The thought of being indoors for a further 3 weeks can be depressing, humans yearn to connect with nature. We have put a list of 10 of our favorite places to visit in South Africa. Whether it be in the city or out in the wild, our list of places are sure to tick all the right boxes . Each property offers a unique experience for you and your family, so go ahead and.....
Indulge in a #Weekend getaway.
#1 TAU GAME LODGE - MADIKWE GAME RESERVE
Tau is a South African luxury safari lodge situated on the far northern border of South Africa, in malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, the 4th largest game reserve in the country.
The main Lodge has a comfortable lounge, bar and dining room which are semi open-air and overlook the waterhole. Delicious buffet breakfasts and lunches are generally served in the main building or on the lapa and dinners are served in one of the cosy boma's under the stars, or in the lapa next to the main lodge.
Thirty luxury thatched chalets are spread out in U-formation on either side of the lodge, offering excellent views of animals approaching the water from the opposite bank.
All Chalets have views of the game approaching the water hole. Each chalet ensures privacy with its own viewing deck, en suite bathroom, open-air shower.
Award-winning Leopard Hills is located in the western sector of the renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve, bordering the world famous Kruger National Park. This Sabi Sand lodge is perfectly set on a rocky outcrop, offering magnificent views over the bush and an active waterhole on the plains below. The Reserve comprises over 10,000 hectares of incredibly diverse ecosystems making Leopard Hills the ideal destination to view plentiful game in its natural habitat. Here the ‘Big 5’ (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard) abound and viewing them at close proximity is our speciality.
Their five-star luxury lodge features eight exquisite renovated and redecorated glass-fronted, air-conditioned suites, each with private plunge pool and superb views over the African bush. Sensational game viewing and a wide variety of activities, along with outstanding fine dining, attended to by professional and friendly staff, all create the safari experience of a lifetime. Facilities at the this Sabi Sand lodge include an extensive library with internet access, a traditional Shangaan boma, a fully-stocked wine cellar and a curio shop that have all recently undergone extensive refurbishments.
#3 ZEBULA GOLF ESTATE & SPA
Overlooking the Waterberg Mountains, this upscale resort is 2 km from Adventures With Elephants and 20 km from Phala Phala Wildlife. The Zebula airstrip is 3 km away. Accommodations range from refined rooms to chalets and private luxury houses. Rooms feature flat-screen TVs, minibars, and tea and coffeemaking equipment; some add fireplaces. Houses with up to 8 bedrooms offer living rooms, entertainment areas and terraces. All have free Wi-Fi. Amenities include a golf course and several outdoor pools, plus multiple restaurants, bars and BBQ areas. There’s also a gym, a spa and conference facilities. Safari tours are available. The Spa at Zebula is a luxurious place to retreat, renew and rediscover yourself. The spa offers a wide range of treatments and therapies that will have you spoilt for choice, with 6 private or 4 couples treatment rooms complemented by a 3 meter raised deck, overlooking the bush on which open-air pampering manicure and pedicure treatments are highly recommended. www.bit.ly/3cicBrJ
#4 FAIRLAWNS BOUTIQUE HOTEL & SPA
Even though it’s superbly positioned in the beating heart of Sandton, Fairlawns Boutique Hotel is still a world away from the hustle and bustle. This grand boutique hotel enjoys the tranquillity of its park-like estate, amidst mature trees, emerald lawns and prolific birdlife, where a stately yet welcoming ambiance meets beauty, style and superb service.
Expect royal treatment and a full range of services to satisfy every need, from the concierge service, welcome refreshments, complimentary pressing and shoe shine, to personalised wake up calls, private dining, gym, transfers and more. Pamper yourself at the Balinese-inspired spa and garden salas, and enjoy fine dining at the Amuse-Bouche, with its distinctive Italian inspired décor, or at the Manor House Bistro. The private dining room, Into the Woods, is perfect for those special, intimate celebrations.
All rooms and suites are individually and sumptuously decorated – it’s like stepping into a French Chateau, a New York Retro Art Deco Penthouse, or a Contemporary Classic Villa. Special attention is paid to every detail, from books and artwork, to antiques and personalised furniture, providing a unique, welcoming touch. Expect fine Egyptian cotton linen, luxurious bathrobes and slippers, complimentary WiFi and refreshments, minibar, air-conditioning and central heating, satellite TV and DVD player.
Ulusaba means ‘place of little fear’. The local Shangaan tribe (from whose language the name comes) that occupied the area long ago used the hills as an outpost for the tribal chief and senior warriors. The elevation gave them a tremendous advantage during battle and meant their enemies were unlikely to win, as surprise attacks were virtually impossible. The tribal members could therefore live in safety – hence, the place of little fear. The first incarnation of Rock Lodge was completed in 1983, with an access road having been built in the same year. In 1994 Ulusaba was purchased by Sir Richard Branson. Both Rock and Safari Lodges were entirely rebuilt, and have been transformed into world-class lodges. In 2008 the Treehouse Suite was built at Safari Lodge, giving guests the opportunity to get even closer to the Xikwenga Dam and watering hole, and in 2009 the Cliff Lodge Suites were completed at Rock Lodge.
Ulusaba sits entirely within the Sabi Sand Reserve near Kruger National Park, surrounded by 13,500 hectares (about 33,000 acres) of open bush. The hills of Ulusaba are spectacular as they rise above the surrounding terrain, offering a view unsurpassed anywhere else in the reserve. People visit the area for the abundant game and the variety of sightings possible – believe us, once you’ve experienced it you’ll be hooked!
