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Family Discover South Africa
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Mixed Groups

12 Days / 11 Nights Trip to South Africa

Family Discover South Africa

South Africa’s blend of rugged beauty and iconic wildlife makes for a wonderful family adventure.
Visit South Africa for a holiday that the whole family will love, filled with adventure, relaxation and self-discovery. Play wildlife bingo as you go on safari in famous parks, and encounter lions, Cape buffalo, elephants, rhinos, leopards, small antelopes and more. Explore regions of quiet beauty, and relax by the beach, and create memories you’ll share around the dinner table for decades to come.
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  • Duration
    12 Days
  • Starting From
    Twin sharing
  • Travel Operator
  • Flights
    Not Included
    Flight booking assistance will be provided.

Trip highlights

Take in the view from the top of Table Mountain
Highlight #1
Take in the view from the top of Table Mountain
From its summit, you’ll have a panoramic view of encircling clouds, Cape Town, and the coast.
Explore Addo Elephant National Park
Highlight #2
Explore Addo Elephant National Park
The park is a sanctuary for elephants, so you’ll be able to spot large families going about their daily business, as well as buffalo, black rhino, leopard and lion.
Oudtshoorn: the ostrich capital of South Africa
Highlight #3
Oudtshoorn: the ostrich capital of South Africa
Visit an ostrich  farm for a closer look at these fascinating birds, and to learn more about them.
Visit Stony Point penguin colony
Highlight #4
Visit Stony Point penguin colony
See the adorable sea birds pitter-pattering around and swimming in the waters.
Go rafting on the Breede river
Highlight #5
Go rafting on the Breede river
Winding channels and playful rapids make it the ideal river-rafting destination for families.

South Africa in 4K

Wild.Raw. Alive. Sergi Martínez Miró captures the essence of South Africa in this evocative video. Take a look to see what awaits you.

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Join trip in Cape Town. Scale Table Mountain

This afternoon we plan to ascend Table Mountain. You can choose to take an energetic but highly rewarding 3 to 4 hour hiking trail up to the top accompanied by your tour leader (if the weather permits). Alternatively, an aerial cableway runs frequently to and from the summit although it does close for 2 weeks for maintenance each year roughly from the end of July. The climb is spectacular not just for the stunning views it affords of the city below and the beach-fringed coastlines stretching away to the horizon, but also for the beautiful plant life of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which has more indigenous plant species per square metre than anywhere else on earth! A network of trails criss-crosses the summit plateau, providing a variety of vantage points.

Note that weather conditions in Cape Town can be highly variable throughout the year. Should weather conditions prevail that are unsuitable for the ascent of Table Mountain, this excursion will be undertaken on an alternative day. Likewise anyone arriving late on day 1 will also be able to ascend Table Mountain on one of the other days in Cape Town. Also, Table Mountain Cableway usually closes for general maintenance at the end of July, based on 2019 dates; the provisional closure is scheduled for Monday 22nd July 2019 to Sunday 4th August 2019. Although the cable car will not be running, Table Mountain is still be accessible by a hiking trail as described above.

Catch the ferry to Robben Island. Free afternoon

Today we travel from the nearby Nelson Mandela Gateway at the Waterfront in Cape Town to take a tour of the world famous Robben Island museum, which includes a boat trip across Table Bay. The visit to the infamous maximum security prison provides us the opportunity to meet an ex-political prisoner sharing their experience of Robben Island. Please note, the ferry tickets and museum entrance tickets (both booked by Explore) need to be purchased around 4-6 weeks before departure and we cannot guarantee that they will be available for any late bookings.

Returning across the bay, arrive back at the hotel around 2pm. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the city.

Cape Town. Hout Bay boat trip and Cape Point. Visit a skateboard park.

We will make our way to Cape Point Visitors Park and take a walk up to a viewpoint to watch the turbulent clash of the warm Agulhas current from the Indian Ocean meeting the cold Benguela current from the Atlantic. We'll take an hour-long walk within the national park to Cape Point and the lighthouse, keeping an eye out for resident baboons, tortoises, otters and seabirds along the way. The trail is well marked, slightly rocky in places, and boasts diverse flora with many colourful flowers.

Moving onto Hout Bay, take a boat trip to see the remarkable bird and marine life of Seal Island - where approximately 7,000 Cape Fur Seals have made their home on low lying rocks.

The rest of the day is free to explore the city once we return to Cape Town. For those that want to, we can make a late afternoon visit to a skateboard park with the opportunity of meeting kids from the Cape area from a variety of backgrounds and share experiences with each other as we learn how to skateboard. For experienced skaters the park has a host of ramps, rails and half pipes.

