Cape Town, or the Mother City as it is known to locals, is easily one of the most naturally beautiful cities in the world. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Winelands, this iconic South African city oozes Olde-World charm and bustling, rich culture.

The city is home to Table mountain, a prominent landmark overlooking the city. This flat-topped phenomenon is now listed as one of the seven wonders of nature. So, it’s no wonder that four of the top five hotels in Africa are located in Cape Town!

The Cape Grace Hotel, situated on a private quay between the V&A Waterfront and the tranquil yacht marina, was named Best City Hotel in Africa in the Travel+Leisure World Best Awards 2022. Its idyllic location and great service, steeped in 5-star luxury, keep guests returning again and again. Cape Grace hotel’s attention to detail, as one guest noted, is “first-rate”.

The hotel’s exquisite decor tells the story of Cape Town’s colourful heritage. It incorporates local contemporary art, fascinating artefacts and original antiques. The 120 rooms and suites are tastefully and classically styled to reflect the tranquillity of the harbour and Table Mountain facing views.

Tailor-made experiences are thoughtfully crafted, drawing the discerning traveller into a world of relaxation and pampering. Cape Grace Hotel is a family-friendly hotel, catering for children by offering unique story readings, gingerbread decorating and a babysitting service, while parents enjoy luxurious spa treatments or a rare whisky pairing. With its sumptuous cuisine and indulgent Afternoon Teas,  this hotel makes for a memorable stay for the whole family.

One only has to read the reviews and experience it for yourself to see why the Cape Grace Hotel takes first place. It’s a gem to be discovered. Are you ready to book your trip to Cape Town? By Design Africa Travel can assist you with all the logistics, giving you peace of mind that everything is taken care of.

Source: Travel and Leisure and Cape Grace Hotel

One thing becomes clear the more you travel — don’t believe everything you hear! Whether old wives’ tales or over-cautious advice, we’ve heard some doozies over the years, especially when it comes to booking seasonal holidays to sun or snow escapes.

Are you really bound to catch a cold out on the slopes? And if you’ve seen one beach resort, have you really seen them all? We looked into the fact and fiction of these types of claims — here’s what we found:

Myth #1: I’ll miss out if I travel during the off season

There can be some serious #FOMO (fear of missing out) when you plan a trip during a destination’s off season but there needn’t be!

Many destinations have mild or good weather all year round, so barring monsoon or hurricane season (a By Design Africa Travel agent can advise), you should be able to capitalise on lower prices, more flexible availability, and local travel companies that are more receptive to unique or custom requests.

The off-season is great for spontaneity — cheaper flights, hotel upgrades, sightseeing without the queues, and last-minute tour or restaurant bookings you wouldn’t have been able to snag in the high season.

Sometimes, the vacation-of-a-lifetime is just a matter of changing your attitude. While destinations like Bali are a little wetter off season, it also means conditions are better for river rafting and waterfall chasing (and you’ll likely be back on the beach within an hour or two, since tropical rainstorms don’t last long).

You also might be lucky enough to overlap with several cultural festivals that happen off-season: the Bali Spirit Festival, Ubud Readers and Writers Festival, or the Ubud Food Festival, for instance.

Myth #2: Seen one tropical destination, seen ‘em all

There’s so much more to island destinations than palm trees, sand and sun (though we love each of these things in their own right!). Don’t think just because you’ve spent some time on Zanzibar that all Indian Ocean getaways must be the same.

Tropical destinations make it their missions to differentiate themselves from their counterparts. For the most part, they succeed with flying colours.

The Maldives, for instance, was founded by former fishermen from Kerala and Sri Lanka, hence its melting pot of culture (a mix of indigenous groups and colonial settlers from Portugal, the UK and the Netherlands) and mouth-watering food. Besides its iconic floating cabanas, the warm waters of the seabed play host to a plethora of underwater marine life.

While parents relax with a cocktail or go scuba diving, the kids can enjoy a bucket list family holiday too. Activities include flying trapeze, beach soccer and volleyball, a romantic overwater swing, kayaking, snorkelling, and surfing.

Then there’s a tropical paradise like Seychelles. Historically, it was known as a treasure island for pirates. Since then its multiculturalism has created a cosmopolitan feel to the islands, with rich architecture and traditions. From birdlife to wildlife and marine life – the biodiversity here is some of the world’s best and has been protected for decades.

Myth #3: Peak season travel means everything will be fully booked

While it is often true that in-season travel means queues, higher rates and fully-booked excursions and hotels, it’s not always the case.

Studies show about 50% of holiday travellers choose to stay with family or friends whenever they can, reducing the strain on local hotels. It’s also true that business travel is typically non-existent during peak season, so many destinations try to fill rooms with exclusive package deals and additional perks.

