There's nothing quite like a sneaky weekend getaway. You don't need to wait until you have weeks of leave lined up to enjoy a holiday. In fact, some experts have said that shorter getaways often make for a smarter way to holiday – costs are lower, you can take more breaks, and the wellness benefits of a change of scenery, even for a day or two, are significant.
So, why not plan your leave days like a pro and make the most of South Africa's public holidays.
We've just launched a fantastic new addition to our Homegrown Holidays collection – Homegrown Holidays Long Weekends.
This curated range of Homegrown holiday packages is perfect for making a holiday of Human Rights Day, Freedom Day, Easter, Woman's Day and Heritage Day.
Whether you want to chill at the beach, wine and dine on a wine farm, or tick off your South African bucket list with weekend trips to the Mother City, Franschhoek, Bela-Bela, Durban, Umhlanga, Sun City, Knysna, the Pilanesberg, or the Drakensberg, there's a HomeGrown Holidays Long Weekend that's perfect for you and your pocket!
Here is the Flight Centre team's five favourite local minibreaks:
March Human Rights day long weekend: Soak up the sun in Umhlanga
Durbs has always made for an idyllic local break. If you're concerned about the sun setting lower and the chillier mornings in the rest of the country, hop on a plane to sun-splashed Durban.
With pleasantly warm temperatures, none of the melting summer humidity and fewer crowds, March is the perfect time to visit South Africa's beach playground of Umhlanga.
April Easter long weekend: The best mountain view in the Mother City
Looking onto Table Mountain and, on a clear day, Robben Island, check-in to Milnerton's Lagoon Beach Hotel for an Easter break with the best Mother City views.
Embrace the last of the summer sunshine at the hotel's beach bar, enjoy the direct beach access and take in the mountain views from the rooftop swimming pool. You can also make use of the free shuttle transportation to the V&A Waterfront to shop up a storm.
April Freedom Day long weekend:
Embrace the freedom and exchange the daily grind for a simpler, more relaxed existence on the tranquil Wild Coast. With mild temperatures and the warm Indian Ocean water beckoning, April is a beautiful time to visit.
August Women's Day long weekend: Explore the stunning Garden Route
The Garden Route is one of South Africans' best-loved local getaways year-round. Enjoy a warming winter staycation by discovering just why the Garden Route is so popular with locals and international visitors alike.
Soak up the coastal views, roadside dorpies and extraordinary encounters with wildlife on this classic road trip destination.
Feast on fresh oysters, hop on board a Featherbed ferry trip across the lagoon to the Knysna Heads, visit the Wild Oats Community Market in neighbouring Sedgefield or take a deep breath and bungee jump the world's highest bungee at Bloukrans.
September Heritage Day long weekend: The great South African bushveld
In under two-and-a-half hours from Johannesburg by car, escape the city's busyness for the sights and sounds of the bush. This Heritage Day, why not celebrate our heritage in the best way possible – surrounded by nothing but the magic of the South African bushveld.
Mabula Game Lodge makes for a hassle-free family road trip in the malaria-free Waterberg. The lodge welcomes families with open arms with family-friendly main and interleading rooms. From quad biking and bird walks to stargazing and guided bush walks, not a single family member will be bored! Cosy up in the luxury thatched-roof suites and enjoy hearty local dishes such as impala casserole and a kudu and red wine potjie. And, on morning and evening game drives, spot the Big Five!
Here is how to plan your long weekend like a pro to make the most out of your time away:
Book one of our Homegrown Holidays accommodation packages with complete peace of mind. Cancel your booking up to 24 hours before check-in, and we will refund your money. No questions asked.
Related content: Our experts top travel tips for staying safe when going on a holiday