Your Ultimate Guide to South Africa
Whether you’re interested in the winelands, love the beach life, or you’re crossing a safari off your bucket-list, there are endless ways to explore South Africa. This month, our Jetset travel advisors explored this beautiful country with one of our partners, The Royal Portfolio. This is your guide to South Africa and the stunning hotels of The Royal Portfolio Collection!
For those seeking a truly regal retreat, The Royal Portfolio is your gateway to opulence! We personally experienced Birkenhead House in Hermanus, The Silo Hotel in Cape Town, and Royal Malewane in Greater Kruger. Each of these magnificent hotels provide you with a unique South African getaway and will leave you spellbound.
When to visit South Africa
Whales can be seen from June to November, with the best months being September and October. Dolphins can be seen sporadically all year round.
December through February are great times to visit the city as its their summer season. Visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall is a good idea to avoid the crowds. However, Cape Town is fast becoming a year-round destination.
The winter months (May through September) are considered peak season for good game viewing because the bush thins out, the weather is better, and the animals congregate around waterholes and rivers.
The Royal Portfolio
Birkenhead House - A Coastal Jewel
Nestled on the cliffs of Hermanus and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Birkenhead House offers a coastal paradise for those in search of tranquility and who love a sea breeze. As soon as you arrive at Birkenhead House, you feel at home and there’s a good reason for that. Birkenhead House was once Liz Biden’s own family beach house, the founder of The Royal Portfolio. It is so comfortable, so welcoming, and so warm that you may never want to leave. You can also see whales as they continuously breached the water from morning until night. Waking up and seeing these magnificent animals jumping in the ocean from your window is such a special moment.
Hermanus boasts a vibrant arts scene, exquisite vineyards, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re strolling along the stunning cliffside paths, exploring charming boutiques in town, or savoring local wines with breathtaking ocean views, Hermanus is an enchanting destination.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT BIRKENHEAD HOUSE
Birkenhead House is perched right on a cliffside edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Two of the finest Hermanus beaches can be found below Birkenhead House – Voëlklip and Kamma Bay. The amazing team at Birkenhead House will pack a picnic basket for you complete with beach bats and balls for a relaxing day on the sands.
Birkenhead House hosts 11 beautifully decorated rooms, all designed to create a sense of opulence and comfort to feel like just like your own beach home.
There are two pool areas, one is even located right next to the cliffside for stunning views!
Dinner with an ocean view is everything you need for a romantic setting. Plus, the food is a delight! With an emphasis on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, the executive chef crafts delectable dishes that fuse South African and international flavors. The menu changes every night and is divine for both meat-lovers and vegetarians!
Spa & gym
What better way to relax after a day filled with invigorating sea air than with some spa time! Plus, there’s a fully equipped gym to get some extra energy out.
EXPERIENCES & ACTIVITIES IN HERMANUS
Marine Five viewing
You’ve heard of the famous Big Five, but have you ever heard of the Marine Five? Africa has iconic wildlife and the Marine Five is a captivating group of marine species that can be found off the coast of South Africa. They are the great white shark, the southern right whale, the bottlenose dolphin, the Cape fur seal, and the African penguin. The Jetset team went on an ocean excursion and were able to see all five of these beauties!
Mussel Picking and Cooking Class
Our team was accompanied by the executive chef himself in a unique culinary adventure! They went mussel picking along the shores, followed by a cooking class where they created delicious dishes using their fresh catch.
Other activities to note!
Whale watching by land, air or sea
Great white shark cage diving in Gansbaai
Sea kayaking from the old harbour of Hermanus
Wine tasting in the beautiful Hemel en Aarde Valley
Birdwatching from a hide at an inland estuary
Explore the floral kingdom by hiking the trails of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve
Leisurely walks along the cliff path into Hermanus
Cycle the quiet roads of Hermanus
Ride the nearby white sand beaches on horseback
Play one of two championship golf courses
Pay a visit to the local township
The Silo Hotel - Where Art Meets Luxury
Cape Town’s The Silo Hotel is a dazzling blend of art, design, and opulence. The hotel is not only an architectural masterpiece, but features Liz Biden’s impressive collection of contemporary South African art. Biden designs the properties herself, with her eclectic taste and keen eye for emerging local artists. It gives the guests a special look into the mastermind behind The Royal Portfolio.
