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SOUTH AFRICA: baby friendly accommodation please!

(18 Posts)
firsttooth Thu 06-Aug-09 10:00:22

We're travelling to SA next Spring with our son who will be just over 1yr. Any recommendations for baby friendly places to stay please? We're flying into CT and thinking about doing winelands/garden route, probably staying in places for a 3 or 4 nights at a time. Thanks!

muddleduck Thu 06-Aug-09 14:58:44

We took ds1 to SA when he was 6 months.
We went for selfcatering accommodation as it gave us a lot more flexibility. We stayed 7 nights in a cottage on a winefarm near Stellenbosh (can do the capetown sights from here but is a bit more chilled than CT itself) and 7 nights in a bungalow on a holiday village near knysna. I'd definitely recommend the first (can go looking for the website if you're interested), the second was fine, but nothing fab.

I know that part of the country fairly well so let me know if you want any more info about particular places.

Also look into taking your carseat on the plane - if it is not too expensive then it may be worth it - we had real trouble getting the car hire people to give us something decent. Road safety is not really a big deal over there.

Am very jealous envy

OhBling Thu 06-Aug-09 15:05:58

South Africa is generally fairly child friendly. I'd agre with Muddleduck that self catering is likely to be more convenient than hotels or B&B. Here is an excellent website that I have used for accomodation before. Portfolio Collection is a catalogue of more upmarket places that have been vetted and are therefore generally very good - but more expensive.

On the Garden Route, you'll find that generally there's not a lot of difference between what's convenient and what's not but I'd say that Plettenberg Bay has better facilities and is more geared up for tourists than other parts of the route. Places like Knysna and Wilderness are lovely, but are more likely to have less friendly opening hours for shops etc, but that's probably not a huge issue.

Most places would have parking that was convenient and close - but you should check that when you book as obviously you don't want to be carting baby and paraphenalia too far.

Cape Town and SA is amazing and I'm always encouraging people to go. If you have any other questions, ask away!

firsttooth Mon 10-Aug-09 11:09:15

Thank you both so much that's really helpful. Muddleduck - if it's not too much trouble to find, then the place in Stellenbosch sounds great. OhBling - those websites look really good, thank you.

If we do only pick 3 towns (and travel by hired car) which 3 would you both recommend? We'd like to see as much as possible but obviously don't want to spend too many long stretches in the car.

Any other tips most welcome, thank you!

bluesky Mon 10-Aug-09 16:49:38

We used bushbabytravel for our trip to South Africa, they were excellent. Their website is full of advice and information.

muddleduck Wed 12-Aug-09 11:00:08

Hi Firsttooth

we stayed here:

I think we were in "Merlot"

we were there about 4 years ago, but according to the website it is still run by the same people so hopefully it should still be great. We would certainly go back envy.

Montifer Wed 12-Aug-09 11:32:04

We visited SA when DS was 8 months old, mostly stayed with family so sorry, haven't got many accommodation recommendations. My sister and family stayed in a lovely family freidnly B+B in Franschhoek, I can find out the details if you are interested.
We found people all over the Cape extremely child friendly and accommodating.
I second what Muddleduck says about car seats. All of the international car hire firms at CT airport share a pool of seats (didn't have a rear facing one, despite us having booked and paid for one). The selection they did have left a lot to be desired, fortunately the hotel we stayed at on the night of arrival happened to have one in their office, presumably one which previous guests had bought following a similar experience to ours.

firsttooth Fri 21-Aug-09 10:57:57

Thanks everyone - really helpful. Sounds like we need to take the car seat then which is good to know. Still deciding on whether to go as far as Plett (or may be just Hermanus?) because it will be first holiday by the sea but then again, it will be too cold for swimming although I imagine a 1yr old would still enjoy the beach and a bit of paddling??

OhBling Fri 21-Aug-09 12:29:05

I would go as far as Plett if you've got the time. If you were doing the drive straight, it would take about 6 hours from Cape Town to plett, so if you've got a week or so, there's no reason not to do it.

If i had to choose two or three places to stop I'd say stop somewhere near Mossel Bay, Wilderness and then Plettenburg Bay. By the time you get up to Plett, the water is a lot more bearable (still chilly, but definitely warmer than say Hermanus were it will still be freezing). Hermanus is doable as a day trip from cape town - it's an hour's drive, and if you take the coast road is one of the most beautiful drives you'll ever do.

What time of year are you giong? You say spring? English or South African spring? That will make a big difference to the beach experience.

OhBling Fri 21-Aug-09 12:32:21

That Waterhof place looks amazing - and excellent value! Am bookmarking for next time DH and I want a few days away from family while we're in Cape Town...

shoshe Fri 21-Aug-09 12:56:11

If you are travelling Long Haul or travelling often with a car seat look at these
A friend travels back and forth from SA often with her car seat, and says they are a god send.

We have a SA DDIL and when they grace us with a GC, will be getting them one.

firsttooth Fri 04-Sep-09 17:05:34

Thanks Shoshe - looks like a great invention.

OhBling - we are going next March (so Autumn for SA I think?) We are now contemplating getting a flight from George back to CT at the end of the hol, to give us more time exploring. Thoughts?

InTheZenGarden Wed 09-Sep-09 08:40:13

Quick hijack Great info here, thanks. We are going to SA in November.

Just wondering, apart from visiting vineyards, what is there to do in the Winelands? DD will be 19 months and won't be all that keen on seeing grapes, I suspect wink But is there good walking, scenery etc?

crumpet Wed 09-Sep-09 08:49:27

We stayed here once, which was perfect for what we wanted. 100 yds from beach, easy reach of CT. Walking distance from a couple of bars/restaurants.

We took car seat, but borrowed a cot when we were there (but you coudl probably buy one cheaply if taking the travel cot is too much)

crumpet Wed 09-Sep-09 08:51:15

We went end Oct /early November and had a week in CT and a week at Simonstown, and caught the end of the whale season - saw whales every day that we were out in the car. Went down to Cape Point too which we liked. Fantastic scenery and walking (aand monkeys...). DD would have been under 2.

crumpet Wed 09-Sep-09 08:52:10

oh - I didn't even add the link...,_Fish_Hoek and_Surrounds

crumpet Wed 09-Sep-09 08:52:35,_Fish_Hoek_and_Surrounds

stealthsquiggle Wed 09-Sep-09 08:55:33

Definitely take car seat with you - they are hopeless.

We failed to find anywhere which wasn't child-friendly, TBH. this place is gorgeous.

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