South Africa’s borders are open and we look forward to welcoming clients back to this incredible destination. During the period that our international borders were still closed, Pieter and I took the opportunity to travel within South Africa to update ourselves with some new product and experiences but also return to some favourites we’ve not visited in a while.
South Africa has some incredible destinations and properties that merely require traveling just a little bit further than the norm. Around the next corner something truly unique and special lies in waiting to be discovered for the slightly more intrepid traveller.
We are not talking way off the beaten track destination here, but with a small tweak to existing itineraries you can discover some extraordinary destinations and properties.
We put together a list of destinations and properties that we feel fit perfectly into this category and our team are ready to assist you in incorporating these into your future itineraries.
Destination: Klaserie Private Nature Reserve
Property: The Last Word Kitara
There are a number of iconic names that are associated with safaris in and around the Greater Kruger National Park. Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Timbavati, Mala Mala, Sabi Sabi comes to mind. The Klaserie Private Game Reserve might be less known but offers some truly remarkable safari options. One of the largest privately owned nature reserves in South Africa covering some 60,000 hectares it shares unfenced borders with Greater Kruger. Since there are less commercial lodges than in other reserves you’ll meet very few other vehicles when you set off through the bush on your open vehicle safari. This lends to game drives here an authentic feeling of a nearly untouched wilderness.
The Last Word Kitara – The Last Word Kitara clings to the banks of the Klaserie River. This is a secluded sanctuary that provides an intimate bush experience with just six suites. Set along a seasonal river which is a frequented by wildlife and birds. The six spacious suites elegantly decorated to create inviting spaces that set a calming tone. Dotted along the river, each styled to mirror the South African savanna that remains in full view from the comfort of the suite and private patio.
Property: The Last Word Long Beach
Although the city of Cape Town remains the most popular accommodation option there are some charming towns and villages along the Cape Peninsula that are well worth a stay. Kommetjie is a coastal village halfway between Cape Town and Cape Point about a 45 minute drive from the city. A calming blend of beach and fynbos-rich vegetation around a circular sea basin that looks like a bowl. There are quirky coffee shops and farms with camel rides and plenty of activities for children. The crayfish in this region is hailed to be of a royal standard!
The Last Word Long Beach – This 5-star beachfront hotel offers direct beach access. Before you will be an 8 km stretch of beach to play, surf, picnic and horse ride. Intimate by design, there are 2 Elegant Suites, 1 Junior Suite and 3 Superior Rooms. Each one is incredibly spacious. The views allow you to settle into the serenity of the Atlantic waters and the back of Table Mountain from the comfort of your bed.
Property: Grande Dedale
Wellington – The Cape Winelands has become synonymous with the towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. Often overlooked however is the town of Wellington, still only a scenic 45-minute drive from Cape Town. Wellington’s agricultural economy is centred on its award-winning wines, table grapes, deciduous fruit and it is also home to South Africa’s sole whisky producer. The region is renowned for beautiful Cape Dutch homesteads, picturesque environment, gardens and wineries.
Grande Dedale – Nestled at the end of a tranquil valley below the historic Bainskloof Pass, Grand Dedale is set within an award winning Wine Estate, offering sweeping views of the valley as well as the mountains. The picturesque town of Wellington is a short drive away. The exclusive and elegantly restored Cape Dutch Manor House comprises six luxurious suites. A separate thatched cottage is enjoyed by honeymooners or guests seeking additional privacy. Facilities on the Estate comprise a large outdoor swimming pool, a spa room, hiking and mountain bike trails, various walks and a wine tasting centre.
Destination: Outside Oudtshoorn – towards the Swartberg Pass
Property: Wildehondekloof Private Game Reserve.
An hours’ drive from Oudtshoorn and 40 minutes from the Cango Caves in the heart of the Klein Karoo surrounded by the stunning Swartberg Mountain Range (a World Heritage Site) lies Wildehondekloof.
Wildehondekloof Private Game Reserve – This 4,000 hectare property provides guests with the opportunity to get away from it all without having to venture too far. This exclusive luxury lodge offers 8 luxurious bedrooms all en-suite & air-conditioned with stunning views of the mountain and river.
Destination: The Crags, Plettenberg Bay
Property: Fairview House
The Crags is a beautiful rural area, between Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley in the Garden Route. It is well-known for its indigenous forests and proximity to some of the most beautiful beaches. The Crags is best known for its Animal Sanctuaries (Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, and Tenikwa Wildlife etc.) but is also home to many farmers, artists and nature-lovers. The area now also boast a wonderful selection of wine estates including Bramon Wine Estate, Newstead Lund Family Vineyards and Kay + Monty Vineyards.
