Family-friendly winter getaways

8 Aug 2018

South African winters offer something for everyone, and there are some fantastic places to visit for a family getaway. From the vibey activities in chilly Joburg, to the sunny retreats in Durban and the North West, you can embrace adventure in the cold, or find a sunny hideout to avoid the winter chill. Take a Sho’t Left to one of these world-class destinations, and embrace all that a South African winter has to offer.

Johannesburg, Gauteng

Gauteng is the heart of the nation, and Joburg offers a variety of family events and entertainment.

Natural attractions abound, with parks perfect for picnics, such as the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. For the adrenaline-junkies, the Gold Reef City amusement park offers the wildest of rides, as well a casino and entertainment centre. Have dinner in the Maboneng precinct, the perfect way to end the day.

Hermanus, Western Cape

Hermanus, a seaside town to the south-east of Cape Town, has been voted one of the twelve best destinations in the world for whale watching by the World Wildlife Fund and is an ideal place to whale-watch.

Whale-watching spots are plentiful and will allow you to experience a natural phenomenon which happens only once a year. Popular whale-watching spots in Hermanus include the Cliff Path, a 12km path which stretches across Hermanus, as well as Grotto beach, the Old Harbour, and Gearing’s Point.

Bela Bela, Limpopo

Warm Baths, A Forever Resort in Bela Bela is a premium resort situated in Limpopo, approximately a 3-hour drive from Johannesburg.

Consider this resort as an African bushveld escape, the perfect location to experience an unforgettable holiday with the whole family. With a range of waterslides, mineral pools and spas offering a variety of treatments and products, you are sure to feel revitalised and rejuvenated.

Wild Coast, KwaZulu-Natal

Experience the best of coastal living and entertainment at the Wild Coast. This incredible stretch of coast starts from Mzamba, just south of Port Edward and the Umthamvuna River to the top-end luxury resort, Wild Coast Sun.

Whether you’re looking for self-catering accommodation or luxurious hotels to suit your every need, you’re bound to find something just for you along the Wild Coast. As for the free-spirited, you can expect plenty of adrenaline-pumped activities to get you revved up.

Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal

Zululand offers a magic of its own. Stretching from the Dolphin Coast, just north of Durban, all the way north up to Richard’s Bay, small towns line the coast, which enjoys warm weather year-round due to its sub-tropical climate.

Throughout the route, travellers can enjoy historical and cultural attractions, diverse game viewing areas, as well as birding and hiking trails. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, 280km north of Durban, has the largest population of white rhino in the world, due to concerted conservation efforts.

So take a Sho’t Left, and enjoy a quality family holiday in South Africa.

Winter festivals in South Africa

There’s a chill in the air, the wind seems to howl more than ever and the winter blues starts to kick in. There are some aspects of winter that make you want to stay indoors in front of a roaring fireplace. But while you’re inside all snuggled up, do you know what’s happening outdoors around the country? Winter festivals!

Do yourself a favour—take a Sho’t Left and brave the chilly weather. There’s no excuse not to head out, dance, sing, or headbang at the many winter festivals around South Africa.

Here’s a guide to some of the bustling festivals you can attend:

Liefde by die Dam – Emmarentia Dam, Gauteng (5 August)

Lifede by die Dam translates in English to “Love by the dam”, which is exactly what the festival hopes to achieve—to bring family and friends together in a loving and safe setting. What better way to celebrate love than with music? Expect an incredible line-up of artists including Idols South Africa VI winner, Elvis Blue.

Gin & Kie Liquor Festival – Tierport, Gauteng (9 August)

Celebrate Women’s Day listening to some live music and enjoying delicious food at the Gin & Kie Liquor Festival. Show the women in your life how special they and take them to this vibrant event, they’ll love you for it.

Shongweni Craft Fest – Shongweni, KwaZulu-Natal (9 August)

With more than 15 vendors selling hand-crafted beer, funky cocktails, mocktails, arts and crafts, you can expect a busy day at the festival that’s sure to pull in a crowd. There’s a kids play area too, so rest assured it will be fun for the whole family at the Shongweni Craf Fest.

