If you have not yet made Valentine’s Day plans, read on. With the day of love around the corner, finding innovative ideas for your bae does not have to break the bank.
Phindile Makwakwa, acting chief executive officer of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN), said that Valentine’s Day was one of its key tourism drivers during this time of the year.
“After the children have gone back to school, couples are often on the lookout for a short romantic holiday to reconnect and have some personal time together.
“As KZN, we have plenty of establishments that can deliver a world-class tourism experience for those couples. We are a destination that caters for everyone, from the budget-conscious to those that have bulging wallets; from young couples looking for an adventure to more mature ones looking for easy-going experiences,” she said.
To help those who want to fire Cupid’s arrow to win love and affection, TKZN shares a list of things to do on February 14:
Here are some ideas:
Durban and surrounding areas boast an array of appealing picnic spots. Some of them include the Durban or Pietermaritzburg botanical gardens, Paradise Valley Nature Reserve or Mitchell Park.
Makaranga Garden Lodge in Kloof is also another option. Home to the largest private collection of Zimbabwean stone art in southern Africa and hand-selected Italian sculptures, the lodge offers 12 hectares of indigenous and exotic botanical gardens,18 ponds, meandering streams and a waterfall.
The gardens make for the perfect setting to spoil your loved ones. Guests can’t bring their beverages and meals but the lodge offers a vast picnic menu, which includes breakfast, vegetarian and deli options.
It is open daily from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Located at 1A Igwababa Road, Kloof. Call 031 764 6616 or see www.makaranga.com/
Gondola ride at the Point Waterfront
Treat your bae to a Gondola Ride that will make you feel like you are at the canals of Venice in Italy. You and your sweetheart can enjoy a laid-back hour or two on a romantic gondola ride, just floating through the uShaka canals. Zulumoon Gondolas hosts a range of experiences that start from R60pp.
Call Dickson on 063 201 0536 to make a booking.
Durban beachfront promenade
Stroll down the beach with your beloved, following the eight-km self-guided path. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and bars along the way to explore.
The Big Swing at Moses Mabhida Stadium
The Big Rush Big Swing was named the world’s tallest swing by the Guinness Book of Records in 2011. It allows you to take a thrilling leap, swinging out into a massive 220m arc where you soar into the centre of the Moses Mabhida stadium.
On your climb to the top, you can take in the stunning Durban skyline - from the shores of the golden coast to the bustling city centre. Call 031 312 9435.
Shongweni Dam and nature reserve is the perfect spot for couples to relax and enjoy spectacular natural surroundings. You can pack a picnic basket or go for a scenic walk. If you want to be a bit more active than that, there are game drives, rock climbing, abseiling, mountain bike rides or guided canoe journeys.
Road trip options
Take a road trip to the Midlands
Just an hour and a half away lie the Midlands Meander where a range of activities await lovers. Here you can enjoy everything from laid-back farm-style cuisine to fine dining in stunning, scenic locations. There is a wide selection of accommodation suited to couples, including Copperleigh Trout Cottages, Kerriston Country House, Tanglewood Country Hotel, Bosch Hoek Lodge, Fordoun Hotel and Spa, and Hartford House. There is also a variety of places to visit and see including Karkloof Falls, Beacon Hill, and a selection of nature reserves.
You can also visit different studios or workshops of great craftspeople where you can purchase sentimental trinkets for the love of your life.
The Nelson Mandela Capture Site
For lovers who love to know about the history of the country, specifically about the former president Nelson Mandela, a visit to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site is a must.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site commemorates his August 5, 1962 arrest by police at the site. It was originally a small bricked area with a plaque. However, to mark the 50th anniversary in 2012, a steel structure depicting Mandela was resurrected. The 35-metre sculpture designed by artist Marco Cianfanelli has become the backdrop for many Instagram snaps.
Call: 033 330 8195.
Lake St Lucia is one of the 10 jewels of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Unesco World Heritage Site. It is also Africa’s largest estuarine system and home to over 800 happy hippos, 1 200 crocodiles, pelicans, and flamingos. The best way to experience it is via a boat cruise at Lake St Lucia, where guides share their expertise and provide commentary on the workings of Africa’s largest estuarine system. Of course, the hippos love to put on a show. But you have to keep an eye out for the crocodiles.
Other activities include scuba diving and nature trails.
Giants Castle Game Reserve in the Drakensberg
If you want to enjoy blissful quiet with your partner, you can go for a game drive, go fishing or go on a self-guided walk, and spend some much-needed time in nature. For a small fee, you can also visit one of the biggest and best sandstone caves in southern Africa that contain San rock art. Good for day visitors or sleepovers.
Whisk away your loved one for a getaway at the 5-star Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel. Often referred to as ‘Durban’s hidden gem’, this multi-award-winning hotel boasts spectacular 180-degree views of the Indian Ocean, luxurious facilities and first-class service.For the adventurous, the hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Durban North, offering couples a wide variety of attractions and activities to explore.
For more information, contact at Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel on 031 564 0360 or email [email protected]