With perfect timing, as the country moves into its peak summer season, South Africa has announced that all international travellers are now welcome back. With the lifting of travel bans now is the perfect time to tick off one of those cherished items on your bucket list and discover South Africa.
From bush to beach, we have compiled the very best of what the Rainbow Nation has to offer.
For Multi-Generational Travel…
Singita Castleton, Singita Sabi Sand
Surrounded by 45,000 acres of untouched wilderness in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve, Singita Castleton has been given a fresh new look. The property’s refashioning ensures that all future guests benefit from the utmost privacy deep in the African bush, and the exclusive-use villa now includes a brand-new yoga pavilion alongside its state-of-the-art and fully equipped fitness centre, and massage treatment rooms reachable through a private walkway in the tranquil gardens. The living areas extend outdoors onto deep, covered verandas overlooking a busy waterhole nearby where game regularly gather to drink. The outdoor boma not only provides uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape but also offers an idyllic fireside dinner under a canopy of stars, before enjoying a taste of traditional local dishes prepared by Singita’s award-winning culinary team – making it the perfect retreat for the whole family to escape together.
Rates for Singita Castleton start from £13,481 per night on an exclusive-use basis for one – eight guests. This includes all meals, drinks (excluding French Champagne), a private game-viewing vehicle/s and Field Guide, twice-daily game drives, house manager, private chef, dedicated host/butler and return road transfers between Singita’s airstrip and the villa.
For timeless Africa…
Singita Ebony Lodge, Singita Sabi Sand
Situated over the Sabi Sand River, Singita Ebony Lodge is considered one of Africa’s most iconic lodges and was revolutionary in its pioneering approach to the modern luxury safari experience. Each of the 12 luxurious suites include their own private plunge pool and almost all external walls have been replaced with glass and canvas to optimise views and space. Outdoor decks suspended off the riverbanks invite laidback dining and relaxing, allowing guests to be fully immersed in the natural surrounds. Located in Singita Sabi Sand in South Africa, Ebony Lodge provides guests with access to 45,000 acres of an incredible wildlife sanctuary that’s renowned for its high concentrations of big game and frequent leopard sightings.
Rates for Singita Ebony Lodge start from £1,356 per person per night. This includes all meals, drinks (excluding French Champagne), twice-daily open Land Rover safaris, walking safaris with accompanied guides and trackers, and return road transfers between Singita’s airstrip and the lodge.
For the Naturist…
Singita Boulders Lodge, Singita Sabi Sand
Situated along the boulder-strewn banks of the Sand River, Singita Boulders Lodge is a 12-bedroom lodge blending soulful, sensual Africa with high design to create a seamless indoor-outdoor experience. The lodge merges seamlessly with the light, shapes and moods of the environment, providing a calm atmosphere for travellers who want to connect with nature. glass and canvas to optimise views and space. Outdoor decks suspended off the riverbanks invite laidback dining and relaxing, allowing guests to be fully immersed in the natural surrounds.
Rates for Singita Boulders Lodge start from £1,355 per person per night. This includes all meals, drinks (excluding French Champagne), twice-daily open Land Rover safaris, walking safaris with accompanied guides and trackers, and return road transfers between Singita’s airstrip and the lodge. www.singita.com
For the Epicurean…
Babylonstoren, Franschhoek Valley
Dating back to 1692 and overlooking the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek Mountains, Babylonstoren is a historic fruit and wine farm that was skilfully reimagined by its owners ten years ago. Over the last decade, it has become an iconic destination, loved and best known for its its eight acres of gardens and farm at its core. Every single aspect of Babylonstoren – including the contemporary Farm Hotel and Spa, the Farm Shop, winery, farm-to-fork restaurants, Scented Room and Bakery – is led by the ever-changing tapestry and botanical diversity of the garden.
Many of the farm’s earliest buildings go back more than 300 years, including the Cape Dutch-style 17th-century werf (farmyard), the H-shape manor house, leaning bell tower and old stables. Babylonstoren’s signature style incorporates traditional details such as whitewashed stone walls and thatched roofs, with an infusion of modern, 21st-century design.
Located in the premier wine-growing region of the Cape Winelands, Babylonstoren vineyards cover 252 acres and produce 13 different grape varieties – and launching this autumn, the latest addition to its winery is a new underground wine tunnel, culminating the newly updated cellar tours. Meticulously designed to create an innovative and unique wine tasting experience, the atmospheric tunnel connects the wine production cellar with the underground barrel cellar, offering an immersive insight into the making of Babylonstoren’s famed wine. The journey culminates in a brand-new immersive tasting experience, rounded off with delicious accompaniments. Babylonstoren is a playground just waiting to be explored by resident guests, be it on foot or by bicycle and the team will arrange an array of activities, including guided walks with the farm’s horticulturists, to a tour of the wine cellar and olive press. The estate is located just a 20-minute drive away from Franschhoek – a town rich in history with a variety of delightful eateries, boutiques and art galleries. Visitors can also hop on the wine tram, a unique way to explore the local area, stopping off at some of the region’s most famous vineyards.
