If you’re anything like us, you’re probably dreaming about your next holiday already… even though you’ve probably just gotten back from a December break.
Well, we’re here not only to tell you that it’s totally normal and you have nothing to feel guilty about, but also to encourage you by giving you an exact rundown of public and school holidays, so you can plan more easily.
March to May
School holidays 1 - 13 April
We have some bad news – the first next public holiday of the year lands on a Saturday, which means most of us really don’t get much out of it.
Saturday 21 March – Human Rights Day
Since it is Human Rights Day, however, you may want to practice your right to health and well-being by taking the Friday or the Monday off work and explore somewhere close to home.
Alternatively, you can hang in there for two weeks and wait for…
Friday 3 April – Good Friday
Monday 6 April – Family Day
Whether you celebrate the actual religious holiday or not, the great thing about the Easter break is that it gives you enough time to actually hit the road and head somewhere you wouldn’t normally be able to on an ordinary weekend.
If you have kids, you will notice that Easter weekend also falls right at the beginning of their school holidays. So, why not maximise on the public holidays and take off two or three days on either side of the weekend to treat them to a slightly extended road trip?
While you’re at it, be sure to see how many of these 53 fabulous farm stalls you can tick off your list.
Just remember that this is a very busy time of year as far as traffic is concerned on all the national roads, so start practicing your patience already.
Friday 1 May – Workers Day
The beginning of May brings the first standalone (non-Easter) long weekend of the year!
If you did go away over Easter, why not stay put and explore your own backyard for a change? We bet there are a whole bunch of places you’ve been meaning to go and things you’ve been wanting to try in your own town or city, which you keep putting off.
Well, it’s time to change that, whether it be taking a hike in the Eastern Cape, rediscovering the concrete jungle of Joburg, exploring Cape Town's hidden beaches or taking a fresh look at Durban.
June to August
School holidays 26 June – 20 July
Winter school holidays are always a winner for taking a bush break! The weather is mild in the lowveld, you don’t have to worry about malaria and the vegetation is dry enough to ensure great game viewing. Check out our bush section for inspiration. Also be sure to book your bush holiday early, as accommodation tends to fill up quite quickly at this time of year.
Tuesday 16 June – Youth Day
What’s nice about a public holiday falling on a Tuesday, is that you can secure a four-day weekend with only putting in one day’s leave. You could even consider taking the Friday off too and get a whole 5-day break.
Since the school holidays are 10 days away at this point, it’s a great opportunity for those who don’t have kids to skip crowds, traffic and all that jazz.
Sunday 9 August – Women’s Day
Before you get despondent about yet another public holiday falling on a weekend, take heart in the fact that it will be observed on Monday, the 10th ! This is what happens to all public holidays that fall on a Sunday in South Africa.
September to November
School holiday 2 October – 12 October
Thursday 24 September Heritage Day
Or as it has become known… Braai Day! While it might not be the most convenient time to take a little spring break, be sure to check out these cool spots to braai around the country.
School holidays 9 December - starting date in 2016 not clear yet
Wednesday 16 December Day of Reconciliation
Friday 25 December Christmas Day
Saturday 26 December Day of Goodwill
Friday 1 January New Year's Day
If you don't have much leave to use in December, this isn't the best year to rely on public holidays to bolster you. Yes, since Boxing Day aka Day of Goodwill falls on a Saturday, that's one less weekday in the bag. At least New Year's Day falls on a Friday!
But hey, we don't want to stress you out about things happening a whole year away...
Other non-holiday celebration days you might want to be aware of
Valentine's Day - Saturday 14 February
St. Patrick's Day - Tuesday 17 February
Mother's Day - Sunday 10 May
Father's Day - Sunday 21 June
Nelson Mandela Day - Saturday 18 July
Halloween - Saturday 31 October