South Africa

South Africa family holiday

With year-round sunshine, fantastic beaches, thrilling safari opportunities and a fascinating cultural history, a South Africa family holiday is an obvious and exciting choice. The glorious outdoor lifestyle of the Cape Peninsula with its stunning Table Mountain backdrop is perfect for children of all ages. Parents will appreciate the local produce of the Winelands and everyone can enjoy the fabulous coastal scenery and variety of activities on offer along the Garden Route.

Further north, the wildlife viewing in Kruger National Park is superb, and you can stay in tented camps that enable you to best enjoy the wide skies and dramatic African landscapes. Nearer Durban, there are wetland reserves where you can spy crocs and hippo, you can immerse yourselves in traditional African cultures in Swaziland and KwaZulu Natal and hike amidst the dramatic scenery of the Drakensberg Mountains.

There is little time difference when flying from the UK so you can hit the ground running without jet-lagged and grumpy children. With world-class wines, food and accommodation as well as a favourable exchange rate, South Africa family holidays offer fantastic value.

Blyde River Canyon South Africa family holiday

Blyde River Canyon – one of South Africa’s many iconic vistas

Why take the kids?

Top of the list are the world-class safari opportunities that are a key element to any South Africa family holiday. Enjoy watching your children as they gasp in awe at close encounters with elephant, lion, rhino and other big game. Kruger National Park and its surrounding private game reserves offer particularly good game viewing and some of the densest wildlife populations in Africa – this makes for satisfyingly easy and successful safaris!

Along the south coast, both Cape Town and the Garden Route are hugely appealing destinations for a family holiday in South Africa. In Cape Town you can hike up Table Mountain (or hop on the cable car for the easy option), kayak with the penguins at Boulders Beach, shop ‘til you drop at the Waterfront or take an emotive visit to Robben Island where former prisoners take you on a guided tour. Along the Garden route there are endless adventure activities taken against a backdrop of jaw-dropping coastal scenery and superb wildlife viewing in the smaller game reserves near Port Elizabeth.

Some of our favourite activities on a South Africa family holiday include:

  1. Looking out over Cape Town having hiked up Table Mountain
  2. Seeing the penguins run freely over Nelson Mandela’s former place of captivity, Robben Island
  3. Whale-watching at Hermanus, from the shore, a cruise or even a kayak
  4. Sipping local wine in stunning scenery (parents need downtime too!)
  5. Enjoying exciting tales of Zulu battles at Rorke’s Drift
  6. Waking to an unforgettable sunrise over the Drakensberg Mountains
  7. Learning to surf and body board on the glorious beaches of KwaZulu Natal
  8. Seeing the big-five on a safari in Kruger National Park

South Africa family holidays - teenager body boarding

Learning to surf at Trafalgar Beach, KwaZulu Natal

Example South Africa family itineraries

All of our South Africa family holidays are bespoke which means that they are tailor-made for your own specific family, taking into account the ages of your children, your interests, your budget and so on.

However, to give you an idea of what you could do on a South Africa family holiday, have a look at our sample itineraries Classic Cape & Garden Route and Kruger & Beach Family Safari.

Also check out some of the other places that you might like to visit on your family holiday to South Africa and if you need further inspiration, have a look at our South Africa photo gallery.

Lastly, don’t forget to check what the weather will be like at the time that you want to travel. Or simply give us a ring and we’ll be delighted to advise you on the best South Africa family holiday for you and the children.

Will all children enjoy a South Africa family safari?

In our experience children aged approximately 3 and above will love a (relatively short) safari although a certain amount of bribery may be needed to keep them quiet at the crucial moment when you have finally spotted that leopard hiding in the tree… Older children will ‘last’ much longer although exactly how many days you should spend game viewing will vary from one family to another. Please discuss this with us so that we can advise accordingly.

Many lodges in South Africa have a minimum age for game drives (or will require families with younger children to arrange private, rather than shared, game viewing vehicles). We can advise which lodges and camps are best suited to your family and ensure that the activities that are offered will appeal to your children.

Kids on safari on a South Africa family holiday

On safari at Amakhala where you can spot the big five and much more.

Are family safaris in South Africa safe for children?

Seeing lion and hippo at close quarters sounds wonderfully exciting, but many parents will wonder is it really safe to be in such close proximity to wild animals?

Absolutely it is. All camps and lodges in South Africa have strict safety guidelines and controls, including either electric fences or regular patrols by trained safari staff. There is a rigid safari etiquette – keeping arms inside the vehicle at all times, never getting out of the vehicle (your guide will stop at appropriate places when necessary) – and toddlers must be under control at all times if you are in a tented camp.

Appropriate precautions will need to be taken against malaria if you are travelling to the Kruger area. For younger families or those averse to asking children to take anti-malarials, the Eastern Cape, which is malaria-free, offers wonderful safari opportunities – perhaps not on such a grand scale as Kruger but still very exciting nonetheless.

A smiling 4 year old on safari on a family safari holiday - South Africa family holiday

A child-friendly lodge is the key to an enjoyable safari experience on a South Africa family holiday

Logo-icon

Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

Stubborn Mule cartoon