It’s been a tough year for South Africans, with the underperforming economy giving both businesses and consumers plenty to think about – and in dire need of a break…

The light at the end of the tunnel is a vacation, but with the rand struggling against major currencies, getting away overseas is becoming increasingly challenging. You still need a break, though – so why not consider a ‘staycation’ instead and make the most of the amazing opportunities which keep international visitors flocking to South Africa?

Explore your city

When your focus is on getting to work and keeping your life running, there’s often very little opportunity to stop and take in your surroundings. Your city is where you chose to live and make a life for yourself – and a staycation can help remind you exactly why!

When was the last time you visited an art gallery, tried one of those amazing new restaurants you’ve heard everyone talking about or stopped to consider the history of the place you call home? A staycation can help you explore your city with fresh eyes – playing ‘tourist’ could just reinvigorate you.

Slash holiday travel time

Tucked away on the southern tip of Africa, South Africa is pretty far from most of the rest of the places you’d normally put on your wanderlust bucket list. The idea of overnight flights, rushed airport connections and figuring out how to get around can easily take the gloss off a trip and leave you feeling more run down than when you started travelling in the first place.

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Taking a staycation in your town – but with the small splurge of staying somewhere new – cuts out all the travel drama and maximises the limited time you have to explore and relax.

Image: edan @123RF.com

 

In Cape Town? Staying somewhere near the Waterfront is the ideal base to explore the kind of attractions you’d never visit if you lived in or around Cape Town. Slip away to a state-of-the-art new hotel experience and try stand-up paddle boarding in the Waterfront’s pristine network of canals, learn first-hand history on a guided tour of Robben Island or take that hike up Table Mountain you’ve never done…

Rather spend the money on experiences – shake up your surroundings with a hotel stay and commit your cash to expanding your local surroundings.

If you’re in Gauteng, the Signature Lux Hotel by ONOMO Sandton is right in the heart of Africa’s richest square mile. Steps from Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square, it’s also within easy walking distance of the Sandton Gautrain station, opening up the chance to explore the Johannesburg CBD or venture into Pretoria in minutes. Catch the City Sightseeing Red Bus from Rosebank Gautrain station and immerse yourself in the history of the reinvigorated Johannesburg CBD – or take a sho’t left to Soweto.

Enjoy outings to local markets, hikes, and educational centres

It’s easy to get hung up on designer brands and the ancient architecture of European destinations – but South Africa is also home to some of the continent’s biggest brands and incredible artisans.

ONOMO Hotel Durban is a flagship example of the brand’s ‘Africa’s Finest’ philosophy which celebrates the arts and culture of Durban.

The hotel supports many local arts centres, which provide unemployed artists and craftsmen with economic upliftment opportunities through supporting their creative efforts.

 

Visit uShaka Marine World for a day of marine fun and exploration. Not only is it educational – the aquarium is brimming with oceanic wonders – it’s also super fun. The uShaka Kids World is perfectly set up to cater for kids and families.

If you’re in the Durban area, you and the family can also get out into nature with an affordable day trip hike to the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve. A guided walk is just half an hour long, but you could spot hundreds of birds and animals that make the coastal dune forest their home.

Connect with local history

The Cape Town CBD is home to some of the hottest restaurants, galleries, clubs and experiences on the continent – but the historical significance of the Mother City shouldn’t be neglected either.

At over 260 million years old, Table Mountain is older than the Andes, the Alps, the Rocky Mountains and the Himalayas. A network of canals dating back to the days of the Dutch East India Company runs below the streets of the city, directing fresh water down from the rivers and streams flowing from the mountain. The city is also home to the oldest churches and mosques in the country.

If you’re in Port Elizabeth, learn about the city’s rich history and gain some understanding of the first inhabitants of the area (the Khoikhoi) and the various wars that were fought in the Eastern Cape. Port Elizabeth was also the epicentre of the feather trade, and boasts a number of exquisite historical buildings. Check out the Donkin Heritage Trail with its 51 places of historic interest.