Finding Exclusivity at Ellerman House in Cape Town
Aug03

Finding Exclusivity at Ellerman House in Cape Town

Ellerman House in Cape Town is the perfect luxury hideaway for discerning guests, with one of the most exclusive addresses in the Mother City. This tranquil boutique hotel caters for guests seeking a sublime destination far-away from the maddening tourist crowds of Cape Town’s hub. Known for its classic artworks and understated sophistication, Ellerman House is certainly a place catering for the elite, but without the ostentatious atmosphere. Overlooking the striking sapphire waters of the Cape’s Atlantic Ocean, Ellerman House certainly sets the standard in terms of location. Oh Ellerman House, you most certainly are a calm, classic and cool sanctuary showcasing the grand life reminiscent of a bygone era. High tea for me please, served in bespoke tea cups accompanied by your signature sandwiches. There are two exclusive use villas ideal for small groups. Each villa is a mixed architectural masterpiece of contemporary builds, designed to make the most of seaside living. Flanked by the lofty sedimentary sandstone mountains, and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the villas are certainly ideal for that “I’m in the Hamptons” holiday. This is beachside glamour personified. Decor is peppered with modern artworks, designed to bring pops of colour to the cool blue hues of the open spaces villas. Expansive glass doors ensure the breezy seaside life becomes a part of the minimalist interior, and natural light filters throughout. Each Villa is privately staffed and guests can take solace in knowing that their time is flexible, and their own. Lunch is served when you desire and languid days around the infinity pool are encouraged. Villa One can accommodate 2 – 10 people and has 3 levels of oceanside bliss. Just glorious. Villa Two is similar to Villa One with its overall look and feel, but only has two levels. This villa sleeps up to 6 people, but has plenty of spacious areas for entertainment. Also equipped with a private infinity pool, this designer Villa also makes the perfect escape for small groups. The actual Ellerman House Hotel has seductive views of the coastline and caters for individual guests/couples in more of a bed and breakfast manner. There are 13 individually styled bedrooms in the hotel, each of which is nothing short of inviting. In conjunction with an array of luxury accommodation options, Ellerman House also offers sundowner experiences, has its own wine cellar, bar area, and their own sugar shack pantry. Of course, these are only a few of the things on offer at Ellerman. There is so much more to discover – attention to detail is their forte. Haven’t heard of Ellerman House? That’s probably because it’s one of Cape Town’s best...

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Mountain cottages in South Africa for the eternal city escape
Jul08

Mountain cottages in South Africa for the eternal city escape

Take me to the mountains! The mountains where forests and flowers, blankets of mist and waterfalls culminate to create something we can only describe as mystical, dream-like, and deeply restorative. South Africans flock to the mountains to bird-watch (see what we did there), to hike or bike the trails, to clamber over sun-bleached rocks and marvel at ancient artwork left behind in the caves. There are so many reasons to want to escape the big cities and run for the hills where noise pollution falls away, neighbours are nonexistent, and days start with the sunrise and not an alarm clock. South Africa is self-drive country, and many adventurous tourists take to the roads to see more of the unique and diverse landscape. Here, we’ve listed three (from many) different mountainous regions across the country and picked our favourite mountain cottages and cabins for restoration and relaxation. Hogsback This little town is located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, about an hour and a half’s drive inland from the coast and at about 1300 metres above sea level. It has some of the country’s last remaining Afromontane forest, it is a hiker’s and biker’s paradise, and you’ll certainly find yourself among artists and craft brews, and even fairies if you let your imagination run wild. Bird watchers will delight in the presence of the rare Cape parrot, and wonderful sightings of the bright green, crested Knysna turaco among many others. It can snow in winter, turning the magnificent gardens white and the waterfalls to ice. This is a retreat for fresh air, adventure, imagination, and creativity. The Edge Mountain Retreat is located high up on the Hogsback mountain ridge, at eye level with the top of the cliffs and overlooking a gorge. Aptly named, The Edge, offers a variety of self-catering accommodations in the form of garden cottages and thatched Rondavel-shaped chalets with immense views. Some even have outdoor bath tubs and showers that bring a whole new element to the act of bathing! The gardens are a fantastic mixture of wild, untamed, wilderness, and beautifully nurtured rose beds. The cottages are furnished with simple, comfortable items that provide everything you need and nothing you don’t. They are warm and inviting in the winter with feather down duvets and fire places, and all have either gorgeous garden surroundings or breath-taking views off the mountain. Choose to spend all day on “the edge” and explore the incredible Labyrinth, which at 91 metres in circumference, is one of the largest in the world. Or, amble down to Hogsback village to eat, drink, and be merry! Drakensberg The grand and magnificent mountain...