The Parlotones Live – Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (11 August)

Catch the Parlotones Live in Durban! Dance, scream and sing along to their brand new album that they’ll perform at their 20th Anniversary Tour.

We Love Food Market – Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (25 August)

Get your taste buds ready for a tantalising experience when you visit the We Love Food Market in Durban. From street and artisanal food to lifestyle elements, expect an explosion of flavours when you taste what’s on offer at this popular event.

Oppikoppi – Northam, Limpopo (9-11 August)

South Africa’s quintessential rock festival, Oppikoppi returns every year, where thousands of rock fans descend on the town of Northam to dance the night (and day) away to great music. Don’t forget to pack a camping tent as there’s no lodging or fancy hotels around to check in to—festival-goers will be roughing it out.

So don’t wait for the summer days return, take a Sho’t Left today and explore the incredible festivals around South Africa.

Reasons to explore SA in winter

3 Aug 2018

South Africa is a winter wonderland, and there are a variety of reasons to explore our beautiful country. From warming up with some South African wines and enjoying a hearty traditional meal, to spotting animals in the dry bushveld, here are 5 reasons why you should take a Sho’t Left and explore South Africa in winter.

We have a great wine route

If you want to warm up with some wine, or a little brandy, all you have to do is a take a trip to the West Coast. Winery’s and brandy distilleries are dotted across the West Coast, and you can enjoy a drink while cosying up in front of the fireplace. Consider visiting the Chamonix wine farm in the Franschhoek valley, or Van Ryn’s Brandy Distillery for something a little bit stronger.

There’s always a sunny hideout

If it’s the sun you’re searching for, then Durban is the place to be. The hub of the East Coast, Durban is kept warm all year round by the Agulhas current of the Indian Ocean. Durban is home to sunny beaches, shopping malls with all the latest products, and tons of traditional restaurants, pubs, and curry dens. Visit the Gateway Theatre of Shopping for a fantastic shopping experience, and CaneCutters in Glenwood for a traditional Durban bunny chow.

There are hearty meals on every corner

There are a variety of traditional meals that you can enjoy across the country, from many different cultural groups. For a traditional shisanyama (barbeque), take a Sho’t Left to Chaf Pozi in Soweto, where you can enjoy good food, drink local beer, and get on the dance floor. Try the traditional dish mogodu (tripe) at Pata Pata in the Maboneng precinct, Johannesburg, a meal you wouldn’t get anywhere else in the world. Local restaurants serving the best in local cuisine can be found on almost every corner.

You can reach for the stars

For those who want to embrace the cold and reach for the stars, there is a perfect place for you. Sutherland, a small town situated in the Karoo, is particularly popular with star-gazers. The Southern African Large Telescope(SALT), the largest single optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere, is situated about 20km from the small town. Daytime and evening tours are available, and amateur star-gazers will also be able to set up their own telescopes.

Animals can be spotted with ease

The winter months are the perfect time to visit a game reserve and go for a game drive. Game reserves are situated all around the country, but during the winter months it’s best to choose reserves closer to the Lowveld region, where it is drier and animals are easier to spot. Animals also tend to stay in one area where they are able to find food and water. Consider the Pilanesberg Game Reserve in North West, where you could have a chance to see the famed Big 5 (Elephant, Rhino, Leopard, Lion, Cheetah).

Take a Sho’t Left, and embrace the South African winter. It’s your country, enjoy it!

 

Why we love winter in South Africa

28 Jun 2018

Winter has officially hit South Africa, and instead of taking the moody route, we’ve decided to fall in love with our South African winters. Why do you ask? Well there are just so many things to do and see when the temperature drops. So take a Sho’t Left, grab your scarves and gloves and find out what SA has to offer during these chilly months.

