As fast as the Festive Season arrives bringing with it all its merriment, it’s over and we say hello to Janu-worry. The first month of the New Year can be a long one but over here, we look at it as a gift and a pretty great time to book or plan some fun getaways, especially for the first half of the year. Here are some of our best ideas of how you can make January work for you and enjoy some post-Festive Season travel adventures.
Lower occupancy January often means specials, specials, specials
The lead-up to December and over Christmas/New Year’s tends to be the busiest time for most places, which often means that come January, once school holidays are over, there’s a significant drop in bookings. We think this is in fact the perfect time to get away, not only because you miss the mad Festive Season rush, but you’re likely to get a good deal on rates as many establishments offer specials at this time as a means of attracting more people. Take advantage of this and book that little getaway for the end of the month, especially if you worked through December.
Emptier coasts mean the most relaxing of beach breaks
As mentioned, January is often a much quieter month, with most locals having returned home/to school and the true influx of international tourists really only being towards the end of the month/February. As a result, in our experience, South Africa’s beautiful stretches of coastline, from KwaZulu-Natal’s sunny South Coast, to the Cape’s West Coast, are less congested, so now would be the perfect time to enjoy that relaxing beach break.
Minimise travel and enjoy fantastic escapes nearby
Little local getaways can be an excellent way to get that holiday feeling without breaking the bank or having to travel too far - essentially, it’s about enjoying some R&R without having to take weeks of leave. South Africa is home to a number of gorgeous, easy-to-access places not far from the main centres, so you really are spoiled for choice. Grab some friends, your significant other or the whole family and head somewhere close by.
A stay-cation is as good as a vay-cation
Leading on from the previous point: local really is lekker! Sometimes a night or two away from home somewhere down the road from your house can feel like a week away. We love those spontaneous little getaways that make you feel like a tourist in your own city, only proving that you don’t need to travel far at all to experience that holiday feeling. A staycation is a great way to recharge those batteries without all the fuss of having to plan a full on getaway requiring travel time.
Book now for Valentine’s Day and make a weekend of it
Next month is the Month of Love and luckily this year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, which means you can make an entire weekend of it. A lot of places will be advertising V Day specials too, offering everything from reduced rates, to romantic turndowns, candlelit dinners, and complimentary bubbly in your room – what’s not to love? A little romantic escape isn’t a bad way to start off a year of travels and certainly something fun to look forward to not long after returning to the daily grind.
Amazing birding on safari
Whilst game-viewing in the country’s parks and reserves is not ideal at this time of year (mainly because animals are dispersed away from the water sources and thick vegetation tends to reduce visibility), it’s arguably a great time for birding enthusiasts to enjoy some incredible sightings - mainly because there’s a greater variety and profusion of birds as resident species come into breeding plumage. Coupled with the lush green condition of the bush and clearer, crisper skies (especially better for photography), it can be quite a lovely time to experience the bush a little differently (ie if your main focus isn’t to see the Big Five).
Catch the turtles along the beaches of iSimangaliso
January falls during the nesting/hatching season for loggerhead and leatherback turtles (October to February) along the beaches of KwaZulu-Natal, namely in the iSimangaliso area. Turtle-tracking tours can be enjoyed in the evening whereby you’ll be taken by your guide to witness the rare sight of the females laying their eggs (and eat the end of the season the new hatchlings making their way towards the ocean) – an experience you won’t soon forget and definitely a good reason to delay your summer holiday until after the Festive period.
Visit: Thonga Beach Lodge
Get in there now for Easter school holidays
Getting that pay cheque at the end of January often feels like winning the lottery and what better way to celebrate than to secure that Easter holiday getaway? Now is a good time to do that while there’s still availability - the sooner you get that sorted, the higher your chance of finding somewhere amazing because places fill up fast. Plus, if you get that booked now, you’ll have something to look forward to in the not too distant future.
Our friendly res team is back from a break and all fired up to make your holiday dreams come true – get in touch so that they can answer all your questions and assist with getting your next escape in the bag, no matter where in the country you’re headed.