If you’re itching to get out of the house and explore, 2021 is the year to uncover the wealth of what your province, and South Africa, has to offer.
And if you’re desperate for some me-time, why not enjoy a solo ‘isolation holiday’ in your province? Solo travel is not just reserved for holidays in far-flung locations abroad. Discover the joy of travelling solo in your own province, where you can do just as you please.
Here are some fantastic options for solo travel in your province:
If you’re desperate for a breath of fresh country air, hop in the car and head out of the city to discover the many sleepy and quaint towns that dot the Western Cape.
Head into the Winelands and wine and dine solo in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek or Swellendam – or soak up the sea air along Hermanus’s cliff paths or on the endless windswept stretch of beach at Paternoster.
For the ultimate Western Cape solo road trip, hit Route 62 and drive the Swartberg Mountain Pass, stopping in Paarl, Worcester, Robertson, Montagu, Barrydale, Port Albert or Calitzdorp.
Head out of the city into the countryside or enjoy a day trip to a part of the city that you haven’t spent much time exploring.
Load up the bike and make a beeline for the mountain biking trails of the Magaliesburg or hit the hiking trails. The Magaliesburg makes for an excellent three-day self-drive getaway. Alternatively, enjoy a fascinating educational experience unearthing our human origins at the Cradle of Humankind.
If you fancy yourself a hiking enthusiast, the Hennops Hiking Trail is located just 30 km from Pretoria. Hennops boasts four trails, varying in difficulty and length, along with some fascinating historical sites and caves.
KZN is one of South Africa’s best solo travel destinations, with almost year-round warm weather and some of the most laidback and friendly locals in South Africa.
If you’re coming from outside the city or want to enjoy a “staycation” in your town, check into an accredited hotel near Durban’s Golden Mile. It’s a popular place to hang out and is within easy reach of the vibey promenade and a great collection of restaurants that are now beginning to open (grab a bunny chow!).
Hire a car and head inland to the lush green landscapes of the Drakensberg or wander through the artsy villages of the Midlands Meander. Join a hiking group to explore the area’s trails before cosying up next to a roaring fire.
Discover Sodwana, St Lucia, and Hluhluwe Game Reserve or take shorter day trips along KZN’s North or South Coast.
If you’re craving getting out of the city, you don’t have to go far in the Eastern Cape. Hit the coast for a laidback break or drive inland to discover snow-topped mountains in fairy-tale Hogsback.
Check into the Wild Coast Sun or Crawfords Beach Lodge for a relaxing beach break. Marvel at the stillness in Coffee Bay and Port St Johns. Drive into the heart of the Karoo and embrace the silence, along with mouth-watering Karoo Lamb and early nights cuddled up in bed before you hit the road the next morning. Discover the wildlife that frequent the Addo Elephant National Park and overnight in Cradock or historic Graaff-Reinet. Graaff-Reinet is a fantastic town for history buffs to explore.
Adventure-seeking solo travellers can embark on 4 X 4 or skiing adventures in Rhodes on an adventure-packed self-drive getaway.
The Free State is pretty much made for road trips! Enjoy the endless skies, sleepy padstals and discovering ‘new’ towns and villages.
Must-sees include watching the sun glinting off the Maluti Mountains bordering Lesotho, exploring the Golden Gate Highlands National Park and neighbouring Clarens – and even a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Vredefort Dome.
Hit the Panorama Route to enjoy picnics next to hidden waterfalls as you soak up breathtaking views.
Discover the steamy hot springs that bubble from the earth in Bela Bela, sections of the famous Kruger National Park that fall within the province (note that you have to leave the park from the same gate you entered, back into your province) and the UNESCO listed Waterberg Biosphere.
Rise with the sun in Mpumalanga and spot the Big Five in the Kruger, discover hidden waterfalls, quirky rock formations and bottomless canyons in the aptly named Panorama Route and explore sleepy Pilgrim’s Rest, a village frozen in time from its gold rush heyday in the late 1800s.
Get lost in the Northern Cape. This is epic road trip country. Pack the car with padkos, fill up with fuel and get the tyres checked and set off a road trip, just you and the horizon before you.
“The Namaqua Coastal Route makes for an ideal self-drive holiday. Spend four days discovering Kamieskroon, Hondeklip and Kleinzee and the charms of this off the beaten track Northern Cape Route,” says Sue Garrett, General Manager of Marketing and Product at the Flight Centre Travel Group.
There’s also a fantastic food and wine route, Kokerboom, that’s ideal for foodies and nature lovers wanting to explore the Augrabies Falls, Upington and surrounds.
Check into a cosy guesthouse and enjoy the simpler things in life – a good book, warm bed and new surroundings.
The North West may be rather small, but there are always areas of your province that you wouldn’t have discovered. Enjoy being a tourist in your province and find how many off the beaten track delights there are in your backyard.
Check into the quirky little town of Groot Marico. Literary buffs will enjoy discovering the area that inspired many a tale of South African writer Herman Charles Bosman.
Explore the 45 km of the Taung Heritage Route, part of the UNESCO listed Cradle of Humankind region. Or head to the breezy shores of the Hartbeespoort Dam.
Travel tips for your solo provincial travel holiday
- Plan ahead. Pre-book accommodation and plan a rough itinerary (at least where you’re sleeping each night).
- Check what facilities, parks and attractions are open. Call ahead to check that any attractions you’d like to visit are open. Be sure to confirm opening hours to avoid disappointment.
- Be safe. Check-in regularly with family and friends, share your itinerary, keep all devices charged and ensure your car is good to go for a road trip.
- Adhere to recommended health and safety protocols.
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