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5 ways to make the most of your Mzansi sho’t left this festive season

A group of friends enjoys a game of volley ball on the golden sands of a Durban beach. Picture: Supplied

A group of friends enjoys a game of volley ball on the golden sands of a Durban beach. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 21, 2023

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In South Africa, there are plenty of adventures to embark on so you really don’t have to stay stuck at home this festive season. And the end-of-year holidays are the perfect time to make memories and enjoy quality time with loved ones.

The team at Mzansi sho’t left have created an affordable itinerary of this things to do in South Africa for the whole family this festive season.

Picnic perfection: Feast with your family under the African sky

South African travel experts believe that the festive season is a great time to bring out the picnic blankets and load them up with your favourites snacks like boerewors rolls, biltong and fresh fruit.

You can visit one of Mzansi’s many breathtaking parks or botanical gardens for a laid-back day under the African sky.

“Make it a family affair by involving everyone in the food prep – the kids can handle the snacks, and the parents can tackle the main course. It's the perfect recipe for a memorable family day out and a sunny summer vibe,” said the travel advisers.

Make a splash and experience a water extravaganza

The sho’t left travel crew said that swimming in the pool is one thing, but going to a water park “is a wet and wild adventure like no other.”

“Luckily for us, South Africa boasts some of the coolest water parks on the continent,” they added.

The travel experts also suggested taking a plunge with the whole family at venues like uShaka Marine World in Durban, Happy Island in Johannesburg, or the Forever Resorts Warmbaths in Bela-Bela, Wild Waves Water Park at the Wild Coast Sun in the Eastern Cape or Adventure Land Water Park in Plettenberg bay.

“Watch as the kids giggle with delight on the water slides and join them for a family float down the lazy river. It's the ultimate way to cool off and create lasting memories,” they said.

And if you’re looking for some quiet time and to connect with nature, sho’t left recommended that you opt for the plenty of river-based adventures available in the country like Sabi river in Mpumalanga, famous for tubing, the Orange River: a white-water rafters heaven, or kayak up the Storm’s River mouth in the beautiful Tsitsikama National Park in the Eastern Cape.

Embark on a wildlife exploration of sanctuaries nearby

South Africa is teeming with wildlife sanctuaries that “offer an unforgettable experience with the country's incredible animals,” the Mzansi sho’t left crew said.

”Not to mention, you could chose to overnight at one of our numerous national parks courtesy of SANParks or make a day trip out of it with a self-drive and a delicious lunch at one of the rest camps.”

The travel advisers added that you can engage in guided tours or self-drive safaris and witness the beauty of the country’s natural wonders.

“A safari adventure is an experience the whole family will cherish. There are 19 SANParks to choose from scattered across seven of our beautiful provinces, each with their own distinct experience to be encountered,” they said.

Travel off the beaten path and explore hidden gems with family

Travel in the opposite direction and escape the city buzz by booking a stay at one of South Africa's charming self-catering spots. Whether it's a beachfront cottage or a mountain hideaway, there's a retreat for every family.

“Consider places like the Drakensberg Mountains, Knysna, or the Wild Coast for a tranquil escape. Create lasting memories as a family while enjoying the freedom and flexibility of a self-catering adventure,” they said.

Enjoy the surf with family beach days

There are over 2800 kilometres of coastline to explore in South Africa, including 51 blue-flag beaches in the country.

So pack your umbrella and head on over to beaches like Muizenberg in the Western Cape, Ramsgate in KwaZulu-Natal, or Cape St Francis in the Eastern Cape.

Don’t forget to pack your beach toys, sunscreen, and a cooler box full of snacks and spend the day building sandcastles and playing in the waves.

Or, change things up and enjoy a yoga session on the beach or indulge in a spa treatment. South Africa's coastline offers a variety of family-friendly beaches, such as Camps Bay in Cape Town or Umhlanga Rocks in Durban.

“As summer approaches, embrace the spirit of adventure and family togetherness. From picnics under the South African sun to thrilling water park escapades, South Africa's summer promises a melting pot of unforgettable moments,” the team said.

If you’re looking for more inspiration and affordable deals for the perfect holiday, check out www.shotleft.co.za.