Average read time: 8 minutes.

South Africa has no shortage of magnificent homes. A few days of relaxation in an idyllic piece of real estate built along breathtaking settings does wonders for the soul. Prices vary greatly from season to season so it’s best to check directly on the Airbnb property listings for the dates you’re seeking.

Kicking it in Cape Town

One of South Africa’s most popular and magnificent tourist magnets attracting countless locals and overseas visitors, Cape Town is filled with luxurious homes set amidst famed sea and mountain views.

These two stunners are truly unique:

Whalesong, Boulders

Kitchen and dining room at Whalesong

Get up close and personal with Boulders’ famous penguin population at Whalesong. In fact, up to 40 penguins live in the home’s newly landscaped award-winning garden. With breathtaking False Bay views, the private and secure villa has been professionally decorated and its walls are punctuated by magnificent paintings done by the former resident artist. Full-time staff means you’ll be able to truly slow down as you soak up the scenery. The only thing that’s super-fast is the unlimited Wi-Fi.

If that’s not tempting enough, consider the fact that there’s an actual secret beach below the house that even boasts water that won’t freeze your toes off – very unusual along the Atlantic Ocean. Four bedrooms accommodate up to eight people and an outdoor covered entertainment deck is perfect for entertaining multiple guests. Just 45 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre, you can get away from it yet still access all the city’s main attractions.

Bungalow 22, Clifton

Bungalow 22
Private yet right on the beach at Bungalow 22

Clifton 3rd Beach doesn’t get any closer than this. Imagine your own personal beach bungalow, where the sand and sea are literally at your front door. Bungalow 22 is all about location – the epitome of prime property. Frequently rented out by international tourists, it’s a very hot commodity so prepare to book far in advance.

Shabby chic on the outside – the exterior wooden structure is naturally ravaged by the sea air – the home inside is a different world. An open-plan contemporary haven, the house has recently undergone a full refurbishment. It not only provides three bedrooms and two bathrooms, but it also has a dipping pool offering the perfect vantage point for breathtaking ocean sunsets.

You may need to climb down multiple stairs to reach your home for the holidays but a live-in house manager cum butler is there to assist you every step of the way. It’s well worth the exercise.

Visit https://steadfast.africa/ for more information on these and other luxury properties throughout Cape Town, the Garden Route and beyond.

Live like royals in Noetzie Castles

If you haven’t yet discovered Noetzie Beach, you’re in for a treat. Just ten minutes outside Knysna along the famed Garden Route, set in a secluded cove and bordered by the lush forest of the Sinclair Nature Reserve, this gorgeous Indian Ocean beach is set below striking sandstone castles. It’s something quite spectacular. Whether you’re seeking romance or family fun in a truly unique location, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. So ready your horse-drawn carriage and prepare for the royal treatment as you move into your own personal castle – at least for a few nights…

Pêrlekuil Castle, Knysna

Pêrlekuil Castle
Pathway to Pêrlekuil Castle

Fairytales come to life in a medieval castle that rises from the rocks alongside Noetzie Beach. Pêrlekuil Castle offers six beautifully appointed bedrooms all overlooking the ocean and rugged rocky outcrops. Stone walls and alcoves and wooden floors marry contemporary and rustic design. Follow the stone steps to the beach below or in winter months relax in the lounge in front of an open fire. With no direct neighbours and the entire castle to yourself, a truly private getaway is yours for the taking. An outdoor braai and sheltered ocean-facing eating area offer the ideal location to while away those beachside summer evenings.

As is the case in Clifton, there is no direct access to the beach, so you’ll need to put on your walking shoes to reach your royal domain. With views and accommodation like this and staff on hand to assist, it’s a small price to pay.

Craighross Castle, Knysna

Craighross Castle
Noetzie Beach as seen from Craighross Castle

Also located on the Noetzie coastline and set just a few steps away from the beach is Craighross Castle. Your three-leveled abode offers a shared kitchen and lounge as well six spacious en-suite bedrooms with sea views, accommodating up to 13 guests. Bright and airy accommodation and beach-facing outdoor living areas make it the perfect spot to take a REAL breather and escape everyday madness.

Visit https://noetziecastles.co.za for more information.

Unbelievable Umdloti

With tropical climes, warm Indian Ocean waters, and a year-round holiday vibe, Umdloti on the popular KwaZulu Natal North Coast has long been a haven for holidaymakers. Set in a prime location in this popular seaside village, this designer villa has it all…

Designer Umdloti Villa

Umdloti Villa
Staircase and artwork at Umdloti Villa

Offering spectacular ocean views through massive glass panels and doors, this three-tiered, light-filled Designer Umdloti Villa is a cut above the rest. The unbelievable master suite takes up the entire third floor and includes a wide-open shower and bathroom overlooking the vast sea below. Boasting five en-suite bedrooms and bathrooms, a designer pool deck, a small garden and play equipment, it comfortably accommodates up to 10 adults and two children. Just a two-minute walk from the beach, the villa is a holidaymaker’s paradise.

Cleverly designed, the property is nestled between the ocean and the lush Umdloti coastal bush with outdoor decks that embrace both landscapes. There’s no better place to enjoy a sea-facing sundowner. Dotted with mainly local quirky artworks and ceramics, the airy villa boasts double volume spaces and natural lighting as well as a dramatic staircase that links each level. The open-plan kitchen is elevated to make the most of ocean views and create an unparalleled entertainment area.

For the love of the game

While there’s no shortage of ocean expanses in South Africa, our famed wildlife and signature bush accommodation are hard to beat.

Khaya Ndlovu Manor House, Limpopo

Khaya Ndlovu Manor House
A patio at Khaya Ndlovu Manor House

If a luxurious bush break is more your speed, look no further than the child-friendly Khaya Ndlovu Manor House. A commercial lodge situated close to the gateway to the Greater Kruger Park area, Khaya Ndlovu Manor House is nestled within the Rietspruit Big 4 Game Reserve in Limpopo. Bed and breakfast accommodation is available on a room-to-room basis. Check out the stunning Marula Room on Airbnb.

Built to be a home away from home, the property overlooks the spectacular Blyde River Canyon. Original artwork and Persian carpets add to the upmarket ambiance of this colonial-style manor. Each day at the Manor is filled with exceptional food, exciting wildlife encounters, relaxing spa treatments, or lazy, gin-hazed hours spent around the sparkling infinity pool, whilst the evenings will delight you with romantic sunsets, softly lit dining tables, and starry skies.

Visit www.happyhost.co.za for more information on these and other magnificent properties throughout South Africa.


Words | Gillian Klawansky @GillianKlawansky
Editor | Nikki Temkin @Nikkitemkin
Images | Courtesy of the properties