10 Weekend Getaways to Escape to from Johannesburg

Rediscover nature at the Woolly Bugger Farm  | Courtesy of Woolly Bugger Farm
Rediscover nature at the Woolly Bugger Farm | Courtesy of Woolly Bugger Farm
Photo of Carina Claassens
27 November 2017

If you’re after a break from city life, but don’t want to travel too far, look no further than our list of 10 weekend getaways situated close to Johannesburg.

Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa, Muldersdrift

Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa is the perfect combination of luxury and country charm. The tranquil atmosphere is emphasised by the sweeping views of the Zwartkop Mountains and fly-fishing dams that can all be soaked up from the world-class spa. Offering a variety of treatments, this is where guests come to really wind down.

Distance: 40 km (25 mi)

Highlands Mountain Retreat, Golden Gate Highlands National Park

The Highlands Mountain Retreat is situated in the heart of the Golden Gate Highlands National Park and is the ultimate spot to escape the city. Surrounded by mountains and rolling hills, these charming, self catering log cottages are ideal for couples looking for a romantic breakaway. The park is also close to the artistic town of Clarens, which is filled with many restaurants and quirky shops.

Distance: 320 km (199 mi)

Scenery in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park | ©Carina Claassens

Komati Gorge Lodge, Machadodorp

Komati Gorge Lodge offers the best of both worlds – a relaxing retreat as well as action-packed activities. So whether you’re after a weekend of doing as little as possible or traveling as a family with children, there’s something for everyone. They even offer a babysitting service!

Distance: 273 km (170 mi)

Lambourn’s Guest Farm, Kaapsehoop

Kaapsehoop, a small and historical mining town in Mpumalanga where wild horses run free, is one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets. There are plenty of accommodation options, but Lambourn is a favourite for larger groups. The self-catering cottage is secluded, nestled between beautifully manicured gardens, and accommodates six people. It includes all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay, and is close to town where curious visitors can spend their days exploring.

Distance: 312 km (194 mi)

The entrance to town | ©John A Forbes/WikiCommons

Mabalingwe Nature Reserve, Bela-Bela

Mabalingwe Nature Reserve is one of the quickest ways to escape to the bushveld from Johannesburg. From guided walks to game drives, the reserve offers a variety of ways to experience the bush and South Africa’s diverse fauna and flora. The reserve also features a restaurant, heated and unheated swimming pools, a tennis court, mini golf and more!

Distance: 197 km (122 mi)

Thabela Thabeng, Parys

The beautiful Eagle’s Nest cottage is one of many accommodation options at Thabela Thabeng, but a favourite nonetheless. This two bedroom cottage was recently renovated and is the ultimate hideaway, perched on the edge of a cliff. Naturally the views are exceptional, whether you’re on the balcony or in the bath. Visitors can spend their days exploring the surrounding area, including the small town of Parys and the Vredefort Dome.

Distance: 128 km (79 mi)

The views from the cottages are out of this world | Thabela Thabeng

Kuhestan Organic Farm, Magoebaskloof

Kuhestan Organic Farm is a working avocado and raspberry farm situated in the breathtaking Magoebaskloof. Their self-catering accommodation options are set in lush gardens and overlook the Afromontane forests. From February to the end of March, guests are welcome to pick their own raspberries, while delicious homemade jams and cordials are for sale to take home.

Distance: 397 km (247 mi)

Tussen-I-Bome Guest Farm, Cullinan

If you’re after something a bit different, you’ve come to the right place. Tussen-I-Bome (Afrikaans for ‘between the trees’) is an ox-wagon resort in Cullinan where all the wagons are originals (one dating as far back as 1860!). Candles and lanterns provide light in the evenings while water needs to be boiled in an old fashioned ‘donkey kettle.’

Distance: 106 km (66 mi)

Overnight in an ox-wagon | Tussen-I-Bome

Mongena Game Lodge, Dinokeng Game Reserve

Mongena Game Lodge is a four-star lodge only a short drive from the city. Situated inside Dinokeng Game Reserve, the lodge offers game drives and safaris, bush walks, sunset cruises on the resident dam, bush braais and breakfasts and more. Guests staying in the self-catered Wild Ways bush camp can choose between three fully furnished, two bedroom chalets or a separate set of bedrooms called Weaver’s Nest which boasts it’s own kitchen and lapa.

Distance: 112 km (69 mi)

Woolly Bugger Farm, Tonteldoos

Tonteldoos, a small town situated near Dullstroom, is where you’ll find Woolly Bugger Farm. Activities on the farm include walking and mountain bike trails as well as fly-fishing. There are four stone cottages to choose from, each with a fireplace and an outdoor braai area. Drive into Dullstroom for a plethora of eateries, galleries and quaint shops.

Distance: 263 km (163 mi)

The quaint cottages set in a beautiful landscape | Woolly Bugger Farm

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