8 Wild SA specials to take advantage of this winter

2017-06-03 15:05 - Nadia Krige
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Scott Ramsay

If you’ve been longing for a bushveld break or just some time spent outdoors, winter actually is - contrary to what many may think - the perfect time to book that getaway.

The cool weather makes for great hiking, biking and game driving conditions (as long as you bundle up just right), while also offering a prime opportunity to spend cosy evenings gathered around braai fires or indoor hearths.

It also happens to be the season of really good accommodation specials. Check out these eight wonderfully wild winter offers at lodges, nature reserves and game parks around South Africa:

A Winter to Remember at Grootbos

The fynbos region in the Western Cape is made up of a magnificent belt of natural heathland vegetation - and it is round about this time when the fields of the Overberg burst with vibrant colour in a spectacular showcase of indigenous flora and fauna. A two-hour  drive outside of Cape Town takes you to a unique landscape covered with contoured and beautifully textured coastlines  - this is the  majestic floral kingdom of the Goortbos Private Nature Reserve.  And Grootbos is offering a Wonderful Winter Warmer Special (WWW – Special) that will end on 31 July.

Enjoy a 2-night stay at 5% off,  3 nights at 10% off or 4 nights at 15% off. Includes all meals, which are all fine dining including an exquisite 5-course dinner, Guided Flower Safaris and Walks Guided Coastal Safaris, Horse Rides and a 1-hour Spa treatment. Click here for more details

SEE: 7 Secrets to uncover during a weekend at Grootbos

Pilanesberg National Park, North West

Looking to indulge in a little bit of luxury? Over the next few months, Pilanesberg is offering to slash accommodation prices at a range of their gorgeous lodges. While quite a few of these specials are exclusive to South African, citizens, try the Pilansberg Tented Camp for an affordable winter escape. The Special is open to everyone from R1 150 per person sharing per night (Usually R1350pps). Valid until 31 August 2017.

Find out more on the Pilanesberg National Park website.

SEE: 10 Cool Pilanesberg facts that will make you go 'bos'

SEE: Gateway to Lesotho: 8 Winter must-dos in the Drakensberg

Thula Thula Private Game Reserve, KZN

If you’ve ever read Lawrence Anthony’s The Elephant Whisperer – a truly magical account of how a herd of problem elephants became the light of this legendary late conservationist’s life – you’ve probably been dying to visit Thula Thula.

For the month of June they will be running a stay for three pay for for two nights special. Now, look, it still isn’t cheap, but if memorable is what you’re after, it’s worth every cent!

Find out more on the Thula websiteThula.

CapeNature, Western Cape

Hey, psssst, you… we’d like to let you in on a little secret: if you’re looking for state-of-the art, eco-friendly, attractive, cosy accommodation surrounded by some of South Africa’s most beautiful scenery, at a fraction of the price you’d pay elsewhere, CapeNature is where it’s at. The conservation and tourism organisation manages a variety of parks and reserves dotted all around the Western Cape – from the Cederberg to the Garden Route – many of which have been recently upgraded.

Up until 31 August 2017, they will be offering a full 40% off accommodation across the board. Definitely worth investigating!

Find out more on the Cape Nature website.

SEE: Winter whale watching: Spotting the creatures of the deep around SA’s coasts

Forest Edge, Knysna, Garden Route

Winter really is like the secret season along the Garden Route, with mild days that still allow warm outdoor adventures. Forest walks & biking trails, a trip into the exotic goldmine and woodcutter eras, picnics next to a lazy stream, birdwatching from your hammock or cuddling up to a cozy fire with your private library of books and dvd's.  These are just some of the things to try when booking  a stay at Forest Edge. The area also offers sunset Lagoon Ferry rides, Canopy Tours, Horse riding, Elephant Park, Farmers Market, restaurants.  This affordable self-catering cottage accommodation is a real natue-lovers' retreat and they're offering 20% off for winter from R410. 

Find out more here

Gorgeous lodges, beautiful views, excellent dining, unforgettable game viewing experiences – how does that sound for a wild weekend away? Well, you can find all of this at Kariega Game Reserve, less than an hour’s drive from PE. Up until the end of June they are offering a pay for two, stay for three special, valid for bookings for their Main Lodge, Ukhozi Lodge and River Lodge. Guests must arrive between 1 May and 30 June 2017. Main Lodge is ideal for unforgettable family safaris with its 3 bedroom chalets, all en-suite, and spacious African-styled lounges.

Alternatively make use of their offer of 20% less on high season rates on all accommodation, until September 2017.

Find out more on Kariega’s website

SEE: 7 Easy winter escapes around Port Elizabeth

Head to Dinokeng, Gauteng

The malaria-free Dinokeng Game Reserve is a mere 40-minute drive from Pretoria and offers guests the opportunity to spot a huge variety of wildlife: lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, hyenas and an assortment of antelope, just to name a few.

Take a winter shotleft weekend starting from R2 832 per person sharing for two nights.  "Arrive on  Friday and take walk around the venue, smell nature and hear the sound of the birds. The lodge is well placed next to the lake,  maybe if you watch closely you can spot the crocodiles. You can spot birds and few animals’ drinking water by the lake from your patio.   Saturday morning have a delicious buffet breakfast before you start you day tour activities."

Find out more here

SEE: 35 best budget-friendly things to do in Durban

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