Just Back from South Africa: Hugh Jackman
"Truly beautiful in terms of both the landscape and the spirit of the people."
OCCUPATION Actor HOME BASES Sydney and New York City TAKE FIVE It's been a busy season for the 2004 Tony Award winner—after a long Broadway run in The Boy from Oz, Jackman traveled to Montreal to film Darren Aronofsky's sci-fi drama The Fountain. This month, he returns to New York to host the Tonys. Yet he still managed to find 10 days to join his wife, actress Deborra-Lee Furness, and four-year-old son, Oscar, on a whirlwind tour of South Africa, with stops in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Singita Private Game Reserve. "It was our first visit, and we found the country truly beautiful in terms of both the landscape and the spirit of the people," Jackman says. ON THE TAIL Besides rhinos and elephants, Jackman and his son sought out species of a much smaller, but no less spectacular, nature during their stay at Singita's Sweni Lodge (27-21/683-3424; www.singita.com; doubles from $2,190). "Oscar and I had an amazing time with the trackers, searching on foot for butterflies and bugs in Kruger National Park," he says. HONOR AMONG MEN "The emotional high point was visiting Robben Island Museum [27-21/409-5100; www.robben-island.org.za], where Ahmed Kathrada, a former political prisoner and Nelson Mandela's onetime cellmate, is the curator," Jackman recalls. "His stories of the early conditions of the anti-apartheid movement were incredibly moving." UP NEXT A world concert tour directed by George C. Wolfe.
Robben Island Museum
Best known as the former prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years, this island off the coast of Cape Town also served as a leper colony, mental institution, and military base over the past three centuries. Today, the on-site museum organizes daily tours of the island that begin with a 30-minute catamaran ride from the Nelson Mandela Gateway. Led by an ex-political prisoner, the 2½-hour tour comprises a visit to the prison, including Mandela’s cell, and a 45-minute guided bus excursion, which provides views of the lepers’ church, warden’s village, lime quarry, and wildlife such as African penguins.
Singita Sabi Sand
Two lodges with interiors by up-and-coming African designers—Boulders is high-design rustic built into the landscape, Ebony has a vintage safari feel. Private outdoor showers and well-stocked wine cellars, plus photography-focused safaris and cultural outings to a nearby village to share meals with locals.