OUR HONEYMOON, PART FIVE: GIRAFFE MANOR

Today is the last post about our honeymoon! I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed following along and that they’ve helped those of you planning your own African safari trips. (If you’re playing catch-up, you can read parts one, two, three, and four and check out our itinerary and my packing list!)

We ended our honeymoon with two nights at Giraffe Manor, a property in Nairobi that’s been on my bucket list for as long as I’ve had one. It’s known for its resident giraffes who come up to the hotel to be fed grass pellets during breakfast (~6:00 a.m.) and afternoon tea (~4:00 p.m.). They’re quite friendly and very food-motivated, which makes for some pretty incredible photo opps!

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giraffe manor review

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giraffe manor honeymoon review

How we got there:

We drove from Solio Lodge to Nanyuki Airport and flew to Wilson Airport in Nairobi. Giraffe Manor was a twenty-minute drive from the airport.

Where we stayed: Giraffe Manor

Beyond the giraffes (which surpassed my very high expectations), the property itself is like something out of a novel, with a stately ivy-covered facade and balconies and windows that open to greet the tallest giraffes. The staff were all delightful (though how could they not be working in such a special place?) and it was easily the most relaxing part of our trip, because everyone seems to crawl back into bed for a nap after an early breakfast with giraffes. We did group dinners both nights in the dining room and met the most fascinating people from around the world, from a Hong Kong dermatologist and her ophthalmologist husband to a Scottish couple who owns an Airbnb. I just can’t say enough good things about it!

david sheldrick elephant sanctuary

david sheldrick wildlife trust elephants

Day thirteen:

We actually didn’t get to feed the giraffes (though we saw a few roaming the property outside the hotel gates) on our first day because our flight landed in the afternoon and we headed straight to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an elephant rescue sanctuary that our travel agent had mentioned. I was so moved by their work (seriously the stories on their website will break your heart) and decided to foster a baby elephant named Bada who was found alone without his mother and struggling to fit in with passing herds. Many of the elephants were orphaned when their parents were killed by poachers and the foundation does amazing work to care for injured elephants and reintegrate those who have been found alone. Watching the baby elephants run in from the forest to be fed their evening meal was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

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Wearing Ralph Lauren sweater, White + Warren wrap, J.Crew jeans, and Joie booties

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Wearing Cuyana hat, Kate Spade dress, and Joie booties

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Day fourteen:

We definitely got our giraffe fix on the last day of our honeymoon. We woke up early so we could be the first to scope out a table in the breakfast room where the giraffes poke their heads in for handfuls of the grass pellets placed in bowls around the room. I was so excited that I woke up an hour before my alarm! We fed the giraffes for a half hour and then sat down for coffee and breakfast, but the giraffes kept sticking their heads back in and looking for more treats. It was just a completely surreal experience and something that I’m not sure exists anywhere else (though if it does, please tell me so I can go!).

We relaxed for the rest of the day (okay and Will tried to teach me how to play chess…) until it was time for the giraffes to come back at tea time. This time we fed them from the lawn in front of the hotel. At one point my hat blew off and one of the giraffes took off running haha. I have some pretty funny videos on my phone! Then we freshened up for dinner and had one last group dinner (with different guests than the night before) before our early morning flight home the next day.

I hope I’ve answered lots of your questions about Giraffe Manor and the rest of our trip! In retrospect I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else for our honeymoon — it was the perfect mix of adventure, relaxation, and sightseeing and I can’t wait to go back someday (maybe even with our future children!). Feel free to comment with any additional questions and I’ll do my best to help. I can’t wait to live vicariously through all of your upcoming trips!

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OUR HONEYMOON, PART FOUR: SOLIO LODGE

After three days in Cape Town, two days at Londolozi, and four days in the Serengeti, we made our way to Kenya for the remaining four days of our honeymoon. The leg in today’s post was initially the part of our trip we were least excited about, as we were required to book two nights at Solio Lodge in order to be able to spend two nights at Giraffe Manor (clearly the star property of the hotel collection). We were dead set on ending our honeymoon at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, so we figured we would eat the cost of the two nights at Solio Lodge in order to end our trip in a hotel that was on both of our bucket lists. I’m not sure if this is the case year-round or if this rule goes into effect only at certain times, but I’m actually extremely grateful that it introduced us to a property that was not on our radar because we had the best time at Solio Lodge and it was different in several ways from our safaris in South Africa and Tanzania. Lots more below! xx

solio lodge review

solio lodge honeymoon review

How we got there:

Three flights: from Serengeti/Serona (near the Four Seasons) to Kilimanjaro, from Kilimanjaro to Wilson in Nairobi, and from Wilson to the Solio airstrip just outside the ranch.

Where we stayed: Solio Lodge

Solio Lodge blew our expectations out of the water. I’m not sure why we weren’t looking forward to it as much (perhaps only because we’d heard rave reviews from family and friends about the other places we’d stayed) but the second we arrived we knew we were way off-base. The lodge sits on a private 45,000 acre (!) game reserve and is known for its population of rhinoceros. Now I’m much more of an elephant/lion person so I wasn’t on the edge of my seat about seeing so many rhinos — until we actually saw them (dozens of them) and our guide had us get out of the car to take pictures (which for sure would not have happened in South Africa or Tanzania!). We wound up having some of the best game drives of our entire honeymoon and would highly recommend the experience for anyone looking for a Kenyan safari!

Also I will say we had some of the best food of our trip here. The manager of the property is an incredible chef who’s lived all over the world and made several pasta dishes while we were there that we’re still talking about months later. We ate most of our meals outside with monkeys jumping from tree to tree around us… definitely a cool only-in-Africa experience.

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Wearing Cuyana hat, Ralph Lauren sweater, White + Warren wrap, Ralph Lauren jodhpurs, and Joie booties

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Day eleven:

After our three flights to get from the Serengeti to Solio, we quickly dropped off our bags and set off on our first game drive. I thought our guide was joking when he pulled up to a crash of rhinos and suggested getting out of the car and taking pictures because we’d done nothing of the sort on our first two safaris! Apparently there are two types of rhinos (black and white, even though they both appear gray) — the “white” rhinos have a wider lip and the Afrikaans word “weid” was mistaken for the word “white” hence the misnomer. In any event, black rhinos are considered more aggressive (and one actually came running towards our vehicle at Londolozi before we hightailed it out of there!) and white rhinos have a compromised sense of sight that makes it possible to get much closer to them — they were totally unfazed by our getting out of the car! We had the same opportunity the next day and it was no less spectacular the second time around.

solio lodge review

solio lodge honeymoon review

design darling safari outfits

Wearing Cuyana hat, Ray-Ban clubmasters, Ralph Lauren sweater, White + Warren wrap, J.Crew jeans, and Joie booties

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white rhinos at solio lodge

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Wearing Ray-Ban clubmasters, Ralph Lauren shirt, Ralph Lauren jodhpurs, and Joie booties

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Wearing Cuyana hat, Ray-Ban clubmasters, Ralph Lauren sweater, Ralph Lauren shirt, Ralph Lauren leather pants, and Joie booties

ralph lauren leather pants on design darling safari honeymoon

design darling safari honeymoon

design darling honeymoon

Day twelve:

Our second day at Solio Lodge started with another very fruitful game drive! We were able to get out of the car to take pictures with giraffes and it was truly one of the most spectacular moments of my life. We also saw a rhino nursing her baby and our guide spotted the lion in the tree from a seriously impressive distance (she was so well hidden, Will and I couldn’t see her until we were maybe twenty feet away!).

In the afternoon, we went on a horseback safari on a part of the ranch where they allow in animals like impalas and zebras but can keep out leopards and lions who might not get along so well with the horses. Neither Will nor I is a big horseback rider but it just seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we couldn’t pass up! It yielded some of the funniest memories of the trip and the views were incredible… the perfect way to cap off our short but sweet stay at Solio!

We did one last evening game drive and saw even more lions and rhinos. Even after 10+ game drives, seeing a new animal just never got old! And apparently I changed outfits three times on our last day haha — the white jeans got so dusty on the morning game drive, I knew I wanted to wear the jodhpurs for horseback riding, and obviously I needed to end the safari in my leather pants. 😉

I’ll be back tomorrow with part five of our honeymoon to recap our stay at Giraffe Manor… and I think it’s fair to say we saved the best for last!