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A luxury pop-up mobile tented camp in Kruger National Park
Jun03

A luxury pop-up mobile tented camp in Kruger National Park

In July, an out of the ordinary, exclusive, imaginative, luxurious pop-up safari camp will be open for business in the Kruger National Park. Located in the meandering bushveld wilderness of South Africa’s leading wildlife area, about an hour from Skukuza, Kruger Grande offers a chance for guests to take a step closer to nature, invigorating their senses and enjoying a safari experience with a difference. Comfort is uncompromised and the style of the camp echoes the era of early explorer travel in Africa with canvas tents, cotton linens, paraffin lanterns, and dining under the stars. We are huge advocates for mobile camping experiences, and we are excited to offer this special Kruger National Park option to our guests during the month of July. The camp will be operated with African flair and inspired by the rugged beauty of the natural bushveld. Hosted by a team of expert staff and catered for by experienced chefs who create and serve gourmet food that is both internationally appreciated and traditional to South Africa. Each morning and evening, game drives led by professional guides in classic game viewers will take guests on safari, and at night you will lie in supreme comfort while listening to the sounds of the bush at night. This is not a small and intimate operation, but rather a celebration and shared experience in a special place in Africa, put together and pulled off by a team of people who have refined the luxury safari experience. There will be 25 walk-in tented bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom and hot shower. Attention to detail takes the experience to the next level, and everything from warming knee rugs to cosy electric blankets will be provided for, and roaring campfires will not only spread warmth but will shed a glowing, dancing light across the camp. There are lounge tents with day beds and sofas for basking in the sun or shade during the day while everything from elephant, giraffe, zebra, or hyena can be seen wandering past in their natural habitat. This is one special way to feel more connected with nature than in a permanent, fenced camp, and appeals to couples and families seeking something a little extra in their Kruger safari experience. Kruger Grande will be open from 1 to 31 July 2019 and all the preparations are under way to  deliver an iconic and unforgettable product. Children aged 12 and over are welcome for the adventure (there are guards present at all times to ensure guest safety in the otherwise unfenced camp), and those between ages 12 and 15 book in at half price. A maximum of...

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Game Reserves in the Western Cape Ideal for a Wilderness Experience
Mar13

Game Reserves in the Western Cape Ideal for a Wilderness Experience

Visitors to South Africa arrive en masse to the Kruger during peak safari season, and the summer season sees them flocking to the shores of Cape Town for a bit of coastal splendour in Cape Town. Peak safari season and the coastal summer are poles apart in terms of time frames, which makes it hard to combine a Kruger bush and Cape Town beach combo. Visitors generally have to prioritise one of these types of holidays and settle for their second choice being outside of peak season when it’s not the most idyllic time to visit. Do you want peak safari or peak beach? The choice is entirely yours, but even out of season, both destinations are still exquisite and have a lot to offer! For travellers who have decided that the Cape Town coast is their number 1 choice, but still want to enjoy some kind of wilderness/safari experience, we recommend these game reserves in the Western Cape : Sanbona Wildlife Reserve Sanbona is famous for its White Lion Project that aims to return white lions into the wild. There’s already been a high success rate with the reintroduction of the Sanbona white lions into the wild. Sprawling across 54 000 hectares of pristine fynbos smothered Cape fold mountains, malaria-free Sanbona provides the perfect habitat for big game, general game and even the rare riverine rabbit. Located a mere 3-hour drive from the centre of Cape Town, Sanbona is close enough for a quick weekend escape from the Mother City. There are 4 accommodation options available, each catering for a different type of safari-goer. There’s the elite and exclusive Tilney Manor, ideal for a luxury wilderness retreat. There are six spacious open-plan suites complete with private verandas giving rise to sweeping views of the raw wilderness. Tilney Manor has a luxurious lounge, a tranquil rim flow pool and a spa room. Dwyka Tented Lodge is hugged by rocky outcrops and is home to 9 luxury tents, with private decks and heated jacuzzis. Snaking around a bend of a dry Karoo ravine, Dwyka is the perfect option for a remote wilderness experience. Gondwana Family Lodge is the perfect option for families and small groups travelling together and overlooks the mountains and Bellair Dam. Explorer Camp is a seasonal camp that offers adventurous guests a guided walking experience in the Karoo. Located along a shaded riverbed, this wilderness trail takes two days to complete. Activities at Sanbona include guided nature walks, photography, bird-watching, rock formations and features, trout fishing, a Wellness Centre, and spectacular star gazing. De Hoop Nature Reserve De Hoop Nature Reserve not only offers a wilderness experience, but it...

