December 16, 2020

South Africa — A Rainbow nation retreat

Chris Vorster


Electrical Engineer

South Africa — A Rainbow nation retreat

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Lightyear Journeys is a monthly evolving selection of trips to fuel your wanderlust. Always within Lightyear One’s 725km range, it’s a carefully curated selection of eco-luxury trips and destinations.

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South Africa more affectionately known as the Rainbow Nation is a vibrant and enchanting destination. This route captures the country’s diversity on scenic routes combining dramatic ocean views meandering through winelands with South African hospitality and the people.

Lightyear One journeys at Table Mountain, in South Africa
Postcard view of Table Mountain.

This Journey starts in Cape Town on Bloubergstrand, a beautiful beach on the outskirts of Cape Town with a postcard view of the majestic Table Mountain complimented by a taste of local cuisine. We leave the cosmopolitan Mother city and head out on a coastal route which takes us through farmlands and fruit orchards to a historic, winery and lunch spot. Vivid scenes from mountain passes form the frame for the final part of the route ending in Walker Bay.

Pack your sunscreen, buckle up and come enjoy everything Mzansi has to offer.

Lightyear One journeys in South Africa

Stay — Grootbos

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” — African proverb

In 1994 Michael Lutzeyer sold his business interests in Cape Town and decided to develop Grootbos for locals, not knowing that soon he would be attracting visitors from across the globe. The family goes beyond simply conserving this pristine wilderness. They’re constantly researching, innovating and pioneering new ways of doing things, and winning many eco-tourism awards along the way. The reserve offers a chance to immerse yourself in the unique fynbos kingdom and ancient forest of Grootbos, featuring 800 plant species, 118 bird species, 29 mammals and 21 amphibians – some of which are under threat of extinction.

Eat — Upper Bloem, Cape Town

Lightyear One journeys at Upper Bloem, Cape Town, in South Africa

The menu is heavily inspired by chef André Hill’s childhood memories of growing up on Upper Bloem Street in the historic Bo-Kaap. With its ever-changing and various seasonally inspired dishes, Upper Bloems approach extends beyond simply using local produce. It creatively refers to the uniqueness of Cape Town, drawing inspiration from the port city’s mix of cultures and the influence that they have on local cuisine.

Lightyear One journeys at Kaap die Goeie Hoop, in South Africa

Do — Hike at Kaap die Goeie Hoop

Kaap die Goeie Hoop is the home of the Flying Dutchman, a legendary ghost ship which was said to never be able to make port, doomed to sail the oceans forever. As one of the great capes of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope has long been of special significance to sailors, many of whom refer to it simply as "the Cape".

But we’ve come to know it as a beautiful Nature Reserve with a great variety of flora and fauna. Baboons, sea lions, zebra’s and over 260 different bird species roam here. There are great hikes available at the Buffelsfontein Visitors Centre that will take you through amazing wildlife and remote beaches.

Hidden gem — Watch Pikkewyne in Simonstown

Boulders Beach near Simonstown is a sheltered beach that is part of the Table Mountain National Reserve and home to the Boulders Penguin Colony. Established in 1983 the number of birds increased to 3900 penguins in 2005. Since then there has been a decrease due to global warming. This unique and endangered land-based colony of African Penguins is one of only a few in the world.

Lightyear One journeys at Pikkewyne, Simonstown, in South Africa

See: Babylonstoren in Franschhoek

In the Drakenstein Valley, tucked away between the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek mountains lies the unique (one-of-a-kind) Babylonstoren. This garden within a working farm was inspired by the 17th century Cape Town Company’s Garden that fed and watered the Dutch travellers that came here.

Lightyear One journeys at Babylonstoren, Franschhoek, in South Africa
Babylonstoren in Franschhoek

Considered to be one of the best-preserved farmyards in the Cape today with over 30 different landscaped areas (boasting) more than 300 varieties of endangered and indigenous plants, Babylonstoren celebrates everything that this land has to offer. 

Park in the sun, and enjoy a garden and/or cellar tour, lunch at one of the award-winning restaurants and be sure to get something sweet from the bakery and a gift (souvenir) from the farm shop.

Listen — South African journey playlist

We know how important it is to have some solid music playing in the car during this epic Journey. That’s why all of our Journeys come with a dedicated playlist to tune into while driving. Of course, you can also tune into our Podcast for a more serious note.

Listen now >

From Bloubergstrand to Walker Bay (469km) — After an unusual year like 2020, an escape to sunny South Africa sounds like something we could all do with: agreable weather, warm people and exquisite nature (did we mention sun?)

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