When it comes to affordable family-friendly accommodation in South Africa, overseas visitors really are spoilt for choice. The diversity of the country allows for a range of different experiences. From game-viewing and walking trails, to water and adventure activities; both parents and children will be taken care of. Happy kids, (happy wife), happy life!
In this article we have picked some of our favourite places for families to stay throughout South Africa – both for their affordability, and points of difference.
Let’s be honest, it hasn’t been the best year for a lot of people. And being cooped up at home must have taken its toll on everyone. So it’s time to treat yourselves, get some fresh air and really reconnect with family outside of the four walls of your living room. If you want some more inspiration, check out our Family safari pages
Honeyguide Khoka Moya – Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, Kruger
When we think of Khokoa Moya Camp, we think ‘family-friendly accommodation’! They are 100% geared up to cater for the whole gang with kids activities ranging from junior tracking to full game drives. What really separates it from the rest is that kids from the age of 4 can join the rest of the family on a game drive, as opposed to having to organize a private vehicle.
Khoka Moya Camp is situated in the Manyeleti Private Game Reserve on both sides of a river bed. It has 15 large, free-standing tents that can comfortably accommodate families of four. The food at this camp is also a highlight – meal times are a real communal, family affair. Usually served outdoors at a long table, with log fires and torches to create a really authentic bush feel.
As an added bonus, babysitting can also be arranged.
Boschendal – Cape Winelands
Boschendal (less than an hour from Cape Town) is an attractive option for families with its beautiful Cape Winelands setting and large open spaces away from the crowds. It offers charming accommodation for families in a private area of the farm – surrounded by fruit orchards and vines – with a view of the stunning Simonsberg Mountains.
We love Boschendal’s Trout Cottage. With three bedrooms, a kitchen, dining area and cosy living room, the cottage is an ideal hideout for small groups and families. It sleeps 4 adults and 2 kids, and it’s dog-friendly.
Guests can step out the front door for walking and trail running on the slopes and mountain biking on Sugarbowl Mountain. Otherwise, enjoy a spot of R&R and relax under the magnificent oaks surrounding the adjacent Rhodes Dam. Or take a dip in the clear water.
Rhodes Cottage is also a family-friendly accommodation option – it sleeps up to 6 people in the cottage and 4 people in the garden annex.
Africa on Foot – Klaserie Game Reserve, Kruger
Africa on Foot is another great option for a family safari holiday. We like this camp because it’s great for teenagers too, not just the little ones. The age limit on walking safaris is 16 years, but children between the age of 5 and 16 can go on morning game “bumbles” while parents enjoy a full walking safari.
Africa on Foot has 5 chalets and a treehouse. Two of the chalets are family units, which have 2 adjoining bedrooms and room for 4 people in double and twin beds.
The Klaserie shares unfenced borders with the Kruger, which means wildlife roams freely throughout. This camp is unique in its offering of professional guided walking safaris with qualified trail guides. They have all had intensive specialized training in approaching dangerous game, so guests are in safe hands!
Montusi Mountain Lodge – Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal
Montusi is one of the few lodges close to the Drakensberg that is small and intimate, and has a panoramic view of the Drakensberg’s most famous feature, the Amphitheatre escarpment. Plus they tick our family-friendly box in terms of accommodation with their family suites!
The four Family Suites can comfortably accommodate 4 adults in two spacious bedrooms that allow for privacy. The first bedroom has a king size bed and an en-suite bathroom, while the second bedroom has a double bed and an en-suite bathroom.
Its location and ample activities also make it as family-friendly as they come. This 1000 hectare resort offers guided hiking, horse riding for riders of all levels, fly-fishing, birding and a swimming pool.
To add to this list of activities is the All Out Adventure Centre, just 10 minutes’ drive from the lodge. And they have tons to offer any adrenalin-seeking youngsters (or parents for that matter!). These include swinging on the flying trapeze, jumping on the giant trampoline, abseiling and more.
Simbavati River Lodge – Timbavati, Kruger
Simbavati River Lodge is a family-friendly safari camp situated in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (part of the Greater Kruger National Park) – on the banks of the Nhlaralumi River. We often recommend this intimate camp to larger families as one of the chalets can accommodate five people – a real bonus!
In addition, there are two other family chalets for four people (so three family chalets in total), each with two separate bedrooms sharing one bathroom. Guests can also take advantage of discounted prices for kids between the age of 4 and 11 years old.
But that’s not all. River Lodge has a Kids centre with a dedicated carer where kids can enjoy various activities. These include cupcake decorating, bug/treasure hunting, making animal face masks, colouring in, board games, wildlife DVDs and scrap booking, amongst other activities.
