We’re about to head into the third week of our national lockdown and if you’re as obsessed about travel as we are, you’ve also probably been dreaming about all the amazing places you wish you were right now. Our country is filled with one incredible destination after the other and not being able to leave our homes is definitely intensifying our desire to get out and explore them. We’ve put together a list of places and activities we’d much rather be visiting and doing, rather than being stuck at home. Our dreaming is getting us through each day because we now know exactly where we’re going the minute we can – hope this inspires you to do the same.
I wish I was enjoying…
A safari in the Kruger National Park
Easily one of Africa’s best wildlife experiences, the world-renowned Kruger is one of the largest game reserves on the continent stretching across two provinces. Safaris here are unforgettable thanks to its diverse combination of ecosystems, over 500 species of bird, a selection of flora and of course, its incredible range of animals, including the famous Big Five. In fact, it’s one of the few places in Africa where you can still spot the endangered wild dog. Experience all the park has to offer on a game drive accompanied by trained guides or on a self-drive, or choose to explore on foot on an exciting bush walk. On top of wildlife, you can also discover archaeological sites as well as San rock art.
A picnic at Kirstenbosch
Set against a backdrop of the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is one of the world’s most magnificent gardens. It boasts a diverse range of flora and vegetation, with the main focus being on plants that are native to the Cape region, highlighted by the impressive collections of proteas. It’s also a birder’s paradise with over 125 recorded bird species found here, including the sugarbird, sunbird, African dusky flycatcher and others, and you should keep your eyes peeled for animals such as tortoises, frogs, lizards, squirrels, butterflies and more. You can enjoy a casual stroll through the spectacular gardens 9where you’ll see some fantastic art too), catch a summer concert, walk across the Boomslang Bridge or our personal favourite, lounge on the grass with a scrumptious picnic – it’s truly a fun day out for all.
A surf in Durban
Few things symbolise unadulterated freedom quite like catching some waves. Being out in the vast open ocean brings calm and clarity, while the thrill of riding a wave brings a serious mood boost and gets that adrenalin pumping – what could be better? Durban is up there for being a premium surfing destination. With its amazing beaches, year-round warm weather and of course, quality surf, it’s no wonder that the waters are always filled with avid surfers looking to catch their next great wave. The east coast is perfect for both pros and amateurs. Piers towards the south create point break waves which are ideal for learners while the sand banks in North Beach’s Golden Mile make for more gentle waves – also great for beginners. Both Addington Beach and uShaka Beach have become hot spots for those learning to surf thanks to the piers and sand banks. Those looking for more of a challenge should head more south along the South Coast where reef and beach breaks hold the promise of perfect hollow waves. We recommend:
- Anstey Beach
- Green Point
- Cave Rock at the Bluff (has a shallow reef rock that makes for big swells)
Good to know: Durban is also a great surfing option because it’s safer than a lot of other spots thanks to its heavy netting. Catch an early morning surf so you can also catch one of Durban’s glorious sunrises.
Take a look at our Durban accommodation selection so you know exactly where to head when you can finally book that next surf getaway.
Chasing waterfalls along the Panorama Route
One of the many highlights of Mpumalanga’s Lowveld region, the stunning Panorama Route, is studded with natural wonder after natural wonder and some of South Africa’s most dramatic scenery. Centred around the world’s third largest canyon, Blyde River Canyon, it includes many cultural and scenic landmarks, including Bourke’s Luck potholes, God’s Window, Pinnacle Rock, the Three Rondawels and of course, countless waterfalls. Our favourites include:
- Mac Mac Falls
- Lisbon Falls
- Sabie Falls
- Lone Creek Falls
- Berlin Falls
A Panorama Route road-trip is the best way to explore this area and all its gems, and is perfect with combining with a visit to the nearby Kruger.
You may be interested in reading our blog, a quick guide to Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route.
A hike in the Tsitsikamma
The Garden Route’s splendid Tsitsikamma National Park is known for its indigenous forests, incredible coastline, standout attractions, as well as its amazing hiking trails. Perhaps the most famous of all its trails is the Otter Trail, leading you along the coast through forests, waterfalls and rivers. Several shorter trails making up the Otter Trail are perfect for day visitors.
- The Suspension Bridge and Lookout Trail: easy stroll and a lookout point across the bridge yielding gorgeous views.
- The Waterfall Trail: short but demanding – follows the first almost 3km of the Otter Trail.
- The Blue Duiker Trail: leads to the Agulhas lookout where you can often spot dolphins and whales; a must for bird lovers.
- The Loerie Trail: a short-cut to the Blue Duiker Trail and passes next to a waterfall.
Start dreaming about the Tsitsikamma and take a look at our choice of Places in the area.
Read our blog 7 reasons to visit the Garden Route.
Town hopping along the West Coast
The West Coast is a 400km stretch of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean known for its scenic beauty and quaint fishing villages. It’s also home to the West Coast National Park famous in the springtime when it turns into a colourful carpet of blooms. The laid-back, beachy vibe felt along this coast is probably the main reason why people love it so much and the fact that it’s only a short drive from Cape Town makes it an attractive getaway spot for locals. Our favourite stops include:
Wine-tasting in the Cape Winelands
South Africa boasts some of the most majestic wine-making regions in the world, of which the Cape Winelands are definitely the jewel in the crown. Dotted with sprawling estates, rolling vineyards as far as the eye can see and mountain vistas that will take your breath away, there’s no better place to sample some of the country’s finest vino. Along with quality wine, you’ll also be able to indulge in some seriously delicious cuisine at some top restaurants so make a day of it as you hop from one amazing spot to the next. We love to explore:
We have some wonderful Winelands properties – click here to get inspired for your next wine-tasting adventure.
We’re so looking forward to that time when we can travel again and even more so to when we’re able to help you travel again. We hope that this has inspired you to set your sights on your next South African destination and we can’t wait to get you there. Until then...