Leaving the all-natural pleasures of the bush behind, the Fairmont Zimbali Resort awaits outside of Durban in a seaside enclave flush with green. “After a safari,” explains Smith, “Zimbali is a wonderful way to finish your stay at a fantastic beach resort.” It’s not just humans that admire its location, however; a vervet monkey deep in thought was perched on the wall of our garden suite’s terrace, contemplating the state of the world as he looked out to the Indian Ocean. He and his brothers, along with the bushbuck, blue duikers and others we spotted, know the value of good real estate, but it’s us who get to enjoy the clean lines and comforts of the suite, which comes with a kitchen and huge living room, with beautiful African accents throughout.
Fairmont offers an array of accommodations here, all the way to a 4-bedroom villa, although the beauty of the property calls for long hours by one of the pools or brisk walks and birdwatching. An array of dining options range from seafood braai (prepared on the grill) and live entertainment on Friday nights at Ayoba to premium grain-fed beef at OSA. Then there’s Fairmont’s renowned Willow Stream Spa, which in this location expands to include indigenous alternatives such as an African Potato Anti-Aging Treatment and a tailor-made African Monarch treatment that includes a full-body scrub, mineral bath, massage and masks for the body, face and hair.
A stay at Fairmont Zimbali with Goway starts at $174 pp per night with breakfast, with a “pay for three nights and stay for four” special through August. Clients can also pay for six nights and stay for seven nights from September through the end of October.
South African Airways is running a JFK-to-Durban roundtrip special that starts at $1,089 through March 31. It has also introduced operations from Johannesburg to Kigali, Rwanda and onwards to Bujumbura, Burundi. For more information, visit flysaa.com.
Away with Goway
Tailoring getaways to clients’ tastes and expectations is nothing new to Goway, although clients may be surprised by the breadth of options outside of the company’s pre-packaged choices. The region of KwaZulu-Natal, says Smith, is wonderful for a self-drive option in which clients can incorporate first-class or deluxe stays and rent a car through Goway.
“What we’re also finding is that a lot of clients are looking to combine different game areas in one trip, so they may perhaps choose the Sabi Sands and then combine it with KwaZulu-Natal, or perhaps even something in the Kalahari or the Eastern Cape,” she explains, adding that clients are finding out that they have options beyond the beautiful Mpumalanga area and the always-popular Kruger National Park for big five viewing.
“South Africa is such a popular destination,” declares Smith. “We’ve seen an almost 20 percent growth in the last year, which is fantastic.”
These days, she says, “It’s not so much the cost, it’s about the value.” A prime example: Goway’s A World in One Country small-group tour, which visits Joburg, Mpulanga, Kruger National Park, Durban, the Garden Route, Cape Town, the Cape Peninsula and more—even Swaziland—in 14 days. This option starts at $3,503 pp, inclusive of accommodations and most meals.
For more information, call (800) 557-2841 or visit goway.com.