It’s school holiday time and if you are taking that much-deserved family holiday then you may feel a bit nerve-wracked with the prospect of travelling with children. But it doesn’t have to be a stressful time, as you can use this as an opportunity to raise little explorers.
Start off by choosing a destination that is close-by, like the Cape West Coast. Most places are around 1 hour drive from Cape Town – far enough to get you out of the city but not such a long drive that will create tension or boredom.
Pack a few activities to keep the kids busy in the car, but also take the time to point out some of the sights along the way.
Book accommodation at family friendly places like Blue Bay Lodge and the Protea Hotel by Marriott® Saldanha Bay; Thali Thali Game Lodge in Langebaan; !Khwa ttu in Yzerfontein; the Lodge at Atlantic Beach in Melkbosstrand and Piekernierskloof Mountain Resort in Citrusdal.
After you have booked your accommodation, look for child friendly activities in the area. The great thing about the Cape West Coast is that all the towns are pretty close, so if you are staying over in one town, you can easily drive to and explore another town.
Here are some of our favourite family friendly activities:
This family-focused adventure destination caters for everyone, from kids’ adventure cycling trails, serious single tracks MTB to relaxing restaurant.
!Khwa ttu offers, every weekend, fun-filled kids’ activities. Join their special Kiddies Bike San Tour every Saturday and Sunday at 9am. This 1 hour tour is fit for boys and girls between 6 and 12 years, making learning fun and adventurous. This MTB tour will allow a full experience of the San culture.
Children will enjoy non-stop fun as they interact with San tour guides and other kids, while participating in a variety of kid-centric activities including arts & crafts, cycling, games, nature and more.
Open 7 days a week | Free entry
R75 per child for the Children’s Tour and includes cold drinks and refreshments
R150/person for an 1,5hr San Guided Experience. (Group bookings essential)
Distance from Cape Town: 74km
Where: Grootwater Farm, R27
Coordinates: 33°21’44.55” S 18°16’14.12” E
Kudu, oryx, giraffe, red hartebeest, eland, zebra, springbok, black wildebeest, duiker, bontebok and steenbok are all easy to spot and, as there are no predators in the park, guests are free to explore on foot to view the birds and animals. Daily game drives are available in a customized open game viewer pick-up or game trailer.
Distance from Cape Town: 117km
Open 7 days a week | Free entry
R300/person & R150 pp for children (5-12 years); Free Under 5 years for 90 min Game Drive (Booking essential in high season)
R150/person for Archery Lesson (Booking essential in high season)
The highlight of the Fossil Park, which is a National Heritage Site, is the ‘live’ exhibit of an ongoing excavation of early Pliocene fossils. There are daily guided tours which give a background to the fossils and the climatic changes that happened in the region.
Open weekdays 09:00 – 15:00
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: guided tours from 10.00 to 13.00. Opening times vary according to season. (You are advised to phone or email ahead of your visit)
Closed: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day & Good Friday
Distance from Cape Town: 120km
Where: R27 to R45
Coordinates: 32° 57′ 19.4″ S 18° 6′ 49.9″ E
The West Coast National Park, which stretches from Yzerfontein to Langebaan, is a pristine nature reserve which offers an array of activities such as bird watching, game sighting, biking and whale spotting.
Distance from Cape Town: 87.7km
Location: Off the R27
Contact: t +27 (0)22 772 2144
The perfect complement to your holiday with a complete water sport package; leisurely Yacht Cruises on a 39ft Catamaran that can accommodate 40 guests or for the more adventurous try the Rubberduck, Fishing Charters or Wetbikes. Tailored Charters and Overnight trips and Fishing Trips can be booked. Stay longer by booking in at Albatross Guesthouse in Langebaan. They have fun outdoor game tables with good old Snakes and Ladders to keep young ones busy. Add to this the secure garden with braai facilities – and everyone in the family, including the ‘braaimaster’, can have a relaxing time. Book by calling +27 (0)82 820 5350.
Open 7 days a week | Booking Essential Where: R27, inside Club Mykonos, Langebaan
For more information on West Coast Way, the new West Coast Way Berg Route and Scenic Route, as well as the existing Culture and Foodie Routes explore the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast and connect with West Coast Way on Facebook and Twitter at WestCoastWaySA for daily updates and news.