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.
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.
Distance from Joburg: 70km; 1 hour drive
Accommodation recommendations: Woodland Gardens (Airbnb), Valley Lodge & Spa (hotel)
Activities: Hiking trails, zip lining, horse riding, hot air ballooning
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
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
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)
Activities: Game drives, water sports, quad biking
Attractions: Sun City Resort, Pilanesberg Game Reserve
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
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
Attractions: Tugela Falls, Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve, Drakensberg amphitheater, Kamberg Nature Reserve
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
Attractions: God’s window, Blyde River Canyon, Gorge Lift, Lisbon Falls, Bourkes Luck Potholes, Sudwala Caves
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.