South Africa is the perfect option for a family adventure in Africa. Whether you have bored teens who are brought to life by mountain-biking through the Cape, or tiny tots who are mesmerized by their first sighting of a zebra, there is something that works for almost every family.
Family Friendly Lodges in South Africa
South Africa is bursting with family-friendly lodges. As a parent, it makes the whole adventure run smoothly and seamlessly, knowing that your children are having so much fun and are so warmly welcomed. Whether you’re in central Cape Town, pottering around the Winelands, or out on safari, we have found some fantastic options where family fun is the focus.
Some of our favourite family friendly lodges have fabulous kids clubs- the sort of places where your children will wave you off without a second glance and look mildly disappointed when you come back. And just because a lodge is family friendly, it doesn’t mean there isn’t much for adults there- Boschendal for example has a fantastic kids club, and your reviewer is pleased to report the estate wine is rather delicious too!
Private houses and lodges in South Africa
Each family tends to operate at their own pace (or is that just ours?). Sometimes having a private house means you can do things exactly at times and in ways that suit you. Our on-the-ground experience means we’ve spent time checking out the best family houses in South Africa– be it for whale watching in the De Hoop wilderness reserve, introducing your children to the wonders of safari, or living in Cape Town as Capetonians do. Most of these private houses come with staff or are attached to a hotel or lodge, so you have a team there to help you out, but the freedom to do things at your own pace. We have a huge list of these so just let us know what your preferences are and we will point you in the right direction.
Non malarial safari options
South Africa is the only country on the continent where you can take your children on a non-malarial safari. We have scoped out some fantastic game reserves in the Eastern Cape and Madikwe where the game viewing is utterly glorious and its all non-malarial. We’ve visited a huge number of non-malarial safari lodges on your behalf, so let us know what works for your family and we can guide you towards the best choices for you.
Our pick of family friendly activities in South Africa
Younger children are entertained by the things you least expect- helping the safari guides wash the car, visiting the aquarium in Cape Town, or digging holes in the beach on the Garden Route. Monkeyland and Birds of Eden are always great hits with children, and we have to confess, we rather enjoy them as adults too.
Teenagers are at the perfect age to really soak up a safari- be it learning about the wildlife or getting to grips with camera skills- though we’ve found that most teens are considerably more adept with a camera phone than we will ever be. Top tip- teach them to use a pair of binos as a zoom for their phone- we bet they won’t have seen THAT one before. For something more active than sitting in a vehicle, ziplining and Tsitsikamma canopy tours are a big hit on the Garden Route, and there’re a huge number of places that offer mountain-biking, horse-riding, even fishing and sand-boarding in and around the Western Cape. For older teens (and we’d stress this is one probably better for older teens) the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg is a fascinating, and sobering, introduction to the darker moments of South African history.
We’ve got a huge list of lodges, activities and family friendly ideas up our sleeves, so for personal recommendations, just