, beach and bars! Soon sunset will become an occasion; as people flock to secret hideaways and embrace whatever beverage their heart can envisage while watching those last rays dip where the horizon meets the sea or behind the grandeur of Table Mountain.

We know the perfect way to end any summer safari, tour or frantic day is with a well-deserved ice-cold concoction in one hand and great family and friends to share these beautiful moments with. We’ve taken the effort out of scouring for trendy sundowner spots and created a list of our top ten with not only great drinks but striking views and backdrops too.

1.THE ROUNDHOUSE

The terraces that provide guests with a dramatic view of the 12 Apostles has been referred to as The Rumbullion, which means ‘a riotous good time’. A glass of rosé will pair beautifully with the water-coloured sky in front of you.

2. TOBAGO’S BAR AND TERRACE

Try the Sweet Melon Margarita while relaxing by the rim-flow swimming pool. Tobago’s Bar and Terrace offers the finest sea and waterfront views to ease you into the weekend.

3. THE BUNGALOW

This trendy bar and restaurant is one of the most popular sea-side lounges that overlooks Clifton Beach. With an uninterrupted view, a Watermelon Martini in hand and your feet up on the lounges… there is very little that could ruin such a magical moment.

4. PARANGA 

This terraced bar is Camps Bay’s little black dress that can be dressed up or down. Head here for a romantic evening or unwind with a Banana and Coconut Daiquiri. Enjoy good food, fascinating cocktails and guaranteed ocean views without any of the pretence.

5. SHIMMY BEACH CLUB

Beach bar by day and nightclub by… well night – this is the perfect in-door-out-door lounge to move from casual cocktails to starlit dinner. This Ibiza-inspired venue will have you tying the Turkish Delight and losing track of time.

6. HARBOUR HOUSE

Harbour House will transport you to a scene from “something’s gotta give”. This bucolic Hamptons-inspired restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows will have you sea-gazing throughout your meal. Pair it with one of many South African wines offered.

7. ASOKA BAR

Asoka is an intimate restaurant that plays with light and nature to create a magical setting that resembles Diagon Alley. Try a Jade Garden in the open courtyard or a cocktail made from fresh fruit, herbs, and juices.

*While Cape Town’s coastlines are flecked with idyllic private beaches, coves and long stretches of pavilion dotted with quaint cafes and sundown lounges; we have added two more rustic, in-land locations for our mountaineers.

8. HUDSON’S

If you prefer the scenic backdrop of towering hills and vineyards, make the most of Stellenbosch’s cocktail joints. Enjoy the usual mojitos and strawberry daiquiris to Hudson’s in-house specialities like Grapefruit Crush or the Pink Lady. Choose from a wide variety of colourful options.

9. GLEN CARLOU WINE FARM

Turn the classic sundown session into something more refined with premium chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Cabernet Sauvignons and red blends. Relax at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountains and overlook sweeping views of endless vineyards and valleys at this special slice of heaven.

10. THE MARTINI BAR AT THE CELLARS-HOHENORT

Not too far from the city is a martini bar that will have you feeling like one of the Sex in the City girls. Put on those heels and fabulous dress and choose from over 100 martini varieties. This is a perfect warm and sophisticated spot for a girl’s night out…

Can you tick off this entire list by the end of your trip? For our favourite Cape Town Hotels, click here. 

A Diver’s Paradise

When planning a vacation to South Africa, the first thing that comes to mind for most travellers is going on safari. The idea alone conjures up wonderful images of rolling plains, dense forest and magical sightings of the Big Five. And while elephants, lions and the rest of the squad are plenty to see, there is so much more than what meets the eye.

The beach bums and water babies out there will be ecstatic to know that South Africa’s coastlines are filled with diving opportunities. For every one terrestrial wonder is an aquatic spectacle waiting to be discovered. These stunning marine ecosystems offer beginner and advanced divers the change to see a network of life underwater. If you want to see the warm coasts, colourful reefs, sharky-waters and sandy beaches from a different angle, here are some of our five favourite diving spots:

Gansbaai

Perfect for even the most novice diver, Gansbaai is most famous for its Great White sharks and cage experiences. You’ll also see plenty of seals and African penguins that attract the shoal just two hours east of Cape Town.

