A golden country which has everything to offer the traveller – vast empty spaces, wilderness, glorious beaches, dramatic scenery and scorched plains.
It is a country where two oceans – the Atlantic and the Indian – meet and converge to provide a spectacular coastline, a country so rich in soil that it’s fynbos is a protected element, and yet it still houses one of the most inhospitable deserts on earth, the Kalahari.
But most of all it is a land rich in wildlife; it teems with lion and elephant, thousands of antelope, the elusive leopard and the endangered wild dog, not to mention a myriad of antelope, zebra, wildebeest & giraffe and hundreds of species of bird. It is also the ideal place to see the greatest creatures of the deep during the whale-watching season and is one of the few places on the planet where you can spy penguins on the sands & dive with great whites. Add to that the lushness of the Garden Route, the bounties of the Wine Region, the riches of the Kruger National Park and the cosmopolitan glamour of Johannesburg and Cape Town and you have a land for all seasons, all tastes.
- Enjoy the view from the top of Table Mountain
- Spot the Big 5 on safari
- Take a trip to Robben Island
- Enjoy whale-watching in Walker Bay
- Sample a tasting tour through the Wine Region
- Summer (November to February): Days can get very hot, although there is often a cooling breeze, especially in coastal regions. Northerly regions often experience spectacular afternoon Thunderstorms.
- Autumn (March to May): Temperatures start to drop meaning excellent weather for safari, especially around the Kruger area. It gets drier in coastal areas as well, making them perfect for outdoor activities.
- Winter (June to July): Mornings and evenings can get very cold, although days are generally pleasantly warm with clear skies. Excellent weather for safaris and the first Southern Right Whales start to arrive on the South-West coast.
- Spring (August to October): Days are rapidly starting to get warmer and the rains return to the more Northern regions. Spring flowers are in bloom in the areas to the North of Cape Town and it is a fantastic time of year to visit The Garden Route.
- Big Five, Whales, Sharks, Birds, Zebras, Giraffe
Select a Region
- Capital – Pretoria
- Currency – South African Rand
- Point of Entry – Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban
- Airlines – British Airways, South African Airways, Virgin Atlantic
- Flying Time – 11 hours
- Time Zone – GMT +1
- Visa not required
- Medical Requirements – Malaria prophylaxis recommended
When to go
- For whale-watching travel between July & November
- To experience the flowers of Namaqualand visit in August or September
- The best game-viewing in the Kruger is in the UK’s summer months
- For foodies visiting Cape Town make sure you visit The Test Kitchen or The Pot Luck Club . Both are run by Luke Dale-Roberts who is one of South Africa’s leading Chefs, offering superb gourmet food in fantastic surroundings.
- August and September sees the spring flowers blooming in Namaqualand to the North of Cape Town and we can put together some wonderful itineraries to explore this beautiful part of South Africa.
- The Madikwe Game Reserve in the North-West is a hidden gem of a reserve and perfect for families – malaria free and with many lodges boasting family units as well. The game viewing is superb and it offers South Africa’s best chance of seeing African Wild Dog.
- Dedicate walking safaris can be enjoyed in the far North of the Kruger National Park, where 80% of South Africa’s biodiversity is found in 2% of the Kruger Park’s total area.
- The South African Winter (June to August) is a beautiful time to visit KwaZulu-Natal, with bright, clear skies, warm days and everywhere is much quieter.
In a rare dry sand forest this award-winning lodge provides a glass-walled wonderland onto your environment. This property is an architectural gem with its 16 suites all built on stilts with private viewing decks and minimalist design, described as Zulu Zen.
Nature is all around from red tonka squirrels scurrying in the treetops to red duiker antelope dotting the landscape around you. Meanwhile wide-eyed bush babys watch you around the boma, with the larger mammals, for which Phinda is renowned, lying in store elsewhere in the reserve.
A dramatic safari destination on the crest of a hill overlooking the Ubombo Mountains. The views are what the eagle sees when he soars high above the bush – acres of space which lead onto infinity.
Accommodation is in 25 stunning, split-level suites, each with its own veranda and plunge pool, while the main area of the lodge is in a u-shaped building, housing the dining area and bar in a central courtyard. A full range of safari activities is on offer for guests in the renowned Phinda Reserve.
Rock dwelling in luxury, where guests get to stay in little mini castles carved out of the hillside – possibly the most extraordinary construction in the bush.
Suspended over the valley, just six suites offer a bird’s eye view of the bush, the forest and its environs from either the comfort of your suite, from your vast viewing deck or from your private plunge pool. These exceptional dwellings act as the perfect base from which to explore and enjoy the surrounding bush.
Sophistication is brought to the sand forest by this elegant lodge and its six thatched suites.
Each is spacious and beautifully decorated in a blend of north and west-African styles, and each has its own dressing room, bathroom, plunge pool and wide veranda overlooking the wetland. Game drives, walks and river cruises are all on offer, ensuring a world class safari experience in a world-class setting.
Celebrate a special birthday or family occasion in this beautiful lodge, which consists of four thatched Zululand cottages.
Each cottage is coolly decorated in contemporary style and has its own private sitting area as well as a rather wonderful circular bath chamber, complete with indoor and outdoor showers.
The lodge has its own tracker, chef and butler so guests can eat what they like, when they like, and can be active on game drives and walks for as long as they want, staying out all day with a picnic lunch if they wish.
This is possibly the most luxurious villa in the bush; a private retreat for a family or group of friends, it has just four spacious suites, all with sliding glass doors and indoor & outdoor showers. The central living and dining areas are spacious, and there is also a stunning infinity-edge swimming pool.
Any guests at The Homestead are provided with a private butler, chef, ranger and tracker – all there to make your stay as unforgettable and exclusive as is possible.
An African hideaway in a location which blends savannah, wetlands and mountain, and which offers a true bush experience.
On the banks of the Mkuze River, the lodge is visited by a multitude of antelope and birds, while guests can see the Big 5 on game drives and guided walks.
Accommodation is in 6 luxurious river suites while the lodge also has a private two-bedroom villa and a sumptuous honeymoon suite. In addition to enjoying visits to a local Zulu village, guests can also participate in unique frog safaris at certain times of the year.
One of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the area is now a luxury hotel and award-winning restaurant in the heart of the Cape winelands.
It has an extraordinary fruit and vegetable garden where guests are free to stroll, pick their own salad lunch or take a guided tour with one of the gardeners. Accommodation is in a choice of guest suites, echoing Cape Dutch farm buildings but which are decorated in a cool contemporary style, or in the magnificent old manor house, wonderfully restored with its own gardens and swimming pool.
Bartholomeus Klip is a unique hotel, and set on 10000 acres of wheat fields and private nature reserve it is an active sheep and canola farm. At the foot of the spectacular Elandskloof mountain range you will find the beautiful Victorian farmhouse which houses the main hotel and restaurant, and immaculate manicured gardens. Stylishly decorated while still retaining the feel of a cosy cottage, the farmhouse will immediately feel like home.
There are several reception rooms in the main house for relaxing by the fire in the cooler winter months, or during the heat of summer you can venture on to the veranda which wraps around the whole house. The restaurant, of course, serves high tea and you can enjoy lunchtime picnics around the property. Dinner is a more formal affair, and the gourmet cuisine is prepared using as much farm fresh produce as possible, with wines sourced from local estates.
Five-star luxury in Big 5 country, this stunning stone and thatched lodge overlooks a waterhole, so that guests can watch game from the large deck.
Accommodation is in a total of 12 large tents, split between Bayethe Hills & Bayethe Luxury, all nestling under trees along a riverbank. Each has its own ensuite bathroom, fireplace, viewing deck with hammock and private plunge pool. The activities available include game drives and walks, with massages also available for the weary.
Secluded and relaxed, this manor estate on the west shore of Knysna Lagoon has 28 Cape-style cottages each with their own sitting room, kitchen, bathroom and one, two or three bedrooms.
The property is renowned for its gardens, which are home to 270 different species of bird, its food, all sourced from local suppliers, and its location, overlooking the water and close to a number of beaches as well as the Featherbed Nature Reserve. There is also the delightful Bell Tavern, an atmospheric and historic little inn.
The most luxurious resort in the area, offering 11 individually designed rooms and the 6-bedroom villa, perfect for use by a family or group of friends.
The house overlooks two of the finest beaches on Walker Bay, close to the small seaside town of Hermanus with its boutiques and bars, cafes and galleries. It is also near Fernkloof Nature Reserve, which offers great hikes and nature trails, as well as all the ocean joys of Walker Bay, which in season offers some of the best whale and dolphin spotting. All of this can be enjoyed from the lap of luxury at Birkenhead House & Villa, which for those inclined to be less active, also offers a treatment room, comfy lounges and superb food and drink.
A moving and spectacularly comfortable fivestar hotel is what the two Blue Trains offer. Sit back in luxury while the magnificent everchanging scenery of Africa passes by.
They may provide the glamour of a bygone age but they also offer every modern element of style and comfort.
The overnight trip between Pretoria and Cape Town is an unforgettable journey. While the two trains follow the same routes, they accommodate different numbers – one takes 74 guests in 37 suites while the other, slightly smaller, takes 58 guests.
