Weekend breaks near Johannesburg for under R600 per person

Posted on 16 June 2024

Looking for an affordable weekend break near Joburg? These 10 self-catering cottages and cabins are some of our favourites. They’re all under R600 per person per night and come endorsed by our Getaway journos and contributors.

1. Cheerio Trout Fishing & Holiday Resort, Magoebaskloof

Cost: From R700 per unit (sleeps two)
Contact: cheerio.co.za

Cheerio Resort

Three of the five cottages are face-brick, and the design-conscious may baulk at the lounge furniture: but if you’re on a budget and have an active family, these eight spotless cottages offer an affordable escape and facilities for fishing and various children’s games. The cottages ‒ dotted about the well-maintained lawns above the trout dams ‒ are each completely unique in style and configuration, and well-represented online. (Don’t confuse Cheerio Resort with neighbouring Cheerio Gardens; aside from the latter’s famously beautiful garden, it has a fabulous special-event venue as well as two self-catering cottages).

2. Kingfisher Cottage, Waterberg

Cost: From R500 per person per sharing
Contact: Tel 0825708474

Kingfisher Lodge

Within earshot of the trickling Palala River, Kingfisher Cottage is a spacious bushveld home in the Waterberg just three hours’ drive from Joburg. It’s one of four accommodation units in the Palala River Lodges collection and consists of a three-bedroom farmhouse with a cosy fireplace that takes centre stage in the open-plan living area and two en-suite rondavels nearby. It can accommodate up to 10 guests and has an on-site pool and a bird hide a short walk from the lodge. Pack a picnic and go for a drive to find the perfect spot in the 3000-hectare reserve. There are many scenic lookout points, 4×4 routes, waterbuck, giraffe and warthog to spot or just unwind on the lodge porch with a view of the Waterberg hills and harrumphing hippo for company.

3. Lindani, Waterberg

Cost: Self-catering R390 per person in the tented camp; from R585 per person in other lodges
Contact: Tel 0836315579, lindani.co.za

Lindani Affordable self catering accommodation near Johannesburg

With its own bushveld back garden, a gorgeous rock pool and an almost-guaranteed squadron of warthog mowing the lawns, Lindani is a self-catering, back-to-nature family escape that doesn’t disappoint. It’s 275 kilometres from Johannesburg and the accommodation options range from four-sleeper cottages and an eight-bed tented forest camp to the enormous 18-sleeper, four-house Motseng lodge complex. Spend time on the easy hiking trails, hire bicycles and cycle past wildebeest, zebra, eland and giraffe, or pack a picnic and stop at one of the five riverside sites to have a splash and cool down (one spot even has tubes for the lazy soakers). Owners Sam and Peggy van Coller put quality first and most of the self-catering units have good gas stoves and braais, dishwashers, a potjie pot and trusted-brand electronics.

READ: An insider’s guide to the real Waterberg

4. Riverstill Guest House, Groot Marico

Cost: From R410 per person per night, minimum of two nights
Contact: riverstill.co.za

Riverstill Guest House Affordable self catering accommodation near Johannesburg

The Riverstill Guest House lies deep within a valley. Get up early and head to the river to experience the peace. There’s also a labyrinth for private meditation and tree walks can be arranged. Besides being knowledgeable about almost everything, owner Jacques du Plessis is also quite the cook and prepares healthy, wholesome meals. There are four rustic cottages spread out on the farm.

5. Riverman Cabin, Mpumalanga

Cost: R900 for two people sharing
Contact: Tel +27 13 285 0155, rivermancabin.co.za

Riverman Cabin Affordable self catering accommodation near Johannesburg

Seven comfortable self-catering country cottages ‒ six with fireplaces and one with a grand antique coal stove ‒ nestle around a series of trout-filled dams. Choose from the more isolated two- to four-sleeper log cabins (a favourite was the private Wiggly Stone) or one of four brick cottages, which are more closely situated and can sleep two, four and bigger families of 10. The open-plan units are comfortably equipped, including a microwave and braai, or eat at Mine View, the on-site restaurant. Its signature trout dish is an affordable R80, and you don’t have to do the dishes (a housekeeper costs an extra 100 bucks, so you do the maths). There’s no television and terrible cellphone reception ‒ both of which are a good thing. Bring games to play around the fireplace, take undemanding walks on the working sheep and cattle farm or drill a few golf balls at the driving range. The owners plan on making their own mampoer in the near future.

6. Stone Tin Lodge, Mpumalanga

Cost: From R350 per person if you’re 10 guests
Contact: [email protected], stonetinlodge.co.za

Affordable self catering accommodation near Johannesburg

Sunlight streams in warming Stone Tin Lodge during the day and come nightfall, a large central fireplace heats up the open-plan lounge, dining and kitchen area, which is tastefully decorated with pale wood finishings, navy fabrics and Nguni-skin rugs. Set on a private farm about 30 kilometres on the Lydenburg side of Dullstroom, this spacious three-bedroom country home overlooks two trout-filled dams surrounded by rolling hills and is completely off the grid, running primarily from solar energy and gas (there’s a generator too, just in case). Each room in this corrugated iron and stone retreat has a basket filled with thick blankets, an en-suite loo, and the main room has a gorgeous ball-and-claw bath. Throw a fishing line, look for blesbok, black wildebeest and zebra on an easy hike or if it’s really cold out, surf DStv, snuggle on the couch and take in a movie.

READ: Exploring the wonders of Graskop Gorge

If this list wasn’t enough, take a look at a few more places to visit in Johannesburg.

ALSO READ: 5 things to do in the Vaal Triangle on a weekend


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