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Opulent Living

Opulent Living SOUT H E R N A F R I CA





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Opulent Living Welcome

'The harder you work, the luckier you get‘ – and see how lucky we are!

Florian Gast (Editorial and Creative Director) and Barbara Lenhard (Publisher)



e believe Gary Player's mantra, above, is true. As one of South Africa's most famous golfers, he must have felt the same way as we do now. In April 2009, we arrived in Cape Town from Germany with two suitcases, our dog Joya and a vision – and since then we’ve worked hard and been lucky. Yes, the sentence may be a cliché, but isn’t that the thing about clichés: they become a cliché because they are the truth? We think so. We are proud to present the 4th edition of our coffee-table magazine Opulent Living. After the successful special on Mauritius in our last ‘aquamarine’ edition, we've broadened our reach to include Southern Africa. This time, we have chosen to showcase some of the most desirable properties in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Mozambique. The result is in your hand and we hope you enjoy it.

We are privileged to receive feedback that both our readers and our partners appreciate our publication. A special thank you to those who sent comments, asked for advice regarding travel plans or who wrote to us to say how much they have been inspired by our articles. The greatest compliment was from a lady in Switzerland – she emailed us once, we talked on the phone and we'll meet her in South Africa shortly. For us, this is the personal touch that makes us happy. We also love it when readers plan and book their wonderful holidays with one of our preferred travel partners. Please do write to us with your experiences, tell us what you have seen and how much it meant to you. Please contact us on – we look forward to hearing from you. Thank you also to our partners and advertisers for all the encouraging words, and for doing business with us. In the past two years, we have marketed Opulent Living constantly and it’s now a well-known publication. But besides the printed magazine, we regularly publish articles on our blog and send out a shortand-sweet eMagazine on a monthly basis to a worldwide readership. Please email us at or subscribe on our website We hope you like the delightful updates we send out. In this edition, we have taken one further step: we have created our first Opulent Living Reader Journey with the theme ‘Contemporary South African Art’. This is a bespoke experience, giving our limited participants the opportunity to meet the

movers and shakers in the South African art world. This exclusive Reader Journey is an indication of what’s to come – and there will be more exciting experiences. All this – together with well-written articles by experienced journalists who know Southern Africa inside out – make Opulent Living magazine the quality product we had in mind when we started. It’s a coffee-table magazine that aims to publish superior content in a beautiful format for people who enjoy the finer things in life, and who appreciate it when a team strives for quality. Everyone in this edition – each hotel, lodge, lifestyle estate, featured personality or company – is committed to making a difference through their respective businesses. Which brings us back to that cliché: ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get.' Our wish is that Opulent Living magazine allows you to take some time to slow down. And we dearly hope that our magazine takes you away on a journey. Be inspired: relax and enjoy the visuals and the stories, and feel the passion we feel. After some of our own experiences we feel that there is no better place to unwind and to slow down than in the bush, the desert or the dunes. And if you haven’t experienced those yet, we highly recommend them. We hope to spend some time reconnecting in the bush again soon – and hope that you will join us one day. Carpe diem!

Warmest regards Barbara & Florian

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Opulent Living Contributors

Our journalists share a passion for travel that has taken them to destinations across the globe, but Southern Africa remains their first love… Michelle Snaddon (left) can never quite shake her passion for Africa as she was brought up on the edge of the Rift Valley in the wild heart of the bush, so after years spent globetrotting and working abroad in publishing, she returned and settled in Cape Town to become part of the launch team of lifestyle glossy, House and Leisure magazine. A love of good food saw her move from there to Taste magazine; until 2007 when she became editor of an online travel magazine. Today, she also contributes as a freelance writer to a host of international and local titles, combining her love of travel with lifestyle, food, interiors and design – all of which have taken her to some of the most glamorous hotels and lodges around the world. Favourite holiday? ‘Going on safari with our kids, although they’re in the mood for an idyllic island next!’ City-slicker or bundu-basher? One's never quite sure with Richard Holmes (left), the travel editor at one of South Africa‘s leading news and information websites, and a freelance journalist based in Cape Town. One minute he‘s wandering in the forests of Patagonia, the next he‘s in a health spa facing a small Thai lady armed with a paintbrush and a tub of guacamole. He‘s as happy in a cottage in the Cederberg as he is pounding the pavements of Hong Kong. Wherever he is, the day‘s sure to end with a glass of good shiraz or a snifter of single malt. Life’s too short to drink bad whisky, is his mantra. With the arrival of his first son, he’s set his sights on getting under the skin of South Africa in 2011, so was a perfect choice to write the feature on glittering gold.


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When Condé Nast House & Garden launched in South Africa in 1997, Jane Broughton (above) swopped a career in book publishing to become part of the magazine’s start-up team. Now working as a freelance writer, she contributes to local and international publications, focusing mainly on travel in Southern Africa, East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands – increasingly from a sustainability perspective. ‘Contributing to Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Hot List for over a decade has taken me to some incredible, bucket-list destinations, including Seychelles, Madagascar, Zanzibar, Botswana and Zambia. I’ve seen my fair share of remote safari camps and island retreats, so now the foodie in me is longing to explore international cities with a gourmet culture,’ she says. Jane lives in the Cape winelands, is married to a top chef, and has two children. Our other contributors in this issue are: Robyn Alexander, Mandy Allen, Nikki Benatar, Lori Booth, Pippa de Bruyn, Kit Heathcock, Robyn Hodson, Glynis Horning, Riekie Human, Kirsten Hill, Bernadette Le Roux, Sally Rutherford, Vicki Sleet and Janine Walker.

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Map of Southern Africa · Spot your opulent retreat


Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa · The luxury of privacy in a sophisticated urban oasis 12 Morukuru Family · In my African dream


Wolwedans Boulders Camp · A landscape as old as time


Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa · Paradise revisited on a calm blue sea




Jack’s Camp · Passage to Africa


Pezula Private Castle · Castles in the sand


Queen Victoria Hotel · New-world glamour meets old-world elegance


Medjumbe Private Island · Jewel of the Quirimbas


La Motte · Captivating composition


Karkoof Spa · Cleansing the spirit


Rovos Rail · An unforgettable journey




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Opulent finds · Indulgent must-have buys


Sossusvlei Desert Lodge · Soak up the silence of an ancient land


Coral Lodge 15.41 · Magical seaside romance




Divava Okavango Lodge & Spa · Where hippos wallow and a river runs slowly by


Londolozi Private Granite Suites · Privacy, space and river views where leopards roam


The Table Bay · Waterfront gem


Cybele Forest Lodge and Health Spa · Haven of pampering among mountains and trees


Epacha Game Lodge & Spa · Idyllic sanctuary amid rolling savannah hills


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Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat · Magnificent mountain refuge




La Residence Villas · A distinctive vineyard offering


Long Beach Mauritius · An island getaway a long way from ordinary


Royal Chundu Leading Zambezi Lodges · Pure magic on the mighty Zambezi


Clico Guest House · Perfect hospitality


The Caledon Boutique Hotel · Verdant escape


The Olive Exclusive · Enchanting city retreat


Luxurious homes · Top properties for sale


Opulent events · Stylesetters and newsmakers


Index · A list of all the hotels and lodges featured so far




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17 05




19 24 14

18 02





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09 10








Establishments (in alphabetical order) 01 Bushmans Kloof 02 Clico Guest House 03 Coral Lodge 15.41 04 Cybele Forest Lodge and Health Spa 05 Divava Okavango Lodge & Spa 06 Epacha Game Lodge & Spa 07 Jack’s Camp 08 Karkoof Spa 09 La Motte 10 La Residence Villas


11 Londolozi Private Granite Suites 12 Long Beach Mauritius 13 Medjumbe Private Island 14 Morukuru Family 15 Pezula Private Castle 16 Queen Victoria Hotel



32°06'58.95"S 26°08'33.79"S 14°58'14.74"S 25°09'11.72"S 18°06'52.94"S 19°23'32.75"S 20°29'50.06"S 29°26'28.02"S 33°53'01.37"S 33°53'41.99"S 24°47'46.96"S 20°10'28.40"S 11°48'56.65"S 24°47'05.28"S 34°04'12.03"S 33°54'21.66"S

19°06'29.96"E 28°02'16.87"E 40°44'50.50"E 30°58'52.50"E 21°35'19.35"E 15°41'05.73"E 25°11'16.66"E 30°18'45.96"E 19°04'20.02"E 19°07'26.63"E 31°29'59.16"E 57°46'13.91"E 40°36'12.49"E 26°26'25.38"E 23°05'21.71"E 18°25'07.21"E

17°50'38.41"S 26°06'41.19"S 24°46'46.82"S 29°30'21.82"S 22°33'13.20"S 33°54'08.71"S 20°01'53.76"S 25°06'51.59"S

25°24'59.62"E 28°02'06.53"E 15°53'20.36"E 31°12'00.29"E 17°05'25.35"E 18°25'20.57"E 57°32'54.14"E 15°59'44.32"E

118 146 86 110 96 114 40 64 58 130 100 134 54 18 44 50 70 142 12 80 147 148 106 30 22

17 Rovos Rail 18 Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge 17 19 Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa 18 20 Sossusvlei Desert Lodge 19 20 The Caledon Boutique Hotel 21 The Olive Exclusive 22 The Table Bay 23 Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa 24 Wolwedans Boulders Camp

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Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa

Enjoy the luxury of privacy in a sophisticated urban oasis

Known for its stylish contemporary interiors and lush grounds, the Saxon has long provided a Johannesburg retreat for some of the world’s most distinguished personalities, from royalty to Hollywood stars. Now this leading boutique hotel near the busy Sandton business district has added three spacious new villas, offering discerning guests a choice of opulent suites that are even more bespoke and private.

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Indulgent bathrooms – complete with large tubs and luxury toiletries – feature in each of the new suites in the three Saxon Villas.


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ohannesburg is rapidly becoming one of the great cities of the 21st century – a busy, bustling, let’sdo-business metropolis in which the traffic never completely quietens, the pace never really slows. Which is why, when you visit this remarkable city, you need to stay somewhere that properly takes the edge off the urgent boomtown energy you’ll experience as soon as you venture beyond its gates. That somewhere is the Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa in the exclusive and well-established suburb of Sandhurst in northern Johannesburg. From the moment guests give their names to the gatekeeper and sweep up the driveway, it feels as if every staff member knows them by name. A five-star touch for sure, but it’s entirely genuine and returning guests soon discover that their every preference, from roomservice requests to spa choices, has been carefully noted for future reference. It’s immediately clear that the Saxon experience is all about the matchless hospitality that comes from attentive, meticulous and personalised service. After an arduous day in the City of Gold, why not spend some time revelling in the comforts of your Egoli suite? Corporate travellers will enjoy catching up on the day’s news via the thoughtfully provided laptop with complimentary internet access – set up at a well-positioned desk (with multiple plugs to suit your every need) that has view of the trees in the beautifully manicured gardens. Then settle back to listen to music or watch television and order in dinner. Monocle magazine editor Tyler Brûlé argues that there’s nothing quite as revealing as a top hotel’s in-room food when it comes to gauging the standard of what’s going on in its kitchen. Brûlé uses the ubiquitous club sandwich as his benchmark choice – and this classic sandwich certainly makes an appearance on the Saxon’s in-room menu – but it’s the beef burger that’s essential eating here. It’s one of the very best in Johannesburg, served with superlative onion rings, perfect French fries and

what really are home-made pickles. It also arrives at your door within an exceptionally short time. For something more exotic, there’s Scottish salmon or an exotic lamb tagine. And why not finish with the Saxon chocolate torte? It’s the pick of the dessert menu and includes salted macadamia-nut ice cream, citrus salad, passion-fruit jam and chocolate marquise. Award-winning, Australianborn Executive Chef Nancy Kinchela has worked all over the world and if this is what she can serve up on a tray, just imagine what she’s capable of via the full grandeur of her recently introduced Chef’s Table. The latter is located in the heart of the state-of-the-art kitchen, and is a place where personal tastes are indulged with a bespoke menu complemented by the best from the Saxon’s world-class wine cellars. The hotel also has plenty of expertise on hand with regard to those well-stocked cellars: sommelier Francis Krone is the joint-fourth winner of the International Jeunes Sommelier Competition 2010. As well as the superb service and excellent food (don’t forget to sample the fresh oysters on the breakfast buffet) one of the most frequently commentedupon aspects of the Saxon is its interior design. This is one of the places where sophisticated contemporary South African interior design was born in the late 1990s. That’s when SA décor colossus Stephen Falcke created a set of interiors (both in the original suites and the hotel’s public spaces) that changed the way we thought about interior design here. Proof of the ongoing appeal of this elegant yet down-to-earth style, which balances the subtle colours of South Africa’s distinctive landscapes with carefully selected African and Asian textiles and artefacts, lies in the fact that very little of it has been fundamentally changed since – and it doesn’t need to be. The wall decoration in which Falcke clustered together multiple woven African baskets, for example, is still as

The tranquil pool deck offers views across the lush gardens, top. All the furnishings in the new suites were specially made for the Saxon using only South African materials and craftsmen.

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The pool terrace is the perfect place to unwind before heading indoors for dinner in the hotel's understated private restaurant.

breathtaking in its simplicity and style as when it was first unveiled to the world – and photographed for countless décor magazines. The Saxon as we know it today has grown and developed over a number of years. It was originally built as a private residence for renowned South African captain of commerce Douw Steyn and has undergone several redevelopments and refurbishments since, the latest of which was completed in time for the start of the 2010 Football World Cup. The major achievement of this latest phase of development is the creation of the new Saxon Villas. Reached via an elevated pathway or ‘skywalk’ through the trees from the main hotel building, the three spacious villas are perfect for guests who want five-star hotel service but the privacy and freedom of staying in their own space. Each villa features multiple open-plan suites, a private deck and plunge pool, a lounge, satellite kitchen and butler service as well as a boardroom which may be converted into a dining room. There’s also private lift access from the


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new underground parking area. Villa One, a single-storey building, has seven suites. Villas Two and Three are set out over two floors. Each has seven suites on the ground floor, plus four onebedroom Presidential Suites (which can be converted into two two-bedroom Platinum Suites) on the floor above. The first floors also incorporate peaceful views across the leafy hills of northern Johannesburg as well as Spa Suites for private spa treatments and therapies. The interiors of the Saxon Villas were designed by the talented PJ de Kock of Johannesburg’s Blacksmith Interiors and in these airy spaces natural stone-clad walls, an abundance of woods and silk textiles combine to create great lightness and tranquillity. It’s worth noting that everything used in the interior schemes was crafted and made in South Africa – a remarkable achievement in itself. Careful thought has also been given to how guests can customise their space: adjustable wooden sliding shutters are used to conceal the bathroom for privacy, but when opened, they reveal a much larger, airy suite – perfect if you’re

Stylish contemporary South African interiors characterise public and private spaces. Top chefs reinvent the menu regularly, offering delicious dishes made from organic, seasonal ingredients.

travelling solo. And expect nothing less than indulgent Molten Brown toiletries for a luxurious bathing experience in this peaceful setting. The perfect finishing touch is afforded by the more than 200 original South African artworks that grace the walls of all three villas. They were specially commissioned from contemporary local artists, including Sandile Zulu, Dirk Meerkotter and Beverly Watson. Guests in search of personal rejuvenation will love the award-winning, exquisitely appointed Saxon Spa, and particularly its unique signature treatments. A host of massages, body therapies and beauty treatments are available, plus there’s a hair and nail studio, a Rasul chamber and spa café. For active types, the Saxon also has a heated swimming pool and state-of-the-art gymnasium. A final mention must go to the large, beautifully landscaped garden, which

Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa

Photographs: saxon boutique hotel, villas and spa

Sandhurst, Gauteng, SA Telephone: +27 (0)11 292 6000 Facsimile: +27 (0)11 292 6001 Email: Website:

sports a veritable forest of indigenous trees as well as rolling lawns and water features – there’s a marvellous, wellstocked koi pond among these. A stroll taken here at the end of a long day while listening to the birds will do much to refresh and revive the weariest of spirits. No wonder Nelson Mandela chose to edit his autobiography, A Long Walk

to Freedom, in the serene surrounds of this discreet boutique retreat. No surprise, too, that a string of local and international luminaries return here again and again. Once you’ve sampled the delights this superb luxury hotel has to offer, you’ll doubtless begin to count yourself among them. n Robyn Alexander

Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa is a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World. Situated in Johannesburg‘s upmarket northern suburbs, it is five minutes’ drive from the Sandton CBD and Gautrain station.

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Morukuru Family

In my African dream Privacy. Exclusivity. Space. Three luxurious sole-use villas, privately located within malaria-free Madikwe – prime Big Five territory. With each villa offering its own chef, butler, manager, game ranger and tracker, all devoted entirely to you and your chosen guests, the Morukuru Family is there to make your every wish come true.


ou know you and your family are headed somewhere special when you’re asked to complete a wishlist before departure, and questions include ‘Blankets or duvets?’ and ‘Any special requests for the children?’ Nothing, it would seem, is too much trouble at Morukuru, and that is exactly what you find when you arrive. Long before the vogue for sole-use villas had well-established safari

brands scrambling for suitable sites, the Morukuru team understood that privacy and exclusivity are what elevate a holiday to unforgettable memory. Spurning the usual 18- to 24-bed luxury camp model, they built just two bush villas – The Lodge and Owner’s House – both totally private yet enjoying similarly superb locations on the banks of the Marico River. The Lodge sleeps a total of 10 people in three large en-suite bedrooms, each

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Every detail is attended to, whether it be the stylish décor of the lounge at Owner’s House, which opens onto a shaded deck overlooking the river, or a child-friendly game ranger on hand to offer children an enthralling bush experience.

with their own fireplace and tree-shaded deck, and a children’s room (complete with TV, DVD and internet access) that accommodates four junior guests. The more intimate Owner’s House sleeps four people in two en-suite bedrooms. Both villas provide guests (whether one or 10) with all the comfort and privacy of home – your own kitchen, dining room, lounge, large pool and comfortably furnished decks. Better still, each lodge comes with its own safari guide, tracker, chef, butler and, if required, nanny – allowing you to truly set your own pace.


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Word soon got out that this was the perfect way to commune with Africa; alone, the only human presence people handpicked by you. Staff presence at Morukuru is discreet; should you wish to be completely alone, you need only say. The idea is that you are not a guest, but – for the duration of your stay – the owner of this bush paradise. The unqualified success of The Lodge and Owner’s House led to the development of the five-suite Farm House a few years later. While The Lodge and Owner’s House are within walking distance of each other and can therefore

be utilised by a large party who want to be together yet separate, this cool, spacious home is located in an utterly private location. With a gorgeous pool set in sprawling green lawns, the more rustic-chic ethos of the Farm House makes this the ideal destination for an extended family or group of friends who want unpretentious barefoot elegance, in a house that encourages gathering as well as private reverie. This vision, of combining family bonding with personal privacy, is at the heart of Morukuru, and central to this is how the junior guests are treated.

Space and privacy abound, from the well-stocked library and baths with a view at Farm House, to a secluded reading perch above the river.

The Morukuru Kidz programme takes shape around guests. On arrival, children are presented with a backpack filled with age-appropriate wildlife cards, beads and interesting activity books. But again, the kids set the pace and itinerary. Staff are handpicked for their ability to entertain children, be it with a fishing or baking lesson, making beaded necklaces or spoor casts. As Gemma, villa manager for Farm House puts it, ‘Families come here to really relax and spend time together. Because you have your own home and your own vehicle, your space and time is your own. You don’t have to share anything with strangers, so the whole family eases into a special space. Parents unwind watching kids play in the pool, going on safari drives together, enjoying bush dinners – and if the parents want to relax on their own, we have so many activities we can arrange for the children

– too many to get through in one visit!’ Regardless of where you come from, your age or your interests, the real luxury of Morukuru soon works its magic: no pressure to do anything, or be anywhere, other than in the moment. And what a special moment: in the heart of Africa, surrounded by 75 000 hectares of prime game-viewing territory, and cocooned in luxury. n Pippa de Bruyn

Morukuru Family

Madikwe Game Reserve, North-West Province, SA Telephone: + 27 (0)11 615 4303 Email: Website:


Luxurious Morukuru, a member of The Private Collection, comprises three exclusive-used villas on a private reserve adjoining the 75 000 hectare malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. This game-rich region on the South Africa / Botswana border is an easy four-hour drive from Johannesburg, or a short flight with Federal or Morukuru Air.

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Wolwedans Boulders Camp

A landscape as old as time Nestled below giant granite outcrops in the remote south of the NamibRand Nature Reserve, Wolwedans Boulders Camp offers exclusive tented accommodation amid majestic desert vistas – and the tranquillity that only an ancient landscape, barely touched by human endeavour, can provide.


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This remote camp is sheltered by ancient granite monoliths that rise out of the flat desert landscape as if from nowhere.

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OPPOSITE TOP Spacious canvas suites set on a wide wooden deck offer all that’s needed for a relaxing stay in this unique desert environment. The sides of the suites can be closed for ultimate privacy, or opened to allow uninterrupted views over the awe-inspiring landscape. You may be staying in the middle of nowhere, but creature comforts are still well provided for in the lodge’s communal bar and lounge area.


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o man can live this life and emerge unchanged. He will carry, however faint, the imprint of the desert, the brand which marks the nomad; and he will have within him the yearning to return. For this cruel land can cast a spell which no temperate clime can match.’ Legendary British explorer Wilfred Thesiger wrote these words about Rub’ al Khali, the vast ‘Empty Quarter’ that stretches across the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, but his eloquent prose could just as easily have been about the wide open plains of the Namib. Certainly the lure of the desert proves irresistible for all but the most jaded traveller, and the NamibRand – one of the largest privately owned nature reserves in Southern Africa, hugging the eastern fringe of the Namib-Naukluft National Park just south of the legendary dunes at Sossusvlei – is particularly seductive. And while its 172 000 hectares may at first glance appear ‘cruel’, there is both life and beauty in its dry, rocky terrain. The plains are covered with a velvet cloth of auburn waving grass that transforms into a delicate shade of green at the slightest hint of rain. Underground streams trap these precious beads of moisture and give sustenance to shepherd’s trees, which in turn provide shade for hardy inhabitants, such as the muscled oryx that wander ponderously from sustenance to shade. Young males joust like knights of old, stamping their dominance into the red dust under hoof. Shy springbok pick their way daintily across the gravelly plains, while officious ostriches shepherd their clutches of fluffy chicks. Sociable weavers build their giant nests in the boughs of the spiky camel thorn, while scorpions and skinks take haven in the tree’s latticed bark. Beneath rocks and inside crevices, shy barking geckos escape the heat of the day in elaborate underground burrows, ready to emerge at sunset. There is life in this barren land, if you only take the time to look for it. And at Wolwedans Boulders Camp, you’ll have all the time in the world. For it’s in

an ancient landscape such as this – the dunes of the Namib have been here for millennia – that time truly does stand still. Here days are marked not by clocks or deadlines, but by the rising heat of the morning, the lazy torpor that afternoon brings and the happy arrival of the evening’s restorative cool. Perhaps cool isn’t a word that readily springs to mind in a desert, but at Boulders Camp – the most exclusive lodge in the acclaimed Wolwedans Collection – refreshment for body and soul abounds. Arriving at Boulders is a soul-restoring adventure in itself. Self-drive visitors are now able to drive most of the way to the tented camp, but travellers would do well to ease themselves gently into life in the desert – perhaps by starting their holiday at one of the other Wolwedans camps. A night or two at the stunning Dunes Lodge – perched on an ochre crest of Namib sand – or in the intimate Dune Camp will help you acclimatise to the heat of the desert, and the slow pace of life in the NamibRand. Breathe in deeply. Breathe out, and smile at the marvel of your surrounds. Relish the exquisite peace that only perfect silence brings. Enjoy that first ice-cold G&T on a hot African afternoon. Savour the beads of moisture on the shaft of cool glass, as the lengthening shadows spread across your private deck. The sun slips gracefully into the horizon, turning the African sky into a mirror of the ochre Namib dunes. Once the shackles of stress have released their grip, the real adventure begins with a 45-kilometre journey into the southern heartland of the NamibRand. After two hours of travelling through pristine desert landscapes, the massive granite rocks for which Boulders is named shimmer out of the heat haze. Ancient monoliths, they cradle the lodge in their protective arms, as if fearful it will be discovered by the outside world. The four tented suites wait patiently for your arrival; a work of art made real among the ever-changing palette of desert colours. There’s a warm welcome at the stylish main lodge, a canvas haven of deep leather couches and panoramic views.

A well-stocked bookcase, an old gramophone and a beautiful telescope set the scene for relaxed, old-world bush elegance. Lone oryx are a common sight on these arid desert plains.

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Loungers provide for lazy desert days, while striking four-poster beds guarantee a good night’s rest.

