Long weekend getaways South Africa – why there are plenty of options for locals, and visitors, within driving distance of each of the four major cities.
With an extra day, or two, tagged onto a weekend, South Africans need little excuse to pack a bag and head for the open road.
Long weekend getaways South Africa …
Long weekend getaways from Jo’burg
The country setting of mountains, valleys, rivers and rock formations makes the Magaliesberg a popular weekend escape for city dwellers in both Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Note: Magaliesburg the town is spelt with a ‘u’, the mountains and area are known as Magaliesberg, with an ‘e’
It even has its own Eiffel Tower (don’t go looking up, it’s small, and you’ll easily find it along the main road). Parys is alive with pubs, antique and coffee shops, and art galleries, and is close to the Vredefort Dome.
The little historical farming hamlet, formed by the Voortrekkers way back in the 1850s, is famous because of the writings of Herman Charles Bosman.
Renowned for its indigenous forest shrouded in the famous ‘silver mist’ off the surrounding mountains, Magoebaskloof is for MTB riders, walkers and lovers of nature.
The ancient, rugged peaks, and savannah plains of the Waterberg, feel a country away from Johannesburg, and yet it is a couple of hours’ drive into this under explored part of Limpopo.
Dullstroom isn’t famous for its trout fly fishing alone; its setting high in the Steenkampsberg mountains makes it beautiful too. The Tonteldoos valley alone is worth the trip for a long weekend stay.
Long weekend getaways from Cape Town
The oak-lined lanes and country cottages of Greyton lie surrounded by the Sonderend Mountains with access to good food, plenty of walks and idyllic views.
Stanford lies along the banks of the Klein River against the Kleinriversberg Mountains, its streets a tribute to weekend browsing in galleries, antique shops and artsy cafés and restaurants.
The winelands gourmet capital is only a stone’s throw from Cape Town, its streets lined with restaurants, cafés and some of the most beautiful accommodation in the country. When it comes to long weekend getaways South Africa, Franschhoek is one of the most popular places.
One of the most popular West Coast breaks, Paternoster’s beach front is a broad sweep of white sand and idyllic waves, its edges a tribute to the traditional fisherman.
The star of the vine and olive Riebeeck Valley, sip G & T on the longest stoep south of the Limpopo or explore the gabled porches, patios and shady nooks of boutiques, galleries, restaurants and cafés.
The geological wonderland of the Cederberg Mountains is a feast of hikes in amongst rock formations, rock art, campsites and enviable night skies .
Long weekend getaways from Durban
The largest, and highest, mountain range in southern Africa stretches along the western boundary of KZN providing soaring peaks, effortless wilderness and hiking routes like nowhere else.
This beachside village in the shade of coral trees is home to a group of palm-nut vultures who feast on rafia palm fruit. You can catch a glimpse of them from the raised boardwalk through the palms.
Named for its English counterpart, the Midlands of KwaZulu Natal lie in the heart of the province, home to a self-drive meander and a feast of quaint little towns (Nottingham Road is a local favourite).
A huge concentration of historical battles shaped the course of both South African and British history in this northeastern corner of KwaZulu Natal.
Lying at the mouth of the Umzimai River, Hibberdene has no fewer than five beaches, popular with snorkellers, divers and swimmers. The reefs just offshore are a highlight.
Long weekend getaways from Port Elizabeth
Plett is one of the coastal darlings of the Eastern Cape, not far from the edge of the Garden Route, with some of the coastline’s best beaches, and incredible hikes through the Robberg Nature Reserve.
Jbay is South Africa’s surfing capital, its beaches a hive of activity over holiday seasons, and its waves at Super Tubes thick with surf boards (best months to surf are June to September).
If it’s elephants you want to see then South Africa’s third largest national reserve is where you head. It’s also home to the Big 7 (including whales and African penguins). Stay outside the reserve in Addo. It’s where you’ll get to stay longer for less.
One of the best-kept local hideaways of South Africa’s coastline, Kenton-on-Sea has gorgeous beaches, river mouths and lagoons, a nature reserve, and plenty of places to stay within walking distance of the sea.
Sleepy retirement village no longer, Port Alfred is slowly emerging as a vibrant alternative living town with its own micro-brewery, markets and river marina.
Known as the city of saints for its numerous churches, Grahamstown hosts one of the country’s longest running major arts festivals, and is home to Rhodes University.