Franschoek – the country’s culinary capital
Franschoek – the country’s culinary capital

Celebs weigh in on South Africa as a top travel destination

By travel writer Time of article published Feb 13, 2018

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South Africa has been voted as one of 2018’s top travel destinations by both luxury travel network, Virtuoso and Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world.

In Virtuoso’s 2018 Luxe Report, South Africa shone in the categories of Top Global Destinations, Top Millennial Destinations and Top Adventure Destinations, based on insights fromtravel agencies across the globe. 

Lonely Planet selected South Africa as one of the top ten countries to visit in its Best in Travel 2018 list, saying: “Beaches and mountains, wildlife and wine, and let’s not forget vibrant culture and cosmopolitan Cape Town – South Africa has long been one of the world’s most alluring countries…With more to see than ever, and favourable exchange rates offering great value, 2018 is a phenomenal year to visit South Africa.”

While it may be one of this year’s hottest travel spots, a slew of celebs have long had a love affair with South Africa. Here’s what some have had to say:

Celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal, is a fan of our food, saying: “The South African cuisine you see today is refined, balanced and quite modern in terms of its lightness, but showcasing South African produce. They have beautiful fish and seafood down there, from hake and yellowtail to the west-coast mussels and oysters from Knysna. The meat is also exceptional.” 

He almost opened a restaurant in Franschoek – the country’s culinary capital. To experience Franschoek and its food for yourself, you can stay at the conveniently located Premier Hotel Cape Town, the perfect base from which to explore the Cape’s cuisine.

Tennis champ Roger Federer is so enamoured with South Africa that he even owns a home in Knysna, his favourite childhood holiday spot. He says: “My heart is in South Africa, through my mum. My mum being from here and me spending a lot of time here as well, I feel most connected to this part of the world.” Premier Resort The Moorings, situated between the ocean, the Knysna estuary and the beautiful indigenous forest, is an ideal place to enjoy Knysna.

While shooting the blockbuster Blood Diamond in KwaZulu-Natal, Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo di Caprio got to experience an amazing animal encounter. “I saw a pack of 35 lions eat a wildebeest carcass and swam with giant manta rays. That was unbelievable. Africa’s natural beauty is unmatched.” 

While holidaying at Premier Resort Mpongo Game Reserve, guests can immerse themselves in the wonders of wildlife with the elephants, lions, buffalos, giraffes, antelope and numerous bird species that call the Reserve’s 3,500 hectares of conservation land home. Plus, with the East London Aquarium nearby, spotting manta rays is made that much easier.

“While the celebs each have their own reasons for why they think South Africa is a top travel destination, I believe that it is the friendliness of our rainbow nation that will keep tourists coming both in 2018 and beyond,” concludes Premier Hotels & Resorts Founder and Managing Director, Samuel Nassimov.

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