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SOUTH AFRICA


SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS BUSINESS CLASS


Relaxing comfortably into my 21in business class seat, I was actually looking forward to spending the next 11 hours in the sky with South African Airways (SAA). The airline offers double-daily overnight flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg on the Boeing Airbus 330, with access to the Maple Leaf departure lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2 and an SAA lounge in Johannesburg. To help you feel even more relaxed, the airline


offers a delicious range of South African red and white wines that have been exclusively selected from more than 730 South African wine producers. A seasonal menu has recently been updated to include a good selection of canapés and a three- course meal including seared beef fillet, seafood trio and chocolate truffles. Having wined and dined sufficiently, you can then choose from 100 of the latest movies and TV shows on a personal 12in TV. The offering is updated monthly.


If all the wine (and who can resist award-winning South African wine?) has left you feeling rather sleepy then pressing a few buttons transforms your chair into a flatbed with 73in seat pitch. The padded seat turns into the mattress, and with a duvet and full-sized pillow it was surprisingly comfy, and probably for the first time ever, I got off the aircraft feeling remarkably refreshed.


ABOVE: The Earth Lodge has been designed to blend into its surroundings


never leaving the comfort of my suite. On our first night the staff recommended we all slept with our doors open so we could hear the sounds of the bush while falling asleep. Having convinced us that having just a piece of mesh (albeit a very thick one) was strong enough to keep any animal out I gave it a go. Lying in bed while listening to the lions roar close by was definitely a memorable moment – although I admit, I was slightly terrified for the first five minutes. The lodge also has a


meditation garden, Amani Spa, day bar and gym. The last may come in useful – be prepared to come back feeling at least a few pounds heavier. The chefs at


Sabi Sabi create gourmet meals that reflect the day, weather, setting and season, and the meals are exquisite. The lodge is also home to an award- winning wine cellar – holding a collection of more than 6,000 rare South African wines. Be prepared to be wined and dined to your heart’s content.


SAMPLE PRODUCT


Rainbow Tours offers a three- night stay at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve as part of its 14-day Mozambique and South Africa itinerary. It leads in at £5,830. RAINBOWTOURS.CO.UK


aspire march 2017 — 45


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