The Silo Hotel is a luxurious haven for the romantics, the curious, and the adventurous. Cape Town is vibrant and endlessly entertaining, and known as the ‘Mother City.’ There are countless art galleries, a lively music scene, and is known for its international cuisine. And for the gin-enthusiasts, it’s a goldmine. Gin is extremely trendy in Cape Town at the moment and bar-hopping gin joints throughout the city is a must!
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE SILO HOTEL
Rooftop Pool & Restaurant
DiningThe Royal Portfolio does it again! Just like Birkenhead House, the food is incredible. Aside from The Silo’s Rooftop dining, there are two more options on the sixth floor. Start your day at The Granary Café for Sunday brunch and Royal Tea, two of the most relaxed yet magical culinary experiences in Cape Town. On the other side of floor, visit The Willaston Bar for all-day dining, classic bar snacks, cocktails, and an elegant dinner with views of city’s glimmering lights.
Spa & GymYes & yes. Soak in the zen of the latest therapies, spa techniques, and signature treatments which can be personalized to meet your specific wellness requirements. The Silo Spa also has a double-treatment room, gym, sauna and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area.
EXPERIENCES & ACTIVITIES IN CAPE TOWN
The V&A Waterfront
Visit the African PenguinsSee the cutest birds of South Africa at Boulders Beach Penguin Sanctuary! Visiting Boulders is a fun excursion for families or for anyone who wants to see dozens of penguins at a beautiful beach. The penguins and their nests are protected by this sanctuary and visitors actually help boost the penguin conservation efforts.
Enjoy the outdoorsBeachfront biking followed by a chilled plunge in turquoise tidal pools? Meandering through the trails of the iconic Table Mountain? Or spending quality time on the golf course with epic views? Cape Town is not lacking on the outdoor activities! You have a plethora of options to choose from, based on your level of comfort.
Royal Malewane - A Safari Paradise
Last but certainly not least, let us introduce the guide for your next trip: a luxury safari in South Africa. Experience the wild heart of the African bush in comfort, style, and seclusion. The Royal Malewane is truly a perfect stay.
An African safari is far more than just a vacation; it’s a life-changing odyssey that awakens the soul. In the heart of the wild, where nature reigns supreme, you’ll find an unparalleled connection to the world’s most extraordinary landscapes and wildlife. Witnessing the Big Five in their natural habitat, the vast herds of the Great Migration, and the mesmerizing diversity of Africa’s ecosystems is a profound encounter with the untamed. Here, you’re immersed in a deeper understanding of nature and appreciation for our planet. African safaris don’t just change your perspective, they change your life.
When planning your safari adventure, travel advisors are an important resource for many reasons. Your choice of destination, the logistics of getting to your location, deciding the best time to go, and choosing your luxury lodge are all significant factors. But it’s the safari guiding team that makes the difference to the memories you’ll take home with you. At Royal Malewane, you’re introduced to the wild ecosystem under the expert guidance and care of an award-winning safari team.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT ROYAL MALEWANE
More about Waterside Lodge
More about Africa House
EXPERIENCES & ACTIVITIES IN THE BUSH
Game drives in the wild
Safari on foot
Visit the Conservation & Research Center
A safari is a perfect opportunity for families to discover adventure together! Royal Malewane’s Royal Rangers & Junior Rangers program is designed to reveal the wonders of the African bush to kids, while igniting their curiosity about wildlife and ecosystems. With each activity, Royal Malewane transforms education into an adventure.
More to know
Big Five game viewing
Birding safaris with 500 species of birds
Award winning spa