If you’re searching for a holiday for the family, whether they’re tots, teens or grandparents, why not choose South Africa? Holidaying with families means the pace has to be adjusted to suit, but the amazing diversity of attractions and activities, and the modern accommodation and infrastructure, make South Africa the perfect destination. You can go on a wilderness safari and have a fabulous beach holiday, or for families that are a bit more adventurous, you can choose resorts at such dreamed-about places like Mozambique, Zanzibar or Mauritius. Your family can have fun together horse riding, playing golf, hiking, or playing water sports, depending on the ages of your children. There’s something for everyone in South Africa.
1. Safari For Kids
South Africa offers some special family safaris in safe, malaria-free game reserves with some wonderful activity programs for kids. There’s a private, 6-bed camp run by Young Explorers in Botswana specially for families within the Shinde private concession. The camp has a personal chef and waiter, a housekeeper, and a professional guides to paddle you in a dugout canoe (a mokoro) down the Okavango Delta. Explore the wonders of the bush at your own pace. Young Explorer safaris can be customised, depending on the childrens’ ages and your preferences, budget and particular family group.
2. Tanzania Safari
Southern Tanzania is excellent safari country and offers some of the best game viewing on the African continent. It’s also a best kept secret on the ‘safari circuit’, which means there won’t be many others out there to crowd the view. The southern parks of the Selous and Ruaha are popular, large and fairly wild. This place is a photographer’s heaven with its game-rich areas and you’ll finish your safari with a few days along the coast, lapping up the sun at a beach lodge at the end of an amazing African adventure. The best months for normal game viewing here are from June to November when the parks are driest, and when game gatherers around the river banks. However, for specialist activities like walking and bird watching, the best times are between January and March – it’s a bit humid and hot, but very rewarding.
3. Group and Escorted Tours
Try a tour by air to Namibia where the sand dunes are a fiery red, and some of the area’s wildest and most remote destinations await. You can opt for a fly-in package with an itinerary that takes in this unbelievably beautiful scenery, fascinating cultural interactions and unique game viewing. Whether you choose to go up, up and away in a hot air balloon over Sossusvlei, or go on a safari into the dry Etosha Pan, see Africa from a variety of vantage points.
4. How About an Island Getaway?
Imagine clear as crystal aquamarine seas, cocktails and hammocks, the scent of salt and coconut oil on the breezes while you lie in the sunshine with waves lapping your toes. Think soft white sands, palm fronds and island paradises where all your cares just melt away. The kids are safely playing in the sand or taking their afternoon nap. For some of the finest sand that squeaks underfoot, you can’t go past Mozambique. Take one of the most popular tours around one of the two island archipelagos: Far northern Quirimbas, a great combination with a Tanzanian safari, and Bazaruto down south, perfectly combined with a Kruger safari. Visit the red colobus monkey sanctuary in Jozani Forest.
5. Hot Air Balloon Flights
Riding in a hot air balloon feels like nothing else. Gliding soundlessly high in the sky watching herds of miniature animals running across the bushveld, and you and your family can experience the sense of freedom on your Africa holiday. Take off from Kenya and Tanzania or Namibia on an hour-long flight over awe-inspiring landscapes. There’s Africa’s Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in Gauteng, and in The Free State, you can float over the site of the earth’s largest ever meteor impact.
6. Self-Drive Trips
See South Africa and Namibia at your family’s pace on a self-drive holiday. The roads are well-maintained and straight, and there are plenty of roadside service stations and farm stalls in South Africa for comfort stops. You’ll see some stunning scenery, and we provide you with all you will need, including maps and clear directions, and contact numbers for places to stay and find information. Namibia’s roads are 50/50tarred and dirt with most of the latter drivable in a regular vehicle with no need for an SUV, apart from the rainy season in January and February.
7. A Big Five Safari
You couldn’t call a holiday in Africa complete unless you join a safari in the bushveld to see the Big Five – the leopard and the lion, elephant, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo. This term was used by hunters of big game but is now used by safari tour operators. There are many national parks in this country, and South Africa is well known for its magnificent animals that you can view. There’s the Kruger region which includes the Kruger National Park and private reserves which is a destination you cannot miss. Private reserves have their own SUVs that leave on game drives twice a day with a qualified tracker and ranger, taking you close to the animals for that perfect photograph. Your accommodation, especially if you choose the Sabi Sand Reserve, will be pure luxury.
8. Traverse The New Graskop Gorge
The Graskop Gorge glass lift was opened in 2018 in Mpumalanga and offers a fabulous view into the heart of the region’s forests, with soaring cliffs cut in ancient times into the Motitsi River. Here you’ll see a waterfall plunging 70m into the gorge below. The family adventure starts as you descend 51 metres down the cliff face from the plateau in a 26-passenger viewing elevator – you’ll have an almost 360-degree stunning view of the gorge. Once you’ve reached the cool canopy, a network of suspension bridges, elevated walkways, and interactive exhibits takes you along a forest trail. Here you can immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural environment of the Afromontane forest.
Be aware that there is malaria in parts of South Africa, and you may need to be vaccinated against Rabies, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, and Influenza. This is general advice, so check with your travel doctor well before you leave on your trip.