Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 03:23 pm

Summer is here and, for many families, this means one thing – a holiday of sun, sea and sand…

There are not many places in the world that offer the variety that South Africa has ‘on tap’ for families with children of all ages.

This country is home to a huge array of child-friendly resorts and lodges that are ideal for families that have tiny tots who tire easily or teenagers who demand adventure and time with friends.

Here are just a few of the top child-friendly holiday hotspots in South Africa:

1. Ocean View Hotel, Coffee Bay

Coffee Bay in the Transkei is all about the wild, untouched beauty of the country. The Ocean View Hotel is perched between the dunes of the beach and the rolling black-stone cliffs.

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There are hikes and walks all around, while the hotel itself is equipped with a swimming pool, jungle gym and trampoline. The river and sea are ideal for kayaking, surfing, body-boarding, fishing, kite surfing and swimming too. These are wild waters, though, so families with very little ones should opt for the swimming pool or the river.

Ocean View Hotel

2. Emdoneni Lodge, Hluhluwe

Game drives and a swimming pool make Emdoneni Lodge a hit amongst junior travellers, and the spa is a must for tired parents. Boat trips to St Lucia are popular, and a visit to the local cat rehabilitation initiative is always a wonderful experience for visitors of all ages.

Emdoneni Lodge, Hluhluwe

3. Jaci’s Lodges, North West

The safari lodge, tree houses and family suites at Jaci’s Lodges ensure that families will enjoy relaxing in the exquisite Madikwe Game Reserve. Go on game drives to see the big five and other exciting species, enjoy braais under the stars, and take walks through the bushveld together. The North West Province is a malaria-free area, making it a great choice for families.

Jaci’s Lodges, North West

4. Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, Wild Coast

Fishing, sand boarding, swimming or careening down the slippery slide are the orders of the day for little ones visiting this award-winning family resort. Moms can relax around the pool or indulge in spa treatments while their kids are cared for by the capable nannies or are having fun on the sand dunes of Port St Johns. There is even a separate dining room, with nannies, for kids under five.

Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa

5. River Bend Lodge, Eastern Cape

Situated in the acclaimed Addo Elephant National Park, River Bend Lodge offers bespoke family game drives that showcase the big five, as well as an inviting swimming pool. The game drives include a number of popular watering holes and lookout points. This area is only an hour from Port Elizabeth.

River Bend Lodge

6. Garden Route Game Lodge, Western Cape

This malaria-free big five reserve caters for little ones by offering them their own programme on weekends and school holidays. This includes guided bush walks, tailor-made kiddies’ game drives, insect walks, and tips on how to survive in the bush. It is also home to an exciting reptile centre, where little ones can learn about snakes and crocodiles.

Garden Route Game Lodge

7. Crawfords Beach Lodge, Wild Coast

Just outside East London, on the gorgeous Eastern Cape coastline, is this holiday hotspot. Crawfords is perfect for children as it offers board games, beach cricket, safe swimming conditions and a games room that is just irresistible. During the school holidays, there is a holiday club offering exciting adventures like treasure hunting, sand boarding, face painting and crafts.

Crawfords Beach Lodge