Peak season travel usually just means you need to book a little earlier and keep an eye out for specials (our expert travel agents are pros at this). And even when your hotel or resort is at full capacity, properties, staff and amenities are all designed to give you the best experience — despite the number of guests.

Myth #4: Everyone in the family will love it!

While the hope always is that everyone will be equally as excited about your travel itinerary, the reality is we’re all unique and want different things out of a holiday.

For some, it’s relaxation and nothing else. Others can’t sit still and need adventure 24/7. Learning about new cultures might be your thing; food someone else’s. Therefore, a little pre-trip democracy can go a long way when travelling with a partner or group.

Get everyone’s list of top activities, sights and eats of choice — then plan to try a couple each day, centred around a stellar resort where you’ll all be spoilt for choice, like Club Med’s La Pointe aux Canonniers in Mauritius.

Myth #5: Winter travel leads to winter blues — or a cold

Although the term “winter blues” is often loosely applied to all things winter, travellers are not likely to experience the medically-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) on a winter holiday, or a pesky cold or flu.

When it comes to SAD, because most people who experience this type of depression notice symptoms during late fall or early winter, due to prolonged exposure. They typically live far north or south of the equator and experience the same things year after year.

In contrast, a short holiday to a winter destination can actually be exciting for us South Africans — the prospect of a new environment, planning with family or friends, and the anticipation of a trip releases mood-boosting endorphins, regardless of the weather.

The same goes for colds and flus. It’s not actually the weather that causes illness but viruses and bacteria that can multiply in warm, dry climates (like those indoors, where people tend to congregate when it’s cold outside). In fact, the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine published a study that said that cold weather may even stimulate the immune system and reduce the risk of falling ill.

That being said, if you do feel a little down on your trip make sure you’re getting regular sleep, eat well and drink water, and get enough physical activity each day to get your blood and happy hormones pumping (Tiffindell Ski Resort in the Southern Drakensberg should do the trick!).

For more information on our latest specials or to book your next trip, please visit our website!



Blog article courtesy of Sure Travel.




When it comes to travel, one size definitely doesn’t fit all — some live for summery beach breakaways while others thrive on the wintery slopes. But did you know your favourite destination might boil down to more than a passing preference?

In a study by the University of Virginia in the United States, psychologists asked respondents about their geographical preferences. They found introverts preferred spending time in the mountains, while extroverts loved time near the ocean. So what do the destinations on your bucket list say about you?

Powdery slopes & cosy fireplaces

Does your idea of a memorable holiday include an active trip to one of France’s best skiing resorts at an altitude of 2 300 metres? Do you find solace within the peaks of majestic panoramic mountains? Then you’re a:


You adapt easily and have a fearless and competitive streak. This means you also excel in the workplace and lead by example, thriving off being in charge – it’s why some serious away time is so important for you.

Independent introvert

You’re meticulous, logical and analyse the world around you, which makes you wise beyond your years. While you enjoy the company of others, you decompress best when you can sneak in a bit of “me time” and get lost in a good book.

Heart, soul, culture & calm

Are you excited by vivid experiences filled with colour and new cultures? Do you de-stress by learning new things, reinventing yourself in new places, and designating time to reflect? Then you might be one of the following travellers:

Go-with-the-flow guy/gal

You’re quick on your feet and not much rattles you. You’re innovative and a bit of dreamer, keen to try new things, always keeping an open mind. People love being in your company, thanks to your charismatic, easy-breezy personality.

Life of the party

You’re fun, energetic and a bit of social butterfly. While planning might not be your forte, you always ensure others are having a great time. You have a curious streak, enjoy the finer things in life, and keep to date with the trends without taking yourself too seriously.

Sun, sand, space & family

Do computer screensavers of white sandy beaches and palm trees, or the promise of a care-free family atmosphere make you breathe a sigh of relief? Are you all about making memories with your little ones, while still having the option to put your feet up and simply “do nothing” with a cocktail in hand? Then you might just be a:


Let’s face it. If you got away on holiday this year, it’s probably because you’ve put in long hours working to make it perfect. You’re a planner, caretaker, and love doing things for others — thankless as it may sometimes be. But even you could use some off time! Reboot that selfless nature of yours by switching off completely during your ‘vacay’ time and indulging whenever you get the chance.

Tasteful traveller

You’re a perfectionist, logical and analytical. You like to know what’s going on around you — and you always know what the weather will be like tomorrow. You unwind by keeping it low key, but obviously in style. Good food, fine wine, and an afternoon at the resort spa are your go-to splurges on holiday.

Go there with By Design Africa Travel

Book your next holiday with By Design Africa travel! Visit our website for more information on our latest travel specials and packages.



Blog article courtesy of Sure Travel.


