The road To Tsitsikamma

DSC06641My parents have always been convinced South Africa is an excellent destination for a family friendly holiday. Well, after Two sunny holidays in The Southern part of Africa, I share The same opinion. There is lot’s of Things To do for little kids, The country is safe if you adhere To some simple rules and South Africans love children. In addition, if you are Travelling from Europe you have The extra advantage of staying in The same Time zone. This means no cranky parents who are hit by a massive jet lag. All of This made South Africa my most favourite destination in The whole world.

I have visited many places in South Africa, but one of The most memorable routes is The famous Garden route, which starts in Cape Town and reaches all The way To Port Elizabeth. Today I share my collection of favourite activities, walks, beaches and fun adventures.


Hermanus is knows as one of The best place To see whales. Unfortunately This is only The case between late June and November and I visited during The months of February and March. Maybe I saw no whales, but The charming little Town of Hermanus is really worth a visit as its coastline is quite spectacular.

I thoroughly recommend a walk along The well known Hermanus cliff path. It is an easy and lovely walk, stroller friendly, which provides you magnificent views on both The ocean and The mountains.  Along The path There are great viewing points and with a binocular you can spot some amazing (small) wildlife. Check out dassies, seals and if you are visiting during The right Time of The year you can even spot some whales.

No matter how beautiful The scenery is, sometimes kids want To have some action. Kamma Baai on 5the Avenue is a popular place for Toddlers To safely get Their feet wet under The watchful eyes of Their parents. The Onrus lagoon is another popular spot for families with younger children.

In case you are looking  for a playground equipped with sea-saws, sled and jungle gyms, Hermanus has plenty. The most convenient one, is The playground at The Amphitheater on Hermanus waterfront, which is in full view of The seafront restaurants. Mom and dad can have lunch, while The kids have The Time of Their lives at The playground. If you are lucky some great musicians will bring you a real party.

Other activities for kids in The neighbourhood:

  • Rockland Petting farm, great experience for young and old
  • Wonderland Play Park and Café for some family friendly fun
  • Kleinrivier Cheese farm and Picnics, known as picnic paradise
  • Shark Conservancy, visit a real shark lab

My Tip: Go To The Whale festival – Have a whale of a Time at This family friendly fiesta. The end of September, Hermanus hosts The oldest and largest festival on The cape whale coast in South Africa. It is a celebration of The whales and all marine life, packed with community and cultural activities. So don’t miss out!

Cape Agulhas

The most southern part of Africa is a must do with kids. Not because There are so many great child friendly activities, but it is cool for The kids To be able To say They have been To The place where The Atlantic and The Indian Ocean meet.

There is a beautiful lighthouse including a small museum, which is very interesting To visit. Be aware, The climb To The lighthouse is steep (75 steps) and The Seabreeze is strong, so keep your Toddlers close To you. All This being said,  The views from The lighthouse are extraordinary.


Historical Mile

The historical Mile is an essential activity you can’t miss. As The Third oldest Town in South Africa, Swellendam is rich in history. A stroll Through The Town offered me a great lesson in history, which dated back To The 18th century. Explore The houses, which are know Turned into some great shops and restaurants.

Bontebok National Park

Close To Swellendam, you can find South Africa smallest national park, famous for visiting The bontebok antelopes. The park is known as To be very open To young kids, They are even serious about educating all young visitors. During school holidays The park offers even an educational holiday program for kids. There was no big 5 encounter in it for me at This reserve, but instead I met lot’s of friendly mammals, like zebra’s, caracals, birds and of course The bonteboks. Go for a nature walk or a game drive or just spend The day at Die storm, which has excellent swimming and pic nic facilities.

Other activities for kids in The neighbourhood:

  • The Bee Honey shop, see The hive behind a plate of glass
  • Bukkenberg pottery studio, get your hands dirty
  • Wildebraam Berry estate, incredible views over The Langeberg Mountains, including a great Jungle gym
  • Explore The waterfalls of Marloth Nature reserve
  • Fairy sanctuary


Knysna is truly a wonderful place with a variety of Things To do. You can enjoy fresh line fish, oysters and tapas, watch The boats in The harbour or stroll along The shops at The waterfront.

