Relax in the Home of Cool: South Africa

For the Love of Travel

South Africa is one of most chilled and relaxing countries in the world, so where better than the home of cool to take a break, explore what the country and its people have to offer, and get away from the world?

As travellers explore the country it becomes clear that each area of the country has different, but equally enticing attractions to offer; ranging from farm to table dining in the surroundings of classy Cape Town, relaxing by the beach in the country’s second capital of Durban, or spending the night in the world’s top boutique hotels in up and coming cities. Whether taking a leisure holiday, a foodie tour of discovery, or an adventure packed expedition, South Africa is perfect for everyone.

Self-driving through the semi-desert Karoo offers sights unlike anywhere else in the world, with cacti growing side by side with tall grasses and unique wildlife. Watch as wild Springbok herds cautiously approach the car, and hyenas and lions patrol their territory as you pass by. The history of South Africa is present throughout the Karoo, from abandoned diamond mines to 18th century Afrikaaner homesteads and German villages. Pay a visit to the 19th century German mission station of Zoar where all but a B&B and a Lutheran church have been abandoned. Stroll through on a Sunday morning and listen to the Afrikaans church songs echoing through the eerie streets.

Arrive at the coastal capital of Durban and take a stroll along the beach as the sun starts to set behind the skyscraper buildings. Hear the waves crashing against the stones and smooth sand. The hustle and bustle of the city just fades away as any visitors to the city sit back, relax, and forget life’s stresses and tribulations.

Perhaps the most famous and oldest city in South Africa, Cape Town has an abundance to offer to all of its visitors, including the unforgettable Table Top Mountain, the strangely flat-topped rock formation at the heart of this city. Don your hiking boots and warm clothes and carefully climb along the rocky pathway to the top, not forgetting to look down and take some breath taking photographs along the way. When you reach the top and the darkness begins to fall over the city take a look down to the crashing waves from the sea, birds circling up above, and clash of luxury apartment blocks and rustic wooden colonial houses perched atop cliffs. Savour the sights and peace from atop the mountain.

What better way to recover the energy lost from all of the exploring than to take a meal at The Roundhouse and Rumbullion, undoubtedly Cape Town’s most renowned and most desired restaurant, with stunning views out across the city and Table Top Mountain, and wine produced from the lush vineyards that surround the restaurant. Delicious charcuterie meats, including South African delicacies such as smoked salmon trout, biltong, and braised Karoo lamb with fresh greens are served on the open terrace, offering guests the best views in the country. No meal would be complete without sampling some delectable South African tipples; Cape wine has a fresh and smooth taste and is not to be missed. Try a glass of Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc or 2011 Villiera Down to Earth red and watch the orange hue of the sun setting in the distance, creating a warm glow across the city.

End the day in one of South Africa’s, if not the world’s most luxurious boutique hotels, most notably in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Kensington Place, an eight suite hotel surrounded by Table Mountain and overlooking Cape Town is a definite escape from everything down below. Each private territory offers stunning views out to the sea, mountains and city, and the staff are always more than willing to cook made-to-order food from freshly picked ingredients. Clean lines and pure white colours abound at Kensington Place. For something a little more high-end in Cape Town, Ellerman House, the former stately home of Sir John and Lady Ellerman, and perched on the slopes of Lion’s Head offering stunning views from this elegant mansion. Unique pieces of art hang from the walls of all eleven rooms and two lounges. Tswalu Kalahari Lodge, a 100,000 hectare safari lodge, a short flight from Johannesburg offers luxury safari tours through lion packs and meerkat colonies before guests retire to exclusive suites with open fires and private sundecks overlooking the popular waterhole and the animal it attracts. Join the Oppenheimer family in their luxurious home.

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