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Inland Holiday Destinations

By Bidvest Bank
While hordes of South Africans will be heading to the coast this December, many people prefer not to. Highway traffic, crowded beaches, expensive accommodation and unpredictable weather…there are many reasons why some holidaymakers prefer heading inland over the festive season. 

Wherever you live in the country, we’ve rounded up some alternative holiday destinations in South Africa take you away from the crowded coastline and that involve minimal driving time, so you get the chance for a really peaceful December break. 



Just over an hour’s drive from Joburg, the Magaliesberg mountains form a beautiful backdrop to an area that’s perfect for unwinding and refreshing. There’s plenty of accommodation to choose from, whether you want to stay in a luxurious country retreat or camp on the banks of the Magalies River. Spend your days lazing outside and breathing in the warm summer air or try more adventurous activities like mountaineering, canopy tours, microlighting, hot air ballooning and horse riding. 


The Waterberg is a great a safari holiday destination in South Africa – it has all the big game viewing but without the malaria and the intense December heat of the Kruger Park further north. There are several private game reserves in the area such as Welgevonden and Mabula, as well as the public Marekele National Park. Besides game viewing, there’s also spectacular scenery, fishing, bird watching and hiking throughout the area.



While this is just one of the many wine regions in the Western Cape, Elgin is a lot more under the radar than most of the others you’ll find in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. The wine is just as good though, and there are plenty of notable estates to visit such as Neil Ellis, Oak Valley and Charles Fox for top class champagne. It’s not just all about wine though – the area is also well known for its citrus farms, so it’s worthwhile stopping at farms like Everson to sample their delicious ciders. 


Located in the Overberg about two hours’ drive from Cape Town, the village of Stanford is all about quaint small town charm. Walking through the town’s quiet streets, you’ll find beautifully restored cottage-style Victorian houses dating back to as early as the 1700s. A river runs through one side of the town, which is perfect for enjoying a lazy afternoon either on its banks or meandering on a canoe. There are plenty of restaurants, antique stores and coffee shops in the town, and just outside you’re spoilt for choice with wine farms, nature reserves and the beautiful Hermanus coastline all within a 20km radius.



Just over a three hour drive from both Johannesburg and Durban, the Drakensberg consists of four valleys: the Champagne Valley in the Central Berg, the Cathedral Peak and Didima Valley, the Royal Natal National Park and Amphitheatre Valley, and the Middledale Pass Valley in the Northern Berg. 

It’s the perfect option for a restful break with mountain views, and there is plenty of accommodation to choose from including everything from guesthouses, lodges, self catering chalets to camping spots. There’s also plenty to do here including fishing, golf and horse riding, not to mention mountain biking and hiking to appreciate the amazing views.


Bordering Lesotho and the Golden Gate National Park in the Eastern Free State, the small town of Clarens is a holiday destination known for its dramatic views with its vantage point from the foothill of the Maluti Mountains. Besides outdoor activities in the area such as trout fishing and hiking, Clarens is also known for its artist colony who call it home. The town contains several art galleries showing works from local artists, in between charming local restaurants, coffee shops and even its own brewery. 

Need to save up for your December holiday?  Putting a few rands away each month into an investment account helps you plan ahead so you have the cash available for your deam end-of-year holiday. Want to know more? Compare our call accounts, notice accounts and fixed deposit investment accounts now.