If you are visiting Knysna with little kids, Here are The Things you should not miss out:

The Knysna lagoon

The Knysna lagoon is known as one of The most beautiful places in South Africa. I loved in particular Bollard bay, which is a very safe place for families visiting with young children.

At Bollard bay, There is plenty of shallow water To splash around, sandy beaches To build sandcastles and at low Tide you can walk for hours and jump into Thousands of water puddles.

When visiting Knysna, a boat Trip on The lagoon is a must. You can choose between several options, all leaving from The Knysna waterfront. No matter which boat Trip you choose, one Thing is sure, you will see some stunning Dutch houses on The peninsulas and islands.

My Tip: if you are staying overnight, book a cottage or a holiday home right at The shores of The lagoon. There is nothing better To wake up in Th morning with This amazing view. For our visit, my mom and dad booked a cottage at Under The Milkwood cottages, which was excellent.

Knysna Elephant Park

How cool is it actually To feed The elephants? At The Knysna Elephant park I had The opportunity To walk with elephants, interact with Them and feed Them. The encounters with The gentle giants are extraordinary and made This activity one of The most fascinating To do’s for me in Knysna. It is amazing how close you can get To these majestic animals.

Over The last years This sanctuary has rescued many orphans elephants and have given Them a safe home. At Knysna Elephant park The elephants have a very large amount of space To roam and I noticed The rangers know Them well and care for Them. They were even able To return 40 elephants into The wild after staying with Them for a while.

Knysna Heads

The Knysna heads are Two sea cliffs in huge natural sandstone towers That guard The Knysna Lagoon from The roaring Indian Ocean. The eastern head offers spectacular panoramic views of The lagoon, leisure island and The entire Knysna area. The western head is a privately owned resort only accessible by ferry. All walkways, which led me To some amazing viewing decks, are kept in good condition and are stroller and Toddler friendly.

From The heads we went down To The local beach where I explored some amazing rock pools and a lovely wooden bridge. The day I visited The heads, it was even more spectacular as There were some fog banks around which created a mythical atmosphere. I found it Truly amazing To see The power of The Ocean.


This free roaming primate sanctuary is real eye candy for The little ones. Watch Them how They act in The wild, get close To Them and Take as many picture as you want as I had The impression They do not really mind. The lemurs were The real highlight for me, don’t ask me why but I find Them fascinating and oh so cute.

A 128 meters suspension bridge spans The valley, giving visitors The opportunity To walk Through The forest canopy while Taking some amazing pictures.

My Tip: Take you mosquito repellent with you or wear at least long sleeves and Trousers. Those who didn’t were bitten a lot.

Birds of Eden

Birds of Eden is just near Monkeyland and is The biggest aviary in The world. The aviary incorporates The indigenous forest and waterfalls by using elevated walkways. Although I am not a big bird lover in particular, I found This place brilliant, as The place is so well designed That you do not even realise you are in an enclosure.

Don’t make it Too fast on The boardwalk as The birds are everywhere in The bushes and you want To spot them all. I found The parrots in The park very friendly as They wanted To sit next To me on several occasions. Unfortunately I became Too enthusiastic and scared The birds away.

My Tip: Take some binoculars with you in case some of The birds want To play hide and seek.

Garden of Eden

One of  The most beautiful parts of the Knysna forest, is definitely The garden of Eden. Wooden walkways make This part of The forest super accessible, even for families with Toddlers and strollers. Various Trails allow you To decide To go for a short forest stroll or for a longer hike exploring The surroundings. My mom and dad visited The garden of eden during nap Time, They had a blast, I on The other hand have a good reason To return To Knysna one day.

Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary

Big cats rule! At Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary all animals are kept in enclosures, which makes it a very safe place To visit with young children. Siberian tigers, caracals, leopards jaguars and lions, They have Them all. With our guide I had The possibility To enter some of The enclosures and To interact with some of The cats.

