Feast your way across South Africa via a range of delightfully distinct yet equally celebrated restaurants.
Guests are met upon arrival at Cape Town International by an African Sky guide and transferred to their luxurious five star hotel on the V&A Waterfront - the starting point of the 10 Day South African Culinary Tour. Following some time for relaxation and reconnaissance, guests are transported to ‘Carne SA’ on Keerom Street for an early dinner. The self-proclaimed ‘carnivore’s paradise’ is stocked with the spoils of Milanese chef Giorgio Nava’s own farm in the Karoo, a region which supplies South Africa’s finest selection of meat. From Romagnola beef and Dorper lamb to a wild variety of game, Carne will indulge even the most discerning meat-lover.
The morning is dedicated to enjoying the natural drama of Table Mountain. The rotating cable car ferries visitors to the top of the illustrious mountain in approximately 5 minutes, treating passengers to spectacular 360 degree views. The view from the top, however, is second to none. A network of pathways lead to visitors to the finest viewpoints available - also ensuring that you work up an appetite! Lunch is at Woodstock’s world-famous ‘The Test Kitchen’, a gourmet tour de force that has consistently ranked as the finest restaurant on the continent since it opened its doors in 2010. Award-winning chef Luke Dale-Roberts devotes his attention to creativity, quality and innovation, providing contemporary cuisine that your tastebuds will be hard-pressed to forget. The rest of the afternoon is spent at leisure.
Following an early breakfast, your culinary tour departs for the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley (Heaven and Earth Valley) in the Overberg. The scenic route traverses Sir Lowry’s Pass before descending into the Elgin Valley, one of the richest fruit-producing regions in the country. Guests arrive at the family-owned Newton Johnson Vineyards early in the afternoon. The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley hosts the southernmost vineyards in South Africa, and Newton Johnson is particularly celebrated for its Pinot noir. The restaurant overlooks the verdant sprawl of the vineyards and a stretch of towering mountain ranges - a truly idyllic setting for lunch. Chef Eric Bulpitt’s menu is characterized by “pure and tasty country cooking” that focuses on core ingredients without extravagant fuss. Before returning to Cape Town, the tour briefly explores the seaside town of Hermanus, South Africa’s undisputed whale watching capital.
Your last morning in Cape Town is devoted to visiting the Castle of Good Hope - the oldest structure still standing in South Africa. Throughout the 17th century, the pentagonal fortress served as a prison and eventually the administrative headquarters of the country’s early colonial rulers. Today it houses both the Good Hope Gallery as well as the Military Museum dedicated to the preservation of early military artifacts. The afternoon sees guests departing Cape Town for the Cape winelands - the gourmet capital of South Africa. After checking in at the handsome Lanzerac Hotel, the afternoon is spent relaxing before dinner at The Tasting Room in Franschhoek - one of the most exclusive restaurants in the country. Chef Margot Janse’s eight course menu is strictly a ‘surprise’, providing an exhilarating dining experience defined by contemporary African flavors.
After a fascinating day exploring the streets of Stellenbosch and various sites of historic interest, the tour travels to the 320-year-old Rust en Vrede Wine Estate for an unforgettable dinner experience. The estate’s fine selection of red wines have garnered many international accolades and were personally selected by President Nelson Mandela to be served at his Nobel Peace Prize dinner. Rust en Vrede’s restaurant’s is located in the estate’s handsome original wine cellar, built in 1785. Pairing award-winning wines with award-winning French-inspired cuisine will ensure a night to remember.
The morning is spent at leisure, after which an early lunch is enjoyed at Jordan Wine Estate - home to the acclaimed Jordan Restaurant. Anointed with regular Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards and TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, Jordan Restaurant’s ever-changing menu ensures a unique experience for every guest. Chef George Jardine is the brains behind this world-class establishment. Relish fine dining with mesmerizing views of the undulating vineyards and mountains beyond before returning to Lanzerac in the afternoon.
Guests are transferred to Cape Town International for their flight to Johannesburg where they will be collected by their African Sky guide. The day is spent exploring Soweto - the largest and most famous of all South Africa's townships. Soweto played an important role in the struggle against apartheid. Time is devoted to learning about Nelson Mandela's years in Soweto after which we visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial. A stop is made at an authentic 'shebeen' before traveling to Sandton where guests will check in at their overnight accommodation. Tonight’s dinner is at the sophisticated ‘Five Hundred’ at the Saxon Hotel. The restaurant is known for its “experiential dining”, combining food, wine and art to deliver a feast for the senses. The dramatic plating is sure to take your breath away.
Following an early breakfast, the tour heads north to the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre where guests will enjoy an extensive guided tour. The center is dedicated to ensuring the survival of numerous endangered species, particularly cheetah, king cheetah and African wild dog. Visitors may also observe and learn more about brown hyenas, suni, servals and riverine rabbits. Today’s lunch is a delectably exotic affair. Headed by award-winning chef Chantel Dartnall, Mosaic at the Orient is one of the finest restaurants in South Africa. The food is typically based around dégustation tasting menus that change on a seasonal basis, as Chantel is inherently “inspired by nature”. The tour returns to Sandton in the late afternoon.
This morning we make our way to the Cradle of Humankind. This 47 000 hectare area is situated some 50km northwest of Johannesburg. The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site which rose to international prominence in 1947 when Dr Robert Broom excavated the now famous "Mrs. Ples", one of the most important paleontological discoveries ever made. The fossil, which is estimated to be 2.3 million years old, was discovered at the Sterkfontein Caves, the most significant of the 13 excavation sites found at the Cradle of Humankind. The day is devoted to exploring the Sterkfontein Caves and the informative Maropeng Visitors Center in the company of your African Sky guide. During the late afternoon, the tour makes its way back to Johannesburg. The final culinary experience of your tour is dedicated to a wholesome meal at The Grillhouse in Rosebank - one of South Africa’s finest steakhouses. Dining is a la carte with a mouth-watering assortment of meat, poultry, seafood and even vegetarian dishes to choose from.
After breakfast, guests are collected and transferred to O R Tambo International or any location of their choice in either Johannesburg or Pretoria after an unforgettably delectable culinary tour of South Africa.
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