Ocean Safaris Mozambique Zanzibar Dolphins Iconic Africa

Sodwana Bay

One of the more calm spots in South Africa, Sodwana has multiple dive sites that house over a thousand different species of fish. You can expect to see white-tipped sharks and turtles among others. With almost as much marine life as found in the Great Barrier Reef, Sodwana is known for its vortex created by the dive site walls that attracts diverse life. It also makes a great deep sponge dive experience.

Ocean Safaris Mozambique Zanzibar Turtle Iconic Africa

Shark Alley

If your heart can handle the adrenaline, get on your dive gear and climb into a cage to come face to face with a Great White. These majestic, yet fierce creatures will race around you leaving you in awe.

Aliwal Shoal

Located 5km off the coast, Aliwal Shoal – named after a sunken vessel nearby – boasts a huge variety of marine life. Explore the SS Nebo or the Norwegian bulk carrier for eels, colourful coral reefs and an array of tiny fish. Divers can also look forward to seeing Manta rays, humpback whales, dolphins, turtles and the Grey Nurse Shark.

Ocean Safaris Scuba Dive 2 Mozambique Zanzibar White Pearl

The Great Sardine Run

Take the time to visit Umkomaas, a town that hosts the sardine’s annual migration from the coast of South Africa towards Mozambican waters. Gear up and go out on to the water to see millions of sardines travel fast enough to create an illusion resembling a stampede. During the sardine’s race against time, you will also witness larger, hungry fish trying to catch them.

Ocean Safaris Mozambique Zanzibar Iconic Africa

From cold Atlantic waters to warmer Indian oceans, South Africa has a dive site for everyone’s taste and needs. Welcoming beginner divers to self-taught experts, these beautiful waters offer world class tropical and coral reefs, wrecks and underwater natural spectacles. You can sight big whales and scary sharks to comical sardines, squid and turtles. The list of marine wildlife waiting for you is endless.

For some of the Cape’s top destinations and other scintillating South African adventures, click here.

Top 5 Foodie Destinations

Africa boasts 54 beautiful countries, each contributing to the hundreds of different cultures and ethnic groups. Unique views and landscapes are merely a windfall in comparison to the world-class service, chefs and cuisines. For all the self-proclaimed foodies, Africa offers you a variety of cherry-picked destinations and accommodations whose connoisseurs fuse together tastes and flavours that will blow you away. Gone are the days of having to step away from your luxurious suite to experience great food!

Every country has something special and unique to offer – the kind of experience that requires only one meal before spending every other rehashing the details to all your friends. From conservative dinners and 5-course menus to laid back log-fire grills, Africa is renowned for food as fascinating as its history, cultures and traditions.

Sample our top foodie accommodations and destinations that will tell you a sensory story as you taste some of Africa’s finest creations. If you set foot in any of these hotels or cities, don’t leave without indulging…

Angama Mara in Kenya will show you a whole new food vocabulary…  Sit around the boma and enjoy ‘bitings’ (snacks) and ‘kuku’ (chicken) grilled right in front of you, a Tusker beer in hand. The chefs marry luxury travel comforts such as Pinotage and Chenin Blanc with classic safari cuisine, providing you the best of both worlds – rugged authenticity that is uncomplicated and deeply tasty. Choose between sophisticated cucumber sandwiches and buttery scones or succulent roasts. All dishes at Angama Mara are served in 5-star fashion and come from local produce and the juicy prawns and seafood straight from the Indian Ocean waters.

If there’s a place that feeds your taste-buds with a silver spoon, it’s Singita Sasakwa in Tanzania. Relive scenes from Out of Africain authentic style from the damask to the decanters. And while you bask in the filmy setting and breath-taking views, be assured the food matches up. Enjoy out-of-this-world sweet and savoury treats from sweet crepes to gourmet macarons. Everything from pre-dinner drinks to main course platings is romanticised and enlivened with unique flavours and pairings. Make sure you try ‘mtori’ – traditional beef and green bananas.

