South Africa - anyone been?

(13 Posts)
broadsheetbabe Wed 24-Oct-12 16:20:04

Hi,

DH and I are planning to take DS2, who will be 6, to South Africa for a three-week holiday late October 2013.

Any recommendations on things to see and do and places to stay? Nothing is booked, so we are open to all suggestions.

givemeaclue Thu 25-Oct-12 09:42:30

Where abouts are you planning to go? Cape town and places near these on garden route great for kids . You won't be able to do safari but could do a day trip to see some animals in an animal park

dinkystinky Thu 25-Oct-12 09:44:45

Hermanus for whale watching - they come right up to the shore. Its brilliant.

Boulders beach near cape town is great - colony of fairy penguins there and you can picnic and go in the sea.

I suspect 6 may be too young for safari (early starts, late finishes etc). but did see kids on safari in Madikwe - look at Jacqui's tree lodge. I'd avoid the malarial areas if possible.

It totally depends on whether you want to travel or stay in one place. In 3 weeks we normally do Cape Town - Hermanus - Knysna - Plettenberg Bay - Port Elizabeth or Addo Elephant Park then fly back from PE to Cape Town, you can drive back ( we have but stopped over night in Knysna and Hermanus) it is a very long drive for one day.

If you want safari's there are places in the Eastern Cape that are malaria free and not too bad compared to other places (a lot of places in Kruger who do organised safaris won't take under 10s). Some are more friendly than others, we took the DDs to Riverbend which is very child orientated.

Our DDs loves Boulders, table mountain, beaches and swimming in the sea, some places have tidal pools built on the beach which were safe and they could swim rather than paddle. The Waterfont has a great aquarium and you can catch a boat to Robben Island but it pretty commercial and mostly shopping. In the centre of Cape Town are the Gardens with a the museum which our DDs enjoyed too, The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest building in Cape Town and we took a carriage ride from there.

broadsheetbabe Thu 25-Oct-12 19:24:31

Many thanks for all the suggestions. We will definitely be travelling around.

At first we were thinking of flying into Cape Town, exploring for four or five days (city sights plus Cape and Boulders Beach) and then self-driving along to Port Elizabeth. Then back to Cape Town to fly home.

As giveme says, there seems to be plenty to do for children all along the Garden Route - a cheetah sanctuary, whale watching, an elephant sanctuary as well as Addo Elephant Park.

DH then threw a spanner in the works by announcing he wants to visit the Battlefields, especially Rorke's Drift.

So now, I'm thinking may be it would be better to fly into Johannesburg, pick up a car and head towards Durban through the Kwazulu Natal, stopping at Rorke's Drift and a Big 5 game reserve in north of Durban, perhaps in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi.

We could then fly from Durban to Port Elizabeth for a self drive along the Garden Route and then into Cape Town, and fly home from there.

Around 7-10 days from Joburg to Durban and then 11-14 days along the Garden Route to CT.

We are used to road trips. I worked this route out to be around 1,000 miles in total - 600 to Durban and 400 from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town.

What are your thoughts? Would this option be doable? Anyone got any other ideas and/or suggestions, please.

BlingBubbles Thu 25-Oct-12 19:36:29

Hi I am from SA, that trip sounds fine, driving in SA is much easier than driving here, you just drive there is no hassle.

Durban is great, has fab weather all year round, UShaka is a must for your DS, the water park is loads of fun and and the aquarium is great.

The drive from PE to Cape Town is wonderful and so beautiful, I would recommend taking the R62 from George, it takes you off the main motorway and you get too see so much.

Definitely spend a couple of nights in either plettenberg bay or knysna, they are only a few miles apart so you can visit both very easy
There is so much to do in that area, dolphin cruise, tree top safari, you can walk with elephants, the beaches are amazing, loads of beautiful walks ...you can see I love that part of the world. grin

If you take R62 route I would suggest you spend a night at Oudsthoorn, you can visit the ostrich farm and crocodile farm, both great.

Cape Town is of course fabulous and there is so much to see and, boulders beach, table mountain, cape point, the waterfront, camps bay and if course don't forgot the whine lands, spier is a must see with kids as you can taste some fab wine while your DS plays with cheetahs grin

This making me want to plan a visit again.

Enjoy. You will live it

BlingBubbles Thu 25-Oct-12 19:38:15

Oh yes I forgot about ado elephant park, that is really nice and not nearly as over priced as the other game farms in the area

Fluffy1234 Sat 27-Oct-12 16:18:24

I took my children to Cape Town 2 years ago and it is so beautiful and really good value for money. We visited Table Mountain, Stellanbosch, Simon Town, Spiers, Boulders Beach, drove along Chapmans Peak, Cape of Good Hope, botanical Garden, two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront, planetarium, Cape Town castle, Camps Bay and a few different beaches. As others have said driving is really easy and virtually no jet lag. Have a great trip.

CaipirinhasAllRound Sun 25-Nov-12 07:49:07

We loved Cape Town and the Garden Route. Definitely try and stay in the addo reserve, really reasonably priced and we could see elephants from our decking.
Storms river mouth was great too, again great value accommodation run by the national park
And we stayed at the hotel at Boulders where we had the best food of our trip and saw the odd penguin waddle through the hotel grounds

sweetpea31 Fri 21-Dec-12 23:42:15

i usually fly to jo and spend a few days there and the surrounding areas and then fly to george on the garden route and then visit knysna, oudtshoorn, calitzdorp, mosses bay etc via car from there. kulula is a pretty cheap website (think budget airline) who are pretty good for getting around - both cars and flights! i have used them many times and they have been good to me! driving is easy and ppl are so friendly and helpful! tho it is easy to pick up a speeding ticket if u r not careful! oopsy!

sweetpea31 Fri 21-Dec-12 23:42:34

mossel*

GlobeDU Wed 09-Jan-13 08:18:53

Hi broadsheetbabe

Glad to see that you are doing your homework before coming to visit South Africa. So many people make the mistake of thinking that they can see all of South Africa in a week and are seriously disappointed when they get here and see the distances to some of the places they have on the list of "must-do".

I live in South Africa and the country has so much to offer. The north vs the south are very different too.

When looking at safari's make sure you take the following into consideration too:
- is the area you wanting to visit a malaria-risk area or not (i.e. Kruger National Park is a Marlaria-risk area)
- How interested is your son in wildlife.
- Make sure the park you book with allows your son to join in with the various activities you want to do (many have a child age restriction)
- if this is the first time doing a safari with your son, would recommend that you look at reserves that offer some fun activites too (like elephant back ride safari etc)

Other things to take into consideration for your travels:
- October is the start of the rainy season for the northen part of South Africa and the end for the sountern part of South Africa.
- if you wanting to go wine tasting, try find one that offers fun activties for children too (like chocolate tasting, cheese tasting, etc)

Feel free to contact me if you are wanting some help in putting this holiday together.

Regards
Kaylene
wikivillage.co.za/globe-discoverers-unite-africa/

Pedallleur Fri 25-Jan-13 14:22:14

Remember that you maybe on a game drive early in the morning and then in the evening so you have to fill your time in between and you may be a long drive from a major town. You are fine near Capetown and the Stellenburg but as you drive East the distances get bigger. No guarantees you see animals all the time. One park I stayed at for 3 days had a huge herd of Cape Buffalo but we only saw them once. Didn't see leopards either so you must expect everything you see to be a bonus. 6 might be a bit young. One place I stayed at (Gorah elephant camp) had no mains elec. so no tv/computer etc which some people don't like. you couldn't walk about at night either as animals moved thro' the camp. Lovely holiday tho and a beautiful country.

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