To quote Neil Diamond, “When you’re on a merry-go-round, you miss a lot of the scenery.” With the hustle and bustle of daily living, we often forget to stop and have a good look around, to breathe and take in the beauty that surrounds us. Is there anything better then, than a getaway with loved ones to remind us what living is really about? So, why not take some time off this winter to escape from the usual chores… Some time to open your eyes once again to the majestic splendour of the South African landscape… A country that boasts so many scenic destinations, you will be spoilt for choice!
Even in winter, a remote seaside village holds a certain romantic charm. The little Namaqualand fishing harbour of Doring Bay may be just the place for you to feel you are living a mariner’s tale. Meet the village’s fishermen and dine on the ocean’s bounty with crayfish or fish and chips at their community kitchen. Settle in at Thornbay Accommodation for lodgings with panoramic sea views. Watch the sun go down as the mist rolls in from the Atlantic Ocean, the shining beacon of the lighthouse leading ships to safety.
The ideal destination for animal lovers, Zandibela is a 5-star private game lodge close to the breathtaking Baviaanskloof in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. The thatched and high-ceilinged lodges, built from locally-sourced stone, are a restorative salve for the wearied soul. Wake to the expansive views across the horizon, and at nightfall, gather your fellow travellers around and warm yourself by the fireplace. Immerse yourself in a landscape of mountains, ravines and waterfalls. Be sure to bring along the binoculars and cameras, as the locals range from giraffes, to zebra, to sables.
If the thought of marshmallows by the fire, hot cocoa and snowfall warms your cotton socks, then Hogsback and the Amathole mountains beckon you. For the authentic experience, Back o’ the Moon is a self-catering stone cottage set in one of the area’s most picturesque gardens with its very own ‘moon pool’. Furnished with classic antiques and a selection of good reads, you need look no further for that cosy, old-world feel. Once rested, the festivities of Christmas in July await you. Locals and visitors make the most of this winter wonderland with bonfires, Christmas carolling, sleighing and the occasional mug of traditional Gluehwein. Fresh mountain air and festival fun guarantee a magical holiday for all ages.
Ultimately, for the adventurer who yearns for a little bit of everything, there can be no better place than the Wilderness National Park, situated in the heart of South Africa’s famous Garden Route. Located in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains on the banks of the Touw River, Ebb and Flow Restcamp offers bright forest cabins, cottages and campsites for holiday-makers. Find yourself bewitched by the captivating surroundings. Enchanting wooded forests are beset by a world of rivers, lakes and estuaries. If you tread quietly, you may even encounter the brilliantly coloured Knysna lourie. From canoeing to abseiling to boating or fishing, there are a host of activities from which to choose. So venture forth and awaken your spirit to the wonder of nature.