Specials for the festive season: a Bushveld getaway, day tours and a wild ride

A visit to South Africa at this time of year is popular with overseas visitors intent on escaping the harsh winters of the northern hemisphere, and those wishing to spend Christmas with family.

Memories are made when families travel to new places together and share the joy of the experience for years to come. These festive-season specials will make planning easy and allow you to budget for a few mementoes, too.

Historical, cultural and safari day tours

Do you have overseas family staying over for the holidays? Ulysses Tours & Transfers offers a host of historical, cultural and safari tours sure to pique the interest of international visitors – and locals too.

For an overview of South Africa’s political metamorphosis, there’s a self-guided tour to the Apartheid Museum, where more than 20 exhibition areas feature films, photographs, text and artefacts that tell the story of the rise and demise of apartheid.

The tour of South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria, takes in the Voortrekker Monument, Paul Kruger's statue on Church Square, the Union Buildings and the statue of Nelson Mandela – the country's first democratically elected president – overlooking the city, the Museum of Natural History, both the old and new South African Reserve Banks, and various other sites of historical importance.

Cradle Of Humankind
Maropeng, the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. (Image: Flowcomm)

The Cradle of Humankind, a 47 000ha United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) World Heritage Site, is where around 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils discovered to date have been unearthed. Take a day tour to the Cradle, which includes a visit to the Sterkfontein Caves, the Wonder Cave and the nearby Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve.

For a taste of African tradition, the multicultural Lesedi Cultural Village showcases facets of the Ndebele, Zulu, Basotho, Xhosa and Pedi ways of life and the distinctive homesteads of each cultural group. Interactive singing and dancing routines are rounded off with an African buffet featuring the cuisine of North, East and Southern Africa.

If your wish is to see wildlife, Ulysses also offers a three-hour safari tour of the 400ha Lion & Safari Park. You can also opt for a day tour that combines a visit to the Lion & Safari Park with one to the Lesedi Cultural Village.

Tours include lunch. For festive season packages and detailed information, call +27 (0)12 653 0018, email ulysses@lantic.co.za or visit the website.

Family trip to Pretoria Zoo with the Gautrain

Take a #WildRide on the Gautrain to visit the Pretoria Zoo. (Image: Darren Smith)

Why not plan a family outing with a difference by taking the Gautrain to Pretoria Station from 14 to 28 December 2018? When you sign up for this special #WildRide deal, you’ll earn free entry to the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, better known as Pretoria Zoo, where there will be a market that the whole family can enjoy – plus, you’ll only pay R1 per person for the bus ride from the station to the zoo!

Read the terms and conditions for this #WildRide and find out more here.

Magical Mongena bush experience

Mongena Private Game Lodge, a four-star establishment in the Dinokeng Game Reserve, prides itself on offering visitors an extraordinary safari experience in the African bush.

If you take advantage of the lodge's last-minute special offer for travel or check-in within seven days of reservation, you could save almost 50% on its standard rates, subject to availability. The discounted rate includes accommodation and all meals (dinner, breakfast, light lunch and high tea), plus two guided game drives per day, but excludes drinks with meals and the Dinokeng conservation fee of R40 per adult and R25 per child.

Mongena Game Lodge
Game drives are included in the special nightly rate. (Image: Mongena Private Game Lodge)

The standard rates are R3 250 per person per night (sharing), R4 875 per person (single), and R1 625 per child (aged three to 11) sharing a family room with two adults. The discounted rate is R1 650 per adult (sharing), R2 440 per adult (single), and R825 per child sharing with two adults.

To confirm a booking, full payment is required within 24 hours, with standard cancellation policies applicable. The lodge reserves the right to restrict one-night bookings over weekends, peak periods and public holidays. Phone +27 (0)12 711 8920, email relax@mongena.co.za or visit the website for more information.