The Perfect Valentine’s Day Tour 

Before you know it, the much anticipated Valentine’s Day will be here and many of you will need some great ideas for some extra-special quality time with your loved one… Luckily, Africa is the continent of safari, wilderness and adventurous escapades infused into an unmistakable romantic destination. We’ve put together a special tour for you so that you have to worry about one less thing – Iconic Africa’s Royal Romance is the perfect gift or gesture for your special partner this Valentine’s Day… Don’t waste time planning the perfect escape for two – we’ve done it for you! 

It combines the beauty, wilderness, adventure and pioneering excitement of Africa with four destinations that define supreme luxury permeated with complete privacy and opulent romance. Ellerman House is the definition of modern sophisticated living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the marvels of Cape Town all around. La Residence is the jewel of Franschoek – abject indulgence suspended in an impossibly beautiful valley of vineyards. Royal Malewane is impeccably tasteful grandeur surrounded by the majesty of the African wilderness. Royal Chundu is the ancient mystery and magic of the Zambezi in luxurious island seclusion. View the full interactive itinerary below: 

  • DAY 1-4: EDWARDIAN PASSION, LUXURIOUS EXTRAVAGANCE

Ellerman House is a sumptuous Edwardian mansion resting on Lion’s Head Mountain, above the ultramarine waters of the Atlantic stretching to the meet the depthless African sky.

No expense has been spared, it truly is a Relais&Chateaux haven of unparalleled luxury.

Ellerman House boasts arguably Africa’s greatest art collection as well as a world-class wine selection and cellar.

Cape Town’s endless sights, activities and beauty will keep you enthralled for months on end.
Accommodation: Ellerman House

  • DAY 4-6: AFRICA’S MAJESTIC WINELANDS

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.

A benchmark to luxury and comfort and created with exquisite detail and love.

The hotel is infused with colour, fabulous antiques, luxurious finishes and vaulted ceilings from which Indian chandeliers twinkle.

The little village of Franschhoek is the undisputed culinary capital of South Africa and boasts great exceptional wine and delicious food.
Accommodation: La Residence

Premier Golf and Safari Tour La residence

  • DAY 6-9: AFRICA’S WILD ROMANCE

At Royal Malewane, a private concession bordering the world-famous Kruger National Park the Biden’s Royal Portfolio has achieved perfection again.

A marvel of wilderness romance and seclusion that blends seamlessly into this ancient land.

Gourmet, starlit dinners under the giant Leadwood trees.

The Royal Malewane Spa is world-renowned and the ideal way to unwind with a unique healing African treatment.

Royal Malewane’s guides and trackers are some of the most highly qualified in Southern Africa.
Accommodation: Kruger National Park Private Concessions

  • DAY 9-11: THE ROYAL VICTORIAN FALLS RETREAT

Royal Chundu is Zambia’s first Relais & Chateaux property – defined by the sumptuous luxury that blends seamlessly into the private stretch of the Zambezi River Bank.

Island Lodge is set on its own private island in the languid waters of the Zambezi, offering 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 before retiring to your extravagant bed.

A little downriver from Royal Chundu, the Zambezi falls over the Victoria Falls to create one of the greatest demonstrations of nature’s power on planet earth.
Accommodation: Royal Chundu. 

Click here for the full tour. 

2020 Top Travel Trends 

A lot can happen in a year – this is certainly true in travel trends across the world. Most of them for the better – such as more family vacations, reducing carbon footprints and taking things down a notch with the concept of ‘slow travel’. We bring you the 8 latest travel trends expected for the coming year as people transcend their comfort zone and prioritise international vacations…

 

Sustainable Travel in 2020 

This is the year where travellers and operators become increasingly conscious of their impact on the earth. With the growing concern of climate change, decreasing numbers of wildlife and community sustainability, Africa not only offers some of the world’s most pristine, untouched areas, but is active in the initiative to preserve these. This year the focus continues on conserving the land, the wildlife and local communities. This is the new standard within the safari industry without compromising luxury as seen at Singita Kwitonda Lodge. Almost a year old, Singita Kwitonda Lodge was designed in response to this purpose and its remarkable location offering environmentally-conscious luxury. 

