How Far? 90 mins from Jozi!
From creaking observantly around time-warped museums to taking a diamond tour, this Edwardian village, with its quaint shops and artisanal restaurants, will see you returning again and again…
Ditch the city for a wholesome weekend in the countryside. Best part? You won’t melt your petrol card to get there!
Where to Stay
GastehysJanHarmsgat. It’s a bit like falling down the Rabbit Hole with Jan’s extraordinary garden and fairy tale décor. Every detail of the four guestrooms, from the zany door in the roof of Leka Room’s bathroom, to the suspended chairs that double as bedside lamps in Fansy Suite, is bewildering in the best way possible! And then there’s breakfast... 09h00, like clockwork. On the menu? Freshly-syruped koeksisters, eggs balanced in little ‘trophy’ eggcups and mini bread loaves, straight from the oven.
Gorge on Meze at As Greek as it Gets. Then there’s craft beer to swig at the Cockpit Brewhouse and tea and cake to indulge in at Lemon Tree. But for a real treat, book dinner at Albizia: Whipped feta and preserved carrot salad served alongside a main of aged sirloin with flatbread and aubergine preserve. Delicious!
To book call 082 531 6141
A Novelty Sleep!
Somabula Nature Reserve has a wonderfully quirky self-catering option in its kraal of restored ox-wagons. There are communal bathrooms with hot water and a lapa with a kitchen area.
How Far? 70 mins from Jozi!
From outdoorsy activities like hiking and fly-fishing to adrenalin-filled white water rafting; Parys in the Free State is a town of boundless pursuits.
Where to stay
Otter’s Haunt has a range of self-catering accommodation to suit many tastes and pockets. Choose from the comfy three-bedroom Otter’s Den with its sparkling kitchen, mini pool and separate Jacuzzi, to the more basic Full Moon Bush Camp, which comprises four A-frame thatched cottages arranged in a half-kraal around a communal lapa and rustic swimming pool – the perfect digs for a nature-loving group!
Take the Kids!
While you enjoy a cup of moerkoffie and the best berry cheesecake you will ever eat, the kids can pick and take home more than 80 different varieties of berries from the Bon-Af Berry Farm & Tea garden. Gooseberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Elderberries, Black nightshade and many more!
Located just off the R59 road to Parys, look for the brown signboard. Call 056 811 3966 for details.
A Time-Warped Memento…
Immortalise your weekend at Kiki’s Yesteryear Photo Studio. Kiki has rails of old vintage clothes, from glam, to classical, to Gatsby – you name it! You’ll walk away with sepia-tinged pictures, a broad smile and bakkie-loads of memories.
How far? 120 mins from Jozi!
As it turns out, a weekend getaway to the beautifully weird dorp of Groot Marico, in the North West province, is a heady mix of mampoer, undiluted bushveld and folklore.
Culture Vultures Take Note…
The annual Bosman Weekend takes place annually in October - a festival celebrating legendary South African raconteur, Herman Charles Bosman. From nature walks to drumming workshops, and even traditional bread-baking demos and mampoer tours, there is so much on offer you’ll struggle to find the time to fit it all in. Even better is that all the activities and boerekos is included in the once-off R650 fee per person (accommodation is extra).
Call Groot Marico Info Centre: 083 272 2958 or 014 503 0085
Where to Stay
River Still Guest Farm, which also doubles as the base for the Bosman Weekend, boasts a number of self-catering cottages all spread out to ensure privacy. You can secure yours for approximately R270 per person, and don’t forget to use the river-swing for maximum fun!
Swim at the source of the Marico River. Approximately a 30 kilometre drive along a bone-jarring, dirt road, you’ll happen upon 'Die Oog', a natural spring as clear as vodka, you can see all the way to the bottom. There’s even a foefie slide.
Not forgetting our coastal readers…
FROM CAPE TOWN
Old Mac Daddy Trailer Hotel
How far? 60mins!
Part wholesome caravan park, part designer farm lodge, Old Mac Daddy Trailer Hotel is a new chapter in escapism. Set on the pine-whispering slopes of a beautiful corner of the Elgin Valley, Old Mac Daddy is a collection of vintage Airstream Trailer suites, each themed differently. The Mills & Boon one is a great choice for romantics, with a whole lot of tongue-in-cheek twists. So shelve your cynicism, loosen your corset and melt into a swoon of pink, a marshmallow of kitsch and a sugary sweet sleep of reason that will surely dust all the cobwebs off your romantic self!
What it Costs: From R750 per trailer, including brekkie.
Don’t Miss: The swimming pool with its sexy Scandinavian deck.
Sycamore Avenue Treehouses
How far? 90mins!
Fancy playing Tarzan and Jane for the weekend? Complete your authentic jungle experience by sleeping in a tree house! Sycamore Avenue Treehouses in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands offers eccentric accommodation for adventurous families. Installed high into old oak trees the six different tree houses serve up extraordinary accommodation to make memories that’ll last longer than a greedy squirrel’s acorn stash. With their sunken jacuzzis built high into the tree and sweeping views of the Drakensberg, you’ll be hard pressed to find a match.
What it costs: From R795 per person, per night, including dinner, bed and brekkie.
Don’t miss: Meandering through the Midlands. Well known for its beautiful scenery and eclectic mix of arts and crafts, studios, galleries and restaurants.