The trouble with affordable family destinations that provide amazing amenities and family-friendly activities is that they become really popular, which means that they then get fully booked – rather fast…
So, where do you visit if you’re looking for a quick getaway that’s relatively close to the city, without needing to plan years in advance? Don’t worry, we’ve sourced some underrated spots that may not remain best-kept secrets for too long.
Hurry! Here are five family-friendly travel destinations that you need to visit:
1. The Drakensberg
Glengarry Holiday Farm is the epitome of rustic charm. Ideal for sports enthusiasts and nature lovers, this destination set in the Drakensberg mountains has everything you need for a relaxing and rejuvenating family getaway.
Jason McCall is a former radio producer turned copywriter and social media manager who says that he loves the great atmosphere and good value daily rates. “Fishing, running, hiking, golf, birding – there’s so much to do here,” he comments. If you want to get away but don’t have a big budget, some medical aids offer travel benefits such as Fedhealth’s Sanlam Reality’s discounts on flights and car rentals.
More info: https://glengarry.co.za/
Wyndford Holiday Farm in the Free State offers farm-style hospitality to city slickers needing a break a reasonable drive away from the city. Tuck into three wholesome meals every day, as well as morning and afternoon tea, all of which are included in your rates. Kids can be totally free range as they explore forests, climb up to the treehouse, or go adventuring on their bicycles. You can also go zip lining, horse riding and get involved in an evening game of action cricket. Or, settle under the trees or in a swing chair with your novel or take a nap.
Estate agent and mother Anushka Jansen says that they love the awesome food, facilities and activities on offer: “We have a wonderful time every time we go!”
More info: https://www.wyndford.co.za/
Jeanne-Riëtte Martins is a blogger and mom of two boys who says that they return to Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge in Mpumalanga time and again. “They have great specials, the facilities are wonderful, and the service is exceptional,” she says.
Picture dramatic cliffs and spectacular views, pristine air and enchanted forests. The sound of plentiful birdlife wafts through the air, and you can see zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and antelope grazing in the surrounding reserve. There’s also a wellness centre, numerous hikes, game drives, putt-putt, and various other activities to keep both kids and adults busy.
More info: https://www.crystalsprings.co.za/
If you’re looking for a short break from Cape Town, and want to get completely off the grid, Akasha Mountain Retreat is the place. This serene self-catering Cape-Maroc style villa only sleeps eight, so you’re guaranteed privacy and serenity as you soak up the views over the Langeberg and Duiwenhoks Dam.
Freelance travel and lifestyle writer Lynette Botha describes the spot as “ridiculously beautiful” – and with stargazing, hiking and birdwatching on the list of things to do, this is the place to recharge both body and soul.
More info: https://www.akasharetreat.co.za/
Tali Feinberg is a journalist and mother of four-year-old twins who singled out Onrus in the Overberg region as a great family destination. “The lagoon is so lovely for kids and I loved the chilled village atmosphere!” she says. In season you can watch whales or go wine tasting in the Hemel en Aarde Valley at any time of year. The shops and restaurants of Hermanus are also just 1,2km away, making it extra convenient. In terms of accommodation, there are many charming cottages for rent on sites such as Airbnb.