We are proud to bring you The AccommoDirect Travel Stats 2016.
We analysed our travel bookings data over the last 12 months to bring you some interesting travel info and inspiration.
To find the most expensive and luxurious destinations, we took the price per listing per night of the top 20 most expensive listings in each area based on their advertised rates. The clear hot-spots are the Atlantic Seaboard in the Western Cape and luxury game reserves in Mpumalanga. No surprises here, the Camps Bay/Clifton beaches are South Africa’s answer to the French Riviera and our game parks are well-managed and well-stocked with a variety of game.
Next, we looked at the most economical area’s price per listing per night for the budget traveller by reviewing the 20 most affordable accommodation in each area. The spread is pretty even, showing there are great affordable options (mostly self-catering, campsites or backpacker) in most destinations across South Africa. What is most evident is that the list shows a mix of bookings in both big city suburbs and small towns in remote places.
We then reviewed the ratings from travellers by each area they stayed. Constantia in the Western Cape was the clear winner of city and town suburbs, followed closely by St Lucia in KZN and Camps Bay at number 4, while Limpopo attained the top spot in the province ratings, beating out the Western Cape.
The Top 10 Regions list is somewhat of a surprise with the Kruger National Park coming in at number 10, normally in the top 3 and an indication that South Africa is regarded nowadays as far more than just a wildlife destination.
The high occupancy rate across all accommodation types has been attributed to the poor performance of the Rand over the last 2 years, strengthening other currencies and making South Africa an attractive and affordable destination. International visitors get good bang for their buck and enjoy unique experiences throughout every region in the country.
The stats show high approval ratings by travellers in all categories of accommodation and across all areas, and if the Rand continues to under-perform, the tourism industry can look forward to a bumper year ahead!
SA Travel Stats 2016
Note: We welcome sharing of the infographic, but we ask that you please include a citation reference to this blog post.
The Easter Weekend is right around the corner, and if you’re like us, you’ve probably left your plans to the very last minute! So to help you get those getaway plans underway, we’ve put together a list of some of South Africa’s favorite family holiday destinations. We handpicked some of the most suitable places for Easter and an all round family trip. Expect beautiful small town settings to enchanting outdoor environments. South Africa caters to not only the bold and adventurous but those looking for something more inviting to the whole family. Remember you can find all your accommodation needs on AccommoDirect.com!
Nicknamed the “Jewel of the Free State” you can find a mild climate and beautiful scenery all round. With a plethora of accommodation types to suit your family and activities, it’s hard NOT to pick Clarens as your Easter Weekend destination. You can go horse riding, white water rafting, hiking and more! There are even children’s themed guesthouses to enjoy. Clarens is a perfect choice for an all round relaxing Easter getaway. Known as an artists hotspot, you can also inspire creativity in your children as well as find your own inspiration.
Coffee Bay is a gorgeous area speckled with beach cliffs and stunning views. First thing that comes to mind is “The Hole in the Wall”, which is sure to get the kids imagination running wild along with the fable behind it. The village is charms with it’s lodges, bars and cafes. Apart from the activities such as horse riding, hiking trails and the Hluleka Nature Reserve the real star of the show is the kilometer long beach which is all safe to swim, being an ideal location for a family outing. Coffee Bay will make a relaxed Easter getaway.
If you’re looking for somewhere that is rife with things to do, look no further than Knysna! Perfect for a family Easter getaway, it is abundant in family activities and sights to see. Known for it’s craft stores, flea markets and boutique stores – there is much to explore, not to mention the nature and surrounds such as the Tsitsikamma forest. You can find activities such as tree canopy tours, paragliding, golf, paddle-boats, put-put, elephant walks and more!
It’s not uncommon to spot Bottlenose Dolphins swimming nearby the shoreline of the beaches in Ballito – just one of the spectacles to bear witness to in the coastal town. With multiple beaches to choose from, including Willard beach which has international blue flag status – there is no shortage of sunny fun here. Sporting the warm waters of the Indian ocean as well as a tidal pool, they are welcome additions to any family getaway.
Travel back in time and take the family to Pilgrim’s Rest! The feeling of wonderment is definitely not in short supply as you explore the many artifacts dotted around the small town. You are also practically a stones throw away from the famous God’s Window, which is a memory for your family to keep. With hiking trails, museums, restaurants and mountain biking trails – You are sure to be well occupied during your scenic stay in Pilgrim’s Rest.
