The Wild and the Winelands
In a country as diverse as South Africa it can be difficult to even know where to start. One of our favourite recommendations is a safari followed by a tour of the winelands; two completely different experiences but such a perfect holiday overall. In our opinion, these two are absolute must-dos when in South Africa.
After flying out to South Africa, your adventure will begin at Ulusaba, a stunning boutique lodge that blends seamlessly into a canopy of ancient trees deep in the wilderness of the wildlife-rich Sabi Sands Reserve.
Ulusaba is one of Sir Richard Branson’s properties and no expense has been spared in turning this into one of the most exclusive and luxurious game lodges in the world – it was even ranked best safari lodge in Africa by Condé Nast Traveler readers. This is a truly luxurious and unique experience in the heart of the African bush.
Game drives start early in the morning and again at dusk; the perfect times of day to spot impala gracefully leaping through the bush, giraffe gently grazing amongst the trees or elephants fixing you with their intelligent gaze. Delicious and robust meals will be served throughout the day and sometimes dinner is accompanied by authentic tribal dancers and singers. When evening falls, relax with a glass of wine from the lodge’s own wine cellar, reflecting on the day’s sightings or listening as a ranger talks you through the night sky’s constellations.
After the thrill and adventure of the African bush, it will be time to slow the pace down and head over to the visually-dramatic winelands. Your destination, Franschhoek, is at the centre of South Africa’s illustrious wine production and oenophiles won’t be disappointed with the range of fine vintages available to sample throughout this region. Foodies, too, will be thrilled with the amount of world-class restaurants Franschhoek can boast as one of the world’s lesser-known gastronomic capitals.
Your base here will be the charming Mont Rochelle, a 17th-century thatched-roof manor house that sits amongst 100 acres of winelands. Enjoy daily wine tasting and cellar tours or hop on the local wine tram which takes you through the winelands, stopping off at various wine estates and passing through some absolutely incredible mountain and vineyard-clad scenery along the way.
You can cool off with a refreshing dip in the swimming pool back at Mont Rochelle or relax with a spa treatment before rounding the day off with gourmet fare at the hotel’s exquisite restaurant, Miko, and making a toast to an absolutely spectacular holiday.