A lot goes into planning a family vacation. You need a destination with fun activities to keep the kids occupied but you also want them to have learning opportunities. Of course, the adults need time for peace and quiet and relaxation. South Africa is the perfect destination if you want the perfect balance. The diverse culture and breathtaking views don’t hurt either. Since the country is huge, we’ll focus on Pretoria, The Garden Route and Cape Town.
If you choose to stay in Pretoria, check into the Protea Hotel Pretoria Centurion and you’ll be close to a lot of activity. There are plenty of opportunities to view wildlife, get up close to farm animals and gain a wealth of knowledge. Both adults and children will enjoy Kinder Plaas Zoo, Montana Family Market and the family owned Irene Dairy Farm.
The latter has been in the heart of Gauteng since 1895 and it maintains a rustic look. Your little ones will be comfortable since the area has a playground, lots of open space to explore and two restaurants. Pretoria is also home to the Lion & Rhino Nature Reserve and Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre.
The beautiful coastal city of Cape Town is popular for good reason. With the famed Table Mountain as its backdrop, it offers several fun opportunities for exploring. Take the cable car to the top of the mountain and let the little ones enjoy the treasure map. Visit Robben Island or take photos along the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
You can also take a day trip to the Cape of Good Hope or visit World of Birds, the largest bird park in Africa which is home to more than 3 000 birds and small animals. Other family friendly activities include Two Oceans Aquarium, skating at The Ice Station and Whale Watching. Check out this list for several more Cape Town activities.
The Garden Route
Driving along the 200-kilometer Garden Route is a must-do experience. Most trips will usually start or end in Cape Town. There is lovely scenery along the way and several opportunities for animal encounter. In ten days, you can get from Cape Town to Storms River with stops at Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, and Hermanus. Knysna Elephant Park, Tenikwa Animal Sanctuary and Monkeyland Sanctuary are just some of the animal experiences you can enjoy.
Hiking is usually not an option if you have young children but the Robberg Peninsula Hike can be done by people of most ages and ability levels. The coastal views are spectacular and there is a wide expanse of sand to explore. You can even spot dolphins, seals and whales. When you’re in Storms River, be sure to check out Tsitsikamma National Park. This maritime reserve has a beautiful beach, suspension bridges and nice walking trails.
South Africa can seem overwhelming especially when travelling with kids. However, if you narrow down the types of experiences you want your family to have, you will find that some activities will naturally rise to the top of your list. We’ve covered just a few here and that should help you get started on planning that epic family trip.