What’s on in South Africa this week?

  • 03 December 2014 | Cassidy Parker
Have you hugged a tree today?

December has arrived in all its blue-skied, short-sleeved glory, and the air is shimmering with the holidays that are fast approaching. With that in mind, it’s certainly time to explore some of the best sites South Africa has to offer.


Have you hugged a tree today? If you haven’t, you should; and if you’re looking for a worthy tree, make sure it’s the Sunland Baobab in Tzaneen. Estimated to be around 6 000 years old, with a girth of 47m and a height of 22m, this remarkable tree is especially famous for the pub housed inside. Where better to simultaneously express your inner hippy and have a refreshing drink?

Venue: Near Tzaneen. From Johannesburg take the N1 to Polokwane, and just before Polokwane take the R71 to Tzaneen. At the T-junction at the foot of the Magoebaskloof Pass, turn left onto the R36 to Modjadjiskloof and from the town follow the signs to Sunland Baobab, which is a few kilometres further.

Time: The pub is open year-round

Duration: As long as you wish

Cost: Entrance is R10

For more information, contact Sunland Baobab at +27 (0)15 309 9039 or baobabbars@mweb.co.za.


Soak up the scenic beauty of the Graskop region. Image courtesy of delayed gratification

It’s outdoor season the country over, but nowhere more so than in Mpumalanga, which has some of South Africa’s most secretly spectacular scenery. If you want to experience this area on foot, why not consider the Jock of the Bushveld Trail? This circular day-walk retraces the steps of one of South Africa’s most loved canines, Jock, and takes you to the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment.

Venue: Graskop, situated 400km east of Johannesburg on the R532, in the heart of the Panorama Route. The Jock of the Bushvled Trail starts at the Graskop Municipal Holiday Resort in Louis Trichardt Street.

Time: The hike can be done year-round

Duration: Choose between a three- or five-hour walk

Cost: There is no charge for this hike

For more information, contact the Jock of the Bushveld Trail at +27 (0)13 767 1886 or info@graskop.co.za.

Eastern Cape

Marvel at the magesty of Shamwari's residents. Image courtesy of Shamwari Game Reserve

If a little luxury beckons, a few nights at the luxurious Shamwari Game Reserve might be just the ticket. Located just 75km east of Port Elizabeth, Shamwari offers its guests viewings of the Big Five, some pampering at one of its three spas, and spectacular food.

Venue: Shamwari Game Reserve is easily accessed by road. A transfer service is available between Port Elizabeth Airport and Shamwari. Bookings for this service can be made directly with the reserve

Time: Shamwari is open year-round

Duration: Stay at Shamwari as long as you possibly can, ideally no less than three days

Cost: The cost depends on your booking

For more information, contact Shamwari Game Reserve on +27 (0)41 407 1000 or reservations@shamwari.com.

Free State

Spend a couple of days releaxing at Gariep Dam

And if all this heat calls for some water, recommend that your guests spend some time at Gariep Dam, South Africa’s largest dam. The vast expanse of water covers thousands of fossils embedded in rock, and a number of historical sites can be visited.

Venue: The dam is situated along the N1, about 150km south of Bloemfontein, and 50km north-east of Colesberg

Time: Gariep is wonderful to visit at any point during the year

Duration: Spend two days at Gariep Dam so that you can explore the area properly

Cost: The cost depends on your booking

For more information, contact De Stijl Gariep Hotel at +27 (0)51 754 0060/1/2 or info@destijl.co.za.