Each suite has a specially-made bed and either an ensuite bath or shower room with gold fittings and marble tiles, with each compartment also having its own specially-designated butler. The greatest attention is paid to food and wine, so that every journey is a complete gourmet delight. The journey between Pretoria and Cape Town offers a different stopover in each direction – one at Kimberley where guests can experience the excitement of the great diamond rush, and another at Matjiesfontein, a legendary village which is now a National Historic Monument.
Five-star standards deep in the bush with this lodge’s four large thatched suites – one of which is a truly romantic honeymoon suite with a huge four-poster mahogany bed.
Intimate and romantic, it is an ideal location for a private party or a small wedding reception, yet at the same time it offers great game viewing on foot, by safari vehicle and by boat. It also has a large wooden pool deck and a library with internet facilities.
The ultimate in bush seclusion, the lodge is at the top end of an open valley but is hidden in the bush for extra seclusion and privacy.
Each of the five large luxury tents has their own large decking area with a private plunge pool, and an outdoor double shower. The interiors are decorated with muted shades and have every comfort including an oval bath and fireplace. Massages are also available after a hard days game viewing.
In the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains this award-winning property is a showcase to two of South Africa’s true treasures.
As it is within the Cape Floral Kingdom, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is covered with numerous species of indigenous fynbos, while it also has access to 130 sites of ancient Bushmen rock art – little wonder guests are seduced and enchanted with this connection to the landscape and to the ancient world. A superb range of activities will keep all members of the family enthralled and entertained.
Offering one of the most magical experiences in South Africa – an elephant-back safari. Camp Jabulani grew from rescued elephants from Zimbabwe; here they found a new home, great care and a good life.
Accommodation is in six large luxury suites, each with its own wide deck and private plunge pool, and connected to the main public areas by wooden walkways. For those wanting extra privacy the camp has a spectacular private villa, the Zindoga Villa, which has two vast suites and its own dining, relaxing & resting areas and swimming pool.
Camps Bay is a wonderful location for people looking for a more relaxed side of Cape Town. The retreat provides this by offering guests a peaceful location, away from the beachfront properties further down the hill. The views from the gardens are stunning and for active guests there is also tennis court available on the property.
The rooms are split between the traditional Earl Dyke's Manor and the even more traditional Deck House and Villa, demonstrating the retreat's diversity of room styles. Every room is spacious, comfortable and have all of the amenities that you could wish for, with superb service enjoyed from all of the staff on the property. There is a lounge, library and spa onsite, whilst guests are able to use the gym and private beach club, Sandy B, at the nearby Bay Hotel.
A lovingly and beautifully-restored old farmhouse, close to the city centre, which has been designated a national monument.
It is now a chic and comfortable boutique hotel with 12 stylish and modern rooms. Adjoining it is the one bedroom Owner’s Villa, which has a private garden and plunge pool – the ultimate in luxury and privacy in a bustling city. Best of all, the Villa enjoys all the services of the hotel too for those guests who do not wish to make use of the fully-equipped kitchen.
Located on its own private quay on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, adjacent to the international yacht marina, this five-star property offers effortless city elegance and style. It’s central location is a true bonus as it is an easy drive to the airport, and is close to all of the Cape’s popular tourist attractions. Renowned for its food, it houses one of Cape Town’s top restaurants as well as a whisky bar. It has a fully-equipped fitness studio, a heated swimming pool with sun terrace and a rooftop spa offering African-inspired treatments. It also offers complimentary transfers to local beaches and sights, with each of its rooms enjoying spectacular views of the yacht marina or the working harbour.
With a design based on Place Vendome, a highlight of 18th-century Paris, this elegant and sophisticated hotel is as modern as tomorrow in offerings and service.
Located at Green Point, the artistic heart of Cape Town, it is just a few minutes from the beaches of both Camp’s Bay and Clifton, and is within walking distance of the shops and boutiques of the Waterfront. It also offers a stylish rooftop swimming pool and sundeck, alongside a spa and fitness centre.
Immerse yourself in the city life of Cape Town at the Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel. Stroll across to The Company's Garden, visit Long Street at night and then relax in the stylish setting of your hotel room overlooking Table Mountain.
The luxurious Cape View Clifton is centrally located and offers unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Twelve Apostles and the four beaches of Clifton below. This boutique property has just five large suites and two large self-catering apartments, all of the rooms have the great view and a ample deck. The hotel has a swimming pool with sun deck, lounge area, gym (again, with the amazing view) and a bar with honesty fridges. The apartments are perfect for families.
In the heart of the soaring Drakensberg Mountains, Cathedral Peak offers a wonderful base for families, walkers and those simply looking to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. From the hotel you will be able to enjoy views up to the jagged peaks of the Drakensberg where guided walks are offered on a daily basis with the experienced walking guides. The rooms are nice and spacious, very comfortable and a welcome sight after a long day exploring the area. The restaurant area offers meals throughout the day, and there is a small pub and games room to guests entertained in the evenings.
Colonial-style safari tents complete with four-poster beds offer splendour in the bush alongside air-conditioning, fantastic food and great game viewing.
Listen to the sounds of Africa at night through canvas, wonder at the great beauty of the African dawn and feel closer to the earth than ever before – this is what a true bush experience brings to a holiday. After which head for the wilderness and spot the great game of the plains, including the Big 5, before relaxing later with a soothing massage.
Unbridled luxury meets environmental harmony in this private game lodge which sits on the edge of one of the largest lakes in the reserve.
Accommodation is in sumptuous suites, one of which has 2 bedrooms, or for those preferring more privacy, the 2-bedroom private Chitwa House. Apart from the Big 5, the area also hosts cheetah, giraffe, hippo and antelope, many of which can be seen from the large viewing deck, so guests need not ever leave the property. Twice daily game drives and escorted walks are offered for those able to tear themselves away from the lodge!
Tucked away in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains, this luxury five-star lodge is for those looking for somewhere remote and romantic.
Rightly renowned for its food – a different seven course menu is on offer each night, accompanied by a wide choice of South African wines, this 11-roomed hideaway is gourmet heaven, with even breakfast running to three courses! Guests will find a mountain hike or bike ride essential after such a feast, or time can simply be spent in the craft shops and cafes of the nearby Midland Meander.
Five-star service and luxury in a hotel high on a magnificent plateau with sweeping views across farmland and forest, mountain and stream.
There has been an inn or hotel on the site since the great gold rush of the 19th century. Things are much calmer now with excitement garnered by mountain hikes, bird-watching and forest forays, not to mention the pampering spa. In total, there are 39 hugely comfortable rooms & suites for guests to relax in, and the Zeederberg Restaurant to indulge in.
An award-laden hotel and spa, this five-star luxury property is located on the eastern side of Knysna with magnificent views along the coastline to the Indian Ocean.
Offering the best of all worlds; fantastic nature trails, gourmet food and superb wines, possibly the best and largest spa in South Africa and a host of sporting opportunities from an 18-hole championship golf course to the amazing complex, the Field of Dreams, which has tennis courts, a cricket net and a driving range. For lovers of the sea, the nearby Noetzie Beach is one of the Garden Route’s finest.
A property of superlatives, this boutique hotel in the Stellenbosch winelands has won accolades not only for its design and décor, but also for its food and spa.
Added to this are unparallelled landscaped gardens and one of the finest collections of contemporary African art and sculpture found throughout the hotel and grounds. Renowned also for its vineyards, it is now recognised as one of the top ten wine producers in South Africa. Its setting is breathtaking, on the crest of the Helshoogte Mountain Pass, while the decor and accommodation are a fusion of African elements & materials and contemporary chic. For those not tempted to explore the environs, a pool, spa and fitness centre are all available.
Didima is a large accommodation complex, set in the high Drakensberg Close to Cathedral Peak. Accommodation is generally 2 Bedroom Chalets in uniquely shaped huts all offering lovely views. There is a large guest restaurant and visitor centre where you can get information on walks and visits to the nearby rock art. For keen walkers Didima is fantastic, with guided walks offered daily and a range of self-guided routes available as well. A couple of days here will allow you to explore the beautiful Drakensberg before moving further on into KwaZulu-Natal.
Elegant suites in glass and stone give this lodge a measure of contemporary chic in its deep valley location.
Each of the 9 suites is large, airy and light with wall-to-wall glass doors on two sides which give stunning views of the surrounding cliffs. Each room has an indoor and outdoor shower, telescope, a large sun deck and private pool, providing the perfect base from which to enjoy the many activities for which the Shamwari Reserve is renowned.
A magical place for children of all ages, the Elephant House is an eight-room lodge adjacent to the National Park which hosts the highest concentration of elephants in the world.
The rooms in this rambling colonial farmhouse are spacious and comfortable and decorated with huge sofas, Persian rugs and a private collection of African art whilst accommodation, including two family suites, is also on offer in the adjoining Stable Cottages. Aside from the standard game drives, guests at both properties can enjoy a multitude of activities and excursions.
Possibly the most sophisticated boutique hotel in Cape Town which houses a magnificent art collection, spa and two private villas.
Set in elegant gardens with sweeping lawns giving glorious views of the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island, each of the 11 rooms is individually designed, many with private patios or sea-facing balconies. The two private villas are for exclusive use and sleep up to 10 people in Villa One and up to 6 in Villa Two and the hotel also boasts a wine cellar with a truly extensive collection, a library, heated swimming pool, spa, gym and sauna. City sophistication at its finest.
For a true African experience join this weekend mobile camp which allows guests to spend two nights in tents in the bush – and feel the heartbeat of Africa beneath them.
