October 29, 2018
The Very Best of South Africa: Safaris, Luxury, Culture & More
Artisans of Leisure’s private luxury South Africa tours showcase the best of the country’s rich diversity of experiences, including stunning landscapes, extraordinary wildlife, historic cities and UNESCO World Heritage sites, renowned vineyards, gourmet dining and world-class accommodation.
Many of our South Africa tours begin with several days in the beautiful Cape Winelands. A wonderful place to relax and recover from jetlag, the Winelands is a rural region of vineyard-draped hillsides, striking mountains, excellent restaurants and charming towns with Cape Dutch architecture.
La Residence is one of our favorite luxurious retreats in the Winelands. Vineyards, gardens, upscale farm-to-table dining, private wine tasting and lavish interiors make it perfect for a romantic retreat.
This is a view of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain. Artisans of Leisure arranges private, customized tours of Cape Town and its environs…
…including excursions in the beautiful natural landscape…
…and exploring the iconic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The historic port is now home to a variety of attractions, shopping, fine dining and luxury accommodation.
The Silo Hotel, one of our preferred Cape Town luxury hotels, has magnificent views, excellent dining and a distinctive style. Original industrial elements contrast with luxurious fabrics and colorful decor, and the bulging windows were inspired by the shape of grain kernels, a nod to the building’s past as a grain silo.
The Silo Hotel is above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), the largest museum in the world dedicated to contemporary African art.
For travelers who prefer a more Old World style, the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is characterized by sophisticated elegance with English-style gardens and Victorian architecture that has been painted pink since 1918.
The traditional afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel is legendary.
A highlight of Cape Town is visiting the vast Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, one of the world’s most acclaimed botanical gardens.
Kirstenbosch is celebrated for the conservation of fynbos, the shrubby heathland plants indigenous to the Cape region.
Pictured here is some of the beautiful protea in the Kirstenbosch Gardens.
touring options we arrange around Cape Town include scenic helicopter flights, an excursion to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned), philanthropic touring in nearby townships, Jewish touring, visiting wineries, excursions to view wildlife and drives along dramatic coastal roads.
One of our favorite scenic drives passes through charming coastal villages to Hermanus and Gansbaai.
These are premier destinations for whale watching and shark diving cruises.
Other outdoor activities in the area include private excursions to penguin colonies, horseback riding on the beach, bird watching, private boat cruises, hiking and biking.
One of our favorite places to stay in the area is Grootbos Private Nature Preserve. The luxurious lodge has stunning views of the mountains, forest and sea, and is a great place to relax and take in the beautiful landscapes.
A highlight of any trip to South Africa is, of course, a luxury safari. Artisans of Leisure tours include South Africa’s top safari lodges and wildlife viewing in the best private game reserves and national parks in the country.
We book the top safari lodges in South Africa, including the renowned Singita properties, which have beautiful decor and incomparable locations in Sabi Sand Reserve and Kruger National Park.
Artisans of Leisure can arrange private trackers and safari vehicles, as well as walking and horseback safaris.
We know the best places in Africa to see a high density and wide diversity of extraordinary wildlife up close.
A highlight of the safari experience is seeing charismatic animals, especially the Big Five (leopards, lions, elephants, rhinos and Cape buffalo), during game drives.
Singita Lebombo is one of our preferred luxury safari lodges in Kruger National Park.
Exceptional food and wine is part of the luxury safari experience and we can arrange private dinners, wine tastings with a sommelier, upscale picnics in the bush and private cooking classes with an expert chef.
Many of our preferred luxury lodges use colors and textures from the surrounding landscape to create elegant spaces for indoor-outdoor living.
In addition to game drives, we can also arrange activities such as learning about animal conservation and visiting local communities and schools.
Lavish, eclectic interiors by one of South Africa’s most notable interior designers characterize Royal Malewane, a favorite lodge in a private game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park.
Artisans of Leisure arranges private charter flights to safari destinations such as Tswalu in the Kalahari Desert. The unique ecosystems—grasslands, salt pans and mountains—of the vast reserve support an exceptional diversity of animals. Tswalu is also malaria-free, perfect for those who prefer not to take malaria medication while traveling.
Many travelers opt to sleep outside at Tswalu to take in the incredible night sky.
Artisans of Leisure can arrange a wide variety of activities to suit all interests, such as private tracking lessons with a ranger, hot-air ballooning, stargazing, archery and excursions to see ancient San Bushmen rock art.
The Saxon Hotel is one of our favorite hotels in Johannesburg. Located in an exclusive neighborhood and surrounded by acres of gardens, it was originally a private home that hosted Nelson Mandela when he wrote his autobiography.
Cultural touring in Johannesburg includes private excursions to the city’s best galleries, designer shops, local African craft markets, the Apartheid Museum and an insider’s tour of Soweto.
Also nearby is the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage site where some of the oldest-known fossils in the world were found. We can arrange for our travelers to see highlights of the area, including the Sterkfontein Cave and excavation site, or enjoy a private tour with a paleoanthropologist.