If you have been following our blog for a while, you know that South Africa is one of our absolute favourite travel destinations. We took our kids to South Africa when the twins were just 2 years old and it’s still one of the best trips ever (you can find our South Africa trip itinerary with kids here). Today we are featuring our first guest post by a South African travel blogger – Sara Essop from In Africa And Beyond. Sara shares her favourite places, family-friendly highlights of South Africa.
Family-friendly places to visit in South Africa
South Africa is fast becoming a popular holiday destination for international visitors thanks to its diverse attractions. As a born and bred South African, I love showcasing the best of South Africa to the world and I find it gratifying when others realise how awesome South Africa is. As a mom of two kids, I also want everyone to know how family-friendly South Africa is.
South Africa’s family-friendly highlights by a local
I love safaris and would spend all my life in the bush if I could. South Africa is rich in wildlife and has some of the best game reserves in the world. You can see magnificent animals like lions, elephants, rhinoceros, and leopards in their natural environment. When visiting game reserves, I often encounter international tourists with children, who are on safari for the first time in their lives. Their excitement is something to behold. Safaris can be done in most of South Africa’s provinces.
Going on safari for the first time? Check our best safari tips!
Durban is known as the warmest place to be, due to the friendly people and its warm climate all-year round. It’s affordable for those on a budget and it has a great location along the shores of the warm Indian Ocean.
Popular activities in Durban include swimming and surfing, segway tours and colourful ricksha rides on the beachfront promenade. Adults and older kids can enjoy adrenalin pumping activities like the Big Rush Big Swing at Moses Mabhida stadium, officially named the world’s tallest swing.
Read more about the best things to do in Durban with kids.
Mpumalanga region is another must-visit destination in South Africa. It is regarded as one of the country’s most geographically diverse and spectacular provinces. It has breathtaking scenery, historic caves, striking waterfalls and unique geographical formations.
Some of South Africa’s best wildlife reserves are in this vicinity, including the world-famous Kruger National Park. Luxury and budget safaris are both available.
Johannesburg and surrounds
Johannesburg may be better known as a business hub, but there is a lot more to it. Family-friendly attractions include Gold Reef City, a popular theme park built on an old gold mine, and the Apartheid Museum, which provides a stark history lesson on South Africa’s dark past.
A short drive out of Johannesburg lies the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site known for its rich concentration of fossils. Thousands of fossils of pre-humans have been discovered here dating back to millions of years. You can explore the Sterkfontein Caves and take a fascinating underground boat ride back in time through the various stages of Earth’s creation.
The Garden Route
In South Africa, we are quite spoilt with many picturesque roads, perfect for long road trips. The Garden Route is one of them. It has lush green forests, breathtaking gorges, tranquil beaches, lagoons and mountains.
The Garden Route also boasts two national parks – Tsitsikamma and Wilderness. The Bloukrans Bridge Bungy, the world’s highest commercial bridge bungy, can also be found here.
Read more about the best places to road trip in South Africa.
Nestled between the ocean and the mountain, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Kids will love taking the revolving cable car to the top of the iconic Table Mountain, which is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Cape Town also boasts pristine beaches, scenic hiking trails, and beautiful gardens.
Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is another firm favourite for kids. It is inhabited by endangered African penguins and the kids can swim with them. If you’re lucky, you can also see dolphins, whales and sharks in the sea. A short drive will take you to Cape Agulhas, the point where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. Many other attractions area also within short drives from Cape Town.
South Africa – the world in one country
South Africa is so diverse that in one trip you can climb mountains, go on safari, relax on beautiful beaches, enjoy city experiences and discover ancient fossils. It is no wonder that it is often referred to as “a world in one country”. To top it off, the weather is temperate, the people are friendly and the exchange rate is great for visitors.
Hope to see you soon! Sara
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