5 of the Best Family-Friendly Activities in South Africa

by Sandy Salle on March 14, 2013

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Image to the left of the Elephant Sanctuary, taken from the Elephant Sanctuary website.

Thinking about taking the family on a trip to South Africa? I can guarantee it will be one of the most enriching experiences you will have as a family.

Below are some of the best activities for families on a South African family safari vacation:

Elephant Sanctuary: As an absolute favorite among families, the Elephant Sanctuary is a shelter for elephants that offers visitors the opportunity to interact with the elephants, get up-close and personal with them, and learn about their behavior and common threats that they face in the wild.

Visitors on a South African family safari vacation can touch and feed the elephants, as well as walk along these stunning creatures with trunk in hand!

Stormsriver Adventures: Situated along the Garden Route in the lush Tsitsikamma Forest, Stormsriver Adventures offers a wide variety of Fair Trade activities for families on an African safari vacation to take part in. Let’s start with the exciting canopy tour: The Stormsriver Adventures Canopy Tour requires participants to move from suspended platforms throughout the forest. Individuals glide along a steel cable as they make their way from platform to platform. And the adrenaline isn’t the only invigorating element of this adventure. While you’re up in the trees, you’ll witness a variety of exotic bird species and have beautiful views of the forest around you.

For families looking for a little less adrenaline in their activities, the Woodcutters Journey is a must! During this South Africa safari tour, families ride in the comfort of a rugged vehicle, observing indigenous wildlife and learning about the history of the area, as well as the animals and plantlife.

Stormsriver Adventures also offers guided hikes and team building experiences!

Image above of the Stormsriver Adventures Canopy Tour, taken from the Stormsriver Adventures website.

Birds of Eden: As a free flight bird sanctuary along the Garden Route in South Africa, Birds of Eden is a two-hectare haven for various bird species that are indigenous to South Africa (as well as some monkeys!). With more than 3,500 birds to witness in the sanctuary, guests can embark on self-guided tours or guided tours. Some of the bird species you’ll find at Birds of Eden include the green-wing macaw, scarlet ibis, flamingoes, spoonbills, egrets, moorhens, cranes, lovebirds, 29 duck species, golden pheasants, olive thrush, bearded barbets, terrestrial bulbuls, and SO much more.

Image above of a crowned crane, taken from the Birds of Eden website

Plett Puzzle Park: One of the world’s most unique parks, the Plett Puzzle Park stimulates the mind and body at the same time. With a variety of activities, including a 3D maze, Forest Puzzle Walk, and Kids Rope Maze, kids can enjoy a fun-filled day of problem solving and other mind-stimulating activities.

Here’s just a taste of what you can experience in the different Plett Puzzle Park attractions:

3D Maze: This intricate maze requires participants to find their way through a wood maze. It’s a great activity for all ages!

Forest Puzzle Walk: Stimulate your mind and body at the same time as you venture through the forest, solving puzzles along the way.

Kids Rope Maze: This is a great attraction for the little ones as it features a rope maze, mini maze, jungle gym, and swings.

Monkeyland: Situated in Plettenberg Bay, Monkeyland is a unique sanctuary for a wide variety of monkey species that can be found in southern Africa. On guided tours, guests can get up close to the monkeys—all of which wander freely throughout the sanctuary, without the constraints of cages or fences.

Some of the monkeys you can witness at Monkeyland on a guided walking safari include black and gold howler monkeys, 9 species of lemur (found only in Madagascar), the white-handed gibbon, the tufted capuchin, the squirrel monkey, and many more!

Image above of a Gibbon, taken from the Monkeyland website

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