Were you one of many South Africans who opted for a staycation this past festive season to steer clear of crowds?

If you’re keen to make up for lost travel time in 2021 and are on the hunt for ‘socially distanced’ destinations, perfect for introverts and those looking to avoid people beyond their travel bubble, you can breathe a sigh of relief. With a bit of careful planning, there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t get to enjoy a holiday away – just you and the bubble.

Here are some fabulous local options for a socially distanced getaway:

Jozini Tiger Lodge and Spa 

Find your holiday page-turner, a blanket, a shady tree and grab the opportunity to curl up lakeside at Jozini Tiger Lodge and Spa in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal. This little sanctuary is the South African version of Lake Kariba, overlooking the beautiful Lake Jozini, in the far northern, remote reaches of the Elephant Coast.

Make the most of those private balconies for romantic dinners for two, a glistening rim-flow pool, and of course, a full-service spa for the ultimate in pampering. Opt for a revitalising facial or splurge on a half-day spa package to re-emerge a completely different person!

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Blue Marlin Hotel 

Located in Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast, the Blue Marlin Hotel boasts the most beautiful ocean views and refreshing sea air to brighten your mood and melt the stress away. Lounge around on the soft beach sand with a book in hand or spend some time swimming or scuba diving in the warm Indian Ocean.

Parents who need a break will also love the kids’ entertainment programme, Dream Explorers to keep the youngsters occupied while mom and dad enjoy some quiet time.

 

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Nibela Lake Lodge 

Venture far off track to Hluhluwe in KZN to Nibela Lake Lodge for a getaway equal parts tranquillity and activity. Nibela is a nature-lover’s paradise and is perched on the waters of Lake St. Lucia, which falls within iSimangaliso Wetland Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Here, you’ll take pleasure in spotting an abundance of birds if you are a birding enthusiast. Otherwise, lie back for a midday nap and let the cheerful birdsong and the soft lapping of the lake gently lull you off to sleep.

Once your energy is restored, head out for walking, hiking, biking or treat yourself to an afternoon of fishing, or a lavish picnic. You don’t need to even speak to another human being, although the friendly, warm-hearted staff will undoubtedly leave you charmed!

 

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Finfoot Lake Reserve 

The Greater Pilanesberg in the North West province is where you’ll discover Finfoot Lake Reserve – an off the beaten track escape from the urban jungle that lies just 90 minutes away. Swap out the Johannesburg traffic for the bushveld’s fresh air and the  (there are no mountains at Finfoot) views from the sun deck.

Whether you decide to lounge poolside, sip sundowners on a barge cruise, dive straight into a scenic Segway safari, or venture off on a nature walk, you’re in for a holiday full of happy moments with only your nearest and dearest.

Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort 

Road-tripping from Cape Town? Book a few nights at Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort, a hidden gem nestled along the winding curves of the Piekenierskloof Pass. Roll out your yoga mat for some postures and breathing exercises in the early morning rays, savour a private dinner on the deck, or quietly sip on a cocktail poolside without a care in the world.

The adventure-hungry introverts can also plan to sightsee on a mountain bike, work on their aim with a game of archery, or get that adrenalin pumping with some zip-lining through the treetops.

Zimbali Lodge 

Zimbali Lodge is a five-star hotel offering luxury beyond compare. It is cradled inside the exclusive Zimbali Coastal Resort eco-estate for maximum privacy.

The suites are surrounded by lush Bali-Esque forest and boast all the indoor comforts, such as free-standing Victorian bathtubs and high-speed Wi-Fi. Spend your time relaxing on the private beach and taking a dip in the warm ocean or make your way to your room, or the spa, for peace and quiet and pampering.

Who says crowds need to be part of the package when you are keen for an escape this year? Choose the right destination and resort, and it won’t be long before you’re enjoying the socially distanced holiday of your dreams.

 

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