Here a vintage gramophone harks back to the golden era of African travel, while a small library offers well-chosen Africana to help you appreciate this unique environment. In the chill of winter, soft leather armchairs welcome you in a warm embrace, as the crackle of firewood provides a soundtrack to the sunset. Out on the deck, lunch is laid out on fine linen tablecloths and chilled bubbly is poured into sparkling crystal to toast your arrival. All meals are served with a side


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order of desert vistas – whether they’re romantic dinners à deux under the Milky Way or communal feasts around the fire, where fellow travellers swop tall tales over a fine Cabernet. From the main lodge, a meandering pathway skirts the granite boulders to deliver you to your private tented suite. Canvas walls are rolled skywards and desert breezes wash in over the fourposter bed swathed in fine percale linen. On the secluded deck that encircles the suite, two loungers relax in a corner,

beckoning you to enjoy a cool, quiet afternoon in the shade of the dramatic boulders. And, certainly, your days can be as relaxed or busy as you choose. If it’s the start of an African adventure, this is a refuge to shake off the malaise of a long journey; if it’s the end of a safari, this is the spot where you put your feet up and remember the incredible scenes you’ve enjoyed thus far. And relish those still to come. There’s a sense of understated bush elegance here. An unfussy natural charm pervades each hideaway, where tones of ochre and sand echo the views washing in from the plains. Here, the landscapes speak for themselves, and there’s no need for extravagant décor to distract your gaze from the vistas outside. These pristine desert scenes have remained untouched by man for millennia, and we are just the latest in a long line of desert travellers to admire them. Come evening, hurricane lamps set a romantic mood and crystal-clear skies offer up a star-spangled ceiling. In this absolute stillness, a good night’s sleep is all but assured. But in the cool of the morning and gentle heat of the afternoon, this vast desert reserve is your playground. Whether it’s a short outing or a full-day safari, the guided scenic drives are the best way to explore the unique ecology of this littlevisited corner of Namibia. A remarkable variety of birdlife is to be found here, while antelope still roam freely in the



Delaire Graff Estate Helshoogte Pass Stellenbosch South Africa

Wolwedans Boulders Camp

Photographs: stephan bruckner

NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia Telephone: +264 (0)61 230 616 Facsimilie: +264 (0)61 220 102 Email: Website: grasslands and shy leopards watch from craggy hilltops. But the landscapes, not the wildlife, are the real star here. With few roads, there is no intrusion of modern life, and little sign of human impact. These are the ancient hunting grounds of the San, and Boulders’ well-trained guides will teach you to follow in their footsteps on the daily walking safaris, taking you to distant hills where you can still see their ochre animal paintings daubed on cave walls.

There’s also the option – not offered at Boulders, but at the other Wolwedans camps – of an excursion in a hot-air balloon. Soaring silently along, the sheer majesty of the NamibRand unfurls below. It’s a land where the ancient past still echoes among the granite boulders, singing you to sleep with lullabies of deserts and dunes and earth’s earliest peoples; a song of time standing still on wide, empty plains. I think old Thesiger would approve. n Richard Holmes

The Wolwedans Collection comprises four camps in the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Boulders Camp, set in the deep south, is the latest addition and is the most remote and exclusive.

Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa

Paradise revisited on a calm blue sea Whether you’re looking for a romantic honeymoon or a relaxed family break, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius offers the perfect seaside escape. And when it comes to location, few resorts can top the silver sand and turquoise waters of Trou aux Biches. Now a massive makeover has left this island idyll more desirable than ever‌

30 Opulent Living


he island of Mauritius has long exerted a magical pull on holidaymakers, who return year after year to enjoy its tropical beaches, legendary hospitality and superb cuisine. And Trou aux Biches, on the island’s beautiful northwest coast, was one of its most popular destinations, famed as much for its warm service as its unrivalled location. Now, after a complete rebuild, it’s re-opened as a five-star resort – offering luxurious accommodation and fine dining to tempt even the most discerning of travellers back to its sheltered shore. Set in acres of lush, landscaped gardens shaded by hundreds of palm trees, the

new-look village-style resort blends contemporary design with traditional Creole architecture – and has brought a blast of fresh energy to the sunny northwest coast of the island. Its worldclass amenities include restaurants and bars overlooking the ocean, numerous pools and tennis courts, a mini club, designer boutiques and a Clarins Spa. As before, a huge part of Trou aux Biches’s special appeal is its superb location on a stretch of sandy beach that rolls down to a turquoise lagoon, sheltered from the open ocean by a pristine coral reef. The long beach is wonderful for a romantic stroll, especially at sunset when the sun seems to slip into the sea, while the calm,

warm water of the lagoon offers safe swimming – making this a perfect spot for young families who want to spend their days building sand castles, playing games and dipping in and out of the gentle waves. The coral reef means that colourful tropical fish are plentiful, so there’s also rewarding snorkelling to be had – as well as a wide array of other watersports for the more energetic. What has changed dramatically are the accommodation options. The resort’s rebuild began with the construction of 29 luxury villas – two- and threebedroomed freestanding ‘houses’ that offer the space and privacy of a holiday home, but that come with the services

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of a personal butler and all the facilities of a top resort. Built around a private pool and garden, each villa has a sleek, open-plan living and dining area, a fully equipped designer kitchen, a barbecue area and double bedrooms with modern, en-suite bathrooms that lead onto an outdoor shower area and, in some villas, an outdoor bath. The beach is within strolling distance, or there are club car transfers if you are feeling lazy. The more traditional suites have also been completely revamped. At entry level, there are junior suites built in crescent formations around communal swimming pools, where loungers invite quiet afternoons simply reading or dozing in the sun. And in prime position, with direct beach access and uninterrupted sea views, are more luxurious beachfront suites, each with their own private pool. When it comes to dining, guests are spoilt for choice. There are now six restaurants


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A series of crystal clear pools with views over the ocean are dotted throughout the resort, and the cool, uncluttered beachfront suites, above, lead onto a private pool. OPPOSITE The new L’Oasis complex incorporates an airy bar and lounge area, while guest rooms have been revamped in

Photographs: BEACHCOMBER HOTELS © 2011

clean, simple style.

at the resort, each set next to an infinity pool so that it appears to be floating in an ocean of water. No matter what you feel like eating, there is always something exciting on offer at La Caravelle, which offers a veritable feast of flavours from around the globe. For everyday, café-style dining, L’Oasis serves breakfast, lunch and lavish dinner buffets, with chefs at interactive cooking stations transforming the freshest ingredients into wonderful creations as they chat to guests. Le Deck restaurant and bar on the beach presents a toesin-the-sand experience and a menu of fresh seafood and innovative salads; Blue Ginger is a cutting-edge Thai restaurant; Mahiya celebrates the fragrantly spicy specialities of India and Mauritius; while the Tuscan-themed Il Coralla serves Italian dishes. Back on the beach, the Caravelle Bar provides a laid-back spot for sundowners,

whether you want a rum cocktail or a glass of Champagne, and next to the main pool there’s the Oasis Bar, which specialises in fruit-based cocktails, coffees, teas and pancakes. The world-class Clarins Spa has its own pool and more than a dozen thatched massage pavilions tucked away between the palm trees. Some of the treatment rooms are air conditioned while others are open sided, providing a back-tonature experience. Besides specialised massage therapies, the emphasis is on hydrotherapy, with two hammams and treatment rooms dedicated to balneotherapy and algotherapy. The tourist attractions and sophisticated shopping precincts of the town of Grande Baie are close by should you want an outing, but with the enticing line-up of facilities at Trou aux Biches, you may never need (or want) to leave the resort. n Jane Broughton

Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa

Grande Baie, Mauritius Telephone: +27 (0)21 850 5300 Facsimilie: +230 265 6611 Email: Website: Trou aux Biches reopened in November 2010 after a £60-million makeover.

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Face-to-face with the talent of two generations

Although they don't often work on the same continents any more, Gerald and his son Marc (left) found a moment to shoot this self-portrait.


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World-renowned photographers Gerald and Marc Hoberman have published more than 70 coffee-table books of their iconic travel images. So what makes this father-and-son team click? By Michelle Snaddon

Photographs: THE hoberman COLLECTION

Starting with you, Gerald, what inspired n  you to focus on photography? GH: At the tender age of eight I borrowed my sister’s Kodak Baby Brownie camera and never gave it back! I am, after all these years, unable to explain the continuity of my unbridled enthusiasm. Every time I pick up my camera I am freshly infused with creative passion and inspiration, like a kid in a candy store. And when did you begin to involve Marc n  in the business? GH: Well, before the idea of starting a publishing company and creating a career out of photography, Marc and I started our ‘journey’. At age five he began to accompany me on photographic expeditions around the world. I allowed him to borrow my Leica cameras and introduced him to the excitement of photography, which he took to immediately, much to my delight. By the time Marc finished high school, he had already experienced more than many photographers do in a lifetime, and at that point he joined me in the early days of The Hoberman Collection. MH: By the age of 12 I had lived with dad in the Amazon for three months, and we’d been to the Galapagos together. GH: Marc’s school friends dismissed his stories as bull dust! MH: I always used to tease my friends and tell them to choose something to eat from the fridge – but of course they found it full of film. I used to say, ‘There are rolls in the fridge if you’d like some!’ I really appreciate

how my dad introduced me to photography. He never gave me a formal lesson but just let it develop naturally. I took terrible pictures for at least 12 years! How do the two of you work together as n  father and son? GH: We are both card-carrying members of the mutual admiration society. Our circumstances and complementary skills are such that nowadays we only occasionally manage to work on the same projects together, but we usually collaborate on the content of our books. MH: My father has been my mentor and photographic partner since the age of five, so working as a team comes naturally to us and is always great fun. We’ve shared so many experiences around the world together and grown side-by-side as artists, so I think Team Hoberman works really well. These days, with so many different projects on the go, we unfortunately have to work separately more often than not, but we always regroup for our traditional show-and-tells.

For many years, Gerald and Marc have been recording South Africa's fascinating cultural diversity and magnificent landscapes.ion to go here.

How do you both describe your styles? n  GH: Technical excellence is a prerequisite and Marc and I don’t understand the word ‘compromise’. I love to reveal the subtle nuances of light, colour, texture and form. With people and wildlife photography, it’s the ability to anticipate and capture that fleeting moment. My work often includes a dollop of serendipity to ‘add spice to the gingerbread’.

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Gerald recently published an epic book on lighthouses – an ambitious project that often took him out to sea where he bobbed perilously in all weathers waiting for the perfect shot. His wildlife photography requires similar patience and perseverance.

I aim to evoke an emotive impactful response to every photograph I take. My work ranges from intricate numismatic fine art macro photography to helicopter perspectives and dramatic landscapes. MH: My photography style has become more romantic, if I had to put a word to it. I’ve become obsessed with natural light and what can be done with the bare minimums. For me, it’s all about glimmers of light in shadows, or chiaroscuro. I’ve somehow gone from photographing out in the African sun to preferring dark spaces! Tell us about how you made the transition n  from being a studio photographer to being a wildlife photographer? GH: In studio I worked with highly controlled precision using Hasselblad cameras to do fine-art coin photography, which was my specialty at the time. One day a friend invited my family and I on a bush holiday. I took my cameras with me but quickly realised that my noisy Hasselblad was totally inappropriate, and I found that I was an atrocious wildlife photographer. But before long, the strong element of luck and the thrill of the chase brought out my primal hunting instincts. It was a defining moment that changed my direction. The bug bit and I had to go back. My cameras were traded in – I moved on to Leica cameras, until the digital age arrived and we changed to Canon. I’ve since done a considerable amount of wildlife work and photographed over 75


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lodges. Both Paul Smith and Ralph Lauren sell Exclusive Safari Lodges of South Africa in their international fashion boutiques. When did you make the switch over to n  digital? And who did it first? MH: We held on to film for dear life while others around us were changing to digital. So much of what we enjoyed was the romance

of the film process – the anticiaption of not knowing what will come out until the rolls are processed, the late nights in front of the noisy slide projector talking for hours about each image blown up life-size on the wall, slide mounts, acetate file sleeves – it was all wonderfully tactile.

I loved that slightly mysterious world that could only be accessed by someone who took it seriously. Digital has taken the mystery out of it. It spelt the end of an era and it definitely did change the way everyone worked: suddenly, as a photographer, you needed to learn how to retouch. You can’t separate Photoshop from a photographer today. We both value the fact that we’ve had classical training though. In 2005 I received a commission to photograph Elton John over a gruelling twoday schedule. Having to keep up with other people’s deadlines, which we rarely did back then, I realised that I had to change to digital. Intrigued, my father followed several days later, and we’ve never looked back. GH: Digital is great though: imagine you’re shooting at sunrise or sunset and not sure of the light. You might choose to shoot the same shot every minute or half minute and you’ll get results because you can evaluate what you’ve got and make adjustments as you go. The economic possibility of doing slight nuances on different exposures would bankrupt you on film. That said, it’s only a tool and the fundamentals of what constitutes a good image have not changed with the advent of digital. If one goes back to the work of early photographers, you’ll find they were pretty sharp. Clever composition and lighting was a real skill. We can run circles around what the old guys did but still respect and salute them for what they achieved. They didn’t have great lenses in those days but those shots have a special magic – they speak to us. What makes a good photographer, Marc? n  And what gives you both the edge? MH: Having a father so passionate about his craft and so generous with his time has definitely been a factor for me. For around 15 years we’ve enjoyed photography together as a hobby without any of the difficulties that come with the profession. I think that allowed us to really find our styles and build experience in a meaningful way. The genuine place that our photography comes from gives it an edge, I would imagine. We haven’t spent much time looking at others around us or getting involved in photography ‘culture’ – it’s the simple act itself that we enjoy so much.

Tell us about the most extraordinary shoot n  you’ve ever done? GH: Doing tight wheelies around the Statue of Liberty in a helicopter to get aerial shots of Manhattan one week before 9/11. I also survived a crash into the sea near Knysna: the back rotor of the helicopter blew clean off. MH: It’s hard to choose one, but for travel it was probably 12 hours of aerial photography over the Namib Desert – the landscape is surreal and like nothing I had ever seen. And every year I cover the BAFTA Awards in London as the official photographer, which is a constant treasure trove of extraordinary situations and stories.

One year, BAFTA invited 10 of London’s leading entertainment photographers to shoot the award 'masks‘. They were all quite aggressive – clicking away, getting every angle, photographing like crazy. I sat quietly in the corner and thought about the light until they'd all left and the cleaner came to take the awards away. With the spotlights off, I took just one quiet picture of her holding a mask with a white glove. A week later the image was chosen for BAFTA's national ad campaign and is today displayed as an art piece at its headquarters. Digital encourages excessive shooting but it’s that one moment that counts.

we love what we do

Picture-perfect landscapes can take days or even months to achieve, but with 70 published titles to date, Gerald and Marc are masters in the industry.

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Johannesburg City of Gold, a new coffee-table book on this vibrant multicultural metropolis by Gerald and Marc Hoberman, will be published together with Opulent Living magazine later this year.


 What tips would you give to our readers who would like to improve their travel or safari photography? GH: Observing animals and their behavioural patterns is not only fascinating but also allows the photographer to anticipate what the ‘next move’ is going to be. For instance, I noticed that moments before a bird of prey takes to flight it defecates, making its body lighter. It’s at that point that my finger hits the motor drive to catch my subject in flight. There are many tricks that one picks up along the way with wildlife photography. Shooting in the wild requires great patience, often staying in one position for hours to get the perfect shot and this can be very tiring with a heavy telephoto lens. A tripod would seem the obvious solution but when the action happens you want to be able to move freely at lightning speed. For years I’ve used a bag filled with lightweight inert polypropylene pellets (easily made at home) which I place over my open 4x4 window to support my lens. As for general advice – you’ve got to have fun! Great pictures will come if you are fully immersed in what you do. When other people in your party begin to complain that you‘re being anti-social, you know that you’re on the right track! I’ve watched many a tourist struggling with expensive new equipment. Learn how to use it before you go to the bush. But it’s also possible to take great shots with a very ordinary camera: I remember one occasion when I stayed behind to photograph the public area of a lodge and missed a really good kill – lions had taken a baby hippo. One of the guests showed me her photos and I genuinely raved about them. She did such a good job – really crackerjack shots. I nagged her to take them to 50/50 and they showed them on TV. MH: Every time we go on safari everything’s happened the day before. So go a day earlier than you booked! No, seriously – I find that hobbyist photographers tend to spend too much time researching and discussing camera equipment and the latest gadgets. It is important to have the best kit that you can afford, but once bought, I’d recommend really focusing on getting out there and building experience – it’s more important than anything you can buy.

 How many books have you published to date? Any favourites? GH: We’ve published around 70 titles under The Hoberman Collection. The aerial work of London is a bestseller and our book on London is still on the Harrods list. We do the official Hampton Court, Kensington Palace and Tower of London books too – and have kept letters from the Queen, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Archbishop Tutu, and numerous other dignitaries, all of which are meaningful to us. MH: It’s difficult to choose a favourite, although I once told a news reporter that each book is like a child… they’re really fun to make! Artistically, it’s always my current book – in this case, a coffee table book about the legacy of The Carlton Tower Hotel in London (due June 2011). New York was a special career highlight but nothing could beat the working environment of my cookbook Chocolate for Breakfast with Barbara Passino in Napa Valley!  Any exciting projects you can tell us about? MH: I’ve been updating our book on London and it’ll be out at the end of this year. This new one is actually Marc Hoberman’s London and marks quite a specific change in my style. It’s a lot cleaner and more romantic. I’ve got to know the city and its people, especially through fashion in my work for Vogue – shooting fashion designers, makeup artists and backstage – and as the official BAFTA photographer. Not surprisingly, I’ve met a few people with the attitude of a lion. Sometimes it’s not terribly far off from wildlife photography! I love those. But I’ve pretty much said goodbye to the fashion industry: I have a business to run and have had to make some choices. Book publishing is still my first love. GH: 2011 is a year for Johannesburg. Marc and I are working on a Johannesburg coffee-table book and are immersed in the city. I’ve wanted to cover this subject for many years. While Cape Town is arguably over-photographed, Johannesburg has been visually ignored and it is a truly magnificent place. We’re covering the city from all angles: extensive helicopter shoots, townships, trendy urban centres, miners underground, wildlife, the list goes on... images that evoke an emotion. Oh, and of course, its finely tuned sense of opulent living!

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NEW: LEICA X1 And the feeling stays alive. Memories fade. But not with the Leica X1. It captures each moment as it happens – authentic, unrehearsed and in the brilliant picture quality you can expect from Leica. That’s thanks to the CMOS image sensor, as large as that of a high-quality SLR, and the perfectly matched Leica lens. The handy Leica X1 lets you be extremely flexible, spontaneous and creative. Simply switch between automatic or manual control in the blink of an eye. With the Leica X1, the feeling stays alive. Discover more at For your nearest dealer contact / / 011 803 2226

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2011/04/15 1:23 PM

Jack‘s Camp

Passage to Africa Named after the legendary big game hunter, safari operator and pioneering adventurer, Jack Bousfield, Jack’s Camp evokes the golden age of safaris and resonates with an elegance and authenticity that remains unparalleled. A luxurious outpost in the harsh but awe-inspiring desert wilderness that is Botswana’s remote Makgadikgadi Pans, it’s attention to detail has earned it accolades from adventurers from all around the world.


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B Guest tents are characterised by campaign-style furniture and ethnic fabrics; the main pavilion, where curiosities collected by the Bousfield family are displayed, serves 10 around an elegant dining table.


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oth breathtakingly beautiful and brutally austere, the Makgadikgadi Pans in northeastern Botswana present a terrain like no other. This large area in the Kalahari Desert is one of the biggest salt flats in the world, all that remains of an enormous lake that dried up several thousand years ago. In certain areas the aspect is more moonscape than terra firma. It is said that rainfall is so rare that human and animal footprints might remain cast in the earth for years, like modern fossils set in the white, salty earth. Yet this savage landscape teems with life in all its forms. Thorny acacia, palm trees and the awe-inspiring baobab are anchored like green sentinels in the dry earth. Comical families of meerkat share the desert with several species of antelope, aardvark and the rare brown hyena. And when the wet season brings the rains, it is magically transformed into a lush stage where the unscripted drama of zebra and wildebeest

migrations plays out – complete with a second act dominated by the magnificent and fearsome predators that come to hunt them down. Bird life also thrives here with a proliferation of feathered species both endemic to the desert – such as ostrich and sand grouse – and temporary visitors, such as flamingos and wattled crane, who descend in their thousands when the wet season covers the pans in pools of water. When legendary adventurer Jack Bousfield – the product of a long line of East African game rangers and hunters – discovered this harsh, seemingly uninhabitable wilderness in the 1960s, he was smitten. He set up a camp, and lived here until his death in a light aircraft crash in 1992. And it is here, in his memory, that his son, fifthgeneration conservationist and naturalist, Ralph Bousfield, and his partner, Catherine Raphaely, have created an environmentally mindful oasis that is the flagship of their Uncharted Africa Safari Co.

Photographs: JACK‘S CAMP

A low grassland knoll enveloped by greenfringed desert palms and acacia provides the setting for this unique bush camp. Ten canvas tents, raised slightly off the ground on wooden decks so as to lighten their environmental imprint, pay homage to Jack Bousfield’s nomadic spirit and the romantic mobile safari expeditions of the early 20th century. But there is nothing rudimentary about these tents. Rather, under Catherine’s flawless decorative direction, they are luxuriously appointed in the East African colonial style of the 1940s: think campaign furniture, dark hardwood four-poster beds made up with crisp white cotton, polished brass accents, leather and animal hides, worn Persian rugs and the vibrancy of Anglo-Indian and North African textiles. En-suite bathrooms feature both indoor and outdoor showers with hot water generated by solar power. The absence of electricity – lanterns, fires and the stars are the only light sources here after dark and wet kikois serve to cool you down in lieu of air conditioners – ensures that there is nothing to distract you from a personal dialogue with nature. The central hub – an extraordinary canvas pavilion, casually referred to as the ‘mess tent’ – is the place where guests meet to enjoy superb meals, decadently indulgent high teas, drinks and convivial conversation. Here, Catherine has created a richly layered and beautiful space replete with a library, heirloom furniture, original black-andwhite photographs, etchings and antique maps drawn from the Bousfield family collection. The pleasing overall effect is a testament to her sure eye and years of experience as a world-class stylist. Most compelling are the various installations of curiosities and natural ephemera gathered by past generations of Bousfields, the late Jack as well as Ralph: bones, skulls and fossils, ancient indigenous beadwork and tools, taxidermied animals, botanical and insect specimens. Two recent additions to the camp are the magnificent pool pavilion that offers guests a place of cool respite, as well as the Shop Tent with its sophisticated wares and Uncharted Africa Safari Co memorabilia. For its attention to detail in every aspect,

Jack’s Camp, built to resemble the mobile camps of early 20th-century safari expeditions, offers adventurers a place of stylish respite amid the harsh but beautiful landscape of the Kalahari Desert.

outstanding itinerary and awe-inspiring location, Jack’s Camp has recently been voted ‘Number One in the World’ in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards 2010. So what does the itinerary at Jack’s Camp comprise? Everything from exhilarating game drives with expert rangers, optional guided walking tours with the local Zu/’hoasi Bushmen trackers, getting up close and personal with a family of friendly, habituated meerkats, trying to wrap your arms around Chapman’s baobab (the third largest tree in Africa), quad biking across the salt pans and, in the wet season, viewing the last remaining zebra and wildebeest migration in Southern Africa. Jack’s Camp is not just a place to go on safari, but rather somewhere to discover – just as Jack did – that once Africa reveals her true heart and soul to you, you will be drawn into a love affair that lasts a lifetime. n Mandy Allen

Jack’s Camp

Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana Telephone: +27 (0)11 447 1605 Facsimilie: +27 (0)11 447 6905 Email: Website: Jack’s Camp is the high-end flagship of the Uncharted Africa Safari Co’s exclusive collection of bush destinations in the Makgadikgadi Pans and Kalahari Desert of northeastern Botswana. Air transfers are offered from Gaborone, Maun and Livingstone in Zambia.

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Pezula Private Castle

Castles in the sand Seaside getaways don’t get more exclusive than a palatial suite overlooking a romantic, isolated beach.

The striking stone castles at Noetzie, built in the 1930s, enjoy a prime beachfront position.

