South Africa is my favourite travel destination. We hardly ever travel to the same place twice, but we gladly made an exception for this beautiful country when we took our kids there for our first big family trip. And we are certainly planning to return again. Sometimes we even contemplate moving to live there… and one day we might. For now it’s just a dream that grows bigger every time I look at the pictures from our trips to South Africa. It’s not so much about the pictures themselves – it’s not an easy task to produce good quality images when traveling with young children. It’s about how amazingly unique South Africa is.
Selection of my favourite South Africa photos
Table Mountain and Signal Hill in Cape Town
This picture was taken on our first day in Cape Town. We left Belgium just the evening before and we were somewhat anxious about the trip traveling to the other side of the globe with our three little boys for the first time. But all the worries were forgotten and gone once we were there. The children have adapted to the new place very well and their willingness to explore places exceeded all our expectations on the first day already. During the two weeks we spent there we have done much more sightseeing than we ever though would be possible with our 2 year old twins. It was then that we decided we could try Australia as well.
This is not the famous Cape of Good Hope at the end of Cape Peninsula, but the Cape Point just next to it. It is standing here and looking at the endless ocean that you truly feel that you are at the end of the world.
Our family visit to Knysna Elephant Park
Knysna Elephant Park is one of the first places we took our boys to on the Garden Route. We thought the kids would like to feed the elephants and we could take some nice pictures with them. What nobody expected was that our 2 year old son Sam would be the most at ease with these colossal animals. Somehow the elephants felt it too – one of them even went to lay on the ground and let Sam pet him, something which according to the people working there only happens very rarely and only when the elephants feel very much at ease.
South Africa is all about nature, plants, and animals, and we saw a great variety of them. I just love this picture of Knysna Loerie (Turaco) – the bird I have never seen anywhere else before or after this trip.
This picture always puts a smile on my face – three turtles walking in a row and our three boys running behind them in Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary. This game took a long time and I started to feel sorry for the poor animals, but then a monkey came along and the turtles were saved.
Tsitsikamma National Park
This was our first time in Tsitsikamma National Park and we didn’t really know what to expect. What we found was this beautiful coastline with wild flowers and whales jumping in the distance (they are not in the picture – in case you are already looking for a magnifying glass…). We even managed to do one of the short walks (2km Storms River Mouth Hike) and our little hikers did just fine. The very first hike for them.
South Africa is the country of the Big 5, and even though we didn’t go to Kruger National Park on this trip, we found plenty of other opportunities to watch animals. We even took the kids on a safari ride at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve. This lioness is not photographed on a safari, but at a lion park near Cape Town. This is the closest I’ve ever been to a lion, within a hand’s reach and the wire between us, of course.
Dolphins in Hermanus
Now you can get that magnifying glass! One of our favourite places in South Africa – Hermanus. There are many places in the world where you can see dolphins and whales, but none of them compares to Hermanus. Never before (or after this) have we seen so many dolphins and whales just standing ashore. There was a huge group of dolphins, hundreds of them, and we just walked along the coast and watched them for hours. I have nice close-up pictures of the dolphins as well, but this one is about the experience.
Cape Town aquarium
Another great experience for the whole family and one of my favorite photos.
As I said, one of our favourite places – Hermanus coastline. We visited Hermanus twice and each time we hated to have to leave. As I write this, I am looking for a good excuse to return. Not that my husband needs convincing. If there’s one place in the world I don’t have to convince him about it’s South Africa. And that’s for someone who thought I was out of my mind when we booked our first trip there 10 years ago!
For more pictures from the North of the country and trip inspiration check our Best of South Africa trip itinerary for 2 weeks.