The varied SA weather:

Our many provinces offer a variety of winter temperatures to choose from. Durban, with its year-round humidity has the warmest winter weather in SA, thanks to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean on the East Coast, which ensures that Durban enjoys perfect weather all year-round. Cape Town offers a cooler type of winter, and with potential snow on the Ceres Mountains a winter coat is a must! Johannesburg gives you the perfect blend of clear sunny days, with a crisp chill in the air which makes for perfect weather to explore.

Food for the soul:

Winter is just another reason to enjoy wholesome South African food, food that brings back memories and creates lasting new ones. With the variety of excellent food South Africa has to offer you won’t be concerned about putting on a few kg’s during your winter travels. A hearty lamb potjie, bobotie, bunny chow or pap & vleis are some of most comforting foods to enjoy if you really want a true South African winter meal. So go on and take a soulful Sho’t Left to experience cuisine that’s unique to our rainbow nation.

Snow struck:

Snow is not a common occurrence in South Africa, but when is does snow it’s spectacular. You can experience your very own winter wonderland in a few places where the blankets of white come to lay during winter. We suggest heading to Matroosberg in the Western Cape, where you will find the beautiful Ceres Mountains caked in white, or journeying to the snow-capped peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains in Kwa-Zulu-Natal.

Game viewing:

Game viewing in South Africa during winter is a breeze, and a fantastic time to head to the bush. The temperature makes for cooler game drives, and the thinner bush allows for easier game viewing. You may even get the opportunity to see more animals, as they tend to spend a lot more time together around rivers and waterholes during the colder months.

Sardine run:

The East Coast is magical during winter time, and the annual Sardine run that occurs between May – July across the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal coastline adds to the magic. During the sardine run you are likely to witness an incredible spectacle of birds, dolphins and other sea life that come together to feed off the greatest shoal on earth, consisting of millions of sardines as they travel upward in the warm water of the Indian Ocean on the East Coast.

Whale of a time:

If you are keen to stay close to the coast line then Hermanus, a small town southeast of Cape Town in the Western Cape, offers another reason to fall in love with our winters, with the opportunity to witness the whale migration. These magnificent creatures begin coming through Hermanus in July, but the best time for viewing is August. Take in the crisp winter sea breeze and get your binoculars ready to witness this unique force of nature.

The flower route:

Who would think that the best time to view flowers would be in winter? Well in Namaqualand it sure is. During the months of July – October the wild flowers are in full bloom in the Namaqualand that stretches across the West Coast. This spectacle offers incredible photo-ops and a look into the fascinating flora of the Western Cape.

There are many reasons to take a Sho’t Left & love winter in South Africa. This spectacular country holds incredible experiences and adventures; from the delicious food, to the extraordinary wildlife and the beautiful landscape, South Africa’s best time of year… is ALL year.

Check out these Sho’t left deals and plan your trip!

Explore the Eastern Cape for less than R200

The Eastern Cape is definitely South Africa’s all-in-one province and there is one great Sho’t Left after the other. It doesn’t matter what adventure you’re after, in this beautifully diverse slice of Mzansi you’ll find everything from coastal getaways to bush adventures with a lot of history and culture in between.

If you’re ever thinking of making your way to this part of South Africa for an epic Sho’t Left then here are a few activities you won’t want to pass up, and all for under R200.

The Valley Market

Head to the Valley Market in Baakens Valley on the first Saturday of every month for spicy paella, gourmet boerie rolls, crisp pizza bases, freshly baked artisan bread and smoothies. The vibe and the food will have you lingering longer.

Open from 8am to 2pm, entrance is R10 per person and kids under 12 enter for free. All proceeds go back to the community. Corner of Alabaster and Lower Valley Roads, Baakens Valley.

Cheer for your favourite team at a world-class stadium – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Watch Kaizer Chiefs take on Ajax Cape Town at this 46,000 seater, five-tier stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay. R80 for a grandstand ticket. The stadium is home ground to the EP Kings, Southern Kings and Chippa United, and has also hosted Bafana Bafana and the Springboks. Look out for more sporting events at this great sporting hub!