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ezula’s fantasy castles are tucked into an emerald forest, where they watch over the breathtaking beauty of the southern Cape’s Noetzie Beach. Rocky outcrops, a dark lagoon and a hidden bay circle these golden sands; a romantic setting straight from the pages of a storybook. At high tide, thundering ocean breakers crash relentlessly to the shore – a sound that together with the cries of wheeling gulls sets the scene for this fairytale destination. The first castles were built at Noetzie, just to the east of Knysna, in the early 1930s as private holiday homes. They


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Romantic beach weddings and dinner in award-winning Zachary’s are just some of Pezula’s many attractions.

soon gained fame for their extraordinary architecture and the incredible landscape within which they sit. In order to protect this pristine natural environment, Noetzie was declared a conservancy ahead of the millennium. Soon afterwards, the Pezula Group bought the remainder of the Noetzie Farm, establishing Pezula Private Estate, a low-density housing development, as well as a luxurious resort hotel, spa and championship golf course – and initiating a major rehabilitation programme that saw indigenous vegetation restored to the bulk of this coastal property. The three

castles on the beach are now part of the estate and are bordered by its fynboscovered hills as well as the ancient milkwood forests of the neighbouring Sinclair Nature Reserve. Lovingly restored to their current luxurious state, they are celebrated as one of the most exclusive beach holiday destinations in the world. Main, Honeymoon and Cliff castles offer direct access to the beautiful beach and comprise five spacious suites – three in Main, and one each in Honeymoon and Cliff. Each of the suites has a large living area with doors onto a wide terrace, a sumptuous bathroom with heated marble floor, and a walk-in wardrobe. A world away from medieval, each room offers the perfect balance of opulence and relaxed beach living. The emphasis is on comfort, so you should feel as happy padding into the kitchen in a robe, curling up on one of the large couches in the lounge or brunching on the terrace as you do at home. Discreet staff are on standby to deliver a completely personal service. As well as a driver and housekeeper, there’s an executive butler to take care of day-today needs and a private chef to cater for every culinary desire. Whether you’re dining al fresco on your private terrace, or having a celebratory meal in the

Photographs: pezula private castle

10-seater dining room in Main castle, you can specify a menu, or simply leave it to the creative genius of the kitchen to prepare delicious, inventive dishes from the freshest ingredients, served with wines from Pezula’s award-winning cellar. For a relaxed afternoon in the sun, the deck at Main castle boasts an infinity pool, sun loungers and a shady gazebo. With its unparalleled views of the ocean, it’s the ideal spot to enjoy a cool beverage in the sunshine, or cocktails at sunset. And if you want a walk on the beach, simply step off the deck onto the sand and wander down to the water’s edge, where you can spy on the oystercatchers poking around the rock pools. From June to November, Humpback and Southern Right whales are a common sight in the bay, as are frolicking pods of dolphins. Sporty guests in need of a little action can be chauffeured up to Pezula Resort to take advantage of the rolling fairways and cliff-top greens of the championship golf course, or any number of pursuits at the Field of Dreams Sports Centre. There are also exciting wilderness adventures to keep adults and children entertained

– horse-riding in the indigenous forests, hiking and birding along nature trails, canoeing up the Noetzie River – or you can simply wander through the beautiful town of Knysna. Pezula’s internationally renowned spa is another heavenly place to relax. Nine secluded therapy rooms offer a comprehensive range of sensational treatments, after which you can prolong your nirvana in a room of heated massage waterbeds. Continue your spa day by making use of the heated indoor pool, the outside Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, rainforest shower, sunbed, juice bar, hair studio, gym or nail bar. After a blissful morning, it’ll come as no surprise that Pezula was voted one of the top three Best Overseas Hotel Spas in the Condé Nast Traveller 2010 Readers’ Travel Awards. In the evening, you can enjoy drinks in the Pezula Resort Hotel’s cigar lounge or champagne bar before dining at Zachary’s – one of South Africa’s premier restaurants. Or, experience an African sunset around a roaring fire in the Boma, where a typically South African braai

Tee off on Pezula’s Championship Golf Course or simply relax in the privacy of your luxurious suite.

(barbecue) is transformed into a gourmet safari-style banquet. Back at the castle, staff will prepare your chamber for a royal sleep. Before sliding beneath the luxurious linens of your king-size bed, sneak in a romantic midnight soak with champagne up at Honeymoon Castle. A tiny heated plunge pool awaits on an intimate terrace for two, with views to the moon over a shimmering sea. n Robyn Hodson

Pezula Private Castle

Knysna, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)44 302 3333 Facsimile: +27 (0) 44 302 3303 Email: Website: Pezula Private Castle overlooks pristine Noetzie Beach, recently named as one of the Top Three Beaches in South Africa.

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Queen Victoria Hotel

New-world glamour meets old-world elegance With sweeping views over the best that Cape Town has to offer, the smart new Queen Victoria – a small luxury hotel in the bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront – combines expansive spaces with glamorous interiors in a soothing palette of natural hues, making it an inner-city sanctuary of comfort and sophistication.


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nter the spanking new Queen Victoria Hotel through its black marble doorway and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a swish New York apartment. Managed and developed by Newmark Hotels, this V&A Waterfront hotel is cool; smart; ultra-sophisticated. A dramatic departure from the staid management offices that were previously housed in the building. ‘From the beginning we envisioned something sculptural and freestanding as a focal point,’ says Tarryn Cohen of Peerutin Architects. As a starting point, the belly of the building was ripped out to expose what is now the atrium, a triplevolume space dominated by a white spiral staircase and a manicured ficus tree imported from Indonesia. Moulded from malleable Corian, the staircase resembles

a sun-bleached seashell winding up to the Presidential Suite on the top floor. Throughout the hotel, artwork from the neighbouring Everard Read Gallery are displayed – and all are for sale. Each of the 35 bedrooms has been beautifully decorated by respected local interior design genius, Francois du Plessis. ‘The brief from the Newmark Hotels was to give the rooms a sense of calm in keeping with the tranquillity of the ocean,’ explains Francois. ‘We didn’t want to detract from the spectacular views, so I opted for a neutral canvas in soothing shades of grey, with just subtle accents in lilac and taupe.’ Raisin leather, plush velvet, marble and steel provide a wealth of different textures, and add to the mood of understated opulence. There’s also amazing attention to detail,

with customised wallpaper featuring a cameo portrait of the hotel’s regal namesake, Queen Victoria. One of the benefits of renovating the building from scratch was the opportunity to create spaces with different floorplans and unique identities. The structure combines two buildings, which means that some of the rooms are on two levels, cleverly married by an elegant staircase leading from an entrance hall up to the bedroom. The penthouse Presidential Suite is a

Glamorous Dash bar; the spacious Presidential Suite has a wraparound balcony with great waterfront views.

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generously proportioned two-bedroom apartment with a wraparound balcony offering spectacular views over Table Mountain on the one side, and the V&A Waterfront and Cape Town Harbour on the other. An oversized chaise longue provides the perfect spot to soak it all in, far above the everyday hustle and bustle. Then there’s the opulent bathroom, with a large chandelier hanging from the roof recess and an indulgent rain shower. The suite also incorporates an eightseater dining table, making it ideal for private entertaining. Downstairs, the 36-seater Dash restaurant – named after Queen Victoria’s favourite spaniel – leads off the atrium and flows onto a terrace with views of the mountain. It’s a sophisticated space. The dining area features stylish tables by Gregor Jenkin and chairs by Moorgas & Son, and is separated from a solid oak bar by an open fireplace clad in Nero Marquese marble. The food echoes the interior style: it’s New York City sexy. Seared foie gras with toasted apple, shallot marmalade and onion cream cappuccino is served up on

black Welsh slate and a coconut panna cotta wobbles promiscuously beside a swirl of passionfruit coulis. Plates are well thought out with the emphasis on clean presentation, vibrant colour combinations and variations on height and texture. ‘It’s something that hasn’t been done before,’ says Executive Chef Stephen Templeton, of Mount Nelson fame. ‘We’ve drawn inspiration from London’s top Michelinstar restaurants. With an unlimited budget, crockery is bespoke and handpicked, which is why we’ve chosen a clean style of presentation, allowing the food to speak for itself.’ Foraging for the very best local ingredients is also a priority, with seaweed coming from Hout Bay and ceps from the forest floor on Table Mountain. Guests at what’s already affectionately become known as the Queen Vic have access to the tranquil spa as well as the pool and bar at neighbouring Dock House Boutique Hotel & Spa – situated on an embankment with uninterrupted views over the waterfront. The many attractions of the V&A Waterfront – the

From bathrooms in soothing taupe, through urban-chic Dash restaurant and bar, to the striking atrium, the interior design sets a smart, sumptuous tone.

upmarket boutiques, stylish restaurants and cosmopolitan bars – are within easy walking distance and buzz with life until late into the night. Cocooned within the slick interiors of this New York-style hotel, you could be forgiven for thinking – for just a fleeting moment – that you’ve landed in the city that never sleeps. n Bernadette Le Roux

Queen Victoria Hotel


V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 418 1466 Facsimile: +27 (0)21 418 1475 Email: Website:


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Opulent Living



Medjumbe Private Island

Jewel of the Quirimbas A mere slither of an island with a white sandy beach shaped like a question mark, Medjumbe sits among pristine coral reefs in the remote Quirimbas archipelago in northern Mozambique. With only 13 palm-fringed chalets, it’s the perfect spot to escape the world…


anking around gently to land on the teeny strip of runway that appears to rise out of the sea and end on the beach, the charter plane that brings guests to Medjumbe flies over turquoise waters below which – these new visitors will soon discover – are coral reefs alive with tropical fish and marine life of all shapes and shades. It’s a multicoloured paradise just waiting to be explored….


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Just one kilometre long and 300m wide, this private island in the northern Quirimbas archipelago is an idyllic haven for honeymooners who wish to do nothing more than be together – walking the beach, relaxing with a freshly mixed caipirinha on their private deck, or spending blissful hours dipping in and out of the pool. Most guests, though, can’t wait to head out for their first snorkel in the marine reserve’s

aquamarine waters – that reach pleasant temperatures of up to 30°C in summer and rarely less than 27°C in winter. It’s not long before they’re chatting about sweetlips and pufferfish (or did they spot triggerfish, perhaps?) as they bob above the reefs on the dive boat. Soon enough, kayaks can be seen circumnavigating the island, with nature lovers stopping often to gaze down at the reefs or to watch birds and even dolphins

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as they explore. Or a spot of sailing or windsurfing is organised with the fulltime activities staff. But it’s Medjumbe’s exquisite underwater wonderland (combined, of course, with the attraction of ultra-comfortable chalets that cater for the every need of discerning travellers) that undoubtedly draws game fishing enthusiasts and experienced divers from around the world. The Quirimbas archipelago’s 27 islands are dotted within the 1 500-square kilometre Quirimbas National Park – a protected sanctuary for leatherback, loggerhead and green turtles (baby green turtles were recently spotted hatching right in front of the chalets on the beach), dugongs, dolphins and humpback whales (between August and October), as well as tropical and pelagic game fish. Intrepid divers come in search of littleexplored coral reefs as well as 12 acclaimed dive sites, including deeper wall sites of up to 40 metres where the bigger groupers, snappers and unicorn fish mix with black- and white-tip reef sharks. But ask the PADI dive master


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about the most breathtaking dive and he’ll give you a challenging smile before sitting down to share the awesome experience of the Edge of Reason – the auspicious name given to the dizzying 800-metre drop off the continental shelf not far from the island. The game fishing, too, is some of the best in the world. The deep Mozambique channel, unspoilt and largely unexplored, runs past the Quirimbas archipelago and is rich in kingfish, queenfish, barracuda, dorado, sierra, wahoo, sailfish and yellowfin tuna – some of the most exciting big fish to do battle with. And with deep water so close to the island, guests don't have to travel far for thrilling encounters. However, Medjumbe (part of Rani Resorts) is committed to protecting the archipelago’s resources, so operates a strict tag-and-release policy. Back at the island, blissful hours are spent simply gazing out at the clouds gathering over the sea from the comfort of a hammock, dipping in and out of the pool when the tropical heat gets too intense. It‘s a gentle pace interrupted


Al fresco seafood feasts are always memorable, especially on balmy evenings; the 13 palmfringed, wooden chalets that line the beach feature luxuriously simple East African-style interiors.


only by languorous lunches, siestas and romantic candlelit dinners. Seafood lovers feast on the day’s catch at both lunch and dinner, whether it’s crayfish tails, melt-in-the-mouth calamari, spiced crab curry or the freshest tuna. Food here is seasonal but the chef does have one particularly good nonfishy trick up his sleeve: come rain or sunshine, day in and day out, his pastries feature on the breakfast menu. They arrive at the table in unremarkable baskets, wrapped in white linen napkins, but as they approach there’s the unmistakable waft of buttery pig’s ears. You could be sitting in a café in Paris, save for the unmistakable outline of an Arabian dhow catching the early morning breezes just off the shallows. For the rest of the day, time stands still – or works around you, depending on energy levels in the tropical heat. It’s perfectly acceptable to loaf around in

the Moroccan-styled living area reading some of Medjumbe’s well-thumbed books on marine life or birds, or simply sipping local beer from the privacy of your hammock or air-conditioned chalet. What is certain, though, is that towards the end of the afternoon in late summer, white cumulus clouds will begin to puff about in the sky, changing shape by the minute and building to such a height that they no longer fit into your camera viewfinder. The sea rises almost to the deck with high tide and a stormy wind turns the clouds a turbulent grey, so they drop a fleeting rain shower that passes in a flash – and brings with it a welcome rush of cool air. This is nature’s cue for a quick nap, because before long the sun comes back, shining brilliantly on dripping tropical bushes laden with scented lilac blossoms – and just in time to set the scene for spectacular sundowners. n Michelle Snaddon

Arabian dhows have sailed these waters for hundreds of years. This one is riding the waves in front of Medjumbe’s main restaurant area.

Medjumbe Private Island

Quirimbas, Mozambique Telephone: +27 (0)861 777 264 or +27 (0)11 658 0633 Facsimilie: +27 (0)11 658 0632 Email: Website: Guests can fly into Pemba International Airport from Johannesburg or Dar es Salaam and transfer to Medjumbe – a 40-minute flight in a light aircraft.

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La Motte

Captivating composition Framed by views of the picture-perfect Franschhoek mountains, the striking new additions to La Motte, one of South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious wine estates, pay fitting homage to it’s proud heritage. They’ve created a charming canvas for an array of new treasures: a tranquil restaurant offering the finest Cape Winelands cuisine; a farm shop selling all manner of indulgent treats; a museum housing a newly acquired collection of original Pierneef works; and a revamped tasting room where the estate’s award-winning wines can be sampled in style.

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Original Pierneef linocuts and tranquil fabrics in shades of natural and green characterise the new Pierneef à La Motte restaurant, which flows onto an outdoor terrace shaded by old oak trees.


ld-world tradition skilfully blended with a new-world intensity,’ says the label on the back of the La Motte Millennium 2008. It's a line that applies not just to the wine, but to La Motte itself. While this Franschhoek estate has always had a strong commitment to heritage, it’s recently created a brand-new werf (a traditional farmyard) where striking new buildings combine traditional Cape Dutch style with the best of contemporary simplicity. At the heart of this new werf is a doublevolume museum space, where high ceilings lend light and space to works by celebrated South African artist, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef. Featuring the instantly recognisable South African landscapes for which Pierneef was so well loved, these 44 works were bought by La Motte owner Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg and her husband, La Motte CEO Hein Koegelenberg, from the artist’s daughter, Marita, now 82.


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From this museum of historic treasures, a glass atrium leads through to an exhibition of contemporary South African paintings – a blend of old and new that characterises so much of what La Motte is about. The main drawcard for most visitors, though, is the new Pierneef à La Motte restaurant – a true showpiece of airy modern design set among majestic old oak trees. Inside, vaulted, wood-beamed ceilings hold striking outsized chandeliers – made from ceramic pieces inspired by the original crockery brought to the Cape by the Dutch East India Company in the late 1600s. There’s another nod to South Africa’s past in the original Pierneef linocuts that line the restaurant walls – most of them part of a collection given to Hanneli as a child by her father, well-known South African entrepreneur Dr Anton Rupert. The tranquil interior, where soft pistachiocoloured fabrics cover elegant dining chairs

and curvaceous sofas, extends seamlessly onto a wide terrace, where large monasticstyle wooden tables and green ‘Forest’ chairs allow guests to dine under the oaks. Here the tinkling of running water accompanies views across a pebbled rill to the beautiful Franschhoek mountains. If the décor and the setting aren’t enough to wow you, then the food certainly will. For the menu, executive chef Chris Erasmus (aided by Culinary Manager Hetta van Deventer) has adapted original 17th- and 18th-century recipes to produce what he describes as Cape Winelands cuisine – a mix of Cape Dutch and French Huguenot styles. This is hearty, home-style fare featuring an exquisite blend of tastes and textures; it’s innovative but broad-based enough to appeal to a range of diners. Try the bokkom salad – Chris’s take on Caesar salad, featuring traditional Cape dried fish – or the roast wildebeest loin. To accompany your meal, choose from

Photographs: LA MOTTE

the extensive wine list, which offers rare back vintages of La Motte wines, current cellar releases and big-name labels from across the globe. There’s more good wine to be had in the Tasting Centre, where you can sample the estate’s award-winning offerings (all grapes on La Motte are grown organically) from the comfort of leather couches. Here again original Pierneef linocuts adorn the walls – and you’ll find some reproduced on the labels of La Motte’s premium Pierneef Collection. The estate’s wine has a longstanding reputation for excellence, based on outstanding terroir, old vines and, as with most things on La Motte, astonishing attention to detail. From the Tasting Centre make your way to the Plaaswinkel, or farm shop. Here you’ll find all manner of foodie treats: there’s the restaurant’s home-baked Shiraz bread, indulgent cheesecake, Spanish-style hams from the Karoo, and organic flour stone-

ground on the estate. Linen tea towels and fine ceramics also vie for space among the home-grown fresh flowers and ethereal oil. To fully appreciate the tranquillity of this centuries-old estate, why not follow the new hiking trail up the mountain? Or take the historic walk (on Wednesday mornings) past the original Cape Dutch manor, Jonkershuis, cellar and water mill – all declared national monuments after extensive renovations in 1975. Music is also passionately supported at La Motte – Hanneli is a leading mezzosoprano – and monthly concerts are held in the historic cellar, which provides an intimate, sociable atmosphere that enhances the finest classical performances. From the wine, through the food, to the very buildings themselves, this is an estate full of character and warmth; a place where treasures both old and new are freely shared. n Kirsten Hill

La Motte

Main Street, R45, Franschhoek Valley, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 876 8000 Facsimilie: +27 (0)21 876 3446 Website: La Motte’s new restaurant, museum and shop opened in September 2010.

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Opulent Living magazine – Southern Africa’s leading coffee-table publication – presents a unique reader experience for lovers of art, culture, gourmet food, world-class wines and stylish hotels. South Africa is fast becoming one of the most desirable destinations for lovers of contemporary art, with serious collectors from around the world flocking to discover celebrated and exciting emerging artists. Join us on a 10-day journey, led by a knowledgeable guide, to meet contemporary artists and experts around the country – many of whom have agreed to open their doors especially for us.

Drive, dine and enjoy fine art. Our journey starts in Johannesburg on 18 November 2011 and ends in Cape Town on 27 November 2011. You will have the pleasure of driving a luxury BMW on some of the most scenic routes South Africa has to offer, taking in iconic sights, meeting artists and experts, and staying in four of the most luxurious, five-star hotels en route. Day 1: In Johannesburg, check in to the elegant Saxon in Sandton. In the evening, meet Opulent Living magazine’s publisher as well as your specialist guide, and enjoy drinks and dinner with them. Day 2: Get a taste of Johannesburg’s cosmopolitan art mix: the Constitutional Court art collection, the Kim Sacks and Goodman galleries, and Arts On Main with William Kentridge’s studio. Over dinner at Circa on Jellicoe, meet artists from the Everard Read gallery. Day 3: Fly to Port Elizabeth. Drive your luxury BMW through an eco paradise and arrive at Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa in Knysna, the jewel of the Garden Route. Day 4: Morning options: golf, sailing on the lagoon, a spa treatment, or simply relax. Lunch with art collector Trent Read; a walk in the forest; tea at Kurland – a polo mecca; followed by champagne and oysters at sunset at The Plettenberg. Day 5: Take Route 62, ‘The Road Less Travelled’, with its wide open roads and spectacular mountain passes on your way to La Residence, our discreet two night hideaway in Franschhoek. Day 6: Enjoy the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek winelands: view private art collections at La Motte, Tokara and Delaire Graff estates, followed by a visit to sculptor Dylan Lewis and The Rupert Museum. Day 7: Visit the historic Vergelegen wine estate before having lunch at Steenberg in the Constantia winelands. Check in for a three-night stay at Ellerman House and view its famous art collection before sundowners and dinner. Day 8: Discover Cape Town’s natural beauty, from Table Mountain to Cape Point. Day 9: Contrast traditional with cutting-edge galleries. Lunch at The Test Kitchen. And finally, we’ll surprise you with dinner in one of Cape Town’s most beautiful locations. Day 10: Transfer to the airport for your connecting flight – or optional onward journey.

Extend your stay with optional add-ons such as a safari or golf experience.

The journey is operated by GILTEDGE Travel and includes all accommodation on a shared bed-and-breakfast basis, business class flight from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth, seven days' shared usage of a luxury vehicle courtesy of BMW, transfers within South Africa, entry fees, and selected meals with wine and soft drinks (eight lunches, six dinners). Minimum of 6 people, maximum 10. GILTEDGE Travel terms & conditions apply.

Price: ZAR 89,500 for your 10-day experience For more information and bookings, please contact us. Email: Telephone: +27 (0)21 713 0296 Web:

South African contemporary art journey.

A bespoke experience for discerning travellers with impeccable taste. Join this exclusive Reader Journey and enjoy driving a luxury car, courtesy of BMW.

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R e a d e r

J o u r n e y s

Karkloof Spa

Cleansing the spirit Detox and weight-loss are redefined at the sensational Karkloof Spa, which recently embraced them in its holistic wellness programme. They are overseen with all the warmth, pampering and style that have won this KwaZulu-Natal spa a slew of international awards, in an idyllic natural valley of verdant trees, murmuring streams and abundant wildlife.


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Wildlife and wellness come together at Karkloof Spa, where 16 sumptuous private villas overlook 3 500 game-filled hectares.


he valley below the thundering Karkloof Falls is one of the most secluded and beautiful in southern Africa. Forest-fringed cliffs guard its misty rim, and only by crossing a weir of the mingled waters of the Karkloof and mighty Umgeni rivers that carve its soft savannah slopes, do you enter this special world. Guests who have discovered it return time and again for the perfect peace, the prolific wildlife, and the unprecedented pampering at the game lodge and spa set sensitively within it.

Nurturing, comfort and warmth are at the heart of that experience, and for many, the concept of detox and weight loss strike straight at that. They haven’t tried detox and weight-loss the Karkloof way… ‘Our detox is for not just your body but for your mind and your soul,’ says lodge owner Fred Wörner fervently. ‘It’s not about depriving you of unhealthy things, but providing you with nourishing options you want to choose. We don’t dictate to you, we treat you as adults and take your lead. If you tell us you want to do

a strict detox for however many days, we help you by emptying your mini-bar and serving our raw food menu, which has become an increasingly popular feature since we opened three years ago. And our spa director will direct you to detox-style scrubs, wraps, massages and exercises. ‘But if you want to detox more mentally, letting go of stress and our modern enslavement to time by sleeping late, going on game drives and indulging in a cappuccino or cooked dish from our mainstream menu (also wholesome, local

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Game viewing can be done up close in this pristine piece of wilderness, or from a lounger on the lodge deck.


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and largely organic), we’ll support you in that too. You don’t need to sneak out!’ You don’t want to sneak out. The raw menu creatively developed by internationallyexperienced chefs Christine Burgess and Brett Hackney offers an astonishing array of dishes – from exotic breakfast smoothies (fresh figs, blueberries and mint) and cold cereals (layers of raw oats, dates and crisp apple with almond milk), to extraordinary four-course lunches and dinners. In keeping with Fred’s philosophy, you eat when and where you like, from the contemporary comfort of your plush villa, to the colonial lodge dining room, where Nguni skins and worn Persians line a screeded cement floor, and chandeliers and firelight glow on leather chairs, glass vases and polished wooden tables. Sip an aperitif of sparkling spring water and freshly squeezed juice, or indulge in a glass of great wine, and nibble canapés of mixed-seed crackers with olives and basil pesto, and translucent marinated beetroot parcels of cashew nut ‘cheese’. When shadows deepen at the lodge and birdsongs fade, muted jazz sounds join the syncopated rhythms of crickets and frogs. Now is a good time to move on to starters of macadamia nut ‘caprese’ with basil dressing, or vegetable and cucumber rolls with tomato and coriander dressing. Soups, offset to perfection by angled white bowls, range from subtle broccoli, lemon

and cucumber to sweet corn and yellow pepper, or kiwi, melon and piquant scallion. Mains are celebrations of texture and flavour – chewy curried seed crêpes burst with crunchy marinated vegetables napped in almond ‘yoghurt’ and chive oil; and rich butternut squash lasagne is spiked with paprika oil and aged balsamic vinegar. But wait, is this dessert? It is – and it’s glorious! A tian of pineapple, melon and kiwi slivers leans casually against a ball of creamy coconut sorbet; or a wedge of raw chocolate, pecan nut and date ‘cake’ supports a scoop of tangy orange sorbet and swirls of dark chocolate sauce. With your taste and nutritional needs seduced and thoroughly satisfied, commercial chocolate bars, biscuits and game biltong in the complimentary snack basket and mini-bar are easy to resist. You can settle into the comforts of your villa feeling thoroughly pleased with your willpower. The gentle tinkling of streams outside the window set the soundtrack to an indulgent bath with a view, then sink into the giant bed made up with fine percale linen and listen to the chattering of the birds in the trees. Or make yourself comfortable on the private wooden deck outside and watch the sun set over the green hills. That’s detox for the soul… Detox exercise is equally easy. Strolling to treatment rooms through indigenous gardens laced with mantra-murmuring

Spa indulgences include Thai massages, dips in a Roman bath and Kneipp pools, and just chilling above the view in the spa Reflections Lounge. At 105 metres high, the Karkloof Falls are the second highest in KwaZulu-Natal.

