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Explore sunny SA on a low budget

Written by Allison Cooper

With Tourism Month celebrated annually in September various government-owned attractions and private tourism facilities are offering South Africans the opportunity to explore our beautiful country at a price they can afford.

The inaugural Sho’t Left Travel Week will enable South Africans to take up deals and discounts from 24 to 30 September. Deals will be advertised in the beginning of September on Sho’t Left’s website, www.shotleft.co.za/deals.

National parks

During South African National Parks’ National Parks Week, from 10 to 14 September, free access will be granted to most of its 21 parks for day visitors. The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency is also encouraging locals to visit its nature reserves, free of charge, during Mpumalanga Parks Week from 17 to 21 September. Free access does not include accommodation facilities and other tourist activities. Visit www.sanparks.org and www.mpumalanga.com for more information.

Heritage festival

The SA Heritage and Tourism festival takes place from 14 to 16 September at Freedom Park and the Voortrekker Monument in Tshwane. The festival offers a wide variety of family activities from craft and food stalls to tourism exhibitions and presentations, a 10-km walk or a bicycle race, cultural dances and other entertainment by various artists. Tickets cost R350 for adults, R50 for children and R80 for pensioners. Tickets can be obtained at Computicket. For more information, visit www.freedompark.co.za.

Botanical gardens

Another fun, educational and low-budget outing for the entire family is a trip to one of the South African National Biodiversity Institutes’ ten National Botanical Gardens. For more information about each garden, visit www.sanbi.org/gardens.

Inland bus cruise

For something a little different, why not try the Free State Inland Bus Cruise offered by www.vukatours.co.za, from R250 per person. The tour includes Naval Hill, Cheetah experience, Crocodile farm, Nelson Mandela statue and the vibrant second avenue. It runs every Saturday from 10h00 to 20h00 and your ticket enables you to hop on and off the bus throughout the day.

Surfing to snorkelling

Have fun in the sun in KwaZulu-Natal from surfing to snorkelling and a variety of other beach activities from R138 per person. Visit www.zulu.org.za for more information. Other places to visit include Wild Waves Water Park (www.suninternational.com) and Ushaka Marine World (www.ushakamarineworld.co.za).

All of our provinces will have various activities for their communities to enjoy whilst celebrating Tourism Month. Visit www.tourism.gov.za to find out whatís happening in your province.