There is no other country in Africa, and few anywhere else in the world, that offers as much beauty and diversity as South Africa does. South Africa has something for everyone – from the Gold Gateway City of Johannesburg, to cosmopolitan Cape Town, the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch wine regions, and the epic game reserves rich with life-changing moments witnessing the Big Five on land or even the Marine Big Five on one of two oceans!
Thanks to our partners at andBeyond, my recent trip to South Africa was both exhilarating and intriguing!
Our andBeyond rep, Wendy Clayton, and Kathy Schulz on Safari in South Africa.
My journey included some of the best game viewing I’ve ever experienced (based on numerous trips to the continent) with abundant leopard sightings, packs of Wild Dog, and an unforgettable spotting of a very rare white lion cub!
Why South Africa?
- Malaria-free areas boasting fabulous game viewing
- Friendly, English-speaking people
- First World infrastructure; top technology and medical facilities
- Superb accommodations and impeccable service
- Excellent airlift from the U.S. including United Airlines’ new nonstop service to Cape Town
The vibrant V & A Waterfront in Cape Town.
- Stunning landscapes that feature mountains, gardens, beaches, deserts, and savannahs
- High adrenaline adventure destination
- History and culture
- Endless culinary options paired with world-class wines
Stellenbosch Wine Region.
- One of the top value luxury destinations (very favorable exchange rate)
- No visas or shots required for entry
- Eco-friendly and conservation-minded
Book-ending my safari, I had the opportunity to spend a couple of nights in Johannesburg to meet up with some dear friends in the industry and check out a few hotels. Johannesburg has seen a tangible renaissance in recent years. Due to the limited flight schedules in years past, what used to be considered a less than desirable forced overnight to get to your final destination in Southern Africa, Johannesburg now provides visitors with an excitement and vibrancy well worth exploring. It has blossomed into a popular destination of its own, with excellent theaters, fine dining, live music venues, and great markets.
- History – Apartheid Museum; Hector Pieterson Museum; Alexandra Township; SOWETO (South- West Townships) including a visit to Vilakazi Street, home of Nobel Peace Prize winners Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu
- Culture and lifestyle with emerging art scene – trendy neighborhoods of Melville and Maboneng
- Shopping in the upscale neighborhood of Rosebank or one of the fascinating local markets
- Dining and nightlife
- Home to one of the world’s largest urban forests
- Sightseeing to include a day trip to the Cradle of Humankind, Orlando Towers Bungee Jump, and Gold Reef City Gold Mine Tour
Kathy and fellow travelers on the Gold Reef City Gold Mine Tour.
Joburg or Jozi, as the locals call it, is home to top-notch accommodations including the Four Seasons Westcliff, the Fairlawns and my personal favorite, the enchanting Saxon Hotel.
The entrance to the luxurious Saxon Hotel.
Luxury Suite at the Saxon.
Tranquil gardens and pool at the Saxon.
At the heart of the City of Gold in the opulent, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst lies the Saxon Hotel about 40 minutes from Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport. Always my first choice for accommodations, the Saxon boasts a uniquely perfect blend of rich cultural history and contemporary five-star service. The Saxon is situated on ten acres of splendid indigenous gardens, providing a private and peaceful retreat unlike any other. Each time I walk through the Saxon’s doors, I feel like I’m coming home. The attentive staff greet you by name and truly excel at making your stay extraordinary.
Spending a couple of nights in Johannesburg at the beginning of a safari provides guests with a “grand entrance” to this diverse ‘World in One Country’ and a great way to acclimatize!