Where to go:
Irene Country Lodge
Gautengers can spend time away at the Irene Country Lodge in Centurion. It’s just a 30-minute drive from Sandton and 15 minutes from Pretoria and is set on a lake bordered by a dairy farm and golf course. Children will love visiting the calves or chasing cockerels around the 122-year-old Irene Dairy Farm, while the restaurant and Camdeboo Day Spa (where you can try the full-cream cocoons using fresh cream from the farm) will entice grown-ups to unwind. Take a drive to the Rietvlei Nature Reserve during your stay. The Family Fun package includes a buffet dinner, baby-sitting service, on-site cinema and more children’s entertainment.
Cost and how to book:
Irene Country Lodge The Family Fun package is R1 299 per person sharing per night. Children under 12 stay and eat free of charge if sharing parents’ accommodation. ☎ 012 667 6464 or visit www.irenecountrylodge.co.za.
Bontebok Ridge Reserve is in the heart of the Boland winelands near Wellington and is just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town – making it an easy weekend break for Capetonians. Four wooden chalets (each sleeps two) make up the accommodation. They’re set around a central lapa, with majestic mountains as a backdrop and views over the reserve and vineyards. At the heart of the camp is a dam with a jetty – the ideal setting for sundownersas you watch the skies turn orange. Go bass fishing at the dam or kayaking, or row a boat out on the water. The reserve is home to bontebok, wildebeest, springbok and more, and is also involved in the quagga rebreeding programme. Game drives are on offer, plus you can play golf and boules, or go hiking on one of the trails. Make your braai extra special by buying organic venison, biltong and sausage from the warm and hospitable Turner family’s butchery.
Cost and how to book:
Bontebok Ridge Reserve R250 per person per night or R2 000 a night if your group has fewer than eight people. The lapa is rented out to one group at a time. If your group has more than eight people, camping is also an option at R185 per person. Call Tom Turner on ☎ 082 576 9657 or visit www.bontebokridge.com.
Text by Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor. Originally appeared in Good Housekeeping, Jan/Feb 2012.