Each day is spent walking with experienced guides through the bush, spotting game as they go, while the campsite is unfenced allowing animals to wander freely. All meals are prepared and taken in the great outdoors, with just the sounds of the African wilderness to lull guests to sleep.
Quietly elegant, this 40-suite hotel is set in beautiful landscaped gardens, and while its accommodation is both impressive and spacious, its Presidential Suite is memorable.
Located just four miles from downtown Sandton with its shops, cafes, galleries and restaurants, the hotel is a favourite with locals as well as the discerning traveller and it houses a gourmet restaurant and a relaxing bar area. There is also a large swimming pool and a luxury spa with outdoor treatment salas which is set in a pretty Balinese garden.
Set in a sub-tropical paradise between the glittering Indian Ocean and a coastal forest reserve, which has been designated a conservation area.
The property has several natural spring water lakes which help in the conservation of birds and butterflies as well as indigenous plant life, with guests able to see bushbuck, banded mongoose and vervet monkey on the estate. There is also 3 kilometres of golden sandy beach to enjoy, with the guest rooms, hidden amongst the forest of trees, supremely five-star.
Overlooking the lavish coastline of the Indian Ocean, this is a resort that has something for everyone – luxury accommodation, fantastic wildlife, flora & fauna (Zimbali means ‘valley of flowers’) a fun children’s programme and great golf.
All of the resort’s rooms have ocean views, with guests having a choice of 9 restaurants and bars in which to relax. In addition to the beach, there is also the Willow Stream Spa, and a fitness centre with a choice of fitness classes.
Located at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains and one of the foremost golfing destinations in the southern hemisphere, accommodation is split between the Fancourt Hotel and the Manor House.
The former has a selection of rooms and suites, scattered throughout the beautiful grounds whilst the latter is a traditional colonial manor house which has been transformed into a luxury hotel. Featuring both a Kids and Teens club, the hotel offers activities for all the family - there are 4 swimming pools, tennis courts, 3 Gary Player designed courses and a golf academy.
This wonderful Hotel and Wellness Retreat is located in the scenic Natal Midlands, not far from the farming town of Nottingham Road. A stay here is a true pleasure, enjoying spacious, comfortable rooms set around the lovely gardens of the hotel. The on-site restaurant is delightful using locally sourced ingedients, many coming direct from the gardens of the property. There is a fantastic Wellness Centre here, offering a diverse range of treatments including consultations with their in-house Sangoma or Tribal Healer. It is a superb base from which to explore the scenic Natal Midlands and enjoy the range of activities and excursions on offer.
Rich in history and contemporary in style, this Cape classic has a modern interior within an historic building; a listed monument, it is within walking distance of the city centre.
Its eight rooms are all individually styled with views of either Table Mountain, Table Bay or Signal Hill. There is a salt-water swimming pool, a sun deck and a pampering spa, with lavish breakfasts served each morning. Lunch and dinner can be organised on request and contemporary South African art is displayed throughout, with many pieces for sale.
On the outskirts of the picturesque village, this five-star property offers pampering and gourmet dining in a choice of luxury rooms, garden cottages and villa suites.
All are airy and elegant with comfort and great service, with the villa suites each boasting a lounge, large bathroom and two private balconies. The hotel can organise horse-riding in the valley, mountain-biking & wine tours as well as pampering treatments when you need to relax a little more.
An award-winning lodge which pioneered Heritage and Battlefield tourism in South Africa. On a 5,000-acre Natural Heritage Site, it is in close proximity to it the two great battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, and is home to wildlife including zebra and giraffe.
Each morning and afternoon excursions are offered to these fascinating historical sights, where skilled guides bring the past to life.
Spacious cottages, each with a private veranda, are located at either the Lodge or the Guest House, where there are swimming pools with views across the Buffalo River Gorge.
An intimate and private safari camp in the Makalali Conservancy which offers a safari for the soul with its holistic approach to nature and the wilderness.
Guests stay either at the main camp, which has six separate suites or in its sister camp, Little Garonga, which has just three. Each lodge has a main eating, meeting and relaxing area, as well as a swimming pool and a massage sala, all of which overlooks a waterhole.
This exclusive and five-star safari lodge is the only private concession in the Addo Elephant National Park. This allows guests the privilege and the excitement of being close to the densest population of elephants in the world.
A member of Relais & Chateaux, the comfort and luxury of the lodge is unsurpassed in its 11 super-tented suites, each with its own private deck and lounge area. A range of activities is offered to make the very best of Gorah’s unique location.
Grand Dedale is charming, welcoming and an idyllic retreat. Set amongst sprawling lands and wineries, it’s a foodies heaven. Accommodating only six suites and a secluded cottage, it’s a great spot to rest up in when exploring the Wine Region. Close to amenities, it’s its own little sanctuary and one of our favourites when it comes to holing up for a night or two.
Set in the rolling hills of the Natal Midlands, Granny Mouse is the perfect base for starting a tour of KwaZulu-Natal. The spacious rooms are set around the main lodge, separated by manicured lawns and gardens. Inside the rooms you will find an open fireplace, perfect for relaxing in front of with a glass of wine in the evenings, and stunning views out to the hills of the Midlands. The main lodge houses the fantastic restaurant offering a menu inspired by locally sourced ingredients. There is a small spa on site as well so you can be pampered after a day enjoying some of the many activities the Midlands has to offer.
There is a sense of history among the stone walls, thatched roofs and wooden walkways in the elegance of this lodge, while inside antiques and rich rugs give a sense of comfort and warmth.
Each of the nine suites, with their wide wooden decks and private plunge pools, offer the same old-style service as well as gourmet food and wine. For families, groups of friends or just those seeking a little exclusivity, Uplands Homestead & Melton Manor are two superb exclusive-use villas with their own chef and game ranger.
Eco-luxury and sustainable tourism go hand-in-hand in this award-winning reserve, set in 2,500 acres of indigenous fynbos forest overlooking Walker Bay.
Two five-star lodges house a selection of rooms and suites, each with its own deck or patio and great views across the bay, and there is also the exclusive & magnificent Villa, which offers six suites, a butler, chef and guide. Grootbos is a nature lover’s delight with the forest, the beach and the ocean and a plethora of activities to explore each one, including hikes and caged shark dives, whale-watching and horse-riding on the beach.
You will find Hartford House just outside Mooi River in the rolling hills of the Natal Midlands and there can't be many more beautiful spots to stay in South Africa. The old manor house is made up of open public areas, with the unique rooms tucked away ensuring the utmost privacy. Many people will have a few days here just as a gourmet retreat and it really does offer some of the best food anywhere in South Africa, including it's acclaimed restaurants. What makes Hartford such a wonderful place to stay is you feel really really at home here, with many visitors choosing to spend a whole day in-house relaxing. The views are breathtaking and it has it's own stud farm and lovely walking trails. Equally, it offers easy access to the Midlands Meander and Drakensberg Mountains, so you really can do as much or as little as you like here.
Set amid tranquil grassland, this self-contained luxury lodge can be booked for exclusive use by a group of friends or family.
The suites – four double and two two-roomed family suites are as spacious as they are comfortable, with each having a private verandah, outside courtyard, spa bath and underfloor heating. The bar in the main lodge overlooks the swimming pool and waterhole, and a full range of game viewing activities is available on the reserve in search of the Big 5 which call Amakhala home.
Hluhluwe River Lodge is set on the flats on the shores of Lake St Lucia, offering visitors stunning views out across the Lake. The main lodge hosts the bar and dining area, which is the focus for gathering in the evenings, as well as a lovely swimming pool. The rooms are thatched chalets, set back from the main lodge in the shades of the forest, meaning they never get too hot in summer. The range of activities is the real draw here making it a great stopping point for families. Quad biking and mountain biking around the lake are popular, as are walks, birding excursions and boat trips. Guests can also enjoy morning and evening game drives into the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, which is about 20 minutes away. Whilst not a safari destination in it's own right, this is a perfect stop for those looking for a few days of being active and exploring this beautiful part of the coast.
A true holiday retreat, set in a private nature reserve between the Tsitsikamma Mountains and the Indian Ocean.
There is never a dull moment as the lodge can organise a plethora of pastimes including skydiving, snorkelling, fly-fishing, river trips, forest walks, golf and whale-watching. The daring can even try the highest bungee jump in the world. Food at Hog Hollow is delicious, using locally grown and sourced ingredients where possible, while the picnic baskets are legendary.
History is all around you when you stay at this luxury lodge on the site of some of the most dramatic events in the history of the Zulu kingdom – Isandlwana Lodge, Rorke’s Drift and Blood River.
A mixture of contemporary and modern décor which is built into the iNyoni rock formation, the lodge offers awesome views across the Isandlwana plain and a swimming pool fashioned into the rock. The resident historians and guides bring the surrounding history to life, and lead daily excursions to all the major sights.
Set deep in the heart of Zululand, Isibindi Zulu Lodge is a lovely blend of the traditional and the modern. The rooms are built in the style of Zulu Beehive Huts, but with all of the modern comforts one would expect from a lodge. The views from the terraces down to the surrounding valley are stunning and they are a perfect place to enjoy a morning coffee before beginning a day of exploration. The main part of the lodge has a large open sided dining area and lounge which is the focal point of the lodge. There is a swimming pool and library so guests have plenty to keep them occupied during the day. Battlefield Tours to Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift are offered from here, as are cultural visits to the small village that sits beneath the lodge where guests can get an insight into the tradition and intrecacies of Zulu life.
