South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world.
With nine provinces, it is home to beautiful national parks and a wide range of cultures, cuisines, and languages. But how do you decide where to go? Don’t worry – that’s where we come in.
Below are some of the out-of-the-ordinary local spots that might delight you and your family.
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1. Western Cape
Premier Resort The Moorings, Knysna
Situated on just over 4 hectares of pristine natural beauty on the banks of the famous Knysna lagoon, this resort is the perfect spot to indulge and explore the Garden Route with your family this summer.
The luxurious, newly refurbished hotel offers top-class amenities and facilities, against the backdrop of incredible natural beauty. With only 133 rooms and suites, service is personal and attention to detail comes standard.
Surrounded by indigenous forest and situated on the banks of the Knysna Lagoon, the setting is serene and the views are glorious, yet you’re only three kilometres from the town centre.
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For adventure seekers, try extreme sports, paragliding, or the world’s highest bungee jump, all located close by. Back at the resort, enjoy direct private access to the lagoon, while a large outdoor pool, on-site restaurant and bar, and kids club playground, means you’d be hard-pressed to find a reason to leave.
Wilgewandel Holiday Farm
This is a truly family-friendly getaway in Oudtshoorn that offers self-catering and bed and breakfast accommodation, complete with comfortable rooms and en-suite bathrooms.
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At the a la carte restaurant, guests can enjoy some of the best local cuisines while looking out over the farm dam and the beautiful surrounding mountains. As for the kids, they will relish the many fun activities on offer, including camel rides, animal feeding, target shooting, trampolines, and more.
Attractions and activities for the family include camel rides, ziplining, mini golf, donkey-cart rides, animal feeding, target shooting, tractor trails, adventure trails, pedal cars, rowing boats, trampolines, an obstacle course, and a curio shop – you’ll be spoilt for choice with activities to keep the whole family busy and having fun.
2. Eastern Cape
The Edge Mountain Retreat, Hogsback
Hogsback is all about the beauty of nature, with its daily visitors like Cape parrots, Samango monkeys, and Knysna Loeries. Families are sure to enjoy the thrill of lodging in the self-catering chalets perched on the precipice of the Hogsback plateau, surrounded by dramatic views and unspoiled indigenous Afromontane forest with fascinating swirling mists and cloud formations.
Experience a serene walk in the Labyrinth, similar in design to the one in the Chartres Cathedral in France; enjoy local home-grown produce and local crafts at the Under the Oaks Market; or, for the adventurous at heart, brave the extreme mountain sports on offer – there’s something for the whole family to enjoy at this resort.
Kings Walden Garden Manor, Tzaneen
Apart from the luxurious accommodation, the misty, breathtaking mountain views at Kings Walden are legendary, as are the magnificent gardens and century-old heritage home.
The décor is classic and elegant with a modern African touch. Each room has a fireplace, a spacious bathroom with a massive bath and decadent shower, and WiFi in all the rooms. This charming place is perfect for family stays.
Here you can explore the historic Haenertsburg village with its coffee shops, bistros, restaurants, gift shops, a collectibles book shop, and a museum in the area. Cycle through the forests with the kids, view the tea plantations, and marvel at the fruit-laden trees.
Cradle of Humankind
This World Heritage site just outside Johannesburg is where they unearthed the 2.3 million-year-old Mrs Ples. It’s the world’s richest hominid site, producing 40% of the world’s fossils of our human ancestors.
Maropeng Boutique Hotel
Located just a five-minute walk from Maropeng and a 10-minute drive from the Sterkfontein Caves, it offers air-conditioned rooms with a classy African theme, each with its own delightful patio and splendid views.
The hotel has a terrace with an outdoor pool, and families can enjoy scrumptious meals at the on-site restaurant. You can browse the quaint gift shop or visit the fascinating Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves – these are great places to visit to entertain and educate kids at the same time.