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South Africa's airlines look to local travellers for support

The travel industry is in dire straits the world around after almost a year of strict travel restrictions that has seen casualties across the board. Now, SA airlines are turning inward to try and save their businesses by sweetening the deal for local travellers.
Image by Tobias Rehbein from Pixabay
Image by Tobias Rehbein from Pixabay

Those who’re craving an escape from ongoing restrictions and curfews can spread their wings with cheap flights and reduced accommodation rates. Plans to get away before things go right back to normal (or as normal as they will ever be), mean that you can also look forward to fewer crowds no matter where you go. And, while it’s hard to see the good in a crisis, with so many businesses now operating with remote staff - if there’s Wi-Fi, anyone can go.

These are the top-searched off-the-beaten track destinations for South African travellers right now:


This tiny town’s known as the gateway to the Cederberg and top destination for nature lovers. It’s located in the heart of the Cape Flower Route, and you’ll catch the best displays between July and October every year.

Some of the pleasant outdoor diversions up for grabs in Citrusdal include horse riding, hiking, biking and relaxing in the natural hot springs found here.

St Lucia

This quaint town is one of the most fascinating places to visit in KwaZulu-Natal. It sits at the junction of a stunning wetland with the Indian Ocean, so it’s filled with diverse habitats attracting abundant birds and animals.

Here you’ll come across hippos, crocodiles, flamingos and more in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park or you can opt for game viewing at one of the big five reserves nearby.

No trip to St Lucia is complete without a boat ride among the hippos in the estuary and the beach offers incredible opportunities for fishing as well as tours to see the annual turtle hatching.


Another tiny seaside hamlet, Knysna is one of the best places to enjoy oysters fresh from the sea.

The town offers abundant opportunities to get away from it all on natural excursions like hiking in the forest, walks along lovely beaches and sunset boat trips out to the incredible Knysna Heads.

In town, you’ll find an array of small shops servicing the trendy folk who flock here all year round.

Cape Winelands

You’ll find no shortage of quaint stops along this route.

Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are two of the best-known and most entertaining of these, offering a host of exquisite culinary and outdoor experiences to tempt savvy travellers.

Now that alcohol is back on the cards, you can enjoy wine paired with every imaginable delicacy, wine tastings and the opportunity to stock up on some tasty vintages at wholesale prices.

Mpumalanga’s private nature reserves

Unlike the Kruger National Park, which is abuzz with tourists every day of the year, Mpumalanga’s smaller parks offer abundant privacy and intimate experiences for wildlife enthusiasts.

Here, you can look forward to breath-taking sunrises and sunsets, an abundance of peaceful vistas, flourishing bird life and unforgettable up-close animal sightings during guided game drives.

Go remote

Let’s face it, we’ve all been looking for an excuse to get out of the house. With the beaches open and cheap flights being offered by most local SA airlines now is the perfect time to do your bit for the economy and the tourist industry too.

Thanks to the prevalence of remote working opportunities, there are plenty of ways to plan a well-timed break and jet off to a secluded spot for a while.

SA Airlines
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