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South Africa Mentions In TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places


Renowned TIME Magazine has released its second annual list of the “World’s Greatest Places”. The list covers places to visit, stay and eat.

World’s Greatest Places in Africa

Five spots in Southern and East Africa made the cut, based on quality, originality, sustainability, innovation and influence. Though metrics play a role, the traveller experience was primarily based on ‘the sense that one has stumbled upon the extraordinary.’ TIME solicited nominations from editors and correspondents around the world. 

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge in De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa

The De Hoop Nature Reserve is a haven for vulnerable species and allows visitors the rare opportunity of seeing and appreciating nature up close. There is a two-night summer-camp experience for up to 16 guests, on a private white-sand beach. Family meals are cooked with local ingredients and shared among all.

There are activities to partake in, like exploring tidal pools, hiking and whale watching. There are seven beachfront bedrooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto private verandas with views of the Indian Ocean, so guests are able enjoy privacy during their vacation too.

Wolfgat in Paternoster, South Africa

A meal at Wolfgat is a dining experience for the truly dedicated. It is situated in a remote fishing village and seats 20. Chef and owner Kobus van der Merwe serves strandveld cuisine, sourced freshly from the area, including some of his own harvests.

Not only is this restuarant one of the World’s Greatest Places, it has also made its way onto several of the best restaurant lists, both locally and abroad. Bookings need to be made around 90 days in advance. There is a seven course tasting menu for lunch and dinner, where guests will have their meals introduced by Mr. van der Merwe himself, while looking out at the ocean sprawling out before them.

Gorongosa National Park in Sofala, Mozambique

Gorongosa National Parkhas been envisioned as a ‘human-rights park,’ by protecting wildlife and investing in nearby communities. This came about thanks to an extended collaboration between the Carr Foundation and Mozambique’s government in 2004, now landing itself on the list of one of the World’s Greatest Places to visit.

As much as one-third of the park’s budget goes to community programs. There are more than 100 000 large mammals in the park, a 10-year increase of over 700%. “When we first started … I could drive all day and perhaps see one animal,” says Carr Foundation founder Greg Carr. “Now we are a sea of wildlife.” 

Leopard Hill in Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya

The Mara Naboisho Conservancy is locally owned and home to an abundance of wildlife. Lepard Hil is a year-old eco-camp, where guests are likely to spot elephants, zebras and lions, to name but a few of the animals in the park. That alone could see this included among the World’s Greatest Places, but better yet, there are six tents which each have outdoor showers and retractable roofs for stargazing from bed. The guides are all Kenyan, including three trailblazing young Maasai women.

Omaanda in Windhoek East, Namibia

Omaanda offers guests complete isolation and a true escape, which secures its spot as one of the World’s Greatest Places. There are 10 huts and an infinity pool in this newly opened Namibian reserve, headed by French hotelier Arnaud Zannier, after philanthropist and TIME contributing editor Angelina Jolie persuaded him to join Namibia’s still developing safari scene and work with the nearby Naankuse animal sanctuary, which is partly funded by the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.

When you think about it, Africa having some of the World’s Greatest Places 2019 is a no-brainer. With TIME’s stamp of approval, we’re sure travellers from around the world will soon be coming to visit these special places for themselves. 

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