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 unspoiled 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.

All of our South Africa luxury holidays are are individually designed, but as a guide, we can arrange ten days in South Africa from £1900 per person excluding flights.

Places to Stay

At c+l, we have no vested interest in the hotels and lodges which we select - we review everything and choose the best for a particular client. And because we visit our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with over 90% of our clients on their return, our choices can be refined continually. The choice of what is best for the client is our only consideration.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

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.

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Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

On any trip to South Africa it is true that Cape Town, the Garden Route and the malarial safari areas of the Kruger and Sabi Sands are the most well-trodden paths to explore. But at cazenove+loyd we like to do things a little differently. Kwandwe Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape is geographically convenient from both Cape Town and the Garden Route and as one of the largest private reserves in South Africa, and non-malarial, in some ways offers a superior and more intimate safari experience when compared with the more established and commercial Sabi Sands and Kruger Reserves.

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Singita Private Game Reserves

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.

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Mala Mala Camp


Mala Mala opened its doors in 1927 and it has been synonymous with safaris in South Africa ever since. It is also the biggest private game reserve in South Africa. Of the three lodges, we prefer the smaller Rattray's Camp. It is the perfect retreat for older clients as the rooms are sumptuous in the extreme with his and her bathrooms, vast bedrooms and large private outdoor areas with their own plunge pools. The game viewing at Mala Mala is outstanding and although one can never guarantee what game one might see, the probability of seeing the Big Five at Mala Mala is as close to guaranteed as one can get.

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Thakadu River Camp


Once a relatively unknown treasure on the non-malarial safari circuit of South Africa, Madikwe Game Reserve is now well established, both for its excellent game viewing and quality of lodge accommodation, situated conveniently close to Johannesburg. Thus choosing a lodge where one can be sure of a great experience becomes more difficult. Thakadu River Camp however is a camp which offers the four factors contributing to a perfect safari: excellent guiding, perfect location, value for money and discreet but efficient service.

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Kensington Place

Kensington Place, Cape Town

The coolest bolthole in the Cape, Kensington Place emanates original style in a world-class city. Its eight rooms all have dress circle views of Cape Town and the harbour with a dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak. Friendly staff, cool furnishings and the latest in technology within your room, at Kensington Place you will feel at home, nothing is too much trouble here. We have had a great relationship with Kensington Place’s hands-on owner, Chris Weir, for many years and value his ability to provide a luxury experience of Cape Town for all his guests

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Stylish home from home in beautiful Plettenberg setting, with world-renowned polo club on your doorstep, the Kurland is an unforgettable place for all to enjoy. Home to the Kurland International Polo Test, regarded as one of the top ten polo matches in the world, the Kurland Hotel is a perfect marriage of old world charm enhanced by modern sophistication. The private 700 hectare estate is protectively encircled by lush mountains, super soft beaches and waters that mirror the cornflower sky, you will have arrived in paradise.

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Notten’s Bush Camp


Boundless hospitality is the hallmark of Notten’s Bush Camp, to which many of our clients return time and time again. At cazenove+loyd we are pleased to have had a great relationship with the Notten family for the past 20 years. We have complete faith and trust in the lodge and its hosts to provide its guests with an unforgettable safari experience and a reasonable price. Situated in the largest conservation area in South Africa, Sabi Sands Reserve, Notten’s is an intimate lodge whether for couples or families to fully immerse themselves in the wonders of the African bush.

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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.

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The Steenberg


The Steenberg is the oldest working farm in South Africa’s Cape dating back to 1682, it has lived through many times of both hardship and happiness. Today it stands alone in the Constantia Valley as a traditional property giving its guests an experience of Cape luxury surrounded by open countryside, yet minutes from the centre of Cape Town, the best of both worlds. The Steenberg is above all else, a refreshing and civilised place to retire to after a day exploring the Cape and its vibrant and colourful corners.

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Emily Moon River Lodge


Amongst some more obvious choices in and around the popular Plettenberg Bay in South Africa, Emily Moon River Lodge sits modestly away from the bustle of the beach which for cazenove+loyd, is the unique selling point of this home from home. It does not need to compete with any of the more established properties in the area, for what it offers is beautiful views, personal service, acclaimed food and all in a quiet, nature reserve setting, a combination of which means that it stands out in a crowd.

