As Valentine’s Day approaches there is a collective sigh of angst ahead of securing a restaurant booking and finding a suitable gift. 

2020 is all about mixing it up and Valentine’s Day is the first chance you’ll get. Turn the usual candlelit dinner on its head and plan a hike that ends with coffee and rusks at sunrise, a picnic by the dam or sundowners with bubbly and a beautiful view. 

The gift? Easy. Spoil your partner by giving them a garment of merino wool that will last forever and is eco-conscious. 

Local Merino Wool activewear brand Core Merino has a couple of options including the Nuyarn waterproof soft-shell jacket or a Nuyarn sleeveless tank top. Package it up as a little ‘prep kit’ together with bubbles, a snack for your romantic adventure. 

Here are some awesome outdoor adventures for you and your Valentine to try:

  • Hot-air ballooning over the Cradle of Humankind - https://www.air-ventures.co.za/
  • Celebrate love on Table Mountain with the cableway’s half price sunset special. Why not walk up and take the cable car down? Romantic and energetic.
  • Head to the Cradle Moon (just outside of the city, close to Johannesburg and Pretoria) and enjoy a swim in the picturesque dam after a mountain bike ride. Trail run or hike with your Valentine, and afterwards enjoy a delicious meal at the nearby restaurant or picnic on the water’s edge.
  • The Steenbras River Gorge (located just outside Gordons Bay) has many spots along the route where you can stop and take in the views, with some delicious snacks of course. 
  • Silvermine lake (located at the top of Ou Kaapse Weg) has the most picturesque private picnic spots around the lake for people to relax and enjoy the surroundings together, yet remaining very intimate.
  • In the heart of busy Gauteng, virtually on the doorstep of both Johannesburg and Pretoria, you and your Valentine can now experience one of the few unspoiled nature areas at Hennops Hiking Trail. The route meanders along the Hennops River before veering away into the surrounding mountains where you can take in the fantastic sites.

How to enter IOL's #MyHeart competition:

Send an email to [email protected] with a shout out to a very special someone in your life (minimum 150 words). Or send us a message or a video via Whatsapp to 0745573535.

Whether it's the love of your life, your BFF, your dog, your cat, your mom, your boss or your second-removed cousin on your grandmother's side, we want to know why you appreciate them so much.

You can also DM us on Facebook or Twitter, or tag us on Instagram.

Winners of this prize will be notified by March 6.

Winners will be notified by email or phone, so please send us your contact details with your entry.

Competition Rules:

  • Selected story entries, pictures and videos will be published on iol.co.za and our social media pages. 
  • The winners' names will be published on our website and social media pages.
  • Competitions are only open to people residing in South Africa.
  • Employees of Independent Media, the sponsors & their agents, or any company associated with the competition & their immediate families are not eligible to enter. 
  • Prizes are not redeemable for cash. 
  • The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 
  • Receipt of entries will not be acknowledged. 
  • The entrant accepts that entry to the competition does not constitute a contract or any form of legal commitment between the entrant and IOL.