Captivating cities, sun-streaked landscapes and epic wildlife encounters. Family road trips don’t get much better than this and this thirteen-night journey through South Africa will leave enduring memories for all generations.

Combining family friendly hotels and lodges with thrilling experiences for all ages, this self-drive adventure is a great introduction to the history, people, flora and fauna of the Rainbow Nation. We have carefully picked three contrasting areas, all of which are malaria free, to ensure a seamless and stress-free family holiday.

You’ll start your family road trip with three nights in Cape Town where you have two full days to explore this enthralling city. You’ll peek into its tumultuous past with a visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for nearly two decades, ascend Table Mountain, see the tip of Africa at the Cape of Good Hope and admire the city’s vivid street art on a guided walking tour. Escape the city for the day on a leisurely tour and lunch at Babylonstoren, one of the most stylish wineries in South Africa’s acclaimed Winelands region, before permanently heading east to the Whale Coast. Here, you’ll spend a few days spotting southern right whales from the cliffs and hiking through ancient woodland and fynbos before motoring along the leafy plains of the Garden Route to Knysna. It’s time to turn off the engine and unwind among its emerald splendour for a few days.

Feeling refreshed by the crisp air and rolling scenery, you’ll head towards the Eastern Cape in search of its wild inhabitants. Continue driving along the Garden Route before arriving at your safari lodge in the exclusive Shamwari Game Reserve. The last couple of days of this epic family holiday will culminate in game drives in search of the reserve’s wealth of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for the Big Five, cheetahs, springbok and more. There’s nothing quite like a safari, especially when you’re experiencing it together as one big family.


Experience highlights

  • Go on a guided cultural tour of Cape Town, taking int the brightly painted houses of the Bo-Kaap, the city’s Malay neighbourhood, and some of Cape Town’s eclectic street art. You’ll end with a coffee in a local café.
  • Wander Robben Island on a private guided tour with a former prisoner. You’ll see the lime quarry where prisoners were subjected to hard labour, the building where anti-apartheid leader Robert Sobukwe was kept in solitary confinement for six years and end at the very cell Nelson Mandela spent eighteen years in – a gripping moment for all ages.
  • Take a day trip to the Winelands for a guided tour of one of its most elegant Cape Dutch wine farms, Babylonstoren. You’ll also enjoy a farm-to-table lunch under the gaze of the majestic Simonsberg Mountains.
  • Accompanied by an equestrian guide from Grootbos Private Reserve, explore the two-and-a-half-thousand-hectare reserve on horseback. Learn why the fynbos is so important to the reserve’s ecosystem and with eight hundred different plant species recorded, this is a live lesson in botany for the whole family.
  • Head out for a walk in the incredible fynbos with your expert guide and explore the deep ancient Afromontane or milkwood forests for a treasure hunt.
  • While you’re at the Whale Coast, embark on a marine big five cruise in search of whales, dolphins, seals, sharks and African penguins, as well as plenty of seabirds and rugged coastal scenery.
  • Dive into the prehistoric past with a guided visit of the Klipgat Caves, where humans once lived in the Stone Age. You’ll end the day with sundowners either perched high above Walker Bay Nature Reserve or beside Piano Rock listening to the waves.
  • Take a picnic and enjoy lunch on the cream-coloured sands of Noetzie Beach, backed by forested peaks and castle-like houses. Once you’re there, you’ll realise why it’s regularly voted one of the best beaches in South Africa.
  • Hop in a safari vehicle at Shamwari Game Reserve and patrol the dusty African plains in search of the Big Five: elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo.
  • Spend time at the Born Free Foundation’s big cat sanctuary and get a first-hand insight into the tireless work it does to protect and rehabilitate rescued lions and leopards.
Plan your trip to South Africa

Experience highlights

Stylish bolthole Cape Grace is within easy reach of Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Explore Robben Island with a former prisoner for a first-hand insight that delves far deeper than any school text book
Since 1973 Robben Island has been a protected island for seals
Whizz to the summit of Table Mountain in a cable car for widescreen views over the city
Visit the Cape of Good Hope, the south-westernmost tip of the African continent
Spy the kaleidoscopic colours of the Bo-Kaap neighbourhood on a cultural walking tour through Cape Town
See vivid street art decorating some of Cape Town's districts
Visit Babylonstoren on a day trip to South Africa's Winelands, a farm-to-table Cape Dutch wine estate
Spot southern right whales from Walker Bay's coastline
A private family cruise will offer a closer glimpse of the whales and the rest of the 'marine big five', including dolphins, seals and sharks
The floor-to-ceiling windows at Forest Lodge make for a perfect vantage point over Grootbos Private Reserve's astounding biodiversity
Explore the Grootbos Private Reserve on horseback for an intimate lesson in botany for the whole family
Go for a family walk with a guide in Grootbos' ancient milkwood and Afromontane forests
Be blown away by the Klipgat Caves, once inhabited by Stone Age dwellers
Soak up the verdant beauty as you drive along the Garden Route
Enveloped by indigenous forest, Pezula Resort & Spa boasts a wild setting
Enjoy a toes-in-the-sand family picnic on Noetzie Beach
Kids (and adults yet to grow up) will love the adventure centre at Riverdene Lodge – it's the stuff dreams are made of
Spend your days at Shamwari Game Reserve on twice-daily game drives through the African bush
Stay-eagle-eyed for sightings of the Big Five, cheetahs, zebras and hippos
See how the Born Free Foundation is safeguarding the futures of threatened big cats at its sanctuary

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    Where you’ll stay

    South Africa

    Cape Grace, Cape Town

    With magnificent views of Table Mountain and on its own quay, the iconic Cape Grace is an ideal base to explore vibrant Cape Town. Bursting with elegant tones of blues, reds, greens and golds, Cape Grace has also been delightfully decorated with artefacts and local artwork reflecting South Africa’s rich heritage. With plenty of references to Cape Town’s colonial past and fynbos scents permeating every corner, Cape Grace does an excellent job reminding you what an enthralling part of the world you’re in.

    South Africa

    Forest Lodge at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Gansbaai

    Close to Hermanus and on its own five-thousand-hectare private reserve, Grootbos Private Reserve’s Forest Lodge is not your average rural stay. Grootbos is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, a place of superlatives with over 868 plant species (seven of which were first discovered in the reserve), one hundred endangered plant species and three milkwood forests over one thousand years old. The exposed Dutch brick and floor-to-ceiling windows make Forest Lodge ideal for exploring this wilderness from.

    South Africa

    Pezula Resort & Spa, Knysna

    Encased by indigenous forests, mountains, lakes and untrodden beaches, Pezula Resort & Spa quite possibly has the best seat in the house on South Africa’s famed Garden Route. The tasty fresh produce on offer at Zachary’s Grill Room, soothing wellness quarter and world-class golf course are all excellent feathers in Pezula’s cap but there’s no escaping it: you’re here for the mindblowing scenery.

    South Africa

    Riverdene Lodge, Shamwari Game Reserve

    One of the largest and most exclusive private reserves in South Africa and in the heart of Eastern Cape, Shamwari Game Reserve is a collection of seven lodges and one camp. Riverdene Lodge is its most family friendly, with its own outdoor pool, adventure centre and nine spacious rooms. In short, it’s a pretty cool place to return to after a day spent hunting for the Big Five on game drives traversing the reserve’s pristine plains.

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