South Africa is a stunning location, which serves as the perfect destination for a getaway, whether it is romantic, for the family, involving business, or geared to get your adrenaline pumping. At the end of every day, after hours spent building precious memories comes the time when you need to kick off your shoes, relax, take a deep breath and get some shut-eye. For the discerning traveller, I have put together a list of my Top 10 hotels in South Africa.
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Inspired Living SA Travel Blog brings you great travel adventures from South Africa, as well as International destinations. You will find out more about the fantastic travel opportunities within the Western Cape and the greater South Africa. Read articles featuring the amazing places I have travelled, as well as what is on my Travel Bucket List.
During the October school holidays we decided to do something a bit different for our family getaway – let’s just say we all like our creature comforts. So we did our version of getting in touch with nature and stayed at the eco-friendly Black Eagle Lodge. There is no electricity in the cottages but they have solar power for lighting and gas for heating water and cooking. I hate to sound like a sissy but camping is not my cup of tea and this is as close as we will probably get to roughing-it!
Black Eagle Lodge is situated off the N2, just before the town of Caledon, nestled in the Overberg Mountains. The drive, from Cape Town, takes you past the turn-off to Hermanus and Botriver, this area is beautiful and mostly farming country. The Overberg has always been one of our favourite places to holiday and spend time exploring. The area has great accommodation and an abundance of great restaurants and wine farms.
The Villa accommodation was luxurious but understated and with its stone-clad exterior blended well into its surroundings. The view from the Villa, was totally amazing, the landscape spreads like a tapestry, of colour, in front of you and all you can hear are the calls from the abundant bird-life in the area. It truly was a return to nature!
The working farm which surrounds you is magnificently kept and boasts wheat fields, flocks of sheep and herds of feisty looking cattle. All there is to do, is leave the city behind you and submerge yourself in the relaxed atmosphere and explore the natural world around you.
Activities on the farm include mountain biking, hiking, fly-fishing, hunting for lizards with the kids and spot the Black Eagles. The stars at night are breath-taking and we spent many a night sitting outside, next to a blazing fire, sipping good wine!
Although you feel like you are completely secluded from the hustle and bustle of city life, you are centrally positioned for fun day trips. We decided to venture out one day and take a trip to Hermanus. En-route to Hermanus, we took a trip through the Hemel-en Aarde valley. The Valley boasts some amazing wine farms – such as Hamilton Russell , Bouchard Finlayson and Whalehaven; a boutique vineyard – to name but a few.
Hermanus, is a beautiful sea side town which we love visiting and if you are lucky you may get to see a few whales when you are there. If you are planning a trip there, the end of September is a good time to go, they host the annual Whale festival then – which is a great deal of fun! It can get very busy during this time, so pre-booking accomodation is essential. There are great restaurants in the area as well – most of them, with a view of the sea. Another popular, rather quaint town to visit in the area is Greyton.
So if you are looking for a relaxing, reinvigorating break, then Black Eagle Lodge, in the Overberg is the place to go!
Images: ©FAR Photography
What a beautiful weekend we just experienced in the Cape – the weather was truly glorious and it called for a much needed outdoor adventure! So on Sunday morning we packed the bikes and a picnic lunch and headed off to Cape Point. Cape Point as I mentioned before is one of the many attractions you can enjoy when visiting Cape Town.
Cape Point Meander
Named the ‘Cape of Storms’ by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488; the ‘Point’ was treated with respect by sailors for centuries. By day, it was a navigational landmark and by night, and in fog, it was a menace beset by violent storms and dangerous rocks that over the centuries littered shipwrecks around the coastline.
Once we got there the girls and the Dads set off on a bike ride and the mums took a leisurely drive to the “Thomas Tucker Shipwreck Trail”. We spent some time soaking up, the peace and tranquility of the beautiful setting, while waiting for the troops to return – from their bike ride.
After their 10 kilometre bike ride, we all set off on a meander along the beach trail. We had the pleasure of viewing a mother Seal basking in the sun, what a life! We also caught a glimpse of her pup frolicking in the waves – what a joy to see!
We also managed to see an array of bright spring flowers, a rather interesting looking Lizard, Bontebok, Ostriches and a troop of Baboons, what a privilege to see all these animals and striking vegetation, right on our own doorstep! After our walk we enjoyed a much needed picnic lunch and cold refreshments. What a glorious day out!
Entrance Fees: Children (age 6-16) and pensioners: R24 (return) | R18 (single), Adult: R58 (return) / R48 (single)
Images: © Fiona Rossiter from Inspired Living
Seen as we have a rather big wedding anniversary coming up at the end of this year, 15 years to be exact and two 40th Birthdays looming in the not too distant future – I feel that a special, romantic, holiday is definitely on the cards. Yes that means travel sans children!
My Travel Wishlist
As both my hubby and I really enjoy cooking, eating and wine tasting, the idea of a “foodie” holiday is rather appealing. During our search, for the perfect place, we came across a website that offers just this sort of thing. The site is called “Tasting Places”, they offer “food holidays”: mainly to areas in Italy but also to Spain, France and Thailand. They also offer “bespoke” holidays, which they will tailor to your needs.
The specific tasting experience that caught our eye is in Mairena, Southern Spain: “Cooking with Sam Clark”. This holiday would afford us the opportunity of a unique holiday destination, as we have never been to Spain before, as well as rather different culinary experience. Your journey will take you to Mairena, a small local village set high up, in the remote location of the Alpujarras, the mountainous region which stretches south from the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Typical Local Village
The chef presenting this “Spanish Experience” is “Sam Clark”; he runs an award-winning restaurant in London, along with his wife Samantha. The restaurant is called “Moro” and is well known for its delicious, authentically Spanish food. “The Clarks”, a British couple, as newlyweds, spent time travelling through Spain and Morocco in a camper van. On this adventure they learnt as much as they could about the cuisine and tastes, in these areas. They then went on to open their highly acclaimed restaurant, Moro.
So what can we expect from this gastronomic experience? The website, “Tasting Places”, promises an “informal yet intensive exploration of inspirational cooking”, which sounds like exactly what we would enjoy. Combined with the beauty of the country setting, the promise of wine tasting and a demo of cheese making – what more could you ask for.
Some of the dishes you will learn how to prepare and taste are: CAZÓN EN ADOBO -marinated fried fish, REMOJÓN -orange & cod salad, TORTILLADE PATATAS -potato cake and ROSCOS -round aniseed fritters – it all sounds mouth-watering! Sam’s recipes are said to reflect his love of Spanish food, especially Alpujarran food but he is also known to draw on influences from North Africa. It sounds like an altogether inspiring and enlightening experience.
Well this is definitely at the top of my travel wishlist! Hopefully we will make it there soon and I can bring back tales and photographs of my travels.
For costs and more details on this and their other “foodie holidays”, have a look at the website: “Tasting Places.”
On our last trip up the West Coast, of Cape Town, we visited the seaside town of Langebaan. Which we frequent because of the lovely beach-side cafes and restaurant’s to dine in. We were fortunate enough to witness, an extraordinary sunset when we arrived; I grabbed the opportunity and shot some wonderful photographs. I love capturing sunsets; there is something truly magical about them and I am always left in awe of the magnitude of beauty that surrounds us.
Image Source : ©FAR Photography by Supermom