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A Conscious Safari Experience at Roam Private Game Reserve
Mar07

A Conscious Safari Experience at Roam Private Game Reserve

Roam Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape’s Great Karoo combines a traditional safari experience with an opportunity to give-back. The team at Roam encourage guests to get involved in contributing to the overall success of their reserve by actively participating in a choice of activities and conservation research projects currently underway. This is a conscious safari experience where the perfect balance between a luxury safari holiday and conservation experience is achieved. The safari experience is NOT a volunteer program, and it’s not your average safari experience. It’s a way to enjoy a luxury safari while playing a part in conservation. The overall experience will bring you closer to the wild and ensure a greater understanding of the various behind-the-scenes jobs vital to sustaining a reserve.  Roam Private Game Reserve is located on 5000 hectares of malaria-free scrubveld, and is home to a recently introduced buffalo herd, and a coalition of cheetah. There are also over 240 species of bird in the Great Karoo, 13 species of antelope, and small predators such as colonies of meerkat, black-backed jackal, caracal, Cape fox and the bat-eared fox.  Below are the various aspects that you might become involved in when you sign-up for a conscious safari at Roam Private Game Reserve. Monitoring Flora and Fauna Roam is home to a wealth of wildlife and plant life. The overall health of the reserve needs to be monitored and effectively managed on a regular basis. Guests will have the opportunity to become involved in a few of the already established and long-term monitoring programs available. Monitoring processes include anything from establishing corridors of vegetation to monitoring species composition, creating transects along riverbeds, and making exclusion plots. The flora programs are generally conducted every 2 weeks. There are also animal monitoring programs available, each of which fulfils a different objective. High profile animals such as buffalo and cheetah, will be monitored regularly while more common species less frequently. Tracking cheetah will be done using telemetry, and guests will help to observe and document their behaviour. You will learn basic animal tracks and signs that various species leave behind for us to interpret to help find them. You might even be able to help set up camera traps in the wild, count tortoises, help with meerkat habituation, and get involved in a host of other monitoring activities needed. Bird Ringing Bird-ringing is a method of capturing, tagging and releasing birds into the wild. Guests will be involved in helping to release birds into the wild after the necessary data has been captured. The data is sent to a central database, and throughout the bird’s life historical data is...

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Opening August 2019 : Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Singita Style!
Mar06

Opening August 2019 : Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Singita Style!

