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The Best of South Africa

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In South Africa, life happens outdoors. Drive across country, past vineyards and farmlands, stopping at padstals (farm stalls) for fresh fruits and biltong (dried meat). Climb Table Mountain, surf in the Indian Ocean in Durban, and enjoy an outdoor concert in Cape Town. On safari, you'll see animals year-round, but it's particularly easy to spot them in winter, from June through September. When you do go inside, you'll have your pick of some of the top restaurants and hotels on the continent.
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Robben Island, Cape Town, 7400, South Africa

One of South Africa’s most famous sights is Robben Island, located seven kilometers (four miles) to the west of Cape Town. Its history as a prison is almost as old as the first Dutch settlement on the cape—dating back to the 17th...

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The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa
As soon as you've booked your flight to Cape Town, you'll also want to book your lunch or dinner reservations at The Test Kitchen. The restaurant was named on the ""World’s 50 Best Restaurants"" list in 2015 and 2016, making it one of the most...
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76 Orange St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
The Belmond Mount Nelson is a window back to South Africa’s colonial era, but only its finer aspects. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi presides over the entrance. A lavish, quintessentially English high tea spread is served each afternoon. And the...
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Tafelberg Rd & Caeleway, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Dassies, or rock hyraxes, are often seen sunning themselves on the rocky outcrops at the top of Table Mountain. You might even see them nibbling on the branches close to the pathways of the park. One odd fact fact about these rodent-like animals...
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6, The Silo, The Old Biscuit Mill, 373-375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa
Asian-inspired tapas menu located on the 6th floor of a silo. Come for the brilliant view of Cape Town, and try the pork belly, lamb, and chocolate fondant—paired with a glass of champagne. Cost will most likely be minimum of R250 pp. Tip: book...
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Mandela Capture Site, R103, Howick, 3290, South Africa
You may have seen photos of Marco Cianfanelli's sculpture "Release" in photographs, but nothing can prepare you for the interactive experience of visiting the sculpture in real life. First, a walk through the (temporary) museum. Tall printed...
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Northern Park Way and Gold Reef Rd, Ormonde, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." -Nelson Mandela, June 1999 Opened in 2001, the Apartheid Museum is a powerful and extensive museum documenting the rise and...
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Stellenbosch, South Africa
One of my favorite restaurants in Stellenbosch, this bakery, butchery and restaurant is a relatively new resident of the town, but is already one of the most popular. Members of the Schoon family have some unique culinary talents, including bakers...
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Simodium Road, Drakenstein, Paarl, South Africa
About an hour outside of Capetown, Babylonstoren is one of South Africa’s oldest werfs, or farmyards. In 2010, Karen Roos, a former editor at South Africa’s Elle Decoration, reimagined the property as a fantasy farm stay with an eight...
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Rhodes Dr, Newlands, Cape Town, 7735, South Africa
Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens, Cape Town celebrates its centenary this year. Following a similar idea to that of The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew who some years ago built their famous Xstrata Treetop walkway, Kirstenbosch in its 100th...
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73 Juta St, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
This semi-outdoor market on Juta Street in Joburg's Braamfontein neighbourhood is fun fun fun. Eat oysters from Namibia, drink craft beer from South Africa, and devour paella, gelato, cheeses, chocolate...a food lover's paradise! Open on...
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276 Fox St & Kruger Street, Jeppestown, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa
Johannesburg has some awesome hidden gems, including street art found throughout the city. Free tours are offered every Sunday afternoon around the Maboneng Precinct, starting near the Market on Main in Fox Street.
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276 Fox St & Kruger Street, Jeppestown, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa
Sunday is the day to go when food vendors from nearby sell their eats in one place. Maboneng is the arts district of Joburg. Arts on Main hosts several galleries, shops and vendors to enjoy. Many of the galleries feature young and emerging artists...
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71 Wale St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Although English is widely spoken throughout South Africa, so is Afrikaans and it has certainly made its way into everyday language. Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch, but the influence of other languages and accents transformed it into a...
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D53, Thakadu Gate, Madikwe Game Reserve, Molatedi, 2838, South Africa
Patience Bogatsu, who is from Molatedi village just outside northern South Africa’s 185,000-acre Madikwe Game Reserve, is one of the few black, female game rangers in the country. She might be your guide at the Thakadu River Camp, a lodge run...
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South Africa
Changing location every evening means waking up to a different but equally spectacular view. The ‘eco-loos’ are a bit questionable and the hot bucket showers take some getting used to, but you can sleep happy knowing your presence will go...
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2 Lighthouse Rd, Umhlanga Rocks, Umhlanga, 4320, South Africa
