PICS: 4 of the best last-minute December getaways

Travel Tips

Cape Town - It seems like 2016 went by like a flash. We've blinked and December is already knocking at the door…

If you've been caught off guard and forgot to book your December holidays, don't despair: we've got you covered.

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Franschhoek has become a destination for art enthusiasts with its wide variety of art galleries. Picture: Leon LestradeZebra play fight in the morning sun while a giraffe walks past in the background in the southern side of Kruger National Park. Picture: Armand HoughA White Rhino and her calf walk in the dusk light in Pilanesberg National Park.

We've listed the hottest destinations for the December holidays this year. And the best news is: these holidays won't break the bank!


Enjoy a foodie break in the Mother City

Eat, drink and be merry! Cape Town is the ideal getaway for foodies with some of the country's best local eateries and its myriad of cultures and culinary heritage.

Stroll through Stellenbosch from one wine tasting to another or hop onto the wine tasting tram in Franschhoek to experience a unique and leisurely way to visit South Africa's oldest and most distinguished wine estates.

Do you have the family in tow and would you rather find some activities to keep the kids busy? Why not celebrate Christmas with a picnic at the magnificent Kirstenbosch gardens while singing your favourite carols? Or, spend the day at the Imhoff Farm with camel rides, face painting, horse riding, a maze world, a chocolate and wine shop and art studio.

Thompsons Travel offers an affordable package from: R2 685pps for a three-night stay at the Protea Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Sea Point, including accommodation, flights and three days' car rental.


Take a game drive in Mpumalanga

What better food for the soul than a few days' in the bush?

A safari also makes for an unforgettable family holiday and adventure. Spot spiders and scorpions at night or look out for lion, elephant and rhino during the day.

There's no better classroom than the outdoor classroom of the Kruger National Park where parents can pass on their love and knowledge of nature to their kids.

For a unique adventure experience in the area, go river rafting along the river through the natural bush of the Sabie River Valley. With experienced guides and approved equipment, this is an excellent family activity.

Thompsons Travel offers an unbeatable December special From: R2 895pps including a 3-night stay at the Protea Hotel by Marriott Hazyview including breakfast daily and various vouchers for local activities.



Forget the bright lights and big city and set out to experience some of the most spectacular scenery on offer in South Africa. The Drakensberg region falls within four valleys - Champagne Valley, Cathedral Peak and Didima Valley, the Royal Natal National Park and Amphitheatre Valley and the Middledale Pass Valley.

Each valley shares the beauty of the area, however each offer a different experience and opportunities.

The Drakensberg offers plentiful opportunity for outdoor activities such as horse riding, fishing, hiking and golf, however also look forward to arts and crafts, history and adventure activities.

Thompsons Travel has a two-night package available starting from R2 667 at Cathedral Peak Hotel in the Central Drakensberg including breakfast and dinner daily and various vouchers for activities.


Pilanesberg National Park

Situated between the malaria-free environment of the Kalahari and the Lowveld of South Africa, Pilanesberg National Park provides the ideal getaway spot for any occasion, for any age group.

Home to most of the animal species native to southern Africa, including the Big 5, the park's relatively small size makes game viewing a truly thrilling experience with an increased possibility of encountering wildlife in their natural environment.

Look forward to a true South African experience including game drives, walking safaris, hot air balloon rides, birding safaris, rhino tracking and superb spa experiences.

Thompsons Travel is offering a package at Ivory Tree Game Lodge priced from R5 125 per person including breakfast, lunch and dinner and two game drives daily.

Adapted from a press release for IOL

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