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Family Fun in the Sun on the Garden Route

Ready, set – action!

Tropical, fun, energetic and family-friendly – Plettenberg Bay and its surrounding area present the ultimate family holiday destination along the Garden Route. Rent a car and head out on your own family adventure, or arrange day tours through the hotel. Whether you are looking for a wilderness adventure, sports day or adrenaline-fuelled outing, Plettenberg has it all! Plettenberg is the perfect spot for an action-packed family vacation.

Plettenberg Bay & The Crags

Do your children love animals?

Then you have come to the right place – Plettenberg is overflowing with awe-inspiring sanctuaries. You could take part in the EcoKidz Family Challenge and meet some Eco-Catz at the Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre; go on a ‘Monkey Safari’ at Monkeyland, the world’s first free-roaming multi-species primate sanctuary which houses over 700 primates; admire more than 3,500 birds at Birds of Eden; or go on an ocean safari with Ocean Blue Adventures – a tour operator for boat-based whale watching and dolphin tours. After all that animal magic, head to The Heath, a one-stop shop offering food, drinks, a plant nursery, shopping and a brilliant children’s playground – as well as Radical Raptors, a rehabilitation centre for birds of prey.

Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre (www.tenikwa.com) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 25 min (23.9 km) drive

Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary (www.monkeyland.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 24 min (22.9 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: Heading to the beach? The water is calmest on Central Beach, making it ideal for families with younger children.

Storms River & Tsitsikamma

The Tsitsikamma suspension bridge will make children feel like Indiana Jones on his next big adventure. Situated within the breathtaking Garden Route (Tsitsikamma, Knysna Wilderness) National Park, the bridge hangs just seven metres above the churning waters of the Storms River. The pathway leading to the suspension bridge covers 900 metres of the Tsitsikamma forest – despite a fair few steps it is a relatively easy route to navigate, and the walk is well worth the magnificent views.

Garden Route (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, Wilderness) National Park (www.sanparks.org/parks/garden_route) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 56 min (61.7 km) drive

Tarzans aged 7-70 might also want to consider the Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour – swinging from platform to platform within a lush rainforest, the route will take you past giant Outeniqua Yellowwood trees that are up to 700 years old, as well as other spectacular scenery and birdlife.

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour (www.canopytour.co.za/locations/tsitsikamma) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 47 min (61.6 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: You don’t have to worry about your kids during the Canopy Tour – professional guides ensure everyone’s safety!

Knysna

A mere 30-minute drive will take you to neighbouring Knysna, where fun activities await young and old. No trip to Knysna would be complete without a visit to the renowned Knysna Elephant Park, which has dedicated the past 20 years to rescuing abandoned and captive elephants. For a family lunch with a difference, join the John Benn, a double-decker floating restaurant offering daily lagoon cruises to Knysna Heads. Alternatively, try a lunch or dinner cruise aboard the Paddle Cruiser, South Africa’s only paddle-driven vessel.

Knysna Elephant Park (knysnaelephantpark.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 15 min (12.4 km) drive

John Benn Experience (www.knysnafeatherbed.com) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 33 min (33.8 km) drive

For a fun day trip, catch the ferry across the lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, a spectacular Natural Heritage Site. Go on a walk through the reserve, followed by a picnic under milkwood trees. If you are lucky, you might even spot the elusive, brightly coloured Knysna Loeries!

Traveller’s tip: To protect the reserve, numbers of visitors are limited – and visits are only permitted in the company of the reserve’s specialist guides.

Wilderness & Sedgefield

Timberlake farm village & organic food near Wilderness is sure to keep the whole family entertained for a few hours. From clothes shops, delis and a wine retailer, to a fairy garden, wooden barrel train and massive playground, not to forget a range of restaurants, this really is a one-stop shop for all your family needs. For the active there is also the Acrobranch Garden Route, Tree Top Adventure Park, comprising a kids course and three adult courses with 74 aerial platforms connected by zip lines, bridges, tarzan swings and other obstacles.

Timberlake farm village & organic food (timberlakeorganic.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 1 h 3 min (69.9 km) drive

Garden Route Acrobranch Outdoor Activity Park (acrobranch.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 1 h 2 min (69.9 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: In Sedgefield on a Saturday morning? Visit the Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market

George

The Outeniqua Power Van is a unique rail experience, which train-mad boys and girls are sure to go crazy for! With only two carriages, the train is a type of ‘motorised trolley’, making its way up the Outeniqua Mountains – one of the most scenic railway passes in the country. Along the way you will be able to admire lush forests, several passes, waterfalls, tunnels, flora and fauna, as well as a panoramic picnic area. The Outeniqua Transport Museum, which serves as the departure and arrival point for the Outeniqua Power Van, houses a large collection of steam locomotives and carriages dating back to bygone years.

Outeniqua Power Van (www.tripadvisor.co.za/Attraction Reviews and contact details) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 1 h 23 min (92.7 km) drive

Outeniqua Transport Museum (acrobranch.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 1 h 23 min (92.6 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: Let the kids pick their own strawberries at Redberry Farm, just outside of George – healthy and fun!

Little Karoo

Start your adventure in the Little Karoo with a guided tour at the Cango Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshoorn, which is home to over 90 different species of animals. Alternatively, head to Meerkat Adventures – the only site in South Africa where you can join an exclusive 2-3 hour tour with wild meerkats. Then go on an ostrich tour at the Cango Ostrich Farm, which is en route to what has been described as the ‘spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo’ – the Cango Caves. Choose between a Heritage or Adventure Tour to explore the dripstone caverns with their vast halls and towering formations.

Meerkat Adventures (meerkatadventures.co.za) – Getting to Oudtshoorn: Google Map Directions, an approximate 2 h 43 min (182 km) drive

Cango Caves (www.cango-caves.co.za) – Getting There: Google Map Directions, an approximate 2 h 43 min (182 km) drive

Traveller’s tip: Only 2km from Cango Caves is Wilgewandel Holiday Farm, featuring water slides, camel rides, zip lines, rowing boats…