Located in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley outside Hermanus, Bouchard Finlayson is known not only for its award-winning wines, but also for its focus on conservation and sustainability as a WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Conservation Champion.
In the interest of biodiversity, the boutique winery has only 25 hectares planted with vineyard, while 100 hectares remain as natural, protected fynbos that includes more than 330 plant species. Guests may book Guided Nature Walks to experience the natural beauty of the estate and to learn more about the rich Cape Floral Kingdom. The Guided Walking Trails are available throughout the year but are most popular during the Spring months when the wild flowers are in bloom after the winter rains. Expertly guided by Frank Woodvine, Bouchard Finlayson’s resident amateur botanist, a choice of three different Walking Trails are offered, ranging from 45 minutes to two and a half hours. Guided walks are subject to availability and require booking at least seven days in advance. The nature trails are also available to hikers to use (free of charge), after they have collected maps and signed indemnity forms at the cellar door.
Back at the cellar door current vintages are available for tasting, while Peter Finlayson’s ‘Peter’s Picks’ of older vintages are on display and available for sale in the Collectors’ Corner. Delicious Deli Platters can be pre-ordered to be enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the vineyards, or in the cellar next to a crackling fire in winter. Snack boxes are available for children, with colouring-in pages and wax crayons to keep them occupied. There are rolling lawns to run around and kick a ball, while the fountain in the courtyard with koi carp fish is guaranteed to entertain the little ones for hours on end.
Visitors to the estate qualify for a complimentary wine tasting of three wines when using the new WWF Champion Wine Farm Guide App that features Bouchard Finlayson alongside other environmental leaders in the wine industry. The App is aimed at wine lovers, locals and tourists who are encouraged to use the guide that recognises wineries for their commitment to conservation, responsible production practices, integrated environmental management systems, and spearheading innovations in water, energy efficiency and climate adaptation.
Tintswalo Lapalala has opened in the malaria-free Waterberg (Limpopo province). Located 300km from Johannesburg (or 30 minutes’ flying), it is one of only two commercial lodges within 44 500 hectares (108 000 acre) of untouched wilderness and is one of the largest private reserves in South Africa.
Tintswalo Lapalala is environmentally conscious and operated entirely off the grid. Raised above the surrounding bushveld on wooden decks, the tented rooms are connected via elevated walkways, presenting a sustainable wilderness and safari experience in the lap of luxury. The family-friendly lodge can accommodate a total of 16 adults and four children and comprises of seven luxury tented suites with private plunge pools, fireplaces and en-suite bathrooms, some with outdoor baths and showers. The accommodation also includes a luxury unit of two suites for friends and family travelling together, as well as two individual family tented suites, each with an adjacent bedroom for two children. Paying homage to Africa’s indigenous tribes and the preservation of their cultures, the suites are decorated accordingly and named after some of the continent’s most prominent tribes, ranging from South Africa’s Xhosa, Zulu and Venda, to Himba, Maasai, Tuareg and Turkana.
The Lapalala Reserve forms part of the UNESCO-declared Waterberg Biosphere Reserve and was founded in 1981 by conservation champions, Dale Parker and Clive Walker. It is recognised as a champion of sustainable wildlife conservation with the vision to leave a legacy for generations to come.
Boasting classic savannah biomes, Tintswalo Lapalala offers low impact game viewing with daily game drives and guided bush walks. However, the sheer expanse of the vast, game-rich reserve offers seclusion and a multitude of unique wilderness experiences far beyond the chase of the Big 5. These include guided walks to rock art and iron age sites and visits to the famous community based Lapalala Wilderness School and the endangered wildlife breeding programme, which include species such as sable and roan antelope. Tintswalo Lapalala is child-friendly and days are filled with activities for families with children of all ages, including a dedicated Children’s Activity Programme.
With 27km of pristine river frontage throughout the reserve, the Palala River presents guests with the unique opportunity to fish the crystalline mountain waters or swim in the bubbling rapids. Other relaxing pursuits include sundowner cruises and riverside picnics, birdwatching and stargazing, or pampering spa treatments. Mouth-watering, wholesome cuisine is served al fresco on poolside verandas overlooking the waterhole, or at various secret locations within the reserve, and on balmy evenings around a blazing firepit beneath the Milky Way.
Those with an adventurous spirit have the option to upgrade their luxury tent to a romantic sleep-out experience under the African skies to spend the night close to nature on a comfortably furnished, raised wooden platform out in the reserve. With little more than candlelight and the sounds of nature all around, this is an unforgettable primal experience, bringing luxury as close to nature as can be imagined.