Locked by mountain and sea is Cape Town’s Cape Grace. Here the chefs play with South African flavours such as rooibos and Cape-Malay spices in a new way. Try rooibos-infused salmon fish cakes or springbok bobotie. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask your waitress for kudu or ostrich dishes. Using Cape Town’s history as a source of culinary inspiration, try the delicious layer cake that is topped with sugar crystals and sweet lemony syrup.

Further up country you’ll find Delaire Graff– home to olive groves and bespoke oils.  Some may call its setting ‘bistro chic’ but it is more of a rustic paradise. You cannot leave this green estate without having the home-baked breads, crafted from stoneground flour. The chefs create dishes using sophisticated gastronomical techniques and best produce. Try unique whiskey jelly after indulging in some fresh oysters or tender lamb. And if you think Delaire Graff is renowned for its olive groves only, you’ll need to have a glass of their wines!

If you’re heading on a Mozambican island getaway, find your way to Maputo. Mozambique is surely a seaside paradise, but many forget a foodie destination too. The cuisine accentuates African and Portuguese flavours that will leave you wanting more. A must-have is the ginormous Tiger prawns or the classic piri-piri chicken – marinated in lemon juice, garlic, coconut milk, and spicy sauce.

If we’ve gotten your mouth watering and stomach rumbling, start planning your next foodcation! Africa’s story can be found in its array of tastes and spices; always surrounded by beautiful sceneries, unforgettable sunrises and majestic wildlife. From safari lodges to city hotels – all our chefs are preparing luxurious tastes of local culture for you. Read more about our especially crafted Food Safari here.

 

Cross-country Travel with Ellerman House

Africa is so diverse – from landlocked countries to seaside cities and island living. The landscape, cuisine, wildlife and culture can change within a few hundred kilometres making it impossible to say that you’ve seen it all. But with new connecting flights, air travel has made it easier to see that much more in a single trip, spending less time traveling long distances! Experience the very best Africa has to offer with a cross-country schedule. Ellerman House has created a magical 11-night itinerary escaping you to the vibrance of South Africa, action-packed Kenya and the tranquil Seychelles.

Each country has something to offer that will contribute to a well-rounded trip. Ellerman House begins with a city escape in Cape Town, followed by the indescribable Masai Mara and winds down after a fast-paced adventure with the ultimate relaxation destination at the world’s most exclusive private island, North Island. This distinctive itinerary brings together adventure, wildlife and relaxation and marries it with privacy and exclusivity.

An itinerary tailor-made to provide you a luxury experience; encouraging you to immerse yourself in the exquisite natural beauty of your surroundings:

You begin your journey in Cape Town, South Africa at Ellerman House. This property is the epitome of first-class hospitality and an urban retreat for the luxury traveller. Located in Bantry Bay, the small, privately-owned hotel offers breath-taking views of the shimmering ocean against the dramatic backdrop of Lion’s Head. The property is a short distance from local attractions, including the V & A Waterfront, making exploring the Mother City so much easier! Read more about this property here. You can fly directly to Nairobi and then catch a private charter to Angama Mara.

The Masai Mara rests high above the floor of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, a sight to behold from Angama Mara. Kenya’s Masai Mara is considered by many as the loveliest game reserve in Africa. The Mara Triangle is home to some of Africa’s most magnificent wildlife. Kenya can be as exhilarating or as relaxing as you see fit – from hot air ballooning, walking safaris, cultural visits to neighbouring Maasai villages to simply doing nothing at all. Read more about Angama Mara here. You can fly directly from Nairobi to Mahé, Seychelles. A short flight will leave Zil Air Lounge to North Island’s private helipad.

Balloon Safari Iconic Africa Tanzania Desert

Giving new meaning to ‘private-island sanctuary’, this remote and peaceful island will make you feel like you’re the only inhabitants there. Sharing it only with endangered species, you can enjoy North Island’s luminous white beaches, lush tropical environment, filigree reefs and azure Indian Ocean. Spend your days on land or at sea and forget about yesterday and tomorrow. There are direct flights from Mahé International Airport to London Heathrow with British Airways.
For more on this exciting offer contact us here. 

