Encompassing the towns of Kleinmond, Hermanus, Stanford and Gansbaai, the Whale Coast is an area of incredible natural beauty and diversity. This rugged stretch of South African coastline snakes along the Atlantic Ocean, with magnificent fynbos-blanketed mountains rising up from the interior. The spectacular scenery is made up of charming seaside villages, farms, rivers, coves and valleys, and during the right season, the region’s namesake – whales – can be seen cruising and wallowing in the coastal waters.
Nestled in an ancient Milkwood forest in the peaceful Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, surrounded by rolling hills of fynbos and majestic mountains, The Forest Lodge features 16 freestanding luxury suites beneath an ancient forest canopy. Each of the suites is stylishly furnished with canopy beds, spacious en-suite bathrooms, separate lounges with cozy fireplaces and private wooden decks with spectacular panoramic views. The lodge features a variety of elegant dining venues, a bar, lounge, curio shop and conference center. Spacious wooden decks and an infinity pool beckon you to relax and unwind. As the evening descends, cozy fireplaces and subtle lighting create a warm, romantic atmosphere for the perfect dining experience.
You explore one of the most scenically beautiful areas in SA, visiting fascinating towns and look into off-the-beaten-track farms which revel in their old-world roots and influences. The day is about so much more than just sipping the wines. Depending on time and season, stroll through the vines, learning about farming methods and techniques.
Spend time in Stellenbosch, browsing through its wealth of appealing stores and museums and sip local coffee blends in tempting cafes. Your tasting experience will commence at one of the iconic wine estates, let the pairing of wine awaken your senses before you meander through lush gardens bursting with life. Admire a collection of contemporary art, see the highest-growing vines and, from an elevated point, take in the stunning vistas over an old-world estate. After lunch, you visit some of the smaller, boutique and family-owned wine estates for a more intimate wine tasting.
Situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands, Paarl boasts an array of cultural and historical attractions and is surrounded by some spectacular nature reserves. Paarl was named after the huge granite dome of rock, which overlooks the town founded in 1690. The famous 11-kilometre-long Main Street features the Strooidak Church, Die Oude Pastorie Museum and the Patriot Building.
Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms located in quiet corner of the Cape that is surrounded by majestic mountains on three sides where the fynbos is home to many wild creatures.It has a fruit and vegetable garden of beauty and diversity, unique accommodation, fine food and a sense of wellbeing.
Idyllically situated in the Cape Winelands, this peaceful country retreat is one of the oldest towns in South Africa. The once sleepy little village was named Franschhoek, meaning ‘French Corner’ as it was founded by French Huguenots. The fertile valley of Franschhoek boasts a rich heritage showcased at the fascinating Huguenot Memorial Museum and the Cape Dutch architecture in much of the village remains remarkably well preserved. The town’s proximity to Cape Town allows for pleasant day trips during which visitors can explore the area’s many world-class wine estates and impressive range of excellent restaurants or simply browse the quaint, upmarket boutiques strewn along the town’s lovely tree-lined avenues.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is one of the best ways to discover the true essence of the Franschhoek Valley – picturesque vineyards, breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world-class cuisine, fine wines and a 300 year history.
Take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain and let incredible panoramas wow your soul. A short hike later, having left the crowds behind, you peer down at the fascinating city sprawled out before you, and view magnificent stretches of ocean Over freshly brewed coffee and home-baked treats, let the stories of Cape Town be brought to life by your guide, getting your bearings from this ultimate vantage point.
With a better understanding of the city layout, you descend and wander through the inner city, soaking up the magical vibe of Cape Town, through a combination of tales of the past juxtaposed with modern day culture, and meet some of the absorbing communities which form the town’s vital building blocks. Focusing on food, design, arts and crafts we uncover a selection of historical sites, such as Company’s Garden, Green Market Square and St George’s Cathedral – buildings and monuments. Depending on your interests, touch on the fascinating and controversial politics that have shaped the city – delving into recollections of the once-vibrant District 6 community or perhaps the occasion where Mandela made his first free speech.
