Wine, Whales & Wildlife

South Africa

Family adventures don’t come much more thrilling than among the mountains, oceans and winelands of South Africa.


It might take an overnight flight to get there, but the sheer ease of a family trip to South Africa makes it an appealing option for holidaying en masse. Mountainous scenery, all-natural coastlines, zero jet lag and a family-friendly exchange rate mean you’ll have smiles from all three generations.


Cosmopolitan Cape Town will make whoever you’re travelling with feel at home. The buzzy marina is perfect for wine and seafood, there’s shopping aplenty, and Table Mountain ticks the box for active types. We also like to arrange something extra special for kids involving penguins, treasure hunts and secret beaches.


Stay at Belmond Mount Nelson’s Honeysuckle Cottage, a historic two-bedroom cottage which is ideal for families with its own rose garden, a brimming toy box plus milk and cookies to help with bedtime. Older generations may prefer the old-world grandeur of the main Belmond hotel and relax together at the pool and mealtimes.


Head off into the Cape Winelands, just an hour away.  Among the serene beauty of the Simonsberg mountains families can strike a balance at the chic Babylonstoren, one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms. There’s outdoor activity galore including egg collecting and donkey feeding, plus cycling and canoeing in the dam.


Finally stop in De Hoop Nature Reserve, where mountains meet the sea. One of the country’s best kept secrets and part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, this coastal reserve is THE place to get back to nature. There’s year-round dolphin watching, and the whole family will be amazed to see graceful whales breaching the water from July to November.


Those interested in wine might like to visit the on-site state-of-the-art winery which showcases the soils and climate where the grapes grow. Tour the cellar before tasting fine South African wines including chenin blanc and Babel red blend, served with gourmet biltong, homemade pâte and local cheeses.


Stay at the smart new eco-lodge, Lekkerwater Beach, set on a rockpool-dotted private beach popular with kids, or splash out on the magnificent Morukuru Ocean House, which is an incredible spot for land-based whale-watching. Both offer exploration in the fynbos and wetlands, framed by towering mountains to one side and the Indian Ocean on the other.

Best For:

South Africa is a playground for all ages, working especially well for younger kids as there’s no jet lag.

When to GO:

Year-round sunshine but for the best chance of spotting whales, visit in October half term.

Insider Tip:

For a longer trip, take in more of the Garden Route or fly to malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve to spot the Big Five.

When to go

July to November

Ideal duration

14 nights

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