From the KZN Midlands to Langebaan, two fathers share their favourite outdoor places to visit in Mzanzi. By Marchelle Abrahams
Finding the right work-life balance can be tricky. Sometimes you just need to take a minute and take stock of what's important in life, like making lasting memories with the people you love. We chat to two dads on how they make it work.
Family comes first
John Aritho knows this all too well. General Manager of Tsogo Sun's Garden Court Marine Parade Hotel, he has carved out a notable career – but his first love will always be his family.
Dad to Sophia and husband to Janine, Aritho always makes the time to be present for his family. "Being a good and available father is very important to me as it makes me a more patient, tolerant and understanding person and this assists me in decisions that I make at work," he says.
We asked Aritho what his top 5 favourite places are in Mzanzi when he wants to get away and spend time with his family.
"I have to say that living in KwaZulu-Natal and particularly in Durban, we are spoilt for choice on outdoor places to spend time with my family."
Wine tasting in the KZN Midlands
Abingdon Wines has got to be one of the best places we love to visit for a meal in the vineyard, with lots of great wine while Sophia runs around with the dogs.
It has a great kids play area, as well as boutique shops for the adults and a beautiful well-kept mini steam and electric train to ride around. Being in the Midlands, the fresh clean air and the fresh farm food makes it a perfect weekend getaway.
Without doubt, the Durban Promenade is a great place that we enjoy going for bicycle rides as a family and keeping fit on a weekend. There are also a variety of great eating spots like California Dreaming, The Joint and Surf Riders on the beachfront – Durban is transforming into the Miami of Africa indeed.
Beachwood Mangrove Beach Reserve
A hidden gem in Durban that we love a lot is the Beachwood Mangrove Beach Reserve which is a well-kept piece of paradise that offers kayaking, as well as walks on the boardwalks. The large variety of bird life, KZN dwarf chameleons and red mangrove chameleons make it a great place to visit for both adults and kids.
Hiking in the Drakensberg
We are so lucky to have a World Heritage Site at our doorstep, so visiting and hiking in the magnificent Drakensberg is definitely one of the best locations to visit any time of the year.
"My new hobby is being a father!"
Becoming a father later in life, Sastri Ramiah has found the transition to parenthood an easy one. The Gold Reef City Hotel General Manager believes that balance is based on managing stress levels.
"Having values that are align to the working environment allows for me to focus totally on my baby and using a fantastic support structure in that of my wife, makes being a father so much easier and rewarding," Ramiah gushes.
Sastri and daughter Tatum. Picture: Supplied
He takes time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life like visiting destinations that are off the beaten track.
Langebaan and Paternoster
A definite must because the towns are so quiet and laid back – perfect places to unwind.
One word: Fishing!
Bird Gardens at Montecasino
This was a hit for my daughter and we will be going back.
Theme Park at Gold reef City
The sights and sounds was just a great stimulus for my daughter Tatum.
This weekend we are doing Johannesburg Zoo as Tatum is currently into the Animal Planet channel.