"On Your Doorstep" Winter Getaways
African Pride Irene Country Lodge
Dying to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a country escape with your loved ones? Why not visit African Pride Irene Country Lodge this winter? For starters, it’s not too far from home (45 minutes drive from Jozi) and offers a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy in the area. There's everything from angling, camping and game viewing tours to hiking and day or night game drives and, to top it all off, Irene Country Lodge offers loads of kids' activities and entertainment at the Kids Corner. For a great winter escape, put African Pride Irene Country Lodge at the top of your "sho't left" list.
Emerald Resort & Casino
Adventure awaits around every corner at Emerald Resort & Casino, making it a "funtastic" destination ideal for the entire family. There’s so much to do and so much to see, so make sure you make the most of it. Spend your days visiting Animal World, doing some fishing on the Vaal, reaching new heights while wall climbing, spotting animals on game drives, playing a few rounds of Adventure Golf or going for a strike at Pins Bowling Alley. And don’t forget your cozzies, towels and water-wings because winter won’t stop you from splashing around at the Aquadome, complete with heated pools.
Villa Paradiso Country Manor
Hartebeespoort is a getaway spot we love to love, thanks to all the activities on offer. Enjoy some extreme jet boat rides on the dam (if you can brace the cold, that is), visit the elephant sanctuary or do some adrenaline-inducing zip-lining. And, after a long day of action, you can relax in your plush hotel room at the luxurious 4-star Villa Paradiso Country Manor overlooking the soothing waters of the Hartebeespoort Dam. With a fireplace included, we rate this as one of our favourites.
"A Bit of a Drive" Winter Getaways
Cherry Grove Luxury Apartments
If you're looking for a weekend of trout fishing – winter being the perfect season for this BTW – then be sure to book a stylish apartment at Cherry Grove in Dullstroom. The architecture will make you feel as if you're in a Mediterranean village, and the rooms are perfect for cosying up in bed after a day of exploring. In little town of Dullstroom, it’s all about long walks, drinks at the pub by the fireplace, the possibility of a catch so big you can't help brag about it, and recharging those batteries.
Lake Clarens Guest House
Clarens is the perfect destination if you're looking to do some hiking, sightseeing, dining or shopping. Once you've exhausted yourself with a gorgeous hike, take a stroll around the town square and pop into the quaint art gallery or reward yourself with a beer tasting at Clarens Brewery. If you're after a place that has beautiful scenery and offers you great relaxation, check out the 4-star Lake Clarens Guest House out in the countryside.
"Far Out" Winter Getaways
For the ultimate honeymoon or romantic getaway, book a room at one of the most seductive lodges in the country – the Timamoon Lodge. This stunning hideaway, close to the Kruger National Park and Blyde River Canyon, is situated high up in the hills of Hazyview, offering endless forest views of the Sabie River Valley. The décor and design of the lodges are exquisite – think luxurious Moroccan and Tanzanian accents, an intimate ambience, private pools, mosquito net-draped four-poster beds, roaring fires and massive baths. To top it all off, you'll be treated to some superb cuisine. Each lodge offers its own unique feel and surrounds, so suss out Moon River, Bombay Moon, New Moon, Blue Moon, Amber Moon and Many Moons and pick your favourite.
Emoya Hotel & Spa & Shanty Town
Emoya Hotel & Spa in Bloemfontein is one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets. It offers a luxurious escape from the craziness of everyday life with two different accommodation types. There's the Basotho Hotel, complete with stunning African-style rooms ideal for relaxing and watching the nyala or giraffe in the distance, while the more traditional South African shacks in Shanty Town are perfect if you’re looking for a local experience you’ll never forget. You can also enjoy a variety of activities, including a cheetah experience, game drives, sundowners at the Shebeen Pub and some pampering at the Emoya Spa.
Farr Out Guesthouse
Seeking complete tranquillity? Farr Out Guesthouse on the outskirts of Paternoster in the Western Cape will treat your senses with nature’s gifts. See the tides go in and out in the distance, smell the fynbos in the air, hear the soothing sounds of nature all around you and feel the relaxation while treating yourself to a dip in the wood-fired hot tub. As for the accommodation, you’ll be glamping in a luxurious Wigwam/Tepee-style tent... and yes, we added this one to the bottom of the list because of its name.
By Shawn Greyling