Perfect the Art of Wonder in South Africa

Explore the nature, wine and art of Africa’s southernmost nation

ARE YOUR BOARDROOM DEBATES lacking pizazz? Your cross-examinations missing their punch? Why not swap the five Ws of interrogation for the three Ws of South African relaxation? The country famous for jaw-dropping wildlife, iconic heroes and incredible views has plenty to offer travelers looking for some R & R. Need a reason to go now? Here are three.

> Wine: Head to the western cape to sample the earthy, South African-created Pinotage. Mix your winetasting with powerful history with a stop in Stellenbosch; the city that once set the model for apartheid is now at the heart of initiatives that give back to neighbouring townships. Sleep at the Mont Rochelle; this Richard Branson-owned hotel and vineyard in Franschoek places you in perfect proximity to the town and its craft vendors. For a more low-key sampling, head for the township shebeens, or little local bars. In Atteridgeville township you’ll hear locals singing the praises of Pheli Wines founder Moyahabo Anna Seemola, one of the first black female winemakers in the country.;

> Wilds: Safari is the main reason people head for this region. If you’re looking to see the Big Five (lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants and Cape buffalo), Kruger National Park is likely on your list. But if you’re after a more intimate experience, consider a trip to the eastern cape. At Kariega Game Reserve (pictured) you’ll find big game making their way across more than 10,000 hectares of pristine wilderness. Sipping your morning coffee while watching giraffe roam will soothe your soul. When you’re done for the day, curl up in one of nine tented rooms at the luxurious Settlers Drift Lodge.

> Wow: The end of apartheid reintroduced South Africa’s creative arts scene to the world. The newest museum making waves around the world is the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town. The innovative museum, housed in a former grain silo, pushes the envelope. Prefer something more grassroots? Take the Past Experiences Graffiti walking tour in Johannesburg. Created by Jo Buitendach in partnership with the communities she visits, you’ll get a community-minded view of the history, art and architecture of this vibrant city.

Heather Greenwood Davis is a lawyer and contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler.