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Cape Town with 4 year olds

(15 Posts)
doublehelpings Tue 31-May-16 11:11:05


I have a good friend getting married in the Winelands next February and trying to build a holiday for DH and I and our 2 x 4 year olds around it. We've only ever done short haul with our little ones and European resorts so trying to do some research.

Looking at overnight flights direct to Cape Town or Jo'burg as the latter is apparently significantly cheaper? Looking at 12 Apostles hotel after attending the wedding in Winelands and a hire car to get between the two and for when we are staying at 12 Apostles as apparently it's a little out of the way of Camps Bay and the waterfront.

Are there any other hotels people could recommend that are 4/5* and good for kids? I'd like to be a bit more central but 12 Apostles looks like it has lots of facilities so we could stay at the hotel a lot. I went to SA on honeymoon and although beautiful, I'm a little worried about safety with little ones in tow.

Which brings me onto driving between Cape Town and the Winelands and around Camps Bay. How safe have people found this driving-wise and travelling with little ones? I've heard locals and taxis run red lights and taxis also have right of way. When we went before we did a lot of excursions and transfers privately but it's proving difficult to get the same offerings with children and car seats etc etc so have been advised hire car is the way to go.

Any suggestions would be great. Thanks

doublehelpings Tue 31-May-16 11:17:06

Also figured they'd be too young to appreciate a safari???

neolara Tue 31-May-16 11:27:13

Lucky you! We've spent a lot of time holidaying in SA over the years but haven't stayed in hotels. We've never had a problem driving and compared to where we live in the UK, there is hardly any traffic so driving is not stressful. It's easy to get around. Just take car seats from the UK. We've never had to pay for these on flights.

Last time we were out was Xmas 2014 with a 4yo, a 7yo and a 9yo. Table Mountain was awesome. The aquarium is fab. Kirstenbosch gardens great. Boulders Beach for the penguins. I'd give Robbin Island a miss with 4 yos. We were reasonably careful were we went. We usually spend time near Kynsna, which is about 4 hours East of Cape Town. Beaches are stunning and loads to do and see.

We didn't go off the beaten track and we didn't walk around at all at night. But we never felt threatened in any way.

doublehelpings Thu 02-Jun-16 13:05:24

Brilliant - thank you. Hadn't thought of taking the car seats with us. We did the aquarium before kids and am sure they'd love that. Am keen to see the penguins too.

Thanks for the advice

doublehelpings Wed 08-Jun-16 10:48:55

Just bumping in case anyone else has any good (or bad!) experiences. Thanks!

NicknameUsed Wed 08-Jun-16 22:09:53

I believe that most safari holidays are not suitable for under 12s.

Ooogetyooo Wed 08-Jun-16 22:22:39

We went when our youngest DS was 4 and boys had a fab time. We hired a car , took our own car seats, and felt perfectly safe. We didn't witness anything untowards on the roads. We drove from Cape Town to Hermanus and down to Boulders beach etc . You will have a fab time !,

broadsheetbabe Fri 10-Jun-16 18:33:20

We took DS to the Garden Route Game Reserve at Albertinia when he was about 6. There were much younger children on the game drives. Hope this helps.
Have a fab time. We're looking at booking a return trip...

doublehelpings Sat 11-Jun-16 06:43:12

Great - thanks so much. Seems car hire is definitely the way to go - glad to hear it's easy and safe. Now just need to book and survive the long flight! Apparently much cheaper to connect in Jo'burg but not sure if that'll work well with twins who've been travelling 10+ hours ...

MissSusanStoHelit Sat 11-Jun-16 07:20:13

Go funny to wake to this thread this morning - I used to work at the 12 Apostles and know it well! It's a gorgeous hotel and very child friendly but I wouldn't have made it my first choice if I was in your position, simply because it's in the middle of nowhere. It's a long way, on winding roads, from any of the main attraction and if you are planning to sleep here on the night of the wedding you'll find it makes for a very stressful trip home. However, it is gorgeous and the setting is very peaceful so if your plan is to be out all day, sightseeing, and come back to the hotel for a relaxing room service dinner each night with wine on your balcony while the children sleep, then go for it! But apart from the hotel facilities there's nothing else so you really can't walk anywhere in t evenings. For somewhere a bit more lively, the Cape Grace or Table Bay at the Eaterfront are lovely and much more centrally located, both with gorgeous views too.
As for the transfer, with your children being the age they are if suck it up and pay the extra to fly direct. Transferring via JHB is a real pain- you javelin to collect your luggage, clear customs and immigrations, walk to the domestic terminal and recheck in - there is no automatic transfer facility. For the sake of a few hundred pounds and a saving a few hours, go direct. Much easier.
As for safari, we love a little safari lodge called Aquila which is about 2 hours drive from Cape Town via the Winelands. It's not the Kruget Park, but it has most of the big 5 and the experience is magical if you r never seen animals in the wild! It's loads of fun for children and they get a "bush" experience without having to travel all the way up to the Kruger. Plus, it's malaria free! PM me for more details!
Hope this helps! Have a wonderful trip - Cape Town is lovely and you'll have a magical time.

MissSusanStoHelit Sat 11-Jun-16 07:21:16

Please excuse terrible spelling - I'm on my phone!

doublehelpings Sun 12-Jun-16 17:45:12

Thanks so much MissSusanStoHelit - fantastic info!! Logic for choosing 12 Apostles was that I thought it was a lovely and big enough child-friendly resort to base ourselves in and do a few trips in the hire car. However, perhaps we'd be reliant on the car too much (and not able to sample loads of local wine!).

Cape Grace has been recommended by the wedding couple - thanks for your suggestion - i'll go ahead and get quotes and also put foot down on DH booking flights to Jo'burg! I liked the waterfront when we went to Cape Town before and it felt safe etc.

I think we just had a bad experience on our first time as we got straight in a taxi to visit table mountain after we'd checked in and got in a sticky situation and ripped off by the driver and decided not to be at all adventurous after that!

May well PM you if I need more info - thanks for the offer :-)

jemimaboost Tue 14-Jun-16 13:32:13

Hi doublehelpings, do you know the blog Travel Mad Mum? She has just written a blog post about travelling to Cape Town with a two-year-old, which could be helpful? Not sure if I am allowed to put a link in but here goes..!

doublehelpings Sat 18-Jun-16 10:52:13

Thanks Jemima. Will take a look at the link now. Still need to book this holiday! DH wanting to get it done this weekend before Brexit. Got to get a wriggle on. Going to check out Cape Grace again. Thanks!

doublehelpings Tue 05-Jul-16 17:17:34

Thanks again Jemimaboost - More Quarters as mentioned in the blog post is BOOKED! Followed by wedding and then 12 Apostles for a flop. Hire car on booking so not stuck at 12 apostles too. Thanks Miss Susan for the tips - oh and flying direct too. Thanks for everyone's help x

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