For me seeing The white lion was The highlight of my visit. Of course I was not able To get up close with The great king of The animals, but The elevated wooden platforms enabled me To look into Their enclosure without The distraction of The fence.

Cheeta’s are my favourite animals. At Jukanki it is possible To visit Them in Their enclosure. Unfortunately This rule applies To adults only, so There was no encounter for me. However my mom and dad had a great Time being close To These cute big cats.

It was a wonderful experience To see all The different cats and To learn about how They were rescued from circuses and private owners. None of Them will ever be able To return To Their natural habitat. Very sad, but it made me understand why it is necessary for These sanctuaries To exist.

My tip: don’t  forget To bring a hat and sunscreen if you are visiting on a beautiful day, as There is not much shade.

Brenton at sea

One of my favourite beaches is Brenton at sea. Not for playing at The beach, but because of The amazing rock erosions and its magnificent views. However The water is not safe for swimming, The walk is unforgettable with The raging Ocean in The background of an almost deserted beach.

The beach stretches all The way To Buffels bay, so walk Those 5,5 km. I can assure you it is worth The walk.

Other activities for kids in The neighbourhood:

  • Knysna amatole Montane Forests
  • Featherbed Natural Reserve
  • Garden Route National Park

Plettenberg Bay

Plet or Plettenberg bay is well known for its sandy beaches and surf breaks. Apart from Those stunning beaches, I loved The place  in particular because it offers some option for safari’s accessible for young kids.

Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve

Most people Think That going on a safari is not something you can or may do with kids. Well Think again, South Africa has some of The best child friendly game reserves, with an special program for small children, and Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is one of them.  Riding in a open jeep, I spotted many animals from up close, while The rangers tell interesting anecdotes and stories about The park and Their job.

Harkerville Saturday Market

Something else I like about South Africa, There are neighbourhood markets everywhere, selling delicious food and wonderful crafts in a tranquil setting. Don’t eat as There are so many yummy Things To fill your Tummy with.

Other activities for kids in The neighbourhood:

  • Robberg Nature Reserve
  • Tenikwa wildlife Awareness Centre
  • Plett Puzzle Park

Tsitsikamma Forest

If you are interested in nature and you do not mind a rough Terrain, Tsitsikamma is The place To be. The forest is beautiful and There was so much for me To watch and learn.

Hike one of The many trails That guide you Through the indigenous forest or go for one of The following activities.

Bloukrans Bridge

Probably you are Too young To go benji jumping, but not Too young To watch The Thrill of watching somebody jumping of a bridge. Have a walk over The bridge To one of The viewing points and watch a jump every 5 To 10 minutes. I was scared in Their place.

Storm River

If you fancy a little adventure, The 2km hike To The mounth of The Storm River is a adventurous walk, suitable for all ages. There ares some stairs involved which makes is great for The kids, but is also makes The path not stroller friendly. If you have a baby carrier, This is The place To use it. The walk leads you To several impressive suspension bridges. Don’t worry They are very safe for children, as They are well maintained and due To their size They don’t wobble To much.

The views from The bridges were mind blowing and worth the walk.

They are some little beaches, so bring your little kids bathing suits and some sun protection.

As you could notice I had a great Time exploring South Africa’s Garden Route. Of course There is always more To see Than you have Time. Lucky for me South Africa is one of my parents favourite destination, so I am sure They will be up for a return visit very soon.

I hope you enjoyed The reading, but before you go here are some very important final notes:

  • Do not forget South Africa has introduced new regulations on visiting the country with minors. Anyone arriving in South Africa in The company of a clild will need To prove parenthood or guardianship.
  • Many hotels require children To be at least 12 years old To stay at The resort. Check This up front in order To avoid some last minute cancellations.
  • The Garden Route is a safe place, however stay always vigilant at The road, on deserted places or in case strangers ask for help.


Little T

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