Continue your exploration heading to the Bo-Kaap, with its brightly colored 17th century houses, cobble stone streets, Muslim shrines and beautiful mosques. Visit local upliftment projects which impact positively on the lives of their artists and crafters and uncover the immense talent born of this city, and exhibited in galleries, street art installations and within the urban regeneration of historical suburbs. Bree Street is a hotspot for artisans, fashion, jewelry and interior design – the air fragrant with the mouth-watering aromas from a variety of foodie gems.
End the day mingling with locals at a cool city haunt, rooftop bar or beach cove, sundowners in hand
Situated just north of Mbombela in Mpumalanga, South Africa, White River is a quiet, peaceful town made up of a large farming community, with agriculture centered on the production of tropical fruits, vegetables, flowers and timber. Three irrigations dams, forests, a botanical garden, a plant nursery and distinctive rock formations enhance the natural splendor of the area.
Situated just outside White River in Mpumalanga, Oliver’s is an owner-managed boutique hotel located on the secure White River Country Estate.
Overlooking the first green of the 18-hole championship White River Golf Course, our ‘home away from home’ environment allows guests to experience the marriage between Austrian flair and subtle African influences. Our bespoke accommodation in upmarket rooms includes family options as well as an in-house restaurant offering mouth-watering a-la-carte continental dishes, with our wine cellar providing the perfect venue to enjoy our raclette and fondue. Our on-site Wellness and Beauty Centre offers massages, face and body treatments, manicures, pedicures and waxing services. Guests staying with us have access to world class golf courses including Leopard Creek or day touring the Mpumalanga panorama with its attractions such as Kruger National Park, God’s Window, Bourkes Luck Potholes and many other spectacular sights.
Today you will be collected for your exploration of the Mpumalanga highlands, or the north-eastern section of the Great Escarpment of the Drakensberg. In these rugged mountains, the plateau comes to an abrupt and dramatic halt, falling steeply away into the Lowveld accompanied by incredible views out over the grasslands of Africa. Your tour of this magnificent area, known as the Panorama Route, includes visits to a number of scenic highlights. After collection from your hotel, travel through the little town of Graskop for a stop at Berlin Falls. Likened to the shape of a candle, the Berlin Falls cascade from the center of a sheer cliff that stands roughly 80m tall. Continue onto Lisbon Falls. Named after the Capital of Portugal, this waterfall lies in the Lisbon Creek just north of Graskop and towers over 94m making it the highest waterfall in the Mpumalanga Province and the second tallest in South Africa. After taking in the sheer beauty of these falls, continue on to The Three Rondavels, an ancient geological formation shaped like traditional African beehive huts.
Visit the Bourke’s Luck Potholes an incredible water feature which is the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon, the result of decades of swirling water where the Treur River meets the Blyde River, the tumult of which has caused extensive water erosion over time. After enjoying the spectacular and humbling views at Gods Window, continue back to Graskop where you will stop for lunch at one of the restaurants in town.
Visit the historical mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest, where you have a chance to see the Printing Museum, the House Museum, the Dredzen Shop Museum, Alanglade House Museum and the Diggings Site Museum. Perhaps also try your hand at some gold panning (additional charge).
Stretching over more than two million hectares, the Kruger National Park is one of the world’s largest game reserves and a truly remarkable destination. Owing to its exceptional size, visitors can experience fantastic diversity – from changing scenery and ecosystems to an impressive array of animals, plant life and birdlife. The park is home to over 130 mammals and over 500 bird species. Visitors can look forward to learning about the area’s prehistoric past, enjoying a host of accommodation options, and viewing abundant wildlife including the famed Big Five.
The Lebombo Lodge comprises 13 suites and one private-use villa that give guests a front row seat to the Kruger National Park with bold, contemporary open plan suites suspended above the N’Wanetsi River. The exclusive concession is a richly diverse habitat, teeming with game, beneath endless African skies. Set apart from the main lodge, the private villa features two 2-bedroom suites, each with a private pool. Built low down on the riverbank beneath mature trees, the private villa is fully staffed, has an open-plan kitchen and its own boma. The lodge also features a roof terrace and wine studio, an interactive kitchen, an espresso bar and help-yourself deli, and a 25-metre lap pool.
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