School-holiday travel ideas
Winter school holidays are upon us and it’s time to plan the family break. Here are some suggestions on where to go this winter:
- Fly to Cape Town and take a drive into the Cederberg region. This mountain gem offers a range of exciting holiday options. Mountain biking, hiking and walking are just a few activities that can take one’s mind off of school and homework (and similarly, for the parents – work and house chores!), and the area really is just gorgeous to explore. Forests, river gorges and nature reserves are available, and there is a host of exciting accommodations to choose from, from within the conservancy to nearby small towns with hospitable hosts. Stellenbosch is a short drive from Cape Town airport and has it all – history, winelands, scenery, nature trails and wonderful, picturesque places to stay! It’s a great destination for the whole family.
- Take a flight to Durban to escape the cold winter and enjoy the mild weather of KwaZulu-Natal! Either remain in the friendly city of Durban (where there’s lots to see and do: the golden mile, the Indian district, the Durban botanical gardens) or venture into the surrounding countryside – coastal towns like St Lucia, Amanzimtoti and Margate are super places to join up with other holiday-makers and enjoy the winter sun and activities. Having spent school holidays in St Lucia when I was a young girl, I highly recommend making the trip. Cape Vidal, within the St Lucia Marine Reserve, is a haven for kids of any age – you can explore the coastline and take a drive through the wetlands to spot hippos and crocs. Some gorgeous game reserves include Umfolozi and Hluhluwe, and Richards Bay, with its beautiful beaches and exciting fishing and charter-fishing opportunities, isn’t too far away.
- If you’re already living in the Cape Town and Durban areas, why not see what the buzz is about in Johannesburg? Some think of Joburg as just the CBD of South Africa and not good for much else except business, but don’t be fooled – the City of Gold is great for a school-holiday break! The city’s sight-seeing red bus will take you to such highlights as Soweto, the FNB Stadium and Gold Reef City – it’s guaranteed fun for the whole family! Kid-friendly activities include Acrobranch in Melrose Arch and the Johannesburg Zoo in Parkview. The Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng is not far away, and offers views that will please the kids as well as Mom and Dad. A visit to the Sterkfontein Caves* and a ride on the famous underground boat make this family outing well worth the drive.
Having not explored much of Johannesburg at all, I can’t wait to get stuck in!
*Please note that the Sterkfontein Caves can be closed to the public at times, so do check if this is the main reason for your visit to the Cradle of Humankind: http://www.maropeng.co.za/
Looking for more ideas? Visit our website for great local travel packages.