Four of the best daytime dates for Valentine's Day

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Don't traditional Valentine's Day dates stop you from doing something fun with your partner or friends during the day, from foodie experiences in Cape Town to bike rides in Joburg.
Do something a little different with your partner or friends this Valentine's Day and book a daytime date filled with fun and adventure. From foodie experiences in Cape Town to bike rides in Joburg, surprise your date with something out of the ordinary!
Written by Jade Taylor Cooke


Ceres Rail Company trip to the Elgin Railway Market
From Cape Town
Picture the scene… It’s early morning in the Mother City’s Waterfront precinct. You’re standing on a train platform as a steam engine comes puffing along the tracks towards you, all gleaming metalwork and scarlet sidings. No, it’s not the Hogwarts Express – it’s Jessica, the Ceres Rail Company’s Class 19D locomotive #3321. Clamber aboard and you’ll discover beautifully restored carriages with leather interiors and large windows that allow you to watch as the landscape transforms from city to countryside to the expansive views of Sir Lowry’s Pass. Steam-train travel is an adventure in itself these days, but your three-hour journey ends in even more delights at the Elgin Railway Market. This former apple warehouse has been converted into a steampunk-inspired gateway to the beautiful Overberg region, and its bustling market offers everything from delicious meals, sweet treats and wine tasting (no designated driver necessary today) to jewellery, pottery, leather goods and fresh flowers. You’ll have 3.5 hours to explore the market and nearby sights (you can even book a Cape Segway tour from here) before getting back aboard for the trip home, and perhaps a nap…
Need to know: The train departs from and returns to the Aha Bridge Hotel & Suites, Dockrail Road, Foreshore.


From Joburg
Spend some quality time together, explore your city like you’ve never seen it before, and support a local youth-led social enterprise at the same time. Sound good? Then you need to book a day trip with BraamByBike. Tours are led by Zodwa Manitswana, a Soweto local who is intent on changing outdated perceptions of Africa by developing innovative new travel and tourism offerings. On this five-hour bike jaunt she’ll open your eyes to the rich history of Braamfontein (including a trip to Constitution Hill), immerse you in its culture and unique vibe, and introduce you to its museums, local fashion boutiques, art galleries and the oldest bar in the city. All that peddling is bound to work up an appetite, so your tour includes lunch at a local hotspot, allowing you to rest your legs and interact with locals.
Need to know: Tours depart from Once in Joburg, 90 De Korte Street, Braamfontein and take place on Saturdays and First Thursdays.


Sani Pass Day Adventure
From Durban
Fancy standing on top of the world together? Durbanites will have to get up extra-early for this adventure, but it’s worth it for the thrill of popping into another country for the day, especially one so remote and scenic as Lesotho. Sani Pass Adventures was founded in 1955 and today has a fleet of 4x4 vehicles that traverse the beautifully treacherous Sani Pass. This sinuous former bridal path was used by the Basotho to transport wool and mohair from Lesotho to KZN, where they would exchange it for blankets, clothing and maize meal. It takes 2.5 hours to reach the summit, 2 874m above sea level, but this trek is about so much more than just racing to the top. Your guide will fill you in on the pass’s fascinating history, point out bird- and wildlife en route, and pause to take in the magnificent views of the pass snaking its way up behind you. After lunch at Sani Mountain Lodge (Africa’s most elevated pub), you’ll have the rare opportunity to visit a Basotho village, with traditional beer and home-made bread available on request, before embarking on the homeward journey.
Need to know: Meet at 9am at the Sani Pass Adventure offices at Trout Walk Centre in the Underberg, a 2.5-hour journey from Durban. You’ll return to the office after the tour by 4:30pm latest.


Horse riding at Addo Elephant National Park
From Port Elizabeth
It’s a sad reality that South Africans don’t often have the opportunity to explore our own national parks. Luckily, the country’s third largest reserve is less than an hour’s drive from PE. Addo Elephant National Park is not only home to the big five (including 600 elephants and close to 50 endangered black rhinos), it also offers a pretty unique way to see its wildlife: from horseback. The two-hour-long horse trails traverse the Nyathi section of the park, offering potential encounters with the big five and other animals. There’s nothing quite like a gentle ride through the wilderness, getting up close to game far from the crowds and vehicles of a traditional safari. What’s more, the number of riders at any time is capped at five, making this a lovely, intimate bush experience.
Need to know: Outrides take place at 8:30am for moderate riders and at 2pm for experienced riders.

Eager to explore more? Go to Edgars Club for a slew of travel offers.

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