February is the month of love – why opt for material spoils when Mother Nature has plenty of romantic treats up her sleeve? Pamper your person with a romantic picnic, spend the night in a treehouse, or proclaim your everlasting love at a mighty waterfall. By Arnold Ras and Magriet Kruger
The twinkle in my eye
Fancy doing some #stargazing? Head to #Anysberg #NatureReserve in the #Karoo and see what you can find on our stargazing platform, or book a Planet Trek where you can #walk, #cycle or #ride on #horses along a route that has #planet markers which have been set out to proportionally reflect the distance between the planets. #capenature #conserve #explore #experience #stars #ecotourism
Situated in the Little Karoo, CapeNature’s remote Anysberg Nature Reserve is where star-crossed lovers can indulge in, well, stargazing, of course. Aside from an incredible canopy of stars, the reserve boasts stargazing guides trained to use binoculars and telescopes to help you make the most of your experience. Anysberg even has its very own stargazing platform. Do sign up for the Planet Trek: walk, cycle or travel on horseback to Tapfontein and explore our solar system through mosaic markers on the way. At this remote camp you can enjoy a romantic outdoor dinner and learn more about the night sky’s many marvels. Oh starry, starry night…
Contact: +27 (0)23 551 1922, [email protected]
Braai for love’s sake
Home to KwaZulu-Natal’s third largest dam, Chelmsford Dam Nature Reserve near Newcastle is the ideal spot for a romantic al fresco meal. The dam, also called Ntshingwayo Dam, promises refreshing dips and pretty dam views to set the scene. Enjoy sundowners while holding hands, or wait for those dusky skies to steal a kiss. Pack an elaborate picnic basket fit for the month of love: strawberries, chocolate, succulent pieces of fillet, king prawns and bubbly. Chelmsford will in no time become one of your favourite spots to rekindle your romance.
Gate times: 06:00–19:00
A picnic for two
For many, the candle of love was lit during that very first picnic for two. Rediscover those sweet memories and head to this Msinsi reserve just outside Pietermaritzburg. Find an intimate spot on the green lawn at the water’s edge, throw out a blanket and enjoy the company of your better half. Here you can sit back and take in the beautiful scenery while trying to spot some of the more than 280 bird species recorded in the reserve. Yup, birding can indeed be romantic. With sun, serene water and ample space, lovers young and old are guaranteed a super day out.
Contact: +27 (0)33 569 1202, [email protected]
Walking on air
Marataba Treehouse, Marakele National Park
Introducing the newest member of our family: Thabametsi Treehouse at Marataba South Africa. Offering spectacular views from Dassie Heights across the plains of the Marakele, a stay in this ultra-luxurious hideout is a unique and private experience not to be missed! Image credit: Yolandi Grobler, Kathryn Louw and Ingrid Nemorin #maratabasafarilodge #treehouse #thabametsi #luxurytreehouse #meetsouthafrica #marakelenationalpark
Want a night the two of you will remember for the rest of your lives? A stay at this dreamy refuge is a treat for the senses. Picture an indulgent picnic dinner, an unparalleled panorama of the Waterberg and the music of the bush as your soundtrack. The treehouse is unfenced and has no electricity, but comprises all manner of creature comforts including a deluxe king-size bed. The platform puts you at a safe distance above the ground while allowing for close sightings. The Marataba Treehouse is a unique and unforgettable place to rediscover love.
Rate: R2,750 a person for the treehouse, in addition to the nightly tariff of R9,165 a person at Marataba Safari Lodge, which includes meals, beverages and activities
Contact: +27 (0)11 880 9992, [email protected]
Picture perfect proposal
The month of love is an auspicious time to take your romance to the next level and few settings could be more magnificent. For lovers of big skies, desert plants and deep quiet, Augrabies offers a dramatic backdrop to pop the question. If there’s still any doubt that this is the spot for you, remember that the fall on the northern wall is named the Bridal Veil for its cascading white spray. Plan your proposal for late afternoon when the falls grow luminous in the setting sun. Follow the boardwalk to one of the lookout decks, where you’ll be surrounded by natural grandeur, a location worthy of such a life-changing moment.
Contact: SANParks Central Reservations +27 (0)12 428 9111