Weekend road trips from Joburg

I’m Farirai, I’m 27 and I really love to travel. I work full time as a chemical engineer in South Africa and I’m a travel blogger. I started this blog, Gophari, to be a voice that keeps it real about the barriers that stop Africans from traveling. The goal is to break these barriers and empower more Africans to travel their country and the world.

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Ok now let’s get into the topic of this post…

Making the most of your weekends is one of the secrets to traveling more while working full time. This post is for everyone that wants to plan a local weekend trip with family, friends or bae and needs a quick overview of destination options.

I have highlighted 7 road trip destinations that are close enough to Joburg for a weekend trip.

The destinations are listed in order from closest to furtherst from Joburg.

Ready?

Magaliesburg, Gauteng

Distance from Joburg: 70km; 1 hour drive

Accommodation recommendations: Woodland Gardens (Airbnb), Valley Lodge & Spa (hotel)

One of the cozy log cabins at Woodland Gardens
Valley Lodge & Spa indoor pool
Valley Lodge & Spa indoor pool

Activities: Hiking trails, zip lining, horse riding, hot air ballooning

Rock pools at Kranskloof hiking trail
I really enjoyed the rock pools along the Kranskloof hiking trail

Attractions: The Cradle of Humankind, Magalies Canopy Tour, Mountain Sanctuary Park, Kranskloof hiking trail

Tip: Look out for the winter spa specials at Valley Lodge & Spa

That spa day glow

Hartbeestport, North West

Distance from Joburg: 78km; 1 hour drive

Accommodation recommendations:  There are plenty of Airbnb homes along the dam. If you are a first time user of Airbnb, register using my code for R600 off your first booking.

Activities: Boat rides, water sports, fishing

Attractions: Hartbeesport dam, French Toast Koffie Kafee, Aerial cableway, Harties watersports centre

Tip: You can double up a weekend stay in Hartbeesport by also visiting Pilanesberg (more on Pilanesberg below).

Parys, Free State

Distance from Joburg: 111km; 1hour 15min drive

Accommodation recommendations:  Pont de Val (hotel)

Activities: Boat rides, river rafting, spas

Attractions: Vaal River, Pont de Val, Vredefort Crater, R.E.A.L Adventures

Restaurant at Pont de Val

Tip: Pont de Val is a very romantic setting. I recommend it for a baecation. In fact while I was there, someone proposed to their girlfriend on the lawn alongside the river!

Pilanesberg, North West

Distance from Joburg: 177km; 2.5 hour drive

Accommodation recommendations: Tshiberry Bed & Breakfast (Airbnb), Cabanas Sun City (hotel), Bakubung Bush Lodge (hotel)

Tshiberry Bed & Breakfast exterior
Tshiberry Bed & Breakfast

Activities: Game drives, water sports, quad biking

Attractions: Sun City Resort, Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Valley of the waves at Sun City Resort
Valley of the Waves at Sun City Resort
Sun City water slide
One of the many slides at Valley of the Waves, Sun City

Clarens, Free State

Distance from Joburg: 302km, 3 hour drive

Activities: river rafting, wine tasting, quad biking, horseback riding

Attractions: Art & Wine Gallery on Main, Clarens Brewery, Ash River, Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Tip: Visit in February to attend the Clarens Craft Beer Festival

Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal

Distance from Joburg: 394km, 4 hours drive

Accommodation recommendations: Didima Camp Cathedral Peak (Hotel)

Activities: hiking, horseback riding, wine tasting, river rafting, fishing, rock climbing, rock art viewing

Drakensberg
Views at Didima Camp Cathedral Peak

Attractions: Tugela Falls, Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve, Drakensberg amphitheater, Kamberg Nature Reserve

Panorama Route, Mpumalanga

Distance from Joburg: 405km; 4.5 hour drive

Accommodation recommendations: Stay in a small town called Graskop for easy access to all the attractions on Panorama Route. If you are a first time user of Airbnb, register using my code for R600 off your first booking.

Activities: Waterfall swims, nature parks, hiking, tubing

Gophari at Blyde River Canyon
Blyde River Canyon

Attractions: God’s window, Blyde River Canyon, Gorge Lift, Lisbon Falls, Bourkes Luck Potholes, Sudwala Caves

Bourkeโ€™s Luck Potholes
Bourkeโ€™s Luck Potholes

Tip: There is a lot to see on the Panorama Route. Choose the attractions you want to see and plan out your stops so that you make the most of your time! See how I explored the Panorama Route in one day.

 

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