South Africa, often seen as the crown jewel of the African continent, is blessed with world-class cities, breath-taking landscapes and an eclectic diversity of culture. Its captivating spirit has for centuries attracted people from all walks of life. Tribes from central Africa moved southwards to live alongside the indigenous Khoi and San people, European navigators chose Cape Town as a refreshment station and the establishment of trade routes saw the arrival of easterners from exotic places like Java. A land of dreams and complexities, diversity and ideas, and intoxicating landscapes, modern-day South Africa is a melting pot of philosophies, flavours, traditions and languages.
Of all the cities in South Africa (and arguably Africa), it has to be Cape Town that takes centre stage. Built around iconic Table Mountain and flanked by the Atlantic, the Mother City is known for its trendy cafes, awe-inspiring hiking trails, fertile soil and prominent history. Robben Island, a World Heritage Site and the place where former president Nelson Mandela spent the majority of his 27-year-long imprisonment, casts a sobering light on South Africa’s recent past; while the historic winelands of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Constantia offer fascinating insights into the origins of 17th Century European settlement. Other notable cities in South Africa are seaside Durban with its surf-centric culture and Zulu traditions and eclectic Johannesburg, known for enchanting thunderstorms, edgy urban culture and thriving economic hubs.
When it comes to the finer things in life, South Africa reigns supreme. Boutique hotels, celebrated chefs, world-class wines and warm-hearted service form the core of luxury hospitality of South Africa. The historic wine valleys of the Cape are not only known for their sprawling estates and beautiful gardens, but also for some of the world’s best crisp white wines and French-style reds. Five-star safari experiences evoke the romance of the Victorian era when intrepid explorers embarked on unforgettable adventures and created luxury camps in the heart of the African wilderness.
A nature lover’s playground, South Africa delights with grand mountain ranges, game reserves and a varied coastline. The arid west coast is perfectly poised against the lush east coast with its dramatic cliff-side trails, popular holiday resorts and traditional Xhosa villages. From the Eastern Cape to the Sabi Sands, game reserves delight locals and visitors who come to experience the magic of the African bushveld. Few things rival the sight of a leopard stalking an impala, a herd of elephants walking through the savannah or a rhinoceros mother protecting her calf.