Africa + Indian Ocean South Africa Conservation projects, battlefield tours, spectacular wineries, excellent game viewing Fabulous coastline and deep blue ocean, coastal forest and majestic mountains, game-rich bushveld and harsh semi-desert. Alongside this amazing natural splendour, South Africa’s great cultural richness, cosmopolitan cities and world-class food and wine – as well as some of the most sophisticated and stylish lodges anywhere – add up to a startling array of choice and experiences for discerning travellers. Little wonder that it’s many people’s choice for a first-time safari. And yet, despite its popularity, the country has many unspoilt and uncrowded corners – if you get the right advice. Always a leader in conservation, South Africa is more focused than ever on the rehabilitation of its wildlife areas. The private concessions adjoining the Kruger National Park have some of the world’s best to offer in terms of both game-viewing and accommodation. In other areas the number of malaria-free parks is growing rapidly, enabling families with younger children to sample the delights of safari. For adventurers, the Karoo is little travelled, but a startlingly beautiful region, as are the Kalahari desert and the West Coast. We have cherry-picked our favourite properties for their unique locations, spirit and value – and we make a point of getting to know the owners well. Every week we hear about something new and interesting in South Africa; it’s an ongoing and hugely enjoyable challenge for our experts to stay ahead of the game and match the best in each area to each type of client. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Group Tours Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. A memory of Makanyi Lodge Suddenly Rico became alert, looking through his binoculars at something. “Cheetah” he whispered, pointing in the direction of his gaze. Tentatively we all looked up and followed his line of sight, and there we saw it, slinking across the grassland the muscles on its back rippling with the effort. All thoughts of breakfast and the rain were gone and I pulled off my hood to get a better view. Find out more My Little Secret – The Garden Route South Africa Laura Marsham decided to take a stop after a long day of driving along South Africa's stunning Garden Route. They came off the main road and drove down a very steep, narrow lane towards Nature's Valley Beach, there they watched the sunset on a beach which they had all to themselves. Find out more Rocktail Bay – A TAILORMADE TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA Serena Reid-Scott ventured off to swim with the dolphins at Rocktail Bay in the wild, never in her wildest dreams did she expect to see so many. Swimming right underneath her, they were so close she could see the scars on their backs. And to make the day even more special they saw the elusive Humpback Whales. Find out more The perfect honeymoon in South Africa Clients James and Emily Fielden wanted a honeymoon that combined both adventure and relaxation. Straight after the wedding they headed to Mozambique for a few days of total r and r. This followed by an safari adventure in South Africa. A honeymoon they will never forget. Find out more Safari in the Eastern Cape If you are short on time, a safari in the Eastern Cape is the perfect way to see the wildlife of Africa in the wild without too much travelling from Cape Town. Louise Holman-Baird explored this option for our clients, and got more than she bargained for on her adventure. Find out more Shark Cage Diving In South Africa During Miranda Harper's trip to South Africa one thing she desperately wanted to experience was the Great White Shark cage diving she had heard so much about. So we organised a private boat for a day, to allow her to get up close with the famous Great Whites. Find out more Bush Yoga – go on, give it a go! After a busy morning's game drive, Hattie Broadhead decided to give bush yoga a try, after some gentle persuasion. She thoroughly enjoyed the activity and definitely beat her normal yoga class in a stuffy London gym. Find out more THE CHANGES OF SOUTH AFRICA Susie Cazenove, co-founder of cazenove+loyd has visited Africa many many times, but even still visits back to South Africa still brings elements of surprise and new discoveries. On this journey she experience the flower phenomena in the Namaqua National Park. Find out more The Tswalu Sleepout Hattie Goodley experienced the ultimate in luxury camping at the Tswalu Sleepout, a stunning open-air retreat nestled deep within the spectacular Kalahari wilderness. After watching the sun go down it was just them and the shimmering stars above. Find out more Into the Wild After months of excitement, one of our clients, Lewis Jones experienced his first safari in South Africa and was in awe of what he saw. His senses were overloaded with the amount of game he saw. What a huge change from the bustling city of London. Find out more A Whale of Time Miranda McWhirter travelled to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in South Africa with Henrietta Loyd, Founder+Director of cazenove+loyd, where they saw the magnificent Southern Right Whales both by boat and light aircraft. Find out more Show All Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve Michael Lutzeyer is one of the most energetic and dynamic owners of any property in South Africa. His enthusiasm and energy is what makes Grootbos Private Nature Reserve what it is. The two lodges, Garden and Forest are polar opposites, the former nestled in the most amazing fynbos gardens and constructed of stone, thatch and timber and the latter minimalist and contemporary in design with the most sensational views of the ocean. This is an eco-paradise where our clients can experience incredible Flora and Marine life - home to the Marine Big 5 – whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins. Find out more Singita Lodges, Sabi Sands The Singita brand is cool – the four lodges Boulders, Ebony, Sweni and Lebombo all have