Top 10 Weekend Trips From Johannesburg, South Africa - Updated 2021

weekend getaways from johannesburg

The biggest city in South Africa and Gauteng province’s capital, Johannesburg was renowned for its gold-mining settlement in the 19th-century. The city of gold is a haven for students for its Witwatersrand University and Johannesburg University. Johannesburg is also home to notable people including Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. And the former home of Nelson Mandela has been converted into Mandela House museum. There are many other landmarks in the city that will keep you busy for days. But, if you wish to get out of the city over the weekends for a relaxing getaway, there are several serene places near Johannesburg to do so. Keep reading to check out the weekend trips from Johannesburg, South Africa, that you can explore.

1. Bela-Bela (from USD 36)

Summerset Place Country House, Bela Bela
Source: Photo by user Fabio Achilli used under CC BY 2.0

A town situated in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Bela-Bela was once upon a time called Warmbaths for its geothermic hot springs that were discovered by the Tswana group over 200 years ago. The term Bela-Bela means water that boils on its own, which also happens to attract visitors from around the country, as well as the globe. With a driving distance of 168 km (104 miles) and reachable in fewer than two hours from Johannesburg, this holiday resort town has weather that is pleasant throughout the year, which adds to the popularity amongst visitors. Along with the hot springs, there are other attractions that cater to all kinds of visitors. Some of them are Bambelela Wildlife Care And Vervet Monkey, Thaba Kwena Crocodile Farm, Wag N Bietjie Hiking Trails, and more.

Elephant Springs Hotel & Apartments

Address: 31 Sutter Road
Price: from 36 USD

Physical distancing rules followed Ironing service Parking Free parking Delivered food is securely covered Fire extinguishers Free WiFi On-site parking

2. Muldersdrift (from USD 72)

Muldersdrift, now suffering from a high crime rate, is home to a large hospitality industry that caters to neighboring Johannesburg and Pretoria citizens coming there for functions or weddings. (Photo- VOA Solene Honorine)
Source: Photo by user VOA Solene Honorine used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

A place that has it all; situated in the Gauteng Province, South Africa, Muldersdrift is a small, rural town boasting pristine vistas that sit between the Magaliesberg Mountain Range and Johannesburg. Visitors can reach this place in less than an hour with a distance of 40 km (24 miles) from Johannesburg. While here, make sure to explore Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, Wonder Caves, Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park, Buggy Parks, Happy Island Water World South Africa, and more.

Glenburn Lodge & Spa

Address: Off the M5 Swartzkops Road and in Kromdraai Road
Price: from 72 USD

Packed lunches Newspapers Fax/photocopying Daily housekeeping Smoke alarms Guest accommodation sealed after cleaning Garden Free WiFi

3. Parys (from USD 29)

Vaal River Parys, Weir 02
Source: Photo by user Ossewa used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Nestled on the banks of Vaal River, Parys is Paris in Afrikaans. This attractive town is the ideal weekend getaway from the chaos of city life as it is situated about 110 kilometers (68 miles) from Johannesburg, which takes about an hour and 15 minutes to reach. Parys boasts a lot of art galleries, museums, vintage stores, and gift shops, and it has become a popular spot to showcase work from many of the artists who call Parys their home. Visitors on a vacation here can check out Vredefort Crater, Val Dam, and Dell Cheetah Center.

Mistique Waters

Address: esplenade no 6
Price: from 29 USD

Shared stationery such as printed menus, magazines, pens, and paper removed Garden Outdoor pool (all year) Family rooms Outdoor pool CCTV outside property Free parking Parking

4. Golden Gate Highlands National Park (from USD 59)

Golden Gate Highlands National Park, South Africa - panoramio
Source: Photo by user Pavel Špindler used under CC BY 3.0

Located in Free State of South Africa, in the Maluti Mountains rolling foothills, lies the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The highlight of this park is the deep mix of orange- and golden-hued sandstone outcrops and cliffs. Along with this, there are several caves featuring San rock paintings that also steal the limelight. There are many wildlife and bird species nestled here. Paleontologists have also found skeletons and dinosaur eggs in the park. If you are arriving from Johannesburg, you can reach here in about three hours, with a distance of about 302 km (187 miles).

Highland Quarters

Address: 289 Market Street
Price: from 59 USD

Parking Restaurant Hiking Walking tours Happy hour Internet services Horse riding Ironing service

5. Magoebaskloof (from USD 98)

Magoebaskloof, Limpopo, South Africa
Source: Photo by user South African Tou... used under CC BY 2.0

Situated between Polokwane and Tzaneen in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, Magoebaskloof is a perfect weekend destination that will cater to all kinds of travelers. Located a bit further away from Johannesburg at a distance of 400 kilometers (248 miles) reachable within 5 hours, this mountainous region town is encompassed by natural evergreen subtropical forest. You can indulge in multiple activities such as taking a canopy tour, going on a hike, fishing, mountain biking, and so many more.

