The best option for most families usually involves a combination of everything to keep your senses excited and your kids happy. The top place in the country for a family South Africa holiday would be the Cape and the famous Garden Route. If you want to spend some quality time relaxing on some of the areas many fantastic beaches, the ideal time to travel would be in South African summer (from mid-November to early March). Of course it’s also worth bearing in mind December and January are the peak months of travel in South Africa, so book your holiday early to guarantee the best availability, or if you can delay till February, that’s even better.
Most travellers will start their South Africa adventure in Cape Town, which is one of the world’s most spectacular and accessible cities. Spend at least three nights here to take advantage of the many local attractions, the pick of the bunch being taking the cable-car up Table Mountain (choose a clear day), visiting Boulders Beach where you can swim with penguins, taking a drive to scenic Cape Point, or hitting the shops on the Victoria and Alfred waterfront.
Just outside the city limits lie the lush wine valleys where most of South Africa’s famous vintages are grown and bottled. This may not be the most exciting stop for the children, so you could just make it a day trip on your way to towards the garden route and the rest of your South Africa holiday. As you move east you can choose to visit Hermanus for a chance to spot some of the whales that visit the coast year round (peak season is June to October). Moving further inland the quirky town of Oudtshoorn is definitely worth a stop, with the nearby Cango Caves and Cango wildlife ranch a great place to pet cheetahs and feed ostriches.
Knysna and Plettenberg will be next on most visitors’ maps, which one you choose is up to you. If you prefer a more lively town with plentiful restaurant options and things going on, Knysna is the place for you. If you would like somewhere a little quieter with a great beach on your doorstep, Plett needs to be on your list. In the local area Tsitsikamma National Park is a rugged coastline wilderness with great walks and nearby Nature’s Valley provides a spectacular lagoon and sandy beach.
On from there, Jeffrey’s Bay makes a good stop for any budding surfers or body-boarders before you reach one of South Africa’s top wildlife reserves in the Eastern Cape. The Addo Elephant National Park is the second biggest park in South Africa behind the Kruger, and gets its name from the huge herds of elephants that roam the area. The park is worth a visit on your South Africa holiday because it provides you with the opportunity to take safari drives in your own rental vehicle which can be a very exciting and rewarding experience.
To the north east of Port Elizabeth lie a number of smaller private parks that provide more luxurious safari options, if you are willing to fork out a little more of course. In the case of a South Africa safari however, you do get what you pay for, and it may be worth stretching your budget a little further to make it a trip of lifetime. What you will get is game drives with trained and experienced rangers, spectacular lodges and accommodation, and gourmet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This will highly increase your chance of spotting some or all of the Big 5 while also learning all about the African bush. A great way to end a memorable family adventure holiday to South Africa.