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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
Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, and means "seal island" in Dutch. Initially as a place for the restocking of passing ships, it eventually became a prison (similar to Alcatraz Island) at the end of the 17th century. It's probably best...
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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 to the “World’s 50 Best” list in both 2015 and 2016, making it one...
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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; the service is oh-so-proper; and guests enjoy a lavish, quintessentially English...
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Tafelberg Rd, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
This was one of the best highlights of our trip to Cape Town. We could not go the day before because of the windy conditions, so we postponed it for the next day. We are so glad that we did because when the cable car made it to the top, the clouds...
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6, The Silo, The Old Biscuit Mill, 373-375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa
At The Pot Luck Club in The Silo hotel, you can dine on Asian-inspired tapas while seated on the sixth floor of a grain elevator. Come for the brilliant view of Cape Town, and be sure to try the pork belly, lamb, and chocolate fondant—best...
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Mandela Capture Site, R103, Howick, 3290, South Africa
You may have seen photos of Marco Cianfanelli’s Release, but nothing can prepare you for the interactive experience of visiting the sculpture in real life. Start your visit to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in the museum, where tall panels...
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Northern Park Way and Gold Reef Rd, Ormonde, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
Outside the back of the Apartheid Museum, they have a beautiful patch of Highveld with a pretty good view of the Joburg skyline. Of course, you also get the roller coaster from Gold Reef City...
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7 Church Street, Cnr Bird Street & Church Street, Stellenbosch Central, Stellenbosch, 7600, 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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Klapmuts - Simondium Rd, Simondium, Paarl, 7670, South Africa
This relatively new wine country property in South Africa is an incredible place. The high design style mixes with Dutch Cape architecture and it is so well done. The property also sits on acres on organic farm land. Everything providing farm to...
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Rhodes Dr, Newlands, Cape Town, 7735, South Africa
The gates open and the hillside quickly transforms into a buzzing sea of people as you tip-toe around their picnic blankets. A prelude of cork popping signals the start of the fun as everyone's favorite summertime activity begins: the open air...
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73 Juta St, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
Fun place to drink, eat and hang out with locals on a beautiful Saturday in Joburg.
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276 Fox St, City and Suburban, 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, City and Suburban, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa
One typically busy Sunday afternoon in the Maboneng Precinct, I came across these kids who were skateboarding in the area. Skateboarding was introduced to the kids in the area as part of the Nollie Faith Project which also provides protective gear...
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71 Wale St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
In 2010 we made our first trip to Cape Town and within 5 days it became one of our all time favorite places. The scenery, the people, the history, the places to see are so rich in culture and it's 'stormy' past all add to one's experience. Here's...
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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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Makuleke Contract Park Northern Kruger National Park, Pafuri, 0973, 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...
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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, 6531, 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
Unlike other countries, the policy in South Africa is if you sign up, you have to jump there is no backing out of jumping from the worlds tallest bridge bungy and be thankful for that! Despite the intimidating height, this is an unbelievable...
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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, enveloping them in its sophisticated African-chic decor and earthy tones. Name-droppers will love the Saxon: Nelson Mandela stayed here while writing his...
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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
On a visit to Cape Town in 2011, Michelle Obama made quite an impression at local eatery The Kitchen in Woodstock. It’s easy to see why she—or her staffers—chose this homey spot, stylishly cluttered with an array of retro...
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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...