Planning your holiday through Giltedge Africa not only guarantees expert advice when it comes to various travel destinations, but trips can also be tailor-made at the best possible prices.
Avoid busy airports and use your own vehicle, or rent one from your nearest car rental specialist such as Europcar.
The tourism and travel sector creates millions of jobs in South Africa and the industry is also the largest of any country in Africa, according to a World Travel & Tourism Council report.
While visitor numbers are already taking a knock due to declining international tourists, it is up to us as South Africans to continue supporting the industry.
Local is lekker so consider one of these local destinations for your next break.
Abelana Game Reserve
This 15,000 hectare Big Five reserve adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park and Selati Game Reserve is situated near Phalaborwa. Not only is the weather great year-round, but by supporting the reserve, you also support the local community.
Choose between the River Lodge with its spectacular views over the Selati River, or the intimate Safari Camp amid the granite outcrops in the remote southern part of the reserve.
Not only will you stay in pure luxury, but walking safaris, guided game drives, birding, photography, horse riding and stargazing are some of the other activities on offer.
“Our low density of vehicles makes one realise what a privilege it is to be on a vast reserve with few vehicles,” says Ian Beauchamp, CEO of MTH Lodge Holdings which manages the reserve.
- www.abelanagamereserve.com, +27 61 952 4302
Fish River Resort
Situated on the Sunshine Coast of the Eastern Cape, this self-catering resort is the ultimate golfing and family destination. Enjoy a round on the Gary Player-designed 18-hole golf course or stay active by hitting the squash court, exploring historical sites and swimming.
Youngsters have access to a kid’s playroom and playground and the resort offers access to a quiet beach nearby. The resort has 20 units and while self-catering, breakfast is included in the price.
- www.fishriverresort.co.za, +27 40 676 1101
The Mantis Collection
If luxury escapes are what you are after, the Mantis Collection has numerous options across South Africa to choose from.
Whether you want a Big Five experience, a houseboat adventure on the Chobe River or a break next to the ocean, Mantis has a range of properties ranging from lodges to boutique hotels.
Best of all, Mantis and Accor jointly founded Community Conservation Fund Africa, which supports community upliftment projects that benefit the wildlife on the African continent.
- www.mantiscollection.com, +27 41 404 9300
Sun City Vacation Club
There is nothing better than celebrating good weather at a location such as Sun City. This surf and safari destination is situated adjacent to the Pilanesberg National Park just more than two hours from Johannesburg.
Sunny days can be spent at the Valley of the Waves, playing a round of golf on one of two world-class courses designed by Gary Player or searching for the Big Five in the Pilanesberg.
With plenty of entertainment on offer and a casino to boot, there will be plenty of entertainment for the family. Sun Vacation Club offers a variety of accommodation options in the resort.
- www.suninternational.com/sun-city, +27 11 780 7000
Do you prefer being closer to nature? Opt for a glamping experience with Tented Adventures at the Manyane Resort in the Pilanesberg.
- www.tentedadventures.com, +27 76 146 1468
Tiger Canyon Private Game Reserve
You do not have to travel overseas to see tigers in the wild. This is the only reserve in South Africa where you can observe free-roaming wild tigers, in the heart of the Free State near the small town of Philippolis. The reserve is situated six hours from Johannesburg and just two hours from Bloemfontein.
John Varty initially started this ex-situ conservation project to see if it was possible to rewild captive-born tiger cubs. Not only was it a success, but the tigers have also adapted to the Karoo habitat, making Tiger Canyon the only growing population of wild tigers outside Asia.
Accommodation at the Tigress Julie Lodge is exclusive to the group making the booking and can accommodate up to six guests in three rooms.
“We have had significant postponements of bookings, which has a massive effect on monthly cash flow,” says Rodney Drew from Tiger Canyon.
“It will have a devastating effect on Tiger Canyon if we are not able to attract South Africans to use this occasion to take advantage of our recently announced South African resident’s discounted special offer,” says Drew.
- www.tigercanyon.com, +27 71 607 9279
Looking for experience-based holiday ideas like qualifying as a field guide, improving your photography skills or learning more about nature? EcoTraining offer packages to expand your knowledge. Visit www.ecotraining.co.za for details.