This Easter long weekend, South Africans across the country will be engaging in deep-rooted traditions, like indulging in hot cross buns with pickled fish and exciting Easter egg hunts with the kids. There’ll also be some new traditions this year, like connecting with friends and family from a distance to keep everyone safe.
To create a safer holiday, everyone is encouraged to replace weekend getaways and crowded outings with local day trips and small, intimate gatherings.
But just because we’re doing things a little differently doesn’t mean you can’t make this an Easter to remember. We’ve put together some fun tips and tricks, with the help of local Mzansi star and global mover-and-shaker, Samantha Wright, to help you celebrate this Easter holiday!
Take the (shorter) road less travelled
Avoiding crowded places can be tricky over the Easter period, but you’ll soon find that some of the country’s beauty lies in non-traditional Easter spots, like a local hiking trail or a park that’s a couple of minutes away from you.
These unchartered spaces can offer a tranquil environment worthy of providing that much-needed feeling of being away from the hustle and bustle of daily stresses – a guaranteed way to make your day more enjoyable.
Just make sure you’ve always got your hand sanitiser and mask with you!
“There’s no harm in visiting locations that aren’t known as traditional holiday spots,” says Wright, founder of Tech Girl in South Africa and international esports shoutcaster. “Those tend to be some of the country’s best-hidden gems and can make the holiday memorable.”
Make sure any place you visit has a safety stamp of approval
If you’ve made plans to go out to an establishment for Easter lunch with a small group of friends or family, then make sure whichever place you’re visiting has the recommended health and safety protocols in place.
Look out for establishments adhering to the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) protocols for your safety and the safety of other guests. These establishments have the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travels Stamp of approval, courtesy of the TBCSA.
Virtual can still be lekker
We know this time of the year is a great reason to get together with friends and family, but there’s no reason why you still can’t do so virtually.
More and more events have moved online in recent months, and tons of platforms are available to connect you with friends and family, from Zoom to WhatsApp, Skype or Google Duo. If video isn’t ideal for everyone, then you can set up a free conference call line where everyone can dial in.
Best of all, you eliminate any chance of getting stuck in holiday traffic!
If you must drive, do so safely
If you’re going to be driving this Easter holiday, make sure to take the necessary steps to stay safe and alert – including putting your car through a safety check to ensure it’s in tip-top shape. The Automobile Association (AA) has some fantastic tips to make sure you’ve covered all vehicle checks.
“This is a great time to bond with family and friends, even though it’ll be virtually this year unless it’s a small group,” says Wright. “If you do have to travel somewhere, remember to stay alert, even if it’s a 20-minute drive. Play some Easter games in the car, sing along to an Easter playlist, and remember to keep your body and mind revitalised. Red Bull has been my go-to energy drink for short- and long-day trips, keeping me alert on and off the road, like remembering to grab my mask and sanitiser. Plus, trying out all the different flavours is an adventure on its own.”
While things might be a bit different this year, there’s no reason not to celebrate Easter the South African way. You must just do so safely by practising social distancing and limit friend and family groups to small numbers.