Built around an ancient termite mound, Safari Lodge is a magical and unforgettable experience for those looking for an authentic safari.
There are just eight tent-style rooms, each with its own balcony, offering space and great views, and there are also two large family suites plus Tree Lodge, which has eight light-filled tree-houses from where guests can watch stars, birds and squirrels.
The main lodge areas overlook an established waterhole where guests can relax with a cool cocktail and watch the game come to drink and bathe.
Situated in the southern part of the Madikwe Game Reserve on the border with Botswana, Jamala Madikwe is located away from other lodges and the private nature of the lodge is enhanced by the fact that they have no more than ten guests at any one time.
The five free-standing villas are luxurious with elegant spaces complete with a private plunge pool and dining area. The main lodge overlooks a waterhole that attracts a lot of wildlife allowing guests to enjoy game viewing on a "sofa safari". The lodge is owner run and prides itself on its superb personal service and exceptional dining experience.
Karkloof is truly a unique property. The combination of safari and spa isn't an easy thing to get right, but they've definitely found the right balance - and it's a match made in heaven. Karkloof is located less than 30km from the centre of Pietermaritzburg, in a game reserve rich in wildlife including black and white rhino, leopard, hippo and much more.
Voted the world’s best city hotel, a hip, urban boutique hotel on the slopes of Table Mountain, with great views down to the ocean, and yet just ten minutes from the city centre.
The hotel offers eight rooms, each of which is individually designed in cool, contemporary shades and style with modern African artefacts throughout. Best of all, every room has its own balcony or terrace, perfect for enjoying an alfresco breakfast, while the hotel’s private garden and swimming pool is a sanctuary above the city.
Knysna Hollow Country House offers an oasis of calm in the Garden Route. Set amongst the beautiful gardens of the estate, and just a few minutes from the Knysna lagoon and town centre, it's the perfect pit stop along the Garden Route or destination for those wanting to sit back and relax.
In the heart of the iSiMangaliso Wetlands National Park, Kosi Forest Lodge is a wonderful base for those looking to enjoy the diverse range of activities that the region has to offer. The 16 rooms are comfortably furnished with lovely views out into the forest, just a short walk from the main part of the lodge with the open air bathrooms with sunken baths offering a wonderfully romantic and memorable experience. Meals are served in the main lodge, although private dining can be arranged on request.
With a prime location on a 700 hectare private estate just outside Plettenberg Bay, Kurland is a perfect spot for those looking for a stylish place to stay with plenty of activities on offer.
Just 12 rooms make up the property so you will be assured of attentive, personal service and a wonderfully relaxing place to stay. There is a great choice of dining options here, definitely more than one would expect from such a small property. There is a wealth of onsite activities, including walking, horse-riding and the opportunity for quad biking on the estate. With the attractions of Plettenberg Bay nearby, you will be spoilt for choice of what to do when staying here.
An ultra-sophisticated take on self-catering is provided by these four elegant villas just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the historic village of Franschhoek.
Sleeping between two and eight, each villa has spacious indoor and outdoor living areas, a private garden and swimming pool, making them perfect for couples, families or a group of friends. While guests can be as private as they wish, the villas also offer a personalised concierge service – this can mean anything from butler service or baby sitters, to chefs or chauffeurs.
Uber-luxurious hideaway at the heart of a private estate, it enjoys glorious views of the nearby mountains and the abundant vineyards which surround the area.
A multi-award-winning property which consists of 11 suites and 5 private villas, boasting 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms. Each room has its own balcony or terrace and is decorated with eclectic opulence – silks, Persian rugs, Indian chandeliers, French armouries, Asian artefacts and some glorious antiques. Just a short distance from some of the best wineries in the region and less than an hour from the delights of Cape Town, it is a haven of peace and tranquillity which is renowned for its food and unrivalled setting, as well as for its highly personalised and dedicated service.
The ideal starting point for those wishing to explore the best of the wine region, this charming five-star resort retains much of the allure and style of the Cape Dutch traditions.
With glorious views of the surrounding mountains, vineyards and hillside covered with vines, guests can choose to stay in a selection of rooms, suites, villas and chalets. From there they can choose to explore the wealth of wineries in the area as well as enjoy walks, hikes, horse-riding & fly-fishing as well as cheese and chocolate tastings! The hotel itself has tennis courts, a swimming pool, three restaurants and a Wellness Centre and Spa.
Located in the heart of Franschhoek Village, Le Quartier Francais has a lovely intimate feel to it, providing a “village within a village” feel.
Guests will be able to enjoy spacious, wonderfully furnished rooms, set around the grounds of the hotel, with Auberge Suites having their own private pools. Dining is taken very seriously at Le Quartier – their signature restaurant, The Tasting Room, regularly features in South Africa’s top 5 restaurants and the Garden Room and Lounge Bar are also very popular. Bikes are available for guests to borrow to explore Franschhoek and the surrounding wineries. A lovely, tranquil base for your time in The Winelands.
A beautifully-restored, family-friendly colonial house with five suites, a baby-sitting service and a children’s programme.
The adjoining Shearer’s Lodge has four suites, including an uber-romantic one for honeymooners, with the properties sharing the swimming pool, gardens, an intimate wedding chapel and a charming stone pub. Both offer a number of guided bush experiences into the malaria-free Amakhala Reserve, which is home to the Big 5.
Set high on a hill top in the heart of the Waterberg Reserve, Leobo commands a stunning location and is one of our favourite private retreats in South Africa. The emphasis at Leobo is on privacy and tailoring your stay to what you want to do. As the lodge is taken on a completely exclusive basis you really can do whatever you want to do.
Whilst it is located in a safari area, safari is not the main emphasis here, although naturally game drives can be enjoyed should you wish. Rather the guides love to take guests walking through the park, on quad bike safaris, swimming in the rock pools, fishing and rock climbing. A helicopter can whisk you up to the top of some cliffs for the ultimate sundowner drink spot!
Back in the lodge you can relax in the utmost luxury, with huge bedrooms, a lovely lounge area and sprawling deck with the pool tucked away at the end. The chef and housekeeping teams will look after you to your heart’s desire, providing superb cuisine for all the family.
The owner’s passion for stargazing is also evident, with a state of the art telescope and observation room available for all guests to enjoy during their stay.
Eight elegant and spacious glass-fronted suites look out from a hilltop over a waterhole and miles of bushveld.
Each suite has its own wide sundeck, plunge pool and best of all, a hammock, from which you can gaze lazily at any passing buck or bird, and a sun-lounger for reading and relaxing. The public areas consist of a swimming pool, formal dining area and an outside boma where delicious food and fine wines are dispensed. There is also a wellness centre and gym for those needing extra exercise or a little pampering, with helicopter transfers available for those seeking a rock star’s lifestyle or a memorable arrival.
Designed by a family, the Mores, for a family, this lodge is equally at home to a group of friends.
It has four spacious suites plus a children’s dormitory which sleeps eight and an adjoining nanny/au pair room. The communal rooms are supremely comfortable and include a library, a playroom, a gym & sauna, indoor & outdoor dining areas, a wrap-around deck and a lap swimming pool. The lodge, one of the finest available for exclusive use in all of Africa, also has its own manager, chef, ranger & safari vehicle.
Cosmopolitan chic meets African art and attitude on the banks of the Sabi River – this has to be the hippest lodge in the bush.
Voted one of the most luxurious safari lodges in South Africa, there are just six suites in shades of ebony & ivory, each with a huge open-plan bathroom complete with egg-shaped bath and indoor & outdoor shower. Each also has a wide viewing deck with plunge pool and a day bed from which you can watch the animals at the river or finding shade under the trees - should you not wish to stray far from base.
This nine-suite sister property of Tinga Lodge is more African in feel with its large wooden and thatched suites built on stilts above the Sabie River.
They are immensely comfortable with large beds, fine cotton sheets, double showers, free standing baths, viewing decks and private plunge pools. Guests access the main areas via wooden walkways winding through the riverine forest, with game drives into the Kruger National Park on offer.
Because this game reserve forms part of the Kruger National Park it means the animals can roam free, which makes for some magical sightings around the property and along the banks of the Sabi River.
All of the 20 thatched rooms look out onto the river and each has its own viewing deck. The main lodge, which is accessed by wooden walkways, houses the dining room, bar, swimming pools and spa, and is the perfect place to retreat to after a day spent tracking the game in the reserve.
A classic safari lodge – richly furnished, deeply comfortable with great service, it’s where guests return to relax and repair after the rigours of a game drive or bush walk.
Each suite is large and airy with the game viewing deck having sufficient space for sun loungers and a plunge pool. The lodge’s main areas all have views of the Sabie River and its environs while the viewing deck, built around a 200 year old Jackalberry tree, provides great shade during the heat of the day, and a wonderfully atmospheric alfresco dining area in the evening.
Seven idyllic chalets and three superior suites under the shade of huge ebony trees on the banks of the Sabi River are as inviting as they sound.
Original mahogany beds, military chests, compass safari lamps and deep, deep sofas give this camp all the elements of a traditional African lodge. Family-friendly, the safari activities available include morning and afternoon game drives and bush walks.
