Africa Travel

Exploring South Africa’s Cape Winelands

Among the vines

Story and Photos by Lee Daley.

You’ll find no better way to round out a trip to Cape Town than to ramble out to the Cape Winelands. Less than an hour’s drive away, the countryside offers a welcome counterpoint to Cape Town’s urban vibe. Three Cape Winelands villages- Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl–form the ideal triumvirate for exploration and tastings. Besides great weather and gorgeous mountains, there are spectacular examples of Cape Dutch architecture and fertile valleys ripe with scented orchards and vineyards. Each village is a world unto itself, offering a diverse network of well-marked, tree-lined wine trails. Most wine lovers know that cool weather combined with foggy conditions helps to cultivate enviable wines with character and fruitiness. South Africa’s Cape Winelands delivers this dynamic duo in spades thanks to maritime influences from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

Zambia’s Mfuwe Lodge: Where Elephants Roam.

Story by Lee Daley.     The local elephants are so friendly at Zambia’s Mfuwe Lodge you may find one ambling through the front lobby on her way to a nearby grove of wild mango trees. A favorite of safari enthusiasts, Mfuwe owes its popularity to its magnificent location in South Luangwa National Park,  a wildlife paradise. But its fame among many who visit comes from the informal visits of a local herd of elephants. It seems the mango grove has been a long-time favorite of the herd who see no reason to change their ways just because a lodge was built along their historical route. Camera snap. Jaws drop. Blessed by an elephant visitation, guests leave this first-class resort withan unforgettable memory. It should be added that elephants in the park are very used to human activity and this may contribute to their seemingly complete ease around guests.