Cape Town - With the winter school holidays fast approaching, South Africans are packing their bags and preparing to travel around the country.
“We’ve picked up a surge in searches for local travel over school holiday period during the end of June and early July, “explained Phil Bloomfield, Head of PR and Communications at travel search & deals platform, cheapflights.co.za.
“It shows that despite the chilly temperatures and concerns over a tightening economy, South Africans are still keen to get out and about and travel around their country.”
Data pulled from the Cheapflights’ search API shows which destinations are the most popular, and picks up patterns on when and how people are travelling.
As expected, Cape Town is one of the most popular local destinations over the school holidays with searches for the Mother City up 34 percent compared to previous periods, and taking up a total of 29 percent of all searches.
In close second are Durban and Johannesburg with 39 percent and 35 percent of searches respectively.
The surge in travel to Durban is not unexpected – not only do its balmy temperatures and warm sea offer a respite from the chilly winter air seen inland, but it also plays host to the world renowned Ballito Pro surf competition at the end of June.
Data from cheapflights.co.za has shown a raise in searches for flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town for that weekend, up 64 percent from previous periods, pointing to an influx of surf fans heading to the city to be part of the action.
The Grahamstown Art Festival is also set to draw the crowds this year, as usual. Data shows an increase of 56 percent for searches to flights into Port Elizabeth, the closest airport to the festival.
The data also shows that urban dwellers are the most eager to get their dose of culture – 56 percent of all searches to Port Elizabeth over the Grahamstown Festival period are from Johannesburg, followed by 28 percent from Cape Town.
BEST DAYS TO TRAVEL
For those still looking to get on the move over the winter holidays there are still some good last-minute deals to be found. Being flexible on travel days allows better deals to be found, and avoiding the busiest days means cheaper flight prices all round. The best days to travel are on Tuesday June 28 and Thursday July 14, with flights at their lowest on these days.
TOP TIPS OF WHERE TO GO THIS WINTER
Cheapflights has scoured the web to find the best deals and inside tips of where to go and what to do this winter:
1. Best place to take the kids: The ultimate family fiesta, the Lagoon Beach Hotel and Spa, located on the beautiful Lagoon Beach, just seven kilometres outside of the Cape Town CBD, are offering a great deal. Just steps away from the ocean, the kids will have access to braving the icy oceans and enjoying some winter beach sports. For the adults, there’s also an indulgent spa.
2. Best place for couples and escaping the winter chill: Unwind the stresses of modern day living with a loved one at the Klein Zalze Lodge in Stellenbosch, with views over the lush vineyards and breath-taking mountains in a completely relaxed environment. Visit
3. Best deal for surf fans: For the more hard-core surfer fans stay at Fairmont Zimbali Resort in Durban whilst the Ballito Pro is on from June 22 – July 3. The resort is offering a three-night break, a mere 30 minutes from Salt Rock where the Ballito Pro is taking place, with the complimentary use of four tennis courts, two squash courts and free access to the beach club.
4. Best deals for cosy getaways and escaping the crowds: Cuddle up in a beautifully furnished thatched suite at the Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge, ensuring an unforgettable experience in the wildlife.
Adapted from a press release for IOL
* To get these offers above and the best flight deals for the winter holidays, visit cheapflights.co.za/hot-travel-deals