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A South African Winter Holiday

By J.F. Kloppers

Holidaying in sunny South Africa during summer is fantastic but our country has so much to offer during winter time as well.

If you choose to cosy up on the couch binging on series after series this winter you are sure to experience a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) on cool adventure experiences only winter brings.

Granted, for most of us, getting out and finding fun does not come easy in winter, and we easily swop our sense of adventure for the couch to avoid even daring to face the inclement weather.

Unless of course you knew that the cold brings some interesting ‘bucket list’ type adventures. “By throwing a little caution to the wind, and setting off on a roadtrip around some of SA’s most beautiful destinations you may be surprised how quickly and forever your perception of winter will be changed,” says Yvonne Matambo, Customer Service Manager at e-commerce travel specialists SafariNow.com

Here's a few spectacular winter getaways to entice you from changing your hibernation routine this year:

Rock climbing at the Cederberg Rocklands

If you’re the active type, and are looking for adventure, the Cederberg offers numerous outdoor activities, and is renowned for some of the best rock climbing SA has to offer. Rock climbing is best experienced during the winter months however, as summer conditions are extremely hot.

Whale watching in Hermanus, Cape Agulhas or Lambert’s Bay

These fishing towns are all a charm in their own right, but have one major thing in common - they’re all known for prime whale watching. Every year the endangered Southern Right Whales migrate north to mate in the Southern Cape. If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of this marvel of nature, you can only do this in the winter months however, so be sure to go between June and September.

Breathtaking scenery along the Wild Coast

This rural part of the Eastern Cape is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and untouched beaches. While beautiful all year round, the summer months are often hampered by the summer rainfall pattern, which can put the brakes on outdoor activities such as hiking and can dampen the view. Despite the rainy weather though, tourists flock to the Wild coast in summer, which may not be ideal if you’re after a more tranquil experience. If you want to take in the exquisite serenity, and miss the crowds and the wet weather, visiting in winter is the way to go.

Experience a winter wonderland in these snow capped locations

In South Africa, if there is going to be snow, the inland towns of the Eastern Cape are where you will most likely find it. If you venture just outside of the town of Barkley East, there’s enough snow to ski! The Tiffindell resort, in the southern Drakensberg experiences snow regularly, and if nature does not oblige, they provide it - a good time on the slopes is guaranteed. Other locations known to boast snowy mountain peaks include Hogsback, The Drakensberg, the Matroosberg and the Swartberg Pass.

Best game viewing

Winter is famously the best time for game viewing in the Kruger National Park. During winter, cooler weather and sparser vegetation drives wildlife out of hiding and animals are much more visible. The dryer weather means less available water, which drives animals to gather at main watering holes, making it much likelier to spot the big five and then some.

Catch the Sardine Run off the coast of KZN

Every year, between May and July millions of sardines travel north from SA’s Cape Point making their way up the coastline of the northern Eastern Cape and KZN. The entire coastline sparkles silver, and the shoal is so immense it’s visible from satellite. The sardine run puts on a spectacular show of marine wildlife as birds, sharks, dolphins, whales arrive in droves to feast on the millions of sardines.

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