Newly-renovated, this is the most secluded of all the Londolozi luxury camps and has just three private suites, all with glorious river views.
A perfect place for private getaways and honeymoons, it also comes into its own as a private home when rented exclusively for groups of up to 14 people. It is ideal as a multi-generational holiday base and can be adapted for all needs and ages. Sightings of leopard are legendary at Londolozi and a stay at Pioneer Camp will not disappoint.
Space, light and privacy are the hallmark of these three elegant suites which provide some of the most luxurious accommodation in the Sabi Sand Reserve.
Sited beautifully on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river bed, this family-owned and run property provides a totally memorable experience. As only six people can stay here at any one time it is the ideal hideaway for a private celebration or for a family gathering, and if rented exclusively guests benefit from private game drives.
Six suites hidden in the trees make this the most exclusive camp, and one that redefines luxury in the wilderness.
Each of the elegant and private suites has its own deck and pool, while inside the Ralph Lauren wallpaper and touches add sophistication to its African artefacts and chocolate-plaited leather beds. Gourmet cuisine and fine wine are Tree Camp’s hallmarks, and in tandem with terrific game viewing ensure a superb stay for all guests.
A camp with a family history, it is claimed a camp fire has burned on this site, overlooking the riverine bush, for more than 85 years.
Today there are 10 grand chalets; wide, comfortable and private with every amenity the serious safari guru needs. All the chalets have wooden decks with private pools, the game viewing is superb and children are welcome, with family rooms and a special educational programme of dedicated safari activities.
A beautifully-restored Edwardian manor house which offers refined comfort deep in the African bush in its 15 spacious rooms and suites.
In total there are never more than 38 guests, which gives the feel and flow of a true country house party, with wonderful meals, both in the dining room and outside at the Boma, as well as a fine selection of wines and cigars. Shamwari is world famous for its wildlife and Long Lee Manor is the perfect base from which to explore it.
A luxury hideaway on the Botswana border comprised of just 10 suites, all glass-fronted, providing guests with great views of the bush and wilderness, and all with a sun deck and plunge pool.
The Madikwe Game Reserve is home to over 65 species of mammal and more than 300 species of bird, but best of all it’s malaria-free. Extra privacy is available at Little Madikwe, a private camp with two suites and its own staff, butler, ranger and safari vehicle. It also has a large swimming pool and can be added to with two extra suites to make an ideal lodge for eight friends or a family.
An extraordinary collection of lodges where the Kalahari meets the bushveld in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve.
The property consists of three lodges – Kopano, Dithaba and Lelapa, all within a short distance of each other and yet all totally private. Dithaba and Kopano each have just four spacious suites and every one has its own private plunge pool, while Lelapa has twelve, again each with a private plunge pool. All are also equipped with a gym in a basket – a set of weights, an exercise mat and a core strengthening ring – in an attempt to try to combat the effects of the superb cuisine!
Set in the forest on the edge of Lake St Lucia, Makakatana combines rustic yet comfortable accommodation with a great choice of activities, including boat trips on the lake and traditional game drives in the surrounding game reserves. There is a very laid back feel to a stay here, with guests able to pick and choose the activities they do, or simply sit back and enjoy the laid back surroundings of the lodge.
A luxurious and exclusive safari lodge, Makanyane is situated on private land within the magnificent 75,000 hectare malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve - home to the Big 5 and a myriad of other animal and bird species. Makanyane, which lies hidden in lush riverside forest, offers unforgettable wildlife experiences, exquisite accommodation and cuisine as well as outstanding personal service. Malaria-Free, convenient and yet off the beaten track, Madikwe Game Reserve is the perfect and responsible choice for honeymoons, romantic breaks and family safaris.
Dramatic scenery and a magical location make this luxurious tented camp one of the most desirable holiday destinations in South Africa.
Situated on one of the ancient trade routes across the dark continent, it sits at the foot of the Waterberg Mountains and overlooks the vast spaces of the Marakele National Park. There are just 15 tented suites of serious luxury, each with its own private deck, stone bathroom and outdoor shower, and glorious views of the surrounding African bush.
An exclusive property set high on a rocky outcrop of the Gabbro Hills in the heart of one of South Africa’s largest game reserves, where guests can find the Super 7 – buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino and wild dog!
Accommodation is in five ultra-luxurious thatched suites – each of which has fine mahogany furniture, open fireplaces, indoor and outdoor showers, large sun deck and a private plunge pool which overlooks a waterhole. The main areas of the lodge house one of the world’s finest African art collections, from oils to bronzes, abstract to portraits.
Mont Rochelle has long been regarded as one of the best places to stay in Franschhoek, so, was with considerable fanfare that the property was purchased and refurbished by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Limited Edition brand in the summer of 2014. The property re-opened in September 2014, with it's original character and intergrity in place, but with the beautiful touches that are synonomous with the Virgin collection.
Each of the 22 rooms are beautifully appointed, commanding wonderful views out across the gardens and to the surrounding mountains and vineyards. All rooms now include complimentary mini-bars, which is a lovely touch. The main building also houses their fine dining restaurant, spa and heated outdoor swimming pool. The gardens are a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the views across the Franschhoek Valley, whilst the remote location provides the property with a peaceful atmosphere.
With another country kitchen style restaurant and winery on offer, guests are spoilt for choice on what to do when here, although picnics in the grounds are always popular. The iconic Franschhoek wine tram passes close by and there is the chance to tour the wineries on horseback which is a wonderful experience.
High in the Drakensberg Mountains, offering stunning views to the surrounding peaks you will find Montusi Mountain Lodge. The cottages are spread throughout the grounds of the lodge, offering guests a perfect place to relax after a day walking the Drakensberg or enjoying the activities in the lodge. A spacious swimming pool, lawns and a tennis court are found on the property. The staff here really help to make the experience, whether they are taking you on a guided hike or conversing over dinner. Montusi is a wonderful base for exploring the diverse and beautiful Drakensberg Mountains.
Located just outside the small town of Himmeville to the South of the Sani Pass, Moorcroft Manor is a great escape for those looking for lovely food and a great range of activities. The rooms are all wonderfully spacious, with verandas looking out over the gardens and up towards the small dam and Drakensberg Mountains beyond. The excellent on-site restaurant offers a great choice of dishes and is very popular with guests and locals alike. Moorcroft is the best place to stay if guests are looking to explore the Sani Pass, as well as enjoy fishing, walking and cycling. There is also an excellent spa with a wide range of treatments for guests who are looking to be pampered. This area does not immediately draw visitors in, however, if you do go there, make sure Moorcroft is your choice of where to stay.
In the heart of town off one of the liveliest streets, Kloof Street, with its stylish collection of cafes, restaurants, shops and bars, this stylish apartment hotel offers all the benefits of a home from home.
There are 16 apartments plus an adjoining house, all with their own fully-fitted kitchen, lounge, and either terrace or garden. Breakfast is served daily while the hotel’s concierge will organise restaurant reservations, spa and fitness treatments as well as excursions for guests.
For well over a century this iconic luxury hotel has been the choice of the rich, the famous, the royal and the discerning traveller to Cape Town. Set in a magnificent garden estate with palm-lined avenues, rolling lawns and enviable rose gardens it is ideally located for the city centre, as well as for the Waterfront and the best beaches. Accommodation is in seven different wings with none of the rooms and suites exactly the same. Offering superlative service, it is renowned for its afternoon tea and its ultra-chic Planet Champagne Bar.
On the crest of a hill which overlooks the Drakensberg Mountains and shaded by tall trees, this lodge offers a luxury private escape.
There are just four spacious suites, each of which can be completely self-contained with dining, relaxing and bathing areas. They are all built around a shared swimming pool and there is also a bar, wine cellar, boma, dining and relaxing area at which to retire to after a hard days game viewing in the African bush.
Small and stylish, this eight-roomed property offers sophisticated comfort, cool contemporary design and spectacular views of the ocean and Lion’s Head.
Close to all the excitement of the city but sufficiently secluded and private to allow guests to enjoy the peace and quiet of the jasmine-scented garden, the hotel also offers an indoor swimming pool, spa treatments, free WiFi and outstanding service, led by the charming and indefatigable owner Olaf.
An extraordinary place where the bush vegetation merges with the endless sands of the Indian Ocean, right on the edge of the Eastern Cape.
Accommodation is in three lodge suites and four ocean suites, all spacious with private decks, and there is also a three bedroom private house with its own plunge pool, butler and babysitting service. Wildlife can be viewed from either the sandy beach or from the comfort of the lodge’s great wooden deck, with the golden sands offering a wonderful diversion.
On the Waterfront and with great views of Table Mountain, this five-star luxury hotel is constructed on two man-made islands.
Each room and suite, decorated using African colours and artefacts, has a balcony or private terrace from which to enjoy the sun and the views, while the three penthouses make great second homes for emperors and oligarchs. This is a resort in the middle of a city with everything a metropolitan visitor would need, but at the same time providing the amenities and activities a holidaymaker demands. Not only are there two superb restaurants, but the most comprehensive spa in Cape Town, a fitness centre which offers everything from kinesis training to yoga & pilates, and a KidsOnly Programme for toddlers through to teens – and all of the city’s splendour on your doorstep.
South Africa’s oldest and most historic hotel, which has welcomed guests since 1802. Located right in the centre of Stellenbosch, it retains all its Georgian grandeur and elegance.
