ith the travel ban recently lifted, the adventurers amongst us can start exploring again! As weekend warriors the Adventure-Avontuur Afrika team put together our top five weekend getaways that is not too far from Jozi and Pretoria. This varied list of destinations provides a good option for each type of enthusiast – from the bundu bashing roughing it adventurer to the person preferring high luxury glamping with all amenities. By Justin Jacobs
Dinokeng: Africa in one day!
Meaning 'a place of rivers', Dinokeng Game Reserve – a 18,500ha nature conservancy – is an easy hour’s drive from Pretoria in northern Gauteng. With a healthy splatter of game viewing (with the Big 5 present in certain sections) it is rich in natural, cultural and historical heritage sites and offers a wide array of activities perfect for the whole family.
Accommodation: An offering to suit every taste and budget, Dinokeng offers various accommodation options. Whether you want to pitch your own tent or come with your caravan, whether you want the camp atmosphere without the hassle to bring your own equipment, whether you want to feel home from home in a self-catering chalet or want to be fully pampered in a luxury lodge, Dinokeng Game Reserve has something just for you.
Magaliesburg: The casual mountaineer paradise.
Magaliesburg is a small town in Gauteng near the mountain range of the same name. The town is comparable to the small niche towns throughout South Africa such as Clarence and Mosselbay, littered with artisan craft markets, coffee spots and antique shops. The mountain range itself and the surrounding wilderness offers a lot for the casual overlander.
Also note that Magaliesburg is just a stone’s throw away from the Cradle of Humankind. This Unesco World Heritage site and surrounds offer even more cultural, historical and adventure activities.
Marakele National Park: A place of sanctuary
Marakele National Park is in the heart of Waterberg Mountains and is the home of a vast selection array of wildlife such as the cape vulture, elephant, leopard, kudu and, according to the park’s website, in rare cases tsessebe, impala and mountain reedbuck. This impressive variety of wildlife is off course due to the location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moist eastern regions in South Africa. It is quite far, but it is for sure worth the distance due to its immense beauty and variety in both its fauna and flora.
Visit one of the world’s largest cape vulture colonies. The park provides some of the best scenery and wildlife and the park allows for self-drives which can allow you to have some of the best wildlife sightings.
Pilansberg: An ecological haven
Pilanesberg is located in the crater of an ancient volcano and thus allows for extremely beautiful flora and fauna and unique weather. Furthermore, the park is situated right next to Sun City which means that even if your family is not as an enthusiastic about overlanding as you are, there is a playground offering a wealth of activities to accommodate their needs which makes this a perfect family weekend getaway.
Probably the most accessible, the park is home to the Big 5 as well as the endangered African wild dog, various rare antelope and more than 354 bird species.
Madikwe Game Reserve: A hidden gem
Madikwe Game Reserve is South Africa’s fifth largest national game reserves and is also known as the country’s most luxurious and exclusive game reserves. It is located on an old farm land and was started as an effort to uplift the ruined area. It is home to many wildlife including the Big 5 and offers a luxurious weekend getaway, albeit a bit far from Jozi.
This is the ultimate choice for the more-wealthy enthusiast and caters to a luxurious experience for the entire family.