Experiential travel, South Africa
Get up close and personal with elephants, learn kitchen secrets from a chef, hurl yourself down a snowy mountainside, paraglide into paradise – if you're after an eye-opening, mind-expanding or pulse-quickening experience, these are the hotels for you…
Spotting the signature safari stars is de rigeur in South Africa and the Big Five roll call includes rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo. Less shouted about, but often just as fascinating, are the Little Five. The buffalo weaver, elephant shrew, leopard tortoise, ant lion and rhino beetle are all much tinier than the big beasts after which they’re named, but well worth getting up close and personal with via any of our safari hotels. For the ultimate souvenir, stay at Marataba and enlist the services of wildlife photographer Pete Oxford to ensure you get the ultimate mementoes of your trip.
Move over big cats, we’re mad for the mighty pachyderms that are Africa’s largest land mammal. Visit The Crags Elephant Sanctuary and you can go on a walk with the ellies where they actually hold your hand with their trunks. Immerse yourself in their habitat around the clock with a spell at Gorah Elephant Camp. Addo National Park is home to the densest population of elephants, and Gorah is committed to the conservation of animal’s and their habitat.
Whether backdropped by lush untouched forests or taking a canopy tour through Tsitsikamma, monkey fans will enjoy all the characters that swing by to say hello along the way. Stay at Grand Café in Plettenberg and they can organise a guided trail through the mountains and fynbos at Hog Hollow on horseback. Or sign up for a whirl at Tsala Treetop Lodge and you can make like a glamorous Tarzan and Jane in your own luxe stilted hut in the forest.