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Family Fun Treasure Trove

Cape Town – the perfect family destination

The ‘Mother City’ really ticks all the boxes when it comes to experiencing the ultimate family holiday – fun, energetic, and full of ideas, Cape Town is a veritable treasure trove of activities. Rent a car and head out on your own family adventure, or arrange day tours through the hotel. Alternatively, purchase a City Sightseeing Red Bus pass, which lets you hop on and off at various points throughout the city.

Constantia & Surrounds

The Constantia Greenbelt, right on our doorstep, beckons to be explored, with numerous hiking, running and cycling trails to choose from. It’s hard to believe that this lush, green forest is right in the middle of a city!

High-flying adventures await at Acrobranch, an action-packed aerial park that will have visitors of all ages revelling in exhilarating tree-top adventures.

Then there is Kirstenbosch, one of the great botanical gardens of the world – few others can match the sheer grandeur of its breathtaking setting. Marvel at the garden’s staggering flora, and let the kids run wild amongst rivers and trees.

Kirstenbosch – Boomslang (www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 6 min (3.8 km) drive

Acrobranch Constantia (acrobranch.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 7 min (4.6 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: Venture up to the ‘boomslang’ treetop canopy walkway at Kirstenbosch – kids will feel like little explorers, while you get to enjoy the view.

Hout Bay

Picturesque Hout Bay is a lovely place to spend some leisurely hours with the family – and a fair few animals! Take a boat out to Seal Island, home to well over 60 000 Cape fur seals, or visit World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park – with over 3000 birds, it is the largest bird park in Africa.

Right next door you will find the ‘Enchanted Forest’ jungle gym at Earthworx Garden Centre. Child minders watch the little monkeys while you enjoy a coffee at the adjacent café. Or head to the Clay Café, where little ones can create their very own crockery.

Drumbeat Charters (drumbeatcharters.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 20 min (13.1 km) drive

World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park (www.worldofbirds.org.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 13 min (9.2 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: Hungry? Massimo’s is renowned as one of the best Italian restaurants in Cape Town – and there’s a jungle gym in the garden!

City, Waterfront & Atlantic Sea Board

The Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront is a must for your Cape Town family itinerary. One of the city’s top tourist attractions, the spectacular underwater nature reserve presents a fantastic marine experience for children. Following a visit you may feel like venturing out to sea – hop on Tommy the Tugboat or the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship, or take a boat trip out to Robben Island.

You could also explore the stars at the Iziko Planetarium, embark on a Castle of Good Hope Tunnel Tour that will take you beneath the surface of the Mother City, or take a stroll in beautiful Green Point Park.

Jolly roget Prirate Ship (www.yacoobyachts.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 31 min (18.7 km) drive

Castle of Good Hope Tunnel Tour (www.goodhopeadventures.com) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 18 min (14.4 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: The Blue Train Park in Mouille Point is a great destination for boys (and girls!) who love trains.

Table Mountain & Lion’s Head

No visit to Cape Town would be complete without a trip up Table Mountain, our most famous landmark. Children (and adults) will love the rotating cable car, enabling 360-degree views as you glide up the mountain. Once there, take a stroll and enjoy what are arguably the best views of the Mother City. For an adrenaline-fuelled experience, join a ‘Scootour’ and freewheel into the city on an adventurous off-road track. Active families will also love the hike up Lion’s Head – and for a different route downhill, try tandem paragliding!

Table Mountain Cable Way (www.tablemountain.net) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 31 min (19.4 km) drive

Scootours Cape Town (scootours.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 27 min (18.0 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: Table Mountain gets incredibly busy during high season. Make sure to book cable car tickets in advance, and catch the free MyCiti bus shuttle from the top of Kloof Nek to the station to avoid parking problems.

Southern Peninsula

Boulders Beach, close to Simon’s Town, offers a unique up-close encounter with penguins. A small conservation fee will get you entry to the beach – an ideal swimming spot for children. Not only that, you will be sharing the beach with a large crowd of African Penguins! While in the area, catch the Mellow Yellow water taxi from Simon’s Town to Kalk Bay and explore the quaint cafés and shops in town. Then continue on to the Cape Point Nature Reserve and climb up to the old lighthouse – the 360-degree views are most definitely worth the trip. For a leisurely stroll even with small children, try the Kommetjie Boardwalk to the Slangkop Lighthouse, next to what must be one of the most spectacular beaches in the Western Cape.

Penguins at Boulders Beach (www.sanparks.org) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 41 min (35.3 km) drive

Mellow Yellow Water Taxi – Kalk Bay to Simons’s Town (www.watertaxi.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 24 min (19.4 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: For the freshest fish around, head to Kalky’s in Kalk Bay – the fish & chips shop is a Cape Town institution.

Blouberg & Beyond

Budding surfers can hit the waves at Big Bay, Bloubergstrand. The beautiful stretch of beach, incredible views of Table Mountain and newly developed beachfront promenade make this the perfect spot to learn how to navigate a surfboard. Another fun outdoor adventure awaits at Atlantis, where the whole family can try their hand at sandboarding down a giant sand dune. Those who always wanted to visit an ostrich farm can fulfil their dream in the same area, at the Cape Town Ostrich Ranch. Join one of the fun, educational tours to explore the grounds of the farm, boasting more than 200 birds.

Surf Big Bay (www.capetownsurflessons.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 45 min (31.7 km) drive

Mambo Sandboarding Atlantis (www.mamba-sandboarding.com) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 52 min (61.5 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: Blouberg is also the Capital of kiteboarding – pack a picnic and watch kiteboard pros as they soar through the air.

Further afield

There is plenty of family fun to be had just outside of Cape Town – especially for animal lovers.

There’s the Cheetah Outreach Project in Somerset West for example, which enables you to come face to face with these majestic felines. You can even stroke them, and cuddle up with little cubs!

Smaller creatures can be found at Butterfly World near Paarl, a sanctuary for colourful butterflies from around the world, as well as many birds, reptiles and other exotic animals.

Focusing on African wildlife, Giraffe House aims to provide a place for people to experience and learn about wild animals – including Gerry, the hand-reared giraffe.

For something snappy, head to Le Bonheur Crocodile Park near Stellenbosch, where guided croc pond tours lead you to over 1000 of the sharp-toothed reptiles.

Butterfly World Zoo (butterflyworld.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 54 min (63.6 km) drive

Giraffe House (ww.giraffehouse.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 50 min (57.1 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: Combine a visit to any of the above attractions with a stop off at one of the wine farms in the area – many of which are extremely child-friendly!