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5 bespoke family-friendly destinations to retreat to this Easter

With the long weekend arriving sooner than we think, here’s some gorgeous places to visit over this upcoming holiday

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By IOL | March 23, 2023 | Travel Leisure

Just like Christmas, the Easter holiday period is much loved and widely celebrated.

For South Africans, it’s a time to take a breath and enjoy some much needed time with loved ones.

When it comes to destinations, South Africa has plenty of gems to explore it’s no surprise the country is at the top as a travel destination.

If you are looking for family friendly destinations to explore on home ground, then here are five bespoke destinations you and your family can retreat to this Easter.

Akademie Street Boutique Hotel – Franschhoek Western Cape

According to the boutique hotel’s website, hospitality and comfort lie at the heart of the Akademie Street experience.

“Our luxurious property, complete with wood fired hot tubs and fragrant landscaped gardens, is designed to be a haven of sumptuous tranquillity with attention to detail throughout.

“The discreet, personal service is warm and welcoming, attentive and unlimited,” it said.

&Beyond Phinda Game Reserve – KwaZulu Natal

When it comes to luxury, &Beyond is no rookie. &Beyond’s Phinda Private Game Reserve is an impressive 29 866ha of protected wildlife land in between the Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal.

It is home to Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), as well as 436 bird species.

The reserve is particularly well known for close-up sightings of the elegant yet elusive cheetah, as well as the rare black rhino.

Often described as ‘Seven Worlds of Wonder’, Phinda is a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, rivers, marshes and pans.

The reserve is also in close proximity to the unspoiled beaches and spectacular coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, offering an unmatched combination of bush and beach adventures.

Phinda is home to six magnificent lodges, each with its own individual charm and character: Mountain Lodge, Rock Lodge, Forest Lodge, Vlei Lodge, Zuka Lodge and Phinda Homestead.

Cape St Francis Resort, St Francis Bay – Eastern Cape

Cape St Francis, and its sister town the canal side ‘Little Venice’ of St Francis Bay, is one of the most inspiring places to spend downtime on the Eastern Cape coastline.

Swimming is one of its major attractions as the sea remains warm for most of the year and the wide beaches stretch from seal Point to Shark Point, with a sheltered tidal pool for kids.

Bordering the beach at Cape St Francis and just 90 minutes from Port Elizabeth airport, Cape St Francis Resort ticks all the boxes as a perfect beach holiday destination.

The region is renowned as a water sport paradise with surfing, kite-surfing, surf ski and canoe paddling on the beautiful waters off both Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay’s as well as on the nearby Kromme River.

For golfers, the top ten rated St Francis Links offers the keen golfer an excellent challenge of links golf with the nearby St Francis Bay Golf Club offering an easier but still challenging round of golf.

Nkomazi Private Game Reserve – Mpumalanga

Described as a family glamping destination, Nkomazi is a five-star hotel alongside the Komati River in Mpumalanga.

The hotel has 14 glamping tents, each furnished in an “Out of Africa” style with all the comforts of luxury accommodation and the tents blend into the natural landscape and are linked by stoned pathways through the bush.

The six Deluxe Tents offer panoramic views of the reserve whilst six Luxury Tents are surrounded by nature, but offer extra proximity to the soothing surrounds as they are river-facing.

The hotel offers activities such as picnics along the Komati River and fishing excellent fishing opportunities for guests to enjoy.

The Komati River is home to numerous species of freshwater fish. This is a fantastic way to wind down, relax and enjoy being a part of the reserve, taking in the sights, sounds and scents of the local flora and fauna.

Nkomazi Private Game Reserve also offers incredible game-viewing opportunities, with four of the Big 5 – lion, cape buffalo, leopard and elephant – as well as a wide variety of antelope, giraffe, zebra, cheetah and other species.

Amalfi Cove - Knysna (Garden Route) Western Cape

If you are looking for a beach and forest escape, this retreat is for you. Amalfi Cove is on the cliffs of the picturesque Knysna coastline and boasts panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.

Knysna has a lot to offer travellers including beaches where you can participate in water activities such as kiteboarding, boating, windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and swimming.

Amalfi Cove is a magnificent find on Airbnb and perfect for a family seeking privacy at the self-catering villa.

Whether you're here to work from home or spend time with family and friends, everyone will appreciate the tranquility of the area, breathtaking views and further indulge in the true beauty of nature, comfort, and relaxation.

Written by ZamaNdosi Cele

This article originally appeared on IOL