Are you forever waiting for the last minute to book your travel? You’re not alone.
Theresa Szejwallo, MD the Travel Corporation, said last-minute travel has been a massive trend in South Africa during the past year. “Since February this year, we’ve seen a very strong pull towards last-minute deals,” she says.
That’s why we’ve decided to round up some fantastic destination for the spontaneous South African traveller:
Europe might seem to be a surprising destination for South African travellers who need a visa to travel to most destinations on the old continent, but it has been a popular spontaneous choice.
Recognising a trend, Trafalgar has launched some great last-minute deals for Europe, allowing travellers to save up to 25% off their holidays. “This will give travellers some extra budget to book a few extra nights in destinations such as Paris, Sicily or Vienna.”
From Michelangelo to Shakespeare, discover Europe's greatest art works as you trace the footsteps of illustrious visionaries on a last-minute deal. Marvel at the Pietà, sweep your eyes over panoramic views from 'la tour Eiffel' and take in the marvels of Rome, Florence, Venice, Lucerne and Paris.
With no visas needed and only a five-hour flight away, Seychelles offers the ideal last-minute tropical getaway for spontaneous South Africans. Re-charge those batteries as you take a break from the daily rat race. Think white-sand palm-fringed beaches, warm azure waters and delicious cuisine.
For a complete break from reality, La Digue Island has the answer. With no cars, and only oxcarts and bicycles at your disposal, you’ll get a true glimpse into a much simpler way of life. Or, you could head to Alphonse Island, an untouched natural sanctuary and one of the prime protected fisheries in the Indian Ocean. Go on a guided snorkeling expedition with a marine biologist, or w embark upon a conservation walk to view turtle hatchlings.
From swimming with dolphins, to relaxing yoga experiences, Mozambique offers paradise on your doorstep. “What’s more is that it’s not far from home, and you don’t need a visa! This makes it the ideal destination for last-minute getaways from South Africa,” says Natalie Tenzer-Silva, director Dana Tours.
If you don’t feel like driving up to Mozambique, SA Airlink has recently added more flights to Vilanculo from Nelspruit and Johannesburg, with additional frequencies still being added on July 4 and August 7 from Nelspruit.
Tenzer-Silva explains there is a great choice of accommodation and activities in Vilanculos for South African travellers. They can take a scenic dhow trip to visit to the Bazaruto Archipelago, go snorkelling, enjoy seafood lunches, or go on a scuba diving adventure.
Local is lekker!
Local is definitely lekker when it comes to last-minute travel, according to Chantal Kliche, Cape Region Retail Manager Thompsons Travel. With no visas, no long flights and some amazing domestic destinations, South Africans are spoilt for choice.
For a foodie break, Thompsons Travel offers some great packages to the Mother City. Cape Town is the ideal getaway as it features some of the country’s best local eateries as well as myriad of cultures and culinary heritage. Stroll through Stellenbosch from one wine tasting to another or hop onto the wine tasting tram in Franschhoek to experience a unique and leisurely way to visit South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates.
Or what about a last-minute bush break in Mpumalanga? Safaris makes for an unforgettable holiday and adventure. Away from the noise and pollution of the big city, travellers can experience the most rewarding soul searching amidst the wildlife and the beauty of Mpumalanga’s landscapes.
Often overlooked, Abu Dhabi is a great destination if you decide at the last minute to tag a few days of fun onto your holidays. Etihad Airways recently launched a 48-hour stopover campaign promoting Abu Dhabi as a ‘holiday within a holiday’ for transit travellers.
Travellers passing through Abu Dhabi can now fly falcons across the desert, cool down in one of Abu Dhabi’s amazing water parks, relax on the beach, get their adrenaline rushing at the famous Ferrari World, go on a desert safari or soak in the culture in one of the Emirates’ many museums.