• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

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Family Holidays in South Africa

The Family Holiday section on the SA-Venues.com Blog includes posts, articles with recommendations on where to go and what to do in South Africa with Kids. If you are looking for family-friendly accommodation in South Africa please see our very comprehensive section on the SA-Venues.com website on Family-friendly Accommodation in South Africa. There are thousands to choose from!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

10 Dog Friendly Cottages in South Africa

Where to go when you do not want to leave your pooch behind? There are plenty of venues across the country that welcome pets.

Here are some of our favourites. Unless otherwise stated, all dogs are welcome by prior arrangement…

Aloe Cottage, Darling

A romantic getaway in Darling, this little cottage looks out over rolling hills and farmlands to distant mountains. It is set on an indigenous renosterveld estate, designed for privacy, although restaurants, shops and galleries are but three minutes’ drive away. Unwind in the peaceful country atmosphere, or walk on nearby trails. Continued

Tuesday, 20 August 2013
South African Hiking Trails

5 best family hikes in South Africa

5 best family hikes in South Africa: Children from around the age of eight are generally more than capable enough, and certainly fit enough, to manage a good day hike. Some of them will even handle more taxing multi-day hikes, particularly if they are of the slackpack variety (the hikes, not the kids).

We’ve put together a handful of hikes that are perfect for families – some of them more taxing than others – to give parents a varied choice for kids across the fitness and endurance spectrum. Continued

Friday, 19 July 2013

Head For The Bush This Winter – 8 Top Bush Campsites

Koaxa Camp

Koaxa Camp

Heading for the bush does not necessarily mean you need to be in the pukka ‘bushveld’ for it to qualify. There are other areas around the country where ‘bush’ is easy to find and closer to home than you might think.

Here are 8 bush campsites recommended by friends, family and those in the know:

MATAMBA BUSH CAMPSITE, WATERBERG, Limpopo

Matamba is built by campers for campers in the heart of the Waterberg. Malaria-free, it’s just short of three hours’ drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria. There are only three campsites with enough space in-between that ensures your privacy, despite sharing really cute ablutions and a kitchenette.

And when you’re not relaxing at the tent, there are 400 hectares of game farm to explore, and sandy tracks for walking and mountain biking to spot the over 40 mammal and 20 reptile species. Continued

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

10 Ways To Survive A Holiday with Kids, In A Group

Going away with children is fairly taxing on its own, but a holiday with a group of friends AND children – can it work?

Is that asking for more stress than you can handle, or are there benefits that far outweigh the minor compromises you may have to make?

We went away in a group of six adults and five children recently, for three nights. It was one of the most wonderful holidays I’ve had (with children, that is). Here are a few ways I would suggest to allow your holiday to run smoothly … Continued

Monday, 26 November 2012

10 Reasons To Stay On A Farm In SA

Fabulous Farm Stays

Fabulous Farm Stays

We stayed on a couple of farms this past holiday. A week felt like a month. Why? Fresh air, lack of distraction, wide open spaces and literally nothing else to do but gaze at a couple of cows, or head for the hills, might have had something to do with it.

A stay on a farm, no matter how long, gets you out there exploring the countryside.

Whilst travelling around our cities is great, and most of our towns are busting at the seams with accommodation options, markets and other activities to keep you and the family entertained, it is farmstays that get the thumbs up from me. Continued

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

9 Child-Friendly Places To Stay In Cape Town – Choices When Travelling With Kids

Travelling With Kids

Travelling With Kids

Cape Town is a top tourist destination. People fly in on a daily basis to experience its mountain(s), sea, wine, food and general joie de vivre. And many of them come with children.

Finding a hotel or guest house that is genuinely child-friendly is not as easy as it sounds, so here are a couple of pointers in the right direction. A venue is really family-friendly if it has any, or most of, the following:

  • Their policy includes children of all ages
  • They can provide cots
  • They can provide babysitting
  • They have a fully fitted kitchen that includes washing machine and/or tumble dryer
  • They have any extras, like a swimming pool Continued
Tuesday, 4 September 2012

What To Pack For A Camping Trip

Family Camping

Family Camping

South Africa is brimming with stunning places in which to go camping, ranging from the exquisite Drakensburg Mountains to the coastline of the wild Transkei. Camping is special. It allows holiday-makers to experience the country in a very personal way; being part of the natural flora around them without the physical limitations of hotel rooms or lodge boundaries.

Still, without the luxuries of formal accommodation establishments, the only way to enjoy a camping trip is to prepare for it properly. This means making comprehensive checklists of what you need to pack and packing well ahead of time to ensure that you have absolutely everything you need. All too often, last-minute packing leads to a motley assortment of random clothing items and foods, leaving a lot to be desired from the camping trip.

So, to enjoy your camping experience as much as possible, include the following things in your bags: Continued

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Kids of Cape Town – 8 Great Activities for When it’s Wet this Winter

A Winter Beach Day

A Winter Beach Day

There is something about rain outside that makes us want to hibernate; turn into bears and head for duvetland. The problem with what would otherwise be a largely therapeutic exercise is that little ones invariably think you’re decidedly out of your head.

The thought of spending the day in bed is so far removed from the average pre-school and primary school child’s idea of fun that holidays can become something of a battle ground.

