South Africa's Garden Route is a such an exciting destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it's hiking along dramatic cliffs, relaxing on deserted beaches, kayaking through canyons, golfing along sea cliffs, bungee jumping, scuba diving, whale watching or horse riding, you can experience the country and its incredible scenery in so many ways. It's a place I could come back to over and over. One of its particular highlights is the Tsitsikamma Forest, a national park home to the Storm River Canyon, dramatic coastal views, waterfalls, hiking trails, suspension bridges and a scenic restaurant right on the water.
Willa, Africa Specialist
I took my first trip to Africa 12 years ago when I set out to Ghana for a volunteer program. From there on, in my studies, career, and personal travel I have made it a priority in my life to see as much of Africa as possible and can attest that 11 times is not nearly enough.
At Audley, my travels have taken me to Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Some of my favorite experiences have been hiking Mt Kenya, seeing the Victoria Falls, horse riding and the winelands in South Africa, sleeping under the stars in a dry riverbed in the Selous, cooking classes with Zanzibari women, hiking with the Masai tribesmen in the Ngorongoro highlands, tracking the Great Migration in the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, swimming with dolphins in Zanzibar, chimpanzee trekking on Rubondo Island, and eating my way through Cape Town.
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We had such an incredible time in South Africa, a place whose riches are not found in money, but in the nature, culture, and memories that we created.
My daughter and I are very enthusiastic photographers and for us this vacation was a fantastic opportunity to capture the beauty of South Africa. We talked to country specialist Willa about what we wanted and she made it happen. She figured out all of the logistics and recommended incredible places to eat and tours. We had such an incredible time in South Africa, a place whose riches are not found in money, but in the nature, culture, and memories that we created.
The reason I love Babylonstoren is because it is so much more than just a hotel. The property is located in the winelands just outside Cape Town and has its own vineyard and winery, endless gardens and orchards, sweeping mountain views and great service and attention to detail. It blends the atmosphere of an Old Dutch farm with an Italian vineyard and is the kind of place where you can fish overlooking a dramatic mountain backdrop, explore the working farm or dine at one of the country's most renowned restaurants. They have mastered the feeling of home comfort yet still provide chic style and indulgence.
I'll never forget when…
Setting off on a walking safari into the bush from Marataba Trails Lodge our excitement and fear was palpable. We soon came across fresh rhino droppings and looked up just in the nick of time to find ourselves face to face with a giant rhino and her baby. We stood there staring at each other, not moving a muscle for what felt like hours. Finally, in one extremely abrupt movement they took off, crashing through the bush. I will never forgot that moment and the way it felt to stand in front of such powerful creatures, each of us blindly trusting that the other would do no harm.