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south africa child friendly please

37 replies

mousie · 20/08/2004 19:53

Hello
I am planning to go to south africa - cape town - for three weeks in February 04- we have had a hard year and I want something to look forward to! But I need some child - friendly recommendations. I am aware of the heat at this time - also will have a two and four year old - both hard work at the best of times. Any one trodden this route before me??

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StickyNote · 20/08/2004 20:51

What kind of recommendations are you after? Accommodation or things to do?

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Spod · 20/08/2004 21:19

have been to cape town a couple of times, but before dd was born... am taking her there when she is 2... so let me know how you get on..... great place, lovely people, have a great time!

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mousie · 20/08/2004 21:40

accomodation mainly - where to stay - ideally with some childcare, good food etc...! i want a guaranteed holiday... with all that that entails.

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StickyNote · 20/08/2004 21:44

Ooh, you're going to the right place for that! We've stayed in two places with children, both of which I'd recommend - will do some research as to their names and come back to you tomorrow.

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mousie · 21/08/2004 06:08

thank you Sticky Note - I would be ever so grateful..

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ZolaPola · 21/08/2004 08:59

something we've thought of too, having fallen in love with the beauty of the country on pre-ds trips...! could escape the heat by going up into cederberg mountains (n of cape town) some of the time - think you can book a self-catering lodge, lovely if you like tranquility & outdoor life.
Lovely restaurant in Kirstenbosch botanial garden in cape town, btw. Interested in hearing about places with childcare too though.

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StickyNote · 21/08/2004 17:22

I can't recommend SA enough as a destination to go to with children - they all LOVE them.

First place we stayed was here - SC cottages but they would provide you with breakfast if you wanted. In Constantia, so would definitely need a car (in fact, you need a car wherever you stay IME). V clean, well equipped etc. Babysitting done by maids who work there by prior arrangement - really lovely ladies. Beautiful and peaceful location.

Other place we stayed was here - in Camps Bay so more in the thick of things. Walk over road to the beach, short stroll up to shops and some truly fab restaurants. Again, SC accommodation, well equipped, balcony was a bit heartstopping (we had a toddler at the time) so we just kept it locked unless we were out there too. Babysitting done through an agency - ours all happened to be gorgeous medical students. Again, no problems.

HTH - if you need any more info, please ask .

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StickyNote · 21/08/2004 17:51

Suddenly thought, we went to these places when the exchange rate was very favourable, so I hope they're not too expensive now.

Otherwise I can recommend "The Greenwood Guide to South Africa" edited by Simon & Fiona Greenwood as a good source of places to stay.

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mousie · 21/08/2004 17:58

wow great recommendations thank you sticky note - i will get back to you r.e. more information - good links, thank you. I am going to look into flights next week. so exciting! what age were your kids when you went??

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StickyNote · 21/08/2004 18:22

First time to the Constantia one, ds was 18 months. Camps Bay one, ds was 3.5 and dd1 was 18 months.

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StickyNote · 21/08/2004 18:35

Just a thought re flights - go for overnight rather than daytime as your kids will hopefully sleep most of the way as there's hardly any time difference

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melsy · 21/08/2004 19:04

restaurant are amazing in SA and ssoooooo cheap for amazing food . I can reccomend :

Blues right on the front at camps bay here

Beluga was lovely here

JONKERSHUIS for cape malay buffet was AMAZING & the Spier winery its on is awesome here

There was also an amazing seafood restaurant in camps bay, very kiddy friendly but you need to book called the codfather. You go to the counter to choose your fish and seafood , then they grill it and serve it in a huge black pan with lemon YUMMMMMEEEEE.

I think there may be more we went to , but cant remember the names , will come back if i do. for around £25-£40 you can feed 2 of you like kings !!!!!!

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melsy · 21/08/2004 19:11

aha here is another Beauty , but may be not so kiddy though , juts had to mention it !!! Poplars is an amazing old winery

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StickyNote · 21/08/2004 19:44

Aah, Blues

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mousie · 22/08/2004 06:22

anyone know any good travel agents to book through - will get that simon and fiona greenwood book. might do it all on the internet but it's quite nice to have someone to quiz on the phone first. thanks for all the recommendations. i am assumign malaria not an issue if we stay on the cape and don't venture to the transvaal. my only worry in the whole thing is my very energetic son who will be two by then. however night flights no doubt the answer.

