Local holiday destinations that will help you avoid the crowds

Local holiday destinations that will help you avoid the crowds

Here's how you can avoid vacationing at crowded holiday spots this festive season.

Staying healthy during the Easter holidays

The December holidays are a wonderful time to recharge and spend some valuable time with your loved ones. 

The problem is that everyone is trying to make the most of the great weather and festive cheer, so popular holiday destinations book up quickly and get very crowded! If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of Cape Town or Ballito, here are some local gems which will give you all the holiday joy without the crowds!


In a country with 3,000 kilometres of coastline, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine that you could find some uncrowded beaches at pretty much any time of the year, right? If you aren’t willing to sacrifice a beach holiday, you can get your dose of vitamin sea at Tietiesbaai near Paternoster on the West Coast. The waters are calm and the sand a bright white, but you’ll have to camp. If that’s not your thing but you’re a West Coast kinda family, head over to the breathtakingly beautiful West Coast National Park, where you can spend your Christmas surrounded by fynbos, a stunning lagoon, and best of all…peace and quiet!

Otherwise, the Eastern Cape also offers plenty of options which are far less touristy than its Western Cape siblings.

Birds and bergs

If you prefer to avoid sunbathing on the beach and opt for shaded trees, the sounds of birds chirping and perhaps a gently bubbling stream instead of crashing waves, you’re even more in luck. As South Africans flock over to the coastal regions, Joburgers can seek solace at Dream Lodge in the Magaliesburg or go further afield to the Magoebaskloof for something truly magical and unique. There are plenty of accommodation options to suit your budget and requirements, but we particularly like the Herb Cottage and Kuhestan farm, which is a working organic berry and avo farm offering guests delicious cordials, chutneys, preserves, and so much more.

Durbanites, on the other hand, can head inland to the Midlands area or opt for a Drakensberg retreat. The Midlands offers rolling hills, foodie attractions, and the mighty Howick falls – again, you’re spoilt for choice in terms of accommodation. For a restful and quiet breakaway which is still close enough to explore when you’re bored of relaxing (or is that wishful thinking?), why not look at Corrie Lyn Cottages in the Dargle Valley or opt for The Brook Cottage in Balgowan?


What’s more South African than a Christmas or New Year’s Eve spent round a boma with the sounds of the bush surrounding you? Bush getaways can be expensive and they do book up in advance, but because the whole concept of game lodges relies on being out in nature, they never feel packed or crowded. If it’s the Big Five you’re after, try a private game lodge in the Waterberg or Hoedpsruit, which is a little bit less packed than Kruger. Kwafubesi tented camp and Itaga lodge are both good mid-range options not too far from Gauteng. Those in KZN have the option of Nambiti reserve – Cheetah Ridge, for example, has a wonderful family suite on offer which is perfect for a relaxing getaway.

ALSO READ: Road trip safety: The things to check before you hit the road

Show's Stories