February has rolled around again, and with it the undeniable atmosphere of amore.  Apart from being heart awareness month, and a leap year (which means girls can propose to guys), February the 14th holds special significance for couples – giving them the chance to show their appreciation, admiration and feelings for each other. I personally believe you don’t need just one day a year to do this, but in the spirit of  Valentine’s Day, here are 15 fun and reasonably inexpensive idea’s for things to do with your special someone.

Cape Town

1. Breakfast above

Rhodes Memorial (C) Georgio (Creative Commons)

Take your special someone to Rhodes memorial for breakfast on Valentine’s day. The view from here is stunning – as you have the city spread out below you. The food is tasty, and once you’re done with your meal (or before you eat), you can take a walk around the premises – there are plenty of photo opportunities, from posing with the stone lions, to draping yourself over the columns, to wandering through the forest.

2. Wining and Dining

Immortalized love. By Rjgalindo (Creative Commons)

The Cape Wine Route happens to be the longest of it’s kind in the world, and most of the wine farms along here are  picturesque and also offer wine tasting for a small fee. Make this excursion into a day trip with your partner and visit several of them  – you may find a new wine or cheese that you love! Once you’re done with the wine tasting, take a stroll through the vineyards and work up an appetite – Spier is recommended as you can buy a picnic hamper which you can enjoy by the lake.

3. I can afford a carriage


For a day of fun which hearkens back to yesteryear, when well dressed gentlemen went courting, take a cosy carriage ride around Cape Town, and then stop off at the gardens to feed the squirrels. Once you’re done, take a walk to the nearby museums where you can canoodle between displays. For extra fun, pack a small bottle of bubbly to split while on the carriage.

4. Massage

Thai massage by Marcin Bober (Creative Commons)

Treat your partner to a full body massage – either at a professional studio or – if you’re brave – try your luck at home by lighting scented candles, playing soft music, and using a proper massage oil. Touch is one of the best ways to re-ignite passion and it also reminds your partner that you’re there for them.

5. Below the Mountain

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (C) Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

This is probably on a million lists, but it needs to be added. Picnicking in Kirstenbosch is something that generates expressions like “beautiful, nostalgic, magical” and “serene”. You can spend the entire day walking around, smelling the flowers and enjoying the great outdoors, while learning, exploring or just relaxing in each others company, on the soft grass.

Other ideas: Cape Town has so much to offer, it’s really hard narrowing the list down to five, so here are some other ideas: Putt-putt at Sea Point followed by a trip through the twists and turns of the nearby maze, picnic on Signal Hill, visit the SPCA together and adopt a pet, take a romantic horseback ride along Noordhoek beach, or go ice skating at Grand West Casino.


6. Romance on the Docks

Durban skyline by PhilippN (Creative Commons)

Spend your Valentine’s day morning strolling hand in hand along the pier, breathing in the salty air, and feeling the sun gently bronze your skin as the waves crash onto the shore. If you’re lucky, you may spot some dolphins frolicking in the surf. Not a bad way to kick your Valentine’s day off.

7. Sensory Experience

Durban Botanical cycad trees. By M. Purves (Creative Commons)

Durban’s Botanical Gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll, and with elements all around that appeal to your senses, you won’t be disappointed. Make sure you stop in at the Orchid House, the herbarium and the scent garden, taking in the bold and contrasting colours, different fragrances, and enjoying the birdsong. Once you’re done ambling around, try one of the  delicious lunch at the on-site tea garden – it’s guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds.

8. Floating down stream

Sunset couple. By [N}ck (creative commons)

Spend a laid back hour or two with your sweetheart on a romantic gondola ride, just floating down the canals without a care in the world. Departure for this is from Durban’s Point Waterfront next to uShaka Marine World, so once you’re back from your trip along the canals, you could spend some time at the water park, enjoying the rides or going on a sight-seeing tour.

