We've put together a guidebook with everything you need to know about South Africa. Written by our specialists, it details destination information, a wildlife guide, some suggested itineraries and plenty more to inspire your holiday. Fill in the form below and if you live in UK, your guidebook will arrive by post within the next couple of days. For those who live abroad, we will send you a link by email which will allow you to download your own copy.
The Cape – comprising Cape Town and the Winelands – is one of the biggest attractions for visitors to South Africa and has much to offer. Here our South Africa specialist (and former Capetonian) Annie gives her top five experiences for those looking for something new.
One of the best ways to take in the spectacular scenery that South Africa has to offer, rail travel couldn’t be further from a daily commute in the luxurious surroundings of Rovos Rail and the Blue Train. Here we give you the lowdown on what to expect and what separates these two outstanding experiences.
One of our South Africa specialists, Jen, recently saddled up for an exciting riding safari taking part in game census week at Ant’s Hill in the malaria-free Waterberg region of South Africa. Read on for more about Jen’s experience and all you need to know about exploring South Africa on horseback…
From the premier game viewing of the Kruger and malaria-free options in Madikwe and the Eastern Cape, to riding safaris in the Waterberg and getting off-the beaten-track in the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve – there is truly something for everyone. Here we give our lowdown on all that South Africa has to offer safari-wise – now all you have to do is decide which one(s) will suit you best!
South Africa and Mauritius couple superbly for a safari and beach holiday or honeymoon. Whilst South Africa offers both world class safari and cosmopolitanism, Mauritius encapsulates the very essence of laid-back island life. Start your adventure on the plains of one of South Africa’s many game rich national parks, spending your days on safari, tracking the Big Five and sipping on sundowners, before exploring the country’s vibrant cities or impressive coastal routes. A short flight to Mauritius takes you to another world of sugar white beaches, kaleidoscopic reefs and a verdant green mountainscapes. There, you can choose to do as little or as much as you like, whether it be soaking up the island’s unique Creole culture or whiling away lazy days under the shade of a leafy palm. The ultimate safari and beach combination for a year-round adventure.
This off-the-beaten-track itinerary is perfect for those searching for an authentic, scenic and cultural adventure as well as some independence that only a self-drive holiday can offer.
Self-driving in South Africa is how a number of people decide to travel as it tends to prove a more adventurous and affordable option, as well as giving you the freedom to explore. Self-driving is a hugely rewarding way to travel and appreciate the always stunning and ever-changing scenery. Here we give you our tips for taking to the open road.
Contemporary Cape Town hotels, beautiful Cape Dutch wine estates and luxurious private game lodges, all combine to make South Africa the perfect honeymoon destination. Here we give our top ideas for making South Africa the perfect honeymoon destination for you.
The Winelands, South Africa
Best for: Family, Food Drink, Honeymoon
Set among vineyards in the Cape Winelands majestic Drakenstein Valley is the exclusive spa retreat, Babylonstoren. This historic property offers guests gourmet cuisine, flawless service and spellbinding scenery, making Babylonstoren a heavenly getaway.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870
Set not far from Franschhoek town, the historic Cape Dutch Farm, Babylonstoren, offers guests unbridled use of the vineyards and orchards surrounded by the dramatic mountains of the Drakenstein Valley. Set within Babylonstoren’s site is eight acres of cultivated fruit and vegetables, a large garden offering botanical diversity, which supplies the remarkable on-site restaurants. Every one of over 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible and grown as eco-friendly and organically as possible. Divided into fifteen clusters, the garden boasts vegetable areas, berries, bees, indigenous plants, ducks and chickens as well as a prickly pear maze. Gravity feeds water into waterways from stream into the garden, a system developed on the farm 300 years ago.
Adjacent to the beautiful gardens is the Farm Hotel, a sophisticated guest accommodation with a style which was developed in the Cape Colony of the 17th and 18th centuries, whitewashed outer walls and ornate gables hang from thatched roofs, while interiors are pleasantly cool in summer and heated by open hearths in winter. With six one-bedroom suites, three one-bedroom cottages and four two-bedroom cottages there is plenty of space for couples or families. Farmhouse suites offer nine one-bedroom suites all of which have access to an outdoor swimming pool and spa and sauna area.
Babylonstoren has an exceptionally well-preserved werf (farmyard), consisting of a main residence, old cellar, koornhuis (where wheat and hay was stored), bell tower, ornate fowl pen and dove cote surrounded by the traditional low whitewashed walls. While some have been converted into guest accommodation, a disused kraal was turned into the restaurant, Babel. The design of the building embraces the original architecture of the Drakenstein Valley and its sympathetic blending with landscape and climate.
When to go
The Winelands in general are warm and temperate with hot and dry summers running from December to February, with temperatures reaching an average high of 23°C (73°F) during February. Winter runs from June to August where heavy rains, strong winds and temperatures as low as 13°C (55°F) are likely. However, the Cape Winelands are a wonderful place to explore at any time of year with Spring and Autumn especially nice as it is often sunny, but not as warm.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870
Things to do
Enjoy a scenic, leisurely hop-on hop-off tour around the wine and gourmet capital of South Africa on the Franschhoek Wine Tram. The best way to discover the gems of Franschhoek and to take in the views of the rolling vineyards.
Out and about at Babylonstoren
There is so much to explore on the 200 acres of this working farm, get out with the family to wander through the vines or orchards and head up the koppie for a picnic. Or spend an afternoon wine tasting, or simply lounge in a hammock on a warm day.
The Garden at Babylonstoren
Guests are invited to join in the harvesting, pruning, planting or picking of fruit, herbs, nuts, spices and vegetables. Walks span over three kilometres in the garden and the gardeners would love to give you a guided tour every day.
Wine at Babylonstoren
Spend an afternoon enjoying an interactive tour of a working wine farm. Babylonstoren take you from the grape to the finished product where their enthusiasm and commitment to the Babylonstoren ideal shines through on this tour.
Waterford Estate Wine Safari
Waterford Wine Estate, in the heart of Stellenbosch offers a range of tours for visitors, including a Wine Safari Tour in a safari style Land Rover, where you will get the opportunity to taste some of their award-winning wines and even some chocolate.
Dine at Babel
A trip to the Winelands is not complete without visiting Babylonstoren and their wonderful restaurant, Babel. Food here is simple but creative and always uses fresh fruit and vegetables from the beautiful gardens. A wonderful spot for lunch!