 

 

The Marine Big Five

If you are heading to Africa on safari but want the best of the bush and the beach, then let us introduce you to our Marine Big Five for an exceptional add-on to your wildlife itinerary. South Africa is one of the only places in the world that sees such an extensive collection of both land and marine wildlife. For every fearsome and graceful terrestrial animal, there is an aquatic counterpart. While safari conversation tends to focus on our illustrious and iconic lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo – the shimmering blanket surrounding the southern tip of Africa will offer you an opportunity to meet and greet the local sharks, whales, dolphins, seals and penguins.

  1. The Great White Shark

Come within a daring range to the Great White Shark at hotspots such as Seal Island in False Bay, Dyer Island and Geyser Rock.

  1. Dolphins

South Africa’s coastlines boast over ten dolphin species, making it easy to tick them off your list. You can expect to see the Bottlenose Dolphin, the Long-Beaked Dolphin and the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin more frequently and swimming closer to the shore. If you’re heading along the Garden Route, stop in Plettenberg Bay which has plenty of land and ocean viewing options all year round.

Iconic Africa Swim With Dolphins Mozambique

  1. Southern Right Whales

The best time to view whales along South Africa’s coastline is between June and December. During this time they move closer to shore to calve. Follow the whale route from the Garden Route to Cape Agulhas and Cape Town. Although, one of the best places in the world to view them is an hour and a half from Cape Town in Hermanus.

  1. The Cape Fur Seal

Famous for its luxurious brown coat, these amusing creatures can be seen in various cities in South Africa, from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. If viewing them from the side of a boat is too impersonal, dive with seals on at Duiker Island. Geyser Rock is a popular viewing area as well with approximately 60 000 seals. Or head down the West Coast to Kleinzee to find the largest on-land seal population of 350 000 fur babies.

  1. The African Penguin

With roughly six penguin colonies around the Western Cape, Robben Island is the most well-known and Boulders Beach is by far the most memorable. If admiring the 3000 penguins wobble around isn’t enough, you can take a swim with them too! Boulders Beach promises sightings year round, so you can definitely tick them off your list.

 

Seeing all five of South Africa’s Marine Big Five in their natural habitat is a privilege few have – including locals. Unlike traditional two hour safaris, you can venture all across the Western Cape viewing these masters and underlings of the ocean. Traverse the Garden Route from Plettenberg Bay all the way down to Cape Town and tick all five off your list. In most cases you can float alongside these comical wildlife or swim with them. For more on some of our exquisite seaside properties – click here.

Property of the Month – Cape Grace

Cape Town is consistently voted as one of the Top 10 cities in the world, not to mention beautiful! As a city that is on most travellers’ ‘must-see’ list, it has some of the world’s most grand and spectacular hotels each competing for the best views in their location. This month’s property of the month can most certainly boast about theirs! Standing on its own private quay where the foot of Table Mountain meets the Atlantic Ocean, is a luxurious African treasure; The Cape Grace Hotel.

The Heart of Luxury: Where the Mountain Meets the Sea

The Cape Grace is perfectly situated; while a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of the mall, Cape Town City Centre and the working harbour, the peaceful yacht marina envelops it ensuring the sanctity and tranquility of this iconic hotel.

The Luxury Hotel

The elegance and grandeur which begins in the foyer extends to the opulent and spacious harbour and mountain facing rooms. Each room is draped in exquisite fabrics and boasts rich furniture and extravagant finishing touches such as the bathroom counter tops and so many other intriguing details. Every room is completely distinct from the next, in fact; no two are the same, making guests feel as if they are one in a million. However, they all boast lavishly oversized beds with exquisite throws, stately lamps, intricate wallpaper, leather ottomans, gilt-edged mirrors and dainty throw cushions making them fit for a queen. The 120 luxurious rooms offer celebrity-worthy luxury amenities such as a private dressing room with fluffy robes and slippers, an iPod docking station for the more tech-savvy guests, and most importantly unbelievable views.

The Best Part: Panoramic Views

The Cape Grace is privilege to some of the best views Cape Town has to offer. Paramount sights await you in the penthouse which have been experienced by international stars. Covering over 125m², it has three terraces accessible through beautiful French doors, and you can even take in the view from the large Jacuzzi. You will wake up to the same view and experience it differently each day. Looking over the marina never gets old and meeting with the sight of bobbing yachts, Lions Head and table Mountain before you decide what you’ll have for breakfast invokes a feeling no words can describe.