The Singita brand is synonymous with effortless luxury, and preserving the African wilderness is at its core. From August 2019 Singita will offer an unparalleled primate experience in East Africa. Yes, that’s right. Singita has now added gorilla trekking in Rwanda to their portfolio! In August, the elite brand will take bookings for gorilla trekking safaris in Volcanoes National Park, a region easily accessible via the capital city of Kigali. It’s no secret that Singita is the crème de la crème of the safari world, their lodges are some of the most sought after destinations in Africa. Singita makes massive contributions to local communities, and constantly seeks to conserve Africa’s wildlife. Each of Singita’s lodges has been carefully constructed to ooze class and sophistication, without being overbearing and brazen in terms of design. Sustainability is always at the core of their developments, and the wild exteriors govern their develops. Singita designs are an extension of the environment, not an intrusion, and they always marry the untamed wild with modern living. The latest inclusion into the portfolio is Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House in Rwanda. Situated in untouched verdant jungle paradise in the heart of the Volcanoes National Park in an isolated corridor of 178 acres of land, this latest undertaking offers guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Jungle terrain, verdant primeval forests, and coffee plantations smother the hilly and mountainous landscape of  Rwanda, which is fondly referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Hills”. Rwanda is raw and has a diverse landscape that remains largely unspoilt and untouched. The vegetation of Volcanoes National Park (which is home to 2 active volcanoes) comprises a mix of bamboo forest, swamplands, grasslands, and meadows framed by ferns. Volcanoes shelters over 340 mountain gorillas, making it an ideal destination for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Singita Kwitonda Lodge has expansive views of 3 volcanoes and is cocooned by high altitude forests. 8 contemporary suites and a private four-bedroomed villa are linked by volcanic pathways to the central lodge. It’s a purpose drive lodge, with abundant tailor-made activities on offer. Each suite has its very own heated plunge pool, in-room spa treatments, WiFi, photographic equipment, and mini-bars. Singita Kataza House is an exclusive home, designed around a cluster of living spaces. Forest walkways meander their way between facilities and guests have the option of utilising the central facilities of Kwitonda Lodge, ensuring guests can enjoy the luxury comforts of a hotel while maintaining a level of absolute solitude. In the house, there is 1 x master suite, 1 x junior master suite, 2 x suites and 1 x two-bedroom staff residence. Gorilla trekking in...

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South Africa : One of the World’s Most “Instagrammable” Destinations
Jan30

South Africa : One of the World’s Most “Instagrammable” Destinations

Instagram is ablaze with scenic travel photos from hidden destinations and pockets of scenic perfection from around the world. This photo platform is an inspiring place to select new travel destinations, and plot a route for your next adventure or luxury holiday. It’s first-hand, reliable and doesn’t have the clutter of social media platforms : it’s all about the images and videos. Instagram has changed how we book our travel experiences!  We’ve closely followed articles about the most popular “Instagrammable” destinations to visit – the ones that provide unique photo-worthy scenes. In a recent article about the world’s Most Instagrammable Destinations for 2019,  South Africa walked away in fifth place ! With our dramatic scenery, contrasting arid savannah, incredible coastlines, mountains laden with vineyards and more; we guarantee that there are plenty of spots that will see your Instagram following increase! It’s impossible to list the 1000s of destinations in South Africa, because everywhere is truly remarkable, but below are a few of our favourite Instagrammable spots in South Africa: The Bloubergstrand View of Table Mountain Travel 20 minutes outside of the city centre towards the West Coast of Cape Town, and you’ll stumble across one of the most spectacular views of the iconic Table Mountain. Stand on the stretch of Bloubergstrand beach and take a photo of the sweeping piece of coast with the famous mountain as the background. The White-washed Fishing Village of Paternoster Along the West Coast 2 hours drive up the West Coast of Cape Town is a traditional fishing village that has gained in popularity with  locals in recent years. The small village hugs a protected bay, and 90% of the houses are white with blue shutters, giving the impression that you could be in a small Greek village somewhere. Get that perfect photo of indigenous vegetation, white-washed houses and beach views all in one shot. Boulders Beach in Cape Town Boulders Beach is located along the False Bay Coastline, close to Cape Point Nature Reserve. The protected penguin colony swim freely between the various bays, with rafts in abundance at Boulders. When the penguins aren’t in the water they waddle onto the beach, and numerous colonies and lone individuals will happily walk past your beach set-up. Don’t be surprised to see them gracefully glide past you while you cool off in the water. Take a snap on the beach with the penguins in the background, or grab your GoPro and get a few underwater photos of the penguins enjoying the calm and protected bay. African Sunsets in the Kruger Nothing beats a sunset in Africa – especially over the vast savannah. Landscapes laden with...

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