Tourists visiting South Africa usually have the Big 5 on their tick-lists: Probably Cape Town, Kruger National Park, The Garden Route, Johannesburg, Durban. I would be far more specific. If I could only visit 10 places in South Africa – these gems would be my top choices:
1. Umngazi River Bungalows, Eastern Cape http://www.umngazi.co.za/. A wonderful Wild Coast beach holiday, for relaxing and fun in an unspoilt environment.
2. Tendele or Giants Castle resorts, Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal http://www.kznwildlife.com/index.php/accomodation/resorts/giant-s-castle. A magnificent, experience in the mountains. Stick to the Parks Board accommodation for the real experience.
3. Phinda game reserve, KwaZulu Natal http://www.phinda.com/. Spoil yourself with a luxurious, eco experience in one of South Africa’s best wildlife areas.
4. The Explorers club, Franschhoek, Western Cape http://www.perfecthideaways.co.za/franschoek/the-explorer. Use any one of the Explorers Club homes as your base and enjoy the quirky owner’s eclectic decor and adventures, and explore the Franschhoek wine valley – Its a feast for foodies.
5. Kogelberg Biosphere, Western Cape http://www.capenature.co.za/reserves.htm?reserve=Kogelberg+Nature+Reserve. A pristine biosphere near Hermanus, that takes you right into the fynbos and mountains.
6. The Otter Trail, Southern Cape http://www.sanparks.org/parks/garden_route/camps/storms_river/tourism/otter.php.The best hiking trail in South Africa combining bush and sea.
7. Llandudno, Cape Town http://www.perfecthideaways.co.za/Details/Seafoam. If you are visiting Cape Town, why not stay in the prime real estate area of Llandudno with its amazing beach and views.
8. Pafuri, Limpopo http://www.wildernesssafaris.com/safaris/camp/camp_overview.jsp?camp_id=10749. Experience the real bush, in the northern part of Kruger.
9. Churchhaven, Western Cape http://www.perfecthideaways.co.za/beach-accomodation/whalers-way. Just outside Laangebaan is a beautiful reserve, that only has a handful of homes on its estuary. It’s unlike anywhere else.
10. Die Kliphuis, Great Karoo http://www.perfecthideaways.co.za/Details/Die-Kliphuis. Find space, sky, endless sparse landscapes and deceptively simple, luxurious accommodation. This place is soulfood.