With memorable views, fine wine and great food, the Winelands region of South Africa is most definitely worth a visit. Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are the two main hubs and the 45-minute drive between them is the one I love most from anywhere I’ve ever been. The whole region offers impressive views and if you like walking, you’ll be spoiled for choice. There are some fantastic places to eat, and ample ways to explore the region and its renowned vineyards. I’d highly recommend the Franschhoek Wine Tram, a vintage tram and bus tour that stops at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wineries.
Dan, South Africa Specialist
My fondest childhood memories are of my time spent at my family’s farm in Zimbabwe. Since then, I have been lucky enough to explore the surrounding countries in Southern Africa, both with family and individually. My travels have included trekking down the lower Zambezi for seven days, a rhino conservation project in Zimbabwe, and a community wildlife project along the Garden Route in South Africa.
For me, South Africa encompasses all aspects of Africa, from the fantastic game viewing and rich history in regions such as the Battlefields to the relaxing environment of the winelands in Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Having previously started a career in politics and worked in the Houses of Parliament, I decided that I wanted to share my passion for the region with others and move into the travel industry. Besides planning my next trip to Southern Africa, my hobbies include fishing and rugby.
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A lodge and nature reserve situated just south of Hermanus, Grootbos offers sweeping views, contemporary cottages and highly attentive staff who are also extremely knowledgeable about the area and the reserve. The lodge serves some of the finest food in South Africa, much of it grown on site as part of a community programme. Hermanus also boasts some of the best whale watching in the world. You can simply walk down the coast to see these giants, cycle down the sand dunes, or take a horse ride to explore more of the reserve.
I'll never forget when…
When people ask me what Africa is like, and why I feel it is so special, I always tell the story of one of my earliest memories. While lying in the outdoor bath at my family’s farm in Zimbabwe, I remember looking up at the huge African sky, the stars almost blanketing the vast darkness above. For me, this encompasses Africa: being outside surrounded by wildlife and listening to the noises that come from beyond your little circle of light. This may be one of my first ever memories, but also one that has stuck with me ever since.