With its beautiful scenery, thriving wildlife, numerous adventure sports and rich cultural and historic roots, the rainbow nation of South Africa, makes for the perfect getaway to have an unforgettable experience with your kids.
By Hindustan Times, 11/12/2017
As the busy get busier, taking a vacation to spend quality time with families has become an indispensable necessity. But, it takes a lot more than booking air tickets to ensure a memorable trip – from picking a destination that has something to offer for everybody to one that also excites and provides an engaging experience for your kids, one that ignites their curiosity and gives them a learning experience like no other – the list is endless. With its beautiful scenery, thriving wildlife, numerous adventure sports and rich cultural and historic roots, the rainbow nation of South Africa, makes for the perfect getaway to have an unforgettable experience with your kids.
– Wildlife: South Africa boasts deep pockets of wildlife regions and game parks encircling every possible landscape from deserts to forests, mountains to coast, teeming with wildlife species. South Africa’s savannah regions are still home to large numbers of the mammals universally associated with Africa – including Africa’s Big 5: Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros.
– Family-friendly Safaris: A safari through the wilderness in South Africa is a life-changing experience for travellers across age groups – be it kids, parents or even grandparents! Not only are safaris adventurous, they help families bond and make for an interesting educational experience for the little ones. South Africa is amongst the few countries that are very inclusive when it comes to children and safety is given top priority.
Travellers can choose from a number of family-friendly safari options available across national parks and game reserves such as Pilanesberg National Park, Shamwari Game Reserve, Addo Elephant National Park, Kruger National Park and Madikwe Game Reserve amongst others.
A majority of game lodges have found ways to cater to children in fun and interesting ways with a variety of programmes. At many of these properties, kids will get to experience activities like Big 5 safaris and game drives in closed vehicles, bush walks with wildlife for the whole family, junior ranger training, butterfly/fish/insect catch and release and more.
In addition, they also offer facilities such as children’s pool, supervised jungle gym, children’s playroom, nanny service, specialized children’s game drive and child-friendly activities involving arts, crafts and games to keep kids entertained while their folks enjoy some down time.
– Diversity of Experiences: South Africa is also the only place in the world where wildlife-lovers can see not just the Big 5 but also the Big 7 that include the Southern Right Whale and Great White Shark (in Port Elizabeth / Nelson Mandela Bay).
Indian travellers are also charmed by South Africa’s general wealth of wildlife including giraffe, zebra, imphala, kudu, ostrich and baboon which can be spotted in abundance all over the lush forest landscape. Additionally, one can see the Marine 5 (sharks, dolphins, seals, whales and penguins), Shy 5 (meerkat, aardvark, porcupine, aardwolf and bat-eared fox) and Little 5 (elephant shrew, buffalo weaver, leopard tortoise, antlion and rhino beetle).
– Adventure: With over 300 adventure activities and counting, South Africa is undoubtedly the adventure capital of the world. The country has options across world-class climbing, surfing, diving, hiking, horseback safaris, mountain biking, river rafting – and just about any other extreme sport you can name, and all supported by dedicated and authorized operators.
South Africa’s diverse terrain, together with an ideal climate for outdoor activities, makes it a treat for adrenaline seekers and adventure sports lovers. The Rainbow Nation offers a mix of varied soft and hard-core adventure activities.
– Cultural & Historical Attractions: A big part of what makes South Africa special is its empowering history and unique cultures and traditions. South Africa is alive with historic and cultural depth and it really is the foundation of this nation’s beauty!
– Must-Have Experiences:
• Located at about an hour’s drive from Durban, the Valley of 1000 Hills is home to one of the largest and oldest ethnic groups in South Africa – Zulu Tribes! Traditional dance acts, cultural shows, local craft markets and a dramatic landscape, all come together to weave a culturally immersive experience
• If your kid has a bone for archaeology, explore the Cradle of Humankind which was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 and houses the Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and Environs.
• Walk your kid through Robben Island and travel back in time to experience the turning point of South African history. Standing in the jail cell that housed Nelson Mandela for so many years brings to heart the emotional story of the South African struggle for democracy and equality
• Get a touch-and-feel experience of Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle against apartheid at the Satyagraha House and Museum. It was only through his experience in South Africa that helped shape him into the political figure, social and political reformer revered by the world today.