Youth Day is commemorated rather than celebrated in South Africa. It’s a time to respect the youngsters who took part in what became the Soweto Uprising, which ultimately played a key part in our progress towards democracy in South Africa.
A long weekend is a good opportunity to honour that sacrifice and to celebrate the freedom it delivered, whilst enjoying spending some valuable time together. Shaun Pozyn, Head of Marketing at kulula.com suggests you book that last minute flight if you haven’t got any plans yet and to go and share in some of the awesome delights that will be on the go in and around our beautiful country.
Cape Town: the Hermanus FynArts Festival is well worth the hour-and-a-bit drive from the Mother City. It’s a 10-day programme of theatre, music, workshops, talks and presentation with dozens of experts in their fields. Choose from a tutorial on advanced cellphone photography, in-depth examinations of the works of William Kentridge or ceramics workshops. There’s even a session on beach calligraphy for teenagers, which enables them to turn sea-sand into art.
Wine-farms in the area are participating in the festival with the Art & Vine Tour, a programme of guided art exhibitions, wine-tastings and food-pairings. Patrons can be safely shuttled to each one in a Wine Hopper, freeing grown-ups from worries about drinking and driving. www.hermanusfynarts.co.za/
Durban: this beloved seaside playground can be very crowded in festive season and rewards visitors in the cooler months with mild temperatures and a little more breathing-room. The balmy Indian Ocean is as inviting as ever, and so is the water at WaveparkGateway in Umhlanga, just north of Durban and close to King Shaka International Airport. It’s a water-park with vast facilities that include a 180m super-tube, a skate-park, and plenty of areas for youngsters to splash around. It also has a selection of food stalls. Tripadvisor rates it 4/5 and a good choice for families or groups of friends with plenty of energy. www.wavepark.co.za/
Got a head for heights? Slide up into the sky on the arch that soars over Moses Mabhida Stadium in The Sky Car, then view the coast and the city from a 106m vantage point. You can also swing from the archway and earn some adrenalin-junkie bragging-rights. www.mmstadium.com
Port Elizabeth: Volkswagen’s AutoPavilion in nearby Uitenhage is a celebration of the past and future of motor vehicles. It’s not just for petrol-heads, but for anyone with an interest in pop culture and how motor-vehicles have helped shape it. There are driving simulators, interactive exhibits and 50 vehicles, including a 1938 DKW F-5 Reichklasse, the Kombi that symbolized the ’60s hippie era, and the only Volkswagen XL1 hybrid concept car in South Africa. There’s an exhibit of Beetles, including Herbie, star of four films and arguably the first self-driving car. www.autopavilion.co.za/
The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) near the Cape Recife Lighthouse cares for sick or injured seabirds until they can be released. It’s a good opportunity to see some fascinating species close-up and learn more about the important work of animal welfare organisations. Since the 1960s SANCCOB has worked hard to reverse the decline in population of seabirds, having treated more than 97 000 seabirds, across nearly 60 species. It’s also reared more than 8000 penguin chicks since 2001. www.sanccob.co.za
Joburg: see waterfalls and eagles at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, north-west of the city. Locals and visitors love picnicking on the sprawling, sun-drenched lawns or in the shady glens, and strolling the quiet winding trails of the nature reserve. You can spot Verreaux’s Eagles – one of the 226 bird species found in the gardens – nesting on the rock face of Jozi’s only waterfall, and enjoy a meal at the Eagle’s Fare Restaurant. The reserve has been voted Gauteng’s best place to get back to nature for nine consecutive years. www.sanbi.org/gardens/walter-sisulu/
Prefer inner-city grit to the great outdoors? Take a tour of street art and public art in the Maboneng Precinct, Jeppestown and Newton. As interest grows in street art and as business injects funding into urban renewal, our talented local artists, together with their international peers are beautifying public spaces with wildly imaginative and thought-provoking art. Tours are offered by https://jozytriangel.co.za/, http://pastexperiences.co.za/ and others.