The Cape Grace Distractions

Relax and enjoy the warmth of the raw African sun on the recently renovated pool deck. An unforgettable experience as the panoramic views of Table Mountain form the backdrop to an extravagant treatment inspired by true African heritage.

A sumptuous sunset cocktail on the patio is a must. The cool sea breeze wafts over you while the pea-green marina, teems with yachts, sea gulls and speedboats. As the boats bob away, the water laps at the piers and the sun glints off the sea you cannot help but feel wholly on holiday. Table Mountain and Signal Hill sit at centre stage, while the seals and seafarers provide additional and unnecessary entertainment.

The finest hospitality

The staff dressed in white shirts and waistcoats welcome with true African hospitality. The starched white tablecloths, genuine silver and fresh flowers reaffirm your status as an esteemed guest. The ambiance and setting harmoniously combine to promise a fully luxurious affair radiating with the true essence of the Cape.

The award-winning Cape Grace is both centrally located and close to the Airport. It is perfect for family holidays, honeymoons or even the odd business trip. Whether you want to see and experience or hideaway and relax this hotel provides the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful Cape.

 

South Africa: A Winter Wonder

Winter in South Africa is by no means our off-season! We won’t inconvenience travellers with snow storms and grounded planes. Which is why winter is the country’s secret hot season to travel with all its charms. Here is why experiencing winter in South Africa is such a great idea and  a fews of the many activities you can do:

 

As inviting as the sunbathing, cocktails and swimming is, there is more to South Africa than sun-kissed beaches and bodies. Winter in South Africa will look just as amazing on your Instagram feed as travellers gear up to explore the major cities in 2018. There are some things that are just better in winter, with warm cocoa, scarves and curling up in front of fireplaces.  Or watch the rain with a glass of Shiraz and a cheese platter at one of the Western Cape’s fantastic wine estates. Our international travellers can experience fewer crowds, great food and find cosy hideaways. It is the perfect time to combine a family safari with other winter experiences in this beautiful country, especially with U.S. and European summer vacation afoot.

The cooler, milder weather of winter makes being outdoors a lot more pleasant, especially when that crispy winter sun decides to grace us. Here are some activities that really are better during May to August in South Africa:

WILDLIFE AND SAFARI

Unlike Zambia and Botswana, South Africa has a much quieter winter season. Many camps and lodges are less busy than during the warmer summer months, but this makes for a great opportunity to visit – and can also mean that you get your own private safari vehicle!

There is no better time to sight wildlife than during South Africa’s cold, winter months when the savannah becomes sparse and loses its camouflaging colour. Wildlife becomes more visible and often congregates in groups around water or food. Animals have a difficult time hiding among the grass and the cooler weather in the mornings and evenings allows them to stay active for longer. Some parts of South Africa are mild and dry and increase the hours of potential game-viewing.

Lions Sands Sabi Sands Luxury Safari Leopard

WINTER FESTIVALS

Winter travel to South Africa has been on the rise owing to one of South Africa’s major attraction for travellers– a time of various cultural events and festivals such as the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May and land-based whale-watching from June to September. There’s also the Knysna Oyster Festival in June until early July and the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, amongst many others.

WHALES

Between July and October, mammals such as the Southern Right whale come to the bays and coves of the South African coastline to mate and calve. Whales can be spotted along the entire coastline, but the Hermanus coast is considered one of the best in the world to view them from.

WILDFLOWERS

Although South Africa is famous for its springtime blooms such as daisies and purple skilpadblomme, an array of white and yellow blooms and succulents and bulbous plants, these beautiful wildflowers appear in late winter.

ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES

There is a season for all adventure activities, but let’s admit, winter is better for some. Surfing is always much more treasured when the waves are bigger and the water is warmer.  Dependent on the Western Cape’s unpredictable rain patterns of late, travellers can also enjoy the benefits of South Africa’s water sports and try white water rafting.