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The spa theme of healing through water is reflected in a heated pool beside the lodge and numerous stream-fed pans.

streams is a meditative joy in itself. The rooms with grass-covered ‘living roofs’ are strung like meditation beads along winding thatched walkways. During therapies, antelope and kneeling warthog often graze contentedly above you or just beyond the windows, drinking calmly at fountain-fed pools. In true spa tradition, water is everywhere – flowing in waterfalls down dry-stone walls, and bubbling in an imposing Roman bath here, or smaller Kneipp pools there – one steamy hot, the other shivery cold. All detox treatments start in them or in the state-of-the-art sauna and steam rooms beside them, to relax your muscles, releasing tensions and toxins.


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Then depending on the personal programme drawn up with you by charming spa director Kornchanok Deeprasit, veteran of some of Thailand’s finest spas, one of a team of hand-picked Thai therapists leads you to an exercise class or treatment (all inclusive in your stay). Slight and polite, these therapists are delicate yet deft, whether cleansing and invigorating your skin with a lime-and -ginger salt body polish, rejuvenating it with a green tea, ginger and lemongrass wrap, or promoting toxin drainage with a lymphatic full-body massage or the spa’s signature Karkloof Thai aroma massage, using their hands, elbows and knees. Additional pampering can range from herbal baths to sessions in a Rasul chamber and a flotation tank, hour-long yoghurt, cucumber, melon and honey facials, hot coconut oil hair and scalp treatments, and blissful Asian foot and hand massages. ‘In Thailand, hands and feet are a reflection of beauty and grace,’ explains Kornchanok. ‘We blend our own natural organic ingredients to cleanse, soothe, heal and nourish them, and also your soul.’ ‘Karkloof Spa is not simply about indulgence,’ adds Fred, ‘it’s about maintenance, and taking responsibility for your wellbeing in every way. It’s never been more important than in our pressured world of today.’ To help you take the benefits with you, you can request complimentary food preparation sessions with the chefs, and instruction in the spa’s exercise options – Asana yoga, tai chi and bamboo dancing. All three ‘open the energy channels of the body, and purify and strengthen the body and focus the mind,’ explains Thai

Karkloof Spa

sporting psychedelic lichen waistcoats and shaggy fern jackets, decaying logs caped in moss and beaded in bright yellow fungi. Suddenly you’re in sunshine, the roar of water drowning the birdsong and your breathing. Body and soul shift gear. Damp with sweat and spray, glowing with exhilaration, you sink to a scarlet bench set idyllically beside the falls, and watch rainbows dance. ‘If you had taken a bamboo rod,’ quips Ternchai later, ‘you could have danced too. Detox for body and spirit!’ n Glynis Horning

Stays at Karkloof are all inclusive with unlimited spa treatments, game walks and drives.

Photographs: KARKLOOF SPA

exercise coordinator Ternchai Thongchort. What better way to start a detox day than breathing the crisp Karkloof air while doing yoga stretches, expertly guided tai chi moves, or dance stretches using a bamboo rod for balance and support? And what better way to end it than with a hike to the 105 metre-high Karkloof Falls themselves? A 30-minute game drive past curious giraffe, relaxed rhino, and a milling 100-strong breeding herd of buffalo, takes you to a forest clearing. From here you proceed on foot up a wooden ramp flanked by damp rocks

Cramond, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, SA Telephone +27 (0)33 569 1321 Facsimilie +27 (0)86 635 9331 Email Website

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Rovos Rail

An unforgettable journey There’s something truly magical about stepping back in time and rediscovering the attraction of travelling sedately by luxury train, watching the ever-changing countryside slip by at a gentle pace while enjoying gourmet cuisine and fine wines. The Rovos Rail experience is one that begins before boarding, when owner Rohan Vos personally bids passengers farewell and toasts to a memorable journey aboard his elegant hotel on wheels.

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Fine dining in the Edwardianstyle dining car is part of the elegant Rovos experience, as are the cabins. They’re spacious, air-conditioned and all ensuite. The Observation carriage, opposite, now has an extended viewing platform.


low travel’ has become the ultimate luxury in today’s fastpaced world. It sets a relaxing pace, one that suits the old-fashioned and fast-disappearing tradition of rail journeys. The crossing of vast landscapes, where the world seems to stand still, is an experiential traveller’s dream; a precious ritual that’s a charming world away from the constant contact of mobile phones and laptops. Rohan Vos has always believed that experiences like Rovos Rail are an opportunity to enjoy the time-honoured traditions of luxury travel. So, once on board his beautifully restored trains, dressing for dinner is quite simply de rigeur, while two experienced chefs prepare exquisite dishes for a romantic meal in the Edwardian-style dining car. He also knows that indulging in the gentle


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ritual of high tea is equally important to his discerning passengers, but especially memorable if spotting elephants and giraffe while drifting slowly along the tracks in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park on the classic 55-hour journey to the thundering Victoria Falls. So, it’s no surprise that Rovos Rail journeys take train travel one step further. Excursions offer the traveller the chance to climb aboard an open-topped safari vehicle in the heart of the Nambiti Plains and Spioenkop Nature Reserve while en route to Durban on the 55-hour Safari, or visit the community-driven project of Ardmore in the Midlands, renowned internationally for its intricately crafted ceramics. On the 1600-kilometre journey between Pretoria and Cape Town, diamond buffs can expect nothing less than a five-hour excursion to Kimberley’s

Big Hole. It’s an impressive stopover that takes in the recently revamped museum – encompassing buildings used by the first miners – as well as a new walk on a suspended bridge over the infamous hole created during the diamond rush of the 1870s. Then there’s the chance to explore the Victorian village of Matjiesfontein, the last stop before the expanse of the Karoo makes way for the dramatic mountains and vineyards of the Western Cape winelands. It’s no wonder this is by far the most popular route: it’s the ultimate, pampered 48-hour escape. Once a year, passengers on the 3400-kilometre trip from Pretoria to Swakopmund (eight nights/nine days from 2012) also do Kimberley, then begin their Namibian exploration with the Fish River Canyon and an overnight stay at the Sossusvlei dunes. A city tour and

Photographs: ROVOS RAIL

game drive near Windhoek follows, then a flight to Etosha National Park. Here a night at Makuti Lodge allows evening and early morning game drives before travellers fly back to continue the train journey to Swakopmund. Equally glamorous and famous is the 14-day Edwardian Safari from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam, taking in Madikwe Game Reserve, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia (crossing the border over the spectacular Victoria Falls bridge) and Tanzania on its way. Dar is the gateway to East Africa and lies close to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar and is a short hop by plane from the game-rich plains of the Serengeti. This route extends all the way up to Cairo once every two years, on an epic journey that takes passengers overland by plane from Tanzania to Egypt, ending in Cairo 34 days after leaving Cape Town. Two other very special annual journeys should be on any train enthusiast’s bucket list: the nine-day African Collage in May/ June that travels via Malelane, Hluhluwe, Durban, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Oudtshoorn and George to Cape Town, with various off-train excursions. And ever considered golf by train? It’s perfectly possible with the tri-annual, nine-day Golf Safari - departing April, August and December - that takes sporting guests and their companions to a selection of the finest golf courses in South Africa, combining scenic beauty with renowned game and cultural attractions en route. The track weaves an unusual route via Mpumalanga, Swaziland, Durban, Ladysmith in the Drakensberg, Sun City and back to Pretoria. So what is it then that travellers always love about the Rovos experience? For some, it’s the opportunity to savour the journey of a lifetime on the way back from a safari near Victoria Falls, or simply to take time out and enjoy the scenery between Durban or Cape Town and Pretoria on an altogether more sedate, romantic and civilised journey than that offered by flying. But many will tell you that it’s the eye for detail, the thoughtful touches and the

professional service of the dedicated Rovos staff. It’s also the atmosphere; the scent of leather upholstery and polished woodwork that’s seen the passing of history. It’s the luxury of a Victorian bath in a Royal Suite, the eye goggles to wear on the viewing platform of the observation car with the wind rushing through your hair, and the fact that you can open the windows and smell the crisp early morning air laden with the scent of wild bush. It’s about having a mini bar stocked with only your personal choice of drinks in a spacious suite – each bearing the name of its occupants on a brass name plate so that you don’t get lost after several glasses of award-winning wines at dinner. Now that’s the beauty of this particular choice of slow travel. n Michelle Snaddon

Rovos Rail

Pretoria, Gauteng, SA Telephone +27 (0)12 315 8242 Facsimilie +27 (0)12 323 0843 Email: Website: Rovos Rail has two beautifully rebuilt trains, each carrying a maximum of 72 passengers. It offers a variety of routes, the most popular being between Pretoria and Cape Town. There are also trips to Durban, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Swakopmund in Namibia and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, as well as other journeys around South Africa.

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o p u l e nt finds SOUND INVESTMENT: Deluxe docking station n When it comes to exceptional sound quality, Bang & Olufsen needs no introduction, and its latest feat – the BeoSound 8 docking station – provides the perfect platform for music on everything from your iPad and iPhone to your iPod and computer. The iconic brand’s sophisticated design is both edgy and functional. The speakers can be moved from room to room (all you need is a power point) or can be mounted on a wall. BeoSound 8 is available in black or white with aluminium details. For a dash of colour, fabric speaker covers come in lavender blue, purple, green, yellow, black and white.

ON THE HIGH SEAS: New mega yacht n The new 115 model from Italian superyacht manufacturer, Pershing, features two Kamewa Rolls Royce water-jet propellers, four plush cabins, a teak table seating 10, a solarium, bar and a touchscreen audio-visual system.

BAGS OF STYLE: Exquisite leather satchels n Located in the heart of Cape Town’s city centre, Hanneli Rupert’s Merchants on Long showcases the

luxury bags designed by Hanneli

COLLECTOR’S DREAM: Astrid Dahl sculpture n Called Cephalaria Dipsacoides,

herself. Drawing inspiration from

this dramatic floral piece by

TS Waterhouse’s paintings, her

local ceramic artist Astrid Dahl

interpretation of Africa adds a

measures 80 x 25 x 30cm and is

dash the exotic to each beautifully

part of one-of-a-kind collection

crafted piece.

of white clay pieces. Renowned

continent’s unique design skills – such as the coveted Okapi range of

for her contemporary ceramic art, vessels and sculptures, Dahl says: 'Clay has a language of its

SILVER SERVICE: Christofle’s shiny flash drive n When computer hardward company LaCie recently teamed up with

own, combined with hands; there

French luxury brand Christofle, the result was the flashiest flash drive

This beautiful collector‘s piece

ever. Silver-plated and pebble-shaped, the 4GB drive is called 'Galet‘ and

is currently on display at Africa

comes complete with Lacie’s password-protection software, its own

Nova in Cape Town.

pouch and a stylish gift box.


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is a union of these two entities.'

Opulent Living SPARKLING DESIGNS: Wallpaper by Swarovski n Swarovski have launched a swanky new Wallpaper Collection. The nine designs by celebrated British wallpaper designer Karen Beauchamp incorporate intricate printing, Swarovski crystals and beautiful colour combinations. /wallpaper

FINE PRINT: Bespoke hand-crafted stationery n The Letterpress Company is a family-owned artisanal print shop that creates bespoke stationery using hand-operated printing equipment and hand-mixed inks to print on the finest cotton as well as archival-quality paper imported from some of the world‘s oldest paper mills. All orders are packaged in beautiful presentation boxes lined with purple linen and tied with satin ribbon.

BOWLED OVER: Functional African art n The striking Twiggy Bowl is cast in bronze using the ‘lost wax casting method‘ by Bronze Age, a multifunctional art foundry based in Cape Town. Available in black and green, the handmade bronze bowl is 390 x 270 x 130mm in size. Reflecting nature in a functional yet wonderfully artistic way, it‘s part of the exclusive Carla Antoni Collection, which embodies the spirit of Africa in a collection of high-end, handmade gifts designed and made by celebrated South African artists, sculptors, designers and jewellers.

MARINE MAGIC: La Prairie skin solutions n La Prairie’s range of Advance

BOTTLED COUTURE: Well-dressed Scotch n British fashion legend, Dame



Vivienne Westwood is the latest

packed with vitamins, natural oils

designer to lend her signature to

and marine-derived antioxidants

luxury whisky brand Chivas Regal,

to oxygenate, energise, replenish

with 2 500 limited-edition bottles

and restore skin for a more radiant,

of Chivas Regal 18-year-old now

youthful complexion.

dressed in trademark style.



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SCENTSATIONAL: L’Abeille de Guerlain n French fashion house Guerlain teamed up with Baccarat to create this exclusive bee-shaped jewellike flacon (only 47 were made) for its new perfume L’Abeille de Guerlain (which translates as bees of Guerlain).

THE BIG CHILL: Clever whisky cooler n Johnnie Walker’s Ice Pillar is specially designed to keep

NATURAL gems: Carmen Dean jewellery n If you‘re looking for a beautiful piece of bespoke jewellery in an

its Gold Label whisky chilled

unusual design, then visit talented local designers, Carmen and Dean,

to perfection. Freeze a bottle

who specialise in making hand-crafted pieces of the highest standard.

of the exclusive 18-year-old

The brother-and-sister duo, who have worked together for the past six

tipple, then place it in the Ice

years, share a passion for natural materials, such as wood, coconut and

Pillar to stay chilled – the outer

ostrich-shell beads, bone and leather. They combine these with gold,

casing acts as an insulator.

silver and precious stones to produce timelessly elegant pieces with a

strong African feel.

FASHION FORWARD: Trussardi’s triumph n Italian fashion house Trussardi celebrated its 100th anniversary by joining forces with BMW Italia to create a special-edition 5 Series Gran Turismo. The result? A sleek exterior in a warm metallic called Heraldic Brown, 20-inch alloy wheels, and stylish handstitched leather interiors.

BUCKLE UP: Bugatti brilliance n Featuring custom bridges, cogs, wheels, springs and pinions, each of the 100 components in the eye-catching belt buckle by Roland Iten and Bugatti

LOVE ME DO: Prunier’s YSL caviar tins n Since 2007, Caviar House & Prunier have reissued designer Yves

Automobiles is made from solid

Saint Laurent’s famous greeting cards on vintage editions of its caviar

and stainless steel. The ‘Bugatti

tins. The beautiful Love 2011 tin is filled with the prestigious Saint James

edition’ mechanical buckle can

caviar, specially created in 1932 for high-ranking guests of Prunier

be customised to any size.

restaurant in London.


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white gold, rose gold, titanium

‘Enjoy an experience beyond the ordinary, a shared passion that finds expression in innovative design to offer an unforgettable enriching adventure that touches the soul.’ GROENVLEI OPEN TUESDAY TO SUNDAY FROM 11:00 AM–7:00 PM FOR SUNDOWNERS MONDAY BY APPOINTMENT · FOR PRIVATE EVENTS PLEASE CONTACT US P.O. BOX 12605 · ANNANDALE ROAD · STELLENBOSCH · SOUTH AFRICA · 7600 PHONE: +27 21 881 3677 · FAX: +27 21 881 3667 INFO@PETERFALKEWINES.CO.ZA · WWW.PETERFALKEWINES.CO.ZA

Unbenannt-1 1

17.04.2011 12:06:16


WELL TIMED: Baume & Mercier Capeland chronograph n Adventurous, yet classic. Bold, yet understated. These are the hallmarks of the latest offering from Baume & Mercier, whose vintagestyle Capeland chronograph has a finely crafted dial with telemetric and tachometric scales, as well as a special flyback mechanism that allows for faster re-timing. The watch is encased in either 18-carat rose gold or stainless steel.

WALKING ON AIR: Cole Haan Oxfords n American luxury shoe brand

GENTLEMAN‘S CHOICE: A très chic trunk n The New Dandy model

Cole Haan has launched a brand-

from Paris-based leather trunk

new collection of brogues for

makers, TT Trunks, comes with

2011. The Air Colton Oxford

an iPad holder, a humidifier, a

features classic styling, superior

whisky decanter and glasses, as

leather uppers and soles, as well

well as poker chips, a full deck of

as Nike Air® technology in the

playing cards and a functional

heels for superb comfort.

fold-up poker table.

SITTING PRETTY: Limited-edition Hublot sledge n Hi-tech Swiss watchmaker Hublot has teamed up with the prestigious Lausanne University of Art and Design to create this limitededition sledge that is not only perfectly functional for a fun day on the ski slopes, but also a beautiful hand-crafted work of art. The structure is hewn from ash wood; the seat is hand-sewn leather; the handles hi-tech carbon fibre and the runners high-grade steel. Perfect for the discerning sports lover, it follows in the tradition of the Hublot skis and the All Black Hublot Bike.

RACING STRIPES: Stylish cell phone n Gulf Oil teamed up with

THE GOLD STANDARD: Glittering olive oil n Made on the Croatian island

TAG Heuer in order to create the

of Hvar, Golden Olive Oil is an

stylish Gulf Meridiist cell phone.

extra virgin olive oil infused with

Inspired by Steve McQueen’s

edible 24-karat gold flakes. The

character in the 1971 film Le

oil comes from an ancient olive

Mans, the limited-edition luxury

grove on the island and each

mobile phone features a scratch-

limited-edition golden bottle

resistant black body decorated

is individually numbered and

with Gulf’s famous racing colours.

comes in a locked wooden case.

Opulent Living


Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Soak up the silence of an ancient wilderness &Beyond’s exclusive desert lodge has had a facelift; a nip and tuck as gentle as the ripples etching the towering Namib dunes nearby. Yet the warm hospitality, understated luxury, fine dining and exciting outdoor adventure opportunities remain – and continue to make this stylish desert hideaway in the expansive NamibRand Nature Reserve one of Namibia’s most sought-after eco-escapes.


he Namib Desert: where restless ever-shifting sands snake their way northwards from their source at the mouth of the Orange River, where towering dunes shade shy sidewinder snakes and lonely oryx; a landscape of constant movement and remarkable stasis. For the deserts that stretch their arms up the west coast of Namibia are some of the oldest in the world. This part of Africa has been dry and arid for over


Opulent Living

80 million years, and the Atlantic’s icy Benguela current that forms this harsh environment has hugged the shore for at least five million of those. Like the extraordinary ground-hugging welwitschias that survive off tiny droplets of mist-borne moisture, or the enigmatic fairy circles that pockmark the dusty plains, the desert keeps its ancient secrets to itself. The land is ever changing, yet seemingly unchanged. Not unlike the gorgeous Sossusvlei Desert

Lodge, where a recent refurbishment has given this much-loved desert hideaway a new lease on life. And yet, like the desert, it’s a change so subtle that the relaxed character, warm hospitality and understated luxury that have made this one of Namibia’s top eco-escapes remain the same. Gravelly plains, rugged ridges and ochre dunes form the vista stretching away from this acclaimed &Beyond lodge that sits unobtrusively on a hillside in

Opulent Opulent Living Living

59 81

Ochre dunes and gravelly plains frame the views from Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, where days are filled with desert adventure.


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the northern reaches of the expansive NamibRand Nature Reserve. The largest private nature reserve in southern Africa, the NamibRand conserves over 172 000 hectares of delicate pro-Namib, the eastern border of the seductive Namib sand sea. Just 10 private villas – constructed of stone and glass to blend in with this rugged landscape – stretch away from the main lodge building, cradled in the arms of the craggy hillsides that slowly become the foothills of the distant Naukluft Mountains. Here, the pro-Namib shuffles off its sandy coat and stretches out across rocky plains and into lonely valleys where leopards hunt. It’s a harsh, unforgiving landscape, yet there is softness in the tufts of grass that cover the valleys in a tinge of green after late-summer rain. In the distance, otherworldly rock formations provide a striking backdrop to a landscape that is both dramatic and serene. Like so much of Namibia, there’s an innate ruggedness here; a sturdy resilience that is echoed in the rough stone walls of each suite, but that belies the comfort to be found within. Within each split-level villa muted

tones of dusky stone, bleached bone and blackened slate reflect the views flowing in through the wrap-around glass doors – with just a little bit of dusky pink reminiscent of Namibian rose quartz providing a soft contrast. Driftwood chandeliers – as if washed in on the sand sea – hover delicately from the ceiling, where a skylight above the percale-covered bed lets the heavenly bodies of the crystal-clear desert sky lull you to sleep. A fire is already laid in the hearth, ready to ward off the wintry chills that a night in the desert brings. But for warm summer days an outdoor shower runs off the spacious marble bathroom, allowing you to soak up the views while washing off the dust from a day of desert adventure. Spilling away from your suite, grassy flats merge into the hillsides and fade into the distant dunes. Single oryx, heads heavy with long, regal horns, wander slowly from the shade of camel thorn trees to patches of grazing and then to the lodge waterhole just a few hundred metres from your private patio. Delicate springbok hold on to the safety of herds, lest the cheetahs that prowl the flats of the NamibRand have an eye

Elegant white tablecloths and flickering lanterns make for romantic dining under wide star-studded Namibian skies. The soft refurbishment offers a stylish mirror to the palette of desert colours.

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Quad-bike adventures get you up close and personal with the desert, while a crackling fire wards off winter chills in the refurbished suites. OPPOSITE Filled with objets d’art, the double-storey main lodge is a stylish haven from which to soak up the desert silence.

trained on them. High up above, the resident lappet-faced vultures soar on invisible thermals. It’s a stirring scene, and in typical &Beyond style a tray of watercolours, charcoals and sketchpad is at hand if artistic inspiration strikes. No detail is spared at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge; from the telescope in your suite for quiet afternoon game viewing to the helpful list of ‘&Beyond Star Birds’ that are unique to the area. As alluring as the suites are, it’s the opportunity to get out and explore the


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far reaches of the reserve that draws discerning travellers here. In the cool of morning, or in the late-afternoon when the waning sun releases its grip on the heat of the day, the lodge’s welltrained local guides offer a wonderful array of activities for you to explore this enigmatic landscape. Early-mornings are best for the gentle walk to Bushman’s Cave, where the history of this timeless landscape is daubed on the walls in the delicate scribblings of San rock art. Through San and European settler, this land has

a long and turbulent history and guides do well to bring it all to life from this cliff-top eyrie. The landscapes are the star attraction of the daily scenic drives that allow guests to explore the far reaches of the NamibRand. Rock Commiphora and large Namib euphorbias dot the rocky hillsides to the south, where the rare Hartmann’s mountain zebra prefer to hide from the world. Despite the arid landscape, there is a surprising amount of wildlife to be found here, and it’s not uncommon to see both lithe cheetah and leopard on the prowl. But look closely out on drive and it’s the smaller creatures that will surely enchant. The black-backed jackals that scurry about in the low grasses, the shy aardwolf to be spotted at dawn and dusk, or the birds of prey – like the violet-tinged southern pale chanting goshawk – that perch atop rocky outcrops in search of a meal. The magic of the desert is surely in the detail. It’s detail that springs wonderfully to life on the eco-conscious quad-bike excursions that are perhaps the most exciting activity on offer. Exploring the fringes of the Namib sand sea, where it merges with the grassy plains and their mystical fairy circles, the three-hour quad-bike adventure skirts the dune field along old gravel tracks, before diving into the hurly-burly sandy wonderland. There’s excitement

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Photographs: &BEYOND

NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia Telephone: +27 (0)11 809 4314 Facsimile: +27 (0)11 809 4400 Email: Website:

behind the handlebars, wonder in discovering the delicate dune ecosystem and exhilaration at the sheer space and solitude that the desert brings. They’re all emotions to be savoured and remembered over dinner at the lodge, where meals are usually served al fresco under star-spangled Sossusvlei skies. In inimitable &Beyond style, the chef personally introduces the three-course menu for the evening. Paired with some of South Africa’s finest wines, local flavours shine through as brightly as the Southern Cross winks down from above.

After dinner, a final treat awaits in the small building set apart on the hillside. The lodge’s private observatory is home to a state-of-the-art telescope where, under the expert guidance of the resident astronomer, guests are given a stellar tour of the Milky Way, shining clearly through unpolluted desert skies. Like the nearby sands of the Namib that crunch underfoot, the skies above this wilderness are ever restless, but the serenity of Sossusvlei Desert Lodge remains – happily – unchanged. n Richard Holmes

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is run by the acclaimed safari operator &Beyond, and is its only property in Namibia. The lodge is situated in the northern reaches of the NamibRand Nature Reserve, roughly 380km from Swakopmund and 360km from Windhoek on good gravel roads. Air charters from either city take roughly 60 minutes.

Coral Lodge 15.41

Magical seaside romance “I like to spend some time in Mozambique; The sunny sky is aqua blue; And all the couples dancing cheek to cheek; It‘s very nice to stay a week or two; And maybe fall in love just me and you.” Well, if Bob Dylan sang it, it must be true, and it certainly is rather nice to spend a week or two lying next to the ocean in the chic embrace of sunny Mozambique's Coral Lodge 15.41.


