Location: South Africa Duration: 12 nights Price: From £4,400 per person in low season based on two adults and two children under 12 travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation, some meals, private transfers, car hire and taxes

From the adventurous delights of Cape Town to the vast, malaria-free safari reserves of the Eastern Cape, South Africa is the ideal destination for families looking to experience Africa and all its wonders. This holiday starts with a decompression period in the Mother City, where you and the kids can settle quickly into the wealth of activities. From Cape Town, you’ll head to Kwandwe to seek out the Big Five, become little trackers and storytellers in Samara and then turn your heads to the horizon at Plettenberg Bay, to spot some mighty sea monsters, as well as southern right whales and whale sharks.

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Perfect for

For little Indiana Jones’s and Wild Thornberry families who really want to get involved in South Africa’s rugged wilderness and wildlife.

In the know

The Cape Winelands are famous worldwide for their award-winning wines but the Cape Dutch area also has cheese, olive and even chocolate tastings that will keep both you and the children happy. Consider adding a few nights on the beginning of your trip to venture into the straight-rowed countryside, staying in either stunning towns of Franschhoek or Stellenbosch.

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Eco-tourism
Family-friendly
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Adventure

CAPE TOWN – 3 nights

Embrace Cape Town’s never-ending list of activities on this family adventure to South Africa and head straight to the pivotal Table Mountain. Take in the whole city with stunning views towards the ocean before heading to the City Bowl to walk along the bustling V&A Waterfront, visit the Two Ocean Aquarium and see the furry seas in the beautiful harbour. On arrival into the Rainbow Nation, you’ll immediately feel the buzzing atmosphere, heightened by the colourful houses and streets, vibrant food scene and stunning natural landscape. Located just off Kloof Street, an allotment of Cape Town’s laid back café culture, More Quarters is a great option for families as its relaxed, luxurious and in the middle of things. From your quiet cul-de-sac, walk towards the Company’s Garden to see the rose and Japanese gardens, fish pond and aviary and to feed the squirrels or for a more unique wildlife encounter, consider heading to Simon’s Town to see the African penguins sun themselves on the beach.

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KWANDWE – 3 nights

From Cape Town, you’ll fly to Port Elizabeth and then drive to the malaria-free Kwandwe Private Game Reserve to spend two nights in the Eastern Cape’s most exclusive park. Staying at the Kwandwe Ecca Lodge, you’ll have access to top notch guides, a mouth-watering menu and wine list (or mocktail list of the kids) and all of the Big Five. For killer photographs, game drives are a must, while walking safaris offer an adrenaline thrill like no other. Enervated parents can wallow in the rim-flow lap pool while the tots can expend their energy with the endless array of children’s activities watched over by the dedicated team. As well as lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino, you and the children can scan the bush for cheetah, giraffe, hyena, wildebeest and even the endangered blue crane, South Africa’s national bird. If the kids want a break from the game drives there are cakes to be baked, hundreds of insects and animal dung to be identified on walks and bush picnics to be had.

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GRAAFF-REINET – 3 nights

From Kwandwe, you’ll drive to the stylish Karoo town of Graaf Reiniet, the fourth oldest settlement in South Africa. You can explore its 200 historical buildings, restored pre-Victorian homes and collection of museums and galleries before heading to the Samara Private Game Reserve, where you’ll stay for three nights tracking wild and rare animals, such as the elusive aardvark. Your home will be the renovated farmstead Karoo Lodge, which overlooks an amphitheatre of mountains. If you didn’t see cheetah or either black or white rhino in Kwandwe, then this is your chance to tick them off your list, but if you did, consider looking for the small wildlife in the area. Go birding to see the beautiful hoopoe birds, the Kori Bustard (which is the heaviest flying bird in the world) and, if you are lucky, a secretary bird – make sure to check its feet as these giant birds snack on snakes by stomping them with their claws in a kung fu-like move. As well as shorter ‘bumble’ game drives, the lodge’s child-specific adventures include spoor identification, rock painting lessons, dung spitting competitions, African crafts, storytelling sessions and sleep-outs, which will have even the adults wanting to join in.

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PLETTENBERG BAY – 3 nights

Having spent five nights on safari, you’ll emerge from the African bush and head to the intimate Kurland country hotel, for your final four nights set near an endless expanse of blue sea. The Cape Dutch homestead is located between the Indian Ocean and Outeniqua Mountains and has 700-hectares of polo stables and fields, beautiful rose gardens and a swimming pool perfect for lazy afternoons. You can ride a mountain bike, quad or horse to explore the large estate or pile into the car and head to the beach. A short drive from your hotel, visit Nature’s Valley to walk along the coastal trails down towards the sheltered lagoon, ideal for sailing and canoeing. The lagoon is hemmed in by a sandy watershed where you can get a good dose of sand castle-making and kite flying. If the kids want to see some sea life, go on a boat trip from Plettenberg to spot seals, penguins and dolphins.

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Best time to go

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Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

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