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Top 5 Valentine’s Day Ideas to Enjoy in your Car

From first date jitters to matric dance exuberance and, indeed, luxurious wedding day wheels, as South Africans, it’s almost impossible not to include a freshly polished motor vehicle of some description within our favourite romantic moments. Generally spoiled for choice, in a modern context, there’s still plenty to be said for an in-car date, check out our top 5 Valentines day ideas to enjoy in your car… 

1.     Sunrise excursion

While a picture-perfect sunset setting is the one that inevitably makes the final cut in popular romantic movie culture, our part of the world happens to be blessed with particularly spectacular sunrises, too.

The reward for preparing a well-stocked picnic basket, pre-loading your car’s navigation system, and setting a pre-dawn wake-up alarm is a generally far less congested favourite destination and the gift of welcoming in a crisp new day, in the company of a loved one.

While a level of vigilance is recommended before arriving at your chosen destination in the dark, whether for a sea view or an African landscape being awakened by the radiance of the rising sun, what better setting to pore over future plans or, indeed, savor the silence?

2.     Game Drive

One of the most popular annual tourist activities in South Africa, no doubt. When was the last time you slowed your vehicle to a crawling pace to take in the richness of the African bushveld?

In a modern world where so much of our lives and movements are pre-planned or dictated by trends, the appeal of a game drive through one of our world-class reserves is the anticipation of mother nature doing exactly as she pleases, when she pleases. From smile-inducing sightings of “Pumbaa” from The Lion King to an altogether rarer glimpse of a majestic leopard, shared experiences like a self-drive excursion through an untamed African landscape can also offer a timely reset in terms of what’s important in our everyday lives and relationships.

3.     Advanced Driving

Apart from the thrill of being allowed to do things behind the wheel of a car that aren’t permitted – nor usually possible – on public roads, a modern advanced driving course has the benefit of upskilling both you and your partner in terms of being better prepared for the inherent dangers associated with negotiating South African driving conditions.

While several automotive brands offer advanced driving courses – ranging from beginner to experienced – it’s best to seek out the option that’s most closely matched to the vehicle you drive daily. That said, while learning how to control a rear-wheel drive BMW in slippery conditions may seem like good fun, this experience is unlikely to help you should you unexpectedly lose traction in your front-wheel drive Volkswagen Polo.

It’s also best to leave your ego at the door when arriving at an advanced driving course; most experienced instructors will confirm that female drivers are, in fact, more adept than their average male counterparts when it comes to the intricacies of car control.

4.     Drive-in cinema experience

Many South Africans will remember a time when they used to pay to park their cars alongside a dedicated speaker box before enjoying a newly released movie broadcast onto a large screen positioned ahead of the gathered vehicles. This while sharing snacks, drinks, the occasional plot-twist-accompanying gasp and perhaps even a tissue or two.

Most of these “old-school” drive-in locations have since been redeveloped, yet the sense of adventure and romance inherently associated with this setting remains.

While the concept was broadly revisited at various sites throughout South Africa – including the roof-top parking at Sandton City – during recent months of social distancing regulations, venues like GoDriveInin Salt River, Cape Town, and Molly Malone’s Roadhouse Drive-in in Pine Slopes, Johannesburg, still offer a fun-filled evening of in-car cinema entertainment.

5.     BMW 7 Series

Launched locally in January this year, one of the options available at the purchase of a new seventh-generation BMW 7 Series is a so-called Theatre Mode.

An already suitably plush place to be seated, in this mode, a 31.1-inch, 8k display screen lowers from the roof to face both rear seat passengers. With surround sound supplied via a Bower and Wilkins audio system, once paired with an available cellular network, passengers can log into streaming services like Netflix and YouTube.

While ticking this option will add R78 000 to the asking price of your new 7 Series, just think of the “brownie points” potentially earned.