7 super cheap holiday destinations in your backyard

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Taking a little break from your surroundings can be the most therapeutic thing you can do for you and your family this holiday.

Quick getaways can get pricey, but they don’t have to. We’ve put together a list of really affordable holiday destinations right in your backyard.



What to do: Visit uShaka Marine world

Why: uShaka has non-stop entertainment from Sea World, Wet ’n Wild, uShaka Beach and the Village Walk. uShaka is great fun for kids and adults.

Accommodation: There are cheap B&Bs less than 7km from uShaka. There’s affordable accommodation not too far from the beaches and CBD. You can find a place to sleep for as little as R350 per person per night.

Flights: Flights to Durban range from R748 per person.


What to do: Besides the ocean being on your doorstep, this is the place to be if you’re looking for tranquillity and peace. It’s less than an hour from Durban’s CBD and 30 minutes from King Shaka Airport. You can visit quiet beaches like Salt Rock Beach and Umdloti too.

Accommodation: Things can get pricey, so expect to pay around R3 200 for a two-night stay.

Transport: It’s only 54 minutes to Ballito from Durban.


3.  Cape Town

What to do: Visit Ratanga Junction for theme-park rides and other fun stuff; the V&A Waterfront for boat rides; Long Street for delicious food; Table Mountain; and Muizenberg beach. For good music and fun, you can go to the Hope@PaulCluver Summer Festival on until February and featuring the likes of Karen Zoid and The Parlotones to name a few. Tickets are from R180/pp to R330/pp.

Accommodation: You could get a place to sleep from as little as R450.

Flights: A return flight can cost R2 600 from Johannesburg and R2 400 from Durban.


4. Johannesburg

What to do: Climb to the top of Africa’s tallest office building, the Carlton Centre, for R15; go beer-tasting at SAB World of Beer for R105; or visit the Mountain Sanctuary Park and enjoy swimming in the natural rock pools in the park situated in teh Magaliesberg area. But you need to book in advance.

Accommodation: There are cheap places in Johannesburg and in Magaliesberg for as little as R295.

Flights: Return flights from Cape Town R2 300 and Durban not more than R1 300.

5. Pilanesberg

What to do: Visit Pilanesberg National Park & Game Reserve. It offers the best romantic getaway in the unspoilt wilderness. Almost all the animal species native to southern Africa can be found here, including the Big Five, wild dog, toan, tsessebe, sable antelope and more than 360 bird species.

Accommodation: You pay as little as R 1370.

Transport: It is only 3 hours’ drive from Johannesburg.

 6. Soweto

What to do: Soweto is the home of historians. Visit the Apartheid Museum, The Hector Pieterson Memorial Site and Mandela House Museum. Expect to pay under R100 for entry for adults and there are discounts for children and pensioners. There are also many restaurants on the famous Vilakazi Street.

Accommodation: Guesthouse and B&B accommodation in Soweto start from R650. But there are cheaper places for about R325, but you’ll have to drive a fair bit.

Transport: There are taxis from Johannesburg to Soweto for as little as R15.


What to do: Limpopo is bushveld country. If you love the grasslands and thorn trees, this is the place to be. You can visit the mountain hamlet of Haenertsburg, the ancient cycads at Modjadji village, the ruins of Mapungubwe, the Kruger National Park, Bela-Bela, the Vondo Forest and Lake Fundudzi. A full-day excursion to Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre and Hoedspruit Endangered Wildlife Tour costs R1 080/pp.

Accommodation: Things can be a bit costly, but there are cheap lodges from R250.

Transport: Driving to Limpopo can take about four hours from Johannesburg and just two hours to Bela-Bela.

SOURCES: Getaway, Sleeping-Out, Cheapflights