The year is steamrolling to an end and we all feel it – we need a break! While many are counting the days to that much-deserved family holiday trip, not everyone has the same fortune. For some, December is the busiest time in the office and for others, travelling for a week, staying at various accommodations, eating out and so on is simply out of reach with a family of four or five. But all hope is not lost – enter the Staycation.
Consider this, there are so many upcoming holidays, and if planned correctly you can take full advantage of day trips, public holidays, weekends and long-weekends to take a shot left and explore your own backyard…No weekend available? Just make it a daytrip! With South Africa being such a diverse country, you will not be disappointed.
Where to start?
Although a staycation is a spontaneous adventure, you still need to plan to get the most out of your short trip. Before you take off for your day or weekend trip, be sure to decide what type of experience you are looking for – family, romantic, adventure? Do you want creature comforts or are you ready to immerse yourself into new experiences? Are you ready to face the warm South African sun or would you prefer to explore some indoor attractions?
Once you’ve made your decision, simply pick where and how far. The idea is to make the most of your time and budget – so whether you travel 15, 40 minutes or three hours, it should be enough to satisfy your wanderlust.
Cape Town attractions
Cape Town’s amazing environment gives life to so many nooks and crannies to explore. Have you ever been at the top of Table Mountain? If not, hike up or take the Cable Car. Or meet the penguins of Boulders Beach in the South Peninsula. Find out about the new local rates here and at Cape Point. Try local markets or restaurants that you’ve never been to before or take your beach gear to a completely new spot on the other side of the mountain.
Tobogganing? Yes, it is a word! “Bobsled” down Africa’s first Toboggan track at Cool Runnings. Or meet the playful pups of the sea – when you go diving with seals in Hout Bay.
If you are ready to venture out a bit further you can explore the Winelands, from Constantia to Stellenbosch to Paarl, taste some wine or sharpen up on some history and culture at Solms-Delta near Franschhoek. Not too much further, if you’re ok with heights, you can slide down the side of the mountain on a Zipline adventure in the Elgin Valley near Grabouw – spectacular views and adrenalin aplenty!
The West Coast offers its unique charm, and although the beautiful waters are icy cold its people make up for it with their warm and friendly nature. Seafood and good company are plenty, with white sand castles on the beach and great chances of some live music. Best of all snap the most beautiful Instagram pics where the colourful fishermen’s boats meet the horizon with the blue and white lines of the sea and sky.
From bush to beach, you can also experience the bush and its wildlife at Aquila Game Reserve only 2 hours from Cape Town, and if you have a weekend, you cannot miss the unique stargazing experiences that the Karoo skies of Sutherland have to offer.
Whether you are from Joburg or travel there for work often, this vibrant city offers more nature than you think. Depending on how much time you have, you may even want to test your hand at a bit of fly-fishing up north in Dullstroom. From Pilanesberg to Waterberg, Joburg is so close to so many options when it comes to game farms. With day safaris as an option, there is no excuse to miss out on a wildlife experience.
And while Cape Town boasts its cableway up Table Mountain, Joburg has its own cableway – the Harties Cableway. This cableway takes you high up in the beautiful Magaliesberg, with views over Hartebeespoort Dam and surrounding areas. Spend the day here for the perfect family outing, with plenty to eat, plenty to see – in flora and fauna – and spectacular scenery.
Back in the city, you may want to venture up to the 50th floor of the Carlton Centre. Here, from the 223m tall tower, you have unforgettable 360-degree views over Johannesburg. Take time out to explore the city over weekends and you will find that it is not just Cape Town that caters for foodies. With vegan and vegetarian markets and its very own friendly Neighbourgoods Food Market, Joburg transports you to different gastronomic experiences around the world.
For the most amazing shows, book your tickets at the Soweto Theatre. While exploring culture, why not go on one of the most insightful tours…you don’t have to venture too far! The walking tour through the inner city will teach you so many new things about the city you call home.
So, if you are ‘stuck’ at home these holidays, simply take a shot left, try new things, explore new avenues and make the most of your ‘Staycation.’
Over to you
We’ve only covered Cape Town and Johannesburg. Comment below and let us know which cities you like us to cover and we’ll come up with ideas to inspire your Staycation.