A quick guide on things to do in Mzansi this summer

Summer time and Dezember is a time when South Africans go out and enjoy the country’s beaches. Picture: Supplied

Summer time and Dezember is a time when South Africans go out and enjoy the country’s beaches. Picture: Supplied

Published Oct 25, 2023


In Mzansi, December, sometimes affectionately known as Dezember, is a period when South Africans make the most of fun things to do. It’s a time of great joy when many travel across the country to visit family and friends.

Though Dezember is just over a month away, we know how quickly the final months of the year go by so why not get your festive season holiday planning early?

If you’re looking for fun in Western Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, here are some interesting things you can do this festive.

Western Cape

An old Cape-Dutch styled building surrounded vineyards and the mountains in the background. Picture: Unsplash

The Western Cape is a great holiday destination to consider, as families can enjoy the diverse settings of the mountains, the ocean and smaller towns in the Winelands in one trip.

Last year, the province recorded 569 693 domestic and 270 433 international arrivals at Cape Town International Airport during December.

According to Guest Relations Manager at Kruger Gate Hotel, Sarah Watson, if you’re planning to enjoy a December getaway in the Western Cape’s mountains, you can opt for smaller, rustic cabin-like accommodations, of which the Western Cape has many stunning options for families, couples, and big groups.

Or book a spot in camp-sites like De Pakhuys in the Cederberg.

“A camping trip, however, might be better suited for people who already live within a few hours of a destination or would be driving with all the necessary equipment in a bigger vehicle, as you wouldn’t be able to travel via plane with tents and sleeping bags,” she said.

Watson also said that ocean lovers can enjoy various getaway location options in the province, like the Atlantic Seaboard, the West Coast region, Hermanus or the Deep South in Kommetjie and Simon’s Town.

Whether your plan is to surf, swim or lounge by the shore, you’ll find that the Western Cape has plenty of seaside thrills to offer.


A baby rhino and mommy rhiny at the Kruger National Park. Picture: Unsplash

Watson said that if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, then delight in the natural beauty of various locations in Mpumalanga such as Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window, the Blyde River Canyon, and most notably, the Kruger National Park, which is SA’s official World Wonder.

“A visit to the Kruger National Park is at the top of many a bucket list and is a great destination for families, couples, elders, and larger groups to disconnect and find both serene and thrilling experiences in the untouched landscapes of the park,” said Watson.

She revealed that many families are flocking to the Kruger National Park for their annual holidays to see rare sightings of endangered animals, such as the African Wild Dog, as well as the iconic Big Five (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and African buffalo).

“Aside from seeing spectacular wildlife in the Kruger, guests can also revel in reinvigorating spa treatments in the wild, marvel at the magical uninterrupted views of the park from the Kruger Gate Hotel’s viewing deck, cool off in the swimming pool, enjoy a family game of volleyball or life-sized chess and relish dinners under the African sky all in one location,” said Watson.


A place where the earth and the ocean meet, uMhlanga Rocks-Durban. Picture: Unsplash

Known as the Kingdom of the Zulu, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is a subtropical paradise beloved for its summer sunshine year-round.

KZN’s favourite destination, Durban, also known as eThekwini, translates to “the place where the earth and the ocean meet”. Holidaymakers visiting Durban over the festive season can take delight in the city’s eclectic range of leisure activities.

Thrill seekers can take the ultimate, unforgettable ride of their lives at the Moses Mabhida Stadium’s “Big Rush Big Swing”. This rope swing is the world's only stadium swing and the biggest swing of any kind in the world!

Adrenaline junkies can jump 106 metres above the World Cup soccer field and swing out in a massive 220 metre arc under the stadium’s distinctive arch.

A melting pot of culture, KZN is also a great destination to immerse oneself in rich parts of Mzansi’s heritage.

Experience a taste of Durban by trying the mouthwatering famous Indian-South African fast-food favourite, a bunny chow.

To learn more about Zulu history and customs, you could visit the Shakaland Zulu Cultural Village, where visitors are encouraged to attend traditional ceremonies, meet inyanga (herbalists) and sangomas (healers), sample home-made beer and food and purchase handmade beaded art.

The beauty of holidaying in Mzansi over the summer months is that there is something for everyone across the country, whether you’re hitting the shores, exploring mountains, unwinding in the bush or immerse yourself in cultural activities.

Just pack your sense of adventure and some SPF and you’re good to go.