South Africa is an ecologically, cultural and historically rich, vibrant country that is filled with hundreds of amazing places to see and visit. We here at AccommoDirect know how difficult it can be to choose not just your next destination, but also the places to go and see while you’re on holiday, which is why we have put together 27 of our favourite South African places to visit on your next getaway! Comment below and tell us your favourite ‘must-see’ South African locations.
Table Mountain If you are visiting Cape Town, it’s hard not to miss the iconic mountain which in November 2011 was named one of the seven wonders of the world.
Cango Caves Taking a trip to the Oudtshoorn or the Swartberg region? Then the Cango Caves are not to be missed! The caves are a geological wonder and the extensive tour offered is designed to show it off at all it’s best angles!
The Big Tree at Tsitsikamma forest The tree is estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old. The tours and walks offer an enchanting and relaxing trip to remember.
Addo Elephant National Park Founded in 1931, the Addo Elephant National Park houses more than 600 elephants as well as other wildlife. Being the third largest park in our country, it would be hard not to give it a miss!
Hole in the Wall Another great natural occurrence, a pilgrimage to this fantastic site is often on to scratch off a nature lovers bucket list. With a fantastic beach to soak in the sun and get wet!
Baviaans Kloof As of 2004 it was declared a World Heritage site, it’s no wonder due to the vast areas unspoiled by man sporting marvelous land forms, a diverse array of plants and many kinds of wildlife.
The Big Hole Between 1871 and 1914, up to 50 000 miners dug up the hole in a rush for diamonds. Today it is a geological marvel and a great tourist site in Kimberley. There’s more than just history to enjoy here!
Augrabies Falls Derived from the Khoi word “Aukoerebis” which means “great noise”, the sheer size, volume and sound experienced by the falls is a marvel in it’s own.
Namaqualand Flower Route With almost 4000 different species of plants, every year offers a different configuration in flowers along the route. Come between August and September to witness this bombardment of color and spectacle for yourself!
Lion Park First opened in 1966 it has since expanded from being a lions-only attraction. Being able to come into contact with the king of the jungle himself and his cubs, there are great memories to take home here!
Gold Reef City If you are going to Jozi, one thing you can’t miss is this supreme amusement park. Themed around the gold rush that started in the 1880’s, it offers atmosphere amongst fun and relaxation.
Cradle of Humankind Housing one of the largest collections of human fossils dating as far back as 3.5million years ago, you will be nothing short of fascinated by our existence on this planet and how far we’ve come.
North West Province
The Lesedi Cultural Village For a spectacle of traditional African culture, you can visit the Lesedi Cultural Village over night with one of the traditional families that reside there. Giving you a great window into the lives of others.
Sun City Sun City has won many awards and houses incredible accommodation as well as a plethora of activities to choose from. You can escape ordinary life and feel like you’re living in your own lost city!
Hartbeespoort Damn Snake & Animal Park For a relaxed day amongst beautiful surroundings, you can also see some of South Africa’s greatest snakes as well as animal handling in action. A must visit for someone going to the North West.
God’s Window Definitely one of the most incredible views in the whole of South Africa, the name is very fitting. On a clear day you can even see as far to the Lebombo mountains on the border of Mozambique.
Kruger National Park Probably the most popular game reserve in South Africa. You can be sure to witness the big five here as well as South Africa’s most beautiful wildlife. You can’t say you’ve seen Africa’s real side once you’ve come here!
Lowveld National Botanical Garden Remaining green through out the year due to heavy rainfall, you are sure to witness lush plants and over 2000 different species of flora. This is one sure way to reconnect with nature!
Drakensberg It only makes sense to visit the tallest mountain in South Africa while you’re in Kwazulu-Natal. With a plethora of activities to choose from, your visit will be anything but dull.
KZN Battlefields Don’t be fooled by the picturesque landscape as the history involves the bitter conflict between Britain and South Africa. You can dive back into our past and enjoy some of the history that has built our country today.
Howick Falls A principal tourist attraction of Kwazulu-Natal, it is a must see, not only for the luscious scenery and majestic waterfall, but the history that surrounds.
