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!