Opulent Living


hen it comes to finding the world’s special corners, so much boils down to location, location, location. The planet’s most sought-after hideaways walk that magic line between the wonder of what’s on offer, and the allure of where it is to be found. Happily, it’s a line Coral Lodge 15.41 dances across like a tightrope walker, combining some of Africa’s most stylish beach villas with a location that is out of this world. And why the 15.41, you ask? Well, that comes down to location too. 15 degrees south of the equator, relaxing in the balmy tropics of northern Mozambique; and 41 degrees east of the Greenwich Meridian, sitting pretty on the edge of the country’s languorous coastline. That’s where you’ll find this slice of African elegance. For while the roofs of nearby Ilha de Moçambique may be crumbling, this stylish hotel is an outpost of chic European design in the heart of east Africa; a tropical getaway where you don’t have to sacrifice luxury or comfort in the name of solitude. Just 10 secluded villas stretch away from the main lodge, with views towards the cornflower seas of the Indian Ocean and the sinuous tendrils of the pristine mangrove forests that frame the front of the property. Built on the crest of coastal dunes, cool sea breezes waft through screen doors carrying the rustle of ocean

waves arriving on bleached coral sands. Created by renowned Dutch designer Edward van Vliet, the villas are built to harmonise perfectly with their surrounds. Natural wood textures echo the gnarled branches of the endangered mangrove forests, while shades of gentle turquoise wash across your chaise longue with a sea view. Four-poster beds add a dollop of tropical romance, and state-of-theart ‘Evening Breeze’ air-conditioning ensures that the sultry nights don’t keep you from a good night’s sleep. Out on the pool deck, lengths of canvas are stretched to shade the rustic wooden sun loungers, but look for all the world like the sails of the traditional dhows that have plied these waters for centuries. It’s an approach typical of the acclaimed Van Vliet, who is famous for his use of contrasting shades and textures that combine cutting-edge design with local aesthetics. Natural fabrics, bright colours and striking patterns are handled deftly to offer an effortless statement of style. There’s a similar attention to luxury throughout the lodge, with fine dining in a spectacular setting at the lounge bar and restaurant, The Reef. The seas off Mozambique are blessed with a cornucopia of produce, and the lodge kitchen makes full use of this aquatic abundance. The flavours of Mozambique, Portugal and the Middle East abound on the everchanging menu, from daytime snacks

There’s a whisper of chic European modernity in the 10 villas, where plush fabrics reflect the colours of the spectacular ocean views to be had from the large picture windows.

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The pool deck is the perfect spot to while away an afternoon in well-earned sloth. No comforts are spared in the luxurious bathrooms, where sumptuous tubs wait for you to wash away the salt before dinner under African skies.


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Photographs: CORAL LODGE 15.41

Candlelit dinners at The Reef are a feast of fresh local seafood, served with a side helping of glorious views out over the pristine mangrove forests.

to romantic dinners served by the flicker of candlelight. For that special occasion, perhaps to pop the question, ask for a private table on the beach where you’ll dine by starlight and the sounds of the sea. For the sea has long determined the pace of life here, and sunny tropical days are spent snorkelling on quiet coral reefs, or scuba diving the deep passes where pelagic fish will keep you company. Explore the mangroves on a kayak, or cast a line for your supper. In season, keep an eye on the horizon for migrating humpback whales. This has always been a coastline of travellers, and the historic Ilha de Moçambique is a fascinating place to explore the area’s chequered history. The Portuguese built the former capital of Mozambique over 500 years ago, and a stroll through the historic alleyways of this World Heritage Site is unmissable. But you can also soak up the local flavour by joining the lodge chefs on

their morning shopping in the market, or enjoy a guided tour of the nearby villages to learn more about the traditions of the local Macua people. It’s all about discovering a sense of place; tracing the threads that make up the rich fabric of a destination. The friendly local people are one thread; the area’s outstanding natural beauty another, and the region’s dramatic history weaving between the two. And, of course, it’s Coral Lodge 15.41 that binds them all together for visitors. From the local flavours on your dinner plate, to the smiling village guides who’ll share their days with you, a sense of place imbues every minute of the languorous tropical days spent here. A sense of place; there’s location again. It’s about knowing where you’re at, and in the stylish arms of Coral Lodge 15.41 there’s nowhere else on earth you’d rather be. n Richard Holmes

Coral Lodge 15.41

Nampula, Mozambique Telephone: +258 266 600 03 Facsimile: + 31 35 712 2681 E-mail: Website: To get to the lodge, you fly direct to Nampula from Johannesburg or Nairobi.

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A precious metal beyond compare


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With this precious metal glistening as brightly as ever, we trace its rich history – and that of Johannesburg, South Africa’s swashbuckling City of Gold.

Photographs: rand refinery

by Richard Holmes

Its lustrous glow has entranced humankind for more than 5 000 years. It has sparked wars, inspired awe and led to treachery. It has shored up governments and toppled dictators. A symbol of wealth and power since time forgotten, its subtle beauty led the Romans to name it aurum, Latin for ‘glowing dawn’. But it was long before the Roman Empire stretched its tendrils across Europe that gold first came to enchant humanity. Civilisations have mined and fashioned the precious metal for millennia, but it was the ancient Egyptians – worshippers of the sun god Ra – who first truly fell in love with the dark yellow treasure dug from beneath the sands of Africa. More than 5 000 years ago Egyptian artisans were the first to smelt gold, using clay blowpipes to heat furnaces to the enormous temperatures required to transform metal into liquid. A thousand years later, the goldsmiths of ancient Mesopotamia – modern-day Iraq – created what was perhaps the first piece of intricate gold jewellery; a burial headdress with leaf-shaped gold pendants. But it was the death of a child-king that enshrined the reputation of gold as the precious metal for eternity. Fashioned 1 000 years before the birth of Christ, the solidgold funeral mask of Tutankhamen remains a triumph of ancient craftsmanship, and still draws thousands of visitors to its display case in Cairo’s Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. And in southern Africa its allure has been just as irresistible from the earliest civilisations. Excavations at Mapungubwe – a UNESCO

World Heritage site in South Africa’s Limpopo province – have revealed intricate works; most famously an 800-year-old rhinoceros crafted from leaves of the ‘glowing dawn’. But it was an unremarkable winter afternoon in 1886 that was to change the course of South Africa’s history. The earth beneath the Witwatersrand – the ‘ridge of white waters’, today known as the modern-day metropolis of Gauteng – was about to reveal its secrets. While the full details of that day are lost in time, it was most likely one George Harrison – an Australian miner of dubious reputation – who paved the way for South Africa to become the world’s leading gold producer, and the economic powerhouse of Africa. The Highveld in July is a dry and dusty place. It would have been months since the summer thundershowers soaked the fields of Langlaagte farm. Today, those fields are covered by the suburbs of Mayfair and Fordsburg, but back then it was a rocky landscape with only cornfields to break the monotony. As George Harrison wandered across the land belonging to the widow Oosthuizen, his eye caught a rocky outcrop that looked familiar from his time in the mines Down Under. Together with two other prospectors he crushed the rock, sifted for gold and marvelled at the seam of glittering wealth that shone back at him. Harrison hurried to Pretoria, home to the government of the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek, to register his claim and the area was declared open for prospecting. Claims were staked,

The gold mining industry employs thousands of South Africans, who work in some of the world’s deepest mines.

Gold   is key   to SA's story Opulent Living


the riches of the seam were revealed and the Witwatersrand gold rush was officially underway. After selling his claim for a paltry £10, Harrison disappeared into history.

Most of the gold mined in South Africa is sent to the Rand Refinery near Johannesburg, where it is processed into bullion. The majority is sold to the South African Reserve Bank, which sells it on international gold markets.


But this story really begins long before the miners arrived with their picks and shovels, for the rich seam that forms a golden web was woven millions of years ago. A vast lake 250 kilometres wide stretched across modern-day Johannesburg, fed by rivers flowing through the granitic mountains to the north and southwest. The rivers carried pebbles, grinding against sand. Washed with it came silt, carrying in its embrace the finest particles of gold. Layer upon layer of golden silt were laid down and entombed in hard sedimentary rock. Warped and cracked by time, these gold-bearing rocks were bent upwards by volcanic activity: some to be buried deep in the earth’s crust, others lying tantalisingly close to the surface. It was the lure of these uppermost deposits that proved irresistible to the prospectors who hurried to the Witwatersrand in 1886. When the government in Pretoria finally declared the goldfields open in October of that year, the face of southern Africa – and the world – would be changed forever. Within weeks the nascent city of Johannesburg had sprung from empty fields into a tented town of thousands, as prospectors eager to stake a claim flocked from across the globe. Today, many of the immigrant populations that make up the fabric of the city trace their forebears to the heady days of the 19thcentury gold rush. The famously deep mines of the Witwatersrand needed people who

were skilled at tunnelling, and miners came from Australia, America, Eastern Europe and Britain. The tin mines of Cornwall were faltering, and the Cornish miners set sail for Durban. Shopkeepers and tradesmen from afar followed in their wake, eager for a share of the new Eldorado. They were swashbuckling days on the Witwatersrand, where every rock seemed to glitter with the prospect of fortune. Men from across the world tramped the countryside looking for telltale signs of riches below. Misinformation and downright treachery were rife as prospectors sought to beat each other to the next payable seam. Mining rights were cajoled from often-illiterate farmers with hard cash, promises of great wealth and – in the case of one smooth-talking William P. Taylor – a sturdy cow that would 'fill a milk pail twice a day’. The farmer’s wife was won over, and the hugely profitable Modderfontein Gold Mining Company was born. Another character was Jacques Lebaudy, a nobleman and the self-proclaimed ‘Emperor of the Sahara’. From the moment this flamboyant Frenchman stepped from the mail-coach onto the dusty streets of Johannesburg, his shrewd business sense began to make its mark. Securing control of a vast block of the famed Langlaagte farm, Lebaudy’s wealth was as limitless as it was flamboyant. He imported dancers from Baghdad, filled his swimming pool with champagne and rode across town in a carriage with solid-gold harness. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was best remembered by the rough-and-tumble mining town for being the first to make a fountain run with wine! For these were prosperous times, and the Witwatersrand was rapidly becoming the richest corner of South Africa. As historian C W de Kiewiet put it, the Witwatersrand was home to ‘the greatest gold mines of all history, ancient and modern. From 1886 the story of South Africa is the story of gold’. The tracks for Johannesburg‘s first train were laid just two years after Harrison struck gold; and street lamps, telegraphs and trams were soon to follow. The burgeoning city would soon become the largest in the world not located near water, safe harbour or transport networks; its location purely decided by the riches buried beneath its streets. Riches that helped wealthy ‘Randlords’ like Barney

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Barnato and JB Robinson amass huge fortunes, and also many enemies. Robinson, known as the ‘Old Buccaneer,’ was as famous for his prickly business style as his white pith helmet. His Randfontein Estates became the largest mining complex in the world, with over 600 battery stamps turning rocky ore into gold-laden dust. The mine dumps on his estate grew to six times the size of the Egyptian pyramids; and were the largest man-made heaps yet created. Those mine dumps started by prospectors and wealthy Randlords still mark the skyline of Johannesburg today, although some dusty piles are disappearing as new technology allows them to be ‘re-mined’ for every last speck of valuable gold. But they remain an indelible symbol that gold is the lifeblood of the city. With the dawn of democracy in 1994 even the name of the province was changed from the Transvaal to Gauteng, the local Sesotho word for ‘place of gold’. The city skyline may have evolved from tents to office towers, and suburbs now cover the farms where prospectors toiled, but telltale mine heads still dot the landscape amid concerns about millions of litres of acidic mine water lurking beneath the metropolis. And the gold is proving ever harder to find, with South Africa now home to the world’s deepest gold mines: the Mponeng gold mine will eventually plummet four kilometres beneath the surface. And while South Africa is no longer the largest annual gold producer (that accolade went to China four years ago), it still holds claim to having produced the most gold in history: of the estimated 127 000 tonnes of refined gold in the world today, a full third of it came from South African mines. The mining industry has been a mainstay of the South African economy for over a century, and the corporations begun by ambitious Randlords live on today in wealthy mining houses such as AngloGold Ashanti; South Africa’s largest gold company which spends hundreds of millions of dollars on prospecting each year. And the river of gold continues to flow from beneath our feet – nearly 200 000 kilograms of it last year. It costs nearly R150 000 to dig out and refine each and every kilogram of that, and the industry annually contributes

The iconic mine dumps that

nearly R50-billion in foreign currency to South Africa’s economy. These are staggering figures, but as the gold price continues to soar above US$1 400 an ounce, it seems that the lure of the precious metal remains untarnished. In a world of uncertainty, there is security in a bar of this lustrous commodity. With a return to faithful bullion, so too is there a revival of Johannesburg’s once prosperous downtown: the city where the gold industry began has seen a decade or two of decline, but is slowly embarking on a path of renewal. Gold gave birth to Johannesburg, a city of more than three million people, and is now contributing to its revival as Africa’s cosmopolitan powerhouse. Vacant office blocks are being reinvented as stylish apartments, the Newtown Cultural Precinct is the artistic heart of the city, and restaurants and bars are tempting the city’s up-and-coming back into the CBD. Perhaps in a nod to the capitalists who started it all, the Randlords Bar and Lounge in the heart of eGoli is the most glamorous nightspot in town. The history of gold is the history of Gauteng, from the migrant workers who colour the city streets to the mine dumps that mark the skyline. After some years in the doldrums, Johannesburg – like the glistening gold bars themselves – is experiencing a revival. There is life again in the city of gold, and the warm African sun is already shining on the city’s new glowing dawn. To learn more about the history of gold in Africa, visit the Gold Museum, 96 Strand Street, Cape Town,

mark the Johannesburg skyline are being re-mined to harvest specks of valuable gold.



Divava Okavango Lodge & Spa

Where hippos wallow and a river runs slowly by Set on a lush bank of the wide Okavango River where it meanders across Namibia’s Caprivi Strip en route to its inland delta in northern Botswana, the luxurious Divava Okavango Lodge & Spa offers inspiring encounters with wildlife, relaxed riverside pursuits, graceful chalets, fine food and wine, impeccable service – and a peaceful setting that restores the soul.


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blow of spray emerges from the water, followed by the joyful but clumsy leaping of a large form not 50 metres away. Not a whale here, on this wide inland river with no outlet to the ocean, but a hippo, vast and ponderous yet surprisingly agile in the shallow water. After the awe-inspiring but parched landscapes of the Namib Desert, Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and its famous Okavango River offer an oasis of green – a balm for thirsty eyes and a place to pause and rest awhile. Sandwiched between southern Angola and Botswana’s Okavango Delta, this area – unlike the rest of Namibia – enjoys plentiful water, lush vegetation and a dense population of wildlife. Divava Okavango Lodge & Spa is an oasis within

this oasis, treating guests to five-star luxury in a spot locals call ‘Little Paradise’. Way off the beaten track, but still accessible enough, it offers splendid seclusion and amazing wildlife. Expect to see hippos wallowing in the wide river below you as you soak in your bath tub, and keep your bird book by your side when you relax by the pool, because you hardly have to move from the comforts of the lodge to be at one with nature. Tall trees shelter and shade Divava’s 20 chalets, their thatched rooftops blending in to the enveloping greenery, their windows embracing the broad sweep of the Okavango River. A harmonious blend of natural materials, warm earth colours, African artefacts and understated, modern

design is the hallmark of the décor. Comfort comes first: gauzy mosquito netting transforms the beds into graceful four posters and air-conditioning hums discreetly beneath the soaring thatch. A large freestanding bath looks over the private deck to the river beyond and an invigorating outdoor shower offers the same view through trees to the water. Guest wake to the sound of birdsong and the soothing flow of water from the mighty river. Breakfast is on the restaurant verandah with its grandstand views over the water and includes an array of tempting choices – expect freshly baked bread, a selection of fruit and delicious cooked dishes – to set you up for the many wildlife pursuits on offer.

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Rich, earthy textures and wide vistas over the Okavango River characterise the accommodation at Divava, which enjoys a perfect location just upstream from the Popa Falls.


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Days can be spent drifting on a boat down to the Popa Falls – a set of rapids where the kilometre-wide river drops four metres before entering Botswana and the Okavango Delta – viewing crocodiles, frolicking hippos and plentiful birdlife along the way. Angling enthusiasts can fish for the magnificent local tiger fish, recording their catch before releasing it back into the waters of the Okavango River. A game drive in the nearby Mahango National Park offers a different aspect of the area, with the towering, twisted baobab trees of African legend providing a reference point for sightings of elephant, buffalo, sable antelope, reedbuck, tsessebe and bushbuck among other game species. While the dry season, from April to November, is better for game viewing because the animals congregate along the life-saving river and around waterholes, the wet season brings a

proliferation of birdlife, with over 400 species recorded within Mahango. Back at the lodge, the soothing influence of water is once again the focus and theme. The magical Mystique spa, tucked away in the shade of trees beyond the swimming pool, provides the perfect opportunity to re-balance energy levels after the excitement of a game drive. Its circular, thatched treatment rooms are perched above the river, open to the fresh air, so that a pampering massage or thalasso bath treatment is accompanied by the sounds of birds in the branches overhead and the gentle lap of water as the river drifts majestically by. In the sauna and steam room, the trees and river are glimpsed through windows misted with steam for that tropical rainforest feeling. A session with a skilled therapist in these tranquil surroundings sets you up for a relaxed evening under the vast African skies.


Wander down to the jetty to admire the stretch of water that winds into the distance, mirror-smooth in the evening stillness, and the calls of birds intent on their evening flurry of activity will provide the soundtrack. From here you can take a short boat trip to the lodge’s private island for sundowners on the sandy bank and a romantic meal served at a table under the stars. Surrounded on all sides by the river, you’ll enjoy a sense of the vastness of the land, listening to whispers of the age-old stories that flow with the mighty waters, as wood-smoke from the camp fire drifts by, scenting the night air. Alternatively take a sunset boat cruise down the river and sip cocktails surrounded by hippos wallowing in the golden glow of the African sunset. A sumptuous five-course meal in the lodge restaurant awaits your return. Local staff have been trained by a top Belgian chef and combine fresh local ingredients

with creativity and skill. To complement their mouth-watering offerings, you can choose a top wine from the well-stocked cellar next door. Then, from the shelter of the deck, protected by a soaring thatched roof and lit by the soft glow of candlelight, look out over the river, the wild of Africa kept at arm’s length by the civilising influence of fine wine, engaging conversation and excellent cuisine. As the sounds of the African bush reverberate in the still night air – the distant roar of a lion, the intermittent grunts and snorts of hippos and the constant whirr of cicadas – those reluctant to end the day can continue to enjoy the river from the bush bar deck, or even take a late-night dip in the pool, indigo with reflected lights. Then retreat to your luxurious chalet for a blissful night’s sleep, far away from the cares of everyday life. n Kit Heathcock

Divava Okavango Lodge & Spa

Bagani Area, Okavango River, West Caprivi, Namibia Telephone: +264 (0)66 259 005 Facsimile: +264 (0)66 259 026 Email: Website: Divava is part of Leading Lodges of Africa, a portfolio of luxury lodges in Namibia, Botswana and Kenya.

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The main lodge is open sided, blurring the barrier between the spacious interior and the view towards the Sand River and the smooth, flat rocks that give the camp its name.


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Londolozi Private Granite Suites

Privacy, space and river views in a place where leopards roam

Overlooking a stretch of the Sand River where enormous, flat extrusions of smooth granite glitter magically in the shifting light, Private Granite Suites is one of five intimate, individually run camps that form part of Londolozi, a family-owned game reserve in the Sabi Sand that’s renowned for its leopards. Contemporary and glamorous, the three suites echo the natural palette and textures of the earth in a sensual mix of luxurious fabrics and down-to-earth raw granite. Opulent Living


Dinners are fireside, lantern-lit banquets, either on the main deck or out in the bush, while a private pool offers the perfect spot to relax between exciting game drives.


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t’s virtually impossible to touch down at Londolozi’s private airstrip without big expectations of seeing graceful leopards up trees or, at the very least, majestic lions in the grass. After all, so much has been written about Londolozi and its famous leopards over the years. To find a male leopard snoozing, full bellied, in the grass on your first game drive is, of course, by no means guaranteed – but game drives are always eventful, informative and fun. It’s not unusual for a tracker to follow the trail of a female leopard through a dry river bed, leading your game vehicle to the secret spot where she hid her kill earlier in the day. As you watch her tear apart the carcass in the fork of an enormous tree, you’ll find it surrounded by a pack of seven or eight hyenas, who have picked up on the scent of the dead animal and engage in a snappy and snarling frenzy as they fight for the scraps of bone and meat falling from above. When the ranger’s fascinating insight into the pecking order among hyenas becomes more interesting than watching the leopard up the tree, you know you’re in the hands of a special group of experts. This is the essence of a Londolozi safari. Meaning ‘protector of all living things’ in Zulu, Londolozi covers 14 000 hectares of bushveld in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which in turn comprises 64 000 hectares of game-dense, privately owned land that shares an unfenced boundary with the vast Kruger National Park. For virgin safari-goers, ticking off the Big Five here usually leads to a lifelong passion for the African bush. The story of Londolozi begins in 1926, when Dave and John Varty’s grandfather bought a farm on the Sand River. Then called Sparta, it served for two generations as a rudimentary hunting camp. When brothers Dave and John inherited the land in 1970, they transformed Londolozi into one of the pioneering game lodges in South Africa, offering Big Five photographic safaris underpinned by increasingly

cutting-edge conservation ethics. The lodge became the first safari property in the world to be granted Relais & Chateaux status, proving its trailblazing credentials once again. Although privately owned by the Varty and Taylor families, for many years Londolozi was managed by African safari experts, &Beyond (previously known as CCAfrica). In 2007, when Dave and Shan Varty and their grown-up children, Bronwyn and Boyd, returned to the reserve to take ownership of the family business, they embarked on an ambitious programme of restructuring and relaunching the existing camps while building a brand-new camp, Private Granite Suites. Tree Camp and Founders Camp were the first to undergo glamorous makeovers, followed most recently by Varty Camp and Pioneer Camp. Pioneer Camp and Private Granite Suites, each accommodating just six guests, are the most exclusive of all the camps. The five intimate and utterly private camps are spread out in a linear configuration along the Sand River, within easy walking distance of one another. Yet, unless you know that the other camps are there, it’s easy to imagine you have the whole reserve all to yourself. The Private Granite Suites may be booked individually (perfect for honeymoons or romantic getaways) or together for exclusive use as a private camp – ideal for a small group or an older family (children need to be over the age of 16) celebrating a special occasion. Even with nothing in particular to celebrate, there is something very special about the three suites, each a spacious, home-fromhome bush retreat built from thatch, stone and glass overlooking a stretch of the river characterised by exceptionally smooth, flat granite extrusions. Perhaps it’s the way the light catches the rocks and the water at certain times of the day, such as at sunset when everything is bathed in pink and mauve hues. During the winter months, breeding herds of elephant often head down

Each thatched suite is a luxurious, selfcontained retreat complete with elegant lounge area and a desk with a view.

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Interiors are silver, charcoal and elephant grey with packed stone walls echoing the surrounding granite rocks.

to the rocks to bathe and feed on the surrounding riverine bush – a delightful spectacle that can be viewed from the comfort of the large wooden deck that fronts each of the Private Granite Suites. Although it’s the memorable sightings on the twice-daily game drives that lure guests to Londolozi, it’s often in the quiet moments in camp that the true magic of being on safari unfolds. Each suite comprises a spacious living room, bedroom, interleading dressing room and en-suite bathroom, and extends outdoors onto a deck with a private, heated swimming pool and outdoor shower overlooking the iconic water-smoothed boulders. Elegant and modern, the bold interiors mirror these flat granite rocks with tactile natural materials in a soothing palette of silver, charcoal and elephant grey. Ralph Lauren styling, in the form of dreamy bed linen and understated wallpaper, injects just enough worldly glamour to keep the design-conscious grinning. Sumptuous interiors and first-world comforts aside, the ultimate luxury of staying in one of these three spectacular suites may be distilled down to the quiet pleasure of having


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so much space in which to breathe out and simply ‘be’. Innovative and practical floor-toceiling double sliding panels – the one glass, the other metal gauze – provide uninterrupted views into the surrounding bush while deterring insects. Nothing beats falling asleep at night with only the gauze screens securely latched, listening to the grunts, barks and yelps emanating from the surrounding bush. And in the morning, back on game drive, the numerous animal tracks that crisscross the reserve are exciting proof of all that nocturnal activity. Here at Londolozi, breeding herds of elephant and buffalo roam freely, while white rhino and lion concentrations are amongst the highest recorded in Africa. But it’s the elusive leopards that everybody really wants to see. It’s the truly remarkable relationship that has developed over three decades between these wild, free-ranging leopards and the reserve’s rangers and trackers that sets Londolozi apart from the competition. Besides the twice-daily game drives, there are nature walks, tracking lessons, memorable bush

dinners and sleep-outs under the stars, all offering further opportunity for learning and experiencing more about the wild surroundings. There is also a spiritual aspect to going on safari, and the Vartys firmly believe that this deep engagement with nature provides the tools for a journey of exploration – not just into the wilderness out there but also into the self. ‘Our guests sometimes battle to put into words just how peaceful and relaxed they feel here – it’s as if they have returned home,’ muses Bronwyn Varty, when asked about the profound effect of being in the bush. Londolozi Life, the wellness centre based at Varty Camp, is a short stroll from Granite Suites, but massage, reiki and other body treatments can also be enjoyed in the privacy of your suite. The

Up-close leopard sightings are a highlight of twice-daily game drives; back at camp, staff serve up delicious pre-dinner cocktails.

