Madikwe, Capetown , Franschhoek and Thorny Bush
I just returned from South Africa and it was probably the BEST trip of my life! I just love going back to Africa; there is something about this destination that draws me back time and time again. I think it’s the diverse experience and wildlife that I love, and combined with the level of luxury now offered, this trip is very difficult to top.
I started in Madikwe, which is an area in the north of the country I had not previously visited. The Camp where I stayed is called Molori, and it is often described as the “Camp David of Africa” since many regional heads of state have their private meetings in this remote yet still very luxurious lodge. It has all the amenities and technology that you would expect in a first world luxury retreat, yet it is in the middle of nowhere. I loved my stay at Molori and would highly recommend it. The staff and my guide ”Jean D” were just amazing, and they really enriched my experience there. Also, the suites were very impressive with glass walls, private viewing decks and huge private pools; just jaw dropping. This lodge easily competes with the Singita and Royal Malawane with regard to the level of service and quality of offering. I was very impressed
We then traveled to the city and stayed at Ellerman House Villa # 2. I couldn’t believe the villa could be more over the top than Molori, but it was just as impressive. The views are just gorgeous, and the design and relaxed feel of the stay is just unbeatable. Our private chef Nolo was brilliant. The villa was just so amazing that we canceled most of our dining reservations and preferred to dine in the villa. Cape Town was a lot of fun. There are new areas of the city I enjoyed exploring and there is a thriving local art scene. I also visited the One&Only Capetown and hotelier Liz Biden’s, “One Above Suite” within the hotel; also very impressive. Liz is also developing a new hotel called the Silo, which is in a reclaimed Silo building on the waterfront that is going to be attached to a new African contemporary museum. The project looks incredible and I’m sure will be a huge success.
After Capetown, I drove out to the Winelands and stayed near Franschhoek in a beautiful hotel called La Residence. This is also a Royal Portfolio hotel from Liz Biden. It was simply breathtaking and for sure the BEST hotel in the area. I spent the next few days walking through the charming town and visiting other properties such as the Delaire Graff Estate, where I had phenomenal wine tour and lunch at Indochine.
I ended my trip at my favorite Safari Lodge in South Africa, Royal Malawane, and it was as splendid as ever. This time, I got to go on a few exciting walking safaris with my guide Nick, and we ran into rhinos, hippos, Cape Buffalo and more all on foot. It was super exciting and fun.
I just love Africa. It is really my FAVORITE PLACE to visit on the planet. I could have chosen to go anywhere on this trip, which was for a special birthday, and I chose to come here. If you haven’t been, you have to go before it’s too late; man is encroaching fast and I notice this change every year I come. It’s a very sad phenomenon, as at this rate, you won’t be able to have this type of experience in five to ten years.