The Art of Travel: South Africa's Art Scene, Spend ten nights investigating South Africa’s robust arts scene. From the polish of Cape Town and the Winelands to the rugged beauty of the bush and Johannesburg’s emerging local artists, this special itinerary highlights the country’s finest properties and must-see art scenes, both classic favorites and hidden gems.
Dramatically poised on the slopes of Table Mountain in Bantry Bay, begin at Ellerman House. This boutique property features a spa, gym, pool and beautiful gardens, but it’s the contemporary art gallery that is the heart of the house. The works line the walls and span over two centuries, from pieces by the famous Thomas Bowler showcasing Cape Town in the 1800s to contemporary works from artists such as Lionel Smith and William Kentridge. Join Ellerman’s private art guide for an intimate tour through the collection. When not admiring the fine art in-home, explore the Cape on private, full day excursions into the heart of the city and Table Mountain. Focusing on food, design, arts and crafts, uncover a selection of historical sites, such as Company’s Garden, Green Market Square and St. George’s Cathedral. Continue to the Bo-Kaap, with its brightly colored 17th century houses, and visit local “upliftment” projects which positively impact the lives of their artists and crafters.
The Art of Travel: South Africa's Art Scene, You’ll also enjoy a full day tour of the Winelands. Stop at fascinating towns and take a look into off-the-beaten-track farms which revel in their old-world roots and influences. Take an intimate wine-tasting and cellar tour, browse museums, gardens, and art galleries before settling into Delaire Graff Estate for your next two nights. Delaire Graff is situated just outside Stellenbosch on the Winelands’ scenic Helshoogte Pass, nestled between mountains and surrounded by vineyards. A world-class art destination in the Stellenbosch Valley, the Estate offers a rare chance for art aficionados to view some of Laurence Graff’s personal art collection in an outstanding setting. Frequently named one of the world’s top art collectors, Laurence Graff’s collection at the Estate is a carefully curated showcase of some of South Africa’s finest contemporary artists. The fine arts spill out into the precisely landscaped gardens as well, featuring Dylan Lewis’ towering bronze cheetahs and additional sculptures from Deborah Bell and Anton Smit. During your stay, you may wish to visit the SMAC (Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Gallery), see Dylan Lewis at the Oude Bank, the Rupert Museum, or schedule a private visit to Lionel Smit’s Studio.
Next, spend three nights in ultra luxury at Singita Boulders Lodge, resting on the banks of the Sand River in the Greater Kruger area. Here, the art tends toward architectural grace and natural marvels. Its 12 contemporary, glass-fronted suites all feature a double-sided fireplace, private leisure decks and a heated plunge pool. During your stay, explore the magic of the African bush on daily game drives in search of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo, to name but a few. For those eager to stretch your legs, speak with your guide about a walking or mountain bike safari to explore at a slower pace and soak in the ambience of your surrounds. Boulders Lodge also features a small boutique and gallery. You will find original treasures – from collectable sculptures, authentic carvings and jewelry created by local craftsmen, to museum quality, fine-art prints and works by some of the most respected artists on the continent, to home-ware and furnishings – gathered from all corners of the African continent. Also note that the Singita Community Development Trust works in partnership with the Growing to Read program in pre-schools. Guests can meet the children in the playrooms and learn about this vital program, as well as witness many other areas of interest and cultural significance on the community visit.
Wrap up your journey with two nights in Johannesburg at the Saxon Boutique Hotel. On your last full day, tour Johannesburg’s burgeoning art scene with a local artist that is part of James Delaney’s guide team. Delaney is a contemporary painter and printmaker who has participated in over 20 group and solo exhibitions in South Africa and the USA. He and his guides curate full day excursions to provide insights into the city from the people who live it, and who are eager to engage in lively, meaningful conversations with travelers. You will have plenty of flexibility to tailor the day to your particular interests, with input from your guide.
Ellerman House – Cape Town
Delaire Graff – Cape Winelands
Singita Boulders Lodge – Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve
The Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa – Johannesburg
Price starts at $10,600 per person based on two travelers.