District Six Museum, Stony Point penguin colony and whale watching in Hermanus. Drive to Breede River

Drive to the District Six Museum. Although the Museum was initially started as a community space for ex-residents to gather and meet, it has now become a space that tells the story of District Six under apartheid to both local and foreign visitors to Cape Town and South Africa.

The museum has been designed in such a way that a visitor can wander in off the street and take a self-guided tour, but more importantly, our group will also make use of the privilege of taking a tour with an ex-resident of the district and listen to the amazing personnel experiences and recollections of an ex-resident.

Leaving Cape Town behind, we make a stop at Stony Point penguin colony just outside the quaint coastal town of Betty's Bay. The nature reserve is home to one of the largest breeding colonies of African Penguin in the world as well as hosting a wealth of endemic bird life. The reserve sits on the site of a historic whaling station and has a quiet, undiscovered feel, offering excellent penguin viewing without the crowds. The boardwalks can be followed over the craggy outcrops to see the resident seabirds up close without disturbing them. Although humans are not allowed to wander beyond the boardwalks, it does not always stop the penguins joining the trail and setting a slow walking pace!

After a lunch break at Betty's Bay, continue our journey, making a stop at the small seaside resort of Hermanus, regarded as one of the premier spots for shore-based whale watching in the world. From the cliff top walks it is possible to observe whales no more than 50 or 100 metres away. (The whale watching season is between June and November).
Departing Hermanus late afternoon, it's a short drive to Swellendam. Leaving the main road to follow a gravel track to our river camp, where rustic, wooden a-frame huts line the banks of the Breede River. This accommodation offers a real break from reality and a chance to enjoy the surrounding nature. You can chat with the friendly team - many of which come from the nearby town - at the bar or around this evening's camp fire for an insight into their life on the Western Cape. This evening a traditional, bush-style dinner will be served before a campfire under the starry sky (weather-dependent).

Rafting along the Breede River

Spend the day in rafts along the scenic Breede River.
From its source up in the mountains above Ceres, the Breede River meanders for 300 km before it deposits its water into the mighty Indian Ocean. During its long journey to the coast, it provides life-giving water to one of South Africa's most beautiful regions. This river also boasts amazing bird life and ample fishing.

The winding channels and playful rapids make it the ideal river-rafting destination for families. This ultimate river adventure offers exciting grade 2 and 3 rapids. No experience is necessary and briefings will be given by our local guides. The rest of the day is free to find a relaxing spot along the riverbank to enjoy the peace and quiet at our river side base.

Visit Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of South Africa and explore the deep caverns of the Cango Caves

Drive to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of South Africa! The arid landscape that borders the Little Karoo is a desolate and yet magnificent area of semi desert.

After checking into our accommodation around lunch time, we set out to explore the finest dripstone caverns in the world - the Cango Caves. Situated in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains, these limestone caves extend more than 5 kms underground through a series of large caverns connected by passages. We hike into the most spectacular caverns - a truly surreal experience.

We then have a tour of the Safari ostrich and butterfly farm, north of Oudtshoorn as well as the Zeekoegat School which showcases the process of building a new school. Each individual will get the opportunity to sponsor a 'brick' towards the building of the new Zeekoegat Primary School. Depending on timings and weather, we may have to visit the caves, school and ostrich farm the following day (Saturday).

Drive the Garden Route from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay. Sea kayaking along the coast at Central Beach

Making our way eastwards, travel along the Garden Route to Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
This afternoon try our hand at sea kayaking along the coastline from Central Beach. Explore the magic of our unique coastline with its abundant marine life up close and personal in one of our stable kayaks in the company of an experienced guide. Glide across sparkling water while enjoying a view of the majestic Tsitsikamma Mountains, Robberg Nature Reserve and marine life.

After a thorough briefing on kayaking techniques and safety we paddle from Central Beach with possible sightings of Cape Fur Seals, Bottlenose and Humpback Dolphins and a variety of sea birds. No experience is necessary although you will need to be able to swim. A sun hat and sunscreen and a change of clothes for afterwards is advisable.

Our accommodation for the next two nights is a white-washed, seaside resort, set just a five-minute walk down to the unspoilt Keurbooms Beach.

Free time around Plettenberg Bay and beach

Plettenberg Bay and its surroundings boast some of the most exquisite beaches and stunning scenery of the Garden Route and an unparalleled range of activities. The most famous beach Central Beach, offering long stretches of white sand and warm waters which are perfect for swimming. The water is calmest on Central Beach making it ideal for families.

