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Review / Exploring South Africa

Lindsey Ingham

Famed for its vast and varied landscape, South Africa offers a journey of discovery. Our Reservations Supervisor Lindsey Ingham shares her experiences of winelands, wildlife and world class cuisine.

African Elite Apartments

A metropolis of delights, Cape Town is a captivating city with a myriad of activities. African Elite Apartments are located right in the heart of the V&A Waterfront, which is a great base for exploring the city. I stayed in a three bedroom apartment, which was incredibly spacious with contemporary décor. All three bedrooms had an en suite and the master bedroom featured a separate shower and bathtub with a magnificent view of the Waterfront. What I loved most about this property was the location - everything I needed was on my doorstep. On my trip, I discovered that Cape Town has a brilliant selection of culinary delights; recently opened restaurants include, House of H, Three Wise Monkeys and The Salt Yard.

Balcony
Insider tip: The apartments offer secure parking so I would suggest hiring a car and going on a day trip to Simon's Town where you can spot a colony of African Penguins.
Horse riding

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

My immediate impression of this reserve was that it prioritised peace and tranquillity. Surrounded by majestic Milkwood trees, I would recommend Grootbos for nature lovers who enjoy outdoor activities. I stayed in a Forest Lodge Suite, which was wonderfully expansive and featured a separate lounge area with a fireplace. The suite also had a fantastic terrace that overlooked the fynbos and a spacious bathroom that provided views of the ocean. The food at Grootbos is absolutely amazing; I particularly enjoyed the tempura king prawns after a day spent spotting the Marine Big 5. The marine biologists shared a great deal of interesting knowledge and I managed to see the spectacular Southern Right whales. This is a great property for those interested in wildlife, whether you want to go shark cage diving or horse riding.

Insiders tip: Families will love the Garden Lodge - children are encouraged to get involved in the farm activities and can help gather eggs for breakfast.

Babylonstoren

Set within a working farm, this sophisticated property offers a modern, minimalistic tone with a hint of history. I stayed in a One Bedroom Suite which featured whitewashed walls and a beautiful open fire - the perfect mix of contemporary décor and old-world charm. I would recommend this property for foodies who want to sample local South African produce and experience the exquisite vineyards. I ate breakfast in Babel Restaurant; the food was a colourful feast of fresh juices, wood-fired artisan breads, homemade butter and cheese, Babylonstoren honey and the morning pick of fruit and vegetables. After breakfast I had a walk around the impressive gardens; not only are they absolutely beautiful, everything is grown as organically as possible.

Exterior
Insider tip: Wait until the day visitors leave so you will have the farm to yourself; the property has a delightful ambience when it is quiet later on in the day.

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