The Easter holidays, South Africa’s second busiest holiday period after December/January, is just around the corner. For those who missed out on getting away to some fun and relaxation in December or January, or those who feel they need another break after a busy start to the year, we have selected a number of ideal Easter getaways below.
Go let your hair down, put your feet up and have some fun while recharging your batteries!
Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre
Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre is a unique lifestyle destination with a boutique hotel set in tranquil gardens, quirky independent shops, fantastic entertainment spoils and fitness centre, all just 40 minutes from the Kruger National Park and 10 minutes from the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
For top-class accommodation, you can book into the 30-room Casterbridge Hollow Hotel. Mpumalanga’s first “green hotel” encompasses a concept that has evolved with great charm, using the simplest and most basic materials. Colours are reminiscent of romantic hillside villages in Provence and Tuscany. Its contemporary style is enhanced by richly textured baskets, sleek furnishings and designer fabrics featuring proteas and ‘bokkies’ which give the hotel an original handprint and convey its South African roots.
At the same time you can stay fit at the gym and pilates studio, or pamper yourself at the health spa and with spoils from their boutique clothing and jewellery stores.
Range, quality and that element of surprise are all part of the unique shopping experience. Casterbridge proudly supports local industries and boasts award winning artists, potters and sculptors from the area. Come and feast your retail sense in over 35 stores, shopping against a background of perfectly manicured gardens where you will be guaranteed a shopping experience never to be forgotten.
The centre also has an enchanting vintage motor museum, while visitors can also view some excellent national art exhibitions at the White River Art Gallery. There are a number of restaurants when you can enjoy a culinary treat from breakfast to dinner. Then head towards the Kruger for that unforgettable game experience. Casterbridge’s slogan, ‘Eat, play, shop, sleep’ sums it all up.
For more information:
- Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre Tel +27 (0)13 751 1540, mobile +27 (0)82 8000 618 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Casterbridge Hollow Hotel Tel +27 (0)13 750 0898 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomjachu Bush Retreat
If its quality time you need with your family or partner, this is the ideal retreat for you.
Tomjachu Bush Retreat near Nelspruit and the southern gate of the Kruger National Park, with its 12-sleeper Valbonne Villa provides a sanctuary for families looking to spend quality time together to create timeless memories for all. As Tomjachu Bush Retreat is a third generation family-owned destination, ‘family’ is what they do best.
In the fast-paced life most of us lead, it is often difficult to carve out time to spend with your children and parents. Now you can escape to the Lowveld bush for a relaxing, family-bonding holiday at a 5 star, self-catering luxury resort.
Tomjachu Bush Retreat, just 3 ½ hours from Johannesburg, has the perfect family accommodation. Its Valbonne Villa is set in a spectacular location in the Bekker Mountains, looking towards the Crocodile Valley Gorge. This villa is a double-storey, classical South African Lowveld home with cool rambling veranda and six bedroom suites brimming with family antiques, paintings, local art and a lifetime of memorabilia. The Valbonne Villa offers the exquisite luxury of a multi award-winning 5-star TGCSA, self-catering villa suitable for 6 couples or 12 guests sharing – fully serviced. An extensive covered terrace leads to a large braai area set in luscious gardens, with an infinity pool – all overlooking the most spectacular and dramatic views.
Tomjachu Bush Retreat also offers The Homestead with three individual bedrooms and suites as well as its Bush Cottages that, surrounded by lush trees, imparts a sense of being immersed and blended with nature…another perfect family getaway. All of this is topped off with fantastic activities for all ages, such as safari drives, hiking, mountain biking and fishing with great views and tranquil time away from your everyday life.
For more information:
Gourikwa Reserve situated between Still Bay and the Gouritz River mouth on the Southern Cape coast is without a doubt one of the most unique private reserves along the South African coastline. The reserve is a true escape with 5km of its own pristine seafront, a rich variety of indigenous fauna and flora as well as boasting facilities ranging from top class accommodation to a beachfront chapel and wedding facilities.
The reserve offers range of superbly equipped accommodation from cottages, to fisherman’s houses, single villa rooms and an adventure centre for groups of up to 120 children.
All the refurbished Cottages are less than 100m from the shore break, making every morning a unique experience. There are a total of 6 deluxe cottages all fully equipped with a kitchenette, built in braai and spaciously designed rooms. The 9 fisherman’s houses are all free standing units, spread out along the coast to have spectacular views of the seafront and the nearby lighthouse. Eight of the units sleep 4 people each, and one unit sleeps up to 6 people. There are also 3 blocks of 5 single rooms with the most beautiful view over the ocean.
