Strawberries and cream. Cheese and wine. Holmes and Watson. Some pairings are just meant to be together, and after exploring luxury holidays in South Africa and Seychelles, you’ll see that safari and beach go hand-in-hand, too.

From Johannesburg, fly in a light aircraft to one of the most exclusive swathes of African wildernesses in South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Flying under the radar of its more famous neighbour to the north, its unfenced border with Kruger National Park means it shares the same richness of wildlife but it only has a handful of luxury lodges from which to appreciate them. Perched on a small kopje overlooking a watering hole and the sprawling riverine bushveld beyond, Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve can lay claim to one of the best spots in Sabi Sand. It’s somewhere you don’t even need to leave the house infinity pool for epic wildlife encounters, whether it’s hawk eagles swooping overhead, leopards stalking passing antelopes or hippos enjoying a soak in the watering hole.

But there’s no escaping the Sabi Sands Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s finest wild corners, so it pays to be intrepid and explore. Leopard Hills won’t need any encouragement to help you, with a pair of game drives included in your stay. On this luxury safari in South Africa, enjoy morning muffins and sundowner snacks in the heart of the African bush as you motor through the wilderness in search of elephants, white rhinos, buffalos, lions, and much more. For an even more authentic encounter, Leopard Hills’ walking safaris don’t just blur the boundaries between you and the bush but also champion Sabi Sands’ unsung creatures like leopard tortoises and rhino beetles. Want to explore yet further? Leopard Hills has you covered, with unforgettable trips like soaring over Blyde River Canyon in a private helicopter or meeting the Shangaan people on a visit to one of their traditional villages.

Your wild adventure may be drawing to a close, but that was just the first part of this luxury holiday; Seychelles is next. Catch your breath with a night in Johannesburg before setting off for Seychelles’ idyllic beaches. If you thought life in the African bush was pure, wait until you get to Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas on the Seychellois island of Mahé. All the Indian Ocean stereotypes here intensified: a curving, buttery beach lapped by cobalt-blue wavelets and tropical gardens thick with the scent of cinnamon. But that’s where the script is completely torn up. Just like the cheesy Shakira hit, the philosophy is very much ‘whenever, wherever’ at Anantara Maia. But it’s also ‘whatever’, with the off-menu dining concept tailored to your tastes and served wherever you wish, whether it’s on a rocky hilltop, on a private patch of sand or in the privacy of your villa. This is all-inclusive taken to a stratospheric new level and your personal butler will help curate your stay, whether it’s arranging an afternoon of water sports from Anse Louis beach or yoga and qi gong sessions among the lush forest. Get ready to rip up the rulebook at Anantara Maia – this paradise really is your oyster.

If you’re researching luxury holidays, South Africa and Seychelles are the perfect beach-safari combo you must experience.


Experience highlights

  • Stay at Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, a luxury lodge that boasts one of the best spots in Sabi Sands Game Reserve. You don’t need to even leave your bed or rock plunge pool to witness wildlife in action at the watering hole beneath the rugged outcrop you’re atop.
  • Head out on game drives twice a day, with no outing ever the same as the last. In the early morning you can spot cheetahs relaxing under the shade of a tree or crocodiles basking on riverbanks, while the late afternoon drives will produce encounters like lions roaming at twilight and nocturnal animals like genets and civets.
  • Swap the 4×4 wheels for walking boots and head out on a walking safari with one of Leopard Hills’ experienced guides. See animals that are difficult to spot from a Jeep but are just as deserving of your attention, like the multi-coloured hues of a lilac-breasted roller or insects like rhino beetles.
  • Have a beach escape exactly how you want it at Anantara Maia. This is all-inclusive at its very best, where you can dine on what you want, where you like, whether it’s a lunch right on dreamy Anse Louis beach or a twilight dinner on the resort’s helipad.
  • Make the Indian Ocean your playground with water sports like snorkelling and kayaking. Diving trips are also included in the all-inclusive experience, so you can explore the neon-hued coral and fish off the Maia peninsula to your heart’s content.
  • Your personal butler can plan a seemingly limitless number of activities during your stay, from wandering the Eden-like wilds of the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve on Praslin or a helicopter ride to the rich birdlife of Aride Island Nature Reserve.
Plan your trip to South Africa & Seychelles

Experience highlights

Set off from Johannesburg in a light aircraft to Sabi Sands Game Reserve
In Sabi Sands, you'll stay at Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve
Perched on a rocky kopje, it has excellent views over the African bush
For a literal soak of this prime African wilderness, there's nowhere better than your private rock plunge pool
Whether it's at breakfast or from the main infinity pool, you can have epic wildlife encounters without leaving the lodge
Head out on twice-daily game drives in search of Sabi Sand's wildlife, including rhinos, lions, buffalos and more
See animals slaking their thirst in watering holes
Enjoy sundowners with your guide in the heart of the African bush
If you want a closer brush with the African outdoors, go on a bush walk with one of Leopard Hills' guides
On your walk, you'll see smaller creatures like rhino beetles and birds like the lilac-breasted roller
For something totally mindblowing, head out on a private helicopter flight over Blyde River Canyon
Get a first-hand insight into the beliefs, cuisine and arts of the Shangaan peoples on a village visit
After your safari, rest for a night in Johannesburg at the suburban oasis Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa
Catch a flight to Mahé in Seychelles for a week at Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas
This is the Indian Ocean of your dreams: idyllic sands backed by lush jungle and lapped by aquarium-like waters
Stay in a thatched villa either steps from the beach or enveloped by rainforest
The culinary vision here is eat whatever you like, whenever you like – but as a taster, you could choose to have a candlelit dinner on the helipad or the beach
When you're ready to lift a finger, you can go snorkelling or kayaking off Anse Louis beach
Find your zen with an open-air yoga session in the jungle
Melt into spa treatments soundtracked by birdsong and the rustle of palm fronds
Spy turtles shuffling up the beach to lay their eggs
Your private butler can plan any number of activities for you during your stay, including a visit to the slumbersome island of La Digue

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    Where you’ll stay

    South Africa

    Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sands Game Reserve

    Looking out over the outstretched riverine bushveld from a rocky kopje, Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve has a strong claim to be the best-located lodge in Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Overlooking a watering hole, you can witness wallowing hippos and elephants slaking their thirst without even needing to leave your private plunge pool. But as comfy as your glass-fronted suite is, leave it you must as the raw wilderness of Sabi Sand is calling, with Leopard Hills’s twice-daily game drives and walking safaris giving you endless intimate encounters with the wildlife that roam it.

    South Africa

    Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa, Johannesburg

    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.


    Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas, Mahé

    Rules? What rules? Anantara Maia Seychelles Villas on the island of Mahé effectively gives its guests the keys to its tropical hideaway and allows them to write their own, unique script. Against a backdrop of buttermilk sands, tropical gardens and gin-clear waters, its Beyond All-Inclusive Luxury concept ensures a ‘whatever, whenever, wherever’ getaway in the most idyllic surroundings. Late night snack on the beach? You got it. Exclusive private dinner on the resort’s helipad? No problem. Diving among kaleidoscopic marine life? All included. Anantara Maia is where you're in charge.

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