03 January 2018
Give your kids the adventure of a lifetime by whisking them away to South Africa. This sun-soaked destination is home to a range of exciting attractions for all the family, from scenic beaches to intriguing safaris. Here are five amazing things to see and do in South Africa…
For a day to remember embark on a safari. Visit Kruger National Park and step into a live action version of The Lion King, with everything from elusive big cats and elegant giraffes, to majestic elephant herds and cackling hyenas, all ready for you to spot! Take a safari at the Madikwe Game Reserve, situated in the malaria-free North West Province, and your kids can glimpse the rare African wild dog and 340 bird species. Keep an eye out for the 'Big 5' species, as you'll find these intriguing animals living on safari plains throughout South Africa!
South Africa is the ideal place for a family beach holiday, with various pristine shores to choose from. One place which is destined for your bucket list is Boulders Beach just outside Cape Town, where you can observe shy African penguins and stroll among ancient granite boulders. To find peaceful shores head to Lappiesbaai Beach in Stilbaai, known for its placid waters and sand dunes. Marina Beach on the south coast is ideal for young kids, as it has rock pools they can explore, while you can discover intriguing fossils at Trafalgar Beach in the same region.
Treat your family to a fun-filled South African road trip by driving along the Cape Whale Route. Start in Betty’s Bay near the rugged Kogelberg Mountains and travel along the Western Cape. Make sure to stop at the town of Hermanus where you can try activities like quad biking and parasailing, while you can take southern right whale watching trips here between June and November. Along this route you’ll also find the famed Arabella Country Club with its pristine 27-hole golf course, the scenic Kogelberg Nature Reserve and white shark cage diving in Gansbaai.
Get ready to enjoy some thrills and spills at the awesome Valley of the Waves theme park in the North West Province’s Sun City resort complex. Valley of the Waves is home to a man-made lagoon which generates a 1.2-metre high wave every 90 seconds, providing plenty of fun for all the family. Another standout ride is the ‘Temple of Courage’, where you’ll zoom down a 70 metre-long, near-vertical chute! While you’re here float down into the earth’s depths via a brightly-coloured tube on the underground ‘Sacred River Ride’, shoot through the thrilling ‘Tarantula’ ride where you’ll be submerged in total darkness or enjoy a relaxing swim in one of the park’s many pools!
Provide your children with an illuminating educational experience by taking them to Robben Island, where famous anti-apartheid activists Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma were imprisoned. Take a guided tour of this fascinating UNESCO World Heritage site – these trips are often conducted by Robben Island’s former political prisoners – and see Mandela’s old cell for yourself. You can also learn more about the island’s history, both as a prison for political dissidents and as a leper colony in the 19th century, giving your children insight into how our world has modernised so much, so rapidly.
There’s so much more for your family to see and do while enjoying the South African getaway of a lifetime. Head to Mpumalanga to view the magical Sabie Falls, one of this visually arresting country’s best kept secrets, where you can swim in placid pools. Board the enchanting Tshwane Explorer steam train and ride through the idyllic pastures of picturesque Pretoria. Enjoy some of the world’s best surfing at Jeffery’s Beach, buy sweet treats for your kids at the traditional food markets of Jozi, go tubing across Storms River or hike up the Eastern Cape’s rugged Enchanting Mountain for a whirlwind family adventure.