highlands-mountain-retreat-joep-stevens

Travel smarter in Wild Card parks and reserves with our curated guide. When the heat is on, we recommend you chill with a lime daiquiri, the quintessential summer cocktail. By Nick Dall

The Foodie recommends

Where: Mosu Lodge at Mokala National Park

Wide open spaces, an abundance of endangered species and a pervasive aura of unhurried calm make Mokala the ideal spot to unwind. Couple this with the crackling intensity of the park’s famous summer thunderstorms, the array of elegant accommodation options and the legendary food at , and you have a real winner. Enjoy a daiquiri on your chalet’s private stoep before decamping to the restaurant for the mouth-watering venison fillet. Don’t forget to admire the dazzling stars before you retire for the day. You’ll feel like a millionaire.

Contact: Mosu Lodge +27 (0)53 204 8000, SANParks Central Reservations +27 (0)12 428 9111, [email protected]

The Adventure Traveller recommends

Where: Albert Falls Game Reserve

By day the placid, expansive waters of Albert Falls Dam are a playground for sailing, wind-surfing and fishing enthusiasts. But as nightfall approaches, animals and humans alike are drawn to the lake’s edge to quench their thirst. Pour some daiquiris and pull up a chair to enjoy a ringside seat at the main event. Relive the action of a day spent on the water, while the sun slips behind the Karkloof Hills on the far side of the lake and the mild Midlands air comes alive with melodic birdsong and careening bats. Life doesn’t get better than this.

Contact: Albert Falls +27 (0)33 569 1202, [email protected]

The Naturalist recommends

Where: Mathekanyane Lookout near Skukuza Rest Camp, Kruger National Park

Kruger holidays are all about letting the rhythms of nature wash over you and by the time the burnished sun starts slinking towards the horizon, you’ll be thirsting for a refreshing sundowner. The massive dome-shaped boulder at Mathekanyane enjoys fabulous 360° panoramas of the bushveld below and comes into its own in the twilight hour. There are no benches here, so bring a picnic blanket if you want a barrier between you and the pleasant warmth of the rock beneath. Remember to allow at least 20 minutes to get back to camp before the gate closes.

Contact: SANParks Central Reservations +27 (0)12 428 9111, [email protected]

The Sophisticate recommends

Where: Highlands Mountain Retreat (pictured on top) at Golden Gate Highlands National Park

If it’s views you’re after, you can drink your fill at Golden Gate. Dramatic basalt cliffs interposed between rolling grasslands and vast skies make it the kind of place that turns photographers, aesthetes and poets giddy. The most memorable views are at the exclusive Highlands Mountain Retreat, where eight log cabins perch atop a ridge with unencumbered vistas towards the peaks of the Drakensberg. After a day spent discovering the park’s fascinating history and ecology on horseback, you deserve to unwind in your private hideaway, drink in hand and fire ablaze.

Contact: SANParks Central Reservations +27 (0)12 428 9111, [email protected]

Lime daiquiri recipe

  • 2 cups dark rum
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar syrup

Combine the rum, lime juice and syrup. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice and fill two-thirds full with the cocktail mixture. Shake for 30 seconds and pour into frosted glasses. Serve ice cold. Cheers!

*Featured picture by Joep Stevens