When it comes to travelling with kids, nothing beats an outdoor escape where water, mountain and forest adventures await you and your family. Indoor holidays with kids can be…WILD to say the least, so play it safe and ensure you pick locations and holidays where your kids can stretch their legs, hop on boats, nature drives and explore the great outdoors. Here’s a few of my favourite Western Cape nature escapes with kids…
Camping without the set-up or fuss? All you need do is arrive at your tent on deck, overlooking lush mountainsides and valley below. And pop some wood in the outdoor fireplace and get that braai going before the sun sets over the Pat Busch mountain reserve in Robertson. There’s quite like yoga on deck in the silence of the morning or these views accompanied by a cup of coffee to start your day.
Two comfy beds in their separate quarters with indoor fireplace, lounging and dining area form the perfect glamping set up for a family or group of friends. With a pool, a little lake to fish in and numerous trails through the reserve; this mountain escape is a superb spot to spend a weekend.
To book your stay, visit Africamps Pat Busch Robertson. During summer this camp gets booked up well in advance so get in there early.
De Hoop Marine and Nature Reserve
An absolute paradise for avid birders, nature lovers and marine enthusiasts, De Hoop Nature Reserve is well worth the 3-hour drive from Cape Town and rightfully earns its place as one of SA’s most iconic nature reserves. Kids and adults alike can marvel at the flourishing bird population and vast vlei whilst on an eco-cruise.
The morning eco boat cruise proved to be a hit with my children. While parents (and grandparents) can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea on board, the little ones get a chance at the helm (under the watchful eye of the knowledgeable guide) while the boat takes you along the vlei, to the manor houses and to see giant hanging beehives. Nature drives were equally as fun with children as our guide Lizo drove us around to spot eland, bontebok, baboons, ostrich and more animals.
Exploration on foot is wonderful at any time of the day too and the playground, marine walks and games behind the ancient fig trees are bound to keep the kids entertained. Tales around the fireside at night, dinners in the dining area of a Self-catering cottage or a wonderful meal at the restaurant are all options for your evening meal times.
To book your stay, visit De Hoop Collection. De Hoop Collection is a part of Cape Country Routes.
Zuurberg Mountain Village, Addo
I imagine that you could drive through the Eastern Cape, even right past the Addo National Park gate or even continue for awhile down this long, winding path and still not know that Zuurberg Mountain Village exists. A 160 year-old lodge, all the way at the very top of the pass (20 minutes from Addo Elephant National Park Gate) is where candlelit dinners, crackling fires and heartwarming drinks await after a day of game drives and exploration.
My children eagerly awaited their late afternoon return to the lodge to run down the hill to the giant play area with swings overlooking the vast valleys, balance beams and little wooden zebra to ‘race’ on. Once the candy floss sky retired to the night, we retreated to the dining area beside the fireplace for dinner and card games. Once morning came, the boys followed the properties bunny rabbits across the lawns, through the magical little garden and back out around the pool( perfect for summertime visits) before breakfast.
If you’re visiting Addo National Park as a family, this is a wonderful place to call home for a few days with hearty meals and ample space for kids to enjoy and a tennis court( for older kids and adults to use). Book you stay at Zuurberg Mountain Village. Zuurberg is a member of Cape Country Routes.
The Plettenberg, Garden Route
If there ever was a single spot that children and adults could both get excited about, it’s the heated pool at the Plettenberg Hotel. Positioned perfectly on the hillside with 180 degree views over two beaches, an entire ocean, and a rocky outcrop with the ultimate view of the sun dancing at the ocean at first light; this is where you’ll all want to spend majority of your time.
Lounging in the sun post-swim, overlooking surfers at the break and beachgoers below, the pool and lounge area were definitely a hit with us at sunrise and sunset. Whilst visiting during Covid restricted times, 3-course meals were served inside our luxurious rooms, which for families with young kids can often prove more convenient given that you can relax while the kids colour and watch tv.
Whether you’re travelling through the Garden Route with children or pets, The Plettenberg will ensure a luxurious stay for you and family coupled with the best views and access to the beaches. Book your stay now.
Deer Cottage, Kirkwood
If you’re looking for a remote, little cottage in the countryside where no one will bother you and signal is a rare find, then Deer Cottage on the Intaba Reserve is a great spot. Set on a reserve enclosed in your own, safe gated area, you’ve gotten nothing but endless valley views, shy deer to keep you company.
This homely cottage is perfect for a group of families to escape to. Equipped with an indoor fireplace, three bedrooms, cosy lounge and a cupboard full of board games; you can stay entertained for ages and enjoy last light on the stoep with a G&T or cup of coffee. Country living has never felt as cosy!
To book your stay at Deer Cottage, Visit Afristay