Cape Town - The December festive season has left us all stone cold.
And to make matters "worse", there are TWO long-weekends coming up that you just have to make the most of.
Here's how to have a full-blown Easter breakaway on a budget in every province of South Africa:
The family travellers - Jack-Pot Beach House
What: This is a Modern three-bedroomed house overlooking the Main Beach and a nature reserve in Cape St Francis.
Where: Between Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape
Cost: From R2 000 per night for 7 people
The Romantics - Nibelheim Self-catering cottage
What: Set in a beautiful garden abounding with nut and fruit trees, this log cabin is very private and tranquil. It's a one bedroom self-catering wooden chalet built on stilts, which boasts with amazing birding watching opportunities. Guided walks in the area can also be booked and a baby-sitter can also be arranged.
Cost: R500 per night for couple
The bundu-bashers - Karoo Ridge Lodge
What: Inspired by the Karoo, brick and cut stone has been used to build a 4 bedroomed “Karoo Home” running off solar energy and gas. This Lodge is tucked away in a scenic valley overlooking a river. It is 1km from the Main Homestead so is close enough for comfort and far enough for privacy.
Where: In the middle of nowhere… Karoo Ridge Conservancy is situated 100km SE of Colesberg and 50km NE of Middelburg in the Eastern Cape.
Cost: R350 per person, per night
The family travellers - Amohela ho Spitskop Country Retreat Cottages
What: Amohela ho Spitskop, a privately owned Country Retreat and Registered Conservancy in the scenically stunning Eastern Highlands of the Free State.
It is the ultimate country retreat, bordered by the majestic Maluti Mountains in the south-east.
Where: In a valley between Ficksburg and Clocolan
Cost: Around R840 for two people, for one night
The Romantics - Royal Coachman
What: This luxury, self-catering option is the perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts. The lodge’s wooden deck, which has a built-in braai, overlooks a big dam. Activities like horse riding, bird watching and hiking are highly recommended.
Where: outside Clarens
Cost: From R500 per person, sharing
The bundu-bashers - Camelroc Guest Farm
What: Situated on the border of Lesotho and South Africa just outside Fouriesburg at the Caledonspoort Border, this farm is the perfect base from which to explore the Eastern Free State as well as Lesotho.
Where: About 8km from Fouriesburg, on the Lesotho border
Cost: R1 500 per chalet, per night. Sleeps 9 people
The family travellers - Morubisi Bush Cottage
What: Morubisi Bush Lodge is nestled at the foot of the magnificent Magalies Mountains in a tranquil environment with an abundance of bird- and wildlife. This 6-sleeper unit is ideal for large families or a group of friends that would like to spend some quality time away. The cottage has a beautiful deck to enjoy a view over the bush and to watch the sun go down. It also has a private boma where you can enjoy a braai. The Bush Cottage has a queen size bed downstairs and 4 beds upstairs. It has a small kitchenette with basic cutlery & crockery and an en-suite bathroom.
Where: 10 minutes from Hartbeespoort Dam, 45 minutes from Johannesburg, Pretoria and Sun City.
Cost: R 1600 per night (sleeps 6)
The Romantics - Brookwood Estate Trout Farm
What: Brookwood Estate offers the perfect getaways for those who would want to spend time outdoors. The farm has two luxurious fully equipped, self-catering chalets with open fireplaces as well as 3 camper's cabins. There is also a quaint, fisherman's cabin and a tackle shop.
Where: Kromdraai, Krugersdorp West
Cost: R300 per person, per night
The bundu-bashers - Mongena Game lodge, Dinokeng Game Reserve
What: Mongena Game Lodge is situated in the start-up phase of the Dinokeng Game Reserve. The lodge has 25 tastefully furnished chalets providing single, double/twin or family accommodation, all with private bathrooms offering a bath and/or shower.
Where: 50km north of Pretoria in the Hammanskraal/Rust de Winter distric
Cost: R975 per person, breakfast included
The family travellers - Beverley Country Cottages
What: The Thatched House has 3 en-suite bedrooms. It is ideal for large families or a party of friends.
