As spring bursts out of its winter shell across the country, what better time to celebrate Travel Month than by visiting areas in South Africa close to you or further afield, places you have never seen, have maybe never even heard of, or have been to but which deserve a return trip. SAPeople puts you on the road with 7 suggestions (and if you’re in the UK, check out the incredible Special Offers from SAA at the bottom of the page so you don’t need to miss out either):
1. 44 Stanley and Victoria Yards, Johannesburg
Brian Green’s name is not well known but his famous creation 44 Stanley is, and his innovative new Victoria Yards is quickly getting there. Built on the site of an old factory in Milpark, 44 Stanley is a rich mix of stores (think locally-made chockies and linen) and restaurants dotted around the warren of courtyards. Across the city in the east, Victoria Yards has a similar yet different feel, an assortment of artists’ studio spaces built on the massive property of a long-defunct steam laundry. In between are places to have coffee, locally brewed beer, fish and chips, and more. Regular events include open-studio days and market weekends.
2. Richmond, Northern Cape
On the road travelling across South Africa? Take time to stop in the small towns. A focal point of Richmond in the Karoo, almost halfway between Cape Town and Johannesburg on the N1, is the astounding MAP contemporary art gallery, arguably the biggest in the country, as well as the highly esteemed and gorgeously decorated Richmond Cafe & Rooms, with top-class food and coffee worth an overnight or two to sample and enjoy!
3. Orange River Rafting
A great way to see the country and get some exercise! Felix Unite is one of the pioneers in river rafting in South Africa, offering 4- and 6-day excursions, on the Orange and Breede rivers.
4. Muizenberg, Cape Town
A surfers paradise, where you will find everyone from a four-year-old to a grandfather going out at the popular Surfers Corner, which now has surf shops cheek by jowl with a new assortment of bars and cafes and eclectic stores. A good day in Muizenberg is hard to beat. And don’t miss the cute village of stores in the back streets on the other side of the main road.
5. Wilderness, Garden Route
It’s hard to single out just one place on the Garden Route between Plettenberg Bay and George – there’s just so much gorgeousness – but Wilderness has been quietly carving out a special place for itself. The drive into the resort after crossing the Kaaimans River along the N2 from the George side is breathtaking.
6. Amatola Hiking Trail, Eastern Cape
The Otter Trail and Fish River Canyon and the Wild Coast are the ones many travellers know about, but Amatola is getting more word of mouth lately. The 6-day hike through the Eastern Cape, staying overnight in huts and ending in the town of Hogsback, is not for the fainthearted. It’s up to 7 hours of hiking a day, but it the most gorgeous scenery, through rain forest, rugged mountains, with gorgeous pools along the way. Get your boots on!
7. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
SA National Parks‘ own words about the Kgalagadi say it all. “Where the red dunes and scrub fade into infinity and herds of gemsbok, springbok, eland and blue wildebeest follow the seasons, where imposing camel thorn trees provide shade for huge black-mane lions and vantage points for leopard and many raptors… this is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.” This is a very different safari experience from Kruger Park, and some say the memories it leaves (like the picture above) are incredible.
For a South African expat who can’t wait to get home, the holiday begins even sooner when you board a South African Airways flight. You instantly feel at home with the warm welcome, the lekker accents, and the delicious SA wine served with your meal while you watch Charlize Theron on the touch screen in front of your seat.
And right now SAA has a special promotion on for flights from Heathrow to South Africa, booked before 24 September 2019 and valid for dates up to June 2020 (subject to availability).
The Promo prices are:
- £649 return to Joburg (usually £834)
- £712 to Cape Town or Durban (usually £897).