LIFESTYLE - ON Friday schools across KwaZulu-Natal closed – marking the end of the first term.
Here’s a look at some outdoor activities to keep the kids busy and entertained.
These spots also provide an opportunity to support local arts and tourism businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite the recently announced relaxed Covid-19 protocols, it is advised to always carry spare masks and wear them while indoors, carry hand sanitiser and social distance.
*Kickstart Theatre in association with Durban Botanic Gardens Trust will host Charlotte’s Web at the Botanic Gardens Amphitheatre from March 26 to April 3. This theatrical adaptation of the children’s classic by EB White tells the story of Wilbur, a cute, plucky piglet who is rescued and hand-raised by a little girl named Fern. The shows will be staged daily at 2.30pm with the morning shows on Saturdays at 11am and Sunday (April 4) at 11am. Bring your own picnics and arrive early. The tickets cost R150 for adults and R120 for pensioners and children under-12. Book at Webtickets
* The Ammazulu Gardens and Sculpture Precinct offers a sculpture forest garden experience with 120 sculptures hidden in the nooks and crannies – and often above the ground – of a portion of the 20-acre forest. Highlights include the 1.2km spiderweb of footpaths, bridges and walkways through the forest; a permanent exhibition by Durban artist Andries Botha; and a rustic pagoda-style café for refreshments after the walk. It is situated in Kloof and is open from Thursday to Sunday from 10am until 4pm. For more information, see Facebook: The Ammazulu Gardens and Sculpture Precinct.
* Flag Animal Farm is a rescue animal farm in Sheffield Beach area (North Coast). Over the years they have saved more than 14 000 animals. They provide a real farm experience where families can walk freely among the animals, birds and reptiles. Highlights include tractor rides, train rides and horse rides; loads of free-range animals to cuddle and love; a splash water park; more than 15 outdoor playgrounds; a pirate ship, bike track, obstacle course and more. For more information, call 032 947 2018/20 or visit Facebook: Flag Animal Farm.
* Dino Park SA is situated in Melville (Port Shepstone) and provides families an interactive and fun mini Jurassic Jungle experience. Walk through their mini jungle to see various dinosaurs along the way. The highlights include missions for the kids to go on, a mini dino show (weather permitting) and a fossil sandpit. It is open from Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 3pm. For more information, see Facebook: Dino Park SA or call 084 620 1644.
* Vintage Train Rides through the Thousand Hills with Umgeni Steam Railway. Trains depart from the Kloof Railway Station on March 27 at 8.30am and 12.30pm. There are also trains over Easter. The highlights include meandering along the picturesque scenery of the Valley of a Thousand Hills through one of the oldest operating tunnels in South Africa to the half-point destination, Inchanga (located in the Old Station Master's House); the Inchanga Railway Museum; a model train which can be seen – along with Thomas & Friends – in the Modeller's Shed on the station platform; Inchanga Craft Market and tea garden. Booking is essential. Book and pay within 48 hours to secure seats. For more information, see www.umgenisteamrailway.com or visit Facebook: Umgeni Steam Railway
* Green Corridors family holiday experiences. The NPO looks after green spaces around Durban. It offers picnic sites and tourism experiences in spaces where you can relax, play or adventure. It offers ideal spots for family trips and it is a short distance from Durban’s CBD. The highlights include:
– eNanda Adventure Park on Inanda Dam for picnicking, bike track, guided mountain biking, birding excursions, hiking trails and canoeing. They also offer camping on the water's edge.
– Mnini Dam for picnics, canoeing, fishing (large-mouth bass, tilapia), birding, hiking and biking trails and camping. A special holiday event is being hosted by Thulas’ Adventures with the Earth Hour Pop Up Camp for two nights on the Mnini Dam with an Earth Hour night walk. Catering and self-catering options are available. For more information, call 031 322 6026 or email [email protected]
– Mqeku picnic site in the Valley of a Thousand Hills has a unique “bum-slide” on its river and a clean tributary into the Umgeni. The slide ends in a pool where you can float on a tube. There are also walking trails, braai facilities and camping.
– Among their many offerings, a highlight at Isithumba in the Valley of a Thousand Hills are their cultural tours. Local guides with unparalleled knowledge and story-telling skills bring to life the culture, rituals and customs of the Zulu people as you tour this rural Zulu village.
– Lower Molweni is a short drive into the Valley of a Thousand Hills and it is a hiker’s, birder’s and nature lover’s paradise with rugged cliffs and forests just on the outskirts of the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. The next trail is the Lower Molweni hike to the Granite Slide on March 27 from 7.30am at R50 per person. All funds raised go towards trail maintenance.
– The GreenHub at Durban’s Blue Lagoon offers eco-tourism activities such as birding, hiking, canoeing and a visit to the Ezemvelo Beachwood Mangroves (on selected days).
– The Green Corridors shuttle bus leaves from Durban’s GreenHub and takes guests on excursions through the Green Corridor. The shuttle bus transports, guides and any entrance fees are included in a R400 per person fee. Minimum of four persons for the tour to run.
* Note: All Green Corridor sites have a nominal entrance fee – camping and activity fees vary from site to site, helping to drive the local tourism economy in these areas. Bookings are essential. For more information, call 031 322 6026 or email [email protected] or visit Facebook: Green Corridors
* The Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust’s Woza Moya Crafters are preparing their new ranges. Woza Moya is an economic empowerment project that assists those in need to acquire a craft skill and earn an income through the sale of their craft. The shop is situated in Old Main Road, Hillcrest. The new ranges include fruity beadwork, flower-inspired jewellery, angelic animals, functional glassware and an aviary of craft birds. It is open on weekdays from 8am to 5pm and Saturdays from 8am to 2pm. For more information, call 031 765 5866 or visit Facebook: Woza Moya & Friends.
* The Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market is held every Saturday from 6.30am until 12.20pm. It has at least 200 stalls to choose from. The highlights include that it is family and dog friendly, works within a variety of budgets, offers a well-curated selection of stalls, and it has an extensive variety of food and refreshments. They are located at Lot 457, Mr551 Road, Shongweni. For more information, see Facebook: The Shongweni Farmers & Craft Market.
* The Autumn Craft Market supports local crafters in Clansthal (between Umkomaas and Scottburgh) and raises funds for the Clansthal conservancy initiatives that focus on the environmental needs of the area. Their 2022 Autumn Market day takes place on Sunday, 10 April, between 9am and 2pm. Featuring a range of crafts, clothing and decor items (no shop-bought items). There are also home-made food stalls. Takes place at 111 Pig & Whistle Drive, Clansthal. For more information, call 083 556 8108 or email [email protected]
*The I Heart Market is back at Moses Mabhida lawns on Saturday 2 April from 8:30am to 2pm. The focus of the market is on local entrepreneurs with quality, hand-crafted and bespoke artisanal foods, crafts, décor and fashion. Entrance is free and dogs (on leashes) are welcome. There is secure underground parking at the Stadium. COVID protocols will be observed. for more informations see Facebook: I Heart Market