Planning ahead for the April holidays

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Stay ahead of the curve by planning your April holiday early. This year, all South African provinces have the same school year calendar. Schools will close 31 March and reopen 18 April, with Easter weekend occurring from 14 April to 17 April.

South African online quote comparison website, Hippo.co.za, compared these top SA holiday destinations from each province that are perfect for a quick breakaway in April:

1. The Eastern Cape — Umngazi Family Resort
Perfect for the whole family, Umngazi is a sophisticated yet lively resort on the Wild Coast with great weather, beautiful scenery and loads of activities to keep the kids active and parents relaxed. Enjoy the hospitality of the Pondo people and make some new interesting discoveries on the resort or simply relax at the award-winning spa.

2. The Free State — Hadeda Creek
Hadeda Creek is situated in the beautiful, pristine tranquility of the Vaal River within the Vredefort Heritage site. If you are looking for an African bush camp filled with adventurous days and relaxing evenings then this Free State destination is for you. There are loads of activities such as river rafting, an obstacle course, paintball, wall climbing, quad biking and fishing.

3. Gauteng — Brookwood Estate and Trout Farm
If you are into fishing trips, Brookwood Estate and Trout Farm situated on the banks of the Blaauwbank River near Krugersdorp, has five dams that are fully stocked for a great fishing experience. The rural English countryside setting is perfect for an intimate family breakaway and you can hire fishing gear as well as get free fishing advice. Make sure you book in advance.

4. KwaZulu-Natal — Pumula Beach Hotel
With amazing views of the Indian Ocean, Pumula Beach Hotel is nestled amongst the indigenous coastal vegetation. This secure Blue Flag beach is a great location for a couple’s retreat or family getaway. Although situated just 100 km south of Durban, this resort will ensure you have a world-class experience.

5. Limpopo — Singita Sweni Lodge
Singita, a Shangaan word meaning “place of miracles” is located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and is dedicated to respecting the natural environment through various sustainability efforts. If you enjoy wildlife in the great African outdoors without harming Mother Nature, this luxurious hideaway on the Sweni River could be ideal.

6. Mpumalanga — Badplaas
Badplaas is an award-winning resort located at the foot of the Hlumuhlumu Mountains. Variety and choice are definitely what you can expect from this family resort. From different accommodation options (hotel, self-catering, camping) to day-to-day facilities (shops, medical, laundry) to countless activities for the whole family.

7. The Northern Cape — Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm
If you are into natural surroundings and farm life with birds, fauna and San rock art to take you back to a more primitive time but also as a reminder of how we have progressed as beings, then Papkuilsfontein is for you. There are also activities such as hiking trails, mountain biking and swimming in the cool rock pools.

8. North West — The Palace of the Lost City
If you are looking for a more luxurious African experience the old favourite mythical and enchanted Palace of the Lost City located at Sun City will not disappoint. This architectural dream location will allow you and your family to feel like royalty whilst you enjoy the gardens, the golf course, safari game drives or the Valley of Waves.

9. The Western Cape — Paternoster
From fresh crayfish straight from the fishermen on the beach to a tranquil seaside to a lush nature reserve, Paternoster, one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast, will leave nothing wanting. Camping in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve allows for quiet times of reflection and those who are keener on being active can enjoy sightseeing and get out on the water.

If you have opted to take the scenic route by going on a road trip for your local holiday this year, here are some unusual safety hacks to consider before you take on the long road:

• Avoid a sugar rush – Many people think that sugary treats, energy drinks, coffee and junk food keep their energy levels up during a road trip. This is however short-lived as you will crash soon after consuming these treats and it puts you at risk of becoming fatigued sooner. Ensure that you eat healthy snacks during your trip and drink plenty of water2.
• Activate/change your voicemail message during your trip – Using cellphones whilst driving is one of the major causes of accidents. People awaiting your arrival are usually curious about your whereabouts and will call to find out whether everything is all right. Change your voicemail at each rest stop to inform people of where you are in your journey and let them know where your next stop will be. This will put them (as well as yourself) at ease and avoid unnecessary phone calls during your drive.
• Switch insurance – It may not seem like a good idea to change insurance just before you go on holiday, but according to Derek Wilson, Head of Hippo.co.za, this is actually the best time to consider checking whether your insurance has you covered since you are alert and thinking of all possible scenarios, so you are able to ask all the right questions. For example, just before a trip people will question whether they have the best roadside assistance as part of their vehicle insurance cover in case of an emergency. Check and confirm that you are adequately insured by visiting Hippo.co.za to compare Car Insurance quotes from a range of South African providers.

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