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.
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.