Break Up the Journey

While some airlines will fly you direct from the U.S. to Johannesburg, I broke up the long journey with a pit stop in one of my favorite cities, Dubai. I spent two nights at the Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Center, a fabulous boutique-style hotel surrounded by the city’s best shopping and dining.

Must Do: Retail therapy at the Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest malls, and the Dubai Gold Souk, where exquisite designs from more than 375 jewelry traders are on display. I’d also recommend savoring a French meal at La Petite Maison.

South Africa

Wines in the Wild

Africa’s wine region, known as Stellenbosch, is an hour outside of Cape Town and home to amazing wineries and upstart restaurants. We sampled award-winning wines, from Chardonnay to a smooth Syrah, at Lanzerac Wine Estate.
Must Do: Take a 1,000-foot ride up the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway for panoramic views of Cape Town. Visit Delaire Graff Estate, the jewel of the Cape winelands, for a luxurious experience in wine, art and unparalleled South African hospitality.
South Africa

Cruising the Cape

The very best way to experience the Cape Peninsula is on a full-day guided tour. After a scenic coastal ride in a luxury SUV, we arrived at the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, which is said to be the romantic meeting place of the mighty Atlantic and Indian oceans. Famed explorer, Sir Francis Drake, once described this majestic destination as “the fairest cape that we saw in the whole circumference of the globe.” Our day concluded at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.

Must Do: Catch a glimpse of an African Penguin colony, formerly known as the jackass penguin, at Boulders Beach. Experience classical Japanese cuisine with Peruvian influences at Nobu inside the One&Only Cape Town. This six-star retreat features 91 luxury rooms and overlooks a marina and Table Mountain.

South Africa

On Safari

My journey culminated with five days at Thornybush Serondella Game Lodge. The intimate lodge, restricted to only eight guests, sits on 12,000 acres of pristine wilderness adjacent to Kruger National Park, which is home to the Big Five (the African lion, the African leopard, the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, and the rhino) and a wide array of other wildlife. Each day included early morning and late-afternoon game drives with an experienced ranger and tracker team to explore the diverse landscape and catch a glimpse of its inhabitants. The highlight of this traveler’s adventure was sipping cocktails in the South African bush while a lion and his cubs wandered past in the distance.

Must Do: Get lost in a good book while relaxing poolside, or enjoy a three-course, candle-lit dinner on Serondella’s lush outdoor patio while the sun sets over the savannah and the stars begin to twinkle overhead.

South Africa

Plan Your Escape

Suggested time to travel on an African Safari is January, February or March, during Africa’s summer season. Temperatures average 70 degrees along the coast and into the low 80’s in the interior. From luxury accommodations and memorable cuisine, to intimate encounters with local treasures like rosé and rhinos, I would love the opportunity to help you plan a remarkable journey to the far reaches of Africa and beyond.

Meet Your Host, Peter Vukelic

South Africa

Peter Vukelic worked in his family’s beverage business Try-It Distributing in Buffalo, New York, for 25 years. Through that time, travel remained a life-long passion for Peter. He joined The Travel Team in 2015, creating a unique opportunity to parlay his extensive experience into an exciting career. Contact Peter directly to learn more about On Safari in South Africa, (716) 862-7607 or at pvukelic@thetravelteam.com.