Cape Town may be South Africa’s vacation capital and the Kruger National Park may be the country’s flagship safari destination but seasoned international travellers who yearn to get off the well-trodden travel path are quietly finding a new destination: kwaZulu-Natal.
The vast red sand expanses of the Kalahari Desert rise up to meet us as we touch down in our 7-seater plane in the heart of Tswalu Private Game Reserve – the largest privately owned reserve in South Africa. At over 100 000ha, Tswalu is an endless sea of undulating sand dunes, grassy knolls and rocky outcrops, and the location of The Motse camp, our home for the next 24 hours.
If you’ve been on more than one long-haul vacation, you know there’s travel, and then there’s Travel. That capital ‘T’ comes from being comfortable and at ease throughout your journey. It means exploring at your own pace with all the benefits of insider expertise and smooth logistics.
Zimbabwe’s fortunes are as varied as its landscape. Once a British colony known as Rhodesia in honour of empire builder Cecil John Rhodes, it won independence to become Zimbabwe and build a seemingly unassailable reputation as ‘the bread basket of Africa’. Its fertile soil and balmy climate is perfect for agriculture - it’s still the centre of Africa’s lucrative raw tobacco trade - but then came political turmoil once again as the government launched land reform programmes.
With a coastline that clocks in at 26 000km or over 16 000 miles, it is not surprising that Africa has some of the best beaches in the world. Throw in pristine water, thriving coral reefs, swaying palms and frolicking dolphins and you have all the ingredients for the ultimate family beach holiday. And the accommodation does not let you down either: instead of mega resorts, package deals and sun lounger territory wars, expect to find laid-back African family beach villas packed with everything from their own pools, Jacuzzis and private beach access to being taken care of by friendly and knowledgeable butlers, housekeepers, drivers and chefs.
As the saying goes, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Like all major cities, Cape Town is home to a selection of the world's leading hotel brands, but if it's intimate proportions and character you want, then a boutique hotel or guesthouse is probably a better choice for your Cape Town holiday.
A three-centuries-old port city, Cape Town is flanked by both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Known to sailors by the rather alarming ‘Cape of Storms’ because of the fierce gales that can surge around the peninsula, we landlubbers prefer to think of it by its gentler nickname: ‘the Fairest Cape’. It's a seaside city renowned for easy living, gourmet food, fine wines and an efficient infrastructure. Cape Town's top beach hotels allow you to sample the best of the ocean - with its frolicking dolphins, seals and whales - in utter comfort and sheer luxury.
Ever dreamed of owning a beach house - waking up in a designer holiday home a frisbee’s throw from a sweep of soft sand and the inviting blue of the ocean? Or perhaps you’d prefer a stylish city apartment, and the daily ritual of oven-fresh croissants from the corner deli?
Like a cardsharp with an ace up both sleeves, a safari villa is hard to beat. Not only are they tucked away in beautiful private reserves, but they are the best way to enjoy a completely individualized safari. And for the larger-than-usual group, they are exactly what's needed.