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OUR HONEYMOON, PART THREE: THE SERENGETI

I hope you enjoyed reading about our time in Cape Town and at Londolozi! On the sixth day of our honeymoon, we made our way from South Africa to Tanzania. This was one of the long travel days I mentioned in yesterday’s post and while I won’t downplay the difficulty of getting from Londolozi to the Serengeti, it was so worth it for us to be able to experience safaris in both places on one trip. I’ve detailed our travel journey and our four days in the Serengeti below!

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four seasons serengeti honeymoon review

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four seasons serengeti honeymoon

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Where we stayed: Four Seasons Serengeti

The Four Seasons Serengeti combines the luxury of a well-known hotel collection with the natural beauty of the Serengeti. If you’re looking for a super relaxing safari experience (where you can decide the timing of your game drives, book any number of excursions, spend an afternoon at the spa, etc.) this is the place for you. We stayed in an insanely gorgeous room with a private terrace overlooking the park and one day we saw a massive herd of elephants just casually making their way past our room to the hotel pool. We also had an outdoor shower (my favorite!) and were welcomed to our room with sweet treats that had been printed with one of our wedding photos! Needless to say the service was pretty exceptional.

But the pièce de résistance at the Four Seasons is the infinity pool overlooking the park. It has a watering hole just beyond it where elephants gather several times a day and the scene took our breath away each time we were lucky enough to catch them there!

design darling honeymoon packing list

Wearing Cuyana hat, Ray-Ban clubmasters, Ralph Lauren shirt, Barrington Gifts tote, Frame jeans, and Hubbell Hille loafers

Day six:

As I mentioned above, day six was our biggest travel day of the trip. It started with a two-hour drive from Londolozi to Kruger Airport for a flight to Johannesburg. We then flew from Johannesburg to Nairobi (where we’d return in several days) and from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro. Then we drove one hour from the airport to spend the night at the Legendary Lodge in Arusha, Tanzania, as there was no flight to get from Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti that evening. If you are are just planning a trip to the Serengeti (without visiting South Africa first), I would try to get straight to the Four Seasons vs. spending a night in Arusha. We were there for too short a time to actually see anything (arriving after dark and leaving the next morning) and we’d have much preferred another night on safari than a quick sleep in a sprawling city. Just my two cents! 🙂

four seasons serengeti review

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Day seven:

We flew from the airport in Arusha to the Serengeti/Serona Airport with the plane making several quick stops in between. I actually love traveling on a tiny plane because it means you can be on solid ground within a minute of landing (compared to having to wait for 20 rows in front of you to deplane… the worst) but it is something I wanted to call out in case you’re a nervous flier.

The Four Seasons sent a car to pick us up at the airport and we really had a mini game drive en route to the safari lodge. It was immediately fascinating to compare our safari experience in South Africa with the same experience in Tanzania. In South Africa, the cars were all open and the terrain was pretty rugged and very dry. We could also go a while without seeing any animals and then suddenly get the thrill of the chase and go barreling off in pursuit of a leopard or a lion. In the Serengeti, the cars were enclosed (with lots of windows and a sunroof big enough to look out of) and primarily stayed on paths (meaning sometimes we were super close to the animals and other times we’d use binoculars our driver provided to get a closer look). And there were animals literally everywhere in the Serengeti — it wasn’t uncommon to see elephants, giraffes, lions, and zebras all within a half hour. We absolutely loved both experiences, but I thought I’d highlight the differences if you prefer the sound of one or the other!

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four seasons serengeti honeymoon review

four seasons serengeti honeymoon

four seasons serengeti hot air balloon ride

four seasons serengeti zebras from hot air balloon ride

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Wearing Cuyana hat, Ray-Ban clubmasters, Ralph Lauren sweater, White + Warren wrapBarrington tote, Ralph Lauren jodhpurs, and Joie booties

four seasons serengeti spa

Day eight:

We woke up extremely early on our first full day at the Four Seasons for a hot air balloon ride with Serengeti Balloon Safaris. Neither of us had ever done a hot air balloon ride before and it sounded like an amazing way to take in our new scenery! Our hot air balloon took off right at sunrise and it was not only incredibly peaceful but offered a magical viewpoint for spotting animals below. Two other hot air balloons took off at the same time so we were able to take some fun photos of the other balloons from the air. If you look closely at the fourth photo down, those are actually dozens of hippos in the water! The hot air balloon ride is 100% something we would both do again, in Africa or elsewhere.

