After a whistle stop tour of the Waterberg, Cape Town and the Winelands I am just catching my breath and reflecting on the experiences I packed into eight glorious days in South Africa. For anyone looking to inject some adventure into a holiday, South Africa is the destination for you.
Leobo Private Reserve
I started off with an adrenaline fuelled weekend at Leobo Private Reserve; a stunningly beautiful lodge set in 12,000 acres in the malaria-free Waterberg. Leobo can be all things to all people, perfect for those seeking crazy adventure but equally perfect as a tranquil and secluded haven in which to sit back, relax and get away from it all. We chose the more upbeat experience with days spent choppering, quad biking and hiking around the reserve punctuated, of course, by stopping for lunch, sundowners and dinner in various magical spots, as hippos wallowed and warthog played nearby. One of the most spectacular things about Leobo and the Waterberg, however, is the vast open skies. There were some of most magnificent sunsets I have ever seen and, for any budding astronomers out there, Leobo has an amazing observatory with a research grade, fully automated 20 inch telescope. Fabulous for a night sky safari!
Next on to Cape Town. It had been a little while since I had been back but I was there for the WEAREAFRICA trade event, catching up with all the lodge and hotel owners, representational companies and generally learning about new developments within Africa's tourism industry. One of the most exciting being the development of The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz Mocaa). This fabulous addition to the V&A Waterfront is coming to Cape Town in 2017 and the historic Grain Silo is already undergoing renovation. Africa's first major museum of contemporary Art will be a real boon for South Africa individually and Africa as a continent. I digress - back to the adventure! There is a veritable smorgasbord of activities on offer in Cape Town, from snorkelling with seals to helicopter flips over Robin Island and early morning yoga at Cape Town Aquarium. For anyone not willing to for-go the exercise regime while on holiday, there can be few more spectacular places for a morning run than along the trail to Lion's Head in time for sunrise. Peaking at 669 metres above sea level this mountain offers magical views across the city. To the water there are countless activities but a real highlight has to be hiring a paddle board and making your way around the V&A waterfront; Cape Town from a completely different perspective.
The Winelands and Cape
The final stop off on my South African tour was the Winelands and Cape where, you guessed it, the wine-tastic activities are aplenty. For a wine tour with a difference channel your inner cowboy and head out on horseback. It's a wonderful way of exploring the undulating vineyards and landscapes without needing to worry about a designated driver! For those who prefer transport without a mind of its own a cycling tour of the Winelands, or indeed the Cape as a whole, is a great option, taking in amazing scenery and wildlife as you go.
So there you have it, how to pack some serious adventure into your South Africa holiday.