Multiple Countries 

More travellers are spending less time in one country and coupling it with two additional countries to explore. They are looking at more cross-country tours that have short connecting flights and different experiences. 

andbeyond-chobe-under-canvas-game_drive-sunset

Culinary Adventures

While most travellers have previously considered accommodation, tourist attractions and transport; food and wine have become the deciding factor in many recent travel choices. Tasty local food and house wines are essential to planning a trip and more cooking classes, local dining and fresh produce markets will be booked and visited as part of the experience. This year travellers will go beyond 5-star restaurants and instead pre-book more authentic foodie tours. If you’re heading to Cape Town – Franschhoek should definitely be on your to-see list as this culinary capital surely knows how to tantalise tastebuds. 

Group Travel 

Taking heed from the solo travel trend, travellers are looking for people with the same interests to experience a country in a group. This offers the opportunity to meet new people who want to connect with like-minded individuals in a safe environment. Because of this, there is an increase in female-only travel groups and buddymoons and group bookings for friend-adventures. 

Slow Travel 

More of an antidote to the craze of every day, an increasing number of tourists are getting away to rejuvenate their mind, body and soul rather than tick off an action-packed itinerary that leaves little time for reflection. Some of the top activities being booked are bicycle trips through mountains and vineyards, visiting local markets and spending time in small towns such as Franschhoek. Others will opt for horseback rides or village tours that will keep them occupied and relaxed while escaping the reality they have momentarily left behind. 

Milestone Celebrations

More families and friends are booking out entire accommodations for weddings, anniversaries and special occasions. This is particularly the case with luxury safari destinations such as the Kruger National Park and Botswana. 

All about Aesthetic

When you step into an architectural masterpiece, you know it and it leaves you speechless for your entire stay. Increased bookings are based on the sensory overload of the accommodation such as Baraza, Tanzania where you will spend your free time taking in every little detail from the oriental-inspired pool courtyard to the carefully-chosen interior and decor. 

Zimbabwean Travel Back on the Maps 

Travellers are flocking to Zimbabwe as it has re-emerged as a top safari destination attracting even more tourists in 2020. Best known for its plethora of adrenalin activities and the majestic Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe has so much to offer – from romance to world-class game viewing and superb service.

Seize the day in 2020 and book your African adventure here and now!

The Western Cape – A guide to good food and wine

The Cape is known for its magnificent mountains, amazing scenery, gorgeous blue oceans, rich history, and, of course, its first-class wines and delicious food. We’ve compiled a list of our four favourite restaurants in the Cape that combine delectable food and award-winning wine.

Franschhoek Kitchen

If you’re planning a trip to Cape Town, it is essential to visit the Cape Winelands. Franschhoek is our absolute favourite wine district. We recommend visiting the Franschhoek kitchen at the Holden Manz winery. It has been rated as one of the leading restaurants in Franschhoek and it is regarded as one of South Africa’s culinary hotspots. 

The restaurant is the perfect place to relax and enjoy bistro-style food made from delicious, locally sourced ingredients. Because they are a sustainability farm, they emphasise seasonal ingredients which means that their menu changes regularly. Franschhoek Kitchen also provides beautifully presented picnic baskets filled with absolutely delicious and fresh treats, so that you can enjoy a long summer afternoon resting by the picturesque Franschhoek River. You will also have a chance to try their beautifully fragrant Rosé, their barrel-fermented Chardonnay, and their decadent port-style wines.

Fyndraai Restaurant

At the 320-year-old Solms-Delta estate, you will discover the Fyndraai Restaurant—a restaurant that offers traditional Cape cuisine with a contemporary twist. The dishes aim to promote the assorted culinary heritage of the Cape, and you will therefore find that the dishes showcase European, Asian, and African flavours. Many of the rare and indigenous herbs are grown on the farm. You can opt for the tasty, four-course heritage menu, or you can choose to have a wine pairing menu that lets guests sample six glasses of the estate’s wines and six tasty tapas. The estate also allows guests to picnic on its grounds, and the Fyndraai Restaurant creates delicious picnic hampers for its guests.

Greenhouse (Constantia)

If classic elegance is what you’re after, we suggest visiting the Greenhouse. The cuisine is created by the famous Peter Tempelhoff who emphasises the importance of complementary tastes and aromas. For these chefs, ingredients must have meaning and purpose, and they aim to showcase the beauty of South Africa through their cooking. The menu also features some of the best wines from Constantia, and the restaurant pairs its wines beautifully. Greenhouse welcomes new Head Chef, Farrel Hirsch to its kitchen as of November 2018, and can look forward to Hirsch’s flair for innovation and fresh flavours. 