After the hot air balloon ride, there was a champagne brunch with two long tables of other hotel guests. It was really fun to meet several other couples our age who were also on their honeymoons and hear about where everyone had been and was heading to next!

We then headed back to the safari lodge and had the most luxurious couple’s massage in the spa. I live for a good massage but even Will (who gets super antsy during massages and always tries to listen to an audiobook simultaneously… #nerdalert) said it was the best one he’s ever had.

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Wearing Cuyana hat, Kate Spade military jacket, Frame jeans, and Joie booties

four seasons serengeti bush dinner

four seasons serengeti honeymoon dinner

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Day nine:

The next day was quite possibly the best game drive of the entire trip. It started with an extremely rare cheetah sighting, but the highlight was happening upon a pride of lions hanging out in the shade. We parked and watched them for a while until the lions started getting too warm and set off in search of better shade. By that time there were several trucks parked watching them and some of the lions started using the trucks’ shadows as a cool place to rest! I think it was the closest we got to any animal on our entire honeymoon and I seriously took over 100 photos before putting down my camera and just reveling in what was surely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I get goosebumps all over again just thinking about it!

After our game drive, the Four Seasons surprised us with a romantic bush dinner with a candlelit table atop a small hill overlooking the park. We had cocktails as the sun set and spent dinner recounting everything we’d seen that day. It is one of my favorite memories from the trip!

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four seasons serengeti pool on design darling

Wearing Marysia scalloped one-piece

Day ten:

Our final day at the Four Seasons started with another game drive and ended with afternoon cocktails with elephants at the pool before a candlelit dinner at the pool after the sunset. Elephants have been my favorite animal for as long as I can remember and I could have watched them all day both from the truck and the pool. Did you know that they can live to be 70 years old in the wild? Or that they’re vegetarians? Or that the whole herd pitches in to protect the babies? I could go on. 🙂 I just love them so much!

I hope that’s a helpful rundown of our time at the Four Seasons Serengeti! As with each chapter of our trip, we were sad to leave but looking forward tothe next adventure. I’ll be back this afternoon with part four!

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OUR HONEYMOON, PART TWO: LONDOLOZI

I’m back with part two of our honeymoon! (You can read part one here.) Before I get into all the photos, I thought I’d share how exactly we wound up in Africa for our honeymoon. While we loved our three days in Cape Town, Will and I were definitely most excited about going on safari. We picked Africa as our honeymoon destination because we knew it was one of the longest stretches of time either of us would ever be able to take off of work and so we wanted to travel just about as far as we could. We narrowed our choices down to Africa and Australia and we had so many friends who raved about their African safari experiences that we knew that was the winner. We discussed all the various places in Africa we’d dreamt of visiting and worked with our travel agent to figure out how we could cover the most ground, ultimately deciding to split our time across South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya.

I will say that this itinerary was pretty aggressive in retrospect and made for a couple very long travel days in the middle of our trip. That said, it was 1000% worth it for us as we wanted to see as much as humanly possible and don’t know how soon we’ll be able to get back to Africa. But I know most of our friends picked one or maybe two countries to visit on their honeymoons so I thought I’d share our rationale for flying into Cape Town and ending up in Nairobi less than two weeks later! It wound up being a great decision for us and it was super cool to be able to compare the safari experiences we had in each country. Today we’re kicking things off with our South African safari at Londolozi!

design darling londolozi honeymoon

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londolozi tree camp on design darling

How we got there: 2.5 hour flight from Cape Town to Skukuza

Where we stayed: Londolozi Tree Camp

It’s hard to describe how extraordinary the Londolozi experience is. Will had read the founder’s book prior to our arrival, but I knew nothing about Londolozi save for our friends’ rave review after their honeymoon there three years ago. So many people had told us that the safari experience would be mind-blowing and that the service would be above and beyond anything we’d ever experienced, but even those sentiments don’t express just how much we adored our two days at Londolozi.

