Think chocolates, photography, and aquamarine waters
Sundy Praia, Príncipe
This far-flung equatorial paradise is the Atlantic’s answer to Seychelles, complete with barefoot luxury
and photogenic surrounds. Dining takes place in a breathtaking
whale-like structure made entirely from bamboo, and can include a delicious seven-course chocolate-themed dinner (cocoa is the main crop on the island). Rooms are chic and secluded, in neutral tones
and resembling something from your favourite decor magazine.
Relax at the pool, swim in the sea, go turtling or diving, or hike the various peaks of Príncipe.
Good to know: Príncipe is a tiny island off Central Africa. The Chocolate Isles are arguably some of the most remote islands in the world, and Príncipe is the smaller of the two. It is accessible via
a daily direct flight from São Tomé.
Cost: Prices vary according to holiday packages, from €645 (just over R10 000) per night.
A break in the heart of the bush
Mopani Rest Camp, Kruger National Park, Limpopo
This rest camp is for guests seeking a more private and secluded experience without leaving the safety of busier, fenced rest camps behind. The atmosphere offers the illusion of being far from the crowds as cottages are surrounded by bush. Although basic, the units still offer everything required for a comfortable getaway.
The rest camp includes a swimming pool for the warmer months, and a restaurant overlooks Pioneer Dam. This is the perfect location for sipping sundowners while enjoying wildlife and bird sightings. An added bonus is the short trail adjacent to the dam, which starts near the restaurant deck and gets you level with the water – ideal for beautiful sunset photos.
Good to know: While sightings are not as plentiful as in the southern section of the park, elephants are abundant here.
Cost: R2 492 for the first four people. The guest cottages can accommodate six. Extra adults pay R465 while extra children can be accommodated for R233.
The hub of Hluhluwe
Lalapanzi Camp, Bonamanzi Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal
“A young girl climbed into a tree one day a princess and, after having what she described as her most thrilling experience, she climbed down from the tree next day a queen,” – Jim Corbett, Queen Elizabeth II’s bodyguard, commenting on her ascension to the British throne.
Bonamanzi was the filming location for the Netflix series, The Crown. In season one, Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, travel to Kenya and stay at Treetops Hotel. The hotel has been replicated at Bonamanzi, and guests can enjoy sundowners in its stunning surrounds. Lalapanzi is a mere stone’s throw from Hluhluwe, the pineapple capital of South Africa. It is a hub of guest activity, from film crews, government officials, wedding guests and conference delegates to happy campers and passionate birders.
Habituated nyala surround the camp and there are loads of beautiful ilala palms on the property. The reserve boasts critically endangered sand forest as well as grassland vegetation, making it a birding hotspot, and home to the rosy-throated longclaw and other ‘lifers’.
Good to know: The camp has everything guests need to relax, including a swimming pool, air conditioning and a well-stocked bar. Guided walks, boat cruises and game drives are offered separately, and Bonamanzi is home to four of the Big Five (lion are excluded). Campsites are not fenced, and guests are advised to watch out for crocodile near the dam.
Cost: From R1 595 per person sharing.
A riverside escape
Limpopo River Lodge, Tuli Block, Botswana
This tranquil and romantic hideaway is perched on the northern bank of the Limpopo River. If chalet number four is available, book it for the most privacy and views stretching a few hundred metres upstream. The rondavels have a well-equipped kitchen including crockery, cutlery, cooking utensils, a gas stove and a fridge. The kitchen is open to the bush, so watch out for opportunistic vervet monkeys looking for a quick meal. The large trees along the river are perfect for the elusive Pel’s fishing owl while other visitors could include antelope, elephant, leopard, cheetah and lion. Limpopo River Lodge is just four and a half hours from Johannesburg and is one of the most relaxing riverside escapes in
Good to know: While we had no trouble getting there in a Renault Sandero Stepway in April, a 4×4 is recommended in the rainy season. Consult the lodge before you go about whether the Platjan border post
is in use, as this low-lying river crossing could be submerged.
Cost: Approximately R1 000 per person sharing per night to stay in the rondavels.
Book: www.limpoporiverlodge.co.za or email email@example.com. Tel: +26 77 210 6098
African wilderness reborn
Nungubane Game Lodge, Welgevonden Game Reserve, Limpopo
Nungubane Game Lodge offers a unique safari adventure for the discerning traveller to experience the raw beauty of Africa. Nungubane is set high in the rolling hills of the Welgevonden Game Reserve, which is considered to be one of the most spectacular and breathtaking wilderness areas in South Africa.
The main lodge comprises an intimate lounge, bar and dining room as well as an outdoor dining facility with spectacular views of the valleys below. There are five well-appointed chalets consisting of king-size or single beds with bathroom en-suite, outdoor shower, air conditioning, overhead fan and a tea/coffee station. Each chalet comes with its own private deck commanding striking panoramic views of rolling hills and valleys. Scrumptious, wholesome home-cooked meals and congeniality are the hallmark of the relaxing Nungubane experience.
Good to Know: Nungubane Game Lodge is located in the malaria-free rolling hills of the Welgevonden Game Reserve, some 3 hours and 45 minutes by car from Johannesburg, or 45 minutes by air. It is renowned for its spectacular scenery as well as rhino and cheetah sightings.
In the heart of Zululand
Firefly Farm Cabin, St Lucia,KwaZulu-Natal
Firefly Farm Cabin lies in the heart of tribal Zululand in the iSimangaliso Wetland Area, overlooking the greater St Lucia Lake. The farm is the perfect, rustically romantic spot from where to explore the nearby Hluhluwe and iSimangaliso regions and its spectacular birdlife, cultural vibe and natural beauty – all without breaking the bank.
The self-catering cabin comfortably sleeps two, plus a pull-out couch can accommodate close friends or small kids. The wraparound deck allows you to kick off your shoes and soak in the surrounds. If you’re lucky, you will spot flocks of pelicans and pink flamingos flying by as dusk settles. At night, a starlight spectacle will keep you captivated. And on those overcast evenings, lightning and the sound of the rolling African drums of thunder will lull you to sleep.
Good to know: A variety of pets live and roam freely on the farm, and traffic jams consist of traditional herders leading home their cattle.
Cost: R800 per night for the entire cabin.
Book: https://firefly-farm-self-catering-accommodation.business.site or phone Lawrie on +27 83 777 6206