You don’t have to venture far to enjoy an adventurous holiday. In a new House and Leisure miniseries, we’ve consulted a few of South Africa’s coolest creatives to compile the ultimate staycation guide, bringing you the best, lesser-known summertime activities in and around Durban, Joburg and Cape Town. In week one, we explored the top spots to stay for a December staycation, and in week two we discovered the best places to eat and drink. The final instalment, our ultimate ‘play guide’, looks at fun things to do around the country.
In the summertime, Sumayya Vally and her partners at architectural firm Counterspace, Sarah de Villiers and Amina Kaskar, love to drive up to a mine dump and enjoy the view below. ‘Our favourite spot over the past few years has been at the top of a road that looks over what used to be the Top Star mine dump, with a good amount of sushi or a takeaway bowl from Momo Bauhaus,’ she says.
Meanwhile, co-founder of Disorient Media, Dinika Govender, and co-director of Whatiftheworld gallery, Londi Modiko, like to walk on the arty side of life. ‘I’m a bit of a daytime gallery recluse, so you’ll find me around Rosebank or DGI Print Studio close to Jeppestown,’ says Dinika. Londi is looking forward to Nandipha Mntambo’s solo exhibition The Snake You Left Inside Me and Zanele Muholi’s Faces and Phases II at Stevenson gallery in Braamfontein. ‘This show by Zanele Muholi is a special product that celebrates her acclaimed portrait series documenting black lesbian and transgender individuals,’ Londi says.
Trend analyst Nicola Cooper will be spending time exploring her own city, the old-school way. ‘My favourite thing to do on a Sunday is travel to the Maboneng precinct and hire a bike. The area is relatively flat, so it is a easy way to explore the city,’ she says.
Lifestyle strategist Seth Shezi suggests heading to the new Silo district at the V&A Waterfront. He recommends starting at the the newly unveiled Zeitz MOCAA to discover works from artists such as Nandipha Mntambo, Mary Sibande and Mohau Modisakeng. ‘After this, a stroll around the district is key. Stop at Kat van Duinen’s boutique, The Guild store and have a drink at The Yard,’ Seth suggests. ‘If iconic views of the honeycomb glass windows of The Silo hotel are what you’re after, the rooftop bar of the Radisson RED hotel offers a fantastic lookout onto the towering structure,’ he adds.
When going to Cape Town, an obvious choice for summertime lazing is the beach. Artist Mia Chaplin agrees. ‘Our Cape Town sea is not getting any points for warmth but our beaches are knockout beauties,’ she says. The key with Cape Town beaches, however, is to find ways to avoid the crowds. Designer and illustrator Daniel Ting Chong recommends Bakoven beach – just down the road from Camps Bay – and Kommetjie. ‘Kommetjie beach is a really good spot to retreat to because it has a nice long stretch to walk with lots of rocky pools to check out,’ he says. ‘It’s also dog-friendly and usually protected from the wind.’
Owner and co-founder of Durban’s popular I Heart Market, Anna Savage loves hanging out Khaya Records in Berea. ‘It’s a great place to relax on the balcony, attend intimate gigs, browse racks and racks of vinyl and make new friends,’ she says. Another favourite is Views at Twenty5, also in Berea, where there are great tunes and an equally great view.
Artist Red Robyn also loves Khaya Records. ‘It’s not just a record shop but a chill spot, too. While at Khaya you can listen to, buy and trade records while chatting to more of Durban’s friendly and emerging artists, writers, photographers, musicians,’ she says.
Trend forecaster Roxanne Robinson recommends having a truly Durban experience: ‘Rent a bicycle from Bike and Bean and cycle along the promenade to uShaka Marine World and back. Be sure to stop for a masala pineapple on a stick and buy a woven basket from one-of-a-kind and insanely talented crafters along the way.’