If first impressions are everything, Londolozi blew us out of the water from the moment we were picked up at the airport. It was an hour long drive to the camp and we saw giraffes within the first 15 minutes (and saw all of the Big Five — lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and buffalos — in our two days). The decor at Tree Camp is exquisite and our room took my breath away — we walked in only to see an elephant staring back at us through the glass wall of the living area. An elephant!

But what makes Londolozi so world-class are the people. The camp manager sat down with us when we arrived to discuss our plans for our stay and planned a private picnic to commemorate our honeymoon. Our driver Melvin and tracker Milton were unbelievably skilled at finding animals on the private game reserve and were so fun to be around that popping out of bed at 4:30 a.m. suddenly seemed like the easiest thing in the world. And it’s not just the staff — we became friends with several other guests during our stay, from the Atlanta couple with five kids who joined us on game drives to the couple who’d just been married at the Bedford Post Inn less than 30 minutes from our house. It’s something I had never before experienced on an international trip — there’s something about the Londolozi experience that brings people together and makes you want to hear and tell stories and spend time with complete strangers. We realized quickly that we’d have the rest of our lives to eat dinner just the two of us and that we wanted to revel in the sense of community that makes Londolozi so unique. We were only there for 48 hours and yet I could tear up thinking about the incredible people we met during our short stay there — this is not a place we visited and could simply cross off our bucket list, but rather one we want to save up for years in order to be able to visit again someday. It is definitely a splurge but honestly if you can go for just one night, it’s worth it!

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Wearing Cuyana hat, Ray-Ban clubmasters, Ralph Lauren button-down, Ralph Lauren sweater, and Ralph Lauren jodhpurs

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Day four: 

Londolozi is known for its leopards, which are notoriously difficult to spot in the wild. After seeing giraffes and rhinoceros on our first afternoon game drive, our tracker followed a leopard cub back to its mother, who had just killed an impala for him to share with his brother. We watched them eat and defend their dinner from a greedy hyena until well after the sun had set and, while the scene was slightly gruesome at times, it was truly unlike anything I had seen before and made me realize just how incredible our time in Africa was going to be. We finished the evening with a candlelit dinner at the camp where no one could stop talking about all the animals they’d seen that day!

You can see that the Londolozi vehicles are completely open Land Rovers that could change course at a moment’s notice and had no problem zipping over branches or brush in pursuit of an animal. These were totally different from the vehicles we were in in both Tanzania and Kenya later in the trip and we both loved the open air and the ruggedness of the terrain. You’ll have a better comparison when I post about the Serengeti and Solio Lodge tomorrow!

I’ve gotten a ton of questions about what camera and lenses we used during our trip and one more thing we really appreciated about Londolozi (and our next stop!) was that we could rent a zoom lens on our second day that was much better suited to close-up photography (you’ll see that several of the shots above are really grainy, especially as it got darker). We only had a luggage allowance of 33 pounds each and camera equipment is so heavy (plus I don’t have a use for a zoom lens in my everyday life), so it was amazing to spend around $60/day to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments without lugging a massive (and expensive) zoom lens from one location to the next. I use this camera and own this portrait lens (which I use for outfit pictures) and this wide angle lens (which I use for interior photos) but at Londolozi we were able to rent this incredible zoom lens that fit right onto my camera body. (And if you don’t own a camera body, they have those for rent as well!)

londolozi elephants on design darling

londolozi giraffes at sunrise

polo ralph lauren leather skinny pant

Wearing Cuyana hat, Ray-Ban clubmasters, Ralph Lauren sweater, White + Warren wrap, Ralph Lauren leather pants, and Joie booties

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londolozi honeymoon review on design darling

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Wearing Cuyana hat, Ray-Ban clubmasters, J.Crew t-shirt, Ralph Lauren sweater, and Frame jeans

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londolozi review

Day five:

We woke up bright and early on our only full day at Londolozi for another game drive with Melvin and Milton starting at 5:00 a.m. It was very chilly that early in the morning so I wore nearly all the layers I’d packed! A herd of elephants crossed the road directly in front of our vehicle and I was just in heaven watching them and taking pictures. We also saw two giraffes “wrestling” as the sun came up and stopped for a cup of coffee before spending the majority of the game drive tracking a pride of female lions (the first ones we’d seen on the trip!). They were so much bigger than I’d expected and truly majestic in person. On our way back Will got to sit up front in the tracker’s seat — I was terrified at the time but now looking back I’m totally jealous!

