Use public holidays wisely by planning ahead
When: Heritage Day, 24 September
Where to go:
The Tsitsikamma area lies on the Garden Route – one-and-a-half hours from George and Port Elizabeth. It has indigenous forests, river gorges and the Tsitsikamma National Park. It’s a reserve with an 80km coastline and great scenery, a small beach, restaurant and shop. Explore the Tsitsikamma Forest with registered field guides. It’s a 45-minute drive to Plettenberg Bay, if the urge to shop bites. Places to stay include At the Woods Guest House, which has views of the Tsitsikamma Mountains and the village. The Tsitsikamma Lodge has cabins with breathtaking views and TV and braai areas. Alternatively, you can eat at the Log Restaurant.
Cost and how to book:
At the Woods Guest House About R425 per person. Children aged two to six sharing with parents in the family room or the triple room pay R150 each. Those aged seven to 16 pay R250 each. ☎042 281 1446 or visit www.atthewoods.co.za.
Tsitsikamma Lodge R690 per person per night, breakfast included. Children aged six to 12 pay R345 each and those aged 13 to 18 pay R385 each. ☎ 042 280 3802 or visit www.tsitsikammalodge.com.
The Eastern Cape Highlands near East London is freezing in winter but should be a tad warmer by late September. Rhodes Village and Barkly East are two towns in which you’ll breathe fresh mountain air. You can go fly-fishing at any of the surrounding rivers or go for walks on the mountain paths. Head off mountain biking or see San rock art in the sandstone valleys. The three-star Rhodes Hotel was established in 1899 and recently restored its original pub. Near Barkly East, in the Witteberg Mountains, is Balloch farm, which has three self-catering cottages that sleep two to 10 people. There’s also a camp site in a huge overhang that die-hard campers will love.
Cost and how to book:
Rhodes Hotel R580 per person for dinner, bed and breakfast. Family rooms are available. Preschool children pay R290. ☎ 045 974 9305 or visit www.rhodesvillage.co.za.
Balloch farm About R240 each for the first four adults, plus about R150 each for additional guests. Camp site R100 per adult and R60 per child per night – site exclusive to one group at a time. ☎ 045 974 9228 or visit www.ballochcottages.co.za.