Affordable winter breaks near Johannesburg

Posted on 27 July 2021

Leave behind the hustle and bustle of city life and recharge your batteries at these beautiful escapes. These destinations are not located further than 4 hours away from Joburg’s city centre, and that well-deserved break has never looked so inviting.

 1. Zwakala River Retreat, Magoebaskloof

Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

Pack your lilos and inflatables to spend a weekend in the water at this magical Magoebaskloof farm. For a loft-living experience, stay in the Barn House, which sleeps two (or four if you use the sleeper couch), it has a braai area overlooking the forest, self-catering kitchen and cosy interiors. A short walk away, the Broederstroom River (the source of the Great Letaba River) is perfect for summer splashing or wild trout fishing and the onsite, award-winning Zwakala Brewery offers a delicious range of beers and gin and tonic on tap.

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 3h45

2. Rissington Inn, Hazyview

10 really affordable summer stays close to Joburg

Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

Staying here is more like visiting a friends farm than checking into a B&B. The atmosphere is relaxed, staff are attentive without being overbearing and the space is slick, but you still feel like you can kick your feet up on the furniture if you want to. There are plenty of board games in the bar area and no TV in the rooms, making it the place to really connect with family or friends. Brush up on your Backgammon, Monopoly, 30 seconds or Balderdash (my personal favourite). It’s a ten-minute drive from Phabeni Gate and the Kruger National Park. If you want to head out on safari early, they can prepare a picnic breakfast for you. The Budget Rooms are smaller, but still comfortable, closest to the pool and housed in the former tobacco barn. These rooms form part of the original inn, which started 24 years ago with just five rooms. If you’re after space, the Superior Rooms are plusher with wide verandahs and daybeds overlooking sensational sunset views.

Prices start at R620 per adult.

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 4 hours

3. NAD Lifestyle Accommodation, White River

White River

Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

The perfect bush-break for city slickers, these beautifully styled apartments offer the best of both worlds set among indigenous trees on a 40-hectare farm. Just five kilometres from the central White River, these homes are spacious, full of flair, within easy driving distance of exceptional restaurants and just an hour from the gates of the Kruger National Park. This stay is particularly geared towards mountain bikers (or trail runners) with MTB trails starting just outside the gate and cutting through the nearby forests. A central bike wash is available and bikes can be conveniently stored on your own patio. Although there’s a host of eateries in town, the kitchens are a dream set up with high-quality facilities such as gas stoves, Ouma rusks and filter coffee for breakfast, plus each apartment has a private patio with its own gas braai and romantically lit outside entertainment area.

Prices range from R700 per adult.

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 3h30

4. Sima-Kade, Magaliesberg


Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

Rustic and off-the-grid, the beautiful Bush Camp at Sima Kade (which means tree of life) is the perfect group getaway. The camp is booked out by one group at a time and sleeps 16 between four treehouses and four regular cabins, with shared bathrooms. It’s set beside a river, with the twittering of busy weaver birds and the gurgling sound of water. There are rock pools for a refreshing dip just a short hike away, two fire pits for soulful evening chats and covered space in a forested setting for chilling out in the heat of the day (or when it rains). All in all, it’s just a delightful stay that’s thoughtfully designed to immerse you into the natural environment and surprisingly close to Joburg.

Prices range from R420 per person

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 1 hour

5. Miz Goozberry, Kaapsehoop

Kaapsehoop stay

Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

Famous for her cakes and scrumptious food, this homely B&B is decorated in pastel florals and warm wooden finishings, French country style. Overlooking the plantations from the misty peaks of the quaint Kaapsehoop village, there are two cottages to choose from, The Nest and The Birdhouse, plus a third room called The Snug. All are cosy with heaters, filter coffee and rusks, salt and pepper, milk and more. Breakfast is an event – fresh juice, owner Berry’s homemade granola, double cream yoghurt, fruits, with a selection of homemade muffins or scones, quiches, home-baked bread, preserves, imported Italian cheeses, smoked meats and locally made pickles and curd. If you’re truly an avid foodie, book dinner with her in advance.

Prices range from R680

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 4 hours

6. Pablo House, Melville

Claiming the highest point in Melvile, this gorgeous stay might even work out cheaper than an uber home from a night on the town. Pablo House is no ordinary B&B. Each room has fast WiFi, compact Nespresso machines, UHD Smart TVs with Netflix (you simply must watch the series Narcos while here), Marshall speakers to play your own tunes and luxurious rainshowers with Charlotte Rhys toiletries. Breakfast means catching a tuk-tuk to the trendy Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar, down the road on Fourth Avenue.


Here are a few more places to visit in Johannesburg.


Image source: Melanie van Zyl

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