We arrived back at Tree Camp to a decadent breakfast display and the news that the camp manager had coordinated a private picnic for our afternoon lunch. We were driven to an enclosed lookout high above a river where we could pour ourselves a glass of wine, snack on all kinds of yummy treats, look for animals, and even take a cat nap under the shade. It was just the most touching gesture and such a romantic way to spend our final afternoon in such a special place.

We headed back to camp in time for an evening game drive at 4:00 p.m. It was definitely t-shirt weather in the afternoon, but it cooled down quickly as the sun set. We had somehow spotted a leopard on our picnic (much to our tracker’s disbelief!) and actually found the same one on our evening game drive. We were able to get really close and Will took what I think are some of our best photos of the entire trip (since he was seated closer to the leopard!).

After sunset, we headed back to camp for cocktails and a group dinner under the stars. Our two days at Londolozi flew by much too quickly but we keep telling ourselves if we work hard enough, we’ll get to go back someday! I hope you’re enjoying my honeymoon posts so far — check back tomorrow for part three in the Serengeti!

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OUR HONEYMOON, PART ONE: CAPE TOWN

I’m so excited to kick off this week’s honeymoon recaps! We kicked off our two-week honeymoon with four nights in Cape Town, South Africa, and this post will have all the info on where we stayed, what we did, where we ate, etc.

ellerman house cape town review on design darling

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design darling ellerman house cape town

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design darling ellerman house cape town honeymoon

How we got there: flight from New York to Cape Town with a layover in Paris

Where we stayed: four nights / three days at Ellerman House

I had come across pictures of Ellerman House in my online research before our trip and it was at the top of my list for places to stay in Cape Town. I’m happy to say it exceeded our very high expectations! It’s an eleven-suite property so it’s extremely intimate (I swear there was a day we didn’t see a single other guest!) and the view from our room and our breakfast table each morning just couldn’t be beat. It was also an easy Uber ride to everything we wanted to see in Cape Town!

The staff at Ellerman House also went above and beyond to make the start of our trip extra romantic. Things like leaving champagne and fresh flowers in our room, drawing a tub, lighting candles, leaving rose petals on the bed… they were sort of classic honeymoon gestures but we got a kick out of each one!

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boulders beach penguins cape town design darling honeymoon

Day one: guided tour of the Cape Peninsula

We booked most of our trip with the Atlanta-based travel agency Currie & Co., who came highly recommended by our friends who had honeymooned in South Africa a few years ago. We told them the hotels we wanted to stay in and they were very helpful in building a framework of activities around those destinations (with our input of course!). I was also pretty focused on researching great restaurants in Cape Town (since we wouldn’t have much flexibility on safari meals later in the trip) so I made several reservations in advance and they added them to our itinerary. (P.S. You can follow our favorite travel advisor Sarah on Instagram — her feed gives me constant wanderlust!)

For our first full day in Cape Town, Currie & Co. coordinated a private driving tour with Ilios Travel. I was very weary of starting our honeymoon with a guided tour (and made sure we wouldn’t be on a giant tour bus… the opposite of romantic) but it was such a relaxing way to take in the South African coastline and learn more about the country’s history, geography, and current events. It definitely didn’t hurt that we were in a private car with the sweetest driver and thoughtful additions like bottled water in a cooler at our feet. The scenery reminded me a lot of driving the California coastline with my family growing up. It is just breathtakingly beautiful (I could not get over the color of the water!) and our driver was kind enough to keep pulling over so we could snap more photos!

We made stops at Clifton Beach, Camps Bay, the Cape of Good Hope, and a (rather unremarkable) lunch in Simonstown before heading to the highlight of our first day: seeing the penguins at Boulders Beach! My second grade class had studied penguins and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since, so getting to see them in person and in their natural habitat was such a treat. I could have watched them all day!

