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Explore South Africa: Things to do this holiday season

Whether you are having a staycation or heading out this holiday season, there is so much fun to be had in our beautiful country - we take a look at some cool places to visit this December!

Cape Town

Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront are always popular tourist spots but take a look at a few other options available in the beautiful Mother City!

Cape Point



Situated at the tip of the Cape Peninsula, this is truly a nature lover’s paradise! Lush vegetation and over 250 species of birds and buck and baboons, with views that take your breath away! You can take the Flying Dutchman to view the lighthouse that was built here in 1859 or have a bite to eat at the restaurant!

Website: capepoint.co.za

Boulders Beach



Boulders Beach, near Simon’s Town in False Bay, is famed for its resident penguin colony and clean, white sand beach. It is home to at least 3000 African penguins, the Foxy Beach boardwalk being an excellent viewpoint. 

Groot Constantia




Can we really skip over a spot of wine tasting? If the tasting is at Groot Constantia then the answer is a resounding no! Groot Constantia is one of the oldest South African wine farms with its history extending back 300 years to 1685!  Its history is well documented, with carriages on show in the Coach House and the Wine Museum displaying drinking vessels and wine storage methods from days gone by. 

Website: grootconstantia.co.za


World of Birds

World of Birds, with its walk-through aviaries, is the largest bird park in Africa and a must-see for bird lovers. Situated in beautiful Hout Bay, it houses over 400 species, totalling 3000 birds – including parrots, turacos and flamingos – and small animals, comprising various species of monkey, such as tamarins, marmosets and baboons. World of Birds is home to a breeding centre for threatened species and a rehabilitation centre for injured birds. Your kids will love the Monkey Jungle, with its delightful squirrel monkey residents. 

Website: worldofbirds.org.za


Garden Route

Beautiful shorelines, delicious food stops and incredible natural wonders - the Garden Route has it all!

Cango Caves




If you enjoy going underground, a visit to the Cango Caves in the Swartberg Mountains, 30 kilometres north of Oudtshoorn, is the way to go. The 20 million year old caves consist of a progression of hidden chambers, cut deeply into the solid limestone rock layer. Have fun exploring some of the stalagmite formations on either the standard or adventure subterranean tours! The Interpretive Centre will explain more about the caves history, and there is also a curio shop selling African collectables. 

Website: cango-caves.co.za

The Big Tree at Tsitsikamma



For all you nature lovers, a visit to the Big Tree in Tsitsikamma is something not to be missed. Estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old, this majestic tree stands 36.6 metres high, with a trunk circumference of 9 metres. A very pleasant and gentle 10 minute walk through the verdant, cool forest takes you to the tree or, for the more intrepid among you; there are two more challenging trails, respectively 2.6 and 4.2 km long. 

Bloukrans Bungee



Bloukrans Bridge is an arched road bridge and the highest in the African continent. Standing 708 feet above the floor of the gorge, it is part of one of only three highways in the world to have a bridge exceeding 500 feet. Take a bungee jump or ride the Flying Fox cable slide across the gorge. For those who prefer keeping their feet on the ground, a gentle walk along the catwalk to the top of the arch is probably a better option.

Website: faceadrenalin.com

Port Elizabeth

Addo Elephant National Park



The Addo Elephant National Park is home to more than 550 elephants, various lions, black rhinos, buffaloes, hyenas, leopards, zebras and a plentiful variety of antelopes. It is the third largest park in South Africa and also concentrates on preserving a wide variety of flora. There is also a main camp for tourists featuring a swimming pool, restaurant, floodlit water hole and different types of accommodation.

Jeffrey’s Bay



Lying on the coastline about 70km west of Port Elizabeth, Jeffrey’s Bay (J-Bay to the locals!) is one of the most popular surfing spots in South Africa and the world. Starting off as a small fishing village, it has grown in leaps and bounds; a lot of this due to the fact that it prides itself on having some of the best right hand breaking waves in the world! 

Kimberley

The Big Hole




The world’s largest hand dug excavation site, The Big Hole was mined to about 800 metres and, in its time, yielded 2.7 tons of diamonds. The mine closed in 1914 and is now an enormous water filled crater. The first recorded South African diamond, the Eureka, is on display in the very informative museum. You can try your luck by sifting through some diamond bearing gravel and also experience a diamond mining operation. 

Website: thebighole.co.za

Augrabies Falls



The formidable and thunderous flow of Augrabies Falls courses down the Orange River when it is in full flood. The 55 000 hectares on both sides provide plenty to explore for hikers and nature and animal lovers. The eerie looking kokerboom (quiver trees) have made their home here, together with many succulents, birds, zebras, springbok, gemspok, giraffes and various reptiles. Take a walk to the summit of Moon Rock to see one of the park’s best views. 

