News / 15 August 2023
Where to grease the grill this Heritage Day
Here in South Africa, we now have 12 official languages, but one thing always continues to unite us, and that's a braai.
Regardless of your background, the shared tradition of cooking food on the fire is something all South Africans share. Originally known as Shaka Day but fondly referred to as National Braai Day, Heritage Day on 24 September is dedicated to gathering together as the rich aroma of flame-grilled nyama fills the air.
If you want to level up on your braai experience this Heritage Day, here's where to rally your kin and light up the coals.
Tala Game Reserve, KZN
A long-standing favourite of ours, Tala Game Reserve in Camperdown proves a family-friendly venue for those looking to get down to braai business. With ample braai facilities and a large outdoor pool, this malaria-free reserve has it all. The best part? You can also embark on a self-drive beforehand to view Tala's resident giraffes, and rhinos – protected by the team at Rave Rhino. The day rate is R80.00 per adult, and R50.00 per child, with R80.00 per vehicle going back into the Reserve's conservation initiatives.
Braai tip: Since there's typically only one braaier (usually the host) at most South African gatherings, 'backseat braaing' is seriously frowned upon.
Avalon Springs Resort, Western Cape
Make a splash this Heritage Day at Avalon Springs Resort in Montagu, known for its mineral-rich spring water pools. After a much-needed refurbishment, day visitors and overnight guests can break in the new communal braai facility and order picnic baskets brimming with alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. Do pay a visit to Dassie's Cove, the brand new pool bar. Day rates range from R95 to R195 on weekdays and R130 to R225 over the weekend.
Braai tip: To get juicier, evenly cooked meat, remove it from the fridge and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before braaing.
Finfoot Lake Reserve, North West
If you're based in Johannesburg or Pretoria, Make a beeline for Finfoot Lake Reserve, just a 90-minute drive away. It offers a range of family-friendly activities such as 4x4 game drives, barge cruises, and guided Segway safaris. What we love most about this local lodge is the outdoor boma, where you can sip sundowners under the stars and huddle close to the fire.
Braai tip: If you're catering to strict veg eaters, prep some potato salad (with egg-free mayo) and braaibroodjies. After the meat, these sides are arguably the hero of any braai.
Olifants River Lodge, Mpumalanga
Situated on the edge of the Great Olifants River on the R555, this Highveld hideaway proves a scenic spot for a Heritage Day holiday. Rally the kids, and bring Ouma and Oupa too – there are trails to hike, fish to catch and an indoor heated pool to wallow in. With several braai-equipped accommodation options (including campsites, chalets, and rondavels), there's something to suit all budgets and braaiers.
Braai tip: Once your meat is off the braai, wait 5-10 minutes before slicing or serving if your guests can wait that long). This allows the juices to settle back into the meat and prevents burnt fingers and palates.
Stonehill River Lodge, Western Cape
If the Garden Route is calling this Heritage Day, celebrate with friends and family at Stonehill River Lodge in Swellendam. The two and four-bedroom villas come with fully-equipped kitchens and outdoor covered braai areas – some even feature a hot tub! If you want to add a few outdoor feasts, ask the Stonehill team to prep a picnic pack, complete with snacks, utensils and blankets.
Braai tip: Up for a fish braai? If you can smell the sea air, it's the perfect time to buy some freshly caught snoek to baste with apricot jam.
Braaing is a big deal in South Africa. If you want to book a getaway over the upcoming Heritage Day holiday, get in touch for last-minute availability at our hotels and resorts: 0861 010 347