Whether it’s a special anniversary shared with your nearest and dearest or a milestone birthday spent with friends, try our pick of getaways perfect to commemorate big occasions.
Get away from it all
In the heart of the Madikwe Game Reserve you’ll find the spectacular Jaci’s Safari Lodge, a bush retreat that’s flawlessly fashionable yet deeply relaxed.
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Inside story From the entrance gates, Jaci’s Safari Lodge is completely out of sight. It’s only as you cross the swing bridge that you’ll catch a glimpse of the cleverly disguised, wooden main structure. The lodge’s decor isn’t what you’d expect to see at a bush getaway; in fact, the only earth tones you’ll see here are outdoors. Instead, Jaci’s Safari Lodge has lime and purple statement walls, couches covered in bold citrus with splashes of fuchsia. Your room for the night showcases the perfect combination of authentic bush-stay and hotel-style smarts. An outdoor shower completes the bush experience, but the oversized mosaicked bath is the star of the show.
Step out Although morning and evening game drives are the real drawcards here, there’s plenty more to tick off on your to-do list. Walk to the nearby hide, which overlooks a watering hole and the wetland area – there’s even a four-poster bed at the hide if you’re brave enough to spend the night out (at an extra charge). Stay closer to home and spend the afternoon relaxing with a book by the pool.
Eat and drink Meals are scheduled to fit around your plans and each plate of food is created with seasonal ingredients in mind. An African-inspired dinner under the stars is a crowd-pleasing option, as is a night around the fire in the boma.
How much? From R7 965ppspn, including brunch, afternoon tea, dinner and two game drives daily, as well as selected house drinks. For more information, see jacislodges.co.za/accommodation/jacis-safari-lodge
What dreams are made of
Sun, sand and sea are the chief ingredients for a special holiday. Upon viewing D3 Sea Lodge in Umhlanga, it’s clear the owners have created a perfect recipe just for you.
Inside story This luxury self-catering duplex, with sweeping ocean views from the upstairs patio and direct access to Umhlanga Rock’s main bathing beach, is an ideal seaside pad to share with friends. The apartment sleeps six and has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a fully fitted kitchen, open-plan lounge and private garden. Little extras like free Wi-Fi make all the difference.
Step out Days are best spent soaking up the rays with a good read or sipping iced tea under an umbrella while you listen to the waves crash. Greet the dusk with a cocktail as you watch the sun set over the ocean, or take a twilight stroll along the beach with your besties. For retail therapy, nearby Gateway mall has what you’re looking for and uShaka Marine World is not to be missed.
Eat and drink Treat yourself to high tea in the Palm Court at the nearby Oyster Box Hotel, where you’ll sit under a canopy of chandeliers and listen to the soothing melody of the resident pianist.
How much? From R2 450pn for the apartment on a self-catering basis. For more information, see sealodge-umhlanga.co.za
Up the faraway tree
If you grew up reading Enid Blyton’s The Enchanted Wood, then the idea of staying high up under a canopy of trees is a childhood fantasy – one that gets a grown-up spin with the luxury tree-house accommodation at Vindoux Tree House Guest Farm & Spa, minutes away from the historic town of Tulbagh.
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Inside story Situated on a working fruit farm, with breathtaking views of the orchards and Saronsberg Mountain, the romantic Luxury Tree Houses each sleep two guests. Picture sipping Champagne and relaxing under a froth of bubbles in an indulgent spa bath by candlelight – bliss! Or wait for the stars to make their late-night showing, while you enjoy a sundowner on your tree-top deck.
Step out Tulbagh is renowned for housing some of the most amazing wine farms in gorgeous surrounds.
Eat and drink Take a gourmet picnic basket filled with a selection of cold meats, cheese, coronation chicken and salad, then venture to the orchard, or choose to have a romantic three-course dinner delivered straight to your door.
How much? From R2 050pn for two people sharing the Luxury Tree House, including breakfast. For more information, see vindoux.com