South Africa is the perfect holiday place for young and old. The rough coastline, impressive wildlife, botanical diversity and stunning landscapes go hand in hand with a well-maintained infrastructure, excellent restaurants and a widespread choice of experiencing the adventurous side of South Africa with children. In all that, you never have to jeopardize safety: Close to the beaten track, a campervan rental with your kids allows you to explore the fascinating country at your own pace, deciding at any time between a relaxing day in the back roads and some venturous hours at breath-taking places that held your interest.
You will not have to set up your tent at the end of an exhausting day or check-in different accommodations everyday anew, but can straight away make use of all the amenities your pre-booked camp sites offer – as romantic as it might sound: Wild camping is illegal in South Africa –, cooking your dinner together with your children, having all necessary items conveniently on hand, ending off long days in serenity and peacefulness.
Independent of your children’s age: A campervan rental with Around About Cars is a guaranteed way to finally get back home from your holidays with lashings of unforgettable memories. Just close your eyes and think about all the unique places in this unique country: Cape Town as the mother city, the verdurous Winelands between Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, the world-famous Garden Route as well as the fun-filled road of the Route 62 … Discover all these and more parts of South Africa in accordance with your children’s yearnings. And don’t worry: There is no question that you as the parents will enjoy every second of your unexpected undertakings too!
Adventures – from A boat trip to Z … iplinings
Go treasure hunting on board of the Jolly Roger
Starting off your campervan rental holiday in Cape Town, you won’t have to drive far to get to your first stop: Get to the docks at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and get on board of the only authentic pirate ship in the whole of the country! The Jolly Roger sails several times daily for 60 or 90 minutes, not only offering panoramic views of the city as well as the opportunity to get up and close to the fascinating aquatic life including dolphins, seals or sea stars. But also having a fun lunch box ready for the young ones, with a treasure trove and other on-board-activities for to keep all of you entertained.
Finding your luck in Bourke’s Luck Potholes
Heading for this destination, your campervan rental will definitely pay off as you are about to steer your wheel towards the Kruger National Park, more specifically to the Blyde River Canyon. The spectacular scenery of this natural wonder which is considered one of the largest canyons in the world has plenty to offer for you and your young ones. Amongst all of it: The Bourke’s luck potholes.
Over thousands of years, two rivers have carved their way through the soft sandstone, leaving their marks in the canyon, creating the awing formations: The Treur and the Blyde River – or in other words: the River of Mourning and the River of Joy. Your children will find joy by running across the bridges high over the river or splashing into the deep blue water. But the chances are small to be luckier than the unlucky Tom Bourke … For him, the potholes meant mourning: The gold miner was determined to find some of the precious metal but finally had to admit that it the golden shimmering colour of the water surface was solely caused by the sunshine.
Crawling through the Cango Caves
In the middle of the Little Karoo you find the so-called “ostrich capital of the world”. Thanks to your campervan rental you are independent of hotel’s time schedules, able to sleep as long as you have to in order to refuel your energy in view of the demanding hours ahead. But don’t worry, you won’t have to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with.
Consisting of a whole system of chambers, you can choose between an effortless route or squeezing your way through the narrow Cango Caves tunnels and climbing ladders, dependent of your bravery, fitness, and the age of your small ones. Obviously, with all options you will have an experienced guide on your side who will not only take you back safely to the daylight but also illuminate your knowledge of stalactites and stalagmites. The names of the different chambers alone will have you imagining the fairy tale world of gnomes and trolls – just think about Devil’s Chimney, Leopard Crawl, The Ice-cream Parlour or King Solomon’s Mines.
Ziplining – choose between Storms River and Constantia
In order to slide in between high trees, across ridged gorges and past small waterfalls you will have to head towards the Tsitsikamma National Park – or simply stay in the mother city and park your campervan rental vehicle at the Constantia Nek Silvermist Estate. In both cases, a day filled of fun and adventure lays in front of you and your children. Different slide routes with lengths to over 200 metres and hights up to 155 metres above the tree canopies will make your time literally flying by! For shaking nerves there are helpful guides on your side, calming you down, encouraging even the small ones to gleefully zipline through the trees.
All about animals – from small to big
Riding and feeding elephants in Knysna
All children love animals. Well – at least puppies, kittens and hamsters. But how about the big ones? Promised – once you have taken them to the Knysna Elephant Park, they will love them too. The wildlife park has rescued and relocated pachyderms for more than 20 years – with your entrance fee you will be contributing to the future protection of the wild animals. But even better: Your children’s eyes won’t stop sparkling once they get close enough to walk with the elephants, to feed them with pots of grains and greens, to even get the chance to stroke their ears. The only problem, they might ask you for a large grey pet once you get back home.
