As always, Team GILTEDGE has compiled a list of what’s hot and happening across Africa, from brand-new restaurants to world-class places to stay and mind-blowing experiences. It’s your ultimate guide for planning a riveting itinerary ahead of embarking on your next African adventure (better yet – let us do it for you!).
Restaurants + Venues
Dusk Restaurant, Stellenbosch
Step into Dusk, where the 13-course menu has further catapulted the Cape Winelands’ dining scene. This intimate 30-seater embraces the dark so you can focus solely on the culinary masterpieces before you. The experience is a sensory delight, from the intriguing choice of ‘pills’ that shape your dining journey to artfully crafted canapés and dishes championing sustainability and local flavors. You can also extend your evening at Nocturne, the in-house cocktail bar, where mixology meets gastronomy.
Fyn Restaurant, Cape Town
A Relais & Châteaux member, Fyn Restaurant is renowned for its collaborative excellence. The restaurant is set in an expansive industrial domain, where a mesmerizing array of wooden discs dangle overhead. Famed chef Peter Tempelhoff crafts a flavorful adventure, blending South Africa’s essence with Japanese cooking techniques. Delight in canapés like prawn crudo paired with dashi mayo from a dainty bento box and be captivated by kaiseki-inspired courses flaunting candied ginger, tempura nori, and salted Japanese plum.
Top of the World – a bespoke dining experience, Cape Town
Conceived by Claire Allen, the food savant from MasterChef South Africa, ‘Top of the World’ offers an intimate dining experience for 40 atop the iconic Table Mountain. Admire Cape Town’s expansive beauty as Chef Luke Dale-Roberts, celebrated worldwide and the genius behind ‘The Test Kitchen,’ weaves local ingredients into a mouthwatering, multi-course meal. Savor your food with live music at sunset and exclusive wines. Then, top off the experience with a caricature keepsake and a chauffeured ride back to your hotel.
The Baobab Site, Zambia
A must for MICE events, The Baobab Site is perched atop a hill with the misty allure of Victoria Falls painting the horizon. The venue can comfortably accommodate up to 70 guests. It’s the perfect confluence of nature, luxury, and state-of-the-art facilities, making business a pleasure.
Boma on Bree, Cape Town
Cape Town’s latest culinary gem, Boma on Bree is a smoldering addition by The Firm – the hospitality masterminds behind renowned haunts like Surfa Rosa and Harringtons. With Chef Vusi Ndlovu at the helm, Boma on Bree is known for its African influences and open-fire cooking. Expect a dance of ash, smoke, and flame in every dish, from the West Coast oysters with a zing of fermented chili to the decadent 90-day aged Comté cheese jaffles. The ambiance? Think 1970s nostalgia and natural wood accents, creating a desert-inspired warm welcoming.
La Trip Club & Social, Cape Town
Tucked off the city’s Buitengracht Street and having just opened its doors last month, La Trip Club & Social emerges as Cape Town’s newest hotspot. The venue oozes Italian flair in both design and ambiance. Beyond its masterful cocktails and vibrant crowd, the culinary offerings, curated by Swedish chef Anna Broms, are the true showstoppers. Drawing from her rich experiences in Europe’s cooking capitals, Anna crafts a Mediterranean mosaic of dishes, like the charcoal Cape octopus paired with chorizo, and the tangy Saldanha Bay mussels escabeche.
SALON, Cape Town
Step into SALON, a culinary odyssey conceived by renowned chef Luke Dale Roberts. The dining experience at SALON is a celebration of Chef Luke’s evolution through his global journeys. Each dish on the Journey menu encapsulates the essence of countries he’s worked in, creating an interactive and intimate exploration of flavors. From the striking golden entrance to the Victorian-style floors and marble-topped bistro tables, SALON combines modernity with classic charm. The menu offers both a full Journey and a condensed Explorer experience, with optional pairings.
Urchin, Cape Town
Urchin, nestled within The Hyatt Regency on the city’s central Buitengracht Street, celebrates the elemental beauty of the ocean, offering wholesome seafood that is both delightfully simple and sustainable. Chef Gerard van Staden orchestrates a menu that tantalizes all five senses, promising delightful surprises with every bite. With locally sourced ingredients and a meticulously curated wine cellar, Urchin offers a world-class dining experience with both a seasonal menu and a tasting menu. A must-try? The lobster capellini with lemongrass butter sauce.
NOCTURNE is the innovative creation of renowned chefs and restaurateurs Darren Badenhorst and Callan Austin. This groundbreaking establishment seamlessly merges restaurant and mixology bar, promising an extraordinary sensory adventure – including signature drinks and snack pairing… Cola Manhattan with a melon and parma ham ‘taco’, anyone? In addition, the menu comprises mouthwatering small plates, which you can enjoy while watching mixologists from around the globe showcase their craft behind the bar.