La Colombe

La Colombe is certainly worth a visit if you want to treat yourself to the ultimate fine dining experience. This spectacular restaurant earned its place among the top 100 restaurants in the world in 2016. The restaurant is situated at the Silvermist wine estate on top of Constantia Nek and it has magnificent views of Constantia Valley and Hout Bay. The chefs use ingredients that are sourced from the restaurant’s own organic gardens and therefore, the menu is also a seasonal one. Each dish is perfectly and beautifully presented, and the vibrant colours and flavours of the dishes combine together to create a unique cuisine adventure. The menu pays tribute to deliciously fresh seafood which is an absolute treat when you’re dining in the Cape.

Complete your safari with tasty food, plated beautifully, overlooking breath-taking views the next time you’re in Cape Town.

Shipping South African Wine Back Home 

If you’re heading to South Africa on a romantic wine tasting tour of the gorgeous vineyards, the magic doesn’t have to end at your departure. Return home with boutique bottles of white wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay; or perhaps Cabernet Sauvignon or a Bordeaux Blend. 

Before arriving in South Africa, find out from each vineyard you plan on visiting if they courier wines overseas. When shipping liquid gold such as fine wines, you need a solid partner to rely on to make sure your precious cargo arrives back home in tip-top shape. This way you’ll know which one to buy from and in most cases, it will be best to take it from the last vineyard you visit (especially if they can ship it home for you). 

Most Vineyards and estates are committed to finding you the best temperature-controlled end-to-end transport solutions. If the winery doesn’t have their own distribution system, perhaps they have a trader in the U.S. or U.K. 

Keep in mind that if the wineries you visit do not ship, and have no international traders, you can put it in cargo on your flight. Check the recommendations for transporting wine back home with the vintner and if the airline can accommodate this. Remember to check the shipping/customs/duty costs for small (unaccompanied) quantities. 

Alternatively, if you don’t want to ship from multiple vineyards (as some may ship their wine only), you can visit the duty-free shopping on Cape Town or Johannesburg Airport. You’ll find a good selection of quality South African wines. If you want to carry this back home per the duty-free liquor allowance, inquire about the TSA guidelines regarding alcohol limitations in checked-in luggage. 

*Check to see if each bottle is under 24% alcohol by volume. 

If you haven’t found the perfect bottle of wine to take home for yourself or as the perfect gift, or want to avoid a logistical nightmare, visit online wine stores that ship overseas such as SA Wines Online or Southern Wines

South Africa is particularly proud of its local wines. With a growing wine industry that attracts visitors from around the world, the number and quality of wines keep increasing and is made available at restaurants and safari lodges all over the country. This not only means you can try it wherever you go on your safari, but your favourite may not be from a particular vineyard you visit, and you can buy it anywhere along the way if you find that the vendor ships across continents. The hosts will be more than happy to help you find wine merchants who import their wine or are carriers. 

5 Iconic Destinations – Luxury Londolozi African Adventure Tour

Discover everything Africa has to offer with this month’s tour of the month. Visit a land of unchartered beauty and experiences, from Londolozi – a place consistently voted amongst the world’s best to an awe-inspiring natural wonder of the world! 

The Luxury Londolozi African Adventure Tour takes you to five Iconic destinations including Cape Town, Sabi Sands, Victoria Falls and Botswana. 

Iconic Africa has crafted the perfect mix. You’ll begin your trip in the Cape of South Africa at the Cape Grace – in the heart of the world’s most beautiful city and then visit La Residence perched on the slopes of the Franschhoek Valley on the world’s most beautiful wine-lands. From there you will travel to the magnificent Londolozi Founders Camp in the exquisite Sabi Sands and then on to Zambia where you will experience the majesty of Victoria Falls from The Royal Livingstone and lastly to Jao Camp in the midst the wilderness wonderland of the Okavango Delta. See the full itinerary below.