It is also worth noting that the Greater Kruger is a seasonal malarial area (Lower risk in the dry winter months of May to August).
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Hog Hollow Country Lodge – Garden Route
Hog Hollow’s location just 18km east of the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay is perfect for a family getaway. And it’s one of the best all-round country lodges on the Garden Route (in our opinion!).
Set on the edge of indigenous forest with views of the Tsitsikamma Mountains, it is close to Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, Birds of Eden, the Elephant Sanctuary and the Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre.
Children are best accommodated in one of three loft suites which have a downstairs sitting room (which can accommodate two smaller children). Otherwise an extra bed can also be set up in their other rooms. The children’s rate includes a special children’s dinner at 6 or 6.30pm. We also love the little extra touches for kids at this country lodge… African story books and a bedtime CD as well as milk and gingerbread men delivered in the early evening. Babysitters are also available on request.
A stay at Hog Hollow can be as relaxing or adventurous as you wish. But if you have kids who need to burn some energy, it really is great spot. Guests can go for walks in the forest, or visit Hog Hollow horse trails and go for a horse. And if water-based activities are your thing, they now offer boat trips up the Keurbooms River, followed by an hour-long stand up paddling.
Gondwana Game Reserve – Garden Route
Gondwana is a malaria-free game reserve, on 11,000 hectares of undulating Cape fynbos. It is also the only game reserve in the Garden Route which offers free roaming Big Five wildlife.
It offers luxury 3 – 4 bedroom Bush Villas, which are perfect for larger family parties wanting to be together in seclusion (and at a lower price point.) Enjoy Game drives in open 4×4 vehicles as well as horse safaris, bush picnics, fishing, mountain biking and birding in the reserve’s 1000 hectare separately fenced protected area. An ideal place to keep everyone happy!
Clarendon Fresnaye – Cape Town
This lovely hotel cradled along the sloped of Lions Head is a real gem for families who want to enjoy the best of Cape Town. Which, as we know, is a hub of activity with plenty of things to do with kids both in and around the city.
Clarendon Fresnay is rare in terms of its family-friendly accommodation options. It has three family suites with a main bedroom and a second bedroom for kids. Each spacious room has a large bathroom and overlooks colourful gardens. Baby-sitting services are also available.
This prime spot is both shielded from the winds and also within minutes of the V & A Waterfront, Table Mountain, Camps Bay and Clifton beaches, the cosmopolitan city centre with its shops and restaurants.
Sibuya River Camp – Eastern Cape
Sibuya offers something different to other safaris in the northern parts of the country. Think river cruises, canoeing, swimming in the river and sea, fly fishing, game drives, birding and beach walks. A great mix of activities for both parents and children!
This small and intimate camp is a favourite amongst friends, families and sole-use groups. It has four beautifully appointed and spacious tented rooms. The sleeper couch accommodates two smaller children. And an extra cot or camp bed can be added so that three kids can share with parents.
Families will also love the way their whole Sibuya stay starts. In fact they call it the ‘Sibuya Experience’! Guests arrive at reception in the holiday village of Kenton-on-Sea, and are immediately taken on a 45 minute boat transfer up the Kariega to River Camp. A great way to kick things off!
Cederberg Ridge Wilderness Lodge
Cederberg Ridge Wilderness Lodge is an easy 2.5 hour drive from Cape Town. But has the magnificent Cederberg Mountains as its playground. So it is ideal for families in terms of location, and activities in the area.
Families can enjoy various excursions both on and off the farm. From walking trails and mountain biking, to guided rock art trips, boating and tubing during the summer months. At the lodge itself, you can enjoy the swimming pool, croquet, board games, star gazing and story-telling around the fire pit.
There are various family-friendly accommodation options. One child (under 12) can share with their parents in a Luxury Suite. Families with 2 children can take the Superior Honeymoon/Family Suite (2 adults with 2 kids under 12 or one teenager). Or you can book the Two-bedroom Suite which sleeps up to 4 adults and 3 extra kids. There is one sleeper couch which can sleep one teenager or two kids under 12.
Why not download our Guide to the Top 20 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town?
This article was written by Cedarberg Africa
Cedarberg Africa is a specialist tour operator for Southern Africa focusing on upmarket tailormade safaris for discerning and busy people. We make our money on the difference between our trade rates and the rates available to you. So that means that effectively all our years of experience and expertise comes free of charge…
Finding affordable family -friendly accommodation in South Africa may be trickier than you think. Luckily we know our stuff! We’ve been doing it a long time. So we know which safari lodges & hotels cater for children & what they offer.
Contact us if you’d like a tailormade safari quote for your next trip.