Guests can choose to stay in one of the rooms or opt for a self-catering experience in one of the five apartments – whichever you choose, the welcome and service is exceptional. Guests can relax in beautifully-planted gardens or by the swimming pool after either a day’s touring or a leisurely stroll around the streets of Stellenbosch.
A near-perfect beach location right on the edge of the Indian Ocean, this classically-influenced hotel offers luxury and comfort in great style, and yet is just a five minute walk from the boutiques, restaurants and bars of Umhlanga village.
Each of the 86 rooms is the last word in comfort, but choose one with an ocean view so that you can enjoy being lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves. By day, enjoy everything the beach and sea has to offer including snorkelling, fishing and surfing, and by night luxuriate in the hotel’s restaurants and bars.
Glamorous, glittering and wildly opulent, this five-star hotel is located just minutes from Johannesburg airport, making it the ideal place to start or finish a holiday in South Africa.
Its rooms and suites are the last word in comfort while its main areas are a riot of fountains, statues, mosaics, frescos and stained glass domes. It offers several dining options, a retail concourse, an excellent spa and a casino.
A stylish sister property of the D’Oreale Grande, which is cool and contemporary with a selection of room configurations – which is great for groups of friends and families.
Close to the airport and served by a frequent complimentary shuttle service, it offers a choice of dining including an express deli and a cocktail bar. Set in landscaped gardens it also has a sheltered outdoor pool and sun deck and is close to all the entertainment facilities available at Emperors Palace.
African explorer-style tents are on offer at this wilderness camp which overlooks a spectacular plain and its awesome game in the very heart of the Kruger National Park.
Just four large tents constitute the camp which has been constructed in a sustainable manner –everything is raised on stilts and all structures are canvas. The camp’s magnificent location allows it to offer unrivalled walking safaris across a vast area of land in search of the Big 5.
Perched high dramatically on a cliff top surrounded by a private nature reserve, this hotel offers dramatic views and true luxury.
Each of the ten large and luxurious rooms and suites has its own private balcony so guests can drink in the views. There are a multitude of activities on offer from whale-watching & birding, to snorkelling & scuba-diving off the beach below, while the in-house spa offers relaxing and cossetting treatments. One of the finest locations for a hotel in all of South Africa.
On the ‘wild coast’ of the Eastern Cape, this luxury boutique resort is a tranquil haven for those seeking peace and quiet with a chance to enjoy some amazing beaches – many wide and deserted. Plus it is a bird-watchers joy with species from sea, estuary, river and inland.
Consisting of just seven individually-designed suites, each with its own garden and plunge pool, it is the last word in privacy, and is magnificently located within a 17-acre private beach & dune forest estate.
On a private wilderness concession in the Kruger National Park, this lodge shares a boundary with the Mala Mala and Sabi Sand Reserves, which allows an abundance of wildlife to roam freely.
This lodge was constructed to have minimal impact on the environment and is made from natural materials only, which is why it blends into the environment almost unobtrusively. In addition to game drives and walks, guests are also able to enjoy overnight sleep-outs on unique tree-top platforms – an unforgettable experience.
A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the pretty university town of Stellenbosch, composed of two beautifully-restored historic houses.
Small, private and supremely comfortable, each of the 18 rooms is spacious with air conditioning, Victorian-sized bathrooms and satellite TV, with the properties location making it an ideal base from which to explore the magnificent wine region.
Opulent, luxurious, award-winning Shamwari is one of the biggest game reserves on the Eastern Cape, with Riverdene a comfortably appointed lodge with a colonial-style décor.
In addition to game viewing by vehicle and on foot, the lodge offers a great children’s programme with visits to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and the Born Free Big Cat Rescue Centre undoubted highlights for the young safari explorer. Family rooms and children’s activities help to make Riverdene a firm favourite for all ages.
Named after its exquisite rose garden, this lovingly-restored farmhouse provides old-style elegance with modern comfort.
Relax in style amid its antique furnishings, rugs and paintings in welcoming comfortable lounges, or even in the lodge’s own pub. There are just 12 spacious rooms and 2 executive suites, which have their own private pools, and an in-house wellness centre which offers a choice of treatments and therapies. The numerous attractions of Oudtshoorn lie right on its doorstep.
Renowned as one of the most luxurious trains in the world, this is where five-star luxury meets constantly changing scenery. From the wood panelled uber-comfort of carriages and suites guests can marvel at the ever-changing and magnificent sights of Africa – barren wastes, vast lowlands, the highveld and great dramatic mountain vistas.
The two trains carry 72 passengers in 36 beautifully and meticulously renovated suites – each has a proud history which is evident in its traditional furnishings and period décor. Exceptional food is on offer alongside exquisite service. There are a number of journeys on offer from the 48 hour journey between Pretoria and Cape Town, the run along the Garden Route and the three day Durban experience which includes game drives, to the three day trip to Victoria Falls, an awesome seven day route across the great deserts of Namibia, and a 14 day magnificent journey via Zambia to the plains of Tanzania. Described as one of the great railway journeys of the world, this will excite and enthral any traveller.
Depending on the journey, the trains will be hauled by diesel or electric locomotives – all in exceptional comfort and style.
As luxurious as it gets deep in the bush – palatial and opulent, furnished with antiques, burnished silks, chandeliers and Persian rugs. There are just eight capacious suites, each with its own spacious wooden deck, private plunge pool and butler service. Wooden walkways link each one to the main camp with its dining room, boutique and library.
Hidden in the bush a few yards away is the Waters of Royal Malewane, a spa that would not look out of a place in a five- star city hotel, but for a passing springbok. Food is an important element in any stay here with gourmet feasts held under the stars in the boma, hidden in a Bedouin tent or in the elegance of the dining room. This, plus great game viewing with the Big 5, over 300 different species of bird and some of Africa’s finest safari guides equals an unrivalled experience.
Just five minutes from the main lodge is a private villa originally built for the owners of Royal Malewane, but now available for private rental. Extravagantly spacious with six bedrooms and large living and dining areas, it comes with its own safari vehicle, ranger and tracker as well as its own chef and housekeeping staff – ideal for special celebrations with families or a group of friends.
Described as a luxury safari escape which overlooks a waterhole and the infinity of an African plain, this lodge has been a favourite over the years with true African aficionados.
All of its 25 air-conditioned thatched suites have wonderful views of the bush while the Mandleve Suite, ideal for honeymooners, has its own private pool. The main areas of the lodge have vast viewing decks and open courtyards where African wooden carvings are displayed. Away from the property, the game viewing on the reserve is exceptional.
Built around the curves of the earth, in the colour of the earth, this is one of the most environmentally-sensitive lodges in Africa.
With just 13 suites it provides an intimate safari experience, with each of the suites offering spacious living, sleeping and bathing accommodation as well as a large viewing deck and private plunge pool. The lodge also offers an art gallery showing local work, a fine wine cellar, a spa and a meditation garden, and of course game excursions into the world-famous Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve.
An ideal camp for a group of friends for a special celebration or birthday, this luxury retreat lies along the banks of the Msuthlu River and is shaded by the indigenous riverine trees.
Situated in one of South Africa’s first, and still best, private game reserves, there are just 6, luxury suites whose furnishings and décor highlight the colours, shades and shapes of the African bush. Combine with gourmet food, great game and a glorious bush experience for a memorable and magical holiday.
A property with all the romance and elegance of a bygone era, this 8-suite camp is furnished with fine antiques, rich rugs, brass fittings and languorous chaises longues.
Located on a private game reserve where the animals, including the Big 5, all roam free, it allows guests the authentic feel of a true bush experience, with over 200 different species of game and more than 350 species of bird just waiting to be spotted on the morning and afternoon game drives.
A four-star experience on the northern boundary of the Amakhala Game Reserve with 11 luxury suites, all with private plunge pool and spacious sitting area.
Throughout the suites and the public areas are wonderful examples of traditional African beadwork and handicrafts, and in addition to game drives and walks on the reserve the lodge also offers a special three day package which includes game viewing in the Addo Elephant Park and a visit to the nearby and famous Born Free Foundation.
A family-owned property in a landscape that is both wild and romantic, fringed by misty mountains with views that reach into infinity on the plains of the Great Karoo. The reserve consists of 70,000 acres with 3 totally different properties supplying accommodation for all needs and tastes.
Karoo Lodge provides traditional colonial-style comfort, with five spacious suites in the main building – all with great views of the landscape and the mountains, and another five huge suites nearby – so guests can choose the intimacy of the main house or the privacy of the suites.
The Manor at Samara has four private suites in an old African homestead given a contemporary twist with its design and creature comforts. Rented exclusively, it has its own chef, ranger and safari vehicle as well as its own swimming pool.
The Mountain Retreat is exactly what it says – a hideaway in the mountains which can sleep up to 10 people, and is ideal for families or a group of friends to rent exclusively. At one with the landscape and close to the bushman paintings, it provides an unforgettable experience. It also has its own game ranger, chef and housekeeper.
High above the Bushmans River overlooking the great plains, this lodge is named after a famed Xhosa chieftain of the 18th-century.
While it is located on ancient land, the lodge is as contemporary as today with its four luxury rooms and one suite, which makes it ideal for exclusive hire, or for a family group. Shamwari prides itself on preserving a vanishing way of life, and it boasts five eco-systems waiting to be explored, which support a multitude of plant, animal and birdlife.
