Travelling up the N1 towards Limpopo? Why not stop over at Bela-Bela for some splashing good fun at the Warmbaths resort, where the kids can frolic in the hot pools and wave pools and on the water slides, and you can pamper yourself at the hydro spa? Day-trippers are welcome and there are also fantastic stay-over options available in this beautiful bushveld playground, where a good time is not just promised – it’s guaranteed.
If you’re travelling the other way down the N1, through the Free State, take a Sho’t Left and be bowled over by the charming town of Clarens – where you’re within a (sand)stone’s throw of the majestic Golden Gate National Park. Enjoy the many restaurants, craft shops and galleries in this artists’ haven, and if you feel the need to work off all that wining and dining, take a hike in the nearby mountains or explore them on horseback.
You may also want to veer off from the N1 once you hit Bloemfontein, to head out on the N8 past Kimberley and make your way to the Augrabies Falls National Park. The detour to the Northern Cape will be worth it: you’re in for a spectacular treat in the province that’s one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets. One of the jewels in SANParks’ crown, this stunning park offers a thundering waterfall and adventures galore, from river rafting to fly fishing, all washed down with the delectable fruits of the vine from the nearby Orange River Wine Valley.
If you turn off the N1 in the other direction, heading to the Eastern Cape via the N6, you won’t believe the spectacular array of sights, activities and experiences you can access for just R400 on a Nelson Mandela Bay one-day pass (you can also opt for two-day, three-day, seven-day or three-month passes). Enjoy free entry and discounts at 55 attractions such as Bayworld, the Donkin Reserve and Pyramid, a city or township tour, horse riding, putt-putt, ice skating, tuk-tuk rides, paintball, an ocean dive, golf, sandboarding, ferry rides, visits to game parks, a tour of Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, access to museums and art galleries, and so much more. No wonder Port Elizabeth is called the friendly city!