We visited Kirstenbosch Gardens in the afternoon, which was beautiful but not yet totally in bloom as it was the end of winter when we visited in September. We ended the evening with dinner at The Potluck Club, which several of you had recommended on this post and which was a hip spot to take in the city skyline over yummy tapas-style dishes. The receptionist at Ellerman House was so impressed that we’d managed to score reservations (I think about six weeks out?) so this is definitely one you’ll want to book in advance.

delaire graff wine tasting

design darling delaire graff south africa

delaire graff rosé south africa

Wine tasting at Delaire Graff

babylonstoren south africa

winelands south africa

design darling babel at babylonstoren south africa

design darling babylonstoren

babylonstoren ducks

design darling babylonstoren honeymoon

Lunch at Babylonstoren — wearing Cuyana hat, Ray-Ban clubmastersRalph Lauren sweater, Ralph Lauren button-down, Frame jeans, and Joie booties

grande provence south africa

grande provence wine tasting south africa

design darling honeymoon wine tasting

design darling south africa honeymoon

Wine tasting at Grande Provence

design darling honeymoon south africa

design darling south africa winelands

design darling winelands south africa

design darling honeymoon south africa winelands

Day two: the Winelands

Our same Ilios driver picked us up on our second morning for a day of wine tasting in Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, a little over an hour outside of Cape Town. I’ll preface this by saying that neither Will nor I is particularly educated when it comes to wine (and that I stuck to rosé for most of our trip…), but we were excited to explore this region and try some of your recommendations in the area.

We started the day with a wine tasting at Delaire Graff in Stellenbosch and then drove to Babylonstoren for lunch at their farm-to-table restaurant Babel (another spot you definitely need to book in advance!). As a vegetarian, I was in heaven with all their fresh vegetable dishes and think it was one of the best meals of the trip. We also took some time after lunch to wander the property and soak in the gardens, mountain views, and beautiful Cape Dutch architecture.

We did an afternoon tasting at Grand Provence and took a little walk through the charming streets of Franschhoek. We ended the day with sunset cocktails and dinner reservations at La Residence (which we practically had to ourselves that night!). We had an incredible meal and amazing service and definitely crawled into bed that night feeling very full after a day of eating and drinking our way through wine country.

bo-kaap cape town

bo-kaap houses cape town

bo-kaap cape town south africa

design darling cape town honeymoon

design darling cape town bo-kaap

design darling bo-kaap

design darling south africa honeymoon

cape town honeymoon design darling

The colorful homes of Bo-Kaap

table mountain cape town

view from top of table mountain

design darling cape town table mountain

design darling honeymoon in cape town

At the top of Table Mountain — wearing  Cuyana hat, Ray-Ban clubmastersSaint James t-shirt, J.Crew jeans, and Hubbell Hille loafers

kloof street house cape town

Dinner at Kloof Street House

Day three: Bo-Kaap and Table Mountain

By our third day, the jet lag had caught up with us and we decided to take the morning to catch up on sleep. But there were two more places in Cape Town we didn’t want to miss: the Bo-Kaap neighborhood and the cable car to the top of Table Mountain!

First we took an Uber to Bo-Kaap, a neighborhood full of brightly colored Georgian style houses originally settled by descendants from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India who were brought to Cape Town as slave labor in the 1700s. The exteriors reminded me a little of those in St. George, Bermuda, and while it made for a fun Instagram, the area was swarming with tourists (and bloggers haha) and we only stayed long enough to snap a few pictures. Let’s just say this wasn’t exactly Will’s favorite stop on our trip. 😉

Then we made our way to Table Mountain, where we’d purchased tickets online to take the cable car to the top. What we hadn’t realized was that the cable car rotates 360 degrees on its way up, so everyone gets an incredible view on the way up as well. The view of the ocean was incredible and we stopped for a cup of coffee at the top just to soak it all in.

For our last night in Cape Town, I’d made reservations at Kloof Street House, a charming indoor/outdoor restaurant with a little more local flair. It was a perfect spot to sit and reminisce about our favorite moments from our three days in Cape Town and get excited about the next stop. I’ll be back this afternoon with photos from part two of our honeymoon: our first safari at Londolozi!

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