No more than eight guests can stay at any one time in this private and intimate lodge.
In addition to the 3 luxury suites, which all have views of the waterhole, there is also a wonderful 3-bedroom suite, so the camp can easily accommodate an extended family group. Almost hidden from view in the leafy canopy of trees, it is also an ideal place for bird-watchers as there are a myriad of them nesting and playing above. Add to that a bar, a boma and a swimming pool for a perfect safari.
Almost hidden in the dense foliage along the banks of the Manyeleti River, these 8 Moroccan styled suites all have their own private sala, plunge pool and viewing deck.
There is also a huge viewing deck at the main part of the property where guests can spot game without ever leaving basecamp. Sabi Sand is renowned for the Big 5 as well as having the highest concentration of leopard in the world, and Simbambili even has its own leopard conservation project.
A luxury guesthouse with nine beautifully and individually decorated standard suites and three executive suites, all in a fusion of Asian and African style.
Port Elizabeth is a charming seaside town which acts as the gateway to both the gentle meanderings of the Garden Route and to the bush excitement of the Eastern Cape, so the lodge makes an ideal base from which to set out and explore, or to just kick back and enjoy the beautiful surrounds and facilities.
Situated on the banks of the Sand River, Singita Boulders was redesigned in 2014 taking inspiration from the lodge's natural surroundings.
The result is a striking and beautiful space where the lodge and nature merge with pared down interiors with hues of ochre, chalk and copper and contemporary artwork sits alongside dramatic furnishings of solid stone, fossilised wood, wrought iron and leather.
The twelve suites are designed to maximise privacy and to create tranquil spaces inspired by and celebrating the natural surroundings in which they sit.
The stunning design of the lodge, combined with Singita's legendary service and cuisine, produces a unique luxury safari experience.
Whether you are travelling as a group of friends or a family and you want to spend your time in the bush on your own terms, Singita Castleton offers an exclusive safari experience.
Set in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve the game viewing here is arguably South Africa's finest and your dedicated guide will take you on drives in your private open game vehicle and on exciting bush walks.
When you are not out exploring the bush there is a swimming pool, gym and tennis court at the lodge and you can also relax with a spa treatment or watching the animals that come to the waterhole to drink.
The lodge and the six individual cottages blend the style of an African farmhouse with modern luxuries and the service from the dedicated staff is second to non.
Singita Ebony is simply one of the most stunning safari lodges you will find anywhere in Africa. Set in a shaded grove of trees on the bank of the Sand River, this is the perfect spot for exploring the Sabi Sand Reserve.
The suites here are vast, with separate bedroom and living areas and massive bathrooms. Expansive decking areas contain plenty of space for relaxing during the day, as well as their own private plunge pools and space for private dining should you wish. The main areas of the lodge are very comfortable and you will always find a member of staff on hand to prepare drinks and allow you to relax and enjoy the opulent surroundings of Ebony Lodge.
Occupying a spacious corner of Singita’s private concession within the Kruger National Park, Singita Lebombo is a wonderful safari destinations for family safaris, small groups and couples alike.
The rooms command stunning views across the bush to the N’wantesi River, allowing for good animal sightings from your rooms. The rooms are loft styled, with spacious bedrooms and separate lounge areas, as well as extensive outdoor relaxation areas. For guests looking to be pampered there is a small spa and boutique for purchases.
With just six suites, Singita Sweni is an intimate lodge set above the Sweni River with its decks seemingly suspended in the surrounding trees.
As the lodge is located in a private concession within the Kruger National Park and has excellent guides the game viewing experience is superb with animals that you are likely to encounter including elephant, lion, hippo and leopard.
The main lodge area and the glass walled suites feature warm colours in a contemporary style that reflect the beautiful natural setting of the lodge.
The lodge takes it's name from the famous Battle of Spionkop and everything about the lodge evokes the feeling of the era. Built in a traditional colonial style, the main lodges and rooms are comfortable, uniquely furnished and set in the spacious grounds. A stay at Spionkop is all about the experience and variety of what you get to do here. Trips to the Battlefield are naturally a huge part of the experience, with the evocative tales expertly narrated by the guides. They have recently introduced star gazing evenings, which are especially good in the cool, clear winter months. If you are feeling adventurous, biking trails and walks are available, as are boat trips and game drives into the Nature Reserve. What makes a stay at Spionkop so pleasant is the variety of activites so you can spend a few days here and always have something new to do.
An elegant and exclusive, privately-owned and run country house hotel set in its own magnificent three acre-garden on the shores of Knysna Lagoon.
All of its 15 rooms and suites are charming and super comfortable with glorious views across the lagoon to the Knysna Heads. Food is a very important part of a sojourn here with delicious country breakfasts, lunches and picnics as well as fine dining in the evenings. The waters of the lagoon can be accessed directly from the lawns in front of the property.
The most relaxed and casual of all the Sun City properties – it is light in style and looks, and fun to stay in with three dining options and a host of amenities for all ages.
Waterworld, for instance, is available for water-skiing, jet skiing and wind surfing and also offers a cruising barge – the ideal place for a sundowner. Younger members of the family head for Kamp Kwena, an adventure playground which comes with its own animal farmyard, whilst the hotel even has its own resident Blue Crane, who may well stop by your pool lounger on his daily perambulations.
A luxury resort hotel surrounded by landscaped gardens, cascading waterfalls, a calming lake and a great pool which comes complete with its own sun deck and sandy beach.
Accommodation is in a selection of elegantly furnished and appointed rooms and suites, including family rooms, and there is a varied choice of bars and restaurants. Sports play a large part in any stay here, for as well as the two golf courses, there are also squash and tennis courts as well as a comprehensive children’s programme.
A great city hotel – it is big (329 rooms) but so is its welcome, with the friendliest staff anywhere. A short walk to all the cafes, shops, restaurants and boutiques of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront yet sufficiently removed for guests to enjoy peace and tranquillity. Facilities include a gym, heated outdoor pool & beautiful colonial bar, and each room has great views over the ocean or across to Table Mountain. Everything is literally on its doorstep, which makes it ideal for a city break in the heart of Cape Town.
The Thanda Game Reserve lies in the North-Western part of KwaZulu-Natal and is a fantastic destination for a safari when visiting the province. With just two lodges on the land, you will be assured of a wonderfully private game viewing experience, combined with a superb lodge, boasting some of the largest suites you will find on safari anywhere in Africa. Staff at Thanda Safari Lodge really go the extra mile to ensure that your stay is extra special, be it organising private dinners in the lodge to your ranger searching for that one animal that for you is a "must see". A real favourite of ours and we are sure it will be one of your's too.
Thanda Tented Camp is one of the most authentic, traditional tented camps in South Africa, and harks back to the time of old explorers, but with the comforts of a modern safari. The tents are spacious and very comfortable with a small lounge area at the front where guests can relax and gaze out into the bush. The main part of the lodge has a Hemingway style mess tent, with a bar that old Ernest himself would have approved of! The food is superb and the pool area is a great spot for enjoying the sunshine between game drives. A great feature of Thanda is that in the evenings the lights run off solar power stored from the day, meaning a peaceful atmopshere and conditions that are perfect for star gazing. A beautiful camp for those looking to enjoy a more traditional safari in a country dominated by luxury lodges.
A wonderful hotel on the slopes of Table Mountain which offers comfort, sophistication, an excellent range of facilities and the first Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef restaurant in Cape Town – The Greenhouse.
Just 49 individually-designed rooms and suites sit in a stunning landscaped garden – all nine acres of it – which offers tranquillity and peace in a winelands setting. It is the perfect place from which to explore the Cape Peninsula, and add to this a spa and hair salon, two swimming pools and a Gary Player-designed chipping & putting green – and you have everything you need for a perfect Cape Town holiday.
A delightful family-owned retreat which is also a Relais & Chateaux member due to its superb wine cellar and great food.
Previously a winner of South Africa’s best hotel, the estate’s suites and cottages are all individually-designed and decorated and provide every comfort possible. Ideal for families as there is a special children-only recreation area, a child-minding service & kiddies menu, so the grown-ups can relax in the grounds, be pampered with a massage or explore the coast & the Tsitskamma Mountains and not worry.
A luxurious hideaway with nine beautifully decorated suites, all with private patios, and two with their own plunge pool.
Located in a beautiful & peaceful valley, and yet just minutes from Constantia itself with its malls, galleries and restaurants. Magnificent breakfasts are served daily while other meals can be ordered by arrangement, with an in-house chauffeur service available to transport guests to local wineries and restaurants. This is a country retreat which is close to the city – allowing the best of both worlds.
A Huguenot-style villa which has been beautifully restored using a fusion of the classic with the contemporary, The Last Word is just seconds away from many wonderful restaurants, boutiques and galleries. The village is also surrounded by major wine estates, which guests can visit and have tutored wine tastings.
With just six rooms, two of which have access to private pools, it offers comfort and charm in an elegant and relaxed environment, and enjoys a superb central location.
Miles of white sand and infinite views of the ocean make this one of the Cape’s most romantic and dramatic locations.
Each of the six spacious suites has a sea view and private patio in this beachside boutique hotel. Situated in the picturesque lobster-fishing village of Kommetjie (you can catch your own lobster and then have it cooked for dinner) guests can simply enjoy the magnificent setting, surf or horse-ride on the beach. Set right on the sands, it is also recognised as one of South Africa’s marine bird hotspots and is a bird-watchers delight.
