Family Holidays in South Africa
With its first world infrastructure, favourable exchange rate and varied attractions, South Africa is a great family holiday destination.
Children of a sufficient age to walk and talk and communicate with ease will find a visit to a game reserve or national park fascinating. Many of the private game reserves do not allow children, but some particularly welcome them, and many that do allow children don't allow them on game drives, unless the whole vehicle is taken by one family or party, so do your homework. Bear in mind that the main game viewing destinations are in malarial areas, where it is risky for young children and pregnant women, so you might want to stick to the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and North West Province reserves. As a rule the national parks are very child-friendly, with self-catering family chalets and perhaps even playgrounds.
Beach holidays are another great favourite with families and, with such a long coastline, there are some really good options. The Wild Coast, in the Eastern Cape, is a favourite with local families, and many of the hotels have special children's programmes, playgrounds, children's dining areas and baby sitting services. The Garden Route is a good option if you're looking for a more exclusive experience, as there are a number of luxurious hotels and guesthouses that cater specifically for families, and many child-friendly attractions like a monkey park and walks with elephants. Dolphin and whale watching is another experience most children would never forget.
If you are travelling in spring, it's hard to resist the temptation to travel from Cape Town up the West Coast and into the main flower area of Namaqualand, where you could photograph your little darlings frolicking in fields of flowers stretching to the horizon.
But, really, there is something in almost every centre that you and your children will find interesting so it's just a matter of planning carefully and ensuring that you get child-friendly accommodation. Also bear in mind that, if you want a child seat in a rental car, you need to book it in advance.