Escape the frenzy of Black Friday with a mini adventure to a Wild park or reserve near you. You’ll come away relaxed, refreshed and ready for the weekend.

This year we at Wild are once again transforming Black Friday into Green Friday, with a focus on adding more nature to life, rather than more stuff. So while the rest of the world is waiting in queues or fighting over consumer goods, we suggest you escape to one of these stunning wild places for a mini adventure.

Let’s hear it for Green Friday!

Durban: Picnic at Inanda Dam

There’s something about eating out in the open, under a bright blue sky with birdsong as the soundtrack and zebras for company, that just makes food taste better. Pack a picnic basket and in just under an hour you can be at Inanda Dam, feeling soft grass instead of concrete underfoot. Recline and count clouds while you snack or take out a Frisbee and have a run around. But most importantly, drink in the views and wide open spaces, a far cry from the jostling of Black Friday crowds.

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Port Elizabeth: Take a drive to Hapoor waterhole

In how many places in the world can you see the Big Five within an hour’s drive from a big city? Addo Elephant National Park offers frazzled city dwellers gorgeous scenery and spectacular wildlife sightings. From Addo’s main gate it’s less than 15km to Hapoor waterhole, the scene of unforgettable elephant encounters. Take a thermos of your favourite drink and pull up in the parking area alongside, then sit back and enjoy the sightings. It certainly beats waiting in line at the shops!

Also read: Addo ellie takes a comical nosedive

Cape Town: Climb Lion’s Head

Little more than five minutes from the city centre is the start to Cape Town’s best value hike. A steadily uphill but straightforward walk takes you to the top of Lion’s Head in an hour and a half. In some of the trickier sections there are chains to help you scramble up; alternatively follow the slightly longer foot path around. From the top you can look down on the City Bowl and the pretty beaches of the Atlantic Seaboard, as well as across to Table Mountain. Get here for sunrise – while some Black Friday shoppers are already queuing outside stores – and the whole day you’ll be carrying the calm of nature with you.

Stellenbosch: Hike the Waterfall Trail

This easy and rewarding two-hour walk traces the foot of towering mountains in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve just outside Stellenbosch. Skirting the bubbling rooibos-coloured Eerste River, the trail leads past proteas and pincushions to an idyllic waterfall. On a hot summer’s day the spray from the cascade and the vibrant ferns create a welcoming oasis: a restful spot where you can count your good fortune to be in the great outdoors and not inside some shopping centre.