South Africa’s top 10 budget Christmas getaways

Posted by Kirsten Smart on 13 December 2010

If Christmas presents are leaving you strapped for cash and treating yourself (and your family) to a little getaway this season is looking to be a tad unrealistic, don’t despair! There may just be a way to have that memorable holiday and keep the moths out of your wallet. Read on to find out where to stay for less.

Kwazulu Natal

1. Get away to: Penwarn Country Lodge
Where: Just outside the Underberg, about an hour and a half’s drive from Pietermaritzburg
Why: Set in a picturesque valley surrounded by cows and horses, here you can truly catch your breath and relax. Activities include horse riding, hiking and fly-fishing (trout and bass), guided bird-watching and mountain biking. For those who enjoy the rush of adrenaline, there’s abseiling and tubing. You can even taking part in cattle roundups on horseback!
Cost: Rates are from R200 a person per night.
Children: All ages welcome.
More info: Tel 033-701-1368, e-mail Penwarn or visit Penwarn

2. Get away to: Yengele Paradise Boutique Lodge
Where: Situated in tranquil Trafalgar, two hour’s drive from Durban.
Why: If you want to spend the morning on the beach, have a lazy lunch and then lounge around not doing very much, then this is the spot for you. Go birding or take advantage of the river mouth and do a spot of kiteboarding.
Cost: Self-catering costs from R230 to R290 a person a night and B&B from R290 to R355 a person.
Children: ?Kids from 14 and up are welcome.
More info: Tel 039-313-0641, cell 073-022- 3329, e-mail Yengele Paradise, or visit Yengele Paradise Lodge

Western Cape

3. Get away to: Arniston Beach House
Where: Arniston, two and a half hour’s drive from Cape Town
Why: You can have your very own seaside holiday house this summer! Overlooking the ocean, this beach house is the perfect beach getaway. Sleeping 12 altogether, it’s great for a group of friends or a family get-together. With a lawn behind the house where you can play ball games, the famous coastal cave and a swimming and surfing beach a two-minute drive away, there’s no shortage of activities for the young and the not-so-young.
Cost: The 12-sleeper house is R3 500 a night, depending on season and number of people.
Children: ?All ages are welcome and there’s a stash of board games to play. Keep an eye on toddlers as the back of the house is open to the road and seafront.
More info: Tel 083-679-8576, e-mail Arniston Beach House or visit Arniston Beach House.

4. Get away to: Chapman’s Peak Manor
Where: Noordhoek, half an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
Why: A mere one-kilometre stroll to the beach, this well-equipped, self-catering hideaway is endowed with with breathtaking mountain and sea views. Activities in the area include horse riding along the beach, whale watching and shark diving. Alternatively you can choose to laze around next to the pool or on the beach.
Cost: Rates start at R350 per person per night
Children: There are discounts for children and under fives stay free.
More info: ?Tel 021-789-2553, e-mail Chapman’s Peak Manor or vist Chapman’s Peak Manor.

5. Get away to: Pine Tree Cottage
Where: Kleinmond, an hour and fifteen minute’s drive from Cape Town
Why: If you’re looking for an intimate, coastal getaway surrounded by a beautiful garden, this B&B is for you. Within walking distance of the coastal path, the beach, shops and restaurants, Pine Tree Cottage is a very affordable gem.
Cost: ?R250 a person a night sharing, with specials for pensioners. Under 16s pay half price and under sixes stay free.
Children: ?All ages are welcome.
More info: Tel 028-271-3770, e-mail Cag’s or visit Cag’s holiday.

6. Get away to: De Oude Herberg Guest House
Where: Tulbagh, 1 hour, 30 minutes drive from Cape Town.
Why: This affordable, four-star guesthouse is one of Tulbagh’s national monuments on the historic Church Street. Dine under big, shady trees, stroll down Church Street experience some of the valley’s wine estates. Sounds like the perfect escape!
Cost: B&B costs R350 to R400 a person sharing.
Children: Children over the age of 12 are welcome
More info: Tel 023-230- 0260, e-mail De Oude Herberg or visit De Oude Herberg House.


7. Get away to: Rietvlei Nature Reserve
Where: Pretoria, one hour’s drive from Johannesburg
Why: ?Fully equipped, self-catering chalets right in the heart of the Nature Reserve afford you some great downtime. Hear the call of fish eagles from your balcony and keep your eyes peeled for white rhino, zebra, buffalo and, if you’re lucky, cheetah. Don’t forget to bring your mountain bike; there are two short trails for you to enjoy.
Cost: The chalets are R700. Camping is R25 a vehicle and R50 a person a night.
Children: Keep a close eye on small children, as there are hippos and crocs in the dam.
More info: Tel 012-358-1819 or vist Rietvlei Nature

8. Get away to: Lama Lodge
Where: De Tweedespruit, one hour and 15 minutes drive from Johannesburg.
Why: If you’re looking for a great place to escape to with friends or family, this lodge is where it’s at. Equipped with an enormous outdoor entertainment area equipped with a braai and a massive, 30-seater spa bath, a sizeable garden, sun loungers as well as farm animals, including the shaggy llamas, the Lama Lodge has to be the most happening and reasonably priced self-catering accommodation out there.
Cost: Rates are R280 a person a night.
Children: ?All ages welcome
More info: Cullinan Info, tel 012-734-1111, cell 084-828-4858 or e-mail Lama Lodge.

9. Get away to: De Hoek Country Lodge
Where: Near Heidelberg 1 hour drive from Johannesburg.
Why: If you enjoy a friendly, farm vibe, then head to the De Hoek Country Lodge. Eat a hearty, farm breakfast and enjoy the animals whilst soaking up the sun. The warm hospitality of the owners as well as the stunning surroundings make you feel right at home and the best part is: it’s light on your pocket.
Cost: B&B is R300 a person a night in the rooms.
Children: ?All ages welcome.
More info: Tel 016-342-2103, cell 082-928-6839, e-mail or visit De Hoek Country Lodge.

Eastern Cape

10. Get away to: The Nest B&B
Where: Gonubie, 20 minuit’s drive from East London.
Why: Take off your thinking cap and don your relaxation floppy hat: Gonubie spells holiday. Refresh, restore and unwind in affordable, three-star B&B/self-catering accommodation. Enjoy the treed garden, munch on hearty breakfasts, laze by the pool or, if you’re feeling more active, take a hike or go golfing at the nearby course. Only four minute’s drive from the beach, this is a vacation destination you’ll never forget.
Cost: B&B: from R250 pp sharing. Self Catering: from R200 pp sharing
Children: all ages welcome
More info: Tel 043 740 1809, cell 082 448 6882, email The Nest B&B or visit The Nest B&B

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