#6 TSWALU KALAHARI, NORTHERN CAPE
Tswalu is a vast, magical land of infinite possibility, with sweeping vistas and a liberating sense of space. The green Kalahari is nature at its most diverse and surprising, and to spend time here is to be touched by exuberant, soulful beauty. Considered important for thousands of years, we’re now striving to conserve this breath-taking landscape for future generations.
Tswalu lets you reconnect with the richness of the earth. It offers an escape to a place that’s governed by the ancient rhythms of the seasons, rather than the clock and the calendar. It offers a vision of hope that brings together conservation, research and unrivalled safari experience. Everything we do is centred around our creed: To leave our world better than how we found it.
The Motse and Tarkuni serve as focal points for your Kalahari experience, and as launchpads for your safari adventures. Built from organic materials and outfitted to the highest standards, they manifest the warmth and hospitality of the people of the Kalahari.
Designed and sited to make the best of Tswalu’s dramatic and expansive views, The Motse and Tarkuni provide exclusivity, privacy, and unfettered access to one of southern Africa’s last true wildernesses.
#7 &BEYOND PHINDA ROCK LODGE - KWAZULU NATAL
Dramatically set into a cliff face, overlooking spectacular Leopard Rock, Phinda Rock Lodge’s six intimate suites are seemingly suspended over the deep valley below, providing breathtaking views of Phinda Private Game Reserve.
The reserve showcases one of the continent’s finest Big Five game viewing experiences and displays a magnificent tapestry of seven unique landscapes. Phinda Private Game Reserve is situated in close proximity to the unspoiled beaches and spectacular coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, offering an unmatched combination of bush and beach adventures. Each romantic suite, constructed from contoured stone, boasts solid wooden shutters and doors, which open onto a private rim-flow plunge pool and viewing deck. Featuring spacious ensuite bathrooms, the suites also offer outdoor showers. The lodge’s guest areas offer the perfect vantage point for viewing the reserve’s abundant birdlife and the wildlife roaming in the bush below. French doors open onto an extended outdoor veranda, the perfect setting for al fresco meals, while a rooftop terrace provides a romantic venue for dining beneath the stars.
#8 CANELANDS BEACH CLUB & SPA - SALT ROCK KWAZULU NATAL
Canelands Beach Club & Spa features modern rooms with a spacious balcony, satellite TV, a work desk and a private bathroom with amenities. Rooms have garden or sea views.
Guests can enjoy cocktails by the outdoor swimming pool, which overlooks the ocean. The Canelands also has a garden with barbecue facilities. The property features a restaurant, Two Shrimps, offering a seasonal menu.
Canelands Beach Club & Spa has 10 modern, chic and spaciously comfortable bedrooms, with the Superior rooms offering incredible sea. The beautifully fully fitted bathrooms are also a statement on their own.
The Beach Club sleeps 20 guests and offers absolute luxury and privacy. At the Canelands Spa they invite you to enter their tranquil setting, unwind and relax with them. Their wide range of holistically chosen Healing Earth ranges as well as their newly launched Kalahari Range of treatment facials , are carefully selected to provide treatments that prepare you for a journey into well being and rejuvenation.
They offer a comprehensive list of massage, facial and grooming treatments with the aim of ultimate pampering. www.thecanelands.co.za
#9 ROYAL MALEWANE, LIMPOPO
Royal Malewane is a luxury safari lodge in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park that exudes the romance and beauty of a bygone age while offering every modern comfort. The most qualified guiding team in Africa delivers an unrivaled wildlife experience providing fascinating insights into the complex ecosystems of the South African bushveld. There are two accommodation options at Royal Malewane – Main Lodge which is more classic and grand in style and The Farmstead which is more intimate and contemporary. Whichever style you choose, our expert guides will bring you thrillingly close to the Big Five. Indulge in sensual spa treatments and let the passion of our chefs delight you with nightly feasts under the African stars. The lodge is easily accessible by air and road and is located in the Thornybush Private Game Reserve on the Western Border of The Greater Kruger National Park. The closest airport is Hoedspruit and there is a private landing strip at Royal Malewane called Jackalberry Airstrip.
#10 TSHUKUDU BUSH LODGE - PILANESBERG
Tshukudu is one of those rare game lodges where perfection is a reality. With only 6 luxury chalets and 4 luxury suites, Tshukudu offers a romantic and intimate experience at the foot of the Pilanesberg mountains, with expansive views of the plains below. Relax in your open plan lounge and watch the game wander lazily through the bush, towards the waterhole located below the lodge. At night, after dinner, take a short walk back to your private chalet and watch the stars traverse the African sky.
Situated in a malaria free area, offering game drives, bush walks, free WiFi and a swimming
pool, Tshukudu is unique and memorable in every aspect.
Breakfast is served on the deck or dinning room, where you can enjoy either a continental buffet or order a hot breakfast. High Tea (Light Lunch) is served just before the afternoon game drive and consists of something sweet and savoury to see our guests through until dinner. Tshukudu is renowned for its exceptional African cuisine and can be enjoyed on the main deck, in the intimate dining room, or around the fire. Our chef will present his 5-course menu, of which you can expect a different dining experience every evening. Be mesmerised by our field guides who will share their bush experiences with you over dinner.
The Pilanesberg National Park is home to the “Big 5”. Join their highly trained and experienced field guides, on two adventures per day, in seeking out game as well as indigenous flora and fauna.
For more personal favorites visit our website www.theweekend.co.za and be inspired for a spur of the moment getaway or indulge in a well deserved romantic dinner.