By Cheréne Pienaar
South Africa is a wonderful country to visit. There’s the history, the landscapes, the people, the culture and the resorts. Oh and then there’s the wine and much more. This article takes a look at 11 family vacations that are great for family holidays throughout South Africa.
1) Skukuza Rest Camp
Easy to access by air and road, Skukuza is situated right in the middle of Big Five country offering a variety of options to accommodate bush lovers including semi luxury bungalows camp sites, cottages 21 furnished safari tents and 4 guesthouses.
Bush walks and game drives make game viewing an absolute pleasure. An outdoor amphitheatre shows awesome wildlife documentaries and the Skukuza Golf 9 hole (18-tee), Par 72 golf course makes this visit to the Kruger National Park more than simple a safari holiday. Other activities, facilities and attractions at Skukuza Rest Camp include 2 restaurants one of which is the world famous Selati Station Grillhouse. Selati offers a full a la carte breakfast every.
Skukuza Rest Camp has public telephones, a post Box, bank, car hire & wash, internet café, delicatessen, communal ablutions, 2 swimming pools, cafeteria, shops, laundromat, petrol station, communal kitchens, cutlery and TVs (limited DSTV) available in family bungalows and luxury units. Day visitor’s picnic (located 4km outside the camp) with swimming pool, cellphone reception and the Skukuza Indigenous Nursery approximately 5km outside camp.
2) Sun City
Known as ‘Africa’s Kingdom of Pleasure’ Sun City is South Africa’s premier holiday resort and a number one choice for family vacationing offers spans of entertainment for all ages. The resort complex offers family friendly vacations with a combination of family fun, food, gambling, game arcades, shopping and world-class hotels, aquatic activities at Sun City from the Valley of the Waves to thrilling water ports.
Keeping teens and tots busy and occupied at Sun City is not a difficult task with a range of fun for family friendly vacations with sun and superior entertainment activities. A supervised play area at Kamp Kwena and Animal World can only add to the fun. A baby-sitting service allows a little alone time for Mom and Dad, swimming pools, gorgeous gardens, game drives and restaurants creating options.
Sun City offers music and nightclubs for the lovers of the night to the great game of golf with two 18-hole championship golf courses challenging all levels of play making Sun City a mecca for golfing pleasure. Both courses, designed by Gary Player, offer a scenic and superb golfing experience.
3) Crawford’s Beach Lodge
Chalet accommodation makes it a classic style lodge great for family friendly vacations. Pine and thatch combined with bamboo finishes and clay effectively match the bright beds and gorgeous studded leather sofas. Only a short walk down to the beach it adds to the ambiance of what makes it an incredible whale spotting location with dolphins swimming and free boat-based whale-watching.
Pristine pool, tennis court and playground, guided hikes, horse-riding and spa treatments as well as a games room and gym makes Crawford’s Beach Lodge an outstanding option when looking for where to spend the summer holidays with focus on family friendly vacations. Inkwenkwezi Game Park with the big give is a mere 7km away adding to the family’s to do list.
Unwind and chill out with the finer things in life while kicking back in the lounge stacked of awesome photography books and a selection of other great reads. A telescope sits out for studying the stars by nights and the ocean by day through a quaint A-framed window. Crawford’s Beach Lodge is definitely worth the visit to the Wild Coast when looking for the best in family friendly vacations.
4) Zinkwazi Lagoon Lodge
The Zulus called it Zinkwazi, the home of Fish Eagles, a coastal eco resort with 7 kilometres of untouched lagoon situated on the beautiful North Coast of Kwazulu-Natal, only 80 km from Durban on the beautiful Dolphin Coast in the heart of the historical King Shaka Route.
Zinkwazi Lagoon Lodge offers 3 different accommodation options for family friendly vacations with beautiful suites, sophisticated dining, full board and breakfast options. Zinkwazi Lagoon Chalets giving guests the fully equipped self-catering option, each designed to indulge the outdoor living experience. Zinkwazi Forest Camp is an eco-camp, set in a riverine forest catering for caravaners and campers.
As far as what to do at Zinkwazi Lagoon Lodge, consider yourself spoilt for choice. Catch the ferry to the protected Beach or take a relaxing cruise on the lagoon aboard the Fish Eagle. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a host of courses while birdwatchers can explore numerous hotspots and eco trails by road, foot, canoe, off-road or boat. Zinkwazi is located close to game reserves and historical sites.
Raffia Restaurant serves spicy a la carte meals and the Isifonya Pub & Sundeck tucked away in the forest canopy where you can enjoy sundowners and some downtime, the Boma provides the perfect place for living it up on those family friendly vacations on amazing tropical nights around the campfire.
Mykonos has been a family friendly vacation favourite with South African for years. Located on the shores of the Langebaan Lagoon is a fantastically fun resort showcasing the height of hospitality and giving us a great taste of Greek living in South Africa.
Dedicated and well trained staff at Club Onos will cater to the children making it an awesome place for your next family friendly vacation, linking in with all the fun the kids can imagine including great day excursions, water sports and fishing.
