The Bucket-List Big Five.

Five Iconic Bucket-List Family Adventures in South Africa

South Africa is fast becoming one of the world’s top holiday destinations, not least because of its incredible natural attractions, wildlife, famed history, dramatic landscapes, and foodie culture. It has so much to offer families, from safaris in the Kruger National Park to picnics in Cape vineyards.

Read on for our five iconic bucket-list family adventures you won’t want to miss (and stay tuned for the secret adventure at the end!)

  1. Safaris in the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga

South Africa is synonymous with safaris, and the Kruger National Park tops the list. Spanning nearly two million hectares, it’s home to hundreds of different species, including the famed Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo. The park’s vastness and diverse ecosystems, from dense forests to grassy plains, make every game drive a unique adventure.

Where to stay: Shishangeni by BON Hotels

Shishangeni by BON Hotels offers the classic safari experience with three options to choose from – Shishangeni Private Lodge, Camp Shawu, and Camp Shonga. All have a tasteful African aesthetic and boast incredible views of the bushveld from the spacious rooms, verandas, and even the luxurious bathtubs. Skilled guides, delicious dinners under the stars, and excellent service round off the experience.

  • Wine and Dine in the Cape Winelands, Western Cape

The Cape Winelands is not just for wine lovers. This region also has an incredible culinary culture, kid-friendly activities, and breathtaking landscapes of vineyards covering purple-tinged mountains. There are dozens of wine farms and restaurants, some even offering grape juice tastings and petting zoos to entertain the kids. Expect artisanal cheeses, farm-to-table gourmet meals, inventive kids’ menus and picnics among the vines.

Where to stay: Protea by Marriott Hotel Cape Town Durbanville

Located amidst the vineyards of the award-winning D’Aria wine estate, Protea by Marriott Hotel Durbanville offers a retreat for families exploring the Winelands. Its impressive facilities, including a serene swimming pool and a well-appointed restaurant and bar, provide a relaxing respite after a day of adventuring. It’s also easily accessible and only 20 minutes away from Cape Town city centre and the Cape Town International Airport.

  • Nelson Mandela Capture Site, KwaZulu-Natal

The Nelson Mandela Capture Site in the rolling green hills of Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, marks the spot where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962, leading to his 27-year imprisonment. It houses a museum presenting Mandela’s life journey and a powerful sculpture made from steel columns that form the image of Mandela when viewed from a specific angle.

Learn about Mandela’s profound contributions to freedom and equality through the museum’s film display, historical artefacts, and photographs. The day’s outing has the added benefit of sparking important conversations about global values with your kids.

Where to stay: Royal Palm Hotel and Apartments by BON Hotels

Enjoy your own apartment with all the perks of a hotel, including Wi-Fi, room service, a gym, and restaurants, at Royal Palm Hotel and Apartments by BON Hotels. Perfect for families, the apartment suites have up to three rooms and living and dining spaces. The central location in the vibey coastal town of Umhlanga means you can revel in beach days, go shopping, enjoy the nightlife, and take a day trip to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. King Shaka International Airport is also only a 15-minute drive away.

  • The Garden Route

The Garden Route is a picturesque coastal journey stretching over 300 km along South Africa’s south-eastern coast. Starting in Mossel Bay and ending in Storms River, the iconic drive takes you through charming towns like Knysna, renowned for its lush forests and tranquil lagoons, and Plettenberg Bay, with its beautiful beaches and opportunities for whale watching. Not to be missed is Oudtshoorn, the ‘Ostrich Capital of the World’, which invites families to explore ostrich farms, go on meerkat safaris, visit the impressive Cango Caves, and drive through the dramatic Swartberg Pass.

Where to stay: Queen’s Hotel by BON Hotels

Steeped in history and exuding the elegance of a bygone era, Queen’s Hotel by BON Hotels provides a charming stopover for families exploring the Garden Route. The hotel combines authentic Klein Karoo style with modern comforts, offering spacious deluxe and family rooms.

  • Exploring the iSimangaliso Wetland Park

A pristine 332,000-hectare nature reserve of wild coasts, estuaries, and a lagoon, iSimangaliso Wetland Park is home to diverse wildlife, including elephants, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, and the rare palm-nut vulture. Families can venture through the park via guided walking safaris, game drives, or boat safaris, each providing a unique experience.

Where to stay: BON Hotel Waterfront Richards Bay

BON Hotel Waterfront Richards Bay is just over an hour’s drive from the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and provides modern accommodation for families that want to enjoy the vibe and beaches of a coastal city as well as nature. The hotel offers stunning sea and harbour views, a family-friendly restaurant, and spacious rooms.

Secret bonus! A bucket-list stay in the heart of Cape Town

Cape Town is a treasure trove of bucket-list experiences – whale watching, Robben Island, and a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain is just the beginning – but for a hidden gem, head to Long Street in the heart of Cape Town. Here, you will find the historic, quirky, and luxurious Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel by BON Hotels, which has seven truly unique  airstream trailers. Take a ride in its vintage 128-year-old elevator to the roof where you will  find the seven silver airstream trailer suites, each with its own South African theme and an open-air cinema right next to them. It practically guarantees a fun stay your family will never forget!

Ready to book your bucket-list family adventure in South Africa? Contact BON Hotels today.

Book with BON Hotels this winter and get a special BONus – warm up with savings of up to 30% off rates! Offer valid from 16 June to 31 August 2023. Click the links below to book direct.

Participating Hotels:

BON Hotel Bloemfontein Central

Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel by BON Hotels

Shishangeni by BON Hotels

Mountain View International Hotel by BON Hotels

BON Hotel Rustenberg

Queen’s Hotel by BON Hotels

Subject to availability, upgrade fees apply. Ts & Cs apply.

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