subtle differences in design and are supremely comfortably run with exacting attention to detail. The Bailes family have owned land in the Sabi Sands for generations and Luke Bailes' family homestead Castleton, is THE home from home private homestay for the multi-generational family safari. The Sabi Sands is legendary in terms of game viewing – for sheer concentration we would recommend either Boulders or Ebony. Find out more TSWALU, KALAHARI RESERVE The very fact that there are never more than 30 guests sharing this vast wilderness area means that privacy and exclusivity are constantly at the forefront of Tswalu’s main objectives. For those looking for an extremely private and unique safari experience Tswalu really is the ideal lodge, it also offers numerous attractions to families and couple alike. It is set in the magnificent Kalahari Reserve and is the biggest privately owned reserve in South Africa spanning over 100,000 hectares. Find out more Ellerman House, Cape Town Ellerman House lies in one of Cape Town’s most exclusive residential suburbs and in our opinion, has the best views of Table Bay whilst being only minutes from Clifton Beach and the bustling Waterfront. The hotel has been beautifully restored to its former early 20th century splendour, decorated in a traditional style with views over the tiered gardens and the ocean. The combination of impeccable service, fabulous location and dramatic views make this property the ultimate in Cape Town retreats. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. Malaria Free Safari For many, the worry about malaria can prevent travellers from venturing out on safari. But instead of giving up on the idea and resorting to the beach, we at cazenove+loyd have the expertise to guide you to some superb safari lodges in malaria-free parts of Africa. The Madikwe and Waterberg areas near the Botswana border for example, appeal to many, and particularly families, for the quality of the game is fantastic, the geography is beautiful and the safari experience is varied and exciting. Find out more Private helicopter tour over God’s Window A helicopter ride over God's Window is pure Garden of Eden from the air. The countless majestic waterfalls are a real highlight but seeing everything from the air, including the Three Rondavels, is truly mesmerising. This is a perfect way to break up a few days of game drives, whether you are moving camp or moving on from the Kruger, this will always be remembered from your trip in South Africa. Find out more The conservation project at Samara Samara evolved from someone’s passion and love for an area and this still shines through today 12 years later. This is all about the wonderful sense of remoteness, the breathtaking landscape and haunting beauty of the area, the fascinating cheetah conservation project and don’t forget the beautiful lodge and mouth-watering food that goes along side this. Find out more Explore the Wine lands of South Africa Driving around the green, leafy promenade-like roads in South Africa’s wine country is beautiful whichever way you look at it. Long gravel driveways which wind round perfectly straight rows of grapevines lead to white-walled, gabled colonial houses which stand proudly against their mountain backdrop. The main draw to this area is obviously the wine. The industry has grown in huge proportions in the past decades and there are some stunning estates which with our help you can discover. Find out more Tswalu Kalahari reserve Tswalu, 100,000 hectares of the Southern Kalahari, is an astounding reserve owing largely to its vast, untouched wilderness but also to the huge private investment that has been made to restore the area to “itself”. Here a growing population of black rhino are being conserved, enormous, black-maned lions rule the land and families of meerkat sit proudly guarding their territory and waiting for the rains. Find out more Battlefields of Rorke’s Drift A cultural jewel, listen to the passion of your guide as he reignites the fear and courage of the British colonial soldiers who in 1879 became part of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift against the mighty Zulus, widely rated as one of the greatest military disasters of British colonial history. Find out more Show All Group Tours Our Extraordinary Journeys have all been inspired by people or places you wouldn't normally have access to unless you travel as a small group. With each special journey we have been careful to stick to the same level of adventure, exclusivity and under the skin experiences as we do with our tailor-made travel. In The Footsteps of Winston Churchill 20-26th September 2018 With Sir Nicholas Soames + Telegraph Travel Find out more Southern Africa by Luxury Train 16-24 September 2017 With Jeremy Paxman + Telegraph Travel Find out more Location We know South Africa better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit South Africa Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go South Africa’s seasons are the reverse of the UK, midwinter is June/ July and mid-Summer is December/ January. The Cape has a Mediterranean climate – summers are dry and hot whilst winters can be windy, rainy and chilly. Many of the safari areas are hot and thundery in the summer and dry, bright and cold in the winter. It is a country of contrasts so no matter what time of year you go you will find good weather. December to March sees the grapes being harvested in the winelands, game viewing is good but the bush is lush with long grass and migratory birds are in residence. Whale season traditionally runs from June to November and the peak calving season is July/ August. The famous Namaqualand flower season is at its peak in September and October. South Africa is a country of great variety but, for warm seas/balmy beaches, many combine a stay with Mozambique, Seychelles or Mauritius for really world class beach destinations and hotels. Meet the Team Africa + Indian Ocean Hamish Henrietta Claire Millie Cara We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.