September is Tourism Month and the good news is that we can travel anywhere in our country again! South African Tourism really has a tough job to do, and I believe that we can help them out!
South Africa (24 September 2021) – If I were to market our beautiful country I wouldn’t focus on the obvious beauty of the Kruger National Park, or our pristine beaches, lush winelands, forests, lagoons or even that stunning Table Mountain. We need to focus more on the lesser-known hidden gems that our gorgeous country has to offer. We need to look deeper when choosing to travel!
For instance, did you know that you can go and train with South Africa’s very own ‘David Beckham’ and retired football star Ryan Botha in Cape Town? How cool is that?!?
If you’re more of a bush-baby check out Jaci’s Lodges in Madikwe. Jaci and Jan van Heteren are the founders and owner-manager couple, and their hidden jewel offers the ideal destination for unrivalled game-viewing and luxury accommodation.
In Cederberg in the Western Cape, Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve offers its own beauty. Despite being a gorgeous setting, the nature reserve strives towards a cleaner, better future by adapting to an eco-friendlier approach to managing the Lodge – I think that’s something we can all get behind!
I’ve been told that there’s a tiny village called McGregor which is situated 22km from Robertson – it’s affectionately called the lovechild between the Boland and the Karoo and now I have to check it out. In Bloemfontein, there’s a place called Slightly Nutty that evolved from Pinch Pot ceramic studio’s relocation from Bloemfontein to the Roodewal smallholdings on the outskirts of the city in 2009.
What would have been a 200m² pottery studio and a small tea garden evolved into a family-friendly function venue with a rustic farm style restaurant overlooking the Renosterspruit, a spacious eco-friendly play area, a petting zoo and a hall in picturesque surroundings. The day-to-day running of this enterprise is handled by entrepreneur and artist, Jo-Ann and her husband, Rudi Maartens.
The Wild Coast has also been flagged as a must and there are SO many things to see here. The Mokala National Park, the gorgeous foresty area of Tsitsikamma, the Waterberg area, Pafuri in the Northern Kruger, Kosi Bay, St Lucia and that entire area is beautiful.
The Eastern Cape has so many hidden treasures like Hogsback, Cove Rock and the Keiskamma Art Project.
If a road trip is more your style, drive through Namaqualand and stop in at any of the amazing guest houses including Brand River or Lemoen Kloof. Visit the Blyde River Canyon and Bourkes Luck potholes, the Garden Route and God’s Window.
Shakaland is a small cultural village in Eshowe where the original Shaka Zulu movie was made – that would be a great place to visit.
Also in KZN is the Saggy Stone Brewing Company restaurant which offers beer tasting on the Amandalia farm near Robertson. It’s such a great relaxed vibe with awesome food and beer. It’s a working fruit farm so it’s surrounded by orchards at the foot of the mountain. Perfect for a little detour.
The Silver Kudu in Tonteldoos is where we make our final stop – it’s 20 kilometres outside of Dullstroom with stunning food and people as is its neighbour the Pear Cottage Coffee Shop.
I don’t know about you but I’m off to pack a suitcase. Happy Tourism Month South Africa – let’s get exploring.