70 Prince Alfred Rd, North End, Port Elizabeth. Book at Computicket.

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
For the love of cars – Volkswagen Factory and Museum
Car lovers will be in heaven on a pre-booked tour at the Volkswagen Factory in Uitenhage. Here you’ll come across the oldest kombi in South Africa, meet Herbie and see a car sliced in half by a laser.

Daily pre-booked factory tours include a free tour of the AutoPavilion. 103 Algoa Rd, Uitenhage. Call ahead to book a free tour: 041 994 5941.

Take a Horse Ride in the Sardinia Bay

Nature ReserveLove the outdoors and some wind in your hair? Kick up some golden sand and go for a canter along the beach. Heavenly Stables offers a one-hour horse ride through the Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve.

Bookings are essential, and the rides are weather dependent. Open 7 days a week, from 9am to 5pm. Plot 431, Sardinia bay Road, Lovemore Park, Port Elizabeth. 081 890 7080.

Visit the Algoasaurus at Bayworld

Visit the bones of the Algoasaurus, a dinosaur unique to this area and related to the Brontosaurus, discovered near Despatch in 1903. The Port Elizabeth Brick and Tile Company was quarrying for brick-making materials when the brickmakers stumbled across the bones, unfortunately, they accidentally ground up some of the bones for bricks but luckily quite a few remained which enabled palaeontologists to construct a likeness of the dinosaur.

The museum is the third oldest of its kind in South Africa. Other interesting exhibits include a skeleton of the last Southern right whale harpooned in the bay, and a replica of the Dias Cross.

Open Monday to Sunday from 09h00 to 16h30, Beach Road, Port Elizabeth.

Ticket info and price available: Here

Explore Van Staden’s Flower Reserve

Only 40km out of PE you’ll find Van Staden’s Flower Reserve, which protects rare and endemic plants. The gates are open from 7:30am to 6pm in summer, and close at 5pm in winter (1 May¬31 August). There is no entry fee. While you are there be sure to visit the traditional Xhosa umzi (homestead) and learn about traditional Xhosa culture.

Big 7 at Addo

Where else in the world can you see the big five plus the southern right whale and great white shark to make up the Big 7! The Addo Elephant Park close to Port Elizabeth also boasts the best elephant viewing in the country. The Entrance fee per day is R54 for adults and R27 per child but if you are a frequent visitor to San Parks and have a wildcard it’s free!

Hop on beer Route

Do you enjoy a well-brewed pint, who doesn’t? On this tour in PortElizabeth, you’ll stop at various breweries, such as Dockside Brewery where you’ll meet the brewmaster and get to ask him questions about the brewing process. You’ll also taste four different beers and enjoy some baked beer bread before heading over to Bridge Street Brewery to see what they have on offer. This is followed by 3 beer tasters, a cider taster and a savoury snack. Lastly, you’ll visit the Beer Yard, taste 4 beers and get to order one of their rad pizzas or hamburgers. A minimum of 4 people is required per tour unless the tour is running already. Please inquire when booking. Call Gecko Tours to book on 082 464 6022.

Ticket info and price available: Here

No matter what kind of adventure gets you going and inspires your wanderlust, check out our Eastern Cape deals. There may be the perfect Sho’t Left just for you!

 

Take a Day Trip to Hartbeespoort

24 May 2018

It’s a glorious Sunday in Gauteng and you’re in the mood for a day trip, why not take a quick Sho’t Left to Hartbeespoort, locally known has Harties. Only a 45 min drive from Johannesburg, this glorious place is situated amongst the Magaliesburg Mountain Range and the magnificent Hartbeespoort Dam. Here you can enjoy a day filled with activities, good food, and great memories.

Harties Cable Way

We suggest that you start your day off at the Harties Cableway, where you can experience fantastic panoramic views of the Magaliesberg, the Hartbeespoort Dam, and surrounding areas. Once you reach the base station there is plenty to do and see, with the Dassie Loop walk way, points of interest with educational placards, and the KidZone that the little ones can enjoy while parents take in the spectacular view. Don’t forget to bring a jersey during these cooler months, and your camera as there are plenty of photo opportunities. We do suggest that you purchase tickets online, especially during holiday periods.