9. Getting Wild

Natal Zoological Gardens (C) Nat Zoo

Sixty kilometers from Durban (around 30 minutes of driving), lies a paradise of wildlife, birds and cycads where you can treat your special someone to a picnic and wildlife experience at the Natal Zoological Gardens. Entrance is only R40 per person* and there is a vast array of animals to see including Leopards, Baboons, Lemurs, Warthogs, Buffalo, Nyalas and more. There is no restaurant on-site, so a pre-packed picnic lunch is in order.

10. Beer today

Sabatour Cheers. (C) Roseanna McBain (Copy)

If you and your partner are lovers of beer, what could be better then spending the day visiting the brewery route and learning how the golden liquid is actually made. You can skip the first part and just indulge in beer tasting with the option of purchasing some of the Zulu Kingdom’s local flavours. Most brewery’s have on-site restaurants, so if you’re feeling a bit light headed from all the malty goodness, make sure to line your stomachs before heading out again.


11. Farmyard fun

Bunnies in Benoni Bunny park

If you’re wanting to try something a bit more down to earth this Valentine’s day, head on over to the Bunny Park in Benoni and bring a picnic basket filled with goodies and blanket. Cows, goats, donkeys, chickens and rabbits wander freely about and you’ll likely spot some baby bunnies close to the rabbit holes . You can buy some carrots on-site to feed these cute little critters – so bring your camera – the best part is, there’s no entrance fee!

12. For the Birds

Birds of Eden (C) Darryn McBain

Monte Casino bird park offers gorgeous gardens, stunning bird shows, and is also host to a wide array of mammals and reptiles. Enter the walk-through aviary and see antelope, reptiles, small mammals and of course their variety of colourful birds. They also have musical fountains which start in the evenings and there is a show almost every half hour from 19:30 – 21:30.

13. Star crossed lovers

Happy couple. By Bùi Linh Ngân (Creative Commons)

If you’d rather spend your Valentine’s day relaxing together and would prefer to do something together in the evening, why not go to the Johannesburg Planetarium – where you can compare the sparkling diamonds above to your partners eyes. A display of romantic scenes from the sky will be presented along with soothing music, to set the atmosphere of amore. The shows will be presented at 18:00, and again at 20:00. Tickets are sold at the door and will be around R35 per adult.

14. Dam fine idea

Johannesburg rose garden at Emmerentia Dam (C) NJR ZA (Creative Commons)

Emmarentia Dam apart from being an escape from the city heat, is a beautiful spot to spend the day – and surprisingly, it’s been around for people to enjoy since 1866. With lush lawns perfect for a picnic, enchanting walkways through the area, fountains and terraced ponds, as well as the option to hire a paddle boat or canoe, all ensures that your day spent together is filled with fun activities. There is an indigenous herb garden you can stroll through, as well as a stunning rose garden on the northern shore of the dam, where you can view and smell the roses. If you’re wanting to earn some brownie points, consider comparing your sweetheart to some of the more fragrant roses – a line which has flattered women over the centuries.

15. Botanical beauty

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden (C) NJR ZA (Creative Commons)

There had to be a mention of the Walter Sisulu National Botanical garden, as it’s one of the most peaceful, lush and serene places to go while in Johannesburg. The 300 hectares have both natural veld as well as landscaped area’s, and the Witpoortjie waterfall is a great spot to have a tryst with your partner. If there’s anything you spot you’d love to take home, then the nursery is a great spot to buy a last minute gift.


  • Ensure you pack a picnic basket with chocolates, strawberries, champagne and your partners favourite snack or meal to truly indulge while on a picnic.
  • Your Valentine’s day gift doesn’t need to cost a fortune, and can be as simple as a cute necklace from Mr Price paired with a handwritten card, or the classic roses and chocolates combination.
  • If you’ll be spending the day in the sun, ensure you pack sunscreen and a sun hat – getting a sunburn ensures you’ll be cranky over the next day or two.

So that’s our list of 15 romantic spots to visit while the weather is good.

Let us know if you’re planning on visiting any of the above mentioned areas.

*Pricing correct at time of publishing.

Main image credited to thisreidwrites (Flickr)

Birds of Eden (C) Darryn McBain