 

FOR THE THRILL SEEKERS

Take a day trip to Gansbaai for shark cage diving. Winter is the best time of year to experience the thrill of being up close with these majestic creatures as the water is warmer and are much more active, often hunting seals.

For more on the benefits of visiting South Africa in winter click here

Cape Town Uncovered

Cape Town has something which will appeal to all travellers – from honeymooners and romantics to big families. The multifaceted city caters for the more adventurous, as well as the leisurely who prefer beaches and spas. Without question, Cape Town is one of the world’s most spectacular cities resting against the iconic “New 7 natural wonders of the world” member, Table Mountain.

Here are a few interesting things you might not know about the Mother City:

Affectionately known as the Mother City by locals and travellers, this city’s nickname derives from theGreek word ‘metros’ meaning mother – as it was the first metropolitan city in South Africa according to Selwyn Davidowitz, a recognised Cape Town tour guide.

Another nickname you may have come across while planning your vacation to Cape Town is Cape of Storms. This name was given b the famous explorer Bartholomew Dias because of the unpredictable weather of the Atlantic Ocean that used to render ships and sailors forsaken just off our coast.

Did you know that Cape Town’s 2011 census survey indicated that 43.2% of the Western Cape’s population is 25 years or younger… This city is a hotspot for young solo travellers.

The celebrated and legendary Table Mountain which began forming around 280 million years ago witnesses at least two nuptial services a month! What better way to begin a romantic life with your beloved than overlooking candyfloss-clouds cascading down the mountain side.Did you know that the plateau of Table Mountaispans almost 22 000 hectares and claims more flora than the entire British Isles or New Zealand?

The Cape Floral Kingdom – a UNESCO world heritage site – is home to nearly 7000 indigenous plants such as the peninsula snapdragon.

Cape Town boasts the only tobogganing track in Africa…If you enjoy the thrill of downhill sledging then head 25km out of the city centre for a day of adventure at Cool Runnings.

Cape Town has been named one of this year’s top 10 cities in the world for surfing.

Meeting certain safety, security and cleanliness standards, eight Cape Town beaches have been given Blue Flag awards by the Blue Flag Campaign. These beaches include Clifton, Camps Bay, and Llandudno, as well as Muizenberg and False Bay.

 

Lion’s Head wasn’t name after wild felines roaming the mountain. In fact, around 300 years ago, Dutch settlers named the peak Leeuwen Kop (Lion’s Head) and what’s known as Signal Hill today as Leeuwen Staart (Lion’s Tail) because the two peaks formed what resembled a crouching lion.

The Castle of Good Hope was actually built using stone extracted from Signal Hill.

With an abundance of vineyards, it is undeniable that Cape Town is famous for its beautiful farms and wines – our key export!

For more on where to stay in our exquisite Mother City click here.

 

Millennial Travel

2018 sees a continuation of last year’s trend – millennials setting their sights on African travel. Over the years, there has been a shift in the age demographic of travellers coming to Southern Africa – an incentivised travel destination. According to David Frost – CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, younger generations are becoming an increasingly large market for the tourism industry with 46% of international arrivals to South Africa in 2017 between the ages of 18 and 35.

Apart from the search for ‘authentic experiences’, adventure activities, good weather and local hospitality – millennials are taking a break from the latest technology, moving away from typical ‘tourist’ destinations and choosing instead to venture in to unknown territories; deeper in to the wilderness.

Marataba Trails Lodge Luxury Safari Africa Waterberg

That being said, more establishments are catering for and accommodating tech-savvy millennials. Wi-Fi remains a priority for lodges catering to this market. Millennial travellers are interested in following and being connected to the cities and lodges they will be visiting both during and after their trip. Another incentive for millennial travellers is how ‘Instagrammable’ the holiday is. Youth see the world through pixels and filters. Having every breath-taking experience littering the feeds of envious friends and family, Africa – filtered or not – makes for a picturesque experience.

Here are our top ten millennial travel incentives to Africa:

*There is a huge gap in the industry for youth safaris. For a long time, African safaris have been recognised as a luxury experience, out of reach to the young traveller. More young hearts and minds are seeking out a night under the expansive starlit sky while wildlife roam nearby – close enough for you to hear them.

