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10 Vacation ideas for the whole family

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

When it comes to lekker holiday spots, South Africans can count themselves among the luckiest in the world. Whether you’re looking for a little R&R on the beach, a place to teach the kids about our diverse cultural history, or you want to have an adventurous break, there is something for everyone in SA.

But with so much choice, it can be tricky to decide where to go that will please the whole family. That’s why we’ve made your life easier by putting together a list of some our local vacation destinations, some of which are a little lesser-known but still magnificent.

But before you take a virtual trip with us around our wonderful country, remember that part of having a relaxing end-of-year break is to be prepared, and that’s where we come in – you can go mountain climbing or sun tanning and not worry about your valuables with our Portable Possessions cover, and with our Comprehensive Car Insurance, you can get on the road and enjoy a peaceful drive to your destination. And the best part is that there is no need for lengthy phone calls with car insurance companies; with Dialdirect, you can get a car insurance quote online anywhere, anytime.

So without further ado, here are our 10 holiday recommendations, in no particular order:

1. Oudtshoorn Cango Caves (Western Cape)

The Cango Caves is the ideal choice for anyone looking to embrace a little of South Africa’s wonderful landscape. With easy and advanced tours, South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction creates the perfect balance between fun while still being educational, and it’s suitable for kids and adults.

2. Golden Gate Highlands National Park (Free State)

The park takes its name from the golden colour of the sandstone cliffs and outcrops that make this gem in the Free State a popular tourist attraction. You’ll find a peaceful vacation to refuel for the New Year in this home to hundreds of bird species and a variety of fauna. 

3. Natal Midlands Meander (Kwazulu-Natal)

Located just north of Pietermaritzburg, a number of small towns comprise the Natal Midlands Meander, including Howick, Nottingham Road, and Mooi River. A lazy amble through the Midlands Meander makes a holiday rich with colours and natural phenomena such as carpets of wild flowers, waterfalls, farmlands, and forests. There are loads of activities to keep the kids busy on this route, such as canopy tours, quad biking, fishing, and horse riding. It’s also just a hop and a skip away from the Drakensburg, so if your family is into relaxing drives and sightseeing, this holiday is for you.

4. Cape Agulhas (Western Cape)

Not only can you take a selfie on the southern-most tip of Africa when you visit Cape Agulhas, but you can also see where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. You can also climb to the top of the Cape Agulhas lighthouse, which was built in 1848 and is South Africa’s second oldest working lighthouse.

5. Surfing in J-Bay (Eastern Cape)

This is a holiday destination that is ideal for the young at heart. Jeffreys Bay (or J-Bay as it’s known to its relaxed inhabitants), is the place to go if you’re looking to catch some of the best waves in the world. You can also spend hours walking along the beach with the kids, picking from the shoreline’s abundance of seashells.

6. Sun City (North West)

Attracting visitors from all over the world, Sun City is loved by children and parents alike. Accommodation options vary from affordable timeshare to more luxurious hotel stays. The resort has a casino and golf course for adults, and a number of safe and fun activities for the kids, and of course, the Valley of the Waves, which is like the ocean-around-the-corner for Joburgers. It’s also close to the Pilanesberg National Park, so there really is something for everyone at Sun City.

7. Sutherland (Northern Cape)

This small town has more to offer than meets the eye. The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) houses the world-famous Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), which is the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. It’s located here because there is minimal pollution and light, and the weather is generally perfect for star gazing. You can take basic or fully-guided day and night tours and view some of the telescopes. 

8. Soutpansberg (Limpopo)

South Africa is spoiled for choice when it comes to mountain ranges, but the Soutpansberg range is a must see. It forms part of one of three biosphere reserves in the Limpopo Province, and is named after the salt pan located on its western side.

9. Magaliesburg (Gauteng)  

For Joburgers who aren’t keen on travelling too far to have a great family holiday, Magaliesburg is perfect for a break from the city, whether over a weekend or a day trip. There are loads of leisure activities including quad biking, hot air balloon rides, craft stalls, horse riding, canopy tours, and even microlighting. And, rather than driving there, you could take the Reefsteamers Magaliesburg Express, a heritage locomotive that is run by volunteers.

10. Blyde River Canyon (Mpumalanga)

One of the many wonders of the diversely rich natural offerings of Mpumalanga, Blyde River Canyon offers an incomparable landscape of lush greens and fiery oranges that make the Three Rondavels so spectacular. This is definitely a holiday if you’re after an adventure, with hiking being the main activity to do there.

Wherever you go these holidays, with Dialdirect you can relax knowing that your car is covered with our Vehicle Insurance, and no matter what activities you do, our Portable Possessions Insurance will make it easy to unwind and enjoy this time of the year with your family.