Cape Town - Now that South Africa has officially beat the recession blues, at least that's what our sister site Fin24 is telling us, why not celebrate with a trip through our beautiful country?
After a growth of 2,5% in our GDP (thank you farmers!), we as South Africans should celebrate. I know buying that new bling or luxury vehicle looks like it will make your life pop, but how about rather taking a trip through a country that has some of the best sights, activities and general lekker vibes in the world?
The best part - you're living in it!
SEE: #AfriTravel: Must-do local spas in the World's Top 2017 spas list
You don't even need to go far, or use up all your saved-up December leave. There's lots of exploring that can be done over a weekend, and this Heritage month we even have a long weekend that will free you up for a bit of good ol' South Africa exploring.
Enough time to go for a hike, stay over in the countryside, bungee off a bridge, take a quick road trip to nowhere, discover SA art, hunt for hidden beaches or get in touch with your roots at a World Heritage Site.
#FindYourEscape: Exploring the best of the Panorama Route
September is also Tourism Month, and the focus this year is on the wild Mpumulanga, home to our famous Kruger National Park. But you don't need to book a year in advance to enjoy the province's other attractions. The Panorama Route has an array of breathtaking spots that will keep you busy for a good few days. Great highlights include magnificent waterfalls, the third largest canyon in the world, a view from God's Window and you can even sample a drink at the local brewery.
ALSO SEE: #WeDoTourism: A journey down Mpumalanga lane
SA's Big 5 adventures for adrenaline junkies
If you're looking to work out your recession frustrations, SA is one of the top adventure destinations in the world (definitely no bias from us). There's lots of activities that can get your heart pumping, from the longest not-scary-at-all zip line in North West, to Africa's fastest face-tearing roller coaster in Gauteng. They might all involve some big heights, but seeing as recession fears are over, now's the time to get over other phobias.
SEE: 5 Adventures to put the spring in your step
#SpringTrips: 8 SA road trips to make the most of the season
Spring is a magical time when winter goes back to its cold hole before summer can get into full swing, and perfect for hitting the road before the sun starts making those long car rides unsavoury. You can join the mass exodus to the popular Wild Flower route in the Northern Cape and West Coast, or you can do something a little different like Pretoria's historical route, Route 62 in the Eastern Cape or the lovely meander through Free State to Clarens. Just don't forget some sweet local tunes.
ALSO SEE: #SpringTrips: The hidden magic of the Northern Cape
#ArtHeritage: Get creative at these SA art hotels
Has the recession downfall left you with some extra cash in the pocket? Why not connect with your inner artist and book a stay in some of SA's most exclusive art hotels. They boast private art collections, bizarre decor and catered art experiences in their towns and cities. Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg has some of the best, and even small dusty towns in the Karoo has a special place where art and accommodation melt together in splendour.
ALSO SEE: Meet the makers of the Ribola Art Route
7 Best Secret Beaches of SA
You can never go wrong with a beach trip in SA, and now that the economy is a litte stronger you can go take over that #beachlife hashtag, waiting just for you. The best part is that you don't have to wait for the December migration for a short trip in the sun, and if you want to take a Sho't Left away from the crowds check out our list of SA's best secret beaches. Your Instagram account will thank you.
WATCH: Wow! Surfing and dolphins, as you do in KZN
Living Heritage: Inside SA's 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Heritage Month is the time to get in touch with your roots, and luckily for us South Africa is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with the latest addition of the ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape. You can discover the country's history on Robben Island, dive even further back to early human origins, explore our unique ecosystems and connect on a spiritual level with our San ancestors. Not only should we be proud of getting ourselves out of recession, but also of our living heritage.
WATCH: Magnificent Cape Town video is all the #LoveSA wanderlust
SA outdoor adventure: Top 5 forest hikes to try
You can reconnect with your wallet in nature, letting money worries leave you, birds chirping in the distance as you follow the winding hike trail. There's hundreds of awesome hikes in SA, but we made it a little easier with our list of our favourite forest hikes. You can pretend you're Frodo walking through the Shire, but at least you're not being chased by any recession Nazguls.
How are you celebrating the exit from recession? Tweet us and let us know!
What to read next on Traveller24:
- #AfriTravel: These destinations are driving growth across Africa
- SA Traveller Trends: What locals are planning ahead of the December holidays
- Arbor Week: Alternate ways to plant trees and celebrate SA’s flora