If you are about to tie the knot, the reserve has a wedding chapel overlooking the ocean – there surely can’t be many wedding venues that can compare to Gourikwa’s offering. The picturesque chapel with a thatch roof and bell tower is a mere 50m from the shore, the ideal setting for wedding pictures. Within walking distance of the chapel is a brand new banquet hall, which can accommodate between 180 – 200 people, with all tables and chairs supplied. The pool house can be utilized as an additional bar facility with restrooms available.
For more information:
- Call Marelize van Rensburg on +27 (0)87 702 9126 or email email@example.com
Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort
Celebrating 60 years in the great South African outdoors this year, the 3-star rated Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort is known for its spectacular view of the unforgettable Southern Drakensberg, crisp mountain air, rejuvenating clear streams and azure blue skies. The resort has been a haven for outdoor enthusiasts wanting to enjoy anything from golf to mountain biking for six decades.
Set on a scenic 860 acre World Heritage Site, it is perfect for getting out of city comfort zones enticing even the laziest couch potatoes to enjoy hiking, horse riding, canoeing, trout fishing or even river rafting.
The resort has a challenging 18-hole golf course as well as an 18km custom-built mountain biking track which passes by the resort’s picturesque dam and through the golf course as well as the lush pine forest, and is suitable for all riders of all levels. Bikes are also made available from the hotel reception.
Other exciting features at the resort include a zip line suitably titled “The Rinkhals”, that stretches from halfway up the Beacon Hike down to the resort’s Adventure Park, a cricket field with netted pitch and field, situated inside a BMX track (great for all ages, especially father and son bonding), an archery range at the Adventure Park and the Jackal Buzzard Fort, a raised fortress for the younger explorers, who, when planning their next adventure, get a bird’s eye view of the zip liners ascending.
For the water babies, they have a new kids’ water park, complete with heated pool and slides which will be just the thing for the little ones. If that’s not enough, the resort also has a kids’ pushbike track as well as a climbing wall catering to all. It’s certainly a place where the sun never sets on good value and good fun. The resort also offers the perfect wedding venue with its very special Ibis Pavilion, a covered boma style venue that looks onto Rhino Mountain. This doubles as a tea garden for visitors to the Adventure Park.
The resort offers spacious and comfortable accommodation with standard, superior and deluxe rooms. Options include four and six sleeper fully equipped self-catering units which are ideal for family getaways.
In celebration of their 60-year milestone, Gooderson’s Drakensberg Gardens is offering Mzanzi readers a special getaway package for the month of May and June at a rate of R899.00 on a bed and breakfast basis per person sharing or R1,249 per person per night on a dinner, bed and breakfast per person per night (single). Terms and conditions apply.
For more information:
- go to goodersonleisure.co.za or contact reservations on +27 (0)31 337 4222
Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre
For an African oasis in the city, located just north of the fast paced business world of Sandton in the upmarket residential suburb of Fourways, is the 258 bedroom Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre. It is a compelling blend of business-like convenience and efficiency, with a relaxed and warm country atmosphere and a setting that will make you believe you are out there in the bush.
Coupled with easy and convenient access to all main highways, OR Tambo International Airport and a mere 15km from Lanseria International Airport, the hotel features an impressive selection of some 24 multi-purpose conference venues that can accommodate up to 2,000 delegates in total with banqueting facilities for up to 500 guests.
With two restaurants on property, there is no need to leave the comfort of the hotel to enjoy world class cuisine. The 300-seater Chief’s Boma Restaurant caters for all tastes with over 120 African inspired dishes ranging from North African Moroccan cuisine to Koeksisters and Melktert from the Cape – and with a “Shisa Nyama” grill boasting a variety of game meats sizzled to your specification, everyone is sure to find their favourite.
Well known for their lavish, full South African breakfast buffet, the Epsom Terrace Restaurant also boasts an evening Bistro Menu which will delight even the most demanding gourmand’s exacting standards. A traditional carvery lunch with live music can be enjoyed every Sunday, with limited outdoor seating available for those who prefer dining al fresco – after all, Jo’burg really has the best weather in South Africa.
Stroll through the 17 hectares of lush bushveld gardens and you will find the Mowana Spa – a wellness sanctuary which will revive your senses, rejuvenate your body and soothe your soul. The Mowana Spa offers wellness journeys based on the healing energy of Tribal Massaging, while Signature Pamper Journeys include the decadent Mowana Full Day African Rejuvenation Spa pamper, among much more.
The Indaba Hotel and Mowana Spa are also proudly green, ensuring responsible tourism and minimising carbon footprint through extensive recycling of waste products, water-wise gardening, greening conference initiatives, better material choices, minimising power usage and buying local
For more information: