Happy 2022

2022 is all about twos for us: twice the fun, twice the love, and twice the number of vacays as we head back out into the world.

The last two years have been difficult: we’ve discovered new variants, adjusted to working from home, and found ways to exist within the new normal. But the world is finally opening up again, and it’s time to take advantage of all the wonders that South Africa has to offer. We have a clean slate and a fresh start, so let’s start getting ready to make your 2022 one for the ages.

January | back to school

When the kids are away, the parents can play! But, sometimes the holiday season can leave you needing a holiday… And this is the perfect time to treat you and your partner to an intimate, peaceful escape while the kids are focused on school again. So, reconnect, reignite your romance, and find some time just to have fun again – you deserve it! Plus, by avoiding the Christmas rush, you’ll be safer and have a quieter time too.

January is also the annual Drak Challenge canoe marathon – organizers have vowed that the event will take place in 2022, with several contingency plans in place, after it was canceled last year due to the second wave.

If you feel like living it up a little, make plans to attend what’s known as Africa’s richest race day, The Sun Met at Kenilworth in Cape Town. With a stellar entertainment line-up and out-of-this-world fashion, rub shoulders with local and international celebs while you soak up the glitz and glam.

February | the month of love

Love is in the air! So spoil your special someone with a blissful, fairytale-perfect getaway, complete with decadent dining, perfect spa pampering, and plenty of romance – think horse rides through the countryside, a picnic in the middle of nowhere, or even an evening in with room service, candlelight, and a dip in the Jacuzzi.

Do you and bae like to get physical? The annual Midmar Mile takes place on Valentine’s Weekend! The event draws competitors from across the world and was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest open water swimming event in 2009.

March | crisp autumn vacays 

As much as we love Summer, the sweltering heat can leave us wishing for the cool autumnal breeze. So brace yourselves for gentle breezes, the crunch of crisp leaves underfoot, and stunning red, gold, and brown foliage. 

Ready to get your pride on? The Cape Town Pride Festival takes place from the end of February right through to the first week of March to celebrate the beauty of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Mother City is definitely the place to be in the month of March – the Cape Town Cycle Tour and Cape Town International Jazz Festival also takes place this month. After being postponed in 2021, Africa’s largest jazz fest is sure to be especially thrilling this year. And if you feel like doing some good, for the past 44 years, the Cape Town Cycle Tour, presented by Pick n Pay, has contributed millions of rands to social upliftment and cycling development.

April | exhilarating Easter escapes

Easter is great for two reasons – ALL THE CHOCOLATE and fantastic festivals!  

Head out into nature this Easter and make the great outdoors the canvas for your Easter egg hunt. Then, treat the kids to a break after the busyness of the first term and take advantage of the weather for a great family holiday.

Splashy, SA’s longest-running music festival, is free of bias and judgment and is one of the friendliest festivals around, celebrating rock and folk music, people, life, and love. Dozens of the hottest international and local acts have been performed at the fest, from Wheatus and Bowling for Soup to Ladysmith Black Mambazo and The Parlotones.

Cape Town’s most prestigious cycle race, the “globally iconic” Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, will take place on 16 and 17 April after a two-year hiatus resulting from Covid-19 lockdown regulations. The 56 km route runs along the panoramic vista of Chapman’s peak and attracts racers from over 114 countries across the world.

Cape Town also hosts Die Burger’s Suidoosterfees, a festival that celebrates modern art, culture, and heritage. Also, in April? The Transkei Trek, with steep climbs and thrilling descents, this MTB race is an exciting journey around Coffee Bay and the Investec Great Kei Trek and SA Bike Fest in Port Edward.

May | marvels of motherhood

May is for mothers. Spoil mum with a getaway to show her how grateful you are for her. Picture a weekend of spa treatments, bubbly, and plenty of rest and relaxation. Breathe in the fresh air from some of the most gorgeous spots in SA, on the beach, in the bush, or at the Berg.

If you’re serious about meeting your #fitnessgoals in 2022, why not participate in Ultra-Trail Drakensberg or the Giant’s Cup Trail Run. UTD is a trail running festival in the Southern region of the Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site, including some of the most prominent features of the Berg, like Sani Pass, the Twelve Apostles, and Rhino Peak. Whereas The Giant’s Cup is more of a boutique hiking experience where you run in the day and relax around the fire with your partner at night!