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The Vineyard

The Vineyard, Cape Town

With Table Mountain as your backdrop and vineyards and landscaped gardens in the foreground, one cannot help but relax at the Vineyard. Its attractive Cape colonial, white-washed exterior conceals light, airy rooms, perfect after a long day of exploring all that the Cape has to offer. There something to be said for enjoying this beautiful city with fewer funds invested in the time you sleep and more time and money spent getting out and discovering the city. The Vineyard offers this balance perfectly.

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Ellerman House

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.

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Cape View Clifton

Cape View Clifton, Cape Town

Cape View Clifton is one of the few great guesthouses in the area and in our opinion it is the most stylish. With just seven suites it is wonderfully intimate and has an extremely relaxed and laid back atmosphere. The perfect ‘home away from home’ from which to explore the buzzing city of Cape Town. There is no compromise on service, which is impeccable. Uninterrupted views of the Atlantic and a minimalist yet extremely comfortable interior make this surely one of the coolest places to stay in Cape Town.

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Hog Hollow Country Lodge

Hog Hollow Lodge, Plettenberg Bay

Sometimes the simple things in life are the most fulfilling. Surrounded by indigenous fauna and flora, a walker’s paradise with outstanding views and a welcoming home from home, Hog Hollow provides the perfect base from which to enjoy peace and tranquillity not far from South Africa’s Plettenberg Bay. Pleasantly away from the crowds yet still so close to the action, Hog Hollow Lodge is comfortable and welcoming set in an area of outstanding natural beauty for guests to enjoy.

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The Ant Collection

The Ant Collection, Water Berg

For keen horse riders or beginners alike the options for a quality horseback safari in South Africa are relatively sparse. However, driving North from Johannesburg one finds oneself surrounded by nature: an overwhelming feeling of being removed from the real world and in front of you a herd of pristine horses graze amongst zebra and oryx. You arrive at one of Ant’s hideaways – Ant’s Nest of Ant’s Hills, both havens of colonial luxury in a stunning setting.

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Samara Private Game Reserve

Samara Private Game Reserve, Karoo

Once you have stayed at Samara Private Game Reserve you will want to return. Such is the consistent feedback we get from clients who experience the incredible landscape that welcomes them so close to the Garden Route in South Africa. The difference between a good safari and a great one is not only in the setting and game viewing but also in the team who bring it all to life and Samara has this down to a fine art.

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Londolozi, Sabi Sands

The Londolozi family, the Varty’s, are close friends of ours here at cazenove+loyd and we love them and their lodges. There are five lodges positioned along one of the best stretches of the Sabi River. The guides are fantastic with children, there is a warm welcoming relaxed vibe in the guiding which is at the same time without doubt some of the best in the Sabi Sands as ever under the watchful eye of David Varty. We find it hard to fault the experience.

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Lion Sands

Lion Sands, Sabi Sands

Privately owned by the Moore family for four generations, Lion Sands is a firm favourite of ours. Ivory Lodge houses twelve guests making it perfect for a multi-generational family trip. Impeccable service, fabulous food and comfortable rooms makes this lodge experience one of the best in the Sabi Sands. Lions Sands is also home to one of the world’s few Master Trackers. This has ensured our clients have had fantastic game viewing under his tutelage.

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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.

Leopard alert

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Michael Poliza

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.

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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.

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Group Tours

Our small escorted group tours 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.


As every one of the holidays we create is unique, 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. We from c+l are also always travelling to our destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tswalu Game Reserve. Southern Kalahari. Northern Cape. South Africa.

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.

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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.

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Wild Dog in South Africa

Henrietta Loyd, Founder+Director of cazenove+loyd, recently visited Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa where she enjoyed two extraordinary game drives following wild dog and their young on a hunt.

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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.

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The Flagship in South Africa

Henrietta Loyd, Founder+Director of cazenove+loyd, visited Chef Bruce Robertson at his 'gourmet home' - his restaurant The Flagship in Simonstown. Experiencing his culinary skills first hand is something she will never forget.

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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 carving 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

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.