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Winter holidays call for a bush breakaway of the Big Five kind

South Africa is a country filled with an expanse of breathtaking scenery, wildlife and adventure. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

South Africa is a country filled with an expanse of breathtaking scenery, wildlife and adventure. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 27, 2022

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South Africa is a country filled with an expanse of breathtaking scenery, wildlife and adventure – and winter is prime-time for bush getaways. If you're looking for a wild and family-friendly getaway to the bush this winter, here are some local destinations to consider.

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The Pilanesberg

Less than two hours from Johannesburg by car lies the malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park, home to the notorious “Big Five”.

Accommodation options are plentiful, one of them being Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, positioned right near one of the park’s main gates.

A variety of on-site facilities and activities are available to keep everyone entertained, attractions such as an underground hide, walking safaris into the park, archery, quad biking adventures, snake demonstrations, as well as the ever-popular Junior Rangers programme for the kids.

Junior Rangers has been designed as a fun and interactive educational experience to help kids learn all about the fauna and flora of the local area.

The resort is also offering an extensive holiday programme during the school break, with a variety of activities to keep the kids entertained. And while the kids are busy, parents can break away to the resort’s Legacy Balance spa, which offers world-class, personalised treatments and therapies designed to ease the stresses of modern-day city living.

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Kruger Park

The Kruger area remains a bucket-list destination for many and Legacy’s Kruger Park Lodge and Elephant Point properties are both just a few minutes away from the closest Kruger Park gates. Both lodges offer the ultimate bush experiences for couples, friends and families overlooking the serene Sabie River.

Kruger Park Lodge is home to the one of the most tranquil hippo hides in the country, where guests can visit to see hippos frolicking in the water.

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The property also features a 9-hole Gary Player-designed golf course, and it is common to see wildlife moving through the fairway. Kids can get stuck into a game of putt-putt or enjoy the playground fully-stocked with jungle gyms, trampolines and a bike track.

On Kruger’s border lies the uber-luxurious Elephant Point, a secure estate on a private reserve offering a range of 22 villa-style lodges run by Legacy Hotels & Resorts. Each lodge offers a unique luxury experience with the following services available; airport shuttles, game drives, private chef experiences and boma dinners overlooking the Sabie River.

Greater Addo, Eastern Cape

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Fully wheelchair accessible Kuzuko Bush Lodge in the Greater Addo area in the Eastern Cape, is set high upon a hill overlooking the “Big Five” reserve below.

Guests at Kuzuko can savour 5-star authentic Karoo cuisine at the deck bar and restaurant, or choose from a long list of activities including star-gazing, observing the conservation and wilding of captive born-and-bred cheetahs, photographic safaris, horse-riding, bird-watching and quad-biking.

Personalised game-viewing experiences, and a local community outreach programme makes Kuzuko more than just a holiday destination; it’s a stay that will remain in the mind forever. The property also offers the Legacy Cubs’ Junior Ranger programme, filled with fun educational activities to get kids excited about nature.

So, whatever appeals to you and wherever you may be based, South Africa has something for everyone this winter.

Read the latest issue of the IOL Travel digimag here.

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