South Africa is ‘best of the best’ place to visit

7 January 2014

Of the 12 “best of the best” places travel editors recommend you visit in 2014, three are in South Africa.

Compiled by the travel team at Andrew Harper for the Daily Beast, an American news reporting and opinion website that attracts around 15 million unique visitors a month, the list singles out “particularly memorable hotels and experiences” from their travels last year to help you plan your holidays in 2014.

From “finding a beautiful beach on an uninhabited island in Puerto Rico to drinking with a whiskey sommelier at a bar in South Africa”, the list includes restaurants, spas and adventures.

South Africa is highlighted for:

Best wildlife experience: Leopard tracking at Kwandwe private game reserve, Eastern Cape

Andrew Harper’s editors say their breath was taken away by an unforgettable sighting: “During our stay at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve … lions, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos all obligingly appeared as if on cue. But, as is often the case, leopards were nowhere to be seen.

“Then, late one morning, our ranger’s radio crackled with news: a leopard had been sighted entering a ravine not far away. In tandem with another vehicle, we began to search. Time passed, and it seemed that the animal must have eluded us. But then, scanning the 500th tree with binoculars, we found ourselves staring into tawny yellow eyes glaring crossly down at us.”

Best wine tasting: Groot Constantia, Cape Town, Western Cape

The editors describe Groot Constantia, the winery in Cape Town’s southern suburbs where wine production first began, as a “handsome facility that would put many Napa wineries to shame”.

They highlight the 2012 Blanc de Noir and the 2010 Gouverneurs Reserve and reminds visitors to taste “the coveted Grand Constance, a sweet wine of great distinction”.

Best bar: Bascule Bar at the Cape Grace, Cape Town, Western Cape

“Among the many pleasures of a stay at the Cape Grace hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, one stands out: there is no more alluring stop before or after dinner than the extraordinary Bascule Bar, tucked below the hotel’s restaurant,” the Andrew Harper editors write.

Especially impressed by the “trove of more than 500 whiskies”, the editors say they especially enjoyed the opportunity to taste the local South African product. “We also heartily recommend the tastings under the tutelage of a whiskey sommelier, which are easily scheduled with the concierge.”

SAinfo reporter