My List of Top 3 Easter Holiday Ideas and Itineraries

Panoramic view of Iles aux Cerfs

Holiday on my mind

Easter is just 2 months away and if you are anything like me, I bet you are still looking for ideas! K and I never manage to book anything in advance – a month or two if its an international holiday or just a few weeks if its local. While not ideal in terms of saving money or getting good accommodations, we seem to manage without ruining things too much!

Trying to plan our Easter holiday (well in advance this time!), here are a few ideas worth thinking about:

1) Namibia

Exploring Southern Africa is my priority for 2015 and Namibia is a top contender. While South Africans and most of the usual ‘privileged’ countries do not need a visa to visit Namibia, Indians (and hence us), do. But this is hardly a deterrent when you think of the bigger picture – the starkness of the Namib desert, shipwrecks along the treacherous Skeleton Coast and the quaint German-seaside town of Swakopmund.

How to get there:

Both Windhoek (the capital of Namibia) and Walvis Bay are a short flight away from Johannesburg. I would recommend flying straight to Walvis Bay to save time. But if you choose to go to Windhoek, its a 4hr drive to Swakopmund, the main destination of this holiday. Of course, if you have more days in hand, a road trip from SA to Namibia is ideal.

Where to go & what to do

Swakopmund: Only a short drive from Walvis Bay, Swakopmund is a small seaside town with German architectural influences. The town is full of vibey cafes and restaurants and offers a plethora of hotels and B&Bs to choose from. Located on the fringes of the Namib desert, Swakopmund is an ideal place to explore the dunes and engage in adventure sports like quad biking. A flyby tour of the Skeleton Coast comes highly recommended and there are several tour companies in town that offer these trips.

Spend two days in this idyllic town.

Sesriem Canyon and Sossusvlei: About 5hrs from Swakopmund lies the the Sesriem Canyon. It is a gorge that was formed over millions of years by the then mighty Tsauchab river. Walking through the area offers some amazing photo ops and is a great experience on its own. However, since its located in the desert, one should remember that the sun can get unbearably hot, especially in summer and its advisable to visit the canyon in the early hours of the day or the late afternoon when the un begins to cool down.

Sesriem is also known as the gateway to the famous Sossusvlei – a large white salt and clay pan, surrounded by majestic red dunes. The Sesriem gate, which is the main entrance to the dunes, is located just 4.5kms from the canyon and the drive to the the dunes takes about an hour. However, the gate opens only at sunrise and hence most visitors usually spend the night in a camp or lodge around this area so as to be able to visit the dunes in the early morning hours.Most of this area is easily accessible as a majority of the road is tarred. Only the last 5kms are not tarred and a 4×4 is required, unless you choose to walk.

Spend a night and half a day exploring the desert and its attractions, before driving back to Walvis Bay for your return flight or stay an extra night in the desert.

2) Wild Coast, Eastern Cape

If flying outside of SA is not an option, which is looking more and more likely for us at the moment, then a wonderful place to visit is the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape. As the name suggests, the Wild Coast is untamed and breathtaking with jagged cliffs, pristine beaches, secluded bays and rolling hills. The reason its called the Wild Coast is because the natural beauty of the region hasn’t been overtaken by urban development.

How to get there

The closest airport in this area is East London. Depending on where in the Wild Coast you are headed, the travel time from the airport can range from an hour to five hours. Mthatha, close to Coffee Bay also has an airport but only caters to flights from Johannesburg. If visiting the northern parts, the Durban airport might be closer.

Although the N2 connects the region to the rest of the country, driving in the Eastern Cape can be a little challenging as farms animals such as cows and goats tend to cross the roads unexpectedly and you have to b careful whilst driving.

Where to go & what to do

The region stretches from East London in the south all the way upto the KwaZulu-Natal border in the north and encompasses a large number of small towns and villages such as Port St.Johns, Coffe Bay, Hole in the Wall, Cintsa, Morgan Bay, Haga Haga and others. A variety of accommodation, from backpackers to luxury resorts are available in most of these towns.

Lounging on the beaches, hiking, fishing, canoeing and horse riding are some of the activities that are popular. The remoteness of the region and the peace and quiet are ideal if you are looking to unwind and relax.

3) Tsitsikamma National Park and Storms River

Part of the Garden Route, Tsitsikamma is famous for its indigenous plants, dramatic coastline, abundance of natural beauty and adventure sports.

How to get there

The closest airports in the area are George and Port Elizabeth.

The roads in the region are well maintained and in good condition, making driving to and in the region a pleasurable experience.

Where to go & what to do

Visitors come to this area to indulge in outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, bungee jumping, etc. Tsitsikamma offers some of the the best knows hiking trails in the world the such as the Otter TrailThe Bloukrans Bungy, the worlds highest commercial bungy bridge is also located here.

The main accommodation in the area can be found in Storms Riiver, a small scenic town. The Garden Route National Park that includes Tsitsikamma, also provides some nice options for overnight stays.

 

 

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