Africa

Overview

From Andrew Harper

Few people return from an African safari entirely unchanged: The experience is too intense and indelible. To witness the Serengeti’s epic wildebeest migration, or to watch a leopard stalking its prey at dusk in Botswana’s majestic Okavango Delta, is to be reconnected viscerally to the primal currents of life on earth.

For a first-time safari, we recommend the extraordinary game-viewing in Sabi Sand, a private reserve adjoining South Africa’s Kruger National Park. There, you will find many of the continent’s most stylish and sumptuous lodges, which magically combine 21st-century luxury with a timeless experience of the wild. On a second visit, there is an urge to venture farther afield. These days, surrounding countries have joined the luxury travel revolution. In particular, neighboring Namibia now offers a number of stylish and comfortable properties in surroundings of astounding natural splendor.

Hotels

All recommended hotels in Africa

Marrakech, Morocco
La Maison Arabe
La Maison Arabe

Charming mansion-hotel with 26 lodgings tucked away within the medina, a few minutes from the famed Djemaa el-Fna marketplace.

La Mamounia
La Mamounia

Historic Moorish-style landmark hotel set amid 17 acres of lush gardens and olive/orange groves, a short taxi ride from the city’s colorful old market square of Djemaa el-Fna.

Riad l'Orangeraie
Riad l'Orangeraie

Evocative boutique hotel created from an ancient residence, wonderfully restored and ideally located in a desirable quarter of the Marrakech medina.

Countrywide, Mauritius
Le Prince Maurice
Constance Le Prince Maurice

Stylish resort set on a private 60-acre peninsula at the northeastern tip of the island that is enveloped by an atmosphere of profound tranquility.

Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita
Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita

Resort set beside a lagoon sheltered by coral reef barriers on the island’s unspoiled east coast, in the Anahita Wilderness Sanctuary.

Le Touessrok
Le Touessrok

Lavish resort overlooking Trou d'Eau Douce bay on the east coast of Mauritius, with 68 rooms and 132 suites partly on the mainland and partly on adjoining Frangipani Island, connected by footbridges.

Beach Resorts, Mozambique
Azura
Azura Benguerra Island

Luxurious and ecologically/community-sensitive new lodge on Benguerra Island in the pristine marine reserve of Bazaruto National Park, a 10-minute helicopter ride from Vilanculos.

Azura Quilálea Private Island, Kusi Villa © Azura Quilálea
Azura Quilálea Private Island

Rustic-chic resort with nine seafront villas spaced along two sandy beaches of an 86-acre private island.

Vamizi Island, Suluwilo Villa
Vamizi Island

Community-minded eco-resort set on an eight mile-long coral island at the northern end of the Quirimbas Archipelago.

Maputo, Mozambique
Polana Serena Hotel
Polana Serena Hotel

Imposing and recently renovated 1922 colonial grande dame located on Avenue Julius Nyerere in the diplomatic and government quarter of Maputo.

Villas

All recommended villas in Africa

Kenya,
Alfajiri Villas

Widely considered to be the finest villas on the East African Coast, this collection of three villas—Cliff Villa, Garden Villa and Beach Villa (each accommodating 8)—overlooking the Indian Ocean offer the utmost in privacy and stunning views. African styling blends with high roofs, ivory floors, wooden beams, locally made furniture, and impressive collections of African and Far Eastern artifacts.

Countrywide, Kenya
Cliff Villa
Cliff Villa

Overlooking the Indian Ocean, 30,000 square foot Cliff Villa’s elevated position ensures privacy and stunning views on Diani Beach, considered the best in Kenya.

Diani Beach
Garden Villa
Garden Villa

Overlooking the Indian Ocean and Diani Beach, considered one of the best in Kenya, 40,000 square foot Garden Villa is a true oasis.

Diani Beach
On Safari, Kenya
The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille
The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille

Four lavish, fully staffed and individually styled houses built along the summit of a ridge offer commanding views across a landscape wooded with acacias and African olives, and crisscrossed by dry riverbeds.

Nanyuki
Cape Winelands, South Africa
Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate - The Owners Cottage
Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate - The Owner's Cottage

Discreetly luxurious and superbly staffed Cape Dutch villa flanked by lovely gardens and vineyards on the 65-acre Grande Provence estate near Franschhoek.

Franschhoek

Dining

All recommended restaurants in Africa

Aubergine

With a charming setting in a 19th-century house near Company’s Gardens (founded by the Dutch East India Company to supply its passing ships with produce), this is one of the most reliable and refined restaurants in Cape Town. Try dishes such as cured and seared Chalmar beef filet paired with beef brisket pappardelle and root vegetables, all with a sage butter.

39 Barnet Street
Cape Town 8001
South Africa
US$70
Baia

Many restaurants are closed on Sundays, but this seaside establishment in the lively V&A Waterfront is open. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, and the service is attentive. The specialty is fish, and while the offerings may not reach the pinnacle of culinary innovation, the raw materials are ocean-fresh and beautifully prepared. Try the superb oysters, then look for the classic Portuguese dish cataplana, fish and shellfish in a spicy broth with rice.

6262 Shop Upper Level Victoria Wharf
Cape Town 8002
South Africa
US$45
Bukhara

Come to this very popular restaurant downtown for outstanding Indian food, excellent service and an appealing contemporary setting. The tandoori starters are particularly good, as are the seafood main courses such as the prawn curry.