Londolozi Private Granite Suites

Photographs: londolozi

Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, SA Telephone: +27 (0)11 280 6655 Facsimile: +27 (0)11 280 6656 Email: Website:

therapies on offer are designed to bring body, mind and soul back into balance and may be enhanced by daily, openair yoga classes, held on the communal deck at Granite Suites or at one of the other camps. Breathing intently into a downward-facing dog while listening to hippos in the river below certainly adds another dimension to yoga practice. Perhaps most memorable

about this brilliant little camp, though, is the generous and genuine service culture that has been instilled among all the staff. Nothing is ever too much trouble, and you get the impression that everybody here is treated like a VIP. It’s hardly surprising then that Granite Suites has a remarkably high percentage of return guests each season. n Jane Broughton

Londolozi is easily accessible by road or air. Federal Air offers three scheduled flights daily from Johannesburg to lodges in the Sabi Sand, including to Londolozi, or you can fly to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit.

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The Table Bay

Waterfront gem Old-world elegance meets contemporary chic at this Cape Town hotel, where you are so close to the water’s edge you could almost have sailed into port on an ocean liner. With a prime position in the historic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, The Table Bay beckons guests to dock in the lap of luxury.


uch has been written about Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront: its picturesque setting in the heart of the city’s working harbour, its historic sites, pleasing Victorian-style architecture – and, of course, the worldclass shopping and dining to be had in its high-end boutiques and cosmopolitan restaurants. As the city’s most-visited tourist attraction, it’s always buzzing with life and energy. Sun International’s flagship Table Bay hotel offers the perfect

entrée into this vibrant part of the Mother City, offering direct walking access to its many attractions. Its perfect position straddling the harbour’s breakwater means it enjoys unsurpassed views in all directions – towards the majesty of Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head on the one side, and over beautiful Table Bay on the other. Watch passenger liners and cargo ships making their way into port, and luxury yachts coming in to berth. Take a moment, too, to consider

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Don’t miss a peek at the seal statue, encircled with the names of famous guests who have stayed at the hotel, a dip in the sparkling mineral-rich water of the swimming pool, or a convivial pre-dinner drink in the cosy Union Bar.

Robben Island in the middle of the bay – where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27-year imprisonment. The electric vibe of this attraction gives way to serene tranquillity when you step through the large, glass doors of this Leading Hotel of the World. From the minute you enter the octagonal, flowerscented lobby, you know you’re in for a special stay. Individual attention and faultless service are a top priority at this gracious, light-filled establishment, where the Duty Manager will personally show you to your room – leading you down plush corridors where colourful artworks by local artists line the walls and celebrate your location at the tip of Africa. Step into The Lounge, where The Table Bay hotel’s famous High Tea is served


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every afternoon, and the deep-pile carpets, marble floors and generous armchairs give evidence of a serious approach to both luxury and comfort. This is also where you can enjoy after-dinner drinks or coffee and morning tea, warmed in winter by glowing fires. Treat yourself to a creative cocktail or a fine whisky in the laid-back warmth of the Union Bar, its strong maritime theme recalling the golden age of passenger liners, when Union-Castle steamships transported travellers between Europe and Africa, and sailing into Table Bay provided you with your first glimpse of Cape Town. From there move onto dinner in the award-winning Atlantic Grill, where picture-perfect views over the twinkling

Photographs: the TABLE BAY HOTEL

lights of the city accompany fine wines and innovative cuisine. Or savour the seasonal menus in the airy Conservatory – in summer, tuck into something light on the shady patio, or warm up in winter with a bowl of traditional Cape Malay curry. A highlight of your stay, however, will surely be the sensational breakfast buffet, which tempts the appetite with over 200 offerings – from home-baked breads and pastries through sushi to a vast array of fresh fruits and juices, and more besides! Each of the sumptuous guest rooms and suites has a magnificent outlook through walls of glass, and features a luxurious walk-in cupboard, writing desk, butler station, honour bar and computerised safe. Spacious bathrooms, with separate showers and baths, ooze sophisticated style. Crisp, pure-cotton bed linen, the best mattresses, rich drapes, plush carpets and super-comfy chairs and furnishings all combine to bring instant relaxation – and, of course, mod cons such as televisions, music stations and WiFi are standard. The Table Bay hotel is a premier conference centre, offering everything a world player in business could need and private dining and banqueting facilities for up to 200 guests. Business travellers

will be forgiven for thinking they are on holiday during their visit here – the full secretarial services, private offices, mini boardroom, light meals and more available at the Business Centre make work feel effortless, while the in-house Travel Desk ensures guests can make the most of their free time. Those seeking rest and relaxation will revel in the Camelot Spa, where a full menu of spa, body and skin treatments is designed to soothe the senses. After a restorative treatment or a workout in the compact but well-equipped gym, laze on the mahogany sundeck beside the heated swimming pool, taking in the magnificent Atlantic Ocean views. The recently revamped pool’s Mineral Water Oxygenator System means the water is crystal clear, oxygen rich and 100% chlorine free. Guests can also relax in the Jacuzzi, enjoy a professional poolside massage and refresh themselves with drinks and light meals from the pool bar. With so much on offer, plus one of the best addresses in town, it’s not surprising that international guests vie for accommodation here. Its glamour, gravitas and gorgeous views combine with impeccable service, sincere hospitality and true luxury to leave a lasting impression. n Sally Rutherford

The Table Bay

Quay 6, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 406 5000 Facsimile: +27 (0)21 406 5656 Email: Website: Sun International’s flagship The Table Bay hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and is ideal for high-end business travel, luxury leisure travel, weddings, events and conferences.

High Tea in The Lounge has become an institution, with high glass windows offering views over both the city and the ships and yachts moored in the V&A Waterfront.

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Cybele Forest Lodge and Health Spa

Haven of pampering among mountains and trees Driving slowly along the purple carpet of jacaranda blossoms that line the narrow country lane leading up to Cybele has to be one of life’s more memorable moments, so it’s no surprise that this romantic mountain lodge and tranquil spa retreat in the beautiful heart of Mpumalanga has been a favourite for many loyal visitors for well over 30 years.


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rriving at Cybele Forest Lodge and Health Spa is like reconnecting with an old friend. The gentle warmth of air fragrant with frangipani and gardenia immediately envelops you, and before long you’re wandering through the beautifully tended gardens in slippers and gown on your way to the spa. There are no airs and graces here, but simply gracious and caring hospitality that offers visitors the chance to reconnect, shake off the stresses of daily life, and focus on wellness at the Clarins Gold Spa – one of the best-kept secrets of the area. Set under a canopy of mature, leafy trees, the health and beauty spa has Clarins

Gold Membership, a well-deserved accolade that makes it a genuinely relaxing hideaway. Experienced spa staff have designed a wide range of treatments using Clarins and OPI to pamper and restore both body and soul. There are three treatment rooms to choose from, including one double or couples room, and two with spacious outdoor showers in private courtyards. Guests can also enjoy an open-air Jacuzzi bath, created from natural materials and enclosed in a separate courtyard, as well as a new hydrotherapy room, steam room and sauna. But besides its facilities, what sets this spa apart is its close connection to its beautiful natural surroundings.

For those who are interested in weight control or have special health requests, Cybele’s executive chef has also created a healthy fat-free menu with produce from the organic vegetable garden. Three- to seven-day spa packages are available, as well as day packages on request. But one of the most wonderful ways to connect body, mind and soul with nature on this tranquil estate is to book a treatment in an open-air sala in the natural forest next to the stream a short walk from the lodge. One of the most peaceful and pristine settings on the property, it allows you to take in the rhythms of nature while enjoying a deep body massage to the soothing sounds

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served beside your own pool if you’re feeling too relaxed to move. The spacious Forest Suite is Cybele’s newest addition: a contemporary 180m² space that has unforgettable views over the surrounding mountains and forest. It’s by far the most luxurious with all the added extras (everything from French Champagne to thoughtful touches such as an electric clothes steamer) and is especially popular with honeymooners and couples looking for absolute privacy. A heated pool with water cascading over rocks is the focal point of its private, walled garden but it’s a romantic retreat in all weathers with underfloor heating and a roaring fire in winter. Cybele escapes the intense heat and humidity of much of Mpumalanga, making it the perfect stopover or base for visitors who want to enjoy game viewing in the area – though most of its 28 guests seem to prefer to stay put and enjoy some pampered time out. n Michelle Snaddon

Cybele Forest Lodge and Health Spa

Near White River, Mpumalanga, SA Telephone: +27 (0)13 764 9500 Facsimilie: +27 (0)13 764 9510 Email: Website: Cybele is 40km from the Phabeni Gate into Kruger National Park, close to the top private game reserves in the Sabi Sands and ideally situated for exploring some of the magnificent highlights of Mpumalanga.


Private suites incorporate outside showers to bring one even closer to nature, and are individually decorated with special personal touches such as complimentary sherry and good books to read.

of water. Not far away is a spectacular waterfall, on a path that’s part of an invigorating seven-kilometre walk through the forest and indigenous bush – one of the other many attractions of staying a few days and having the time to explore this 300-acre property. It’s also the ideal base for game viewing – the Big Five are close by and can be seen on game drives in neighbouring Sabi Sands and other private reserves – but equally tempting is the option of a hot-air ballooning trip or helicopter flip from the landing pad at Cybele. Within minutes of taking to the skies, the magnificent sites of Mpumalanga spread out below you. There’s so much to see that it’s hard to know which of the exciting routes to choose: God’s Window, the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Pilgrim’s Rest or the Mac Mac Falls. After a day spent exploring, there’s nothing better than the early evening, predinner ritual at Cybele; when everyone settles into deep sofas on the verandah for sundowers and mouthwatering canapés. Here you can catch up with other guests; find out who’s been out exploring and who’s spent the afternoon simply reading beside their private climate-controlled pool after a heavenly Clarins facial or deep-tissue massage. Candles glow, trees in the tropical garden slowly light up with hundreds of fairy lights and dinner is soon served. Only the freshest local ingredients are used by Head Chef Grant Parker, who has worked all over the world. His à la carte menus are a combination of classic French and traditional English and generous comments in the visitor’s book bear testament to the creative dishes he and his able team serve here – as well as to the attentive service by well-trained staff. His signature dish is herb-crusted pork fillet on crushed new potatoes served with roasted apple, garden peas and a beautifully spiced honey port sauce. Breakfasts and lunch are held in the lush garden, alive with birds (and sometimes inquisitive vervet monkeys!) but lunch is rather good

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Epacha Game Lodge & Spa

Idyllic sanctuary amid rolling savannah hills Luxury accommodation with majestic views over a private game reserve that specialises in black rhino conservation; Etosha National Park and its abundant herds of game on your doorstep; an on-site spa with open-air bush treatment rooms; excellent cuisine, superior service and tailormade comforts – Epacha has all the ingredients needed for an extra-special safari experience. Add sensational sunsets to the mix and you’re in for the ultimate treat.

A bush dinner under the stars; large windows incorporate the surrounding wilderness into the plush Victorian-style rooms.


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sk seasoned safari-goers what makes a bush lodge special, and their first answer will always be its setting, followed by the quality of the wilderness experience. Here at Epacha, luxury chalets blend into the side of a hill, their balconies offering uninterrupted views across the Ondundonzondandana valley below. Rolling savannah stretches as far as the eye can see, its expanse of grass and thorny scrub punctuated only by the herds of zebra, giraffe and antelope that come to drink at the nearby waterhole. In this pristine natural environment, everyday cares seem a world away. When it comes to a quality wilderness experience, there’s plenty on offer.

A one-time wildlife sanctuary, the Epacha Game Reserve comprises 21 000 unspoilt hectares. It’s home to the Black Rhino Custodian Programme – so you’re sure to get a sighting of these magnificent but threatened pachyderms – as well as 21 antelope species, including the endangered sable antelope. Knowledgeable armed rangers lead early morning and evening game drives in open jeeps and will help you pick out the herds of eland and oryx, and identify the myriad bird species in the area. The evening drive is timed to coincide with sunset, and is not to be missed for the opportunity to enjoy sundowners in the heart of the bush. Guided walks are another way

to experience the terrain and its wild inhabitants, as are horseback rides. What really sets Epacha apart though, is that it borders the Etosha National Park. Nambia’s flagship park, Etosha is spread out around a vast salt pan that shimmers a bright white in the desert sun. The largest of its kind in Africa, this dry lakebed covers an area of 4 800 square kilometres, and is quite a sight to behold – plus its flat, open expanse makes the park’s dense game populations easy to spot. Epacha rangers lead half- or fullday safaris into this unique wilderness area and, with almost every Southern African species represented, good game viewing is assured. Up to 20 000 springbok roam Etosha, and can often be

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Both the infinity pool and the Jacuzzi at the Mystique Spa are perfectly sited for bushveld views.


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seen crossing the pan in herds of several hundred animals. Lion and rhino also occur in good numbers, and there are more than 2 000 elephant, 2 500 giraffes and 6 000 zebra. The next good measure of a truly special safari camp has to be the quality of its accommodation and, here again, Epacha doesn’t disappoint. Its 18 luxury chalets are superbly situated on the slopes of a hill and carefully positioned so as not to overlook, or be overlooked by, other suites. There’s a distinct nod to the Victorian era of exploration in Africa, with antique furnishings and plush fabrics in soothing colours, but the modern conveniences of airconditioning and internet access are also subtly incorporated. And for a bit of special bush magic, there are outdoor showers offering unrivalled views over the surrounding hills. The presidential suite, or Royal Impala Lodge, also has its own pool as well as a kitchen and

entertainment areas, and comes complete with a personal butler. Comfort and relaxation are other key elements of a good holiday, and there are plenty of spaces at Epacha to simply kick back and enjoy the quiet of the bush. Spend a lazy afternoon on your private deck or cool off around the beautiful infinity pool with it’s views over the savannah plains. Take tea in the generous lounge where large leather Chesterfield sofas offer a comfy spot from which to keep an eye on the procession of animals that visit the watering hole, or while away the hours in the library or billiard room. For a special spoil, book an openair massage at the Mystique Spa and let the healing power of touch rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. Conclude an afternoon of pure pampering with time in the sauna, steam room, splash pool or Jacuzzi. Then head off for sundowners in the bush and return for dinner under the stars.


Enjoy fine South African wines and excellent ‘Nouvelle Cuisine Nambienne' in the lavish formal dining room or a relaxed, informal lunch around the infinity pool.

There’s no doubt good food and wine add to the magic of a lodge. Mealtimes at Epacha are truly exceptional, whether you’re sitting down to breakfast or lunch on the scenic terrace, dinner in the lavish formal dining room, or an African barbecue under the stars in the traditional boma. Fresh local ingredients are par for the course, and top chefs from Belgium and France specialise in what they call Nouvelle Cuisine Namibienne, with venison a mainstay on the menu. Accompanied by the finest South African wines, each course is a treat of mouthwatering flavours. The final ingredient that sets a lodge apart has to be service. At Epacha, it’s efficient and polite, yet personal and relaxed. You’ll leave with lasting memories of friendly faces, superb attention to detail and tailormade offerings – not to mention wildlife encounters to rival the best in the world. n Riekie Human

Epacha Game Lodge & Spa

Outjo, Namibia Telephone: +264 (0)67 697 047 Facsimile: +264 (0)67 697 050 Email: Website: Epacha forms part of Leading Lodges of Africa, a collection of luxury lodges that focuses on offering quality, style and service in beautiful wilderness areas.

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Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat

Magnificent mountain refuge The majestic surrounds of the rugged Cederberg wilderness area make for a serene, soul-restoring sanctuary. Add the luxurious accommodation, gourmet food and impeccable service of a five-star Relais et Châteaux establishment, and you’re in for a rare treat indeed.


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Each of the suites at this Cape mountain retreat is a private space with a majestic mountain view.

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Gourmet food from chef Floris Smith, a magical outdoor dining area, indigenous wildlife, a tranquil spa and plush, spacious suites all add up to an extraordinary wilderness experience at this Relais & Châteaux lodge.


he first thing that strikes you about Bushmans Kloof is the allencompassing sense of serenity. The red, iron ore-rich rocks of the craggy ridge above the lodge cast a golden hue over this remote retreat, deep in the heart of the northern Cederberg mountains. This is a truly special landscape, a rugged wilderness where once Bushmen wandered timeworn paths and herds of wild animals roamed free. If peace, quiet and a sense of being at one with nature are what you’re after, then it doesn’t come much better than at this fivestar Relais et Châteaux establishment,


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which offers a luxurious base from which to enjoy an authentic wilderness experience. Guests are encouraged to explore the 7 500-hectare reserve on various hiking or mountain bike trails, or on daily guided 4x4 explorations. This dramatic, arid landscape – which comes to vibrant life under a carpet of colourful wild flowers in early spring – is home to rare Cape Mountain zebra, bontebok, red hartebeest and grey rhebok as well as myriad birds – from the large African fish eagle to the tiny sunbird. A highlight of any stay, though, is an excursion to one of the many San rock art sites in the

area. These ochre images painted on pale sandstone cave walls offer a fascinating insight into the history of early huntergatherers in the area – dubbed Bushmen by European settlers – and the lodge’s knowledgeable cultural guides provide guests with a rich understanding of these national heritage sites. Back at the lodge, 16 spacious suites provide a private space in which to soak up the peace and quiet. With luxury bedlinen on large beds, decadent en-suite bathrooms, plush lounge areas and shady decks, underfloor heating and air conditioning, each offers the perfect level of comfort for a relaxed stay. And given the emphasis on privacy and discretion, it comes as no surprise that Bushmans Kloof is a favourite destination for couples looking for a romantic weekend away. Here you can set your own pace: take a leisurely walk around the grounds, join a yoga class, play a game of croquet or simply snooze on your deck. For the more sporty, there’s canoeing, fly fishing or archery. Or why not splash about in a natural rock pool, or book a botanical or bird-watching tour? Then, of course, there’s the option of a soothing spa treatment. The smart all-white Wellness Centre is a serene space dressed in


sparkling mosaic details, and with its comprehensive menu of body treatments that harness the healing properties of the local rooibos and fynbos, you’ll leave with a renewed sense of wellbeing. One of the biggest drawcards, though, is the promise of gourmet food at every meal – Bushmans Kloof was recently named one of the ‘Best Hotels for Food in Africa, Middle East and the Indian Ocean’ in the Condé Nast Traveller Gold List 2011. Guests dine in a variety of breathtaking venues, including open-air Makana, where craggy mountain views accompany flavourful offerings from innovative chef, Floris Smith. With a strong emphasis on seasonal local produce, much of it sourced from his well-established organic fruit and vegetable garden, every dish is a treat to be slowly savoured. Evening meals see beautifully dressed plates emerging from the kitchen, with creative offerings such as seared salmon with wasabi white chocolate sauce delighting diners and stretching the imagination in delicious directions. The afternoon tea buffet presents more culinary delights. Prepared daily, a laden table of glorious sweet and savoury eats awaits – from crispy BLTs on just-baked rolls to decadent iced cupcakes, éclairs, fluffy scones with homemade jam… the

options are seemingly endless and the perfect prelude for afternoon nap back in one’s suite. Or, if activity beckons, take a late afternoon walk and drink in the glow that the setting sun brings to the rocky surrounds. With its remote location and serene surrounds, Bushmans Kloof is a rare Cape gem, offering an opportunity to reconnect with nature and restore the soul. n Vicki Sleet

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat

Cederberg, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 481 1860 Facsimile: +27 (0)21 481 1870 Email: Website: Bushmans Kloof is in the northern Cederberg, near Clanwilliam. It is 270km by road from Cape Town or an hour’s charter flight. It forms part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection South Africa, which also includes the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa in Cape Town and the Oyster Box in Umhlanga Rocks near Durban.

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Pioneers of the African Safari

The legendary bushwhacker Jack Bousfield, for whom Jack's Camp in Botswana's Makgadikgadi Pans is named.

Today’s glamorous safari experience is a far cry from the gritty tales of survival on early hunting expeditions – journeys that, ironically, ended in a conservation success.

Photographs: londolozi, lion sands, uncharted africa

by Jane Broughton and Michelle Snaddon

Looking back on the adventures and escapades of men through the ages, nothing grips the imagination like the great African safari. Epitomised by the adrenalin-fuelled thrill of the chase, the safari holds the same appeal today as it did more than a century ago, when the likes of US president Theodore Roosevelt, accompanied by great white hunter and guide Frederick Courteney Selous, undertook epic safaris into the unknown interior of Africa – a continent that was believed to be ‘as mysterious as the surface of the moon’. The word ‘safari’, meaning journey or voyage, is derived from a Swahili word with Arabic origins. In the late 19th century, Europeans adopted the word to describe hunting expeditions. Early safari life was not for sissies or the faint-hearted. It was gruelling and lonely. And certainly nowhere near as romantic as Robert Redford and Meryl Streep’s Out of Africa. You had to be endlessly resourceful and blessed with the constitution of an ox to survive months on end in the bush. For these 19th-century hunters, disease, hunger and excessive and indiscrimate shooting was the order of the day. Countless journals, maps, sketches and hunting records document the extent of the shooting that effectively wiped out many endemic species over the next century. Even Jack Bousfield, after whom the 1940s-style Jack’s Camp in Botswana is named, hunted and shot 53 000 crocodiles – a world record never to

be matched, thankfully. It was only during the 1960s, while on a trapping expedition in the Makgadikgadi Pans that he came across a site that so completely captured his imagination that ‘he set up camp under an acacia with the unshakeable expectation that others would feel the same.’ In the early 20th century, the decadent East African safari scene, peppered with brave, pioneering characters, famous clients (often royalty or Hollywood stars), narrow escapes, and the inevitable scandalous affairs, was brought to life in epic novels and films. Movies like King Solomon’s Mines inspired a steady stream of wealthy British and American clients to queue up for the adventure of a lifetime. No expense was spared. They were accompanied by experienced hunters turned professional guides and Champagne was often quaffed straight from the bottle when water supplies ran out, or were deemed unsafe for human consumption. As early as the 1890s, though, early conservationists were voicing their dismay at irresponsible hunting practices, the pressure it put on the land and its resources, and the skirmishes that resulted over competition for valuable ivory and skins. They achieved a breakthrough in 1902 with the establishment of the Sabi Game Reserve, bordered by the Crocodile River in the south and the Sabie River in the north. Part of the reserve was used as grazing by farmers, who were permitted to shoot game to save livestock. One farmer, Harry

“ „ Taking up a camera instead of a gun changed many aspects

of the safari. It brought the

thrill and adventure of driving

or walking in the bush to a much wider audience.

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Like much of the land to the west of the Kruger National Park, Londolozi, above, pictured in the 1930s, was bought for game viewing, relaxation and hunting. Most of the original farms in the area now form part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

“ „ Champagne was often quaffed

straight from the bottle when water supplies ran out, or were deemed unsafe for human consumption.


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Kirkman (who later became one of the first game wardens in the Kruger National Park, and thereafter warden of the Sabi Sand), singlehandedly shot 530 lions over the course of six years in an attempt to protect cattle on his farm, Toulon. Luckily most landowners agreed that farming in lion-infested areas wasn’t worth it, and the reserve gradually increased in size to become the southern part of the Kruger National Park, established in 1926. Land to the west of the Kruger was bought by individuals for private game viewing, relaxation and hunting. But the true birthplace of sustainable wildlife tourism in South Africa is linked to the establishment of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. In 1948, this private reserve was formed by 14 prominent landowners who wanted to preserve it for future generations. At least half a dozen family-owned camps located on original farms around the Sand River pioneered and helped shape the safari industry as we know it today. Early landowners in the Sabi Sand, including the Rattrays of Mala Mala and the Vartys of Londolozi, were pioneers, developing a successful model for charging money to view wildlife. The Sabi Sand-initiated model paved the way for future successes in other wilderness areas in South Africa, such as the Timbavati, Madikwe, the Waterberg and the Eastern Cape. Sugar baron William A C Campbell (known as Wac) owned the original Mala Mala camp,

where Princess Alice and her husband, the Earl of Athlone, were often guests – although stories suggest that every guest was treated like royalty. Wac meticuously observed and recorded everything that happened on his land. In his last report of 1960 he mentioned that 130 guests had enjoyed Mala Mala that season, of which more than half were women and children. Today Mala Mala is universally credited as being the first privately owned game reserve in South Africa that chose eco-tourism as an alternative to hunting as a sustainable land-use practice. The camera replaced the gun and Africa’s first photographic safari destination was born. Safaris cost R1 a person per day and a tray of sandwiches was 15 cents. The current owners, Michael and Norma Rattray, took over in 1964. By 1970, the daily tariff was R30, which seemed very high compared to the R12 a night that five-star hotels were charging for bed and breakfast at the time. While luxurious by anybody’s standards, Mala Mala still sticks to the premise that the in-camp experience should always be secondary to the game viewing. There’s no doubt that Mala Mala pioneered the concept of private, guided game viewing in open vehicles, which in itself equated to a new level of exclusivity and luxury. In the late 1970s, when air-con and telephones were introduced in every room, the travel industry was suitably impressed. But as the Sabi Sand developed and new safari lodges were

early camps were very basic

Uncharted Africa's Ralph Bousfield, right, went on his first safari at the age of 3. His father, hunter and safari operator, Jack Bousfield, pictured with friends, below, escorted aristocrats and film stars into remote corners of what is now Botswana.

opened, the in-camp experience became increasingly sophisticated. Neighbouring Mala Mala is Londolozi, owned by the Varty family. In the early 1970s, when Boyd Varty Snr inherited his father’s land along the Sand River in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, it was still known as Sparta and had for two generations served as a rudimentary hunting camp for wealthy hunters. Boyd’s sons, Dave and John Varty, had spent all their holidays on the family farm. Their father taught them everything there was to know about hunting, believing that boys became men through hunting lion. Dave could strip a gun at age six and was 12 when he was expected to take down his first lion. After Boyd died unexpectedly, the teenage brothers started shaping their dream of operating a safari business on the family farm, renaming the land Londolozi – which in Zulu means ‘the protector of all living things’. They shared a dream to build a world-class destination and create the blueprint for modern-day conservation in Southern Africa. The early years at Londolozi were filled with challenges, as they tried to finish their studies while building up the business. Charging R3 a day, the brothers knew nothing about the hospitality business – the first paying guests were asked to bring their own food and drink – but they were determined to give their guests a thrilling adventure. If the only Land Rover broke down, guests were offered a walking safari. There was no electricity or

running water, no bed linen or proper beds. The food was apparently terrible. Despite the rough accommodation and bad food, guests came back for more. By 1978, rates were upped to R37 per person per night (R59 for the fully inclusive ‘luxury’ chalets). In the 1980s, Dave and his wife Shan worked hard to raise Londolozi’s hospitality standards, becoming the first ever Relais & Châteaux-endorsed safari lodge in the world. In the 1980s, the guiding principle at Londolozi was to demonstrate the economic viability of wildlife tourism in a land torn apart by racism, fences and

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“ „ Africa needs us to come on

safari and fall in love with her. Here we can watch

a world that takes us far

beyond ourselves and brings

us the realization of what we are doing to our planet.