Elegant and luxurious, this Relais & Chateaux hotel sits on top of a cliff overlooking Walker Bay with unrivalled views of the seascape and the Overberg Mountains.
A Hermanus icon with just 42 individually-designed rooms and suites, it offers opulent comfort, great food, fine wines, a spa and one of the best land-based whale watching platforms anywhere. Within walking distance of a number of restaurants, it is also a stone’s throw from one of the greatest densities of the endangered great white shark in the world.
Acclaimed as one of the premier resorts in South Africa, if not on the whole continent; an imaginative feast in a monumental building, it is a playground for all ages.
An architectural one-off which is decorated with frescos, murals, sculptures and artworks, with pride of place going to the life-size sculpture of the elephant, Shawu. The gloriously planted gardens and parkland have been recognised as being of Botanical Gardens status, and it has a large choice of restaurants and bars, two 18-hole golf courses, an amphitheatre for concerts and an awe-inspiring water park – the Valley of the Waves.
On a rocky headland with magnificent views of the bay, this five-star luxury Relais & Chateaux hotel offers some of the finest accommodation and hospitality along the coast.
Accommodation is in a choice of rooms, suites and private villas with the area a nature lover’s dream with its forests and beaches and delicate eco-system of wetlands and lagoon. A host of activities are available nearby from hiking, mountain biking & horse-riding to fishing or simply drinking in the scenery, with the boutiques and restaurants of Plettenberg Bay a short stroll away.
A luxury villa complex located on the great sweep that is Robberg Beach, but which is also just minutes from the centre of town with all its cafes, bars, galleries and shops.
Guests can choose from Beachy Head Villa with its spectacular rooms and views, Cordovan Villa with just five shady courtyard suites, the charming Cottage Pie with its tranquil garden rooms and Robberg House with all the glamour of penthouse living.
The Robertson Small Hotel has taken boutique luxury to another level. Situated along the longest wine route in the world, Route 62, and with just 10 rooms, The Robertson Small prides itself on its tranquil picturesque sceneries from the property's simple yet contemporary architecture.
The Sands @ St Francis epitomises beachfront luxury. Located in St Francis Bay, one of the most popular beach destinations in South Africa, The Sands is like your own private beach house - with a gourmet restaurant inside. The bedrooms on the bottom floor open out onto the garden; it's just a few steps down to the beach.
A piece of South African history, this iconic property was built as a private residence which has morphed into an award-winning boutique hotel.
Possibly the most famous in the country – it’s where presidents, princes, oligarchs, captains of industry and superstars choose to stay, but most importantly it is where Nelson Mandela stayed after his release from prison and where he worked on his autobiography. Not only are his paintings displayed in the hotel, but so are some of the most important contemporary African works of art. It has 24 suites, three villas, a renowned spa and six acres of landscaped gardens.
The Three Boutique hotel lives up to its name - with only 15 rooms in a beautiful historical building, which has been lovingly restored with all the modern necessities, and perfectly placed in the middle of Cape Town you couldn't ask for anything more from a city hotel. The rooms have been decorated in a comfortable and understated chic style, without erasing the beauty of this 18th century building.
An old power station transformed into a five-star luxury hotel on Knysna’s Thesen Island is a salute to industrial architecture as all the old machinery has been incorporated into the design.
Surrounded by water on three sides, the hotel is filled with light and space throughout its 23 suites and its honeymoon suite. Also on offer is the self-catering Water Club apartment and the Amani Spa, while the Water Club itself offers a range of activities from sea cruises & fishing to paragliding.
Set in a coastal dune forest with glorious views of the beach and luxurious accommodation. The spacious and airy suites all have private balconies and views over the ocean or the forest.
A myriad of activities are available including snorkelling, world-class scuba-diving and swimming, sometimes with dolphins and whale sharks. The lodge is also close to Lake Sibaya, South Africa’s largest freshwater lake and part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park. Here, boat trips can be taken and superb bird watching enjoyed.
Enjoy a true African bush experience in this five-star lodge, located adjacent to the Kruger National Park and renowned for its accommodation and true African bush experience.
Particularly welcoming for families, each of its 20 spacious suites has its own private deck from which guests can enjoy some of the wildlife, which is in abundance here with nearly 150 species of mammals, 34 species of amphibians, and over 500 species of bird.
A short drive off the main road through the rolling hills you find Three Trees and what a wonderful place to stay this is. The main homestead is very welcoming, with a huge open lounge and dining area with a fireplace in the middle, very welcoming in the winter! The owners, Simon and Cheryl, have made Three Trees their family home and a warm, friendly atmopshere prevails because of this. The rooms are set throughout the gardens and are spacious, comfortable individual cottages, with corrugated tin rooves to give them a charming twist. They all command stunning views down to the Spioenkop Game Reserve and if you look hard enough, you may be able to see a Rhino wondering through. Activities here are varied, with Simon guiding trips to Spioenkop itself, as well as taking you on guided walks, game drives and mountain biking trips. A nearby ballooning base has added a new way to see this stunning area. Whether you have a keen interest in the battles of the Boer War, just a passing interest or are simply looking for a great base to explore the area, Three Trees is a superb option.
Exactly as it says, this is home to ten amazing suites and six extraordinary two-bedroom villas, all built into and hidden among the treetops of Tsitsikamma.
It is an architectural gem; a fusion of stone, wood, glass and water and decorated in an Afro-baroque style. Each suite and villa has its own private deck and plunge pool and allows guests the chance to live as close to nature as possible. Although guests may choose to simply relax amid the forest, the lodge can also offer exciting activities such as a zipline tour through the forest, horse-riding or ocean cruises.
South Africa’s largest privately-owned game reserve covers more than 100,000 hectares and is the model of a serious conservation policy.
The desire to ‘restore the Kalahari to itself’ is a motto for the owners, the Oppenheimer family, and to this end no more than 30 guests can visit at any one time. This allows maximum privacy and exclusivity as guests can organise their own daily timetable for excursions, game drives, meals and spa treatments.
Tswalu is malaria-free and is home to some superlative game from desert black rhino and cheetah to black-maned Kalahari lion and semi-habituated meerkat. It is also the ancestral home to the San people and some of their engravings can be seen here.
Enjoying one of the most dramatic settings along a magnificent coastline, this five-star luxury hotel is flanked by the Twelve Apostles Mountain range and looks out over the Atlantic Ocean.
Offering both a sophisticated retreat and a great activity centre, the hotel has something for everyone. Hiking, biking, horse-riding and wilderness trails can be enjoyed in the mountains, while the ocean offers whale and dolphin-watching. Add to that gourmet food, fine wines, an award-winning spa and the famous Leopard cocktail bar.
On the edge of the Kruger National Park, Sir Richard Branson’s private game retreat is hidden amongst trees atop a kopje.
The 23 rooms and suites are divided between three lodges; Rock Lodge, known as ‘Heaven in Heaven’, is perched high with great views while the tree house-style rooms of Safari Lodge or ‘Heaven on Earth’, are approached via rope and swing bridges. The final property, Cliff Lodge, offers two magnificent suites with their own private chef, safari vehicle & gym. Families are well catered for, with the Cub’s Club offering child-friendly game drives and activities.
Luxury in the lush leafy suburb of Newlands, this stylish hotel is only minutes from the city centre.
Set in six acres of magnificent landscaped parkland, it offers good service, spacious rooms and suites, a choice of restaurants and bars, a health and fitness centre and the only Angsana spa in South Africa; a diffusion spa from the award-winning Banyan Tree group. Almost a Cape Town institution, the hotel is also filled with works by leading South African artists.
A destination for the discerning traveller as it nestles in the Mpumalanga veld amid beautiful lakes and rivers.
Each of the hotel’s 25 rooms & suites is individually designed and decorated and all have private patios and lake views. For those seeking extra privacy there are a number of two and three-bedroom cottages located in the grounds, ideal for families and available on a self-catering basis. Walkersons’ location makes it the perfect retreat before or after a Kruger safari.
Adjacent to a water estuary in the southern part of the reserve, this is a haven for game and birds, with guests able to spot them en-route to the nearby waterhole.
There are just 4 generously-sized airconditioned suites, ensuring that the lodge is quiet and private. The lodge itself houses a library, dining room, large viewing and sun deck as well as a boma and a swimming pool, with both game drives and escorted bush walks available on the reserve and further afield.
The Waterfront Village Apartments are a unique set of apartments that offer stunning views of the V&A Waterfront Marina. Secure access to the Waterfront is available from the property and complimentary underground parking means guests have easy access to the attractions of Cape Town and its surroundings.
The apartments are ideally suited to guests who are looking for a little more space when staying in Cape Town, especially families who would like the opportunity to self cater. The onsite conceirge can help with any requirements that you have during your stay and can arrange for meals from local restaurants to be delivered to you.
The apartments are all very modern and spacious, with fully equipped kitchens and lounges with satellite TV, flatscreen TVs and internet access. There are also shared swimming pools available for each block.
Hidden away, these six secluded stone and thatched lodges are as comfortable as they are spacious.
Ideal for couples who really want to wallow in the bush experience, each has large decks and bathrooms with great views across the plains. Two of the suites cater specifically for families and there is a special children’s programme of game viewing, although guests are often surprised and enchanted by being able to view the game directly from the lodge’s deck or pool.