Today has been left free to choose from boat based dolphin and whale watching, to snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking, surfing, mountain biking and canoeing (some of these activities do have age restrictions). In season (June to November, sometime into December too) the whale watching is especially recommended, as this shoreline offers the chance to watch a truly great mammal, the southern right whale. The dunes and escarpments offer panoramic views of the coast and you have a good chance of seeing seals, dolphins and whales, plus a wealth of bird and botanical life.

Discover Robberg Nature Reserve. Treehouse accommodation in the tree canopy

This morning we'll take a short drive to Robberg Nature Reserve where our local leader will lead a walk along the trails. The hiking here is moderate, it's uneven under foot in places and can be slippery so good walking shoes are advised, but rewards are abundant: brilliant bird viewing, sweeping coastal views and the possibility to spot dolphins and seals playing in the waters below. From July to December, there's also the chance to see southern right whales that come into the calmer and warmer waters to calve and nurse their young.

It's a short forty five minute journey to Tsitsikamma National Park, another hotspot for seasonal whale watching. The national park covers both land and sea, protecting important forest and marine areas and offering stunning coastal views. We'll be staying in the Storms River region where there are numerous well-marked walking trails for varying abilities, as well as the opportunity to explore suspended canopy walkways and zipwires, or to try river kayaking.

Teniqua Treetops is a unique eco-tented tree house occupying a position high on the foothills of the ancient Outeniqua mountain range. The tree houses offer a unique opportunity to sleep, eat and shower up in the canopy of the forest, all surrounded by birdsong and butterflies. Built on hand crafted platforms and situated in carefully chosen beauty spots, the accommodation boasts comfortable tented bedrooms, fully equipped kitchens and leafy bathrooms. Experience a true environmentally friendly accommodation experience.

Morning walk and snorkelling in Tsitsikamma Marine Park

The morning is left free. Around midday, we take a short drive to Tsitsikamma 'the place of much water', South Africa's most impressive marine and forest park, stretching for some 80 kms from the lagoon at Nature's Valley to the mouth of the Groot River.

The lush forest and sheer cliffs provide an ideal setting for short walking trails, the most popular of which takes you to the suspension bridge spanning the mouth of Storm's River: a quite spectacular sight, where the booming breakers of the Indian Ocean relentlessly pound rocky shores. The heartland of the park stretches some 5km to sea, protecting a wonderland of inter-tidal life, reef and deep-sea fish and where we can snorkel to discover the marine life. Dolphins frolic in the breakers, surfing and playing for the sheer joy of life, and the gentle giant of the ocean, the southern right whale visits here, coming inshore to breed.

Addo Elephant National Park

Spend the early morning exploring the rock-pools and beaches; leaving late morning we again head eastwards to Addo Elephant National Park; a 300,000 acre sanctuary for a wide range of South Africa's Wildlife, best known for elephant (with a population now in excess of 600) but also supporting buffalo, black rhino, leopard and lion in its southern locations as well as good birdwatching opportunities throughout. We will enjoy an afternoon game drive on arrival in the park.

We stay in the parks Forest Cabins allowing you quick access to the park. Each cabin sleeps a maximum of four people, so families of over four will have two cabins. Each cabin has an open area with four single beds, a table and seating for four people, with a separate shower, toilet and hand basin. A traditional braai dinner is included tonight prepared by your local leader.

Tour ends in Port Elizabeth

A leisurely start to the day before we make our way to Port Elizabeth airport (around 75km) for the flight home. For those that are interested there is the opportunity to take an additional safari early on the last day, please refer to the optional activities section under 'budgeting and packing' for more information.


 INCLUDED MEALS - Breakfast: 11 Lunch: 1 Dinner: 3

 TRIP STAFF - Explore Tour Leader Driver(s) Local Guide(s)

 TRANSPORT - 4WD Boat Ferry Minibus

 ACCOMMODATION - 2 nights standard cabins 5 nights standard hotel 2 nights simple lodge 1 nights standard lodge 1 nights standard tree-house

Not Included

 Additional 5% GST

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20 Jul 2020

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31 Jul 2020

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14 Aug 2020

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10 Aug 2020

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Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

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This Trip Is Operated By Explore

At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Our authentic travel experiences explore the sights and culture of a country, with hand-picked accommodation that balances comfort and location. Our average group tour size is just 12; perfect for meeting new people and getting to the heart of our destinations.

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