The large kitchen is ideal to entertain and the spacious lounge/dining room area cozies up in no time due to the Jet Master log fireplace. It also has a large veranda looking down into a secluded valley.
Where: Beverley Farm, Dargle
Cost: From R 1880 per day
The Romantics - Rain Farm & Game Lodge
What: Rain Farm Game Lodge is tucked away between rolling hills and sugar cane fields, just 15 minutes inland from Ballito. The property boasts a wildlife sanctuary that is both ruggedly beautiful and rich in adventure. With the Umhlali rapids rushing beneath you, from the deck of one of the 6 romantic tree top tents you can gaze upon the African plains filled with zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and many species of antelope.
Where: 9 Esenembe Road, Isinembe
Cost: R1100 per cabin per night, breakfast included
The bundu-bashers - Sani Lodge Cottages
What: The three cottages, Aloe, Honeyguide and Guinea fowl, are private, homes situated on the Sani Pass road, nestling at the base of the little 'Berg on the 75 acre Stromness Farm, which borders onto the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. The cottages have magnificent views of the area, an indigenous gardens attracts birds, duiker and reedbuck.
Where: On the Sani Pass
Cost: Between R700 and R1 300 per night, per cottage (sleeps between 4 and 6 guests)
The family travellers - Angasii Game Lodge Self-catering safari
What: Angasii optimizes luxury living, bringing you back to nature in their private self-catering suits. Situated near Northam and Thabazimbi, the area is best known for the game farming in the region with a lovely warm climate and summer rain season.
Where: Near Northam and Thabazimbi
Cost: Around R500 per person per night (discounts are given when chalets are booked to full capacity)
The Romantics - Kurisa Moya Cabins
What: This lodge is situated in a fairytale-like forest. The secluded Forest Lodge Cabins are built three metres up in the canopy of the magical indigenous forest. From your deck you can look out into the towering trees, which host samango monkeys and Narina Trogons. Each cabin in the tree-tops is self-contained with a fully equipped kitchenette and en-suite bathroom.
Where: In the Woodbush Forest Reserve
Cost: From R750 per person, per night sharing
The boendoe-bashers - Mabalingwe Nature Reserve
What: Mabalingwe is the perfect all year round big five experience. The nature reserve boasts rolling hills, spectacular scenery, dams, prolific bird-life and 36 species of wild life - including the Big Five. In addition to the awesome surrounds and first-rate accommodation, you can choose from a host of activities including game drives, horseback game viewing, paintball, cold and heated swimming pools and an outdoor spa.
Where: outside Bela-Bela
Cost: Chalets and private houses’ costs range from R850 per unit (2 sleeper) to R4 500 per unit (7 sleeper)
The family travellers - Stone Tin Lodge
What: Stone Tin Lodge offers you 3 bedrooms, all with en - suite bathrooms and a large open plan living / dining / kitchen area. The house is fully equipped with a stove, a large central fireplace and comfortable lounge furniture for relaxing in, as well as 2 double sleeper couches for extra people. While the venue has no Eskom power, it is fully equipped with gas appliances, as well as solar power.
Where: near Oschoek, outside Dullstroom
Cost: From R350 per person per night (sleeps 10 people)
The Romantics - Forest Creek Lodge cottages
What: These highly-acclaimed lodges are private and have stunning views of the natural surroundings. Activities include clay pigeon shooting, spa treatments, the 'Bush bath' and birding, which can all be booked during your stay.
Where: Lydenburg, Dullstroom
Cost: From R1 200 to R1 500 per cottage, per night
The boendoe-bashers - Swallows House
What: Situated on the shores of the Da Gama Lake, this tranquil retreat is located in the most beautiful part of the Lowveld. It is close to White River, Hazyview, the Panorama Route and the Kruger National Park. Swallows House is a self-catering unit consisting of two en-suite bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and a beautiful open-plan living area with a cosy fireplace. There is a TV with DStv in the lounge area as well as large doors opening onto the deck with stunning views of the Da Gama Dam.
