After being locked down for so long, many of us have remained separated from loved ones near and far.
We’ve skipped out on holidays, missed life milestones and moments that have been both positive and painful. But as the world slowly begins to re-open this year, we’ve decided that home and heart is our great motivator for the ‘month of love’.
This Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating reunions and reconnections along with the renewed ability to fall in love with travel once again.
With this as our North Star, here’s our round-up of local destinations guaranteed to inspire you to love your holidays this February, wherever you are and whoever you’re with.
Love your holidays with family
For those looking for an affordable family holiday in the Western, Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort is just the place to reunite with the whole brood.
Lovingly known as ‘Piekies’ for short, this resort is an effortless choice, located close to the dorpie of Citrusdal.
Start your day with a hearty buffet-style breakfast, then let the sunshine and crisp skies lure you to the pool, where the staff will bring out pizzas for the kids and a sneaky daiquiri for Ouma (if that’s her preference).
There’s an easy walking trail to attempt, along with a games room, outdoor play area, an indoor heated pool if the weather chills. Some of the grown-ups can also head across the road to the Hebron padstal for some rooibos, wine and gin tasting. Yes, you can do all three at once.
Love your holidays with friends
If you’re looking to reconnect with friends during your next holiday, try a fabulous ‘friendcation’ in Franschhoek.
Brimming vineyards and wineries, there’s certainly no shortage of things to do as a group. Book your tickets for the Wine Tram or dabble in an outdoor adventure horse riding, cycling, or hiking around the Berg River.
Book a stay at Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa where friends can choose between suites and self-catering accommodation, depending on their budget and preference. This sublime hotel boasts two on-site restaurants, a spa (with buddy packages), and a sizeable pool perfect for sprawling out together in the sun.
Love your holidays with your partner
From the vine-covered hills of the Cape Winelands and the wildlife-rich Kruger, South Africa ticks all the right boxes as far as romance is concerned.
One of our favourites is The Blue Marlin Hotel in Scottburgh, less than an hour’s drive from Durban and located right on the beach.
This is just the place to top up on romance, with the wonderfully warm Indian Ocean right on your doorstep. How you spend your time is up to you, but we suggest grabbing a sundowner at the Big Blue pool bar and snapping up a table for two at the on-site restaurant.
You and your sweetheart can also make a beeline for the newly launched Mangwanani Dream Spa for a couples massage and treatment.
Love your holidays with your team
Finfoot Lake Reserve is everything you could want in a bleisure trip with your colleagues to boost morale in 2022.
Just 90 minutes’ drive from Johannesburg, this malaria-free reserve is within easy reach and offers an array of team building activities such as Segway safaris, bush walks, and sunset barge cruises out on the Vaalkop Dam. The fire pit in the outdoor boma is the ideal spot for reconnecting over pre-dinner drinks.
Finfoot also features a conference room and facilities ideal for corporate groups looking for an event or workshop venue on the business front. A perfect place all around to fall back in love with the great outdoors while nurturing your bond with team members.
Love your holidays while you love yourself
Should you be looking for a lowkey spot to escape the crowds (and couples) this February, then Swellendam is well worth it.
It’s the third oldest town in South Africa, offering loads to do, including a lovely park run around the dam and forest on the weekends. As for accommodation? Book a few nights at Stonehill River Lodge settled along the Breede River.
This is just the place to do as much or as little as you like, be it curling up with a good book and a crisp glass of Chenin or hopping on a bike (which they provide) to explore the area. You can also join a guided nature walk and walk their seven-circle medieval labyrinth during your stay.
If you’re the first one to put your hand up when it comes to needing a little extra self-love this February, you’ll discover plenty of it during your stay at Stonehill River Lodge.
Love your holidays with your pets
If you love the Berg, you’ll quickly fawn over Little Switzerland Resort located along the R74 Oliviershoek Pass.
This alpine-style resort offers a range of room options including two pet-friendly self-catering units which means beloved fur babies won’t need to be left behind this February.
The Little Switzerland team knows that, like us humans, our pets long for adventure too, and this is the perfect place to let them stretch their legs and discover exciting new sights, sounds and smells out in the fresh mountain air.
Of course, the magic of Little Switzerland doesn’t end there. Aside from the on-site stable filled with horses and ponies, The Draken’s Burger Diner is located right at its entrance. Their flame-grilled burgers tick all the right boxes after a busy day hiking and exploring.