Hi­ber­na­tion Hotspots

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Days are shorter, nights are longer and the morn­ing drive into work of­ten hap­pens be­fore sun­rise – all signs that win­ter has well and truly ar­rived. ‘While it may be tempt­ing to try and stay clear of the chilly weather, now is a re­ally good time to ex­plore all that South Africa has to of­fer – at re­duced rates,’ says Christa Baden­horst, Premier Ho­tels & Re­sorts’ Mar­ket­ing Man­ager. These are a few of her favourite win­ter hol­i­day spots. CEL­E­BRATE THE SEA­SON WITH SNOW

For many South Africans see­ing snow is a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence. At places like Premier Re­sort Sani Pass, it’s pretty much guar­an­teed. Sit­u­ated on the slopes of the South­ern Drak­ens­berg, guests can en­joy snow­ball fights and mak­ing snow an­gels, as well as 4x4 ex­cur­sions up the Sani Pass, hik­ing, bik­ing and horse rides up the moun­tain to Le­sotho. Af­ter a day of ac­tiv­ity, guests can un­wind with a meal in the Ma­luti Restau­rant while over­look­ing the ma­jes­tic Drak­ens­berg moun­tains, or head to the his­toric pub at the nearby Premier Ho­tel Himeville Arms for a drink.

DE­FROST IN DUR­BAN

For a warmer win­ter break, Dur­ban is a must thanks to an av­er­age max­i­mum tem­per­a­ture of 23 °C be­tween May and Septem­ber. At Premier Re­sort Cutty Sark on the South Coast it’s easy to ex­plore the beau­ti­ful beach and div­ing spots around Ali­wal Shoal in this mul­ti­cul­tural melt­ing pot. No visit is com­plete with­out en­joy­ing a real Dur­ban curry, and guests won’t have to stray too far to find one as the in-house Mariner’s Cup Restau­rant is renowned for its fresh cui­sine infused with lo­cal Dur­ban flavours.

WILDLIFE SPOT­TING

Win­ter is the best time of the year for spot­ting wildlife at Premier Re­sort Mpongo Pri­vate Game Re­serve, as the grass is low and the bushes and trees are bare. Be­cause it’s the dry sea­son, the an­i­mals will mi­grate to­wards the wa­ter, mak­ing dams, rivers and wa­ter holes a hive of ac­tiv­ity. As the re­serve is sit­u­ated in the Eastern Cape, tem­per­a­tures dur­ing the day are typ­i­cally pleas­ant, mak­ing it ideal for the game drives or sa­fari walks on of­fer.

COME TO THE CAPE

Cape Town has an un­de­served bad rep­u­ta­tion for win­ter hol­i­days, mainly due to its win­ter rainy sea­son. How­ever, there are many near per­fect days, along with great in­door ac­tiv­i­ties that make a trip to the Mother City worth­while. Al­though it’s un­likely that any­one will want to brave the wa­ters of the al­ways icy At­lantic Ocean, the Winelands with their beau­ti­ful set­tings, bar­rels of vino and fire­places beckon.

With win­ter be­ing the low sea­son for tourists, tour op­er­a­tors and at­trac­tions dis­count their rates heav­ily. “By mid-year we are all in need of a break and some R&R. With less crowds than at peak hol­i­day pe­ri­ods, as well as bet­ter rates, it’s the per­fect time to throw your much-loved sweater and warm slip­pers into a travel bag and head off to your favourite des­ti­na­tion,” Baden­horst says.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Premier Ho­tels & Re­sorts, visit www.pre­mier­ho­tels.co.za.

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