THE CAPE GRACE

Cape Town

  • 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.
  • The African Spa offers a full suite of beauty and massage treatments, a gym and a hair salon.
  • Boasting endless panoramic views of the marina, mountain and the Atlantic Ocean

FRANSCHHOEK – LA RESIDENCE

Cape Winelands

  • La Residence is part of the world-beating Royal Portfolio.
  • It brings with it all the luxury, service excellence, scrumptious cuisine and tasteful décor that have become synonymous with this great brand.
  • The hotel is set on an exclusive 30-acre estate surrounded by vineyards and plum orchards with the breath-taking views of the Franschhoek valley beyond.
  • Each suite is an individual masterpiece of sophistication and opulence and filled with original art, antiques and freshly cut flowers.
  • From this spectacular boutique hotel, you can explore the valley, the surrounding farms or cosmopolitan Cape Town further afield.

Accommodation: La Residence

LONDOLOZI FOUNDERS CAMP

Sabi Sands

  • In Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards 2014, Londolozi was named the best hotel in the world!
  • It effortlessly exceeds all expectations on a luxury, hospitality, wilderness and experiential front
  • Londolozi is a feeling, you simply must visit to experience it for yourself.
  • Londolozi Founders Camp is one of Londolozi’s five intimate camps, set under a lush riverine canopy of Jackalberry trees and dotted along the banks of the Sand River.
  • Nestled at the heart of the Sabi Sand Reserve lies Londolozi whose pristine river frontage positioning affords it an abundance of wildlife which has made Londolozi infamous for its incredible game viewing.

VICTORIA FALLS – ROYAL LIVINGSTONE HOTEL, ZAMBIA

Victoria Falls

  • The Royal Livingstone 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 Zambezi.
  • Endless adventures and activities to explore.
  • One of the best sundowner spots as dusk turns the fall’s mist a golden pin

THE OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA – WILDERNESS SAFARIS

Botswana

  • The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the most remarkable natural phenomena which supports an intimidating diversity of iconic African wildlife.
  • Wilderness Safaris pioneered luxury safaris in this patchwork water wonderland with either water or land-based camps.
  • At Jao you might spend a full day out on a mokoro (dugout canoe) enjoying a picnic on an island in the shade of an ancient fig tree.
  • All the way through your Okavango escapade, you will enjoy delicious cuisine prepared by the dedicated staff at Wilderness Safaris.

Accommodation: Jao Camp

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.

John’s Trip to Franschhoek – Tips & Highlights

As a wine enthusiast himself, our director, John Holley recently visited South Africa’s most visited wine valley – Franschhoek. He and his family spent time at Leeu Estate, Waterford Estate, Delaire Graff and many other heavenly spots.

After a delightful few days spent in this quaint village John has shared some of his exquisite pictures with us and penned some highlights and tips for you below. Make sure you make note of these for your next trip to Franschhoek!

Travel Tips:

  • La Cotte Farm

La Cotte Farm is uniquely situated a stone’s throw from the charming village of Franschhoek. “Both the farmhouse and little cottages are fantastic options and an easy stroll to town.”

  • Leeu Estate

“Leeu Estates is a phenomenal experience! It boasts one of the best gardens and has incredible statues on display. I love that they are pushing South African art.”

Start your day with a tasting on the estate and then stroll into the gardens and enjoy a relaxed afternoon picnic. It’s a sensational experience! The Leeu Estates picnic is a must if you have time in Franschhoek and must be booked 48 hours in advance.”

“The estate is really exceptional and your stay will be magical.”

  • Delaire Graff

Delaire Graff Cellar has been making world-class wines since 2008. The flagship Cabernet Franc is the estate’s bestseller and a must-taste. Delaire Restaurant has a world-class team of gifted chefs and sommeliers to take you on a culinary joyride. Savour the food as each plate is served with the utmost care and teeming with fresh ingredients, picked daily from the farms very own vegetable garden.

“This winery really does boast the best views of the Franschhoek valley and will no doubt leave you wishing you could stay longer!”

  • Safari Waterford Estate

Taste a bottle of Kevin Arnold Shiraz, planted on the rockiest sandstone slopes of Waterford Estate. This complex array of red and dark fruit flavours pairs well with lean red meats. Or book a wine drive safari, which takes you through the 120-hectare Estate on the beautiful slopes of the Helderberg Mountain by a safari-type vehicle. This unique 3-hour trip allows the chance to taste award-winning Estate wines amongst the vineyards of their origin, and you will be expertly guided through all the aspects of what makes this area so biologically diverse and viticulturally unique.

