embrace south africa's secret season

News / 23 May 2023

Embrace SA’s secret season

Look out! Look out! Jack Frost is about! Yes, winter is just about here, but that doesn't mean you must stay housebound as the temperatures drop.

Here at Dream Hotels & Resorts, we call it the secret season because there are so many underrated perks to travelling during this time of year. There are fewer crowds, lower rates, and ample availability in highly sought-after destinations!

And then, of course, there are all those wondrous destinations to consider – places where you can tuck into hearty fare, snuggle up close to the fire, and open your window to somewhere completely new. If you're ready to beat those winter blues this year, here's what we recommend:

Winter wildlife

Now is the perfect time to plan an escape into the South African bush. During our drier winter months, the foliage thins, making it much easier to game view. With fewer water sources, various birds and animals are often forced to congregate around limited water sources, making for dramatic wildlife scenes. The crisp air and clear winter light further provide plenty of unique photo opportunities. Shutterbugs, assemble!

Where to go? Reconnect with nature at Mjejane Bush Camp. This affordable family camp in the Kruger is a mecca for bird lovers and proves a worthy place to scooch in closer to the boma fire with a nightcap or toasted marshmallow.

Winter comfort foods

One of the best parts of a winter holiday (or winter in general!) is the comfort food. Just imagine it: hearty stews, sinus-clearing curries, and sizzling nyama on the braai, all topped off with a bottle of South African red. If you're seeking mood-boosting meals this winter, you'll find no shortage of top-rated restaurants worth visiting – be it tiny dorpie or big city.

Where to go? Sip and savour your way across the Cape Winelands this winter. Our suggestion of where to stay? Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, where Chef Kyle is ready to whip up your winter favourites at the drop of a hat.

Warm up your winter

If you'd prefer to follow the warmer weather, pack your slops and sunnies and head to KwaZulu-Natal's Elephant Coast. The year-round tropical climate and warm Indian Ocean water are guaranteed to lift your spirits. Also, there’s nothing better than snuggling up and falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves.

Where to go? Snap up a stay at Zimbali Lodge, where you can wiggle your toes in the sand or flop down on the sunlounger to soak up the winter sun. Keep an eye out for southern right and humpback whales heading down the coast from June.

Beat the crowds in the Berg

Board games near the fireplace, mountain views and mugs of hot chocolate set the scene for an ideal winter holiday in the Drakensberg. It's cold but beautiful, further hitting the sweet spot for those looking to bundle up in their winter woollies. Up for embracing that fresh mountain air? Go hiking and horseriding, or embark on a day trip to mosey a few local padstals.

Where to go? Make the most of those off-season rates at hidden gems like Little Switzerland Resort in Bergville. With ponies out front and walking trails nearby, this whimsical Alpine-style resort offers an ideal destination for families.

If you're ready to make the most of low-season rates, our team is always on hand to help with your holiday planning. Get in touch here: 0861 010 347 / reservations@dreamresorts.co.za

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