*More than half of our “foodies” are millennials – becoming increasingly conscious of what they put into their bodies, and where it comes from. Mozambique is the place to be for an experience that will satisfy taste buds, with fresh “farm-to-fork” cuisine brought to you from local markets and roadside stalls. Tuck into Tiger prawns, fresh fish and steaming hot Portuguese rolls with stunning views.

*Experience is everything and young travellers want complete cultural immersion. South Africa has a wonderful mix of boutique hotels and apartment rentals in its inner-city districts. Here travellers can unpack everything from street art to street food. A little beyond the city, cuisine and culture remain equally important in the winelands. Wine-tasting tours have become increasingly popular among the millennial travellers as well as an interest in “Instagrammable” agro-tourism in the countryside.

*We do not realise the extent of community work and international volunteers in South Africa, with almost half of the youth travellers coming here partaking in some sort of community initiative or volunteer work.

*Education is also another incentive for youth trips with guests showing interest in astronomy, ecology and interactive dynamics. There will always be a dichotomy between luxury travel, conservation issues and cultural diversity.

*Older travellers have confirmed that they are more likely to choose accommodation that is eco-friendly. Millennial travellers have caught on to this trend of sustainable travel, where a conscious effort is made to avoid contributing to the decline of natural environments (Link to top five eco-lodges post).

Ivory Lodge Lions Sands Luxury Safari Kruger Park

*Youth are choosing to spend their money on experiences rather than material things. Africa, especially Southern Africa, offers experiences that are culturally rich and forcing them to step out of their comfort zones to embrace authentic destinations culturally-relevant sightseeing and diverse cuisines. It is found that millennials are constantly trying to integrate themselves into as many aspects of local life hoping to become a more culturally enriched human.

* Wanting to take everything in; cramming as many places and activities in to their experience as possible, Africa is a millennials travel-sanctuary – offering them opportunities to see a variety of different sights.

Iconic Africa Kalahari Desert Balloon Safari

*One of the biggest trends in millennial travel is the desire to visit off-the-beaten-track locations. They no longer want to sit back and relax on their vacation or visit typically popular attractions that have become overcrowded and ‘over-touristic’.

*For your next millennial adventure trip, head to Zimbabwe. The natural wonder of Victoria Falls will be sure to activate their adventure-seeking nature. The country offers active adventures and unique experiences, which is exactly what the millennial traveller is looking for.

Millennial travel creates memories and invites individuals to reach further in to their own life, changing mind-sets forever. Experience tastes, sights, smells and ambience of authentic African luxury with Iconic Africa. Find out more here. 

 

African Travel Myths Demystified

“The only thing dark about Africa is our ignorance of it.” – George Kimble

Many people have preconceived ideas about Africa – often based on opinions or myths. Some of these myths have been circulating for so long that they now are in fact considered as truth or fact. Misconceptions are awful things, managing to dissuade many from visiting Africa – which is very sad! Here are our top five African safari myths debunked to convince you to finally book that unforgettable African trip.

Angama Mara East Africa Kenya Safari Tour

Africa is not safe:

Safety can be an issue in some African cities as it can be anywhere in the world now, but when it comes to national parks and game reserves, they are some of the safest places in the world.

Africa is all bush:

Africa is a vast continent with diverse landscapes, environments and climates in a single area. Countries have savannahs, rainforests, mountains, beaches and deserts to accommodate different travel wishes – making it easy to find whatever it is that your heart desires!

You always need a guide:

While it would be recommended that first-time traveller’s view game with a guide – once you’ve been on enough safaris you can go on self-drive safaris. Many travellers have seen the super-seven (the Big Five, cheetahs and wild dogs) on their self-drives.

To truly experience Africa, you have to “rough it”:

There is always the option of “roughing it” in the wilderness – sleeping bag and all. But there is the more popular preference and opportunity, to experience all Africa has to offer in comfort and opulence. South Africa boasts some of the most luxurious game lodges offering unrestricted access to some of Africa’s prestigious wildlife. Most game lodges offer gourmet meals and private bungalows – kitted out with all your modern amenities – that overlook the vast plains and Africa’s vibrant wildlife. Not to mention it offers some of the world’s most affordable luxury travel!