Warm Baths Bela Bela Bela Bela was built around the natural hot springs in the area, giving rise to the resorts and natural baths you can enjoy.
Alpha Omega Cave What makes this cave different, is that it’s man made and basically an entire art piece. Inspired by the holy spirit there is much to enjoy and be observed by the tours that run here.
Sunland Baobab This popular tourist attraction is well deserved as a unique and magnificent artifact of nature. Due to hollowing in the tree dating as far back as 1650AD, there has been a pub and wine cellar established in the tree for your enjoyment.
Oliewenhuis Art Museum With a large array of historical and contemporary art pieces, you can enjoy a casual visit to soak in the artworks and relax. A must visit for those in the Free State!
Tiger Canyons As an attempt to introduce a self sustaining tiger population out of Asia. This offers a unique outlook on nature outside our beautiful country, as well as personal walks with the Tigers which is sure to be something magical!
Anglo Boer War Museums Believed to be the only one of it’s kind, it offers a peek into a unique part of South Africa’s history with very knowledgeable staff who are sure to tell you all you want to know about the Angle Boer War as well as where to find the battlefields.
With Valentine’s Day practically upon us, we couldn’t help but think of the most romantic destinations in our gorgeous country. We came up with 5 places that are not only offer gorgeous scenery and views, but are also best enjoyed when you’re with someone special!
Kruger National Park
Get away from the Hollywood cliches for one of the most authentic African experiences. At Kruger National Park you and your partner could find a myriad of activities from safari drives, to elephant riding, helicopter flights and simple walking trails. Apart from witnessing the legendary beasts our country has to offer, there is literally nothing stopping you from keeping the love wild!
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
For those admirers of the sheer beauty and looking for incredible scenery, Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is the place to be. By making it the setting of your romantic adventure, whatever it is you choose to do will be accompanied by the magic of nature. Apart from the various activities like hiking trails and helicopter flights you could visit the renowned God’s Window for the most sought after views in South Africa. By all means the perfect time to snap that photo or sneak that kiss!
Get closer to water for a more relaxed and quiet getaway with your partner. Sit back and bask in the moment with a relaxed boat ride, or surrender to beautiful views in the cable car. With a large variety of options from guest houses, hotels and spas – You can find exactly what you looking for. With a little something for everyone, it’s no wonder Hartbeespoort Dam is one of the most popular holiday destinations in South Africa!
What could be more romantic than an old fishing village on the West Coast? Take an atmospheric trip to Paternoster with that someone special and make the most of the coastal surrounds and activities. Apart from it’s obvious charm, it is also known for it’s warm locals who will make sure the vibe on your trip is never spoiled. Take a walk on the beach and enjoy a sunset together or go kayaking, there’s even a Nature Reserve close by if you seeking a stroll through nature. Paternoster is surely something not to miss!
How could we not include Cape Town on our list? With a plethora of variety in anything you can imagine, the Mother City has it all. From stunning beaches to the iconic mountains and buzzing city life, you won’t be disappointed. Have a picnic in the Kirstenbosch Gardens, then perhaps a drink or two on Rohdes Memorial as you watch the moon come up and top it off with a romantic dinner in the city. Cape Town is ready for you to explore!
The first month of 2015 has nearly come and gone, and we have decided it is about time we shared our top 5 travel tips for travelling around South Africa in 2015! So here’s our list, tailored to our beautiful country, to make your getaway a smooth and enjoyable one!
Crime can happen to anyone, and when you’re on holiday it’s the one thing you don’t want happening to you, especially if you’re unprepared. If you’re travelling by car, any items you decide to leave inside should be stashed away to avoid smash and grabs. Never leave any important items such as your ID or passport in the car as it’s the one thing you don’t want to lose on your special trip!
2. Tight on Budget? Get out to Nature!
If you’re saving for that new car or piece of furniture you’ve always wanted, yet you still want to spoil yourself to a well deserved holiday? You live in South Africa! There are plenty of affordable lodges, guest houses, B&Bs, and camping sites to choose from. It’s affordable and probably the best way to experience the beautiful country you live in!
3. Respect and attitude
South Africa comes with many different languages, cultures and religions. Whether it’s a guide, the hotel concierge, or simply someone you meet at a bar; it always pays to be mindful. You don’t want your holiday turning sour because of simple sensitivity and respect to others. Besides you never know what gem’s your taxi driver would want to show their new friend!