In the hustle and bustle of the modern world, they say that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Those fortunate enough to have travelled internationally will know the feeling of renewed zest and appreciation you get from having experienced other cultures and places.

Yet, planning an overseas trip can also involve a lot of head-scratching. Where should you go? Does it offer enough attractions to make the expense worthwhile? What about transport? Is the destination safe enough? The list goes on. Thankfully, one city ticks all the boxes: Cape Town.

Located on the scenic southwest coast of South Africa, Cape Town has so much to do and see that travellers often extend their trip! Established in 1652 as a ship-supply station on the Spice Route to the East, this beautiful city boasts a rich, colourful history, spectacular scenery, pristine beaches, world-class shopping, hotels and fine dining, along with every activity imaginable. Unsurprising, then, that The New York Times and The Daily Telegraph named Cape Town “The Best Place in the World to Visit”.

Below are just some of the attractions that make Cape Town a must-visit destination.

Table Mountain

Sheer cliffs rising to over 1000 metres, this flat-topped mountain forms a dramatic backdrop to the city of Cape Town. Accessible by cable car or hiking trails for the more adventurous, Table Mountain rewards visitors with panoramic views of Cape Town, Table Bay, harbour, Robben Island and the Atlantic seaboard. Table Mountain is flanked by Lion’s Head and Devil’s peak, which also offer hiking trails and photo opportunities of this iconic landmark. Set on the eastern slopes, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens forms part of this UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts millions of visitors every year.

Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

Located in the oldest working harbour in the Southern hemisphere, The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a visitor’s paradise. The area has some of the world’s finest hotels, with the timeless elegance of the Victoria & Alfred Hotel, built in 1904 and named for Queen Victoria and her second son, Prince Alfred, the Silo Hotel, a modern, industrial take on luxury accommodation, Dock House Boutique Hotel and Spa, and One&Only Cape Town with its own marina and famous restaurant, Nobu.

Marvel at the beauty of an African sunset and expansive views of the city and Table Mountain as you cruise aboard the Spirit of Victoria. Savour delectable cuisine at Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre with over 80 different eateries, catch a movie or shop-till-you-drop at any of the 450 retail outlets (shopaholics can also visit Canal Walk, South Africa’s third-largest shopping centre located in Century City just off the N1 highway). Thrill-seekers can get up close with ocean predators at the Two Oceans Aquarium, explore the wonders of the Cape peninsula on a helicopter ride or relive a bygone era on a historical guided walking tour of the V&A Waterfront… you’ll need to set aside enough time to experience everything this spectacular development has to offer.

Robben Island Museum

South Africa’s chequered history comes alive as you tour this infamous island prison where Nelson Mandela was kept for over seventeen years. A UNESCO Heritage Site, visitors reach Robben Island on a half- to one-hour ferry trip across Table Bay from the V&A Waterfront (travellers prone to seasickness may need to take nausea tablets an hour before embarkation). On the four-hour visit to this former maximum-security prison, the guides are former prisoners who share their experiences during the apartheid era. The tour includes a multimedia exhibit, Mandela’s cell and the lime quarry where prisoners were subjected to back-breaking labour. For a more in-depth experience, visitors can book a guided Cape Town Township Tour that includes Robben Island, the District Six Museum and nearby townships of Langa and Gugulethu.

Cape Point / Cape Agulhas

The most south-westerly tip of Africa, Cape Point lies about 60 kilometres from Cape Town and is part of the Table Mountain National Park and Cape Floral Region. Take the Flying Dutchman Funicular or tackle the steps up to the Cape Point lighthouse for sweeping vistas of the coastline, whale-watching, shipwreck-spotting and nature walks. The drive from Cape Town offers thrilling scenic coastal views along Chapman’s Peak drive, penguin-viewing at Boulder’s Bay in Simon’s Town and a relaxing stopover at the quaint fishing harbour town of Kalk Bay. For an even more rewarding day trip, Cape Agulhas is 150 kilometres from Cape Town at the southernmost tip of Africa where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Built in 1848, the lighthouse is the second oldest in South Africa.

Cape Winelands

Spectacular scenery, sprawling vineyards and Cape Dutch architecture are ready to greet visitors within a short drive from Cape Town. With historic wine farms dating back to the 1650s, the Cape Winelands Wine Route includes Stellenbosch, Constantia, Helderberg and Durbanville. The Franschhoek Wine Route has a distinct French Huguenot heritage with the quaint village of Franschhoek offering guests boutique hotels, antique shops, art galleries and restaurants. A highlight is a leisurely trip on the Franschhoek Wine Tram.

Peak Season in Cape Town is during the summer months from December to February. During the “Shoulder Seasons” (March to May, September to November), visitors enjoy thinner crowds, cooler weather and lower prices.