“I cannot recommend the Waterford Wine Safari highly enough. The owner and wine maker Kevin Arnold is a good friend. They take a drive in an open “safari” vehicle around the estate and try the wines in the fields at the actual vines at lovely settings. It’s unique and magical. Anyone doing a day tour or time in the winelands HAS to do the Waterford Wine Safari. This is beautifully complimented by their wine and chocolate tasting! Just brilliant! Their wine is also some of the best in the Winelands and really should be tasted.”

A few more tips:

  • If you’re visiting the winelands during peak season, make your dinner reservations 6 months in advance as getting into restaurants can be tricky!
  • Visit Big Dog Café for the best coffee in Franschhoek and a delicious piece of cake too!
  • If you’re on a romantic getaway, or simply have a weakness for beautiful sunsets, visit Dieu Donne- whose wine tasting setup is phenomenal or Franschhoek Pass Winery. Both have lovely Cap Classiques – perfect for that crimson sunset!
  • Le Lude also have a great Cap Classique.
  • Add Babylonstoren to your must-visit list! The gardens are exquisite and they have a fantastic Chardonnay.
  • Take in everything the Franschhoek has to offer, from five-star accommodation, delectable food and great wine to the magical red-orange sunsets and the wonderful people.

Scroll down and let John’s pictures transport you to the picturesque Franschhoek Valley even for a few brief moments. For more on Franschhoek and the Cape Winelands click here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le Quartier Francais in Pictures

Less than an hour from Cape Town International, is the beautiful town of Franschhoek, also known as the “food and wine capital of South Africa”. Here is it’s most central, hidden gem – Le Quartier Français. Winner of TripAdvisor Certificate Of Excellence and TripAdvisor 2015 Hall of Fame, this property is a definite sensory exploration, set in the heart of the Valley with its unmatchable tranquillity.


Central Sophistication

Cape Provençal meets French Chic as the angelic architecture stands tall above the vibrant rose, daisy and lavender bushes. White verandas draped with “broekie” lace and actual streetlamps light up the cobbled paths providing the feeling of a time gone by. From either the terracotta tiled, Victorian courtyard or the lovely Mediterranean pool you are spoilt by sensational views of the Franschhoek Mountains. The secret garden feel is enhanced by the exquisite rabbit statues, soft sputtering fountains and big bright cushions dotted around the lawn.

Awesome Accommodation

Complete with 21 suites of four categories, from the more modest Auberge Rooms to the four state-of-the-art “Four Quarters” suites, this luxury treasure has something for everyone. Each bespoke suite is fully equipped for only the most lavish of stays, extra-large beds fitted with the best linen and popping colours release a great energy and vibe. Upstairs suites offer furnished rooftop balconies and downstairs suites offer spacious patios or gardens. On arrival to your room you are welcomed by a thoughtful handwritten note and a chilled bottle of Miss Molly champagne. With a 24 hour reception, complimentary bar and shuttle service in the area you are fully equipped to have a luxuriously great time!

Topping the Tops with Food

We have left the best for last, a best that has won so many international awards… there are in fact too many to mention. Introducing, “The Tasting Room” a world-class culinary extravaganza like you have never experienced before. Highly acclaimed chef, Margot Janse is excellent at having fun with her profession, her unique 8 course, contemporary African inspired tasting menu promises only to astonish and amaze. On entering, you are immediately transported, the blues, teals and reds wash over you and you are drawn to the statement rope installation of Table Mountain. Brutal simplicity, each place is set with only a small black plate and a glass retaining the air of mystery for as long as possible. You will feel as though you have a relationship with each dish as they are so unexpected and inviting packed with stimulating flavour and texture combinations.

For foodies and wanderers who want to experience the breath-taking Franschhoek village, you don’t have to wait! Take a look at our hand-picked images of this exquisite destination to begin this relaxing retreat and culinary extravaganza…

 

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.

A Babymoon Safari for Expecting Parents

For some expecting parents, one of the priorities on the to-do list is planning the ultimate babymoon before the stalk arrives. For some it’s a relaxing weekend getaway and others are ready for a long-haul flight and an action-packed two-week stay in the bush.