Pineapple House Boutique Hotel, Cape Town
Pineapple House Boutique Hotel has nine uniquely designed bedrooms, each exuding warmth and hospitality. Inspired by the symbol of welcome, the pineapple, the hotel blends quirky fabrics, inspiring artwork, and modern amenities. Located 500 meters from Broken Bath Beach, the property also offers an outdoor pool, free parking, and a shared lounge. Air-conditioned rooms with coffee makers, minibars, and city views await your arrival.
Nimano Hillside, Cape Town
Nimano Hillside is nestled in Crofter’s Valley in Cape Town’s Noordhoek, a peaceful coastal suburb. The property offers a breathtaking setting with sweeping sea and mountain vistas and various amenities, including a heated infinity rim-flow pool, sprawling lawns, and meticulously landscaped indigenous gardens. The house showcases contemporary, high-end furnishings and has a sauna and spa for wellness-focused travelers.
Wilderness Usawa Serengeti, Tanzania
Experience the Serengeti’s Great Migration like never before at Wilderness Usawa Serengeti, a mobile tented camp that moves with the wildlife, offering two camps along the migration route. The family-friendly camp combines proximity to the action with luxury and mindful design, leaving a minimal environmental footprint. Knowledgeable guides lead walks, game drives, birdwatching, and stargazing. Six en-suite safari tents accommodate 12 guests, powered by solar energy and equipped with modern amenities.
Walkers Beach, Plettenberg Bay
Walkers Beach is a stunning seaside sanctuary offering sprawling beach and ocean views. During your stay, you’ll enjoy breathtaking sunrises over the Indian Ocean and views of Formosa Peak and the Robberg Peninsula. With direct access to the beach, this location epitomizes luxurious barefoot living. Property amenities include pools, lounge areas, dining spaces, complimentary Wi-Fi, and more. Suites feature bathrobes, air-conditioning, USB charging, and safes for a seamless and comfortable getaway.
Activities + experiences
Lalaphanzi Farm, Cape Point (near Cape Town)
The rustic, simple farm life is calling your name at Lalaphanzi Farm, a hidden gem in Cape Point. The farm is home to The Scone Shack, a charming outdoor café serving up homemade delights like scones baked in a unique wood-burning oven and a delightful array of jams crafted in a traditional potjie. Sweet flavors abound, from black plum to pineapple and apple with cinnamon. While savoring your breakfast, you’ll be in the company of friendly roaming animals like pigs, Rasher and Bacon, and resident chicken, Rooster.
Desert Rose Farm Stall, Koringberg (near Cape Town)
No visit to the Western Cape would be complete without a visit to a local padstal (a traditional South African farm stall). Desert Rose Farm Stall is an enchanting throwback to the 1950s, featuring a charming diner, vintage collectibles, and delectable homemade, honey-drizzled pancakes. As you enter, an entire wall adorned with antique number plates and retro petrol pumps welcomes you. Families can relish the relaxed ambiance, with kids enjoying the jumping castle and jungle gym while parents savor the no-fuss menu (including locally brewed craft beer). Conveniently located on the N7 between Cape Town and Namibia, Desert Rose is your gateway to the West Coast, Cederberg, Namaqualand, and beyond!
Ziplining, Grabouw (near Cape Town)
Located in the Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve, Grabouw offers an exhilarating ziplining adventure through lush forests, deep valleys, and cascading waterfalls, courtesy of Cape Canopy Tour. After a 4×4 mountain ride, professional guides will lead you through 11 thrilling slides, some over 1,000 feet long, with platforms hidden amidst fynbos and rugged slopes. The four-and-a-half-hour tour includes the services of two guides and a 4×4 experience to and from the base camp.
Discover a café hidden in a forest, Tokai Forest (near Cape Town)
Nestled in Tokai Forest, the Secret Forest Café is a charming family-run coffee stand, providing a delightful surprise for joggers, cyclists, and families exploring the area. This local treasure is pet-friendly – they even serve doggie treats! Located on the edge of Tokai Forest’s indigenous nature reserve, the café boasts stunning views of the Elephant’s Eye mountain range. You can also expect a variety of beverages, including vegan options, all made from scratch with local and organic ingredients. To find it (which is part of the fun), head to the Tokai Lion’s Club parking lot, take the first left path, and follow the trail to the long grey wall.
Archaeology Safaris with OriginSafaris, South Africa
OriginSafaris specializes in Archaeology Safaris, offering unique journeys that intertwine South Africa’s layered history, archaeological wonders, and stunning wildlife. These carefully crafted tours take you to South Africa’s vibrant and wild regions, where you’ll enjoy archaeological exploration and luxury accommodation. Look forward to visiting significant archaeological sites, such as the Cradle of Humankind, Thulamela, and Bokoni, located in pristine wildlife reserves like the Kruger National Park and the Cradle Nature Reserve. Whether you prefer short stays or multiple destinations, OriginSafaris tailors itineraries to your interests.