News / 16 January 2024
2024: Go Where You’ve Never Been Before
The greatest gift of a new year is time and there’s no better way to make the most of it than having the courage to do things and go places you’ve never considered before.
This year, we’re on a mission to peel away the layers and uncover those hidden-in-plain-sight experiences guaranteed to reignite your spirit. After all, there’s so much more to South Africa than those ‘go-to’ destinations that everyone and their uncle has seen and done.
Ready to get a head start on that 2024 travel list? Here are some of our top picks worth adding to your holiday calendar:
Walk among the Cape Wildflowers
Every year between August and October, South Africa’s West Coast undergoes a magical transformation. Within a matter of weeks, the landscape explodes with colour as new flowers burst from the ground. This is wildflower season, a natural marvel not to be missed in 2024! We hear the family-friendly bolthole of Piekienierskloof Mountain Resort still has availability.
Experience a Rhino Dehorning
Sign up for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of a white rhino dehorning at Tala Collection Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. Local anti-poaching NPO, Rave Rhino, regularly dehorns and microchips the resident herd, and if you’re lucky they may have several lined up this year. All that’s needed in return is a small donation to support their cause – much less than what you’d pay at high-profile reserves elsewhere.
Discover the Birthplace of Humanity
Discover the birthplace of humanity at the Cradle of Humankind – a non-negotiable for your 2024 travel list. Just 50km north of Johannesburg, the Cradle is a UNESCO-certified World Heritage Site and is home to about 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils. Of course, it’s not only bones, fossils, and ancient history you’ll encounter here. You can also enjoy the area’s natural setting and encounter the creatures that find sanctuary in its picturesque Highveld landscape. Those sunsets over Mount Savannah Game Reserve are the stuff of magic.
Hook Yourself a Tiger Fish
Known as Africa's ultimate freshwater fighting fish, hooking a Tiger Fish is on every serious fisherman's bucket list. A great place to encounter these underwater bullets is Lake Jozini settled at the foot of the Lebombo Mountains. Book a stay at Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa, complete with a private spa, brand new super slide, and barge cruises at sunset.
Witness the Greatest Shoal on Earth
Head to the Blue Marlin Hotel from April this year and you’ll have a front-row seat to the annual Sardine Run. Dubbed ‘The Greatest Shoal on Earth’, this phenomenon sees billions of spawning sardines ducking and diving up the coast towards Mozambique. They make their grand arrival along the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast at the start of winter.
Boost your Birding ‘Life List’
New nature hobby on your list? Hone your birding skills at Finfoot Lake Reserve, just a 90-minute drive from Johannesburg. Flittering, stalking, and swooping through this 3,500-hectare wilderness wonderland are some 307 indigenous species. Among them, everything from Violet-eared Waxbills, African hawk-eagles, and Wahlberg’s eagles to the ever-charismatic Secretary bird.
See the Madikwe Super Seven
If you’re ready to get back on safari in 2024, but want something slightly further from the well-trodden tourist path, don’t overlook a stay at Madikwe River Lodge. A conservation triumph, this malaria-free destination is brimming with wild game, including African wild dogs and cheetahs, which along with the Big Five, form the ‘Madikwe Super Seven’.
Embark on a Culinary Adventure
Should you want to make food the primary focus of your 2024 travels, snap up a few nights at Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa in Franschhoek. With renowned South African chef, Kyle Norris at the helm, their approach to seasonal, and sustainable cuisine is guaranteed to deepen your love of good local food. Insider’s tip: their High Tea is ideal for upcoming celebrations throughout the year.
Ready to make travel part of your lifestyle in 2024? Connect with our team here to discover even more. Our portfolio of family-friendly lodges, hotels, and resorts is located in some of the most exceptional (and unexpected!) regions in the country.