The Windmill Restaurant

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, you can fill the gap at the Windmill Restaurant, where you can get a deliciously mean brunch. They also offer the usual tasty toasted sandwiches and mouth-watering burgers, that you may not be able to resist. If you would prefer something on the sweeter side of life, below the Windmill Restaurant you can find a waffle house that isn’t stingy on its maple syrup. Mmmm, please remember to have one for us!

Hartbeespoort Snake and Animal Park

It’s time to work off that lunch at the Hartbeespoort Snake and Animal Park. At this private park on the eastern shore of the Hartbeespoort Dam you can experience the uniqueness of the dam, the ecology of the area, and of course the spectacular animal life which includes lions, tiger’s hyenas, wild dogs, birds and reptiles. The park also features an amazing Snake and Seal show on public holidays, school holidays, and weekends. You don’t want to miss this!

Hartbeespoort Sunshine Boat Cruises

End off your day in Harties with a sunset cruise on the Hartbeespoort Dam. Enjoy a light snack and beverage while taking in the sounds of the water lapping on the boat and the birds hovering above during twilight. Remember to relax and breathe in the fresh air while absorbing the spectacular surrounds of the dam and the Magaliesberg Mountain Range, while creating lasting memories with your friends and family.

Check out these Sho’t left deals and plan your trip!

Tips for first time visitors to the Kruger National Park

When you think of South Africa, the incredible Kruger National Park definitely comes to mind. Not only can you catch a glimpse of the famous Big Five, but you will find yourself surrounded by hundreds of bird species, ancient trees, winding rivers, superb accommodation and adventure. The Kruger National Park is a one-stop shop for all of your wildlife dreams.

Imagine rising with the South African sun, driving out of your camp, filled with anticipation as you keep your eyes peeled for a lion spotting or a leopard casually draped over the branch of a big tree or a herd of elephants taking a morning stroll. Then ask yourself, is there anywhere else in the world you’d rather be?

Get your check list ready, here’s everything you need for a successful safari:

1. Light cotton clothing; it gets hot out there in the bush so light, cool and breathable clothing is a must for summer. Avoid brighter colours; rather stick to shades of beige and olive green. You want to blend in not stand out.

2. Sunglasses, sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat are a must for the African sun; a cap simply won’t do the trick. You need to keep delicate ears and necks covered too.

3. A comfy pair of shoes are essential if the game lodge you are visiting offers game walks. Make sure to find out before you arrive whether you’ll be doing any walking, and ensure that you have the correct foot gear. Sandals and other open shoes are going to make for an uncomfortable walk in dry river beds and thick bush.

4. Malaria tablets and anti-mosquito spray are vital as mosquitoes may be small but it is essential that you have protection against them.

5. Make sure to consult with the game lodge you are visiting to find out whether they are situated in a malaria area, and ensure that you take the correct precautions before leaving home.

6. Don’t forget your swimming costume. If you are coming in summer months, which are from October to April, then cooling off after a morning game drive can help with the heat.

Here are some smaller items that you may need:

1. Good lip balm.

2. A lightweight rain jacket.

3. A non-scented moisturizer (Avoid scented ones as this will attract mosquitoes).

4. A book, it is a holiday after all and there will be plenty of time during the day to read and relax.

The best time to visit

During the winter month the grass is low and animals are dependent on waterholes. Summer is hot but scenic, with lots of baby animals to see.

