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September 4, 2014updated Jul 10, 2015

Wining, Dining and Driving (Collectible Cars) Through South Africa

By Chris Boyle

 Roar Africa, a high-end travel company specializing in South Africa, is launching a special 10-day program that will be co-hosted by its principal Deborah Calmeyer and top chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

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Calmeyer calls the trip a “sensory extravaganza that will set your heart, soul and taste buds alight…offering food and wine aficionados the chance to accompany Jean-Georges on a private journey behind the scenes of South Africa’s uncharted gourmet region.”


The trip features intimate dinners in Cape Town with the country’s top celebrity chefs as well as wine tasting via helicopter, glamorous picnics in the wine lands where music is played amongst the vines, brandy routes, chocolate & wine pairing, cheese tasting and olive oil tasting.

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Visits include Babylonstoren, a Cape Dutch farm established in 1692 that has been meticulously restored, complete with squash-lined picket fences and Aloe orchards, and unexpectedly sophisticated chic farm cottages surrounded by jaw dropping views.


Afro/Anglo/Franco & Dutch influenced food underscores the diversity of a country where 11 languages are spoken widely. “That is the beauty of South African cuisine,” says Calmeyer, “Our food reflects our people, there is diversity and heritage in all we offer.”

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The journey features exclusive use of Camp Jabulani, a Relais & Chateaux safari lodge veiled by the bush of Kruger National Park. Private game drives, bush breakfasts, boma dinners include musings of Camp Jabulani’s head chef, André Gerber. There is a private visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC), a not-for-profit organization that focuses on the conservation of rare, and endangered animals. Of the many species that HESC is fighting to protect, cheetahs are of special focus, with fewer than 1,000 wild cheetahs remaining in South Africa today. A portion of the proceeds from travel will be donated to the HES.


The boys on the trip will also get a chance to view some of the most exclusive toys on the planet. Johan Rupert, who heads luxury group Richemont – think Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Panerai, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Chloe and Dunhill – will be opening his private collection with over 300 vehicles, ranging from an 1898 Beeston motor tricycle to a 2003 Ferrari Enzo supercar. More than 80 exhibits are on view at any one time and guests can choose a car to drive around the wine estate while enjoying a private tour of the family winery and Gaynor’s famous horse stud, not accessible to the public.

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The final stop on this gourmet adventure is at the exclusive Singita Lebombo. Its minimal décor and imaginative use of natural fibers offer a playful and modern take. Lebombo is in every way, a seven-star experience, dining being no exception, according to Calmeyer. The trip finale will include a night of eating under the stars with a dinner prepared out in the bush by Jean-Georges.


Price is $25,000 per person double occupancy and the adventure runs March 15 to 25.  Contact or 1 855 666 7627.

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