Room rates from £374 per night, based on two sharing, inclusive of breakfast, garden access, a guided garden tour and fishing, bicycles, rowing, a mountain drive, bread baking, a cellar tour, wine tasting, laundry (six items per day), workshops and a personalised larder. Families are welcome; children under two stay free.
For the Design Lovers…
Singita Lebombo Lodge, Singita Kruger National Park
Set within Singita’s private 33,000-acre concession in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Singita Lebombo Lodge offers boldly contemporary design, comprising 13 suites suspended above the N’Wanetsi River with luxury wood and glass interiors, offering sweeping views and balcony sleeping quarters.
Each suite’s private viewing deck is complete with a comfortable day bed which can be easily transformed for guests wanting to experience the ultimate sleep-out under the stars, with the sounds of the African night echoing below. The draping mosquito net protects from the outdoors, while guests are treated to front-row seats to the teeming animal life below. Singita’s 33,000-acre private concession surrounding Lebombo is home to one of the highest concentrations of lion in the entire Kruger National Park, supported by an abundance of plains game.
Rates for Singita Lebombo Lodge start from £1,422 per person per night. This includes all meals, drinks (excluding French Champagne), twice-daily open Land Rover safaris, walking safaris with accompanied guides and trackers, and return road transfers between Singita’s airstrip and the lodge.
Singita Sweni Lodge, Singita Kruger National Park
Tucked into the backs of the Sweni River, Singita Sweni Lodge located in Singita’s private 33,000-acre concession in South Africa is the ultimate family safari retreat. Its seven suites sleep 14 and are hidden in the trees - each featuring open-plan interiors, a generously stocked minibar, two bathrooms and an outdoor shower overlooking the river – adding to the feeling of being enveloped by an ancient forest. The intimate lodge is a hidden jewel entwined in nature that provides a bold, new African context for contemporary design, architecture and safari dining.
Rates for Singita Sweni Lodge start from £1,422 per person per night. This includes all meals, drinks (excluding French Champagne), twice-daily open Land Rover safaris, walking safaris with accompanied guides and trackers, and return road transfers between Singita’s airstrip and the lodge.
For Wild Wellness…
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, Cederberg Mountains
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Retreat is a sanctuary of unparalleled beauty and a refuge for the body and soul, set deep in South Africa’s Cederberg Mountains. Just three hours from Cape Town, the property offers a wilderness experience for guests to truly reconnect with nature in the untouched Western Cape. Guests have 7,000 hectares to explore, allowing them to walk with wildlife and enrich their minds with tales of ancient Bushman. This natural heritage site is home to many exceptional San rock art sites and offers invigorating outdoor activities including nature drives, hiking trails, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing, and swimming in clear rock pools. The spa is exceptional, drawing on ancient Africa traditions for treatments and using an exclusive line of body-care products, prepared by blending natural sea products and native African plant extracts, such as: baobab tree oil, shea butter, mafura butter, cape aloe, mongongo nut, roobois and honey-bush.
Rates at Bushmans Kloof start from £206 per person per night sharing.
For The City Break…
The Twelve Apostles, Cape Town
The Twelve Apostles is an exclusive hideaway just 10-minutes from the bustling heart of Cape Town, located within The Table Mountain National Park and fronted by a Marine Sanctuary with frequent sightings of whales, dolphins and seals. A stay here brims with possibilities - from a helicopter transfer to the V&A Waterfront or watching whales from the Leopard Bar terrace. Guests can also be pampered at the award-winning spa, built into the mountainside (couples can enjoy a massage in the scenic gazebo), before indulging in world-renowned cuisine at Azure restaurant. Guests can enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Lion's Head and the Twelve Apostles mountain range from the wrap-around terrace (which is perfect for cocktails or private dinners).
Rates at The Twelve Apostles start from £276 per person per night. This is inclusive of full daily breakfast, 24 hour room service and complimentary in room drinks amenities.
The Oyster Box, Durban
Standing majestically on Umghlanga’s beachfront overlooking the Indian Ocean and the iconic lighthouse, The Oyster Box is an award-winning escape. Established back in 1947, the property’s colonial charm, impeccable service, lush tropical gardens and breath-taking coastal are just a few of the factors which quickly earned the property its fantastic reputation. The Oyster Box has 86 different types of luxurious rooms, suites and also a private villa. They are beautifully decorated in a beach chic style reflecting the surrounding area.
Rates at The Oyster Box start from £276 per person per night. This is inclusive of full daily breakfast and complimentary in room drinks amenities.