If you live in South Africa then you probably think that you have a few limitations as to what you can do during the holiday seasons. This is usually true if you don’t have a car but we all know you have that one friend with a bakkie and that might just be perfect this holiday season.
10. Go on a 4×4 adventure
This will definitely be for the people with an adventurous spirits and the need to dig. Along the coast of South Africa you might get a few places that do these kinds of trips, luckily you aren’t anywhere near the coast are you? If you live in a small town in the Karoo or you might live in the Capital, Pretoria then you can have some massive amounts of fun. Call up anyone you know that has a 4×4 vehicle and search the internet for a few minutes and you will discover the amazing South African past time of 4×4 adventures. These events can be anything from rally driving with a 1 ton bakkie to driving up a hill, having your navigator get out to eat an apple on a string and then running back into the vehicle just so you can reverse down the hill again. If that sounds stupid that’s because it is, but all the best things in life are. For those that like digging holes you will eventually get stuck and then it’s time to dig that bakkie out, one tire at a time. Nothing beats the smell of fresh coffee and mud caked cars in the morning.
You are not a true South African man until you’ve camped for at least one night somewhere where there is no toilet facilities or power, woman are measured in different ways. Most people think that camping is exclusive to those fancy resorts where the chalets are next to the camp grounds and I can honestly say that there is a certain appeal to that. However if you know a friend that has a family farm, since this is South Africa I am sure that you will know at least one person with a family farm, simply start arranging for a weekend away in the bush. This is something that tests your resolve and oddly enough your skills at digging, again. It is truly an enjoyable past time and anyone that’s willing should go with you.
8. Warm Beaches
South Africa is one of the few countries that has shores with two very different oceans. The East Coast is where I want you to go now. With some party heavy places like Ballito, Margate and Durban you can go through for one weekend and spend the night at a club and then sleep on the way back home. This is accomplishable and there have been times where the soft sand of any beach can feel as comfortable as an Sealy posturepedic bed. Above all else you have to make sure that your designated driver doesn’t drink and that he gets enough sleep, after the night he has had it’s always best if you pay for all the petrol and toll gates.
7. Cold Beaches
The true strength of a man is to see how long he can last in the ocean at any Cape Town beach. Usually after 10 minutes he will get a headache from the cold and come running out in search of a towel. This is the Atlantic Ocean, it can get well below freezing in these waters. When some friends and I went to Mossel Bay for a week we were able to last a full hour before we had to get something to drink from the cooler. Though that wasn’t the Atlantic in full; I shudder to think of the uncomfortable cold in those waters. So get in a car, take a tent with you and spend a long weekend down in the West Cape, you will get some new kinds of swimsuits.
For most of the year Knysna is a small town on the coast with nothing really amazing happening. However during the December holidays the town visibly changes; clubs stay open, there seems to be a perpetual party somewhere and there are so many people. This is all because Knysna is almost perfect in every way. Blue Flag beaches are a short drive away, the Tsitsikamma Woods is a short drive away, the lagoon is a short walk away and one of the most amazing nature reserves is a short paddle away. All of this means that the town is perfect for everyone of any age with any size of family. Students are known to frequent the bars while families enjoy the light shows and the world class restaurants. This place might be a little bit more expensive than the rest but it is definitely worth it.
5. Go to a small town
Parys, Clarens, Dullstroom and Paternoster all count as small towns. Luckily in South Africa you aren’t limited to just these towns. Our beautiful country almost looks like someone decided to paste a town every few kilometres away from each other. Every town is within driving distance from each other and there seems to be an unlimited amount of things to discover in them. When you first arrive everything will seem bland and boring but go and talk to some of the locals and soon you will find yourself dancing to Dozi’s stoep music in front of the local café with a crowd cheering you on. Can you believe that your brother ever said you can’t dance?
4. Klap n tekkie
A term that is as Afrikaans as you can get and it means that you are going to have to walk. Walking is one of South Africa’s favourite past times and as a local it is your obligation to learn how to do it properly. Get a few friends, not too many and simply start walking in a direction. If you’re at the beach go and see how far you can go. If you’re in a town go and find that one secret coffee shop that makes caramel flavoured icing without ever using caramel. The world is open for you so go explore.
3. Brave the Namib Desert
Did you know that the Sahara desert is actually growing? That should be terrifying luckily that’s a far way away. South Africa on the other hand has the Namib Desert that we share with Namibia and it’s extremely hot and dry. This desert isn’t as dead as most deserts, there are lizard, crickets, snakes and some other rather scary animals that call this place their home. You can choose to drive through this hot and deadly place or you can do it in true Afrikaans style and get on one of the trains that regularly pass through here and yes the blue train is still in operation. Tickets might be a bit expensive but you will definitely not get bored.
2. Go to a sokkie
In Pretoria we have Presleys where every night is a sokkie and in the rest of the country we have spontaneous events where no one cares and the food has been barbequed. You can usually find ads for them on street poles or invitations floating around on Facebook. So for a change of pace instead of ignoring them write down the time and date, get your cheapest finest suit and get ready to dance. These are all open to the public and everyone always has a ball.
1. Grab your friends and go
If you are still reading this then there might be no hope left for you. Go get your friends, even if it’s that weird guy that breathes funny and enjoy your holiday. There are millions of things that you could be doing. Fishing, hiking, camping, driving, playing, screaming and so much more. The holiday season only comes once a year and you don’t need to spend it every year with your family. The best thing you can ever do is to stop caring what the rest of the world is going to say and to start doing things that will make them jealous. Who are they you ask? Everybody else that you will feel sad for. Now get going already.