How to get there

There are three airports serving the Kruger National Park:

Northern Kruger Park: Phalaborwa Airport
Central Kruger Park: Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport
Southern Kruger Park: Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMI)

By road from Johannesburg it’s approximately a five-hour drive (depending on where you enter the park). You can also travel by plane to the Kruger Park International Airport in Mbombela (Nelspruit), and drive from there. This is how far the Kruger National Park is from the main cities:

  • Johannesburg/Pretoria – approx.. 420 km (to the southern gate)
  • Durban – approx. 752 km
  • Bloemfontein – approx. 834 km
  • Port Elizabeth – approx. 1 436 km
  • Cape Town – approx. 1 842 km

Where to stay

Have a look at the following accommodation websites to ensure you book accommodation that suits your every need:

  1. https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/tourism/availability.php
  2. https://www.sa-venues.com/things-to-do/mpumalanga/
  3. https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/Attractions-g312628-Activities-Mpumalanga.html
  4. http://www.getaway.co.za/travel-ideas/6-free-mpumalanga/

Who to contact

Tel: +27 12 428 9111

Email: reservations@sanparks.org

Sho’t Left has just the Kruger Park adventure for you!

Enjoy these seven least visited attractions in Mpumalanga

23 May 2018

What do you do when you’re in of South Africa’s incredible provinces that boasts pristine beauty, offers ample outdoor activity spots and inspiring cultural experiences? Head out with your cell phone fully charged (for perfect photo ops), a group of fun-loving friends to enjoy the day with and an itinerary to tick off every wild experience had. Here’s a list of the top seven places to visit in Mpumalanga.

Kaapsehoop Scootours

Explore Mpumalanga’s countryside with Kaapsehoop Scootours. Start your adventure in the historical town of Kaapsehoop, make your way up into the region’s forest and rugged terrain before finally descending to the finish point. It’s an unforgettable scenic forest experience.

Matsamo Cultural Village

Dance to the beat as the locals of the Matsamo Cultural Village wow visitors with their incredible dance sequences, such as the traditional Swazi dance. Here you can learn about their vibrant culture through stories about famous legends of their tribe.

Highland Giants Estate

Considering Dullstroom, Mpumalanga is considered the fly-fishing capital of South Africa, there’s no better place than Highland Giant’s Estate in this quaint town to cast your rod. Settle in for the night in one of the charming cottages on this 500-hectare estate.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Experience the magic of the bush at Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Whether you’re in the mood for a real outdoor experience or just a getaway to enjoy nature and wildlife, this game reserve is for you.

Sudwala Dinosaur Park

Feel like a kid again at the Sudwala Dinosaur Park and be in awe of the life size models of pre-historic animals. These range from amphibious ancient reptiles and dinosaurs to pre-historic mammals. Travel towards the Sudwala Caves, 30 minutes from Nelspruit, for a prehistoric adventure.

Pilgrim’s Rest

Take a tour through the historical town of Pilgrim’s Rest. From museums and historic sites to quaint old buildings, each has a story to tell of how this town evolved during the gold rush days of the 1900s.

Sudwala Caves

Sudwala Caves is a popular tourist attraction in Mpumalanga. Be in awe of the incredible rock formations that have transformed these caves of millions of years.

Next time you’re in Mpumalanga, be sure to visit these and many more attractions when you’re on a Sho’t Left to this incredible province.

Check out these Sho’t Left deals and plan your trip today!

The Panorama Route – prepare for an unforgettable journey

In the mood for a perfect Sho’t Left winter getaway, or just a spontaneous adventure? Take an unforgettable journey through a route that leads to incredible destinations. Expect fresh air, the faint sounds of nature, and beautiful natural springs while driving along the Panorama Route in the majestic Mpumalanga province.

Follow the N12 and N4 highways from Johannesburg en route to Mpumalanga and you’ll discover many surprisingly quaint stops along the 300km journey. As you venture into this province known for its beauty you won’t miss the incredible mountain peaks, vast escarpment and jaw-dropping views.

The winding 22.2km Long Tom Pass is just one of the areas along the Panorama Route where road-trippers have plenty of opportunities to take in the picturesque scenery. This exquisite mountain pass is named after the Long Tom cannons used during the Anglo-Boer war, one of which remains on the very top of the pass for visitors to experience.

