Go hiking along the Garden Route.
The pristine beaches and magical forests of the Garden Route are the settings for South Africa’s only walking festival. Join holidaymakers and locals on any of the more than 52 free and professionally guided walks planned for the Easter weekend. Whatever your walking style, interest and fitness level, there’s bound to be a walk perfect for you. Trails range from inspiring woodland meanders for artists and yoga lovers to a coastal pirate walk for kids. You could learn more about the history of the area from an experienced guide or challenge yourself on a serious hike to the top of the Outeniqua Pass. To view the programme for the HI-TEC Garden Route Walking Festival and book your hikes, go to walkingfestival.co.za.
Anyone who has been to the Kruger National Park knows that the wide, open spaces and the soothing sounds of birdsong are enough to make you feel relaxed. But if you really want to de-stress completely and treat yourself to intense relaxation, book a session at the AM Spa in Kruger’s Skukuza Rest Camp. The spa offers a variety of treatments to help you feel and look your best. After a busy morning of game viewing, spend the heat of the day getting an aromatherapy massage or a pretty pedicure. There’s an inviting swimming pool and a shaded outdoor chill area where you can unwind and soak up the natural beauty of South Africa’s flagship park. For the full treatments menu and booking information, visit www.amspa.co.za/kruger.
Take to the water at Inanda Dam.
Nestled in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, Inanda is a wild breakaway within an hour’s drive from downtown Durban. The reserve’s zebras graze along the shores of the dam, so you can game view and birdwatch from the comfort of your picnic blanket. But the real attraction is the shimmering water – after all, Inanda is a compulsory stop on the Dusi Canoe Marathon. Fortunately, the dam is placid enough for weekend warriors to take a leisurely paddle (hire a two-seater canoe for R165 per day). If you don’t feel like breaking a sweat, board the Spirit of Umngeni for an hour-long cruise (R50 schoolchildren, R75 students and pensioners, R140 adults). On Friday, 20 April, you can join the Easter festivities at Inanda Dam. For R30, kids under 12 can take part in an Easter egg hunt and enjoy outdoor movies between 11:00 and 16:00. For more information, call 031 765 7724.
Go adventuring at Golden Gate.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park is famous for Brandwag Buttress, the iconic sandstone formation that glows honey in the sun’s rays. But venture deeper into the park and you’ll see an even more astounding sight. A cavern carved over the course of millennia, its ceiling rising high above, its sandstone walls enticing shades of cream and caramel. The lofty dimensions and beautiful rock has earned it the name Cathedral Cave. To experience the full drama of the cave, follow a trail on the outside and scale some ladders to reach the roof. Here a footbridge gives dizzying views into the cavern below and you’ll enjoy expansive panoramas of the park’s rolling grasslands. Visits to Cathedral Cave are guided and you can hike to the sight or amp up the adventure with a horseback trail.
Spend family time at Addo.
This Easter, why not spend Family Monday introducing your children to an animal family known for their incredible bonds? Elephants live in close-knit groups of related adult females and their immature offspring. One of the best places in Addo Elephant National Park to witness elephant behaviour is Hapoor Dam, named after one of the park’s legendary giants that had a notch in his ear. Here you could see the matriarch leading her herd to the water, mothers and older sisters tending to baby elephants and siblings playing together. You might even witness two separate elephant families arriving and greeting each other. For lunch, head to Jack’s Picnic Spot, where you’ll find picnic tables and braai facilities.
Love the outdoors?
Then travelling with a Wild Card is for you. Wild membership gives you a year’s unlimited access to more than 80 protected areas around South Africa and Eswatini (Swaziland).
Ts & Cs Apply.