Fairview House – Fairview House is a family-owned boutique hotel situated on 68-acres of spectacular countryside, named for its exceptional views over the Tsitsikamma Mountains and fynbos-rich valleys of the Garden Route National Park. It’s Cape Dutch-style architecture is a perfect foil for the contemporary finishes, while the luxury homestead itself has been carefully designed to ensure the stunning surrounding landscapes can be appreciated from everywhere on the property. Whether you stay in the Main House or the Coach House, you will experience the ultimate in relaxed and simple luxury and picture-perfect view. Each of the eight beautifully appointed rooms has been tastefully styled, a fusion of elegant simplicity and sumptuous country comfort.
Property: Views Boutique Hotel & Spa
Wilderness might be a small village but the breath-taking scenery of forests, lakes, mountains and coastline makes it feel like an endless paradise, as it is renowned for its wide open beaches and beautiful lagoon system. Situated between George and Sedgefield, Wilderness is the perfect location to base oneself to explore the area. When visiting Wilderness one can expect to enjoy hiking, mountain-biking, kloofing, bird and whale watching, paragliding, horse riding, scenic drives, angling, boating, canoeing as well as many other water sports.
Views Boutique Hotel & Spa – This serene retreat, perched high above Wilderness Beach offers spectacular panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Outeniqua Mountains. The 26 hotel rooms are individually designed offering a variety of views from direct sea facing, suburban Wilderness or partial sea views. Views Restaurant offers uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean and Wilderness beach and a choice of indoor or outdoor dining. Views Wellness Emporium was awarded Best Boutique Hotel Spa in 2018 by Les Nouvelles Esthetiques, comprising a spa, hydro lounge, gym and retail boutique.
Property: Robertson Small Hotel
In the 150 years since it was founded a lot has changed in Robertson but arguably just as much has not. There is decidedly less wagon building and ostrich feather faming these days, but this is still a small country town flanked by vast, imperious mountain ranges on the banks of the Breede River, decorated by Victorian and Edwardian architecture and streets lined with the purple-flowering Jacaranda trees. The region may be best known for its wines but the variety of attractions, activities, accommodation, and culinary delights on offer – combined with spectacular scenery and the warm hospitality of the people, makes it a superb getaway.
Robertson Small Hotel – With 10 distinct rooms, a new restaurant and bar, two pool areas, a wellness room and ample gardens, the Robertson Small provides superlative service to guests, maintaining the standards that make it Robertson’s only five-star hotel. In winter of 2016, The Small underwent a major renovation coordinated by the esteemed Studio Ashby. Designers and collaborators were tasked with inventing a range of bespoke items that conspired to create a brand new look while enhancing the award-winning facilities.
Property: Montagu Country Hotel
Montagu lies nestled between the beautiful Langeberg Mountains on Route 62, about two hours’ drive from Cape Town and conveniently located halfway between the Cape Winelands and the Garden Route. This beautiful town, famous for more than its Hot Springs is the perfect retreat for eco, wellness and adventure sports, as well as wine and food!
Montagu Country Hotel is the only original Art Deco Hotel in South Africa where quirky Art Deco flair and lush green gardens meet warm country hospitality. With 29 individually decorated en-suite rooms and suites, 2 swimming pools, an coffee shop and cocktail lounge, an a la carte restaurant, a fully equipped Wellness Centre, an in-house Art Gallery, beautiful gardens and attentive staff, the hotel is the ideal country break away destination. The Montagu Country Hotel is centrally located in town and within walking distance of many of the activities and facilities that make Montagu one of the top destinations in the Western Cape.
Destination & Property: Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
At the foot of the towering Warmwaterberg Mountains in the Little Karoo lies the unique safari destination of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve nestled in 58,000 hectares of sculpted Cape Fold Mountains and wide-open plains. A three-hour scenic drive from Cape Town along the Route 62, takes one to this unforgettable, malaria-free private game reserve. More than a Big 5 wilderness reserve, it’s the vastness of the landscape, the alluring stillness and isolation amid raw beauty and boundless plains that make Sanbona unique. Explore a wilderness sanctuary in the Western Cape while staying at your choice of three luxurious lodges:
Tilney Manor – The Manor offers six spacious open-plan suites leading on to private verandas. Guest experiences include authentic Karoo cuisine, luxurious lounges and a rim flow pool. Indulge your senses at the Relaxation Retreat while witnessing a pure African spectacle – a Karoo sunset.
Dwyka Tented Lodge – Embraced by striking rock formations, Dwyka Tented Lodge epitomises an atmosphere of seclusion. Nine luxury tents, with private decks and heated Jacuzzis, are set in a horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine.
Gondwana Family Lodge – The perfect sanctuary for family, friends and groups. This spacious thatched Lodge offers guests a sense of modern comfort with a touch of bush authenticity. Interconnecting rooms, indoor and outdoor play areas and a child-friendly pool cater for guests of all ages plus the Kids on Safari programme offers educational and recreational wildlife experiences.