Johannesburg is a hectic city. We love it but it’s busy, mad, chaotic, and sometimes, really nice to escape from. So throw your bag in the boot, fill up with petrol, put on your favorite music, stock up on biltong, and – get away for the weekend!
There are tons of places to go to, none of which are too far.
Magaliesburg is just an hour out of Johannesburg, looks out over the Magalies River and has the beautiful Magaliesburg Mountains in the background. You can choose a five star hotel or a guesthouse, chill out or fill your days with adrenaline filled activities. There are hiking trails, quad biking, zip lining, river rafting and even hot air ballooning. Or you can choose to fill your days with silence, join a retreat and find your inner-self.
Take your fishing rod. Or your yoga mat!
Clarens in The Eastern Free State is three to four hours out of Jozi, nestling, in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains. Clarens is a haven for artists, and many city people have brought property and relocated. There are tons of galleries, craft and coffee shops, including an amazing Craft Beer Store. Spend a few hours wandering around the village (don’t forget to stop at The Purple Onion Deli) then retreat to your small cozy guesthouse or self-catering chalet. Clarens in winter is fabulous, with roaring log fires, cozy blankets and sometimes snow in the distance.
Take your appetite!
Just twenty minutes out of Clarens, you’ll find the Golden Gate National Park. Pure magnificent majestic beauty. There is a hotel inside the Park as well as National Parks accommodation, self-catering rondavels and a delicious farmhouse. Rustic, but exquisite. It’s about walking, mountain climbing, hiking and horse riding, and in summer, swimming in streams and splashing in waterfalls.
Take your hiking boots, blanket or bikini!
Ficksburg! Who would ever think of going to Ficksburg? We would. It’s the home of cherry picking and asparagus. Ficksburg has not developed into a major tourist attraction yet, and perhaps that’s its beauty. Also in The Free State, just off the N3, accommodation is rustic but romantic, the people earthy and creative. The annual cherry picking festival takes place in November, and you can buy anything from cherries, to cherry beer, to cherry soap or cherry perfume. It’s wild, it’s free, and still unspoiled.
Take anything with you, come home with cherries!
Cullinan – I have a friend who bought property here about three years ago, and I remember thinking she was nuts. She wasn’t. Cullinan, just outside of Pretoria, has always been known for The Cullinan Diamond Mine, but it’s so much more than that. A beautiful dam, The Dinokeng Nature Reserve, The Trading Post, antique stores and some gorgeous and unusual galleries, just an hour out of Johannesburg.
Travel light. Take your toothbrush.
The Pilanesberg – two hours away from home and you could be side by side with an elephant. It’s an easy day trip, the game viewing is exciting, and perfect if you want to show kids or visitors the Big five, without travelling too far or going to a Zoo. There are luxury five star game lodges as well as park style self-catering accommodation,
Take your camera.
Dullstroom – three hours from Jozi, Dullstroom is synonymous with trout, pancakes and fly-fishing. Harry’s Pancake Bar is an institution, the trout pies are to die for, and outside the village, you’ll find the most gorgeous self-catering cottages on the Dam. Dullstroom is perfect for families, fishing, walking, relaxing and romance. The village has everything from décor to clothing to art and great food.
Take your wallet!
There are more. Bela Bela for a weekend (hot springs) The Waterberg and Welgevonden Game Reserve. Your Johannesburg Guest House owners can help you with suggestions. Make your arrangements and start packing – it’s Friday!