School holidays have arrived and what better way to enjoy them than a trip up the Garden Route for some fun in the sun? With so many options and exciting kiddies activities to choose from, you can expect to enjoy beach walks and sand castle building, animal watching, puzzle making and so much more. Some of these activities are best-suited for older children but make sure to check the age restriction before visiting.
Here are a few must-visits when travelling up the Garden Route:
Part of The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA), Monkeyland offers tourists an outstanding experience. As the world’s first free-roaming multi-species primate sanctuary, you’ll be able to set foot on a ‘monkey safari’ (as they call it) where you will be able to see more than 700 animals, comprising of capuchin monkeys, ringtail and black-and-white ruffed lemurs, saki monkeys, squirrel monkeys and more in their massive forest home. Not only is this an interesting experience for children but also for adults. It’s a lot of fun and you will be able to learn so much more about these amazing creatures.
In case you aren’t familiar with Birds of Eden, this is one of the largest aviaries in the world. Situated next to the very popular Monkeyland, close to Plettenberg Bay, this attraction offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Birds of Eden is not guided, therefore you can explore as you wish. With an abundance of indigenous forest and waterfalls, this is definitely a full day’s adventure. At the entrance, they usually have an identification booklet on all the birds, which is great for educational purposes for your kids. There is also a restaurant at the end of the aviary where you can have something to drink or nibble on.
Well, it doesn’t get more children-friendly than a gigantic puzzle park. This incredible man-made excursion is great for the whole family, as some of the puzzles are quite tricky and even challenging for adults. Set in a forest, the park includes a wooden maze which will give you clues on how to solve each puzzle. Keep in mind that there are emergency exits, so if you start to feel ill or are not enjoying the experience, you can leave with ease. Throughout the park, there are puzzles that you and your children can solve together. And there is also a tea garden where you can sit down and relax after a day in the sun.
On a trip up the Garden Route, animal lovers will be spoiled for choice as they come across The Elephant Sanctuary. Also situated close to Monkeyland and Birds of Eden, there are a variety of different elephant tours that you can go on. You will also get the opportunity to walk with the elephants in the forest or take a ride if you’re feeling adventurous. For children especially, this is a great opportunity for them to come face-to-face with one of the Big Five animals, even getting the chance to touch them. Open to everyone and children of all ages, it is best to let children over five years of age ride on the elephants.
The Cango Caves Adventure Tour includes some of the largest limestone caverns in the world. Particularly for children over the age of five and their families, this wonderful experience requires you to crouch down and squeeze through little passages to get to the next attraction. The entire tour includes climbing and walking, both with a beautiful scenic view. Perfect for families that love the outdoors.
You can’t visit Plettenberg Bay without enjoying a little beach time. The beautiful Keurbooms beach, about 10 km east of Plett, gives families the opportunity to relax and unwind by the ocean. Children can build sand castles while the parents sit back, relax and enjoy their break. There are tons of accommodation spots to consider on your trip, with a firm favourite being the Plett Lagoon Villa which is situated on the tranquil Keurbooms Lagoon. You can find out more on this website: www.countryhotelssa.co.za. On this stretch of sand, you will also find a variety of different restaurants to indulge in after a good swim.
Last but not least, you cannot enjoy a Garden Route holiday without taking your children to a waterpark. The stunning Adventure Land, situated between Plett and Knysna, offers your children the chance to run around and play on the large lawns or on the wooden decks outside. You can also enjoy a picnic or a braai while you watch your children. If you don’t manage to bring goodies for a picnic or braai, there is a takeaway kiosk that offers all kinds of sweet treats for your most precious gifts.