May weekend escapes

2013-05-03 15:14

Just because winter's creeping ever closer, it doesn't mean that you have to stay put indoors all the time! We've rounded up a few fun, thought-provoking and entertaining events to fill your weekends up with this month. 

Dancing in other words, Spier

Dancing in Other Words / Die Dansende Digtersfeesis an international poetry festival, curated by Breyten Breytenbach, that will take place at Spier, outside Stellenbosch, on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 May 2013.

Eleven poets, each internationally renowned in their own right, will gather at Spier on 6 May, for one week, to explore poetry's age-old function as "the dreaming vein in the body of society".

The group includes Nobel Prize frontrunners, political dissidents, activists and award-winning literary figures from South Africa, the Republic of Korea, China, the USA, Germany, Holland, Slovenia and Israel.

When: 10 and 11 May

Contact: Phone Spier at 021 809 1100/ 021 809 1946 or email


Cradle of Humankind sheepdog trials, Muldersdrift

While it may sound like the type of thing you only attend if you're into agriculture, sheepdog trials actually offer a fun and informative day outing, especially for animal lovers and families with kids. Taking place at Borderbrook Farm in Muldersdrift, spectators can enjoy watching the incredible skills of this lovable dog breed. Bring your picnic basket as there is no catering on field. Grab your fold-up chairs, umbrellas and sunscreen for an enjoyable day out! 

When: 10 - 11 May

Contact: Phone Borderbrook Farm on 082 886-7652 for more information

Mothers Day Vintage train to Cullinan, Pretoria

Get the family together and treat your mom to a nostalgic Mother's Day outing on a vintage steam train from Pretora to the historical diamond village of Cullinan. 

This Mothers' Day get the family together and treat Mum to a nostalgic Mothers''s Day trip on a vintage steam train. Relive the era of old-time railway travel and experience a fantastic day out in the historic diamond village of Cullinan. Take lunch at one of the several quaint cafe-restaurants in Cullinan or 'bring your own' and make use of the braai fires that are provided free.

Train departs 08h30 from Hermanstad Station, Miechaelson Street, Hermanstad, Pretoria-Tshwane and returns approximately 17:30.

When: 12 May

Contact: Friends of the Rail on 012 767-7913 for bookings and more information

Celtic Fest, Modderfontein Sports Complex

The Celtic Fest began in 2010 and 3 400 visitors - kilted and un-kilted - enjoyed a day of pipe bands, Irish and Highland dancing, drumming and Highland games that included broadsword skirmishes. This year it returns, bursting with more zeal and fervour than ever before. 

The Celtic Fest organization of Southern Africa aims to promote the rich Celtic culture in South Africa and render assistance to Celtic Culture groups including Musicians, Artists, Performers & Small Businesses alike. The Celtic Fest is a Three Day festival celebrating all things Celtic with a wide range of fun & entertainment for visitors young and younger.

When: 10 - 12 May

Contact: Committee Chairman, Pete Beart on 083 229 6621


Tourism Indaba, Durban ICC

Interested in what's happening in South Africa's booming tourism industry? There's no better place to find out than at Durban's Tourism Indaba. It's an especially great opportunity to network with companies and individuals if you're in the industry, or dabbling with the idea of getting involved in some way. 

When: 11 - 14 May

Contact: Call 0861 077 784 or send an email to


Franschhoek literary festival, 17 - 19 May

For three days Franschhoek will become a bustling get-together of readers, writers, booksellers and publishers. This year's theme is Polemics and Politics and the amazing speaker line-up includes: Alexander McCall Smith, Anthony Horowitz, Antony Beevor, Kate Mosse, Paul Geraghty, Mbuyiseni Redi Thlabi, Finuala Dowling, Fred de Vries, Jo-Anne Richards, Anchien Troskie, Sydda Essop and Ndumiso Ngcobo. 

The visiting authors were selected for their exceptional writing, their approachability and their passion for promoting reading.

When: 17 - 19 May

Contact: Franschhoek Wine Valley & Tourist Association on 021 876-3603


Reforest Fest, Gansbaai

For the third year running, Greenpop will be hosting The Reforest Fest in Platbos forest just outside Gansbaai. This exciting festival has seen over 3000 indigenous trees being planted in the southern-most forest of Africa. Platbos, a relic forest with trees of over 1000 years old, forms part of one of the rare and endangered ecosystems of the Western Cape.

The annual Reforest Fest is an attempt to protect and grow the ancient forest through a massive reforestation festival, where we plant trees, hear great music, eat delicious food, and share a weekend of great energy and spirit in Platbos Forest. 

When: 17 -19 May

Contact: Greenpop on 021 461 9265 or send them an email to


Cars in the Park, Pietermaritzburg

Over 1 000 exhibits ranging from KZN's oldest car, a 1904 Cadillac, to the very latest, Cars in the Park promises to be a day outing to thrill both young and old alike. Marquee clubs usually turn out in full force and you are able to view classic MGs, Triumphs, Alfas, Jaguars and Ferraris in an attractive park like setting. Industrial and farm machinery is also on display along with classic and vintage motorcycles plus a unique Stanley Steamer.

When: Sunday, 19 May

Contact: Tony on 082 782-9640 for more information.

Port & Sherry festival, The Mill, Magaliesberg

Approximately 35 minutes' drive from Johannesburg, the Magaliesberg Port & Sherry festival is all about promoting the culture of good living. Sit around one of the many bonfires and warm your body or toast a marshmellow inbetween tasting some of South Africa's best fortified wines. More than 40 wine producers will be sharing they best they have to offer with over 100 wines.

When: 26 May

Contact: 082 829-9952

Lowveld Antiques Fair, Nelspruit, 27 May

Umbali will be hosting the first Lowveld Antiques Fair in aid of the SPCA. Umbali is situated 5km out of Nelspruit on the R40 (Barberton Road).

The world renowned antiques valuators Stephan Welz & Co will do valuations at no charge but donations towards the SPCA are requested.
There will be a Victorian Tea garden, serving real petit fours and cucumber sandwiches, as well as light lunches, among tasteful décor of roses and lace. There will also be live light classical performances by local artists.

When: 27 May

Contact: Louis Schoeman on 071 675-9045 for more information.

Read more on:    weekend escapes  |  travel south africa  |  lifestyle

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.