Last minute sho’t left ideas for a fun-packed Easter weekend

A family enjoying a day out at the park. Picture: Unsplash

A family enjoying a day out at the park. Picture: Unsplash

Published Mar 27, 2024


Schools are closed and the Easter break is finally here. Flight ticket prices are already soaring but that shouldn’t deter you from putting your family travel plans in motion.

Though it may be last minute, there is still a chance that you can put together a quick sho’t left with the kids so you don’t spend the best days of their lives stuck at home.

If you’re looking for quick last minute getaways to lock into before everything is booked out, here are some ideas on where to spend your Easter holiday.

Safari in the Eastern Cape

A baby elephant crosses the road at a game park with onlookers taking picture: Unsplash

The Eastern Cape is fast becoming a popular safari destination and a great place to avoid the Kruger crowds while still getting the best in safari game viewing experiences.

For a quick sho’t left consider visiting Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa’s third-largest national park. Not only will you get to see the traditional Big Five - leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino and elephant - you can also learn about the Big 7, which includes the Big Five and the Southern right whale and the great white shark in their environment.

The Eastern Cape - just like KZN - offers both beach and safari experiences.

Since you’re already in the vicinity why not spend a night at the national park’s Forest Cabin at Addo Rest Camp?

A stay for a family of four starts from R1 308 a night.

Games and adventure in Gauteng

Moms enjoying a rollercoaster ride with the little ones at a theme park. Picture: Unsplash

Imagine being on a school break and not going to a theme park or amusement park? Yawn fest. If you’re looking for a place to visit with the kids if you’re in and around the Johannesburg and Gauteng areas, then Gold Reef City is the perfect quick spot to explore.

Gold Reef City is reminiscent of an authentic turn-of-the-century mining town resort.

It offers a variety of entertainment for both the young and young at heart which includes a state-of-the-art casino, two 4-star hotels, a thrilling theme park, a spectacular theatre featuring live productions and a variety of restaurants and fast food outlets for every taste.

Don’t feel like driving back home after some fun, consider a stay at the Gold Reef City Hotel’s junior suite with sleeper couch starting at R2 532 a night.

Water and slides in Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape

Adventure Land in Plettenberg Bay. Picture: Website

Let the kids take a splash at the pools and water slides one last time before the cold weather kicks in with a trip to the water park. Adventure Land in Plettenberg Bay is set in a beautiful natural setting on a 24 hectare estate and promises epic days for the little ones.

The water park is open all school holidays, public holidays and weekends and is closed from May to mid-September.

You can enjoy a picnic or have a braai while watching your family and friends enjoy the water activities and playground. The water park is conveniently located between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna with easy access from the N2.

Why not stay at Jolly Jenny @ The Dunes Resort in Keurboomstrand, just outside Plettenberg Bay?

A stay here starts from R2 600 a night for four.

Learn about prehistoric times in KwaZulu-Natal

A little explorer on the back of a dinosaur at Dino Park. Picture: Website

Take a sho’t left from Durban and surrounding areas and treat the young ones to a some “rex-ellent” family adventure at Dino Park SA on the South Coast.

This trip is perfect for families with small children and all dinosaur enthusiasts. At the park, you can go on family missions in the mini-Jurassic jungle, enjoy dino shows, look for dinosaurs and dig up skeletons in the fossil sand pit and jungle gym.

Consider a stay at the Royston Hall Historical Guest House close to the beach and Umtentweni River, which starts from R3 300 a night for four.

Taste South Africa’s best pancakes and lowveld coffee in Mpumalanga

Scrumptious pancakes for the family to enjoy. Picture: Unsplash

The fun part about exploring the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga is getting to taste South Africa’s most famous pancakes at Harrie’s Pancakes.

The restaurant is a popular gem and was, more than 30 years ago, in the quaint town of Graskop, Mpumalanga. Harrie's Pancakes is the original must-stop when going on holiday to the Lowveld in South Africa.

Mom and dad can also get to sample coffee and a slice of cake at Sabie Valley Coffee and also indulge in a coffee tour.

Mpumalanga, especially White River, is a farming region, therefore you’re guaranteed fresh food straight from the earth.

Consider a stay at White River Mbombela, a new resort, starting from R1 498 a night for a family of four.

Mountain holiday in the Free State

The Maluti Frakensberg Mountain range waiting to be explored. Picture: Unsplash

For a mountain escape sho’t left Ladybrand in the Free State is is a small predominantly agricultural town situated in the Motheo and Xhariep region near the border with Lesotho.

You can explore the charm and tranquillity of the region with its many sandstone buildings while the areas surrounding the town hold some wonderful San rock art, and can be seen on the many beautiful walks and hikes.

This sho’t left is perfect for a family looking to visit the Maluti Drakensberg Route and the Basotho Cultural Village to break away from city life.

You really have to travel out of town for this one, so consider a stay at Little Rock resort, starting from R5 508 a night for a family of four.