LOOK: 4 destinations in SA to add to your autumn travel list this season

An autumn day in the Overberg region. Picture: Unsplash

An autumn day in the Overberg region. Picture: Unsplash

Published Apr 9, 2023


Summer is over and we’re on to autumn.

The season is cooler and trees display beautiful shades of brown and crimson.

Autumn in South Africa is just as beautiful as in any part of the world and there are plenty of places to visit and explore.

The season is perfect for activities like hiking in nature, exploring farms, enjoying food at farmers’ markets, enjoying wine, safari and even swimming.

Being in South Africa, we’re fortunate to have a variety of places to explore so an Autumn stay-cation in any part of the country is possible.

If you’re looking for inspiration on where to go this Autumn for an out-of-the-city escape, here are four beautiful autumn locations to explore and places to stay.


Gowrie Farm in Autumn. Picture: Instagram

The Midlands in KwaZulu-Natal is known for its rustic charm. It lies between Pietermaritzburg and the mountains of the Drakensberg almost guaranteed to take your breath away with its sumptuous farmland, charming towns and renowned arts and crafts route.

The Midlands are attractive during autumn, with the sapping heat of summer a thing of the past. Country cottages, farm fare, scenic drives and a myriad reasons to stop and visit on the meander routes mean you will be hard-pressed for time no matter how long you stay.

You can go on a hike and explore Howick Falls, enjoy a cup of coffee at Blueberry Cafe or wine tasting at Highgate Wine Estate. Travel further inland and the Drakensberg will offer plenty of activities.

Where to stay?

Gowrie Farm offers four-star luxury accommodation. Picture: Instagram

Gowrie Farm on Nottingham Road in the Midlands, is perfect for an idyllic country retreat offering a classic golf course and great trout fishing.

It has affordable and de luxe accommodation at the hub of the popular Midlands Meander tourism route ensuring a myriad restaurants, coffee shops, spas, shopping and cultural attractions as well as sporting opportunities.


Mountains, sea and forest at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve’s Garden Lodge.

The Overberg has rugged mountain ranges, fynbos, rolling wheat and canola fields, and splendid coastal vistas. In autumn, its fields are a mixture of light sienna and purple, broken only by the browns and greens of trees and the silver of telephone lines.

The Overberg’s hills sweep to meet the brilliant blue of the sky, round bales of hay in rows giving a sense of order and restraint to the otherwise moving landscape.

The district is known for popular towns such Stanford, Greyton, Betty’s Bay, Gansbaai, Hermanus, Pearly Beach, Napier, Swellendam and Vermont, which are quaint and charming.

You can go mountain biking, hiking, whale watching, bird watching, shark-cage diving and enjoy a botanical tour of Milkwood Forests and fynbos.

Where to stay?

Luxury room at the Garden Lodge. Picture: Website.

Garden Lodge at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in Gansbai is the perfect treat tucked between mountain, forest and sea.

The Garden Lodge is one of three places to stay at Grootbos with Forest Lodge and two private luxury villas equally as stunning.

Garden Lodge is newly renovated with 11 luxurious suites perfect for multi-generational families.


57 Waterberg’s luxury villa seamlessly blending in with nature. Picture: Instagram

The Waterberg is a mountainous area that stretches for thousands of kilometres in the Limpopo, a place of valleys and escarpments.

Its features include deep gorges, kloofs, rock formations, clear mountain streams and dry deciduous forest, or bushveld. And in autumn, when mornings and evenings are chilly, you can enjoy a safari retreat.

Where to stay?

Luxury room at 57 Waterberg in Limpopo. Picture: Instagram

Previously known as MolenVliet Lodge, 57 Waterberg is set in the heart of the magnificent Welgevonden Game Reserve that forms part of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, which Unesco declared to be an official World Heritage Site in 2001.

The five-star luxury lodge is surrounded by 35 000 hectares of unsurpassed natural beauty with exotic wildlife where you can spot all of the Big Five.

It’s the perfect choice for a weekend break or a romantic getaway as the lodge is a three hours’ drive from Joburg and Pretoria with 10 guest suites that combine privacy and peace for a comfortable and relaxed stay.

Dolphin Coast

Ezulweni Sea View Apartment at Simbithi Eco Estate on the Dolphin Coast. Picture: Instagram

The Dolphin Coast is a beautiful playground of warm waters, incredible waves, and glorious beaches set alongside fields of sugar cane in a part of the world endowed with humid and warm weather almost throughout the year.

The best time time to swim and snorkel in the region is when the crowds have left – autumn, spring and winter.

Pretty coastal holiday towns like Ballito, Salt Rock, Umdloti and Zinkwazi bask in effortless sunshine-filled days with perfect swimming and surfing conditions, and a collection of tidal pools and excellent fishing spots.

Where to stay?

Ezulweni Sea View Apartment offers guests panoramic sea views. Picture: Instagram

Ezulweni Sea View Apartment in Ballito is a lovely self-catering holiday home for a family of six.

The apartment boasts panoramic sea views, three bedrooms en suite, open plan living area, outside entertaining area with pool and gas braai.

If you’re lucky, you can see the bottle-nose dolphins, which frolic in the waters close to shore and are visible all year round.

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