Johannesburg

Newtown Cultural Precinct

Centred on Mary Fitzgerald Square in downtown Johannesburg, Newtown is at the heart of the city’s rejuvenated centre. There is so much to enjoy here; listen to live jazz in nearby restaurants, attend a performing arts play in the Market Square Theatre, shop for samosas in the colourful Oriental Plaza, walk around the centre’s two art galleries or have fun searching for bargains around its weekly Saturday morning flea market. All interests are catered for in this lively location.

Website: newtown.co.za


SAB World of Beer


Our Tap Room patio offers a relaxing oasis in the heart of Jozi. #Jozi #Newtown #TapRoom #SABWoB #SABBrands

A photo posted by SAB World of Beer (@sabworldofbeer) on




Located in the heart of the Newtown Cultural Precinct, World of Beer is a great place to learn all about the ‘golden nectar’ from its early Mesopotamian days to Europe and Africa. Breweries were established down here as early as 1658; to learn more about the process, take a tour and watch floating holograms, 3D movies and a 12m high screen to see how it all happens. After this thirst inducing 90 minute tour, enjoy two beers of your choice on the house, in the centre’s Tap Room!

Website: worldofbeer.co.za


North West Province

Maropeng



The Maropeng Exhibition in the Tumulus Building within the Cradle of Humankind Heritage Site is an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, and is one of eight World Heritage sites in South Africa. The 47 000 hectare complex, having revealed and answered many questions about our ancestors, exhibits clear and thought provoking exhibits, including stone tools, original fossils and engraved rocks. Their technology suggests that they originate from the Stone Age, approximately 1 million years ago! This is a fascinating learning experience for the whole family. 

Website: maropeng.co.za

Blyde River Canyon



The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is the world’s third largest canyon and one of the most beautiful. As you look down on scenic waterfalls and abundant vegetation, the view from the aptly named God’s Window is biblical. Near to the Kruger National Park, the Mpumalanga Nature Reserve covers almost 29 000 hectares and offers activities ranging from hiking, biking, fishing and abseiling, to white-water rafting, boat trips and much more. Make a day of it or stay in a private lodge or guesthouse. 

KwaZulu Natal

uShaka Marine World

Have you met our dolphin family? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? (??: @beattie.stephen) #seaworld #family #dolphinshows

A photo posted by uShaka Marine World (@ushakamarineworld) on



An exciting marine theme park in Durban, comprising Sea World, the uShaka Village Walk shopping centre and the Wet’n’Wild Water Park, uShaka provides the ideal location for a family day out in Durban. From watching a black mamba or a hairy tarantula through special spy holes in the Walk’s Dangerous Creature exhibit to the friendlier seal, dolphin and penguin shows, and the exhilarating slides, tube rides, the adventure river ride for older teens and the kiddies slides for younger members, there is plenty of fun to be had here for the whole family.

Website: ushakamarineworld.co.za

Valley of a Thousand Hills


Scattered across the green hills of outer west Durban, around the Umgeni River and its tributaries, the valley is undeniably one of KZN’s most beautiful rural settings. There is plenty to learn about the indigenous Zulus and their culture in this tranquil and beautiful area. There is plenty to do here too, from the 1000 Hills Choo Choo steam train running from Kloof to Cato Ridge, fishing and boating at Inanda Dam and Shongweni Dam, and for the more adventurous, microlight flights. P

Sani Pass



This is the only route over the Drakensberg escarpment into the Kingdom of Lesotho. Opened to traffic in 1955, and originally serving as a pack animal trail. Sani Pass offers exhilarating path twists as it turns upwards through rocky cliffs that peak at 2873 metres above sea level, thus earning its title of ‘Roof of Africa’. Besides driving up (by 4×4), you can also mountain bike it, quad bike motorcycle it or, if you are feeling particularly fit, tackle it by foot! When you reach the Kingdom, you will be greeted by the Basotho tribe as well as The Highest Pub in Africa!

St Lucia Estuary



St Lucia Estuary is South Africa’s first World Heritage Site and home to approximately 800 hippopotami, 1200 Nile crocodiles and many other animals, including black rhinos, leopards, greater kudus and abundant invertebrates. Exciting attractions include kayaking on the estuary, a day self or night guided game drive and horse riding around the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and a walk on the iGwalagwala Trail to spot its variety of birds. 




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