10 weekend getaways near Joburg

Posted by Paul Maughan-Brown on 20 September 2021

If you’re in the mood for a weekend break, take a look through this list of great getaways not too far from Johannesburg.

There’s a healthy spatter of game viewing destinations, a woodland wonderland, a couple of farm retreats, trout fishing havens, and even an ox-wagon camp. We’ve included locations to cater for everything from a romantic trip for two, to beds in bulk for families and friends. There’s something for everyone wanting to get away from the city for a quick break.

1. Thabela Thabeng Mountain Retreat, Parys

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 1 hour 30 minutes

Thabela Thabeng Mountain Retreat, Parys

Thabela Thabeng is 100km from Johannesburg and lies in the midst of the Vredefort Dome, a world heritage site, between the mountains and the Vaal River. The luxury chalets are built on the edge of a deep kloof in the mountains and fireplaces for winter warmth and balconies with magnificent views providing a welcoming break away from the hassle of everyday life. Each chalet is fully equipped for self-catering and the youth hostel and silo are ideal for large groups and also offer self-catering facilities. Activities include hiking, mountain biking, stargazing, bow shooting, abseiling, and much more.

Cost: From R1,320 per unit per night
Contact: 056 818 1116, [email protected],

2. Mistique Waters, Parys

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 1 hour 10 minutes

16 weekend getaways near Joburg

Find this self-catering guest house right next to the Vaal River. It boasts magnificent views and guests can stay and relax in their apartments. The apartments are comfortably furnished and feature en-suite bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens, televisions with DStv access, and air conditioning. Mistique Waters is within walking distance of the Parys Golf and Country Estate and the River Spa, as well as all the local shops. Activities in the surrounding area include river rafting, fly fishing, abseiling, 4×4 trails, hiking routes, helicopter, and hot air balloon rides, bird-watching, and picnicking. Guests can also visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Vredefort Dome, or Parys’ famous antique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and coffee shops.

Cost: From R1,700 per four-sleeper self-catering unit, from R450 per person sharing two-sleeper B&B
Contact: 056 050 0880; 072 405 2338, [email protected]

3. Hollybrooke Adventure Farms

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 1 hour 10 minutes

Hollybrooke Farms

Quad biking is one of the many activities offered at Hollybrooke Farms.

Live your farm-owner dream for a few days, in one of Hollybrooke Farms’ self-catering stone cottages on the banks of the Magalies river. Observe and experience the slower pace of our country’s agricultural backbone on this working farm with cattle, crops, and pecan nuts. Farm animals will entertain younger kids, while a variety of activities is available to the whole family. Explore the property on horseback or quad bike, or let out the marksman in you by practicing archery and air-rifle target shooting in the firing range. Once your aim is up to scratch, pit yourselves against each other in a game of paintball. If all this sounds a bit too much like work, soak in the sun and the view of the beautiful Magaliesburg.

Cost: From R1500 per four-sleeper cabin per night, self-catering
Contact: [email protected]

4. Cherry Grove Luxury Apartments, Dullstroom

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 2 hours 30 minutes

Cherry grove luxury apartments

The Cherry Grove apartments are reminiscent of a Tuscan piazza

These luxury en-suite apartments have private balconies which overlook the piazza on the edge of Dullstroom. The piazza itself houses The Duck & Trout – a vibrant watering hole for Dullstroom locals – as well as an art gallery, coffee shop, and gift shop. With fireplaces and DStv, these apartments are perfect for cozy nights in. It will be difficult to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, but excellent trout fishing in the area will reward those who do. The rise of trout will be the only thing which demands you be on time, however, as Dullstroom is all about relaxing and recovering from the stresses of big city life.

Cost: From R550 per person
Contact: 083 484 9828; [email protected]

5. Mabalingwe Nature Reserve, Bela-Bela

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 2 hours

Mabalingwe Nature Reserve, near Bela-Bela, consists of 12,500 hectares of malaria-free bushveld and has all the features of a good family resort. Reader John Miles says, ‘If the traffic plays along, you could leave the city after work on a Friday afternoon and reach Mabalingwe with enough time to pitch your tent and still enjoy the sunset. There’s a good network of game-viewing roads within the reserve, most of which you can drive with a Citi Golf. There’s a large caravan park with 67 shady stands and an assortment of self-catering options. For groups of up to 10, we recommend renting Sekelbosgat or Rooiboklaagte lodges – they’re very private, each with four en-suite rooms, a fully-kitted kitchen, outdoor braai area, and pool.

