Planning a holiday during the warmer months of the year? Here are some great summer travel destinations to consider for that perfect getaway experience.
Indulging in a cocktail by the pool as the Zambezi glides past, you’ll lose your heart to Zambia. With some of the sunniest skies and people around, Zambia is the go-to destination to experience the true heart of Africa. Only a few kilometres upstream from Victoria Falls, David Livingstone Safari Lodge is positioned alongside the Zambezi, and you can enjoy a view of the beautiful river from your private balcony. Take a cruise on the elegant Lady Livingstone ferry while soaking up the sun and marimba music on the deck. Snap hippos yawning after afternoon siestas, watch elephants browsing along the banks and spot giraffes towering above the trees, all the while sipping an obligatory G&T (they keep the mozzies away, you know!). The lodge has delicious dinners, and you can sample authentic Zambian cuisine such as bream, Afro-Arabian fusion dishes, or home favourites, too.
Accommodation includes breakfast daily and shuttles to Victoria Falls. Visit thedavidlivingstone.com for more. Airlink flies from Johannesburg direct to Nelspruit and connects to Livingstone, Zambia, with flights five days a week. The airline also offers daily direct flights from Nelspruit to Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Call 011 451 7300 or visit flyairlink.com.
April is the perfect time for a Mauritian getaway, with temperatures ranging between 26 and 32 degrees. Because it’s so easy to get to from here, a large number of visitors to Mauritius are South African. Located on the north coast of Mauritius, LUX* Grand Gaube Hotel is a tranquil escape that revives the most stressed out of minds. This five-star resort has everything from a cinema, 24-hour room service, a choice of three restaurants and two bars, to free WiFi throughout the resort and a driving range. Be sure to stop by the LUX* Me Spa which offers visitors, among other things, a sauna, hairdresser and hot tubs. There’s also a gym and a variety of land and water sports to choose from. And the hotel’s restaurants serve up delicious meals made using locally sourced produce. There’s so much to do, that you’ll almost have no reason to leave the resort! Grand Baie and Port Louis are an easy drive from LUX*’ Grand Gaube, and they boast a variety of markets and restaurants. Packages include seven nights at LUX* Grande Gaube, breakfast and dinner daily, and return flights to Mauritius on Air Mauritius.
When it’s not hot in Mozambique, it’s scorching! But when the weather is just right – cool in the evenings, toasty during the day, with warm sand that your feet can melt into without burning, then it’s pure magic. In Inhambane, luxurious Massinga Beach Lodge has some of the best views around. Beaches stretch as far as the eye can see. Massinga Beach is a tranquil paradise, far from civilisation and shrouded by a forest of palm trees. Warm, clear water splashes in and out of rock pools, where you can spend hours snorkelling and spotting different coral and fish. From the luxurious chalets perched atop the sandbank, you can indulge in the view from your private splash pool. You’ll have a hard time leaving the spacious luxury of your chalet, with its 180-degree views, and giant bed, even just to take the stairs down to the beach and bar directly below. Massinga is a seven- to eight-hour drive from Maputo, or airport transfers can be arranged from Inhambane at an additional cost. Visit massingabeach.co.za or contact 011 796 5029 for more.
For a romantic escape on a silky beach, Azanzi is the ideal Indian Ocean island getaway. Up the north eastern coast of Zanzibar, the crystal sea surrounds this luxury boutique beach hotel. The azure swimming pool, with its wooden deck, beckons, and multi-tiered dining areas contribute to the relaxed feel. The waters are perfect for diving and snorkelling. But don’t miss a trip to Stone Town, Livingstone House, Fumba Village, and the sandbanks of Zanzibar. Enjoy gourmet seafood lunches, dolphin watching, a sundowner dhow cruise and a visit to a spice farm where you’ll learn the fascinating history of the spice trade. The Holiday Factory offers seven nights at Azanzi including return flights, transfers, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, house wines, local beers and soft drinks.
For bookings, contact 011 233 2300 or visit holidayfactory.co.za.
Sip sangria in the shady courtyard of an impressive hacienda, shop in the Boqueira Market in Barcelona or soak up the eternal summer of Spain on the Costa del Sol. Spain’s coastline enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, so it’s the perfect place to chase the sun. Munch delicious paella, dance the Flamenco, and quaff the wines grown in La Rioja in the north. Spain has produced world-renowned painters ranging from classical Velazquez to surrealist Picasso, so of course Madrid has some of the finest art museums in the world.
Trafalgar’s 15-day Best of Spain guided tour includes hotel accommodation with breakfast daily, seven dinners, fantastic sightseeing and a wonderful range of Trafalgar Insider Experiences, such as a personalised dinner at an olive oil mill. Visit trafalgar.com or contact 011 280 8400.
Only 12 km from Livingstone, in the midst of the lush bush of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Thorntree River Lodge is the most romantic hideaway Zambia has to offer. Here you can walk with young lions and experience their antics, feed the elephants or hitch a ride on one as you explore the bush. With secluded huts built right on the waters of the Zambezi, you can dip your toes in below (but look out for crocodiles!). With only nine secluded rooms perched along the river, Thorntree River Lodge is one for those seeking peace and quiet in the most soothing setting. Take in the majesty of the nearby falls by hiking through the rain forest. Or simply relax drinking a cup of tea on your patio with the river sashaying softly by. With no-one around and the Zambian bush enveloping you, it’ll feel like your very own kingdom.
The humbling Victoria Falls, the popular national parks of the Luangwa and Zambezi Valleys, thrilling adventure activities and game viewing, make Zambia one of Africa’s greatest destinations. Accommodation includes three meals a day, house wines and local beverages, airport transfers and one activity a day. Visit thorntreeriverlodge.co.za for more. Getting to Zambia is easy with Airlink, which connects via Nelspruit, where travellers can also visit the Kruger National Park. Call 011 4517300 or visit flyairlink.com.
With its soft sand, lush green vegetation and clear, calm water, Phuket is a smart choice for a pre-winter break. Mom Tri’s Villa Royale, perched on a headland overlooking the Andaman Sea and white sandy Kata Beach, is romantically secluded. It offers fine dining, and amazing service, and may be one of Phuket’s last private hideaways. Distinctive Thai-style buildings, authentic Thai antiques and art, panoramic sea views and lush tropical gardens create an atmosphere of calm and tranquillity. A private path from the hotel leads to the sugar-white beach and turquoise water of Kata Noi Beach.
Contact 011 233 2300 or visit holidayfactory.co.za for more.