5. Plan and Enquire
It always pays to be prepared and to do your homework! That’s why you’re here reading this right? Always do some research on the area you’re visiting and the best possible spots to plan your trip around. Double checking accommodation by phoning and making sure you have everything you need to get the most out of your holiday.
5. Enjoy and relax!
Probably the most important thing to know for your trip. Relax, breathe and enjoy your adventure! Whether you’re on your own, with that special someone or family, this is what life is about. Be in the moment, be present and enjoy it! This life is yours and own it, leave work and your troubles behind. It will all be there as you left it when you get back, so no need wasting precious time enjoying life over it.
With this year coming to a close, a lot of us are still scrambling to make plans on what to do this New Years. With so many options and beautiful locations to choose from, we cut through the noise to find you the best places to smash into 2015 from all over South Africa…and they won’t disappoint!
If you’re spending your holiday in Cape Town this festive season, and looking for something slightly closer to nature (and not so littered with people), we suggest the New Years Eve Concert at Kirstenbosch. Picnic under the stars while famed SA artists Arno Carstens and Mango Groove are playing you into the New Year.
If you’re looking for more of a grand urban party, Nu World Eve: Time Travellers’ ball is for you! Hosted by Vaudeville Cape Town, it offers an atmospheric Bohemian feeling as well as various artists and DJ’s to keep your feet stomping well into the night.
St Francis Bay
If you find yourself in St Francis Bay on New Years, you have to check out The Ruins 5fm New Years Eve Concert. Now in it’s 13th year, and with some of our great current local acts such as Zebra & Giraffe, Niskerone, Haezer and The Kiffness playing, it’s set to be an awesome party.
Experience the Karoo in a little town called Nieu Bethesda and find yourself at the New Years Festival of Lights. Hosted at the Bethesda Art Center, you’ll be able to craft your own lanterns and parade around with other locals and visitors for a truly atmospheric and special intimate New Years.
If you decide to spend your New Years in Joburg, be sure to check out the New Years Eve masked ball happening at Cantare in Montecasino. You will be treated to a vintage cabaret show and fine dining with competitions running through out the night. Ypi’ll also be able to stroll through the rest of the Montecasino and partake in the other glorious New Years Festivities taking place throughout the night.
Want to go somewhere a little different this New Years? How about surrounding yourself with the majestic beauty of the Drakensberg mountains? If that’s where you heading, be sure to check out the Smoking Dragon New Years Festival! With a wide host of great artists performing over 3 days, a market and other festivities and the backdrop of one of South Africa’s most incredible views, what more could you want? Oh and did we mention kids under 12 get in free…
As always you can find the perfect accommodation for these above places HERE!
Lying on the southern part of the hemisphere, South Africa enjoys currents from both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, which meet at the breathtaking Cape Point. The two oceans have given South Africa some truly spectacular beaches that offer a variety of activities, from swimming to surfing to just lying on the beach soaking up the African Sun. We’ve chosen the Top Ten beaches that offer you everything a summer holiday should, and then some!
This is the Cape’s most fashionable beach; known for its hot bodies, beach sports and tanners. The turquoise ocean is home to many yachts and surfers and cold water makes it an ideal location to cool-off during summer. For those wanting to stay close by, there are many luxurious accommodation options, right on the beachfront and a few minutes away from Cape Town’s CBD.
Cape Town’s trendy bay is known for its many kiosks, restaurant and white sands; which are trampled on with flexing muscled bodies and volley ball beach goers. This is the ideal place to enjoy the relaxation of the cosy beach road restaurants and cafes, and later recline on the white sandy shore and watch the sun set on the ocean horizon.
Located on the Cape Peninsula and popularly known for being the home of the African penguin colony, Boulders offers a warmer shore with rock pools where beach goers can relax and even swim with these flightless birds. This is the ideal family beach for a summer’s picnic.
Situated in Knysna, on the glorious Garden Route, Noetzie Beach resembles what paradise might look like. The beach has a backdrop of lush, green forest hills, which are ideal for a exploring. The safe, warm waters allow beach goers the fun of paddling, swimming and kayaking. And for the romantics, it is here where you can escape to and enjoy a peaceful picnic.
