Budget-Friendly Travel

The 'Black Friday' of local travel offers is coming. Pick your bargains now

Sho't Left Travel Week means hundreds of deals across SA on experiences, hotels and more

21 September 2019 - 00:00 By Elizabeth Sleith
Sho't Left Travel Week is coming - with bargains galore.
Sho't Left Travel Week is coming - with bargains galore.
Image: 123rf/Cathy Yeulet

Most of us know about Black Friday, that glorious day when prices are slashed across the land and shoppers descend on stores to bag bargains on random goods from microwaves to nappies. But did you know about Sho’t Left week? 

Basically, it’s Black Friday for local tourism - and it kicks off this coming Monday.

For a whole week, from September 23-29, people will be able to snap up travel deals from a wide range of providers, including airlines, tour operators, hotel groups, and tourist attractions, with discounts going as high as 50%.

Also known as The Great South African Sale, Sho’t Left Week is a campaign by SA Tourism, inspired by some of its main objectives: making local travel accessible to all and encouraging everyone to get out and experience some of the magic that is right on our doorsteps. Its highly evocative tagline is: “Everything Must Go, Everyone Must Go”. 

Mashoto Mokgethi, head of domestic tourism at SA Tourism, says Sho't Left Week was launched in 2018 as a way of promoting affordable travel in South Africa. The promotion runs in the last week of September's Tourism Month and uses local tour operators and tourism businesses that offer big discounts to travellers.

"It's almost the 'Black Friday' of travel," said Mokgethi, "and it's done a lot to inspire people to explore the country."

There are several offers to see cheetahs and other wildlife.
There are several offers to see cheetahs and other wildlife.
Image: Tambako The Jaguar/ Flickr

Some travel experiences will be on offer for as little as R70, which makes them affordable for a much wider spread of people who would love to explore what SA has to offer but cannot afford it.

This year the campaign has 530 partners, up from 325 in 2018. Mokgethi hopes that number will grow as people understand the importance of domestic tourism.

So far more than 400 partners have uploaded their deals onto SA Tourism's platform ahead of the campaign launch on Monday.

Partners can also upload deals onto their own platforms. "It's great to get the response we've had," said Mokgethi. "We are nervous but excited."

The deals are not yet available to book - they go live on Monday, September 23, at 12.05am - but for now you can do some window shopping and even compile a wishlist so you can go back on Monday and nab the deal.

You can search by location, price range, or by the following categories: breathtaking scenery; bustling city life; active adventure; sun-soaked coasts; wildlife safari; and vibrant culture.

Below is a taste of some of the deals on offer. Find the rest here

Hop On Hop Off Bus, Joburg - City Sightseeing Joburg is offering a three-for-one kids’ special. Take two kids (under 18) along for free when you buy one adult one-day bus ticket. Now R245pp (normally R505).

Harties Aerial Cableway and Sunday Lunch Cruise - Ride to the top of the Magaliesberg mountain, then enjoy a two-hour cruise on the Hartebeespoort Dam, with lunch. Now R1,599 for two people. 

Fun Hike, Gauteng - Bantu Urban Fitness Fanatics, aka Buff Nation, offers social hikes in and around Gauteng. Join them on an 11km trail for R240pp (normally R300). 

Hot Air Balloon Flight, Magaliesberg - Enjoy a one-hour flight over the Magalies Valley near Hekpoort. Now R1,870pp (was R2,200)

Horse riding in the Northern Drakensberg - A one-hour guided ride is now R225pp (normally R250). 

Cheetah Experience, Bloemfontein - Take an educational tour and learn about their animals, which, besides cheetahs, also include leopards, lions, and a Siberian tiger. Now R70pp (normally R140).

Strawberry picking at Redberry Farm, George. R80 for a family of four (normally R160)

Sea-kayak among penguins in False Bay, Cape Town. This two-hour guided adventure is now R212pp (normally R425)

• The Gin Experience, Limpopo: The Qualito Craft Distillery in Phalaborwa, Limpopo, is offering a tour of the distillery and gin tasting for R80 pp (normally R200).

• Cango Wildife Ranch, Oudtshoorn: This facility outside Oudtshoorn is home to over 90 species of animals, including lemurs, wallabies and big cats. It is offering a special rate for children aged 5-13 of R105 pp (normally R135).