Incredible Family Travel Destinations in Southern Africa
Southern Africa offers a wealth of experiences for families to enjoy, from interacting with multiple cultures to immersion in nature and adventures that are safe and simultaneously thrilling.
The region is vast and there is a boundless list of places worth visiting and things to enjoy on a family vacation. Below are just a few of our favourite spots.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a family-friendly destination with a wide appeal for people of all ages. It boasts some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with brilliantly white sand and a dramatic mountainous backdrop.
A visit to the Mother City with the kids wouldn’t be complete without taking them to the top of Table Mountain via the aerial cableway, or you could opt for a guided hike to the summit with older children. There are also several other trails, like the Pipe Track, which aren’t too strenuous and offer spectacular views over the ocean. Another popular outing is visiting the endangered African penguin colony along the beaches of the South Peninsula.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The main reason people visit Victoria Falls is to see ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. If you opt for a guided tour, you’ll be led through the rainforest to various viewpoints while hearing fascinating facts about this wall of water, which is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. A helicopter ride will give you an aerial view of the entire waterway where the Zambezi spills over the lip of the falls and disappears into the Batoka Gorge.
Another activity to share as a family is a sunset Zambezi River cruise, where you may spot hippos, crocodiles, and even elephants in the water. After enjoying drinks, snacks, and hopefully animal sightings, you’ll get to see the fiery orange sun slipping beneath the horizon, leaving a dramatic silhouette of foliage against the African sky.
If tropical beaches are your idea of the perfect family getaway then Mozambique’s Vilanculous should be on the top of your list. Take a boat trip to the nearby Bazaruto archipelago where the protected reefs provide a safe environment for snorkelling in warm blue waters, with visibility of up to 40m. Alternatively, you could kayak lazily along the shoreline, spend time on the water in a local dhow (sailboat) or pick a sand bar to relax on.
There’s also horseriding on the beach and for those with older children that are certified scuba divers, you’ll have the chance of diving alongside whale sharks or even encountering the rare and endangered dugong.
Namibia is the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, being among the least densely-populated countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The open spaces and night skies, where stars shimmer competitively, offer a perfect setting to reconnect. The dunes at Sossusvlei are safe to climb and a predawn start will have you on top of Dune 45 in time to watch the sunrise and enjoy the expansive views beneath. The surreal landscape of Deadvlei, where petrified acacia trees reach towards the sky in a sunbaked pan of cracked salt and clay, is also a must-visit spot.
Quad biking in the desert at Swakopmund makes for a memorable family outing and an exceptional experience when visiting Namibia is a hot air balloon ride over Namib Desert.
Greater Kruger, South Africa
There’s nothing quite like getting into the bush and searching for Africa’s famous Big Five on safari. This type of adventure allows you to experience the wonders of nature together, away from digital distractions. It’s worth noting that not all lodges offer game drives for kids and some request you book a private vehicle at additional cost. Others cater specifically for children and some allow children over a certain age to join in on open-vehicle safari drives.
If you’re considering a safari or visiting any of the destinations listed above, get in touch and we’ll help you find the perfect lodges and activities to meet your family’s specific needs. And, if you have another African destination in mind let us know and we’ll share our insider info and help you plan your trip to perfection.
The Leopard Team
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