Travel | 24 Oct 2019 | By Sun International
Plan a budget-friendly Sun International Getaway
Golden Valley Casino
Times are tough and many South Africans are feeling the pinch of rapidly increasing living costs. Taking a well-deserved break can prove to be a challenge, but if you’re willing to consider doing something a little different, then you’ll love the charm Sun International’s Golden Valley, Meropa and Windmill have to offer. They are affordable and accessible destinations which are a throw-back to a simpler time.
Off the Breede path
Breede Valley is one of the Western Cape’s best kept secrets – or maybe not, if you ask capetonians where they like to go to escape the busy hustle of the city. Just a 90-minute drive from Cape Town, the Breede Valley offers a kaleidoscope of charm-filled activities from Olive Oil and wine tasting to farmer’s markets and trout fishing.
Situated in the heart of the Valley is Sun International’s Golden Valley Lodge, which offers family-sized rooms with captivating views of the surrounding mountains.
A must-visit in the Breede Valley is Willow Creek Olive Estate, one of the country’s largest Olive Oil producers – and one of the most awarded. A visit to their tasting room is a great opportunity to sample rare products not easily available at retail outlets.
Another unmissable stop is Koffie Op die Huis situated in Tweefontein Padstal. One has the luxury to enjoy a cup of coffee, served with a dollop of small-town warmth, as you browse for crafts, preserves and other interesting goodies. And to top off a rustic getaway, you should visit Fairhills Craft Cooperative situated 20 to 30 minutes away in Rawsonville.
The call of Meropa
Limpopo is perhaps one of the most underrated destinations in the country. Unique for its untamed beauty, majestic wildlife, rugged scenery and vibrant culture, it provides the perfect atmosphere to take a break from the city.
In the heart of Limpopo is Sun International’s Meropa Hotel and Casino. With its Moroccan- theme décor that offers a cool escape from the city, it’s the perfect place to lay your head after exploring all that Limpopo has to offer.
Rooms at Meropa start from R1414 per room/per night and if your budget doesn’t allow for game drives or explore the natural attractions, then there are a host of activities on the property, such as the cultural village, bird and reptile park and a spa to keep the whole family entertained.
Chasing windmills and roses
So much more than just a pit stop on the N1 Highway between Cape Town and Gauteng, Bloemfontein has a rich history and culture to explore for at least a weekend. And with rooms starting from R1200, the Windmill Lodge is the ideal base from where to discover the “City of Roses”.
The end of October and beginning of November are ideal times to take a detour and smell the roses – literally – at South Africa’s best known rose festival. Bloemfontein has played host to the annual Rose Festival since 1976 which will take place on 1 November. There will be rose exhibitions, competitions, workshops and even pageants offering a truly unique experience.
If roses aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty to do. Did you know that Bloemfontein is home to the first digital planetarium in Sub-Saharan Africa? The Naval Hill Planetarium offers 60-minute shows, and costs just R50 per adult and R30 per child.
Here’s another thing you may not have known about Bloemfontein: It is the birthplace of the African National Congress (ANC). On 8 January 1912, John Langalibalele Dube, Thomas Mtobi Mapikela and others established the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) at the Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Bloemfontein. The SANNC would later become the ANC in 1923. During those times, black people were not allowed to own more than one house and in defiance, Mapikela built a double-storey house in the township of Batho.. The 12-roomed house was the site for many political meetings and, as black people were barred from being served at restaurants, Mapikela opened a restaurant at the back of the house. The Mapikela family still occupy the house, and if you’re lucky, you might be able to speak to his descendants and hear lesser-known tales of South African history.
Money in your pocket
Many Sun International properties offer regular specials to help you save when booking your next vacation. You can save even more if you sign up to Sun MVG. Pay from R361 per room, per night until 30 November 2019 depending on your reward level. Not a Sun MVG member? Sign up now.