Summer in Cape Town – a family guide

Cape Town is a glorious destination for a holiday, especially during the summer and early autumn. With so many beautiful places to explore, you’ll have a hard time scratching the surface on any single visit. Once you’ve whet your appetite however, you’ll be sure to return time and again. Here are a few of our favourite spaces to spend time as a family on a holiday in the Mother City.

Kirstenbosch Gardens
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which lies along the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, is the perfect setting to enjoy an afternoon of tranquillity, with restaurants, lawns and lots of space for children to explore. Make sure to look for Colonel Bird’s bath (often mistakenly referred to as Lady Anne Barnard’s bath) and the Boomslang canopy walkway, or enjoy a picnic under the boughs. Live summer concerts are held on Sunday evenings and the Galileo Open Air Theatre also stages movie nights under the stars. 

While a visit to the southern cape to see penguins on Boulders Beach is well worth it, Cape Town has a lengthy coastline with lots of sandy seaside to choose from. Popular spots near the city include Camps Bay and Clifton, while Gordon’s Bay, Big Bay, Fish Hoek and Llandudno are among the many others worth visiting. (It’s always best to stay and swim within the demarcated areas manned by lifeguards).

Boat trips
From floating through the canals, harbour tours, pirate-themed jaunts on the Jolly Roger, eco-focused marine safaris, ferries to the historical Robben Island, as well as catamaran, yacht and speed boat trips, there are ample types of boat trips in and around the V&A Waterfront. You can also take a glass-bottomed, or other boat trip, to Duiker Island’s seal colony from Hout Bay harbour.

Wine Estates
The wine estates surrounding Cape Town provide serene spaces to enjoy fine wine and food and many of them are child friendly. Besides restaurants, picnics and interesting sculpture gardens, Spier offers offroad segway tours (children can participate from the age of 10) and the estate is also home to Eagle Encounters. Here you can learn about African raptors, see them up close and watch them soar overhead before returning to their handlers. 

Boschendal has a large tree house climbing gym and also offers guided nature experiences like scavenger hunts, obstacle courses, foraging and nature walks (these need to be booked 24 hours in advance). While Hazendal boasts a state-of-the-art edutainment centre known as Wonderdal, which is access-controlled and fully supervised, so parents can enjoy wine tasting, a meal at the Babushka Deli or a Russian tea ceremony.

Other things to try
Try something interactive like a cooking lesson in the Bo-Kaap, where you can learn to conjour up an authentic Cape Malay dish or join a chocolate-making workshop at the Lindt Chocolate Studio.

There are also numerous walks and hikes in and around Table Mountain National Park, or enjoy scooter ride on the Sea Point promenade. And no trip to Cape Town is complete without catching the cable car to the top of Table Mountain.

Happy travelling,
The Leopard Team

P.S. Join Diana on 17 March in San Francisco for a fun evening of cheese, wine and talk about travel! If you don’t live in San Francisco but know someone who does, and is interested in traveling to Africa, please pass the invitation on to them.

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