Many’s the mom who has lamented that going away on holiday with kids is actually more hard work than staying at home where you have everything you need at your fingertips. That’s why you need to book in at one of these destinations – they’ll take care of everything, from great accommodation to excellent family-friendly entertainment.
Tugela River Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal
Located in Winterton, Tugela River Lodge is the dream of husband and wife team Lee and Claire Fuller. They’re also the force behind Tugela River Trails – a kids’ outdoor education programme, so there’s no need to resort to the iPad here. Activities include game walks, boating and tubing, mountain biking and fishing – and when the kids have gone to bed, pour a gin and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Visit www.tugelariverlodge.co.za for more information.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Western Cape
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is great for those who can’t choose between mountain and sea – its proximity to Hermanus means you can enjoy both. Five-star accommodation doesn’t come cheap, but there are special prices for kids, and plenty to keep them busy, with a special programme that includes caving, treasure hunts in the forest, horse riding, outdoor orienteering, arts and crafts, and flower safaris. There’s a kids’ menu, and babysitters are available.
Visit www.grootbos.com for more information.
Eland’s Valley, Mpumalanga
Dullstroom is the perfect place to enjoy chilly autumn days, and if you’re staying at Eland’s Valley, a magical treehouse crammed with toys and books, as well as trampolines and play equipment. That’s for the kids, of course; for you, there’s a vineyard, sauna, pool deck, tennis and fly fishing.
Visit www.elandsvalley.co.za for more information.
Ghost Mountain Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal
Nature calls at Ghost Mountain Lodge in Mkuze. Separate entertainment programmes have been devised for kids of different ages, so when the little ones go treasure hunting or try their hand at traditional Zulu crafts, older kids can test their navigational skills, learn more about Zulu culture and lore with a tree hunt, experience a starlit campout and go kayaking.
Visit www.ghostmountainin.co.za for more information.
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Umngazi River Bungalows, Eastern Cape
If your family bonds best outdoors, Umngazi River Bungalows on the Wild Coast, is perfect for you. The untamed scenery is best enjoyed with hikes and walks, while the Umngazi Kids Club is ideal for younger tots, offering activities like dune surfing and a slipper slide. There’s also a separate dining room for children – now you can have that adult conversation you’ve been yearning for.
Visit www.umngazi.co.za for more information.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.