The beautiful jewel on the east coast of KZN is home to the adventurers; who a enjoy many thrilling activities in the warmth of the Indian Ocean. These include; scuba diving, turtle tours and surfing. The idyllic views, and backdrop of rich green forests also make it a fantastic spot to just laze on the beach with a good book.
Located on the south of Margate, Ramsgate Beach is for the relaxers; away from bustling city life this where come to just lay on the beachfront and cool down in the water. The beach has a large tidal pool and lagoon, which is a highly-rated life guarding protection zone. You can also enjoy meals and drinks at the beachfront restaurants; whale watching from the decks; and canoeing in the lagoon.
Situated in Mossel Bay, beach goers enjoy still waters, as well as dolphin and whale watching from the sandy beach. The rocky outcrops and the far-side of the beach are home to rock pools full of interesting sea creatures, as well as oyster beds with beautiful ocean views.
Running through Plettenberg Bay, Robberg Beach is the ideal location for group accommodation and beach going satisfaction. There’s the opportunity to spot the ocean’s magnificent dolphins and whales, and take in spectacular views along the shoreline stretch – perfect for long walks, and picnics.
Tieties Bay is located on the Cape’s Columbine Nature Reserve; home to the last manually controlled lighthouse in South Africa. Beach goers can enjoy a variety of water sports in the area, and camping is allowed right on the beachfront. Make sure you have a spot to watch the sunset – you’ll be mesmerized by the fiery tones, and natural beauty of this picturesque setting.
5 Summer Beach Tips
– Ensure the beach is safe for swimming
– Take an umbrella along for some shade
– Always use a sun protection cream
– If there are no lifeguards, ensure that children are within viewing sight.
– Keep a lookout for aquatic life – water plants and animals may be dangerous.
South Africa has some truly incredible routes that allow travellers to escape, and get lost (in a good way) on the long roads that wind through the provinces. Our Travel experts have chosen their top 5 routes for road trip adventure this summer, so pack your bags, fill up and grab some road snacks – we’re going on a road trip!
Cape Town to Lambert’s Bay (240km)
The roads of this approximately 3 hour journey, takes you through magnificent ocean scenery, which makes it tricky to keep your eyes on the road! One of the best views is of the Langebaan Lagoon and it’s small fishing village. When the sun rays are peaking, and the car is too hot to bear, Muisbosskerm beach is an ideal chill out area to soak in the Summer sun and cool down in the blue waters. If you’re looking to lengthen your journey, stay overnight at the 19th century farmstead campsite in Bosduifklip – it’s a perfect stay-over for a midnight star gaze. When the morning sun starts to rise, head back on route along the long railway and beach roads – where you’ll possibly see dolphins and whales frolicking in the waves.
Crook’s Corner to Pont Drift (160km)
This is South Africa’s north-most road trip route, taking the traveller through the country’s popular bush-land. Further along the route you’ll get to take in the sights of the Limpopo River and when you pass through the ancient landscapes of the north, you’ll more than likely get to see baboons also travelling (or sleeping) along the dusty roads.
Bloemfontein to Durban (670km)
This freeway will take you across interesting farmlands and hills, which will evolve into dangerously beautiful mountains. The scenery doesn’t end there, further along the route is the Free State Eastern Highlands with lush and then suddenly dry lands and blue summer skies; followed by country villages, and the astounding Drakensberg Mountain Range. And when the evening arrives, the west view offers a spectacular sunset and coastal view when entering the subtropical Durban.
Cape Town to Oudtshoorn (850km)
Travel through the beauty of the Cape’s Winelands, and into Matjiesfontein; a 19th century railway village with vintage appeal. Further along the route the view and landscape transforms into the dry Karoo, and passes through Prince Albert, which is a typical Karoo village with many galleries, museum and mountain views.
The Garden Route (1700km)
The Garden Route is not named the Jewel of the Cape for nothing. The route allows the traveller spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, and when it’s not in sight, the breathtaking mountain scenery and lush lands won’t leave you bored or disappointed. There are many coastal villages and towns along the route which are worth visiting. These include Oudtshoorn, George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
5 Essential Road Trip Tips
– Ensure that the vehicle is in perfect long distant travel condition
– Have a fully charged cellphone
– Keep bottles of water
– Have a map
– Have emergency contact details
Find the perfect accommodation for these areas right here!