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division. After Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, there was new hope for unity. Londolozi’s vision was to spread its message of partnership between wildlife and people, and its dream of wildlife paying for conservation across the African continent. ‘The switch from hunter to conservationist was a natural extension of our bushveld life. In a way, our hunting techniques paved the way for photographic safaris, but we were directed there by our growing awareness that the game was disappearing and that something had to be done about it,’ comments Dave Varty in his autobiographical book, The Full Circle. Dave and Shan Varty left Londolozi to start CCAfrica (now &Beyond), but returned to the reserve full time with their grownup children, Boyd and Bronwyn, in 2007. Today, Londolozi enjoys a cult following and comprises five top-end lodges spread out along the banks of the Sand River. In 1925, a piece of land in the present-day Sabi Sand was purchased by James Fawcett Bailes, grandfather of Singita’s current owner Luke Bailes. The 56 000 hectare property was originally procured for hunting purposes

with Castleton Camp as the family’s private homestead. Under Luke’s direction, it has since evolved into one of South Africa’s most exclusive reserves. The opening of Singita’s first lodge, Ebony, in 1993 was the beginning of a new era in luxury, and swiftly became the industry standard by which all other five-star properties were benchmarked. These were no longer rooms but suites, spacious beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, showcasing exquisite designer finishes and every creature comfort. Singita Boulders Lodge followed in 1996. At this time, the only other lodge to challenge Singita’s new luxury was Phinda Forest Lodge in Northern KwaZuluNatal, its enormous suites resembling glass boxes immersed in the forest. Singita’s Mark Whitney, lodge manager when Ebony opened, recalls the early years. ‘We had built generous suites with beautiful interiors by Boyd Ferguson, yet the competition told us we were mad. Would guests need all that in the bush? Before Ebony, you were expected to be uncomplaining, grateful for a lumpy bed and content with mediocre food. The guide was considered your buddy, who threw you in the dam at the sundowner stop. Khaki fever was rife, with female guests both married and single quite reckless in their desire to seduce the game ranger!’ The Rattrays of Mala Mala still maintain that going on safari is all about the game viewing and photography, waking before dawn to capture the landscape at first light. While they do offer a luxury retreat, their philosophy places less significance on the luxury aspects of the experience. On the prevalence of bush spas in the past decade, Mike Rattray has been quoted as saying that if his guests needed a ‘wash and scrub’ they would do better to stay at home! He questions the need for all the diversions that are offered in the bush today. Are they exactly that, distracting guests from the real reason for being there in the first place, the game viewing? Or is hanging onto the old idea that it is ‘all about the animals’ simply a cop out? Boot camp-style safaris – having to wake up at the crack of dawn for the morning game drive, for example – certainly don’t appeal to everyone. ‘Guests were almost bullied in the early days into the belief that you had to

be tough and uncomplaining to qualify as a real bush person. But things have changed,’ observes Mark Whitney. Today’s safari guest is a sophisticated traveller who has usually stayed in the best hotels in the world, and expects the best of everything no matter where they are. Luxury accommodation has become old news. These days, guests arrive with different demands and expectations, to the point where they expect something life-changing to occur on safari, an epic experience that will give them a gripping tale to tell at their next dinner party. That’s why a new generation of safari guides, like Ralph Bousfield of Uncharted Africa in Botswana, have carved a niche for themselves with intimate and authentic experiences that recapture the ancient rhythms of Africa and connect with its soul. Defining luxury is at once subjective and contentious. There will always be a market for the sort of deep-dish comfort and fivestar amenities that you get at the likes of Singita and Londolozi, yet increasingly there’s a yearning among another sort of traveller to return to basics, to campfires and star-lit skies, sand between your toes and tented camps – the authenticity of something altogether simpler. Luxury, to a growing number of travellers who’ve 'been there, done that and recycled the T-shirt‘, is increasingly experience-based. Whatever the thread count of the bed linen, safaris are becoming increasingly authentic with remote outposts, fly camps, game tracking, walking safaris and sleepouts under the stars giving the southern tip of Africa the global edge in deep and meaningful getaways. In a sense, the idea of taking a journey, or safari, has come full circle as the new ecoconscious traveller embarks on meaningful, life-changing journeys that are less about bringing back ‘stuff’ and more about returning home with bragging rights in the form of stories, photographs and a fresh perspective on life. Dave Varty describes the modern-day safari as ‘reconnecting the human spirit with the wilderness’ in all its savage and untrampled glory. Better still, it offers the potential for a completely different journey: a rediscovery of your authentic self.

The final word goes to Molly Buchanan who wrote in the book Safari: The Romance and The Reality: ‘As the hot golden orb disappeared behind the clouds on the horizon, giant rays of light spread across the western sky. The colours changed from blues to purples and pinks and from gold to peach to orange, and the shining crescent of a new moon, like a cupped hand, appeared in the velvety sky with Venus, the brilliant evening star, poised above. Far in the distance a lion roared. It was time to hunt. It was an evening in Africa that could have been a thousand years ago. But so much had changed.‘ ‘Africa needs us to come on safari and fall in love with her. Here we can watch a world that takes us far beyond ourselves and brings us the realization of what we are doing to our planet.’ She goes on to reassure: ‘Africa is on a path of healing. It is to become more than a great adventure destination.’ ‘Come to Africa’, she says. ‘See it. Feel it. Believe it. Because Africa belongs to us all.’ Bibliography Safari: The Romance and the Reality by Molly Buchanan with Shan and Dave Varty (National Geographic, 2003); Safari: A Chronicle of Adventure by Bartle Bull (Penguin, 1988); To Everything its Season by Gillian Rattray (Jonathan Ball, 1986); The Full Circle by Dave Varty (Penguin, 2008)

The bush feeds the spirit The original Pioneer Camp at Londolozi, left, was established in 1926. Lion Sands, above, also in the Sabi Sand, was bought in 1933 and used as a holiday retreat for family and friends of Guy Aubrey Chalkley.

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La Residence Villas

A distinctive vineyard offering With its picture-perfect views, gracious suites and meticulous attention to service excellence, La Residence remains one of the most exclusive private hotels in South Africa. Now this Franschhoek establishment has added six vineyard villas offering all the exotic elegance and warm hospitality for which it is famed – and making it an even bigger attraction for A-listers looking for absolute privacy, or families in search of luxurious but child-friendly surrounds.


rive up to La Residence on the slopes of the Franschhoek mountains and you’ll be met by sweeping views over the vineyards of this beautiful wine-making valley, the sight of black swans gliding across a picturesque lake, and the distant buzz of a working wine and fruit farm. This stylish rural idyll is part of the exclusive Royal Portfolio family of hotels – conceived by entrepreneur Liz Biden, whose flair for elegant establishments with heart has forged her a formidable


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reputation in the competitive luxury travel market. This is a hotel where things are done on a grand scale – but where no detail is too small to be overlooked. You can’t help but notice the oversized wooden trusses that hold up the lofty ceiling in the double-volume entrance hall, or the impressive original art collection on the walls. Step inside the guest suites and you’ll be met by enormous handcarved beds that need steps so you can climb into their soft, comfy depths. Then

there are the bold jewel-like colours that feature throughout the private and public spaces, the marble floors, raw silk drapes, plush patterned rugs and the timeworn patina of the antique furniture. All set the tone for a mood of regal elegance – but one where comfort is as important as style. The six brand-new villas at La Residence are no different. A short walk from the hotel, they offer families and small groups all the space and privacy of a holiday home, but all the luxury and

OpulentLiving Living131 67 Opulent

The new villas offer spacious, private accommodation and are individually decorated in bold, sumptuous style. All enjoy breathtaking views over the surrounding Franschhoek mountains.

service of an upmarket guesthouse. Ranging in size from one to three bedrooms, each of the villas is a unique offering – some lead out onto a private pool, others are double storey and boast an upstairs bedroom with far-ranging views, and two are adjoining – but all share a common thread: absolute luxury in the heart of one of the most picturesque parts of the Cape. Like the 11 rooms in the main building, each has been individually decorated by Liz and interior designer Ralph Krall in Liz’s trademark style – an eclectic mix of the exotic and the elegant. Antique pieces sit side by side with vintage finds painted a striking turquoise or jade green; marble and crystal abound; ostrich leather and plush velvet lend colour and texture – it’s a bold and brilliant mix, yet it oozes comfort and invites you to sit down and make yourself at home. Ideal for families holidaying together, wedding parties or group reunions, the exclusive-use villas share a communal area called The Terrace Room. This large, family-friendly space includes a central kitchen, a spacious lounge with a big-screen TV, a large fireplace to keep things cosy in the winter months, and an enclosed patio that leads onto an expansive terrace with a crystal-clear swimming pool. In the open-plan kitchen,


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Photographs: royal portfolio

a full-time executive chef caters all meals for villa guests – preparing gourmet breakfasts, lunches and dinners to order. While adults may book a private table in the main hotel dining room, there’s no need to venture out for anything – unless you want to, of course. That’s because a full complement of butlers will cater for each and every need – from shopping for supplies to looking after your children while you take an afternoon nap. Despite the sheer sumptuousness of it all, attention has been paid to keeping the new buildings as environmentally friendly as possible, and a customised geothermal system provides a free and renewable source of energy to heat and cool each of the villas. When you’re not curled up with a good book on one of the plush sofas in the lounge, or dozing in the sun next to the

pool, there’s plenty to keep you amused both on the estate and in the wider area. Sampling the local wine and bubbly is, of course, a must and there are plenty of wineries within easy driving distance – or ask La Residence to arrange private tastings from their well-stocked cellar. Explore the vineyards on foot or on horseback, arrange a round of golf or a spot of trout fishing, or book a pampering treatment at the hotel spa. However you choose to spend your time, you’ll value the discreet comfort and elegance of this distinctive private hotel, not to mention the outstanding service and warm hospitality guaranteed to be at the heart of your holiday. As page after page of heartfelt thanks in the guestbook reveal – this hotel offers an exceptional Winelands experience. nVicki Sleet

La Residence Villas

Franschhoek, Western Cape, SA Telephone: +27 (0)21 876 4100 Facsimile: +27 (0)21 876 2030 Email: Website:

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Long Beach Mauritius

An island getaway a long way from ordinary

It’s time to sunbathe, swim and simply sloth on the beautiful east coast of Mauritius, where sandy white beaches slope down to shimmering blue lagoons and coral reefs teeming with fish. Offering relaxed resort living and fine dining in this superb island setting, what’s not to love about the fabulous new Long Beach resort? Dive in – the water’s just fabulous!

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Spacious, light and airy rooms are dressed in an island palette of white, blue, green and coral and all have ocean views.


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elle Mare Plage and Le Touessrok have a glamorous new neighbour. Welcome to Long Beach, Mauritius’s sophisticated new five-star destination, which combines a culture of green living with a lifestyle of pampering and pleasure. The Mediterranean-style resort blends so seamlessly into its tropical gardens, complete with an array of large palm trees swaying gently in the soft ocean breeze, that a visitor would be hard-pressed to believe that this was a building site just weeks ago. The high-end resort is situated on the site of that former Mauritian favourite, Le Coco Beach, and boasts the longest and widest stretch of sandy coastline of any hotel complex on the island. It has capitalised on this magnificent location and all of its 255 rooms – arranged in three ‘crescents’ with no long corridors – have a view of the ocean. Long Beach is affordable luxury at its best. The larger-than-average suites, tucked into their tropical landscape and with direct beach access, have everything a well-heeled traveller would expect of a deluxe retreat. There are 42-inch LCD flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi internet access, iPod stations, well-stocked mini-bars and plenty of cupboard space. The feel is both contemporary and airy with high ceilings and restful soft furnishings in tones of apple green, pastel blue, white, grey and the odd splash of bright coral. The result is a modern space that combines a sense of place and breezy open-air island living with welcome privacy. An establishment that prides itself on being far from ordinary needs a leader who is dynamic and charming, and the ebullient General Manager of Long Beach, Nicolas de Chalain, previously GM at La Pirogue, is enthusiastic about his latest project: ‘We have really listened to our guests when it comes to what they want when going on holiday. And, more importantly, we’ve given them a wide variety of choices – whether it’s what they are going to do when on vacation here, or what they are going to eat. It is this that sets us apart from other resorts.’

De Chalain explains that the family market is big in Mauritius: ‘Worldwide more and more people are going on holiday with their children – be they toddlers or teenagers – and so we offer facilities and activities for everyone. We have both kids and teens clubs, and we have 29 family rooms and 172 interconnecting rooms.’ There has also been tremendous attention to detail. All the interconnecting rooms link up through a lobby and not through the two bedrooms, which helps with noise and privacy when you don’t have family next to you. The resort respects and complements the natural beauty of its setting and the guest experience is focused on a connection with the environment. De Chalain is proud that Long Beach is a ‘green hotel’ that not only complies with modern standards but is, he believes, leading the way in setting new standards. Demolishing a 333-room hotel and replacing it with a completely new and modern resort might not seem a particularly ‘clean’ project. However, long before Long Beach saw the light of day, project design was in the hands of a very environmentally aware group of people. Just before demolition work started on the old Coco Beach, almost 3 400 plants were moved to a temporary nursery so they could be replanted when Long Beach was completed. The extensive gardens surrounding the fabulous new buildings now contain more than 500 000 plants, including 26 endemic species. Every effort has been made to ensure that the Long Beach Hotel is eco-friendly, with the implementation of programmes to conserve natural resources and energy, manage and minimise waste production and use environmentally friendly products. Hot water on the premises is produced with solar panels, sun protection frames have been used to reduce the need for air-conditioning and eco-lighting features throughout the cleverly conceived resort. There is one noticeable feature that is by no means purely aesthetic. The roofs of buildings are covered in plants, pebbles

A wide variety of watersports, such as snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing and catamaran sailing, are available at the beachfront resort.

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Clever windbreaks modulate the island breezes and reduce the need for air-conditioning in the spacious suites; the pool deck is the perfect spot to chill with an exotic cocktail.

and special materials, all of which can reduce the impact of exposure to the sun. It means that rooms remain cooler and need less air-conditioning. Another clever architectural feature are the adjustable ‘wind breaks’ that modulate the offshore breezes and add to guest comfort. The focus of the resort’s layout is an urban-style piazza with restaurants, shops and bars flanked by two pools, both of which are ozone treated. At mealtimes visitors are spoilt for choice. There are five restuarants in all, each providing a different eating experience – from the theatrical buffet-style Le Marché with its seven open kitchens, to the feet-inthe-sand Tides offering fresh fish fare. At the typically Italian Il Sapori feast on the risotto cooked with porcini mushroom and fresh asparagus, served in a large sea urchin and topped with succulent steamed lobster – it’s both a visual work of art and an experience for the tastebuds. At Japanese-inspired Hasu try the deepfried salmon nourimaki accompanied by green tea noodles flavoured with sake and bonito flakes, or opt for classic and contemporary Chinese at Chopsticks. Best of all, four of these five restaurants are included in the half-board option. So you


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can enjoy eating out at different venues knowing there’s no supplement to pay. The philosophy at Long Beach is that you can do everything or nothing. With all you need to pamper both body and soul provided, it’s the kind of place that you can simply check into and not leave for the rest of your holiday. Hang out at the quiet adult pool or lie at the edge of the infinity pool, where the only interruption is a waiter bringing you a signature cocktail and the only exercise you get in a day is feasting on fine food and wine. Or visit the Equa Spa, which offers a range of specialised treatments designed around the theme of marine wellness. However, there are enough activities on offer to keep even the most energetic of beach bunnies happy. Almost everything is available, from tennis, gym, volleyball and archery to a five-a-side football

From Chinese and Japanese through to Italian and French, Long Beach's five restaurants cater for every taste.

Long Beach Mauritius

Belle Mare, Mauritius Telephone: +230 401 1919 Facsimile: +230 401 1999 Email: Website: www.longbeachmauritius. com,


The five-star Long Beach resort is situated on the east coast of Mauritius. It is part of Sun Resorts, which also owns and operates Sugar Beach, La Pirogue and Le Touessrok in Mauritius and Kanuhura in the Maldives. pitch, putting course, cycling and skating tracks. There’s even wall climbing for the fit and adventurous. Crystal clear waters and beautiful coral reefs make snorkelling a must and most watersports – with the exception of scuba diving, big game fishing, parasailing and catamaran sailing – are inclusive. Long Beach guests also have preferential access to the nearby Le Touessrok golf course.

‘We haven’t cut any corners when it comes to the construction of Long Beach and we’ve gone the extra mile when it comes to green issues,’ concludes De Chalain. ‘ I firmly believe that in future people will copy us. We are not ordinary and we look forward to showing visitors what is unique about this little piece of paradise.’ n Janine Walker

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Royal Chundu – Luxury Zambezi Lodges

Pure magic on the mighty Zambezi Imagine the ultimate getaway – seclusion, luxurious accommodation, unspoilt natural landscapes, a sprinkling of adventure – then set it on the tranquil banks of the legendary Zambezi River near the Victoria Falls and you have Royal Chundu. Except Royal Chundu goes beyond your imaginings, adding the magic of the African wilderness to the mix and creating an oasis of elegance, relaxation and soul-restoring harmony in the heart of Africa.

At Royal Chundu guests drift to sleep lulled by the soothing sounds of the gently flowing river.


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he mighty Zambezi River draws the eye as soon as you arrive at Royal Chundu. It’s a wide expanse flowing steadily and smoothly, with just bursts of frenetic activity over stretches of rapids every so often. Its soothing effect is mirrored by the rich green vegetation, the calls of birds and grunts of hippos, so that guests start to relax even before settling into the luxurious accommodation of the lodge itself. Lavishly furnished in elegant colonial style and complete with all modern comforts, the 10 secluded thatched villas of the River Lodge nestle in lush riverine forest, perched on stilts overlooking the

wide stretch of river, a natural paradise where you can idle away the day birdwatching from the comfort of your verandah or dip into the sparkling swimming pool and lounge for hours with a book or two. The serenity of this beautiful place pervades every moment, so relaxation is a given, even without the silver-service pampering of the discreet and friendly staff. Even more exclusive are the four villas on the private island of Katombora four kilometres upstream from the River Lodge. Sumptuous rooms have vast beds draped in mosquito netting, so guests can sleep with doors wide open to the soothing sounds of the river at night.

Spacious bathrooms have double showers and double vanities and a river view; the sweeping private deck furnished with a plump-cushioned day bed and vast bath tub. Returning from a sunset river cruise to an open-air candlelit bath gently steaming on a private deck under the stars, with the sounds of chirruping crickets, the lapping of the flowing Zambezi and grunts of hippo settling in for the night, is truly magical. At dinner in the gracious island lodge, a bygone era of colonial Africa blends seamlessly with our modern age: soaring ceilings with fans whirring, glistening chandeliers, traditional Zambian artefacts and soft leather furnishings combine

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Splendid seclusion and superb service are the secret ingredients of Royal Chundu’s magical spell.


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to create an elegant and harmonious ambience, while the remarkable chef serves up delicious meals to match the five-star setting. Dinner under the stars another night is an authentic African barbeque, beautifully prepared in the Chief’s boma. Sitting around a fire beneath the protective boughs of a massive riverine hardwood – as the flames flicker and the soft glow of paraffin lamps casts a golden light over everyone – guests are absorbed into the majesty of an African night, where flavours are intensified, sounds more vibrant, everything alive. Another enchanting experience is a massage treatment at the lodge’s unique floating spa. The wooden platform gently rocks to the motion of the flowing river and as any residual tension is soothed away, the full panorama of the river unfolds: a hippo family drifting in the water, a mokoro canoe passing, a crocodile slipping silently from the riverbank into the water, an elephant herd crossing the river, half submerged in the steadily flowing current. Africology spa products relax and rejuvenate, as the peace here

envelops you, at once reconnecting and healing the soul. The spirit of adventure is never far away at Royal Chundu, despite the pervasive air of relaxation. Unlike the intrepid Dr David Livingstone, who explored Africa despite the hardships, guests here can explore the wonders of the Zambezi with ease and comfort. Canoe upriver in an inflatable canoe or traditional mokoro dugout, or experience the thrills of white-river rafting on the rapids. Angling enthusiasts won’t miss the opportunity to do battle with the legendary tiger fish aboard one of Royal Chundus’ platform pontoon boats, safely out of reach of crocodiles, with an experienced local guide to share the excitement of landing the massive fish, photographing it and returning it to the river to fight another day. All this and more can be arranged according to your whim. A nature walk around the lodge or on the island accompanied by the knowledgeable and enthusiastic Royal Chundu guides, who can spot and identify the abundant birdlife without even the help of binoculars, enriches guests’

Photographs: ROYAL CHUNDU Luxury Zambezi Lodges

experience of this natural paradise with a fount of stories. Then the leisurely pace continues with a gentle float downstream to a luscious lunch on a deserted island. A safari trip across the river to the Chobe National Park in Botswana for a game drive brings fabulous sightings of its famous elephants, as well as abundant buck, buffalo, zebra and giraffe. Or take a day to explore the incomparable Victoria Falls, a half hour’s drive away. Watching

the mighty Zambezi plummet over 100m, sending up plumes of towering spray that glint with sparkling rainbows, never fails to stir the soul. At the end of the day, though, it is always with a sense of relief that guests return to the magnificent remoteness and peace of Royal Chundu, where you feel like the only honoured visitor to this piece of paradise on a private stretch of the Zambezi. n Kit Heathcock

Royal Chundu – Luxury Zambezi Lodges

Near Livingstone, Zambia Telephone +27 (0)41 407 1000 Email: Website: Royal Chundu is part of The Mantis Group, a collection of privately owned, five-star properties. Situated near Victoria Falls on the Zambian side of the Zambezi, guests fly in to Livingstone International Airport and transfer by road to the lodge.

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Perfect hospitality Clico Guest House ‘Ever found yourself trying to unplug a noisy bar fridge in the middle of the night? Or


discovered, just before a meeting, that the hairdryer doesn’t work?’ asks Clico owner Jeanette

Rosebank, Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA

Schwegmann. ‘I’ve travelled a lot, so I know how critical it is to have a well-designed room in

Telephone: +27 (0)11 252 3300

which everything works, plus how personal touches, such as decent filter coffee and fresh milk, are really appreciated.’ Jeanette is a perfectionist, and it shows. Since she opened the intimate Clico (a reference to

Facsimile: +27 (0)86 636 8770 Email: Website:

her favourite French bubbly, Veuve Clicquot) with partner Sean Ackermann just over five years ago, the Rosebank guest house – conveniently located within strolling distance of Rosebank Mall – has grown a loyal following. Management is efficient yet discreet and guests are made to feel totally at home: there’s a well-stocked honesty bar and plenty of private nooks in which to relax, including a small, lush garden shaded by mature trees. Newly launched conference and events facilities add to the all-round appeal. But perhaps the best reason to stay is the restaurant, where Sean presides. ‘I change the menu daily, based on what I find in the markets and delis I visit each morning and the dietary requirements of guests. We have a few signature dishes, such as fillet with mushroom and Cognac sauce, but for me the thrill lies in experimenting. I like meeting the guests to explain each course, and why I’ve paired it with a particular wine, but the fun starts when I retire to the kitchen and let the meal do the talking.’ And it speaks volumes, not only about Sean’s skill, Pippa de Bruyn

Guests can expect personal touches, such as fresh flowers and filter coffee, in their rooms, and an ever-changing menu of culinary delights in the on-site restaurant.