 

It will be too hot:

Yes, Africa’s climate is warm, but not all the time. Some countries have a cold, wet winter and others have a rainy summer. Throughout the year, most game reserves can actually get quite chilly in the morning and at night, and you will need to layer to stay warm. This’s a nice balance between the heat of the day and the cool of the night.

Animals are likely to attack you:

Animals attacking is probably the last thing you need to worry about on your safari! The wildlife, in general, prefer to avoid the company of humans, so they won’t be hunting you down any time soon…

Ivory Lodge Lions Sands Sabi Sands Lions

Only expensive cameras can take good wildlife photographs:

If you own a long lens it is of course advantageous, however it is not a necessity. Many people have photographed animals within meters of the safari vehicle with a 300mm lens. What works well – if you already have one – is the Nikon D7000 with 18 megapixels. The resolution is decent and you could crop the far-away shots.

Zarafa Camp Leopard Iconic Africa

 

Our suggestion is that when you embark on your trip to Africa, you leave behind all myths and legends. Once you hit the tarmac, your adventure begins and you will never look back!

Top Travel Trends for 2018

From remote luxury accommodations to achievement-based travel, 2018 is set to be a year of long vacations, slowing down and learning to appreciate the world around us. Here’s what the experts have to say about the trends for the year ahead:

Booking trends:

79% of travel research is being done on mobile phones and an increase in online bookings has begun trending with 49% of these direct online bookings being made on mobile devices.

Duliini Lodge River Bridge

Solo Travel:

Ever since Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ was published, solo travel – especially among female travellers – has gained popularity. 2018 welcome’s our solo visitors to our safe safari destinations, where the world is at your fingertips. Our private guides and luxury transfers ensure your safety at all times.

 

Remote Luxury:

Luxury travel is increasingly being associated with remoteness and disconnectivity. This year, people are projected to dedicate more time towards travel – willing to travel farther and into destinations often difficult to get to in order to feel like they have a small piece of the world (nearly) entirely to themselves!

‘Off the beaten track’ is one of this year’s travel themes allowing visitors to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and experience nature at its fullest. An example is Tswalu Kalahari – a hidden gem set literally in the middle of nowhere!

Zimbabwe and Zambia – The two hot safari destinations for 2018:

South Africa is typically considered a favourite go-to for African safaris with Zimbabwe and Zambia as add-on destinations. On the contrary, 2017 saw an increase in demand for trips to Zimbabwe and Zambia as primary destinations. This is a trend most experts believe to continue in to 2018. These two countries have luxury accommodations and crowd-free safaris – perfect for those looking towards that remote luxury vacation. Investments in both countries from infrastructure and airports to national parks has contributed to this new destination-trend. Not to mention the fact that Zambia was recently voted “safest destination in the world by skyscanner.”

Glamping:

For those travellers who really want to be one with nature – but really can’t, there are endless possibilities for you to be outdoorsy without sacrificing comforts and luxuries. 2018 sees an increase in bookings at luxury tented properties for the less nature-inclined to slow down, unwind and enjoy nature without actually having to “be in nature”.

Singita Sabi Sands Luxury Lodge Kruger Park

Achievement-based travel:

2017 was the year for experiential national and international travel; connecting the traveller closely with their country or destination. This year, we will see this taken a step further with travellers pushing themselves to achieve a lifelong goals or using travel to “find themselves.”

The goal of the year is to achieve something – whether it is climbing a certain mountain or hiking a difficult trek – built into a traveller’s trip. This trend is a reflection in the travel industry of visitors wanting more from their trips than just a standard sightseeing tour.

Extended trips

The last six months has seen an increase in travellers booking trips for longer than two weeks – clients often pushing for around-the-country trips. According to Jacada Travel, 50% of the trips already booked are for longer than two weeks.

Travellers not tourists:

Increasingly encouraged over the years and recently trending – visitors to foreign countries prefer immersing themselves in experiences that cannot be found in guidebooks and brochures. Meeting locals and wondering through neighbourhoods has been the best way to experience cultures, from wine tasting to learning a new crafts or languages.

 

For all of us getting on a bus, plane or train to somewhere new… 2018 is going to be an exciting year!