When planning your family holiday I’m sure places like Disneyland or a ski trip seem like the surest things to get the kids excited. However, if you really want to drive home a sense of adventure for your family try suggesting the southern area of the African continent for a holiday. Many people immediately draw up a mental picture of lions and elephants when imagining a holiday in Africa, but it is so much more than just wildlife and campfires. The adventure trail in this part of the world is endless, and here are just a few adventures to take the kids on:
Kruger National Park:
Located a few hours east of the city of Johannesburg, this wildlife park is about the same size as Israel, and contains all the wild animals a family could wish to see in Africa. There is such an abundance of game here that you’re almost certain to see the ‘Big 5’; lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant. On top of that you’re also sure to see cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos, hyenas, baboons and many more. It’s all rosy seeing a lion behind a caged fence in the zoo, but just wait until you see these majestic beasts in their own natural habitat. Game viewing is done either in your own rental car or on a game viewing vehicle driven by an experienced guide. The accommodation is fantastic, as there are options of 5 star lodgings, family self-catering cottages or authentic camping. If you feel like more of a thrill seeking experience there is also the possibility of going on a walking tour through the bush without the protection of a vehicle. Lead by a guide you get as close to nature as is humanly possible. The camps have a variety of activities, such as outdoor cinemas, sports, shopping, restaurants and much more. Definitely a must for safari lovers.
Namibia is a country that lies north of South Africa, and is best known as one of the most remote countries on the planet. The whole country is basically desert, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. Road tripping is a must through Namibia as there are so many interesting things to stop off and see, whether it be the ghost town of Kolmanskop or the famous brewery in Windhoek. The landscape alone has views that will live with you for ever. The country has its own wildlife park gem in Etosha National Park, which hosts a large salt pan. Etosha provides a brilliant experience as people get to see first-hand just how animals survive in the wild with almost no water. The park of Sossusvlei also gives visitors an insight into just how remote the country can be. Red sand dunes stretch for miles in this park where 4×4’ing is where things get really fun. At night you’ll be surprised at how star gazing will become an activity just to see how brightly stars can burn and count shooting stars. The kids will love the quad bike tours just outside Swakopmund, and a family will find no better bonding time than a few days in Namibia. At least the desert surroundings will provide a great chance for electronic devices to take a back seat for a few days.
If you’ve ever watched the feature film Blended starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore then you might have seen what Sun City looks like, as the movie was shot there. A 5 star resort, the secluded paradise is located in the middle of the African bush just west of Johannesburg. There are so many activities here that you’ll most likely fail to get through all of them. The country’s number 1 golf course can be found on the resort, while a water park plays hosts to some of the most exhilarating slides you’ll ever experience. The most eye catching attraction is perhaps The Valley of Waves, a man made beach with an artificial bay. The resort is also famous for its casinos, which attract all the high-rollers, and because online gaming sites such as AGamingClub.co.uk hardly exist in South Africa people flood to the casinos, where great theatre shows and cinemas can also be found. Of course safari tours are also available with wildlife parks exclusive to the resort. The kids will be running around occupied for the entirety of the trip, leaving Mom and Dad some time to do some exploring of their own.
Mozambique lies on the Indian Ocean, north east of South Africa. As opposed to Namibia’s arid climate on the western seaboard of southern Africa Mozambique sports a tropical climate, and the MSC cruise from Durban up to the north of Mozambique and back again is a real must. The prices of the cruise are highly affordable due to the exchange rate, and the route has a stop-off on Portuguese Island which truly is a tropical paradise. Once a Portuguese colony Mozambique has an Iberian culture, and this is evident along the cruise. /The cruise ship has all the pools, activities and modern accessories to keep the children active, which the shore stops allow for exploring and dolphin tours. The white sandy beaches and crystal clear water will keep the family swimming blissfully in the warm waters. Depending on the cruise option you choose you will also get to see the South African city of Durban and Mozambique’s capital city Maputo. Mozambique is still building as a tourist destination so the scene is not as commercial as your more popular worldly tropical destinations, so go there before the crowds start swarming the area.
The Zambezi River separates the countries of Zimbabwe and Zambia, and has some of the most amazing sights and activities. Many people will have heard of the Victoria Falls, as it is the largest waterfall on the planet. People cannot help but stand and stare in awe at the amount of water plunging into the depths below when seeing the falls for the first time. The sound alone is absolutely thrilling. Around the falls are many resorts on either side of the river which cater for families, and because it is Africa there is wildlife in abundance. Being closer to the equator than the locations earlier in this list the temperatures are very hot, so there are various swimming pools at whichever resort you stay at. A very popular family adventure on the Zambezi is white water rafting. Some might find this intimidating, but the rapids are thunderous and the speed at which you approach them will thrill you to the core.
This city at the southern tip of South Africa is one of a kind, and you are sure to never experience another metropolis like it. The city centre lies lodged in between the famous berg of Table Mountain and Table Bay, a beautiful bit of ocean that offers all sorts of activities. Cape Town might be one of the world’s most beautiful cities but it also has so many adventure options that it is likely to turn you dizzy. The combination of sea and mountain offers activities from hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing to surfing, kayaking and harbour cruising. Indeed a cruise out to Robben Island is a must to visit Nelson Mandela’s prison cell, as well as a trip up Table Mountain in the famous cable car. The beaches of Cape Town are world class and all have the backdrop of a mountain. Boulders Beach is particularly fun as penguins often come wandering past you. Besides surfing many people enjoy kite surfing in Table Bay, which is a must if you’ve ever thought about giving it a go. For the more brave why not try shark cage diving? The family might also enjoy walking around the V&A Waterfront, where a classy shopping mall, with all the designer brands, lies on the wharf of a picturesque harbour. You will also find shops here that sell authentic African souvenirs, as well as some of the best restaurants in the city. This really is a city you’ll never want to leave, and one that the family will probably end up returning to.