Prepare to embrace all facets of South Africa’s intoxicating culture, from a delicious sample of its farm-to-fork gastronomy to wild experiences on safari and a raw glimpse of South Africa’s shady apartheid past. Begin your adventure in Cape Town, where you’ll wander the rainbow-hued houses of the Bo-Kaap neighbourhood and hop over to Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for eighteen years. Then, leave the city for the African bush for a safari drive in Aquila Private Game Reserve to spy leopards, lions, elephants and more.
Slow your pulse further by swapping Cape Town for the Winelands, a foodie paradise where you’ll indulge yourself in the gourmet garden-to-plate culture and hop between its sun-drenched wine estates on the iconic Franschhoek Wine Tram. Head back to Cape Town, where you’ll board the Rovos Rail for an epic three-night railway ride through South Africa’s patchworked landscapes in decadent carriages that transports you back to train travel’s Golden Age. You’ll stop along the way, first to experience Victorian elegance in the time-frozen town of Matjiesfontein and then to witness South Africa’s diamond-digging past at the Kimberley Mine Museum.
Roll into Pretoria, where you’ll make the short hop to Johannesburg, where you’ll wander the township of Soweto with your own guide. Not only witness apartheid history at its most raw with visits to the Hector Pieterson Museum and Mandela House Museum, but see how Soweto has emerged from its chequered past with its burgeoning café culture and arts scene.
Though the British admiral never stayed at Mount Nelson, he’d have been with some mighty fine company if he had. With its landmark pink exterior – painted in 1918 to celebrate peace following the First World War – Mount Nelson is a landmark itself and guests like the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and John Lennon have all stayed here. The immaculate grand colonial decor makes you feel as if you’re back to its opening in 1899 and its faultless staff have served guests under the gaze of Table Mountain ever since.
South Africa’s riposte to the Orient Express, the Rovos Rail channels a glorious Victorian-Edwardian era of train travel you probably thought have long been consigned to the history books. Luxurious suites, period furnishings and oak panelling cast you back to the country’s colonial heyday, while the dining carts will play host to some of the finest food you’ll ever have aboard a train. With varying routes available, Rovos Rail rolls through a selection of South Africa’s most eclectic scenery.
Few places in South Africa can match Franschhoek’s scenic setting, pinned down by craggy peaks on three sides, and Mont Rochelle can easy claim one of the finest views. Flexing its muscles as a 39-hectare working wine farm, Mont Rochelle is a placid country estate only a half-hour walk to Franschhoek’s buzzing boutiques. Above all, what’s most admirable is the hotel’s deep passion for wine – all of the rooms are named after grape varieties, grapes are incorporated into the spa treatments and a vineyard and cellar tour is an absolute must.
Starting life as a private home for the wealthy Oppenheimer family, Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa still very much feels that way. In a leafy location in Johannesburg’s upscale neighbourhood of Sandton, its twelve acres of exotic gardens, sleepy courtyards and trickling water features ensure Fairlawns doesn’t run at the same frenetic pace as the rest of the city. The stately rooms, Balinese spa and fit-for-a-king cuisine all combine to make this the ideal pre- or post-safari pit stop.
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From coastal city swagger to sweeping countryside and wild African bush, the variety of South Africa’s landscapes is severely underrated. We’ll pay tribute to its rich scenic mix by exploring it in the same thrilling fashion, by the legendary Rovos Rail train, light aircraft and helicopter.VIEW EXPERIENCE
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Combining stylish lodges and camps in wildlife-rich reserves that encourage you to slow down, you'll learn to reconnect and savour each moment of your luxury holiday in Kenya. This ten-night safari is not only the epitome of safari chic, it helps to support community-based tourism to keep the vital balance between African bush and the people that live within it.VIEW EXPERIENCE
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