Cost: Camping from R185 per stand per night (max. four), 10-sleeper Rooiboklaagte house is from R3,850 per night
Contact: 014 001 7011, [email protected]www.mabalingwe.co.za

6. Tussen-i-Bome Guest Farm, Cullinan

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 1 hour 10 minutes

Tussen-i-Bome offers a variety of accommodation including camping, self-catering chalets, and three ox-wagon camps, sleeping four people each. These unique camps give you the opportunity to spend the night in authentic ox wagons, dating back to between 1860 and 1935. Hiking trails provide a way to stretch your legs and admire the bush, while the swimming pool and kids play area mean that youngsters are unlikely to be short of entertainment. Drink sundowners on the hilltop deck overlooking the whole farm in the evening before baking bread in the traditional clay bound to go with your braai. If the novelty of sleeping in a wagon isn’t enough, the huge half-barrel bath will certainly be the cherry on the top of a blast-from-the-past weekend.

Cost: From R350 per night (camping/caravan stands), from R600 per person (ox wagons), from R500 per person (bos-lapas)
Contact: 0825111169, [email protected]

7. Villa Paradiso Country Manor, Hartbeespoort

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 1 hour

Villa Paradiso Hartbeespoort

Villa Paradiso is a country manor with 60 double bedrooms 

Villa Paradiso sits in a lofty location, overlooking the town of Hartbeespoort and the Hartbeespoortdam. With most rooms boasting private balconies or access to the manicured gardens, there is a certain grandeur to the villa. It is a great base from which to explore the town of Hartbeespoort, which is big enough to explore for a couple of days, but small enough to feel like you’ve escaped from the rush of big city living. Visit Jasmyn Plaasprodukte farm stall – chockablock with produce from local farmers, from fresh fruit and nuts to home-baked goods.

Cost: From R549 per person
Contact: 012 253 1847/8

8. Brookwood Estate and Trout Farm, near Krugersdorp

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 50 minutes

Brookwood Estate and trout farm. Photo by Villiers Steyn.

Brookwood Estate and trout farm. Photo by Villiers Steyn.

Walking down to the five dams on Brookwood Estate and Trout Farm, on the banks of the Blaauwbank River near Krugersdorp, you’ll think you’ve stepped into the rural English countryside. The grounds are well maintained and dams are fully stocked. All fishing gear is available for daily hire and fishing advice is free. The two cosy, four-sleeper chalets and one two-sleeper cabin on the property are popular, so make sure you book in advance.

Cost: Entrance per adult R80, self-catering chalets from R350 per person, camper cabins from R180 per person
Contact: 082 856 2448 (Wed-Sat) / 072 256 7561 (Sun-Tue), [email protected]

9. Cruise-N-Snooze, Vanderbijlpark

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 1 hour

Cruise-N-Snooze, Vanderbijlpark

Try something new and spend your weekend on water instead of the boring old ground

Be adventurous and rent a Cruise-N-Snooze houseboat on the Vaal River. The fully-equipped luxury houseboats, which sleep four people and are moored in a private lagoon, are separated from the main river by a small island. From here there are approximately 55km of navigable waters with various tributaries to be explored at your leisure. On-board activities include fishing, bird-watching, swimming or just relaxing under the sun or starry sky. Places of interest on the riverbank include restaurants, bars, family entertainment venues, a casino, golf courses, and spas.

Cost: From R1,600 per night (min. 2 nights), excluding fuel deposit and refundable security deposit
Contact: 084 550 8798, [email protected]

10. New Horizons Farm, Magaliesburg

Travel time from Joburg city centre: 1 hour 15 minutes

New Horizons Farm house

This six-sleeper self-catering house is located just seven kilometres from Magaliesburg. Take a walk through the house’s beautiful setting on the New Horizons farm before settling down in front of the wood-burning oven in the living room for the evening. Beautiful mountain views without a high-rise building in sight will leave you feeling rested and clear-minded. In close proximity of the farm house you can visit the Maropeng Visitor Centre to learn a bit about The Cradle of Humankind, and explore the Sterkfontein Caves. Perfect for families with kids or pets.

Cost: From R950 per person
Contact: 0822933495, [email protected], or book online

Please note that all prices below are subject to change at each establishment’s discretion. Please check with them before travelling.

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