33 Church Street
Cape Town 8001
South Africa
US$50
La Colombe

Of the three superb restaurants at the beautiful Constantia Uitsig winery, 20 minutes from central Cape Town, the one we like best is this pretty blue-and-yellow dining room overlooking a courtyard. The cuisine tends to Asian-inflected Mediterranean-style dishes by chef Scot Kirton. His menus follow the seasons, but run to dishes such as scallops and pork belly in Black Forest ham velouté and springbok with spinach, foie gras, figs and potatoes in truffle jus.

Uitsig Farm, Spaanschemat River Road Constantia
Cape Town 7806
South Africa
US$130
Planet

This renovated restaurant in the staid Mount Nelson Hotel is now fresh and exciting. Chef Rudi Liebenberg’s food is imaginative and locally sourced, which means that the menu changes regularly. Look for dishes such as springbok dusted with biltong (a local jerky), with carrot purée, caramelized onion and beet salad; or grilled lamb loin with braised shoulder served with a cracked-wheat salad.

76 Orange Street
Cape Town 8001
United States
US$50
The Test Kitchen

Luke Dale-Roberts served as the much-heralded executive chef of La Colombe and now has a 30-seat restaurant in The Old Biscuit Mill, home to an eclectic range of markets, designer stores, studios and galleries. Representative dishes might include a starter such as grilled sea scallop with miso on toast, braised shiitake mushrooms and braised scallop jus, while a main course could be pan-fried fish of the day with cauliflower and quail egg ravioli with charred spring onion and fennel salad. Reservations are essential.

The Old Biscuit Mill 375 Albert Road
Woodstock 7915
South Africa
Five-course menu, US$53

Special Offers

Special Offers

Fregate Island Private - Early Bird Savings
Fregate Island Private - Early Bird Savings

Confirm a minimum six-night stay and receive a complimentary one-way helicopter transfer from Mahé to Fregate Island for bookings made at least three months in advance.

Fregate Island Private - Wedding Offer
Fregate Island Private - Wedding Offer

Couples choosing to tie the knot at this award-winning, ultra-exclusive luxury island resort can look forward to a host of unforgettable and complimentary romantic treats.

Mateya Safari Lodge - Complimentary Flights
Mateya Safari Lodge - Complimentary Flights

Confirm a stay of four nights or more and receive complimentary round-trip flights from Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to Mateya Safari Lodge.

Mateya Safari Lodge - Complimentary Massage, Plus Extra Amenities
Mateya Safari Lodge - Complimentary Massage, Plus Extra Amenities

Confirm a stay at Mateya Safari Lodge and receive a back and neck massage per person once during stay; a bottle of South African Champagne in suite on arrival; early check-in/check-out, subject to availability.

One&Only Cape Town - Stay Four Nights, Pay Only for Three
One&Only Cape Town - Stay Four Nights, Pay Only for Three

Confirm four-nights at One&Only Cape Town and pay for only three. This offer can be extended consecutively. For example: stay eight nights and pay for only six.

Palais Amani - Special Rates on Three-Day and Half-Day Culinary Workshops
Palais Amani - Special Rates on Three-Day and Half-Day Culinary Workshops

We are offering special rates on our two culinary workshops: A three-day culinary stay includes accommodations for two, a welcome dinner (excludes drinks) and culinary workshops, Moroccan bread-making, and sweet delicacies. Rates for the three-day stay start at 500 EUR per person, based on a Luxury Room. Another option is a half-day workshop, which includes a trip to the local souks, a two-hour cooking demonstration, gifts and lunch. Rates for the half-day workshop are approx. 106 EUR per person.

Royal Malewane, Birkenhead House and La Residence - Ultimate Seven–Night South African Luxury Travel Package

Enjoy the ultimate experience of safari, coastal and gourmet in this Royal Portfolio luxury travel package. Stay three nights at Royal Malewane and receive a 30-minute back & neck massage; two-nights at Birkenhead House (one of which is complimentary) and receive chocolate-covered strawberries with South African sparkling wine; and two-nights at La Residence and receive a Franschhoek private wine-tasting.

Royal Malewane, Birkenhead House and La Residence - Ultimate Seven–Night South African Luxury Travel Package

Enjoy the ultimate experience of safari, coastal and gourmet in this Royal Portfolio luxury travel package. Stay three nights at Royal Malewane and receive a 30-minute back & neck massage; two-nights at Birkenhead House (one of which is complimentary) and receive chocolate-covered strawberries with South African sparkling wine; and two-nights at La Residence and receive a Franschhoek private wine-tasting.

Royal Malewane, Birkenhead House and La Residence - Ultimate Seven–Night South African Luxury Travel Package

Enjoy the ultimate experience of safari, coastal and gourmet in this Royal Portfolio luxury travel package. Stay three nights at Royal Malewane and receive a 30-minute back & neck massage; two-nights at Birkenhead House (one of which is complimentary) and receive chocolate-covered strawberries with South African sparkling wine; and two-nights at La Residence and receive a Franschhoek private wine-tasting.

Sanctuary Chief's Camp - Green Season Offer
Sanctuary Chief's Camp - Green Season Offer

Spend a minimum of six nights in Botswana and/or Zambia for the special rate of $450 USD per person, per night at Stanley's Camp, Chobe Chilwero, Sussi & Chuma and Chichele Presidential Lodge, and $850 USD per person, per night at Chief's Camp.

Itineraries

Kenya
Family Reunion Kenya and Tanzania

On this action-packed family adventure, many activities keep young travelers engaged with the local culture. Planned with children in mind, activities are fund and educational, meals offer exotic local dishes or more familiar choices.

Southern Africa Itinerary
Southern Africa Itinerary

Follow in Andrew Harper’s footsteps with this unforgettable safari in Southern Africa, including unspoiled savanna, desert and wetland ecosystems.