For nearly 90 years, one of the top luxury hotels in South Africa was nothing more than a cottage along the coastline of KwaZulu-Natal. It served as a beacon for passing ships until 1952, when it began its slow transformation: from family-run tea...
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Check out the White Shark Diving Co. in Gansbaai, the Great White Shark capital of the world, for one of the most intense adventures you can have. They provide round trip transportation from Cape Town and any hotel or guesthouse along the way as...
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R43, Gansbaai, 7220, South Africa
Grootbos sits on a stretch of coast famed for its fynbos, an incredibly diverse natural shrubland. Guests may see one of 765 plant species while hiking the property’s trails. The ocean’s “big five” are the other draw: Boat trips from Walker Bay...
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Dolphin Crescent, Dolphin Coast, 4420, South Africa
If you ever find yourself in Ballito (Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa), make sure you stop in at The Waterberry Coffee Shoppe Restaurant for some AMAZING cuisine, and of course some divine, decadent dessert! While I was there, I had the Orange Twist...
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6 Desmond Street, Kramerville, Sandton, 2090, South Africa
The Amatuli emporium is the top store in all of South Africa for authentic African artifacts, thanks to proprietor Mark Valentine’s infectious passion. Mark spends 50% of his time traveling the continent to personally source the items that wind up...
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Sampson St, Kliprug, Paternoster, 7381, South Africa
Talented South African chef Suzi Holtzhausen continues to delight those who seek out her small restaurant, ‘Gaaitjie’ tucked away amongst the rocks on the beach at Paternoster, the charming Cape West Coast Village. Those seeking fresh seafood,...
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Fancourt, George, 6529, South Africa
Set in the heart of South Africa's iconic Garden Route drive, Fancourt is a classic golf resort with three courses sprawling across grounds that are three times the size of Monaco. But no matter which corner you tee off at, you're guaranteed...
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Bloukrans River Bridge, Tsitsikamma, Plettenberg Bay, 6600, South Africa
But that doesn't mean that you won't want to hop off this insane height (216 metres (709 ft) above the Bloukrans River!). For my part, I happily watched from across the canyon. I am a chicken, what can I say... For the more brave amongst us,...
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R335 Paterson Road, Addo, 6105, South Africa
As a lover of elephants I was swung in the direction of Addo Elephant park when making my choice of South African safari. Being up close to these magnificent animals is a memory not to be forgotten. There is no malaria risk in this area and it is...
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Sutherland, 6920, South Africa
Visiting the S.A.L.T. observatory was not on my list of things to do. In fact, I didn't know it existed until a member of our group shared about a dozen drinks with a staff member at a bar in Sutherland the night before, a pit stop on our wild...
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67 Jan Smuts Ave, Westcliff, Johannesburg, 2132, South Africa
When the Four Seasons took over Johannesburg's celebrated Westcliff Hotel (a colonial-style grande dame that was admittedly fraying around the edges), its brief was clear: update the tired ambience with a cutting-edge makeover. For its first...
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36 Saxon Road, Sandhurst, Sandhurst ,Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa
Welcome to the best layover of all time. The Saxon gently lulls guests into safari mode, cosseting them in its decadent comforts and enveloping them with its sophisticated African-chic decor and earthy tones. Name-droppers will love the Saxon:...
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Shop 1 chintsa east, Cintsa Cove, Chintsa, Amatola Coastal, 5275, South Africa
Chintsa, which is Xhosa for "river of crumbling banks," is one of South Africa's prime vacation and fishing spots. With a rich culture, semi-tropical climate, beautiful beaches, forests, lagoons and rivers, it's no wonder that so many people come...
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Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
The Robberg Nature Reserve is one of my favorite hiking spots. It takes about 2.5 - 3 hours to walk to the Point and back. Try to go around low tide as this will make some of the areas easier to traverse. There are stunning views on the entire...
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111 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa
Living in New York, we've developed a love and loyalty to the bustling neighborhood eateries that locals frequent. Southeast of downtown in the Woodstock community, we found exactly that in the Kitchen and sat down to enjoy our final Cape Town...
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32 Waterkant St, Ferreira Town, Jeffreys Bay, 6330, South Africa
Driving through Garden Route we decided to spend a night at Jeffreys Bay, a small beach town on Indian Ocean. The guest house on the beach was a perfect place to stay. Waking up to a view like this was worth the drive and planing. Gorgeous aqua...
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17 4th Ave, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, 2198, South Africa
Whether you have your meal in the Dining Room or brought up by room service to enjoy in the comfort of your very comfortable home away from home, the food served at the Residence easily competes with that served at Johannesburg's top restaurants....
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Leentjiesklip, Langebaan, 7357, South Africa
One hours drive from Cape Town, Die Strandloper is a restaurant unlike any other... right on the beach, with the sand under your feet and fishing nets above your head, the restaurant functions almost completely off the grid. No electricity means...
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Thornybush Private Nature Reseve, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa
"Even though it's difficult to head back to the lodge after a thrilling morning of wildlife viewing on safari, you can take comfort in the fact that a delicious meal awaits you. Breakfast on safari is a leisurely affair, enjoyed on a deck...