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The ultimate South African luxury travel bucket list

From opulent safari stays and close wildlife encounters to wellness wonders and fine dining fare, this South African luxury travel bucket list counts the best luxe experiences you’ll find on our shores…

A meal at The Test Kitchen

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Photo by Justin Patrick

With a waiting list at over 3 months long, and bookings only open for short periods, during the year, The Test Kitchen has long been the top of every South African Foodie’s list. A meal at this restaurant is beyond food, it’s an experience that pulls on every sense of your body, moving between rooms.

Luke Dale-Roberts, the talented chef steering this gourmet ship, allows his creative spirit to unfold on every plate. The whimsical culmination of sight, smell and taste need to be experienced to be believed!

A journey on Rovos Rail

Renowned as the world’s most luxurious train, Rovos Rail is the epitome of traditional hospitality coupled with elegant opulence. Guests step back into a world fashioned on strong tradition kept alive through the etiquette of ceremony that each and every member of staff fastidiously upholds.

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The sense of decorum is a highlight for guests, donning fine outfits to join others for dinner aboard the train, or settling back into the comfortable wingback chairs of the lounge car with a gin and tonic in hand. Mobile devices and laptops are not allowed in common areas, making it a good opportunity to detox from your email inbox.

A flight through the Winelands

The Cape Winelands is a destination that sees thousands of international visitors each year, moving from estate to estate to sample the best wines South Africa has to offer. Take the experience up a notch, and instead of being chauffeured between each estate, take to the skies in a helicopter.

Wine Flies offers Wine Tours of the various Cape Winelands regions. All you need is choose your region and your guide will take care of the rest. Scenic flights over the lush Winelands are for private bookings only, and include either breakfast or lunch, as well as a set of wine tastings at some of the best wine farms.

A stay at Oceana Beach and Wildlife Resort


Stretching across kilometres of pristine Eastern Cape coastline, Oceana Beach and Wildlife Resort offers a combination of beach and bush. Guests here will have access to secluded beaches, wildlife sightings in the surrounding reserve and get absolutely spoilt at the same time.

The Ocean Suites here offer panoramic views over the Indian Ocean and lush reserve, offering a large indoor outdoor lounge and deck area. Private dining, beach picnics and exceptional cuisine is of course on offer, plus a spa and wellness centre to really work out the knots!

A treatment at Babylonstoren Garden Spa

If you have visited the magical and expansive gardens at Babylonstoren, you’ll know that everything here flows around the seasonal plants that grow here. As such, these seasonal rhythms translate themselves into the wellness philosophies of the Garden Spa too.

The enclosed bamboo treatment pavilions allow for privacy while allowing the spirit of the surrounding gardens to creep in through smell, sight and sound. The relaxing sounds of birds chirping permeate the spa.


South Africa has many more exclusive luxury experiences to offer but this is just the beginning of a wonderful adventure!

Written by: Kate Els

Images: Supplied

Featured Image: Shutterstock

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