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

On Safari, Namibia
Damaraland Camp
Damaraland Camp

Comfortable camp comprising 10 large adobe-style thatched lodgings in the Huab River Valley, facing majestic Brandberg Mountain.

Little Kulala
Little Kulala

Luxury camp of 11 air-conditioned villas, ideally located close to the immense red sand dunes of Sossusvlei and affording unforgettable desert views.

Ongava Lodge and Little Ongava
Ongava Lodge and Little Ongava

Set on a 125,000-square-mile private reserve adjoining Etosha National Park, Ongava Lodge comprises 14 comfortable air-conditioned chalets constructed from rock and thatch.

Serra Cafema
Serra Cafema

Remote camp in a narrow band of lush vegetation set along the Kunene River beyond which stretches an intensely beautiful landscape of sand dunes and mountains.

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge

Dramatic and elegantly appointed lodge set atop a 750-foot sand dune in a private reserve, close to Sossusvlei.

Ruhengeri, Rwanda
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Remote lodge in a dramatic hilltop location, at the edge of Volcanoes National Park, that allows access to Rwanda's mountain gorillas.

Countrywide, Seychelles
Lemuria Resort
Constance Lémuria Resort

Lavish resort on a 250-acre peninsula at the northwest tip of Praslin Island, reached via a 15-minute shuttle flight from Seychelles International Airport.

Cousine Island
Cousine Island

Intimate tropical sanctuary on its own 62-acre island nature reserve, a 15-minute helicopter ride from Seychelles International Airport. Accommodations are limited to just four luxurious guest villas nestled along a sensational and deserted white-sand beach.

North Island
North Island

Exquisite 462-acre tropical hideaway with villas elegantly constructed of local wood and stone by Seychellois craftsmen.

Mahe, Seychelles
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

Sixty-seven tree-house villas are set on a hillside overlooking an idyllic coral-sand beach on the main island of Mahé, a 30-minute drive from Seychelles International Airport.

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. The gardens are meticulously cared for, and large verandas with hand-carved sofas grace the front of each villa, overlooking the picturesque swimming pool and the sea. Fresh seafood is brought in daily from the beach, fruit and vegetables are sourced from local farms, and other fine food and wine from around the world are provided as well. Championship golf is located nearby, and other activities include snorkeling, diving, deep-sea fishing, safaris and excursions to nearby attractions.

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 Southern 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

Ellerman House - Journey Promotion
Ellerman House - Journey Promotion

Confirm a four-night minimum stay in a Deluxe Room or higher category and receive a 10 percent savings on the rate; a 45-minute reflexology treatment for two at Ellerman House Spa; a bespoke cheese and wine-tasting with the sommelier; and a Cape Town Art Drive tour to Everard Read and other top art galleries.

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.

Mateya Safari Lodge - Complimentary Flights
Mateya Safari Lodge - Complimentary Airport Transfers

Confirm a stay of four nights or more and receive per person complimentary flights to/from Tambo International Airport (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.

Singita Serengeti House & Singita Explore - Complimentary Night
Singita Serengeti House & Singita Explore - Complimentary Night

Discover the spirit of the Serengeti through a five-night consecutive stay in two of our unique accommodations. Book three nights at Explore Mobile Tented Camp followed by two nights at Serengeti House, an exclusive-use retreat, and receive one of the nights at Explore Mobile Tented Camp complimentary. Although the two experiences are quite different, what they have in common is a level of privacy and exclusivity that meets a growing demand for fluid, flexible schedules that doesn't have to be shared with anyone else.

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.