Let’s face it, winter in the Southern Hemisphere is often pretty peachy, with glorious summer days that can easily reach mid twenty temperatures interspersed with some colder days. It’s a great time of the year to reflect and show the one you love how much they mean to you. And what could be better than booking a romantic winter vacation in South Africa that is bound to ease the winter chills and put the magic back into your relationship! Wherever you are, romance is never far away, the days are often lovely and warm, and in the evenings cuddling up on the sofa with a lovely South African vintage next to a crackling fire is the perfect romantic ending to the day.

We thought we would get you in the mood by showcasing five of our favourite romantic winter getaways.

1. Leeu Estates

The heavenly combination of luxury country house retreat set in beautiful gardens and vineyards against the backdrop of the majestic Franschhoek Mountains must surely rate as one of the number one experiences for starry-eyed romantics! Stay at the brand new designer Leeu Estate and that’s just what you can expect. It’s the perfect place to get lost with your loved one and a magical place that will delight all your senses: marvel at the exquisitely curated South African art and sculpture, take a stroll through the vineyards and breathe in the mountain views, book yourself in for a couples massage at the wellness spa, or simply enjoy the cuisine and exceptional wines that this valley is renowned for.

Set in the heart of Franschhoek (one of the world’s most sought after gourmet destinations), the town offers its visitors an endless supply of famous vineyards and fine dining restaurants, just waiting to be discovered.

Leeu Estates manor house
Leeu Estates is a luxury retreat set in sprawling gardens and surrounded by vineyards in Franschhoek

2. Lion Sands Treehouses

What could be more romantic than sleeping in a beautifully appointed luxury treehouse beneath a cloudless, star-filled sky in the middle of the African bush? At the Lion Sands Treehouses expect to fall in love all over again. Located where the Sabi Sands reserve and the Kruger National Park meet, the area is teaming with wildlife and birdlife. Known for its exceptional sightings, these game reserves are also home to an abundance of wildlife including the Big Five and countless bird species.

There are three enchanting treehouses to choose from, one more magical than the next. The Kingston Treehouse is constructed out of wood and glass so that you feel part of the magical African bush that is all around you. Similarly, Chalkley Treehouse is built around an ancient tree which is open to the natural elements and you are literally suspended above the wilderness. Tinyeleti Treehouse (meaning ‘Many Stars’) overlooks the Sabie River, perfect for observing the many animals that come here to quench their thirst. This is one of the best winter weekend getaways with romantic sunset dinners being served in the privacy of your treehouse, surprisingly warm hot water bottle-heated beds, an en-suite bathroom, romantic lanterns, the sounds of the African bush at night and a multitude of stars above.

Kingston Treehouse
Experience the magic of the African bush with your love at the Kingston Treehouse
Chalkley Treehouse
Chalkley Treehouse offers romantics the perfect canopy of stars to sleep under
Tinyeleti Treehouse
Lovers on the lookout for a fairy-tale destination should stay at Tinyeleti Treehouse

3. Rovos Rail (Pretoria to Cape Town)

For the ultimate intimate and memorable escape, climb aboard the Rovos Rail luxury train and be spirited away to a bygone era as you whizz through magical, unfolding landscapes.

Rovos Rail offers couples an unforgettable three-day escape, starting in Pretoria and ending in Cape Town. This 1600 kilometer trip is the perfect way to experience a snapshot of South Africa’s incredible and vastly contrasting landscapes. Prepare to be awed as the train clickety  clacks through the grasslands of the Highveld, experience the stark beauty of the Great Karoo, meander through spectacular mountain ranges and the picturesque Cape Winelands until you reach South Africa’s famous coastline. Along the way, you will stop-over at Kimberly to visit the world’s biggest man-made hole and the historic Diamond Mine Museum, as well as Matjiesfontein, a charming Victorian town in the middle of the Karoo that has been perfectly preserved.

Rovos Rail
Climb aboard Rovos Rail for the magical trip of a lifetime

4. Tintswalo Atlantic

With chandeliers, a fireplace and spectacular Atlantic Ocean views all from the comfort of your bedroom, its hard not to fall in love at the newly rebuilt Tintswalo Atlantic. Located a short distance from Cape Town’s eclectic city centre at the foot of Chapman’s Peak on the rocks at the water’s edge overlooking Hout Bay, this five-star boutique lodge is one of Cape Town’s best kept romantic secrets.

Each suite has its own island theme and is individually furnished with romantic touches abounding everywhere. Clink champagne glasses and  marvel at the spectacular panoramic ocean views. If you’re lucky, whales and dolphins can be spotted playing in the bay.

Tintswalo Atlantic
Tintswalo Atlantic offers lovers that perfect romantic hideaway set right at the ocean’s edge

5. The Oyster Box

With panoramic Indian Ocean and iconic lighthouse views, set right on Umhlanga’s prestigious beachfront, The Oyster Box has ‘let’s be romantic’ written all over it.  Oozing tones of style and colonial charm, it’s part of the international The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, winning numerous awards year-on-year, including the number one hotel in South Africa as voted by Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Awards 2016. Not surprising that many international celebrity newlyweds have honeymooned here!

This is the ideal place to woo your love and one of the best winter vacations: from balmy beach walks along the ocean in front of the hotel, to feeding each other fresh oysters and champagne in the Oyster Bar, curling up together in the private cinema room, feasting on extraordinary cuisine in The Grill Room or simply watching dolphins frolic in the waves from the Ocean Terrace …The Oyster Box whispers the promise of romance from every corner and can arguably be voted as one of South Africa’s most romantic and luxurious destinations.

Oyster Box Hotel
With sweeping Atlantic Ocean views, champagne and oysters on the terrace, the renowned Oyster Box Hotel is the ultimate romantic destination