A wise parent has a list of back-up activities that keep little fingers and minds busy and creative, that involve the parent in a way that they can temporarily withstand the urge to get horizontal, and supply a healthy dose of imagination and creativity, or allow little legs to stretch. Continued

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

10 top things (with kids) to do in Cape Town this (winter) holiday

Things to Do with Kids

Things to Do with Kids

Just the other day I heard one of the local DJs on a radio station, whilst in my car in the middle of Claremont, talking about the ‘secret season’ in Cape Town. The Mother City’s winters might have a scheduled wet season, but they are, arguably, an even more beautiful time to visit the city.

Incredibly, whilst the worst can happen – it does sometimes rain for days on end, which is why accommodation in Cape Town with a fireplace is nigh on essential – it invariably doesn’t. And those days when the sun shines, the leaves are orange and red on the trees (or not at all) and the city green and glistening, are when Capetonians really come out to play. For without the summer wind or scorching sun, Cape Town turns into a welcoming playground, with plenty to do. Continued

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Stanford Valley – time out in the company of mountains

Stanford Valley

Stanford Valley

Stanford as far as the crow flies is not far from Cape Town. But there can be the odd occasion when, by the time you reach there, after having battled the numerous sets of lights through Somerset West, you feel slightly as though you’ve been through a mangler. Which is even more reason why, in the shadow of the Akkedisberg Mountains in a valley through which the Klein River flows, a stay in Stanford Valley can feel a little like coming home.

The Overberg is quite the most beautiful part of the Western Cape. With its rolling wheat fields, sheep and beef farms, gorgeous mountains, seaside and riverside villages, and swathes of sumptuous scenery, one is easily enraptured. Stanford Valley, despite sounding like a valley in which the town of Stanford lies, is infact a beautiful organic farm, which also offers a guest farm and retreat centre, roughly 10 kilometres outside of Stanford on the R320. It’s position is breathtaking and the mostly restored buildings and outbuildings incredibly pretty. Continued

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Pezula certified as a Preferred Family Destination

Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, South Africa’s award winning resort on the Eastern Head of Knysna, has been certified as a Preferred Family Destination by Preferred Boutique, a collection of small, luxury boutique hotels in a host of stunning locations across the world. According to Gert Venter, GM of Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, Preferred Family Certified hotels and resorts are destinations that go beyond family-friendly. “Each offers unique amenities, customised programmes, and age-appropriate activities for young guests and their grown-up travelling companions.”

Continued

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Family Getaways – 10 great ideas for a family holiday in South Africa

Great for Families

Great for Families

Waiting for holidays to simply ‘happen’ when you have children is tantamount to expecting your fairy godmother to make an appearance, wings and wand intact. The chances are that the holiday, unless other children and a ream of activities are ‘on tap’, could go horribly pear-shaped and find you in the starring role of circus ringmaster responsible for a list of children’s entertainment.  If you want ‘down time’ then a little planning doesn’t go amiss.

There are several child-friendly venues in South Africa that cater for exactly this. Whilst not everyone’s idea of a holiday is getting cozy with a host of other couples with whom you have only  children in common, gone are the days of ‘holiday camp’ style venues. These days some venues manage to create a wonderful balance between keeping your child out of sight and barely in mind, and laying on a number of activities that children and parents can do together … Continued

Monday, 22 November 2010

Blue Water Cafe, Imhoff Farm – children’s parties to remember

Blue Water Cafe

Blue Water Cafe

The social calendar of the average pre-schooler without doubt challenges the ‘coming out’ – a custom for girls in those days to enter into society by attending a variety of balls and dances in search of a husband – of the average Jane Austin heroine. At least the outcome for the Emmas of this world is a wedding; ours is an over-sugared five year old. This is our umpteenth birthday party this year. And as each outdoes the other in terms of child entertainment, the search for available and easy to use venues increases.

On this particular Saturday, we find ourselves at Imhoff Farm’s Blue Water Café, just outside Kommetjie. It isn’t our first visit to the restaurant, although for a lot of the parents it is. We’ve been here before, although admittedly not for a children’s party … Continued

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Child-friendly garden nurseries in Cape Town

Child-friendly nurseries

Child-friendly nurseries

If you haven’t already taken up gardening since having a wee bairn, there is always time. Garden nurseries have undergone a metamophosis in the last generation as more and more of them cater for children and parents gasping for five minutes’ down time in an environment that isn’t a shopping mall. And, inbetween, you acquire a plant or two. It’s a win-win situation.

My all time favourite nursery lies in the pretty southern suburbs. Ferndale is a classic for children, and doesn’t suffer from the pretention or the ‘nursery supermarket’ syndrome that some of the larger, corporate nurseries (like Bugz in the northern suburbs) have succumbed to. It does sadly lack a coffee shop, however, the reason for which I have never been able to establish – it’s not as if there isn’t room for one, or absence of demand; the place, on the contrary, cries out for one … Continued

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Cool Runnings – Africa’s first toboggan track

Cool Runnings

Cool Runnings

The concept of a Jamaican bob sled team is as about as far removed from Cape Town, South Africa as I thought it could get…or is it? On a wonderfully warm spring day, we headed out at 08h30 on a Saturday morning, accompanied by three eager seven-year-olds, to “Cool Runnings” in Bellville, one of Cape Town’s northern suburbs.

Now an early riser I am not (particularly on the weekends), neither am I an extreme sports person, but one will do anything (almost) for your first born’s birthday party! Continued