Things may be a little smaller this year, but there is nothing to say that summer needs to be anything less than epic.

With a recent study finding that 75% of people are choosing ‘staycations’ and travelling closer to home this year, more South Africans than ever will be enjoying the local attractions and sights on offer.

This comes at the end of a tough year, where many local small businesses have struggled due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown.

“As a small business ourselves we want to encourage South Africans to support other small businesses and micro-enterprises wherever they can this festive season. It may seem a small gesture to you, but to that business owner, their employees and their families it makes a big difference,” said Greig Jansen from PURA Soda.

“If you are travelling, buy souvenirs and other local goods, as many of these items are produced by small businesses that could do with a boost in income. If you’re looking to shop for gifts for friends and family, consider purchasing a beautiful, hand-woven tablecloth from a female entrepreneur at a roadside stall. Or if you are wanting to eat out, head to a local café for your meal or a coffee fix,” he continued.

The festive season also offers a chance to support and visit local attractions that locals may not otherwise visit.

“South Africa has some of the most amazing attractions, sights and scenery the world has to offer. This summer really is the chance to explore what’s on our own doorstep and see what it is that so many people from around the globe come to see,” he said.

After a rather long year, everyone is looking forward to the holidays and a chance to relax with their family and close friends. One of the favourites this festive season is better-for-you soft drink, PURA Soda, that’s recently been taking South Africa by storm. This evolved soft drink delivers big on taste and refreshment, just a sprinkle of sugar, all-natural flavours and zero colourants.

PURA Soda has partnered with participating tourism associations around South Africa to share some travel tips on exploring locally and making this the best summer ever:

The Cape Whale Coast

The Cape Whale Coast has something to interest everyone. Top recommendations from the Cape Whaler Coast tourism association include a river cruise through Stanford aboard the Lady Stanford, visiting Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary to witness the majestic big cats, or a trip to Stony Point Penguin Colony near Betty’s Bay, which is the largest successful breeding colonies of the African Penguins in the world. The Agulhas Triangle is a must-visit to experience the wines from the region, as is a beach day at some of the area’s blue flag beaches.

St Francis Bay

Those visiting St Francis Bay should make sure to visit Seal Point Lighthouse, the tallest masonry lighthouse in South Africa. The canals in the area are ideal for water activities such as canoeing, surf-ski and stand-up paddle boarding, whereas the St Francis Bay Golf Club and St Francis Links make St Francis a golfers’ paradise. Granny’s Pool is a much anticipated gem to the area, where families can go black mussel picking, and  the Kromme Eco Museum is ideal for a cultural experience.

Durban

Visitors to Durban this summer should include a visit to the iconic landmark, Umhlanga Arch, where they can indulge in artisanal food and some shopping. For the adrenaline junkies, Aliwal Dive Centre allows guests to get close and personal with the marine life, and at Highstakes Venue visitors can choose from activities such as zipline, quad bike rides and paintballing. Other experiences include 1000 Thrills, a unique rural township experience and a gondola boat ride through Durban Point Waterfront.

Franschhoek

The Franschhoek Valley is filled with cultural and nature experiences. Visiting the Huguenot Museum and Monument and the NG Church, which is one of the oldest churches in the country, is a great experience for history buffs, whereas wine lovers can explore some of South Africa’s oldest wine estates aboard the Wine Tram. The Mount Rochelle Nature Reserve and the Berg River Dam is perfect for that early morning walk to enjoy the breath-taking landscapes that the valley has to offer.

Cape Town

Cape Town has a range of activities to keep everyone entertained over the holiday season. Only 20 minutes from the city, Constantia is home to some of the country’s prestigious wine farms. This is a cool climate region, so be on the lookout for world class sauvignon blancs, delightful reds and the famous Constantia dessert wine. The city is also spoilt for choice when it comes to markets, such as the popular Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock. Nature lovers should visit Boulders Beach for a swim with the penguins or Kirstenbosch Gardens for a lazy picnic or walk.

Visitors to any of the above tourism regions over the festive season stand a chance to win goodies from PURA Soda to lift their spirits and kick start their summer. More details are shared on each tourism board’s social media platforms.

“I believe that if you are in the position to make a difference you should, and this summer is one in which we really can make a big difference to small businesses, just by travelling and supporting locally, said Greig.

“That’s why anyone buying a PURA Soda over summer season will also be entered into a draw to win shares worth 0.01% of our company. Although this may sound small, it has the potential to be life-changing for the person that wins it.”

To find out more about the PURA Soda shares giveaway competition, including T&Cs, visit https://livealittlepura.com

Whilst travelling this festive season, it’s important to remember these important tips: Remember to wear a mask, wash hands regularly, sanitise and maintain a social distance of at least 1,5 metres.

Picture: Unsplash

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