You say you’re feeling tired and jaded? Get out of town!
It’s the long weekend, it’s spring and Heritage Month. Here are four getaways to help you celebrate
September is the perfect time for a short getaway. Not only is it Tourism Month, but this coming weekend is the first long weekend after winter and the last one before December. September 24 is Heritage Day, making it the perfect weekend to celebrate our country’s beautiful heritage. Here are four places you can visit:
Heroes Walk in Qunu
If you are near Mthatha or are willing to board a flight there, then use this long weekend to join the inaugural Heroes Walk in Qunu on September 22 and 23. It is made up of 10km, 20km or 40km guided walks. The 40km walk is an overnight experience that includes camping or staying in a four-star hotel in Mthatata.
Although the overnight packages require group bookings, the 10km and 20km walks can be booked by solo travellers and cost only R100. Depending on the option you choose, you could visit places like the Nelson Mandela Museum, Mandela’s old classroom at Qunu Secondary, or Mqhekezweni Great Place where he was brought up by the royal family before heading to Johannesburg.
Who to contact: Travel LAB South Africa
The Ribola Art Route
The Ribola Art Route in Limpopo celebrates the arts and culture of the Venda and Tsonga tribes in the Ribolla Mountains region. The main attraction is getting to meet great sculptors and artists who live in Mbokota village and the surrounding areas, such as Patrick Manyike, who has become a famous face among bloggers who have visited the area.
By traversing the route, you get to see the largest baobab tree in SA which is over 3,000 years old. You can also visit Lake Fundudzi or the Thathe Vondo Forest, both of which are important to the Venda culture. There are also adventure options such as going on 4x4 trails and hiking.
Who to contact: Open Africa
The Cradle of Humankind
A visit to the famous Sterkfontein Caves, the Wondercave and the Maropeng Visitor Centre should all form part of the Cradle of Humankind itinerary, especially because it is only a 50-minute drive from Johannesburg. There are many other activities that can be experienced at the Heritage Site such as visiting the Nirox sculpture park or going on a zipline.
On Heritage Day the Cradle of Humankind will host the Cradle Colour Festival, at which people throw coloured powders, inspired by the Hindu spring festival, Holi. There will also be entertainment and arts and crafts, as well a food market.
Who to contact: The Cradle of Humankind; Tickets
KZN Literary Tourism
“There is a lovely road which runs from Ixopo into the hills.” This is the opening line of Cry, the Beloved Country. Although the novel deals with apartheid’s atrocities, one of its lasting legacies is its beautiful description of the KwaZulu-Natal landscape.
Many other authors besides Alan Paton incorporate locations around KZN in their storytelling. And it is now possible to visit some of these locales through the KZN Literary Tourism trails, which cover both Durban and Pietermaritzburg. According to their website, literary tourism is about following the paths of fictional characters or those of authors in a specific area.
With Durban being declared the only Unesco World City of Literature in Africa in 2017, you can now not only follow the curated paths of some of its most celebrated authors, but you can see much more of KZN than its beaches or the Drakensberg.
Who to contact: KZN Literary Tourism