“Nothing ever seems impossible in spring, you know” – L.M Montgomery.
Possibilities are everywhere, especially when Spring vibes meet Heritage Month celebrations! Flowers, freshness, and festivity reign. Technically, Spring in the Southern Hemisphere only starts on the 23rd of September – which is perfect timing for that Heritage Day Experience.
What does Heritage Day actually involve, though? From dressing in our most iconic traditional clothing to gathering and sharing our culture’s unique food and music, there are no set rules for how we choose to celebrate. Many of us unite in the celebration of Braai Day (also on the 24th of Sept) to celebrate a custom we all share: Tjops (and Dops!) Instead of staying home and sticking close to your own braai this year, we think a Heritage Day Experience can create a blooming positive on both body and mind!
Whether it’s just you, you and bae, or the whole family, discovering our country’s rich history by visiting one of the many South African heritage sites can cause some serious soul blossoming.
Have you got that Heritage Day Spring Swag?
With the sun stronger on your skin and the skies a brighter blue, it makes springing into action a breeze. South Africa is sprinkled with heritage sites all across the country, and warming up your spirits with a spring trip can mean taking a moment to admire not just the lush scenery but also our rich history which is a big part of our culture.
Best Day Trip Destinations
Raise the temperature even more by grabbing your partner and taking an unexpected road trip. Create a stir with some spring swagger by piling the family (or your besties) in the car for an impromptu adventure. Whoever you choose to travel with, let’s all agree: Day trips rock! And making the destination a heritage site can add that extra magic to the day! We suggest soul-stirring places like the Nelson Mandela Capture Site (in Howick) or the Cradle of Humankind (in Gauteng.)
The Cradle of Humankind was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
Traveller, Aaron Spray says it “…showcases the history of humans in a way that nowhere else in the world does.”
Now, that’s goosebump-worthy! This heritage hotspot is around 50 Kilometres (or 31 Miles) Northwest of Johannesburg. If you don’t live in or near Jozi, book in at Magalies Park Resort for the weekend, and plan a day trip to explore this fascinating spot that’s like no other IN THE WORLD!
In 1962, on August 5th, after being on the run for over a year, Nelson Mandela was captured by Apartheid police just outside Howick, Kwa Zulu Natal. The spot where he was taken into custody is now officially known as the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, which includes a Visitors’ Centre and a world-renowned sculpture. The sculpture is an iconic collection of columns, and when viewed from 35 metres away, it magically reveals Madiba’s face in profile. It’s truly some good ol’ Madiba Magic! Seeing it in pictures online doesn’t do this sculpture justice. It’s something you can only experience standing in that very spot. This is why the Capture Site is one of our top picks for your Heritage Day Trip Experience. Make it a day trip or a special stop on the way when you book in for the weekend at Whispering Waters, where added fun activities like adventure golf, bird watching, fishing, canoeing and hiking can fill up your time.
Hike or Ferry on holiday
Spring is warm-up season. The sparks of a promising summer have been lit.Wildflowers begin to emerge, brushing the landscape with magnificent colours, like a work of art. Now, all that’s left is to put yourself into that picture.
Cape Town is the perfect place to call your HQ for your Heritage Day Holiday Experience, with many official and non-official historical heritage sites on offer. So, it can be as intense or low-key as you want it to be. The City of Cape Town boasts two of the most iconic World Heritage Sites: Table Mountain and Robben Island.
Whether you choose to take the cable car or hike up, the view from the top of Table Mountain will have you feeling on top of the world. A hike means even more contact with the thrilling wildlife which keeps animal lovers and the kids excited – from dassies, porcupines and mongooses to snakes, tortoises and a rare amphibian called the Table Mountain Ghost Frog.We’ve even heard there’s a possibility of raptor sightings! Don’t worry, it’s not the Jurassic World, velociraptor-type! We’re talking about jackal buzzards, booted eagles, African harrier-hawks, peregrine falcons and rock kestrels. Now that’s what we call a bird’s-eye view!
Robben Island is famous as the place where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. The island represents the triumph of democracy and freedom over oppression, symbolizing the resilience of humanity over hardship and adversity. Visiting this heritage site promises profound insight, understanding and appreciation for how far we have come.
So, after a trek up Table Mountain or a long day exploring Robben Island, you’ll have legit reason to book that relaxing and rejuvenating spa session. Check out these holiday spots to call home at either the Mount Sierra or Riviera Suites. Both boast our famous La Vita Wellness Spa.
Holiday with a difference
A lesser known but stunning heritage site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in the North of KZN, can bring you the Heritage Day experience with a difference. With its rich culture, animal life, and adventure, visiting thisWetland Park can be both relaxing and fulfilling. Let your hair down or splash out! After all, it is KZN: the warmest place to be in the entire country!!! The park is a huge expanse of protected land with its central hub the vast Lake St. Lucia, which is home to large numbers of hippos, crocodiles, pelicans and flamingos. Our Lake View Cabanas and La Rochelle resorts are just 5-min drive away from the Wetland Park.
Convenience, comfort, and the very best of culture! For the adventurous ones, there are horse-riding, kayaking, and scuba diving activities to indulge in. For those who want a calmer Heritage Day experience, we got you! You can pick from game drives, guided walks, and turtle tours. And with Spring in the air, the warmer weather insists that you make a pitstop at the beach.
The great thing is that your Heritage Experience is not limited to ONLY Heritage Month. It’s Springtime, so springboard yourself toward what and when best suits you!
“Culture opens the sense of beauty” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Wishing you a Beautiful Spring and a Happy Heritage Month!