Have some fun in the sun at Mykonos by lounging on a luxury yacht, casino cruising or do as little as possible relaxing in the luscious self-catering accommodation. Their Health & Leisure Centre will ensure Mom and Dad are pampered while restaurants and bars will keep guests wined and dined.
6) Drakensberg Sun Resort
This spectacular family friendly vacation favourite also forms part of the SunSwop Exchange programme, with families returning annually to enjoy their vacation in the heart of the Drakensberg. Families can enjoy a selection of activities at the resort including Spoilt Green Eco-Spa, trout fishing, horse riding, hiking Trails, canoeing and canopy tours.
Drakensberg Sun Resort is only 4 ½ hours from Johannesburg and 2 ½ hours from Durban offering a host of indoor and outdoor activities to keep the whole family entertained. Accommodation is really quite luxurious with wooden finishes that complement the resorts natural environment. This is nature at its best with breathtaking and just beautiful family friendly vacations in the Drakensberg.
7) Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge
Welcome to this incredible 4-star rated Bush Lodge located in the North West only 40 minutes from Rustenburg and 90 minutes from the city of Golf, Johannesburg. Kwa Maritane, Place of The Rock in Tswana, in malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park, is situated in the heart of the Bafokeng Nation’s territory, only a stone’s throw away from ‘Africa’s Kingdom of Pleasure’ Sun City.
Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge is a great choice for family friendly vacations with 90 hotel rooms, just 3kms from Pilanesberg Airport, restaurant & bar, DSTV, offering spectacular big five viewing, underground hide & webcam, guided bush walks, game drives, 2 bomas, rock climbing wall, children’s playground, wireless internet, 2 swimming pools and spa.
8) Hermanus Esplanade
Hermanus Esplanade is situated in one of South Africa’s true coastal gems and makes for the perfect family friendly vacation location. Often referred to as the whale watching capital of the country Hermanus offers visitors a slice of magic when coming to spend time in their little seaside village. Full of interesting things to see and do with a range of activities and attractions in this gorgeous cape location.
The resort complex has 25 fully contained self-catering units ranging from duplex to apartments tucked-away for a little more privacy and an original fisherman’s cottage. Each unit has its own courtyard and barbecue with the exception for the two group apartments. The atmosphere and decor creates a feeling of being in the Greek Isles.
9) Dumela Holiday Resort
Located on South Africa’s Natal South Coast is the popular Dumela Holiday Resort in Margate, perfectly set right on the gorgeous Hibiscus Coast. The resort offers self-catering accommodation with friendly staff, taking pride in being one of the best family resorts in the country. At no charge baby cots are available on request.
Family friendly vacations with incredible views of the Indian Ocean, a pool, braai area, take away with daily specials for lunch and a thatch pub. Also at the resort are a great spa and a sauna, open gym, trampoline, playground, and entertainment which include the likes of darts, table tennis, pool tables.
The surrounding area offers entertainment and relaxation for the whole family. An arts and crafts trail known as the Southern Explorer is distributed to guests free of charge. Margate is all very close and the Wild Coast Casino is 30 min drive away. The Hibiscus Coast is also referred to as the Golf Coast with 6 incredible courses within half an hour’s drive.
A crocodile farm and bird park are nearby, as well as the popular Oribi Gorge, learn to scuba and take a stunning swim at the Protea Reef, experience a journey on the narrow railway taking you along the coastline and inland to Paddock on the Banana Express, take a deep sea fishing trip.
10) Merry Pebbles
Merry Pebbles is a truly family focused holiday resort located on the banks of the upper Sabie River within the boundaries of the mountain village Sabie. This is centrally situated on the Panorama Route close to tourist attractions within the vicinity including day trips to the Kruger National Park (the Phabeni gate) only 52km away, Gods Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and numerous waterfalls.
Merry Pebbles Resort offers guests a real range of AA highly recommended accommodation options from self-catering chalets, bungalows, cottages and lodges to 3-star graded caravanning and camp sites. A fully licensed a la Carte’ restaurant onsite serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The resort caters for family friendly vacations with facilities including heated and cold water pools, water slides, tennis court, mini-golf, outdoor chess and entertainment center, play parks, mountain biking and hiking trails offering fun for the whole family and making Merry Pebbles a great family vacation option.
A family resort located in an African bushveld environment, situated in the Limpopo province, a short drive from Johannesburg, close to the town of Bela Bela, meaning ‘Boiling Boiling’ in Northern Sotho. Forever Resorts’ Warmbaths is home to the mineral-rich hot springs that gives it the name.
An affordable family friendly vacation offering guests a fantastic summer holiday experience. K will love the pools, rides, river and water sports including motorised skiing camping sites. Warmbaths has a total of 124 self-catering bungalows. Enjoy game viewing in the resort’s private game resort and for that kiddies evening fun the onsite Spur for that fun no cooking family treat. #