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Photographs: Clico guest house

but about the personal attention that pervades at this five-star gem.

The Green Food Studio offers delicious bistro fare and spills out onto the paved patio that surrounds the tranquil pool.

Verdant escape

n The Caledon Boutique Hotel Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal, SA Telephone +27 (0)32 947 1660

The Caledon Boutique Hotel

Facsimile: +27 (0)31 312 6221 Email:

KwaZulu-Natal’s lush sugar-cane belt, rolling north along the Indian Ocean coast from Durban,


has much to offer travellers. There’s the vibrant beach resort of Ballito, the retail mecca that is Umhlanga’s Gateway Theatre of Shopping and the tourist attractions of uShaka Marine World, to name but a few. And now, nestled among its verdant hills is boutique hotel The Caledon. A striking modern structure of stone, glass and iron, this light and airy hotel offers the perfect base from which to explore the popular Dolphin Coast – in a relaxed and peaceful setting away from the crowds. The Caledon has 19 freestanding villas, each home to two en-suite bedrooms that spill out onto patios that look over the landscaped gardens towards fields of sugar cane. Fabrics and furnishings in soothing neutral tones offset by dashes of warm colour characterise the light-filled interiors, while water features outside add to the relaxing atmosphere. Meals are served in the glass-enclosed Green Food Studio, where there’s a versatile bistro-style Photographs: THE CALEDON BOUTIQUE HOTEL

menu popular with both guests and day-trippers. On Sundays, the in-crowd congregate on the pool patio, chilling to the sounds of a local jazz band and tucking in to the delicious buffet. Weekenders looking to escape the city can curl up with a book in the bubble chairs on the patios or doze around the pool, while golfers can tee off on the award-winning course at the Umhlali Country Club next door, or head for nearby Simbithi or Zimbali. With its tranquil, natural surrounds, the hotel is also the perfect spot for weddings, special parties or conferences – and is easily accessible from Durban’s new King Shaka International Airport, which is a mere 10 minutes’ drive.

Lori Booth

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n The Olive Exclusive Opening 1 June 2011 Windhoek, Namibia Telephone +264 (0)61 239 199 Facsimile +264 (0)61 234 971 Email: Website:

Enchanting city retreat The Olive Exclusive This intimate boutique hotel in a tranquil corner of Windhoek embodies the very essence of chic comfort. The Olive – the first ultra-luxurious sanctuary of its kind in the Namibian capital – is cool, contemporary and stylish but with a warm heart and authentic African soul. Its sleek, modern lines are complemented by organic textures, natural furnishings, an eco-friendly approach and dedicated personal service. Simple elegance is key, from the organic rough-hewn wooden benches and side tables, through the sculpted chunk of granite that serves as a coffee table in the guest lounge, to walls clad in abstract Namibian landscapes by well-known South African photographer Micky Hoyle. The seven suites are individually decorated so each reflects a different region in Namibia, and each has its own lounge area with fireplace and dining room – should you want to dine in privacy rather than in the inviting, quality-dining restaurant. Wide glass doors open onto individual gardens where you can relax on a shady daybed, enjoy al fresco lunches or, if yours is a premium suite, take a dip in your own plunge pool. bed dressed in goose-down duvet and crisp, pure-cotton linen, or indulge in a bubble bath in a freestanding tub with sweeping mountain views. Air-conditioning, satellite TV and iPod Tactile natural materials, such as wood, leather, cane

mini bar, complete with a premium wine selection, so you can toast the setting sun in fine style.

and marble, characterise the

It’s the perfect luxury base from which to explore Windhoek and its surrounds before heading

interiors of the elegant suites.


docking stations are standard, as is a computer with WiFi access. Then there’s a fully stocked

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off on a Namibian safari.

Sally Rutherford

Photographs: The OLIVE EXCLUSIVE

Such are the creature comforts that you may find it hard to leave: sink into an extra-length

Selling? Earn FREE Voyager Miles Our exclusive partnership with SAA Voyager means that when you sell your property on sole mandate through Seeff, you will earn free Voyager Miles. Use your Voyager Miles for upgrades on SAA flights or perhaps domestic or even international flights on SAA or any Star Alliance airline partner. You may also qualify for Voyager Miles when renting through us. Contact 08600 SEEFF (73333) or your nearest Seeff branch for more information on how you can earn SAA Voyager Miles, or visit

It’s the smartest move you can make.


Hillside grandeur 176 Senior Drive, Northcliff n For more information contact

Northcliff is one of Johannesburg’s oldest and most affluent areas. Situated on Northcliff Ridge – the

Norah Whittingham-Jones:

second highest koppie in what is otherwise a predominantly flat landscape – it enjoys sweeping views

+27 (0)83 628 5290

over the city. Like the majority of grand houses in this historical suburb, this five-bedroom beauty

Cynthia Todd: +27 (0)82 781 4404 Seeff Randburg

epitomises the charm and understated elegance of a bygone era. As you step from the generous entrance hall into the formal lounge and separate dining room, a

Telephone: +27 (0)11 476 3536

sense of majesty takes hold. Sash windows and solid wood floors imbue the space with character and

Asking price: POA

nostalgia. The spacious open-plan family room has a fireplace and leads onto a covered entertainment patio. The large, open-plan Provençal-style kitchen is dressed in granite and wood, and has a concealed fully plumbed scullery and an outside laundry. But the kitchen’s best feature is its underfloor heating, perfect for impromptu dinners on wintry evenings. Upstairs, the main bedroom has an en-suite bathroom and dressing room, and a balcony overlooking the garden. The other four bedrooms and three bathrooms are large and characterful. There‘s also a downstairs study, an upstairs living room and a pub beneath the stairs – as well as a cold room to store your champers collection. The exquisite landscaped garden, complete with a borehole and a computerised irrigation system, deserves a special mention. Its boasts several elegant water features, a floodlit tennis court, swimming pool and a greenhouse for roses. A guest cloakroom, four auto garages and double staff quarters make this property an extremely attractive home for a modern family.


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Kia Ora is perfectly positioned on Glen Beach for picture-perfect Atlantic views; looking through to the spa bathroom from the living area of the master bedroom.

Breathtaking beach belle Glen Beach, Camps Bay This sought-after beachfront property owes its appeal to Tanya Fourie, the model-turned-mogul, whose exquisite taste transformed a dilapidated bungalow into a breathtaking beauty. Tanya purchased the property, on her mother’s recommendation, while she was still working in Europe and, with the help of her family, demolished the original house to create what can only be described as a magical seaside villa. She named it Kia Ora, which means ‘welcome’ in Maori. But after years of enjoying Kia Ora’s laidback appeal, Tanya has decided to sell. ‘After developing my vision and turning Kia Ora into a holiday villa, popular for film shoots, I want to focus on new projects,’ says Tanya – which means that this magnificent property is up for grabs… A stone’s throw from Glen Beach, the three-storey house comprises five en-suite bedrooms, complete with four-poster beds, Moroccan lamps, Balinese doors and views to die for. The master bedroom has its own balcony, relaxation area and spa bath. Exposed ceiling beams and paddle fans welcome you

n For more information contact

into the open-plan lounge that’s decorated in soothing shades of white. Though luxurious, the décor

Pola Jocum: +27 (0)83 261 0116

is unpretentious and inviting. The lounge leads onto a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, which flows onto a deck overlooking the Atlantic. The self-contained accommodation on the ground floor is ideal for an au pair. Situated a short stroll from the vibrant Camps Bay promenade with its trendy sidewalk cafés and cosmopolitan nightlife, this home epitomises the home-buyer’s mantra: location, location, location. Nadine Jocum: +27 (0)72 230 1947 Seeff Camps Bay Telephone: +27 (0)21 438 1055 Asking price: R35 million

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Stately splendour Coronation Road, Sandhurst Situated in one of Johannesburg’s most exclusive (and expensive) suburbs, Sandhurst is home to a host of Gauteng high rollers – such as businessman Tokyo Sexwale and lawyer Billy Gundelfinger, to name a few. Its close proximity to the exclusive shopping hubs of Sandton and Hyde Park, as well as to schools such as Kingsmead Girls, St David’s Boys and Hyde Park High, makes it ideal for families looking for a conveniently situated property. One such mansion is in Coronation Road – a stately home with superb finishes and elegant lines. Designed by Eric Meyersohn in the 1970s, the house underwent a renovation in 2007 when Charles Marinier Architects were commissioned by the owners to make some additions to the existing residence. Set on a sprawling 6 000 square metres of land, the house opens onto an immaculate tree-filled garden, furnished with Koi and swan ponds, a floodlit tennis court, two boreholes and a generous swimming pool. Its location at the top of a long tree-lined panhandle lends itself to a quiet and private existence. Inside, the elegant entrance hall flows into a formal lounge and dining room, which both open onto the patio and garden. The spacious dining room, which seats up to 20, is perfect for entertaining friends and family, while the lounge – with its a large fireplace – is ideal for after-dinner gatherings on chilly Gauteng evenings. Grand chandeliers, marble floors and iroko window and door frames n For more information contact

give the house an air of occasion and majesty. The beautifully finished country-style kitchen flows

Corinna Lowry: +27 (0)82 652 8891

into the family room, which in turn flows on to the large wrap-around patio, overlooking the pool George Papadopoulos: +27 (0)84 454 1834

and garden. The bedroom wing consists of five sizeable en-suite bedrooms, including a massive main suite, with dressing room, bathroom and a fitted study area. And then there’s the entertainment wing

Seeff Sandton

that houses a 12-seater home cinema, a sauna, steam room and a guest suite with a kitchenette.

Telephone: +27 (0)11 784 1222

Other attractions include five garages and staff quarters comprising four bedrooms, two bathrooms

Asking price: R37 999 000

and a central kitchen and sitting room.

This contemporary Cape Town home embraces its lush garden and the magnificent mountain views.

Seamless executive style Prestigious Bishopscourt It’s not surprising that many world-famous politicians, artists and authors have called Bishopscourt home. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, novelist Wilbur Smith and Russian painter Vladimir Tretchikoff are just a few ‘celebrities’ who have lived in this prestigious suburb, which has uninterrupted views of Table Mountain and easy access to Cape Town’s many attractions, including Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cavendish Square shopping centre, some of the Cape’s best schools and the Constantia Wine Route. Nestled on the fertile back slopes of Table Mountain, this house is set on a large one-acre property and has been designed to maximise its picturesque location. Light and space are fundamental to its design, and stacking doors link rather than divide spaces to create a comfortable flow between indoor and outdoor entertainment areas. The home’s serenity is accentuated through the use of a neutral paint palette, complemented by Pierre Cronje French oak flooring. The overall result is a meticulously planned and highly coordinated home that invites a simple and seamless lifestyle. The heart of the home is the kitchen, where a built-in Pierre Cronje unit takes pride of place. The second kitchen is decked out with black granite, Siemens appliances and a scullery and walk-in pantry. Upstairs, all four spacious bedrooms lead onto a terrace and have drop-down electronic security shutters. There's also a full studio apartment with stunning views, and a spa wing complete with Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and infra-red cabin. As well as state-of-the art security, the home has underfloor heating and airconditioning. Other features include a built-in braai area and pizza oven, a games room with fireplace, a wine cellar, double staff quarters and garages for seven cars.

n For more information contact Ingrid McFarlane: +27 (0)83 658 4267 Seeff Constantia

The garden – with its Simon Bebe-designed water features, salt-chlorinated heated pool, borehole and

Telephone: +27 (0)21 794 5252

computerised irrigation system – has staggering mountain views.

Asking price: POA

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Birthday bonanza No expense was spared as Opulent Living magazine and Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa threw a lavish party at the landmark Canal Walk hotel to mark their joint first birthdays last December.


hampagne flowed as VIP guests from the luxury, corporate and high-end travel sectors, as well as local media and advertising representatives, gathered at Cape Town's stylish Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa to celebrate Opulent Living magazine's first birthday, as well as the hotel's first year. As the sun set behind Table Mountain, more than 600 guests filed into this imposing hotel to be greeted by Opulent Living’s publisher Barbara Lenhard, editorial and creative director Florian Gast and Crystal Towers GM Gary Koetser. Celebrating not only successful first years for both its hosts, but also every aspect of

luxury living in South Africa, the night paid tribute to some of the country’s finest offerings. This included a chic brandy lounge hosted by the Brandy Foundation, where guests were able to sample some of the premium tipples on the continent. Local songbird Lindiwe Suttle provided the smooth background sounds and TV presenter Michael Mol brought his trademark charm to the role of MC. And to lend the evening true birthday style, Michael presented one lucky guest with an all-expenses-paid, five-night luxury holiday on Frégate Island in the Seychelles (sponsored by Frégate and Exclusive Serenity).


[01] Dancers from Cape Town City Ballet entertained guests. [02] Siyanda Dlamini (Protea Hotel Tygervalley), Nolufefe Mbityi (15 On Orange), Kagiso Dumasi (West Chaffeurs) and Sifiso Msibi. [03] Amelia and Mark Cheminais, Shane and Melandi Cheminais. [04] Greg and Michelle Dean (Rabie). [05] Florian Gast (Opulent Living magazine), party MC Michael Mol and Gary Koetser (Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa). [06] SABC TV presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen.


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[07] Philo Pieterse (Philo Films) and Lindsay Pieterse (BMW). [08] Silvana Bottega (SALA) with Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast (Opulent Living magazine). [09] Leon and Beverly Cohen (Rabie). [10] Romy Anderson (Location Gallery), Louis and Carolyn Prades, Bruce Anderson (Location Gallery). [11] Guests mingled in the glamorous foyer of the Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa. [12] Socialite and businesswoman Edith Venter and the designer of her dress, Kobus Dippenaar. [13] Nicholas and Tarren Barenblatt, Rebecca and Danny Bryer (Protea Hotels). [14] The beautiful birthday cake. [15] Gary Koetser (Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa), Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast (Opulent Living) with Mmadiboka Chokoe, who won the holiday on FrĂŠgate Island in the Seychelles. [16] Gordana McNamara (Chatroom). [17] Bertus & Melanie Floor (Exclusive Serenity).

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02 02







Royal run South Africa’s finest thoroughbreds and most stylish celebrities gathered at Cape Town’s Kenilworth Racecourse in January for the 150th running of the prestigious L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.


his year's L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate saw star mare Mother Russia scoop first prize from grand old man Pocket Power – who was bidding to win the historic 1 600m race for the fifth time. Off the track, a record crowd of 6 000 racegoers – all in elegant blue and white in keeping with the event’s strict dress code


– competed in the style stakes. A display of vintage cars carried through the blue and white theme while local musicians entertained crowds in the Style Lounge. Gary Player, himself a racehorse owner and breeder, added to the excitement when he announced that from 2012, the event will become an international competition.


09 [01] Television presenter Joanne Strauss. [02] Opulent Living Magazine's Florian Gast and Barbara Lenhard. [03] Model Anita Olckers and actress Vanessa Haywood. [04] The real drawcard of the day, the 150th running of the 1 600m Queen's Plate [05] The dress code was strictly blue and white. [06] Socialite Peta EggierthSymes and television anchor Jennifer Su. [07] Cricketer Jacques Kallis and sister Janine Kallis. [08] Local songbird Louise Carver. [09] Television producer and presenter Elana Afrika and actress and presenter Natalie Becker.

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From an advert published in the 1960‘s in the United States.

To book your unforgettable experience please call or email us!



African Travel

United Kingdom +44 (0)203 318 7373 United States + 1 (0)202 552 2325 South Africa +27 (0)21 300 2333 Germany +49 (0)89 210 948 94



Some of the world's most celebrated jazz musicians drew record crowds to the 12th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival, held at the city's [01] American jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding. [02] Xhosa soul singer Simphiwe Dana. [03] American saxophonist Wayne Shorter. [04] American flutist and saxophonist Hubert Laws. [05] Dancer in Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour's performance. [06] South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela. [07] The US R&B/Funk band Earth Wind & Fire.

state-of-the-art convention centre in March.


ith an impressive line-up of more than 40 international and local artists, it was no wonder that weekend passes to what’s been dubbed as ‘Africa’s Grandest Gathering’ were sold out in a flash. The two-day fest boasted headline acts such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Senegalese

singer Youssou N'Dour. South Africa’s Gang of Instrumentals and Simphiwe Dana, the reigning queen of Afro-soul, also had the crowds rapt. Star of the show, though, was legendary 77-year-old American saxophonist Wayne Shorter, who made his first appearance at the festival, to the delight of local jazz lovers.

Photographs: Courtesy of espAfrika: Terry February and Shelley Christians

Musical masterpiece






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Fashion fever Johannesburg Fashion Week was bigger and better than ever this year,


and saw local designers showcasing their Autumn/Winter 2011 collections at iconic landmarks across the city in February.


Photographs: SDR Photography


igh fashion took to the streets of Johannesburg as the city of gold was honoured as the fashion capital of Africa at a glittering week-long extravaganza. This year's event had a brand new format that aimed not only to promote local design talent but also to boost the creative energy of the historical city centre – by turning beautiful heritage venues into fashion ramps. The Johannesburg Art Gallery, the Bus Factory in Newtown, Constitution Hill and the historic Rand

Club were just some of the city landmarks transformed into fashion ramps for top names such as Spero Villioti, Suzaan Heyns, Errol Arendz, Bongiwe Walaza, Klûk CGDT and Stiaan Louw. The final show saw the talented David Tlale paying tribute to Nelson Mandela, with 92 models – one to represent each year of Madiba’s life – strutting their stuff across a runway set up on Nelson Mandela Bridge. As the last model left the runway, fireworks lit up the sky – a spectacular end to an event on a grand scale.

07 [01] Dramatic make-up complemented some of the latest winter collections. [02] The Rand Club, founded in 1887, was the opulent setting for the Klûk CGDT show. [03] A striking dress by leading haute couture label Spero Villioti. [04] LISP’s daring outfits took centre stage at the Bus Factory. [05] Make-up artists were kept busy behind the scenes. [06] Karabo Finger’s floaty yellow dresses caused a stir. [07] Black and fuchsia pink characterised the cutting-edge outfits from TART.

Opulent Living


Opulent Living Index

Find your perfect leisure or business destination

131 on Herbert Baker, Pretoria 3 15 on Orange Hotel, Cape Town 2 26 Sunset Avenue Llundudno, Cape Town 2 5 Seasons Guest House, Stellenbosch, Winelands 1 Abalone House Boutique Guesthouse, West Coast 2 Africa House at Royal Malewane, Greater Kruger 2 Andros Boutique Hotel, Claremont, Cape Town 2 AtholPlace, Sandton, Johannesburg 2 Auberge Hollandaise Guest House, Durban North 1 Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate, Hermanus 1, 2 Beverly Hills Hotel, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban 3 Bezweni Lodge, Somerset West, Cape Town 1 Birkenhead House, Hermanus 1, 2 Birkenhead Villa, Hermanus 3 Blue Gum Country Estate, Stanford, Western Cape 1 Bushmans Kloof, Cederberg, Western Cape 4 Camp Jabulani, Greater Kruger 2 Cape Grace, Cape Town 3 Chitwa Chitwa, Greater Kruger 3 Clico Guest House, Rosebank, Johannesburg 4 Clouds Estate, Stellenbosch, Winelands 1 Club Med Villas d‘Albion, Mauritius 3 Colona Castle, Lakeside, Cape Town 1 Coopmanhuijs, Stellenbosch, Winelands 3 Coral Lodge 15.41, Nampula, Mozambique 4 Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, Cape Town 3 Cybele Forest Lodge and Health Spa, Mpumalanga 4 De Kloof Luxury Estate, Swellendam, Western Cape 1 Delaire Graff Lodge & Spa, Winelands 2 Divava Okavango Lodge & Spa, Caprivi Strip, Namibia 4 Dock House Boutique Hotel & Spa, Cape Town 1 Eagles Crag Lodge, Shamwari Game Reserve 2 Earth Lodge, Greater Kruger 1 Ellerman House and Villa, Bantry Bay, Cape Town 2 Epacha Game Lodge & Spa, Etosha, Namibia 4 Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa, Johannesburg 3 Fairmont Zimbali Resort, KwaZulu-Natal 3 Falcons View Manor, Knysna, Garden Route 1 Fernwood Manor, Newlands, Cape Town 1 Gardener Ross Golf & Country Estate, Johannesburg 1 Gondwana Game Reserve, Garden Route 2 Grand Dédale Country House, Wellington, Winelands 2 Hawksmoor House, Stellenbosch, Winelands 1 Hlosi Game Lodge, Eastern Cape 3 Hotel Izulu, KwaZulu-Natal 1 Illyria House, Pretoria 1 Jack’s Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana 4 Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge, North-West 2 Karkloof Spa, KwaZulu-Natal 1, 4 Kichaka Game Lodge, Eastern Cape 1 La Montagne Private Home, Cape Town 1 La Motte, Franschhoek, Winelands 4 La Residence, Franschhoek, Winelands 1, 3 La Residence Villas, Franschhoek, Winelands 4 Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, Winelands 2 Leadwood Lodge, Tala Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal 2 Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, Greater Kruger 3 Les Villas de Beau Rivage, Mauritius 3


Opulent Living

Lily Pond Country Lodge, Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route 1 Londolozi Private Granite Suites, Greater Kruger 4 Long Beach, Mauritius 4 Majeka House, Stellenbosch, Winelands 2 Makweti Safari Lodge, Limpopo 3 Medjumbe Private Island, Quirimbas, Mozambique 4 Mont Rochelle Hotel & Mountain Vineyards, Winelands 1 Morukuru Family, Madikwe, North-West 4 Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town 1 Ngala Tented Camp, Greater Kruger 2 Nguni River Lodge, Eastern Cape 1 O on Kloof, Cape Town 2 Oliver‘s Restaurant and Lodge, Mpumalanga 3 One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius 3 Paperbark Lodge, Limpopo 2 Pezula Private Castle, Knysna, Garden Route 4 Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, Knysna, Garden Route 2 Plettenberg Park Hotel & Spa, Garden Route 2 Quarters on Avondale, Durban 2 Queen Victoria Hotel, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town 4 Rosenhof Country House, Oudtshoorn, Garden Route 2 Rovos Rail, South Africa 1, 4 Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge, Zambia 4 Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Residence, North-West 1 Royal Malewane, Greater Kruger 1 Royal Palm, Mauritius 3 Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa, Johannesburg 4 Schoone Oordt Country House, Swellendam 1 Sea Five Boutique Hotel, Camps Bay, Cape Town 2 Selati Camp, Greater Kruger 2 Shanti Maurice, Mauritius 3 Singa Lodge, Port Elizabeth 3 Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Namibia 4 St Andrews Signature Hotel & Spa, Johannesburg 2 St Francis Golf Lodge, St Francis Bay, Garden Route 1 Steenberg Hotel, Constantia, Cape Town 3 Taj Cape Town, Cape Town 2 Teremok Marine, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban 2 Thanda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal 1 The Caledon Boutique Hotel, Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal 4 The Monarch, Rosebank, Johannesburg 3 The Olive Exclusive, Windhoek, Namibia 4 The Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban 1 The Robertson Small Hotel, Robertson, Winelands 1 The Saint James on Venice, Durban 3 The Table Bay, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town 4 Thornybush Game Lodge, Greater Kruger 3 Thula Thula Safari Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal 1 Tinga Private Game Lodge, Greater Kruger 1 Tintswalo at Waterfall, Kyalami, Johannesburg 3 Tintswalo Atlantic, Hout Bay, Cape Town 1 Tintswalo Safari Lodge, Mpumalanga 2 Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa, Mauritius 4 Views Boutique Hotel & Spa, Garden Route 1 Villa Zest Boutique Hotel, Green Point, Cape Town 1 Villas Valriche, Mauritius 3 Wolwedans Boulders Camp, NamibRand, Namibia 4 Woodall Country House & Spa, Eastern Cape 1 To read about all these properties, see the online editions of Opulent Living magazine:

IMPRINT Publisher: Barbara Lenhard Editorial & Creative Director: Florian Gast Managing Editor: Michelle Snaddon Copy Editor: Anne Duncan Designer: Joanna Orr For advertising and sales please contact

Newspace Publishing CC 5a Avenue St Louis, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa, Memberships:

Issue no. 4: published in May 2011 Issue no. 5: to be published November 2011 Issue no. 6: to be published May 2012 Distribution: throughout South Africa and internationally via preferred partners · in first and business class on selected airlines · in exclusive lounges, showrooms and boutique stores · nationwide via direct mail · internationally via selected distributors Circulation: 30 000 Nominal charge: R120 Printed in South Africa by Tandym Print

Opulent Living magazine is published by Newspace Publishing CC. Copyright Newspace Publishing CC. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from Newspace Publishing or the authors. The publishers are not responsible for any unsolicited material. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Newspace Publishing or the editors. All features on hotels, lodges and estates are advertorials.

Cover images (from left to right) courtesy of: BMW, SAXON, THE HOBERMAN COLLECTION, MORUKURU, iStockphoto

A complete A-Z listing of all the properties featured in Issues 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Opulent Living Magazine.

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06.04.11 10:49

Opulent Living

Opulent Living Magazine no 4  

THE coffee-table magazine for the finer things in life - Southern Africa edition.

Opulent Living Magazine no 4  

THE coffee-table magazine for the finer things in life - Southern Africa edition.