Ideas for how to spend your long weekends

Long weekends are excellent opportunities to do the things that regular weekends are just that little bit too short for. With two coming up – Monday 27 April and Friday 1 May 2015 are both holidays – it’s time to start planning how to make the most of those precious mini holidays.
Here are a few ideas for what to do on your long weekends:

steamIf you’re in the Western Cape

  • Take the steam train between Simon’s Town and Cape Town
    The 5 and a half hour trip starts with the train leaving Cape Town and heading towards Muizenburg. From there, it chugs on to False Bay and through the little villages of St James and Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Glencairn. It ends off in Simon’s Town at the naval dockyard. The ocean views on this trip are superb and it makes for a lovely family outing.

wine-tram

  • Take the Franschhoek Wine Tram
    This hop-on hop-off tour of the Franschhoek wine valley through rolling vineyards in an open-side tram and open-air tram-bus. The tram stops in at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates to taste and buy as you please. While you’re there, check out the famed Franschhoek gourmet eateries which are said to be some of the best in the country.

If you’re in Gauteng

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A trip out to Magaliesburg makes for a lovely day’s outing for Gautengers and the Cradle of Humankind Site itself is both interesting and beautiful. The limestone caves contain the fossilised remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and hominids – that’s us! The dolomite in which the caves formed is thought to be about 2.3 billion years old. While you are there, be sure to check out the Maropeng Visitor Centre and the Cradle Nature Reserve. You can even go hot air ballooning over the area if you are brave enough.

If you’re in KwaZulu Natal

  • Drive Route 66

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Route 66 is a Zululand Heritage Route and it links the towns of Gingindlovu, Eshowe, Melmoth, Ulundi, Nongoma and Pongola. It traces the oldest trade route through Zululand, once ridden by horse and ox wagons by early settlers. The route takes you past gorgeous rolling hills and sugar cane fields while discovering some historically important and fascinating sites, such as Fort Nongqayi, a museum filled with Zululand artefacts.  You can also stop in at Dlinza Forest have a go on the aerial boardwalk. Take a turn in at Ophathe Heritage Park and have a look at the the eMakhosini Monument that overlooks the Valley of the Kings. Finish your day’s outing at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park or continue to Pongola and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

If you’re in the Eastern Cape

addo-elephant-park-elephant-480

Addo Elephant Park is now considered to be S.A’s third largest national reserve and at an hour away from Port Elizabeth, it’s an easy day trip. The reserve stretches from the Karoo region north of the Zuurberg Mountain Range to the coast and islands of Algoa Bay. The reserve houses over 350 African elephants in the heart of the dense bushveld of the Sundays River valley. Addo itself is thought to be home to one of the densest African Elephant populations on earth, roughly 550. Besides spotting elephants and other wildlife, you can have a ferry ride, go horse riding, hiking, 4×4’ing and off-roading.

Enjoy your long weekends!

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