The Travel Gallery: South Africa — Magazine — The Galleria Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
The Travel Gallery: South Africa
The Travel Gallery: South Africa
Travel | May 8, 2017

The Travel Gallery: South Africa

Crowned with natural wonders, a cultivating art scene and an enticing culinary world — there’s nowhere quite like Africa’s southern tip

South Africa has established itself as a year-round destination with many reasons to visit. With a diverse landscape that ranges from dramatic mountains and sandy beaches to plains, deserts and urban centres, the country is a fusion of natural wonders and diverse cultures, and boasts a thriving art, design and food scene.

Stunning Cape Town is also known as the ‘Mother City’ and ranked as one of the most vibrant destinations in the world. There is a vast array of chic hotels to stay in, from boutique hotels to classic traditional styles to modern contemporary places. But if you want to travel a bit further afield, it’s worth experiencing a stay at Four Seasons Hotel in Johannesburg, it’s the perfect pre or post safari stop over.


Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg: If you’ve stayed at Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island, you’ll understand the sheer grace and splendour that Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff offers. The stylish resort is only a two hour flight from Cape Town. It’s located on a hillside with striking panoramic views across the tree canopy and adjacent Johannesburg Zoo. The design resembles a hillside village woven with courtyards, fountains, gardens, a new destination spa, as well as two swimming pools and a nearby golf course. It also has a vibrant social scene with restaurants like Flames, View and The Cellar Door. Experience the cuisine from a host of chefs who create a South African culinary journey focused on seasonality and local produce. The iconic hotel has 117 spacious rooms and suites featuring cool, contemporary decor inspired by modern Africa.

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The Test Kitchen by Luke Dale-Roberts: Launched in 2010, it has just undergone a massive refurbishment. There are two main areas split by a charred wood wall. On one side sits a dark lounge, on the other a contemporary, spacious 40-seater dining space. Splashes of white linen, cool blue and dove grey furnishings create a fresh and light ambiance counterbalanced with warm, exposed brickwork.

Typical dishes include barbequed local fish with carrot and cashew purée, liquorice cured wagyu biltong, Peking quail sandwich, vanilla-salted peach and rose-scented foie gras. The Test Kitchen by Luke Dale-Roberts is situated in The Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town’s vibrant Woodstock neighbourhood.


Robben Island: Visit the cell where Nobel Prize Winner and former President Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison, for an insight into South Africa’s historic past.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens: Kirstenbosch displays a wide variety of the unique plant life of the Cape, known as fynbos. There are more than 7,000 species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, including many rare and threatened species. Kirstenbosch borders the Table Mountain National Park and merges seamlessly with the mountain’s natural foliage. The garden was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2004.

Camps Bay: The palm fronds here make for the most dramatic sunset pictures, as evidenced by the popularity of the beach-fronting cafes. The beach itself is great for a picnic. 


Art and Culture: Cape Town is dotted with private art galleries, niche museums and intimate theatres. Visit The Fugard Theatre, National Gallery in the Company Gardens, Theatre on the Bay, District 6 Museum, Artscape, Baxter Theatre and Zeitz MOCAA  (opening in September). 

Surfing: Head down to Sunrise Beach in Muizenberg and take a surfing lesson with the local experts.

Bree Street: The most happening street in Cape Town, barely a day goes by without a trendy new restaurant opening up. Check out Jason’s Bakery, Chef’s Warehouse, Clarke’s Burger Bar, Charango and Arcade.