This is your chance to unwind properly and enjoy each other’s company undisturbed. Whether it’s a quick trip or an extensive vacation, you could expect to indulge in couple’s massages, gourmet dinners, theatre performances, art galleries, outdoor yoga and not forgetting a memorable game drive that will leave you wanting to return with your little one.

 

Create a babymoon bucket-list filled with all the activities that won’t be as easy when two becomes three such as turning up the romance in a luxurious honeymoon-worthy villa overlooking a waterhole or lodges that don’t accommodate under 12’s/young rangers.

 

We’re here to help you plan that final romantic hoorah. If you’re ready to hop on a plane, South Africa is the ideal destination for a pre-baby escape because of its malaria-free game reserves and access to great medical care (just in case). And if you or your better- half are incapable of sitting on a lounger for more than a couple of hours, we’ve incorporated a little bit of adventure for you too…

The best time to experience an unforgettable safari in South Africa is September, when spring is in full force in the Western Cape. You’ll have clear blue skies and temperatures in the early 20s – perfect for exploring and relaxing in the sun.

Begin your babymoon exploring Cape Town where you will find a great balance between fun activities and sophisticated pleasures. This city has everything to offer you, from mocktails on glistening beaches and an incredible city-life to countryside day-trips and time to relax by the pool – which is pretty essential when you’re pregnant. Not only does Cape Town house many great tourist attractions such as Table Mountain and Robben Island , you are centrally located to great smaller towns that are only an hour and a half drive away such as the coastal town of Hermanus and the French-inspired Franschhoek.

Move on to a luxury safari in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve where there is phenomenal game-viewing.  Just 3.5 hours north of Johannesburg and bordering Botswana near Gaborone, this 75 000 hectare reserve is one of South Africa’s largest and finest game reserves. Madikwe Private Game Reserve has become world famous for its Lion and African Wild Dog viewing. The exclusive Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Hills and Jamala Madikwe are equally famous for their bespoke romantic experiences and have become synonymous with luxury and attention to detail. Here you are ensured a romantic, lavish safari retreat.

You can also add the beautiful Kalahari to your itinerary. Located just south of Botswana’s border, it’s the largest private game reserve in South Africa, yet only allowing 30 guests at a time within its borders. Tswalu Kalahari’s lodges were named together as one of National Geographic’s 24 Unique Lodges of the World!

A new baby brings with it great changes and joy for new parents! Soak up these romantic moments with a luxury babymoon safari.  You know what you seek, whether it’s pristine beaches or a brush with the Big Five, our team is here to help you take advantage of the small pleasures.

Iconic Africa’s Ultimate 2019 Bucket-List

2018 took us to some breathtaking destinations so choosing our favourites for you has not been easy. We hope this inspires you to start planning your once-in-a-lifetime safari, African romance or island getaway! From heaven in the tropics to awe-inspiring wildlife experiences, unforgettable adventures and cultural immersions, it all starts here, now.  Click on the link below to scroll through our top destinations for 2019! The magic of Africa awaits you…

Iconic Africa Bucket List 2019

For any questions or queries please contact us here. 

In Pictures – La Petit Ferme

You don’t need to travel far to escape the city lights, noise and life’s distractions. Just 50 miles from Cape Town lies a haven of sophisticated homeliness. Midway up the Franschhoek Mountain pass is every country-lovers dream destination!

La Petite Ferme is more than just ‘a small farm’… it’s a spectacular restaurant that offers mouth-watering cuisine; a winery offering first-class Sauvignon Blanc; a luxury hotel and so much more.

Set on the slopes of the Middagkrans Mountains, this hotel has the perfect viewing spot under the lofty gums, above the Franschhoek vineyards and overlooking infinite green lawns and white benches. Whether you are just dining out or staying in the luxurious suites –here the world stops around you.

Look down onto a quiet village while eating the most delicious food paired with world-celebrated wine cultivated from the finest grapes that thrive in the valley’s ripe soil and perfect climatic conditions. La Petite Ferme Winery is intimate and welcoming showcasing only conscientious and hand-crafted methods.

And while La Petite Ferme reawakens your senses with quietude, food, wine and views of the entire Franschhoek Valley in all its glory, this elegantly rustic boutique hotel has a setting like no other that is best described with pictures!