Where: 9km outside Hazyview
Cost: Around R1 300 per night for the house (sleeps 4)
The family travellers - Ou Skool Guest House
What: Ou Skool Guest House is recently renovated from an old school, which was closed down in the early seventies. Ou Skool Guest House is a convenient stopover or holiday base for all types of travellers. The guest house offers the warmest hospitality, outstanding air-conditioned accommodation and all self-catering necessities.
Where: Keimoes/Upington area
Cost: R750 per unit per day (sleeps 2)
The Romantics - Saffraan Lodge
What: On the farm Middelfontein is the new edition to the Kambro Kind guest houses. Saffraan is the best-kept secret and jewel in their accommodation crown. Lanterns and oil lamps enhance the beauty of the fireplace, while the modern bathroom with shower has a gas geyser.
Where: just outside Sutherland
Cost: From R450 per person per night sharing, including breakfast
The boendoe-bashers - Lake Grappa
What: Each chalet has its own fully-equipped open kitchen and living area with an in and out-door braai area as well as air-conditioning. The spacious rooms walk out onto the outside patio to greet the first ray of light. All bedrooms consist of a split-unit air conditioner, crispy white linen and white towels, as well as bathroom amenities.
Where: Vroeê Son, Marchand, Kakamas
Cost: From R400 per person, sharing, per night
The family travellers - Mamagalie Mountain Lodge
What: This self-catering luxury unit has a fully equipped kitchen, furnished to the highest standards with a large stove, fridge/freezer, and convection microwave. Guests can enjoy the majestic views over the Buffelspoort Valley and dam while cooling off in the swimming pool.
Where: outside Mooinooi
Cost: From R325 per person per night (sleeps 12)
The Romantics - Thabela Thabeng Mountain Retreat’s Rockhaven chalet
What: This private, romantic haven for two is built around a natural rock. Enjoy a glass of wine in front of the fire, or watch the moon rise while sitting in the corner bath in the bay window.
Where: Buffelskloof farm, Vredefort Dome, Parys
Cost: Around R970 per chalet, per night
The bundu-bashers - Manyane Resort Chalets
What: Self-catering chalets are designed as proper brick-and-wood cottages that can house 2 to 4 guests. Cottages have one double bed in the main bedroom and 2 single beds up in the loft. Bedding and bath towels are provided, and the chalets are equipped with a kitchen, a lounge with TV, Braai area in front. The cottages also have air-conditioning.
Cost: Around R330 per person per night
The family travellers - Kingfisher Country House
What: Set in a beautiful rambling garden, this delightful Country House offers peace, tranquility and beautiful views of Wilderness National Park. Four comfortable cottage style en-suite bedrooms, make this the perfect family getaway. Bird watching, canoeing, hiking, swimming pool and beautiful beaches are all on the agenda for families heading here over the Easter weekend.
Cost: Around R1 500 per night for the house (sleeps 8)
The Romantics - Thali Thali Game Lodge
What: Accommodation at Thali-Thali have been designed to create a unit with the old homestead. The eight units comprise three West Coast-style chalets and five luxury tents which are spread out in a circle around an entertainment area. The cottage are fully furnished with all the necessities. There is a double bed and sleeping couch in each chalet, with bathroom, kitchen, indoor braai, stoep and outdoor braai facilities included.
Where: outside Langebaan
Cost: Around R1 150 per chalet, per night
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The bundu-bashers - Vindoux Guest Farm
What: The Tree Lodge sleeps between 4 and 8 people and offers the perfect home-from-home experience with the added twist of being high up amongst the trees. There are three bedrooms, which can be king-sized or twins, two of which have their own well-appointed en-suites and Juliet balconies. On the ground, there is also their self-catering village, which features four cottages. Set away from the farm, they are just a short stroll through the vineyard to the pool, game camp and Spa. They are perfect for those on a budget or those looking for a family or small group getaway.
Where: outside Tulbagh
Cost: Tree Lodges: R2200 per night (sleeps 4) Cottages: R750 per night (for 2 people, sharing)