Looking to Escape the Festive Season Rush?

The festive season is one of the most pleasant times of the year. Everyone is carrying some festive spirit, and it’s seriously contagious! There are smiles on faces, long summer days, and a sense of relaxation….if you go to the right places! Everyone’s hopping on a flight to Cape Town to catch the New Year’s Eve party and soak up the sunshine, and you don’t know if you can face another crowded wine farm. We get it! As much as we love the buzz and activity surrounding the festive season, there’s no denying that the business can get to you. So if you want to celebrate your festive season a little more quietly than usual (but still experience the beauty of South Africa), here are a few tips.
  1. Change your travel dates
If you want to go to a place that is renowned for getting busy over the festive season (we’re looking at you, Durban and Cape Town) then you may have to be flexible with your dates. We love the coastal cities as much as everyone else, but prices are higher in peak season and they are absolutely buzzing with visitors from all over South Africa and the rest of the world. We understand that you might not want to postpone your holiday to February, but what about visiting the mother city from early December to mid-December? You can often get flight specials if you pick the right dates, and you avoid some of the rush.
  1. Look for coastal alternatives
If you’re dead set on the going to the sea, then South Africa is blessed with a huge amount of coastline. 3000 kilometres of it to be exact - and there definitely isn’t hundreds of people on every kilometre of it! You can easily spend a couple of weeks at the sea over the festive period without having to battle crowds all day long. Instead of going to the major hubs of Durban and Cape Town why not look either in their surrounds or further afield? For Cape Town fans, head up to Paternoster or Yzerfontein, Gaansbaai or Arniston.
Our recommendation though, would be to head over to the Wild Coast just outside East London. For some reason, East London has struggled to attract visitors the same way that other coastal areas have. As a result, the Wild Coast is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt stretches of the country comprised of secluded beaches, protected nature reserves, craggy cliffs and lush forests. More than that, it is completely underrated. Trust us, you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you do visit, and it won’t be long before you’re back again. There are loads of South African flights heading there, so it’s easily accessible, and the big bonus is that the flights are usually very affordable!
  1. Go somewhere designed for quiet and privacy
If you’re in Gauteng, it’ll definitely be quiet over the festive season! However, you still might want to have a scenic breakaway somewhere, even if only for a few days. In that case we suggest driving a few hours outside of the city. Game reserves are designed to be quiet, and the lodges can only accommodate a certain amount of people, so they are a great option for those who want to rest and recharge. After all, where better to do it than in the great South African bushveld, listening to lions roar at night as you tuck yourself into bed surrounded by nothing but open space, wild animals, and a sense of peace. Other options are the more remote lodges in areas of the Free State and the Magaliesberg. A simple search for ‘remote getaways near Gauteng’ will give you plenty to choose from.

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Image courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK.COM