It radiates authenticity with its rustic character but remains luxuriously lavish at the same time. There is nothing more intimate and tranquil than limited rooms with boundless views of nature. With only 15 rooms spread out amongst the vines, you are provided total privacy. Winding paths link each suite with the vineyards, restaurant and garden ensuring a wonderful sense of space and entitlement for guests.

Each suite reflects the countryside with a stylish combination of wood, wicker and neutral colours. Raw roof beams and unpretentious wooden floors give a foundation of comfort contrasting with the luxury trimmings that each room displays. The suites integrate the outside beauty and fresh air with the interior, ensuring a soothing sense of space. Should you wish to take a day relaxing by your very own pool perhaps order a bottle of wine and a cheese platter and sample the best the valley has the offer.

Here are our hand-picked images for you to get you excited:

If you’d like to investigate this exquisite property further please contact us here.

 

The Romantic Getaway of a Lifetime

Africa is synonymous with an old-world charm and romance; where passion is created or rekindled. There is something dreamy and intoxicating about adventurous escapades in Africa’s wilderness, whether on safari or relaxing away from all the distractions of this world. What better way to show your better half how special they are than under the warm sun and blue skies, with endless beaches, breath-taking sceneries and excellent cuisines?

We have infused all of this into one unmistakable Royal Romance Package and have combined the beauty, wilderness, adventure and pioneering excitement of Africa with four destinations that define supreme luxury permeated with complete privacy and opulent romance.

Royal Malewane

There’s no way you can get it wrong this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re planning a romantic gesture or celebrating a special anniversary, we have you sorted! Three luxury accommodations in exotic settings will have your partner swooning – book a relaxing spa treatment in the great outdoors or plan a candle-lit dinner under the stars…

Be seduced by the perfect itinerary that will inspire your wanderlust and spoil you and your partner rotten:

Africa’s Southern Africa Luxury Romance Package is a grand tour of this inspirational region at the bottom continent. From cosmopolitan Cape Town to the timeless winelands of Franschhoek, the Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls – we offer you the most luxury and that Africa has to offer. Ellerman House is the definition of modern sophisticated living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the marvels of Cape Town all around. La Residence is the jewel of Franschhoek – abject indulgence suspended in an impossibly beautiful valley of vineyards. Royal Malewane is impeccably tasteful grandeur surrounded by the majesty of the African wilderness. Royal Chundu is the ancient mystery and magic of the Zambezi in luxurious island seclusion.

THE ROYAL ROMANCE TOURS & SAFARIS ITINERARY

DAY 1-4: EDWARDIAN PASSION, LUXURIOUS EXTRAVAGANCE

Ellerman House is a sumptuous Edwardian mansion resting on Lion’s Head Mountain, above the ultramarine waters of the Atlantic Ocean. No expense has been spared; it truly is a Relais & Chateaux haven of unparalleled luxury. Ellerman House boasts arguably Africa’s greatest art collection as well as a world-class wine selection and cellar. Cape Town’s endless sights, activities and beauty will keep you enthralled.

DAY 4-6: AFRICA’S MAJESTIC WINELANDS

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. The hotel is infused with colour, fabulous antiques, luxurious finishes and vaulted ceilings from which Indian chandeliers twinkle. The little village of Franschhoek is the undisputed culinary capital of South Africa and boasts great exceptional wine and delicious food. Here you really have the best of both worlds: an unmatched view combined with the pleasures of being in a hotel.

DAY 6-9: AFRICA’S WILD ROMANCE

At Royal Malewane, a private concession bordering the world-famous Kruger National Park the Biden’s Royal Portfolio has achieved perfection again. A marvel of wilderness, romance and seclusion blends seamlessly into this ancient land. It is by far the most private and romantic accommodation in the concession with the best views.

Enjoy gourmet, starlit dinners under the giant Leadwood trees or step foot in The Royal Malewane Spa – 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.

DAY 9-11: THE ROYAL VICTORIA FALLS RETREAT

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. Island Lodge is set on its own private island in the languid waters of the Zambezi, offering just four exclusive and indulgent villas that will make your heart soar. Each palatial haven boasts a private deck suspended over the river. 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.

For a selection of our other Tours and Safaris please click here.