South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountain Range is dramatic, spectacular and loads of fun…
Many families may shy away from a mountain holiday with little ones, worrying that there aren’t safe things to do there. But, the Drakensberg is a wonderful choice for a quiet family holiday that promises all sorts of fun and adventure. Here are some fabulous ideas that make it ideal:
Walking and hiking
There are short, easy routes that little ones can handle, as well as more challenging ones for families with older kids looking to burn some energy.
There are caves along some of the trails, which have ancient rock art on their walls. This is always a treat for children to see and adds a little magic to any walk. Giant’s Castle is a fabulous site for rock art, and the caves are only 1,5 kilometres from the gate. There is even a museum here, where the lives and homes of ancient Bushmen are depicted.
The area is home to some exciting animals. Private reserves and parks are fabulous to visit, and game drives are a must for families. Look out for white rhino, black wildebeest, eland, reedbuck, oribi, Chacma baboon, and a host of reptiles, as well as some very exciting frog species.
Get the whole family involved in looking out for some of the remarkable bird species that call the Drakensberg home. The mountain pipit is endemic to the area; but you may also spot the Cape vulture, lesser kestrel, bald ibis, Cape parrot, blue swallow, or orange ground thrush. In the higher-lying areas, you could see a Denham’s bustard, secretary bird or even a blue crane.
Celebrate the tranquillity of the Drakensberg with the whole family as you sit on the water’s edge and try your hand at fishing. Local fish species include trout, bass, barbel, carp and yellowtail. The trout dams are well stocked (only fly-fishing is permitted).
Picnics and barbecues
Spend some quality time with the people that you love by enjoying relaxed meals in gorgeous surrounds. Get the children involved in packing a picnic basket or getting salads ready for a braai, and head out to a pretty spot to enjoy some local treats together.
There are dams and rivers in a number of places, and many of the campsites and resorts have their own swimming pool. This is the best way to spend a hot summer’s day. Ploughman’s Kop has the stunning bubble bath pool as well as chilly pools below the waterfalls.
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Here are a few more reasons to make the Drakensberg your family holiday destination:
- Seasonality – whether it’s for a cosy winter getaway or a memorable summer holiday, the Drakensberg has something wonderful to offer.
- Affordability – there are a few family-friendly resorts and camp sites that cater to a more limited budget.
- Tranquillity – this really is a place of peace and quiet. And, at the end of a school term or a busy year, this is the perfect place for parents to unwind.
- Accessibility – The Drakensberg is fairly close to Durban, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein, making it easy to get to, even if only for a few days.
- Accommodation – whether you’re after roughing it at a campsite or enjoying a little luxury at a lodge, the Drakensberg has plenty of options. Check out the family-friendly accommodation options at SA-Venues.com.