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melsy · 22/08/2004 08:35

ooh and at Spier Winery they rear leapords and we had a chance to go into the enclosure with a guide and touched them. That was amazing.

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foxinsocks · 22/08/2004 09:36

I used to live in Cape Town (for about 5 years) - what a fantastic place. Can tell you some good places to go if you like. Don't worry about the flight. The last time I went over, my 15 month ds howled almost the whole time and although it was dreadful, I just took the view that it was only 12 hours out of my life (all be it stressful hours!!). And you won't be in school hols and Feb is one of the best months to go.

You don't need malaria tablets, not even if you went to Gauteng (the old Transvaal) - I only think some of the most northern and eastern game parks in SA require malaria tablets (have to say, I never had to take them when I lived up there though).

If you would like to know some places to go, let me know. But something you mustn't miss is taking the kids to Boulders beach to see the penguins. Mine loved that so much I had to take them back twice. They come right up to the beach. It's a bit touristy and can be quite busy, but the water is lovely and warm (it's on the Indian rather than Atlantic side I think).

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melsy · 22/08/2004 10:17

I just remmebered I think we went to an lovely aqaurium at the Victoria and Albert water front. Two ticks Ill have a look and post back.

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melsy · 22/08/2004 10:22

here we are two oceans aqaurium .

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StickyNote · 22/08/2004 10:33

Definately Boulders Beach and the Aquarium! I want to go back . Foxinsocks, you LIVED there .

Another thought re car hire - make sure you prebook car seats then check and check again that they've got that booking. There's a limited number and they have to be shuffled between offices according to demand. It's the last thing you need after a long flight...

Car seat usage is nowhere near what it is here .

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dejags · 22/08/2004 20:51

Mousie,

As a veteran of the London - Cape Town flight (think our trip in November will be the 40th flight) I definitely recommend Flight Centre for reasonable ticket prices to SA see here . Their tickets are always cheaper than anywhere else - DON'T be conned into taking a cheaper flight via the continent - these flights are nightmares and if there is even the slightest delay you will miss your connection to SA and in most cases have to wait at least 24 hours for another flight. Absolutely insist on a direct night flight to CT - it's the only way with a small child.

I grew up in Cape Town and will be moving back there permanently in November (can't wait) - the suggestions on here are all great! I have loads more ideas and would be happy to show you around my beloved city, so if you want to contact me feel free to via CAT.

Just two quick points though

  1. ensure you book your flights well in advance, you will get a much better price this way (I normally book 6 months in advance)
  2. February is the hottest month of the year so make sure you hire a car with airconditioning.
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dejags · 22/08/2004 20:53

Stickynote,

Just saw your post about car seats and couldn't agree more. My family think I am mad because I won't let DS travel ANYWHERE without a car seat. They think it's perfectly acceptable for him to sit on somebody's lap...

Drive's me nuts!

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Spod · 22/08/2004 21:19

ahhhhhh blues! lovelyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! The Green Dolphin on the Waterfront was nice too... a jazz/blues place...v. loud... so not great for kids... but lovely for meal with hubby.

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Utka · 22/08/2004 21:27

Re the car seat question. Probably best to take your own. We hired for our dd1 who was nearly 2 at the time, and the one provided was basic in the extreme. The car hire company didn't know how to fit it, and my dh had problems too as there were no instructions.

Echo the suggestions of Boulders, Kirstenbosch etc. Friends of ours stayed at Allandale in Contstantia - not sure if this is what is being recommended - they loved it. We self catered in CT to give us more flexibility, and then stayed in small b&b's down the coast and inland. Found everywhere very child friendly, if not always geared up (i.e. restaurants didn't always have high chairs, but were very happy to sort child portions, provide crayons etc.)

Have a wonderful time

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Meid · 22/08/2004 22:29

Reading this thread has brought back happy memories of previous holidays (like others we have family there).

Agree with recommendations of Boulders Beach, V&A Waterfront, acquarium. In addition Hout Bay where there's a lovely seafood restaurant. Cape Point is also definitely worth a visit and of course Table Mountain.

Generally we find that places are welcoming to children but in restuarants there is a lack of high chairs.

As far as the car seats go, we hired one once and it was awful - dirty and bashed up. So we bought one which a relation looks after - even that is not to UK standards and we just can't manage to fix it securely.

Mmmm, just to make you guys jealous were off to SA this coming Saturday...

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