Lavish and wickedly expensive Heritage Day travel ideas in these SA cities
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The long Heritage Day weekend is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than to pamper yourself with expensive activities and an extravagant hotel stay.
Here are a few suggestions:
Scenic flights over Cape Peninsula
This 50-minute helicopter excursion hosted by Cape Town Helicopters is one for the books. The trip starts from Cape Town and flies over the Cape of Good Hope. Boasting incredible views of the Cape Peninsula, passengers also traverse the False Bay coast before arriving in Cape Town. The rate is R20 700 for three people, including a free City Sightseeing Bus ticket for those who want to explore the city more. Visit www.helicopterscapetown.co.za
Ride in a Harley
If you have a fear of flying, you can explore the city on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Driven by an experienced rider, travellers can savour the views of the Mouille Point lighthouse, Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay, Hout Bay, Chapman’s Peak, Misty Cliffs and Cape Point Reserve. Trips vary in distance, time and guests preference. The long chauffeured ride costs R2 500 per person for a seven to eight-hour trip. Visit www.harleyridescapetown.net.
Where to stay:
The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel
Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, a 5-star hotel tucked away on nine acres in the historical Constantia Valley, offers 51 elegant guest rooms and suites.
A member of The Small Luxury Hotels of the World, guests can explore the Picnic Garden, Hohenort Lawns and the Rose Garden. There are two award-winning restaurants on the property called The Greenhouse and The Conservatory.
Visitors over the long weekend (September 24 to 26) should partake in their Heritage High Tea. It pays homage to South African culture and cuisine. Accommodation rates start from R3 845 per room a night. High tea costs R315 a person. Visit www.thecellars-hohenorthotel.com/
Scenic views check. Bucket list attractions check. Curious animals check.
Airboat Afrika hosts the adrenalin-fuelled 90-minute adventure(30 and one hour trips are available) that showcases Crocodile River gorges, Bird Island and the glorious Hartbeespoort Dam. In between marvelling at the views, the crew will reveal enthralling titbits and stories that will keep you at the edge of your seat. The boat carries six passengers. The cost is R795 for adults and R695 for children under 12. Visit airboat.chrisgrosch.net/
Go on a sunrise hot air balloon ride
Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris offers an hour flight along the Magaliesberg landscape. Here guests can take in the gorgeous views of the area and capture a few photographs. Once back on land, guests savour a sumptuous five-star champagne breakfast. Rates start from R2 995 per person for an hour flight or R12 500 for a private balloon ride for two. Visit www.balloon.co.za/
Where to stay:
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff is a retreat for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Located high up the Witwatersrand and surrounded by lush greenery, the hotel is tastefully decorated with chic furniture and art. The hotel prides itself on personalisation as each of its 250 embroidered accent bed pillows were hand-dyed and embroidered by local artisans. A visit here means unadulterated luxury-from spa treatments, two restaurants and lounges, a 24-hour business centre, and an on-site jogging trail. Rates start from R4 203 a night. Visit www.fourseasons.com
A full day spa retreat at Indigo Fields
Indigo Fields, nestled among many other farms near the famous town of Nottingham Road, makes the perfect stop for those seeking tranquillity. Here, you can enjoy a day of spa treatments, followed by a unique dining experience for lunch. A full-day experience, which includes three 90-minute spa treatments and breakfast and lunch, costs R2500 per person. Visit www.indigofields.co.za/
See Ballito from the sky
Ballito Microlights offers 20 and 30-minute flights. Longer introductory flights can be arranged upon request. Not for the faint-hearted, this activity allows guests to take in the scenic coastline of Ballito, with possible sightings of whales, sharks, dolphins, manta rays and schools of fish. A customised 45-minute trip costs R1 800 per person. Visit www.microlights.co.za/
Where to stay:
Falaza Game Park and Spa
Take a road trip from Durban to Falaza Game Park and Spa, located near Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve in Hluhluwe. Boasting luxury tented accommodation with en-suite bathrooms and private sun decks, guests can immerse themselves in the natural setting.
The attraction offers daily game drives, walking safaris and boat cruises. For those who want some pampering, the Spa @ Falaza provides a range of treatments for men and women, from advanced skin and body treatments, massages and holistic spa treatments.
The public areas “encourage intimacy with the environment” Rates start from R2 793 per person sharing, including three meals and two game drives. Visit www.falaza.co.za