June | catch the snow

Brr, Winter is here! Be on standby to catch the snow in the Midlands or in Underberg. Nothing can compare to the joy of rosy cheeks, puffs of smoky breath, and pristine snow. During June, inland KZN transforms into a winter wonderland. Gaze out at the majesty of snow-capped peaks while huddled around the fire with your hot chocolate.

June is also the Comrades Marathon, the world’s oldest ultramarathon spanning 89 km between Durban and Pietermaritzburg and attracting entrants from the US to Russia. The race was not held between 1941 and 1945 due to World War II and 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, so 2022 promises to be a great one!

Are you a jazz lover? Then, head to the Ugu Jazz Festival on KZN’s South Coast, an outdoor music extravaganza that is guaranteed to tantalize your eardrums.

July | run with the sardines

As temperatures begin to fall, the cooler ocean currents (a very specific 21° C) allow for the annual sardine run. Billions of sardines spawn south of Cape Agulhas and move northward along the east coast up to Mozambique. This creates a feeding frenzy along the KZN coast – the shoals can be as big as 7 km long, 1.5 km wide, and 30 m deep. You can even spot them from the skies! This is a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle that you need to see at least once. 

Suppose you’re in more of a fancy mood. Then, why not attend the Durban July Handicap, one of the most significant events on the city’s social calendar since the late 1800s, combining outrageous fashion, entertainment, and plenty of champagne!

It’s not just KZN with the hottest events in July… Check out the Knysna Oyster Festival! Stay in deluxe Garden Route accommodation, work remotely, choose your race days, and you can play with boat trips, forest tours, moonlight beach walks, live bands, nite golf, heritage tours, and wine, beer, and gin tasting. Plus, don’t forget the mouth-watering OYSTERS!

August | celebrate women

August is Women’s Month, a chance to show the incredible ladies in your life how much you respect and admire them. Women’s Day in SA commemorates the 1956 march of more than 20,000 women to protest the Apartheid regime. Nowadays, the day serves to remind us of the need for equality, equity, and the dismantling of patriarchy.

Take advantage of the holiday to enjoy a girls’ trip, filled with pampering and relaxation, or gents, plan a memorable getaway to show how much you care.

September | scents of spring  

After a chilly Winter, spring into Spring with the ultimate vacay! Springtime is a season of renewal and rejuvenation and the perfect time for traveling SA.

With balmy breezes and sultry sunshine on the coast and fresh air and new life in the countryside, you’ll be spoiled for choice! Plus, you can head to the Garden Route to marvel at the wildflowers.  

September 24th marks Heritage Day, a salute to our rich cultural diversity. So take some time to step away from the braai and discover more about your country. There’s so much to see and do while learning more about our history, from the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Berg to the Castle in Cape Town and even the Sterkfontein caves.

Also worth checking out – the Durban Ports Festival, a maritime event for the whole family, and the Strawberry Festival in George.

October | summer is coming

It’s never too early to start to think about Summer… soaking up the sun on a golden beach, cocktail in hand… Life’s good. Plan to book your Summer vacay early to avoid disappointment and get ready to make magical memories in December.

November | deals for days

Start saving, fellow South Africans! November is Black Friday – and you just know that we’re going to have insane, unbelievable, totally crazy deals on fabulous holidays, just for you!

A word to the wise: get your Christmas presents early in November and save during the Festive Season! Plus, we think you should seriously consider giving the gift of travel – it’s something the lucky recipient will never forget. 

December | family festivities

Ah, Christmas feels like it was just a few days ago… But that doesn’t mean you can’t get ready for next year. Seriously, maybe just leave the tree and decorations up!

The holiday season is a time of peace, joy, love, and hope, so make sure you plan how you’re going to be spending it with your friends and family.

Let’s make it epic…

2022 promises to be jam-packed full of thrilling activities and plenty of opportunities to explore South Africa. Whatever you choose to do, we can’t wait to be your partners-in-crime – wherever you go, we have the perfect resort in mind for you. Click here to book your vacay now.

Cheers to 2022 – and to you!

Love,

Team First Group

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