One of the pits stops on your Sho’t Left that you should make along this serene route is Misty Mountain. This beautiful three-star lodge is situated on a 280-hectare South African Natural Heritage Site close to the world-renowned Kruger National Park and adjacent private games reserves.

Continue along the Panorama Route and head towards God’s Window. This stretch of land is 700 metres above the Lowveld and offers sweeping views of canyons, rock formations and waterfalls. Outdoor attractions include nearby Blyderivierspoort Hiking Trail and the Elephant Sanctuary in Hazyview.

A trip along the Panorama Route is not complete unless you visit the Blyde River Canyon. The view out over the canyon is at a height of 1219 metres above sea level and will give you an unsurpassed view of the valleys and lakes below. Nearby viewpoints to get that perfect Instagram shot include the Pinnacle and Bourke`s Luck Potholes. If these viewpoints aren’t high enough for you, then dare yourself to take a helicopter flight with Lion Sands Reserve and fly over the canyon for the most spectacular views.

Don’t think about it, do it! Take a Sho’t Left to Mpumalanga and explore the beauty of the Panorama Route. It’s waiting to be explored.

 

Discover the 10 best game reserves in the North West

22 May 2018

South Africa, one of the African continents leading safari destinations, is renowned for the many game lodges, reserves and other bush retreats that has tourists flocking to our country. These include the Kruger National Park in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, and Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal.

Of course, these are incredible parks that have so much to offer. However, the North West is right up there with the rest, offering the best bush experiences, safari adventures and top-class game reserve accommodation. What are you waiting for? Pack your safari gear and sunblock, take a Sho’t Left and visit our list of the top 10 game reserves in the North West.

Kareekloof Game Farm

Picture this – a region surrounded by beautiful hills, valleys, seasonal streams, natural springs and of course, wildlife. Expect this and more at the Kareekloof Game Farm.

Kumbagana Game Lodge

Situated on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg Mountain Range, one couldn’t ask for a better location for a game reserve. Look out for a variety of game including Kudu, Nyala, Giraffe, Zebra and Sable at the Kumbagana Game Lodge.

Pilanesberg Private Lodge

Nestled on the foot of the majestic Pilanesberg Mountains, the Pilanesberg Private Lodge offers five beautiful chalets named Leopard, Tambotie, Shepherds Tree, Rhino and Elephant. There’s no doubt that you’ll get to see these animals up close and personal.

Bona Bona Game Lodge

One of the North West’s many hidden gems, the Bona Bona Game Lodge offers visitors the best of the best in outdoor experiences. Sit back and relax around a campfire as you listen to the calls of the wild.

Thabaledi Game Lodge

The meaning behind the Thabaledi Game Lodge derives from Tswana culture. Thabaledi means Mountain of the Stars in Tswana, and it’s without a doubt there will be lots of star gazing at this bush retreat.

Thakadu River Camp

Travel to the eastern side of Madikwe and you’ll find Thakadu River Camp, a camp known for its Afro-Asian safari style. Settle in one of the 12 tented suites, accommodating 24 people each with sliding doors opening onto a private viewing deck overlooking the river.

The Bush House

What sets this farmhouse apart from other guest and bush houses is that they offer visitors the opportunity to dine outside under the stars. The Bush House has six en-suite rooms and four of them have private verandas where you can sit back and take in the great outdoors.

Tau Game Lodge

Considering the Tau Game Lodge has been awarded five stars from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, it’s to no surprise that it’s one of the top-class lodges in the country. It can be found in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, the 4th largest game reserve in the country.

Morokolo Game Lodge

One of the many attractions (and of course wildlife) guests can look forward to when visiting Morokolo Game Lodge include elephant back safaris, hot air balloon rides, a water park and more.

Thaba Khaya Lodge

Looking for a Sho’t left weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life? Look no further than Thaba Khaya Lodge. Choose from bush lodges to family suites, whatever your choice you’re guaranteed a good night’s rest under the African sky.

Now’s the time to head out and take a Sho’t Left to the North West and explore these game lodges and more!