Birds of Eden – flying in paradise
Birds have to fly. And in the free flight bird sanctuary, they can. Once you get with your campervan rental to the cracks in Plettenberg Bay you and your children will be able to watch more than 3,500 colourful birds from all over the world in a massive net dome spanning over a two-hectare indigenous forest. As to the pathways formed in loops, your kids can’t get lost strolling around by themselves, wandering next to the few mammals which are sharing the sanctuary with the birds.
Even more of them you find right next door in the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary as well as in Monkeyland. The latter being considered the world’s first free roaming haven for primates, at Jukani you can explore a wildlife day tour and watch injured or abandoned indigenous cats during their rehabilitation.
If you and your young ones still have not had enough, get into your campervan rental vehicle, drive further on to Knysna, step on a boat and hope to catch a glimpse of the great white sharks in the Atlantic Ocean.
Horse riding in the mountains
This time, it is not about one of the big five, not about specific South African wild animals. Instead, you will be heading towards the Drakensberg, towards a joyful time on the back of a horse. Your children have never ridden before? No problem – even beginners can join.
By taking on this opportunity, you combine the chance of bringing your little ones in direct touch with wildlife as well as offering them the chance to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site Drakensberg mountain range in their dramatic natural beauty. And I forgot to mention, during your ride you will be able see antelopes from as close as you can possibly converge – the animals do not consider the horses as the same threats as humans, abstaining from backing off in search of shelter.
A unique safari to the white lions
Every safari tour will be exciting for your children – sitting in an open 4×4, driving through the wilderness, trying to catch glances of zebras, hippos, giraffes or lions, listening to the suspense-packed stories the rangers have to tell. For you as parents, parking your campervan rental vehicle in a safari camp for a few nights means having the mornings and evenings filled with inspiring game drives, leaving your children too tired to demand your attention during the daytime. Instead, you can relax on the pool or taking a siesta.
But those are the regular safaris. How about watching animals you will not be able to watch anywhere else in the world? Driving to the Timbavati region in the Mpumalanga Province enables you to spot one of the big five in an unusual subspecies, lions with purely white coats, resulting from a genetic marker. Not more than around twelve of these rare wild cats are estimated to still be around, all on the western edge of Kruger National Park.
Having cow cheese with goats
Luckily, you decided on a campervan rental with Around About Cars. In the comfort of a motorhome, you won’t mind driving back and forward – as for your next stop, once more you are about to head towards Cape Town. Well, almost. Approximately an hour before you would hit the city centre you will find one of the most unusual wine farms not only in the Western Cape but even globally.
The Fairview Vineyard combines the possibility of tasting delicious self-produced wines and cheeses with the option of watching a herd of goats climbing up and down the so-called “Goat Tower”, taking selfies with the domesticated animals which reside on the estate. No joke, take a t-shirt and some leggings out of your campervan rental and join a yoga lesson with the goats. Afterwards, spoil your young ones with some sweet treats at the on-site bakery and yourself with a wine-tasting in the charming atmosphere of the rustic restaurant.
Jumping on unbreakable ostrich eggs
Now that you are back at the Cape you would prefer to stay in the area? Well, you can – and still do not have to do without another great animal encounter. Steering your campervan rental for only a few more kilometres along one of the most scenic routes you could wish for, just behind Scarborough you hit the Good Hope Nature Reserve – and with it, the Cape Point Ostrich Farm.
The visit will only take about two hours, but you will surely remember this time for the rest of your life. Whatever trivia you could possibly learn about the flightless birds, you will be taught by the experienced working staff. But not only in theory.
Your kids will be allowed to stand on an ostrich egg – don’t worry about their shoes, it won’t break! –, to feed them by hand – the large beaks can be a bit harsh, but they won’t do your children any harm – and to even take a bumpy ride – very bumpy, which is why it will more than likely not last for more than a few seconds. Ostriches might not be able to fly – but they can reach a running speed of 65 kilometres per hour!
Meet Donald and his nephews
Or at least: Meet some ducks, whoever they might be named after. The Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate just outside the student town of Stellenbosch values the environment – why they abstain from using any chemical substance to conserve their vineyards. Instead, they rely on around about 1,000 ducks to secure the delicate ecosystem by keeping it a pest free terroir in a natural way. Three times a day, you and your children can watch the ducks parading across the vineyards at close range.
Camping for longer with your children in Cape Town
I know – choosing the best of all those exciting options will be more than difficult. But I also know something else: You can always extend your campervan rental with Around About Cars. To not only enjoy a few more days in the comfortable vehicle but also being in the position of going ahead with all adventures mentioned above!