September is Tourism Month in South Africa and there’s plenty of ways to spend your weekends.
Danny Bryer, Area Director, Sales and Marketing, Protea Hotels by Marriott, Marriott International, Middle East and Africa said travellers wanted to engage with their destination in a new way, with the focus on experiences rather than sites.
“Our visitors are looking for activities that help them to connect with their destination authentically and experience the destination as locals do. We’ve noticed a trend of moving away from merely spending a few hours sightseeing as a passenger, and towards seeking out unusual experiences and sites that tell a different South African story.”
He recommends a few places to check out in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria:
· Revisit the time of great riches and devastating losses through a trip to one of the oldest gold mines in the province, the Kromdraai Gold Mine.
· Embrace the vintage era with a glimpse into the past at the James Hall Museum of Transport in Johannesburg – not only will you be left feeling just a little bit “Gatsby”, you’ll also have a view of the most comprehensive museum of transport in South Africa.
· To another mode of transport, indulge in a sense of nostalgia by tying on your roller-skates and taking a few laps at a 1970s-styled disco roller-skating rink at RollEgoli in Bryanston.
· Tap into this culture through experiencing urban outdoor art installations, such as the Urban Being Sculpture by Marco Cianfanelli and The Spirit of Tshwane by Anton Smit.
· While away the afternoon with up-and-coming talent at one of the many outdoor music events in Pretoria, such as Park Acoustics, which is held at the Voortrekker Monument.
· Take on some of Cape Town’s oldest scenic roads, with the wind in your hair and the roar of a Harley Davidson engine, or the V8 burble of a classic Cobra sportscar, as your soundtrack; either through a self-driven tour or with a tour guide.
· Explore the history of one of Cape Town’s most established suburbs through the lens of young artists. Guided walking tours through Woodstock will allow you to view over 40 street artworks by both local and international graffiti artists.
· Immerse yourself in local culture through a visit to the Guga S’Thebe Arts & Cultural Centre, where you can shop for handmade pottery or view a musical performance by local musicians.
· Take a walk on the wild side with a hike in the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve. This hidden wilderness is home to a wetland, and coastal and dune forest, along with many indigenous birds and animals, such as bushbuck and duiker.
· Snorkelling allows you to view marine creatures in calmer waters, without the necessity of diving gear and training. You may even have an encounter with larger mammals, such as dolphins. Ushaka Marine World offers snorkelling for travellers.
· For a relaxing change of pace, take in the countryside through the classic mode of transport from yesteryear. A steam train will take you on a leisurely puff through the Valley of a Thousand Hills, giving you an immersive experience of the beautifully verdant province.