Graceland Eco Retreat

Address: Portion 9, Escatre Farm Kudu River Valley
Price: from 98 USD

Daily housekeeping Guest accommodation sealed after cleaning Designated smoking area Mobile app for room service Process in place to check health of guests Linens, towels and laundry washed in accordance with local authority guidelines Walking tours Sun terrace

6. Kaapsehoop (from USD 32)

Rockfields near the town
Source: Photo by user John A Forbes used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Looking for a place that is a true definition of off-the-beaten-track? Then, Kaapsehoop is the way to go. Located in Mpumalanga province, South Africa, Kaapsehoop is nestled amidst high mountains and sandstones. This tiny village features a handful of restaurants and quirky stores. The sightings of wild horses roaming about are quite common here. You can hike or walk through the rocky slope, which offers unmissable scenery. From Johannesburg, this village is reachable in 3 hours and 15 minutes at a distance of about 310 km (192 miles) away.

Silver Mist Guest House Country Inn and Herberg

Address: 47 Kantoor Street Kaapsehoop
Price: from 32 USD

Physical distancing in dining areas All plates, cutlery, glasses and other tableware have been sanitized Shared stationery such as printed menus, magazines, pens, and paper removed Process in place to check health of guests Children television networks On-site parking First aid kit available Guest accommodation is disinfected between stays

7. Dinokeng Game Reserve (from USD 75)

Icterine warbler, Hippolais icterina, at Dinokeng Game Reserve, Gauteng-Limpopo, South Africa (16346571216)
Source: Photo by user Derek Keats used under CC BY 2.0

One of the best ways to spend a weekend is to spend time in nature, amidst wildlife. Situated in Gauteng, South Africa, Dinokeng Game Reserve is the only wildlife sanctuary in the region that provides activities for visitors such as the Big five game free walks. This large wildlife sanctuary spans across 21,000 hectares (51,892 acres) and the place is translated as the river place, because of the numerous rivers that flow through the region. The reserve has many wildlife species such as rhinos, leopards, elephants, lions, and more. There are even self-drive safaris that are offered here. Travelers can easily reach this place in an hour at a distance of 104 km (64 miles) from Johannesburg.

Foreva Wild

Address: Erf 50, Welgevonden JR124, Dinokeng Game Reserve, Gauteng
Price: from 75 USD

Food can be delivered to guest accommodation Fire extinguishers Kids' outdoor play equipment First aid kit available Physical distancing rules followed Shared stationery such as printed menus, magazines, pens, and paper removed Process in place to check health of guests Staff follow all safety protocols as directed by local authorities

8. Machadodorp (from USD 97)

NG Church, Machadodorp
Source: Photo by user Jcgill1000 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

An amazing destination for a weekend getaway because of its close location to Pretoria and Johannesburg, Machadodorp, also famously called by its official name eNtokozweni, is nestled near the steep slope of Mpumalanga province, South Africa. The major highlights of this destination include fly-fishing and the natural radioactive spring, which is popular for its healing abilities. The town is 242 km (150 miles) away and reachable in two and a half hours from Johannesburg.

Gooderson Kloppenheim Country Estate

Address: Winnaarspoort Road, District Belfast
Price: from 97 USD

Bar Table tennis Free WiFi CCTV outside property Shared lounge/TV area Swimming pool Garden Heating

9. Tonteldoos (from USD 26)

Source: Photo by user Michaelphillipr used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A picturesque village in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Tonteldoos sits between two stunning mountain ranges - Steenkampsberg and Mapochsberg. This village is a part of Mapoch land, which was seized during the Mapoch War against King Nyabela by the poor settlers in 1883. With a distance of 250 kilometers (155 miles) and reachable in 3 hours from Johannesburg, visitors can check out some of the best attractions here including Elands River Falls, Ama Poot Poot Hiking Trail, and Mine View Driving Range and Fishing.

10. Cullinan (from USD 25)

South Africa-Cullinan Premier Mine02
Source: Photo by user Paul Parsons used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A quaint little village in Gauteng, South Africa, Cullinan is located along the diamond route, which relies mostly on tourism, along with the mineworkers’ houses, buildings, and churches that dominate the skyline. Cullinan is named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, who was a renowned diamond tycoon back in the day. This charming village started growing in popularity since the discovery of the Cullinan Diamond, which is renowned as the largest gem ever found on this earth. Located less than 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Johannesburg and reachable within one and a half hours, the village has several attractions such as Premier Mine, Rietvlei Nature Reserve, and Roodeplaat Dam Provincial Nature Reserve.

Enjoy fun getaways from Johannesburg

Johannesburg is a mixed collection of rugged hills, countryside villages, and beaches. After the fun things to explore in Johannesburg, it is time to pack your bags for a weekend getaway to the nearby picturesque places over the weekend. Use this article as a guide to explore beautiful destinations.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Born in Mumbai and brought up in Bangalore, India, Aarti is a full-time freelance writer by profession. She is a lover of everything the ‘blue dot’ offers—world cultures, off-the-beaten tracks,...Read more

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