South Africa: First place you think of when planning a family holiday

family holiday south africa

South Africa is fast becoming an adventure capital of the world! With historic cities, endless coastlines, vast national parks, mountains, and safaris, it is indeed a magical place where you can experience a once in a lifetime, magical family adventure you won’t regret.

Here are among the top tourist spot that you and your family can spend your holiday adventure!

1. Cape Town, Western Cape

Probably one of the world’s most breathtaking cities, the Western Cape’s Cape Town is South Africa’s second largest settlement by population. Nature surrounds this multi-cultural city that nuzzles between the sea and the rugged range of mountains.

Cape Town, Western Cape
Image: Flickr

If you wish to see a stunning overview, you can hike to the top Table Mountain or take your brave kids with you for a glide up to the peak on a cableway. You can also hike up Lion’s Head which provides a panoramic city vista. On the eastern slope of the Tabletop Mountain, you and your kids can enjoy the magnificent Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden which lies within the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

By strolling along the waterfront boardwalk, your kids will be amazed to see whales spouting from the harbour. False Bay offers penguins waddling along the golden beaches while the southern part of the city, Cape Point, is home to numerous botanical wonders and wildlife!

Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco offers sine dining and shopping boutiques as well as numerous entertainment venues such as Two Ocean’s Aquarium. Rimmed by beautiful boulder-flanked beaches, Camp’s Bay provides chic cafes and shops. When sunset arrives, take a spot along the Chapman’s Peak Drive and be in a dusk ritual called as “sundowners” and watch as the sun sink slowly into the sea with your family.

2. Kalahari (Kgalagadi) Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape

A merger of Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park and South Africa’s Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of the biggest wilderness areas in the planet. Established in the year 2000, it is South Africa’s first transfrontier park officially declared and lay in the remote region of the Northern Cape.

Kalahari (Kgalagadi) Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape
Image: Flickr

Deep blue skies, golden grasslands, red sands, and twisted camel thorn trees offer a bold backdrop for photographs and game viewing. Along with the vast diversity of wildlife, this enormous conservation area is home to the popular meerkats, sprawling nests of sociable weaver, stately gemsbok with V-shaped horns, the black-maned Kalahari lions and many birds of prey. Other predators like hyenas, cheetah, and leopards can also be found in here.

3. The Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal

Prepare your family with lots of sweats and outdoor fun with the spectacular Drakensberg which translates to “Dragon Mountains”. It is a favorite vacation spot in the country and is the home to South Africa’s highest peaks.

The region covers the Royal Natal National Park which is the home of Amphitheater, source of South Africa’s main rivers and has a magnificent cliff face you and your family will love; and uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, which is considered a World Heritage because of its jaw-dropping beauty thanks to its San rock art and jagged basalt buttresses.

There is also the Giant’s Castle Game Reserve which protects the large eland herds. Dense forests grow and flourish in the sheltered valleys, and the region is home to over 800 various species of flowering plants and wildlife. During; summer season, the mountain landscapes are fertile and lush with crystal clear streams and gushing waterfalls. During the winter season, snow cloaks the dramatic peaks. You can, and your family can go for a bike or a hike on the scenic mountain trails, parasail, and fish for trouts. You and your family can also enjoy a hot air balloon ride to appreciate a dramatic topography.

4. The Garden Route

Along South Africa’s southeast coast, you will find The Garden Route which runs for around 200km through some of the country’s most breathtaking coastal scenery. It stretches along the Indian Ocean from the Storms River in the Eastern Cape to the Mossel Bay in the Western Cape. This popular driving route passes through coastal cliffs, lakes, lagoons, pretty coastal towns, and rolling green hills for the ultimate family road trip.

the Garden Route

The highlights of the route include the seal colony of the Robberg Nature Reserve in Plettenberg Bay; ostrich farms in Oudtshoorn and Cango Caves; the beautiful Garden Route National Park with its thick forests and gorges tidal pools; and the lively town of Knysna which is snuggled between a sparkling lagoon and dense forests.

Adventures along the way run the gamut, from tree canopy tours and bungee jumping to whale watching trips and elephant back rides.

5. Golden Mile, KwaZulu-Natal

The sweeping waterfront promenade of Durban, The Golden Mile, is a legendary tourist spot and an amazing starting point for a tour of the city. Crystal clear beaches lure anglers, surfers, and swimmers while the bustling promenade gives off a Miami Beach feel with its flashy entertainment complex, restaurants, shops, and high-rise hotels.

Your family can stroll along or rent a bike to explore the city. Besides the beach scenery, top attractions along this stretch include Mini Town, a small replica of Durban with a little harbour scene, airport and rail network; Moses Mabhida Stadium; and uShaka Marine World which is a wonderland sea-themed attraction for a full South Africa travel that your kids will surely love.

Author Bio: Peter Smith is a travelling freak who has travelled many destinations around the world. He also loves writing about his travelling experiences and the places he has explored. He writes for a site http://xenontransfersandtours.co.za/ offering Cape Town tour packages.

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