A Child’s Guide to the Best Local Holidays

30 March 2021

Mom and dad think that the family holiday is all about them getting a well-deserved break but, let’s face it, it’s actually all about us kids having the time of our lives! Well, there’s no harm in both the adults and the children getting what we want, right

Here’s our Flight Centre guide to the best local holidays that promise endless opportunities for fun, relaxation, and, of course, family bonding.

Cape Town

The parents insisted that seeing Table Mountain would be the highlight of our trip to Cape Town. It was pretty spectacular, but what was even cooler was zooming around the lower slopes on a scooter as part of our Scootour experience.

Other highlights that made our family holiday in Cape Town one to remember was watching the cute little penguins waddling along on Boulders Beach and rolling through the skatepark at the V&A Waterfront Battery Park. It was even sweeter because we found some great deals that allowed children to stay and eat for free, much to our parents’ delight. They do always say that the two of us eat practically non-stop all day. We need the energy! Growing up is no child’s play.

Umhlanga

Umhlanga is definitely one of my all-time favourite destinations – especially at Easter time when it’s slightly less crowded than it is during Christmas. There’s just so much to do!

I can’t understand how adults can lie around for hours on the sand working on their tans when they could be splashing around in the sea, scoping the beach for seashells and building epic sandcastles. When we finally manage to pry our parents off of their towels for a few moments, they also take us to the awesome Wave House at Gateway. I don’t know what’s more fun – showing off my own killer surfing skills or watching dad wipe out every time he tries to stand on the surfboard.

Sun City

What family doesn’t love Sun City? Dad can’t get enough of the sports bar and my mom always enjoys coming with us to explore the huge Maze of the Lost City. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before they both head off for some retail therapy and a massage to ‘de-stress’ and ‘re-centre’ – whatever that means. Oh well, at least it gives us kids a few hours to wrack up those tickets at The Magic Company and score ourselves a super cool prize by the time they come to pick us up.

From there, we usually spend the rest of our holiday getting wet and wild at the Valley of the Waves. Hopefully, next time around dad’s massage will be a bit more effective and he won’t be able to blame his ‘bad back’ for chickening out of the 70-metre drop that is the Temple of Courage.

Bela-Bela

Mom is a sucker for a good brew, which is why we always make a stop at L'abri Farm Shop and L'abri Fountain Brewery shortly after arriving in Bela Bela for a quick beer tasting. Dad likes to pretend he enjoys beer too, but I know he only tags along for the full farm brekkie. My brother and I always opt for the delicious homemade pies – talk about the perfect padkos!

From there, we always head to the hot springs where we can soak and splash around to our heart’s content. While I love my PlayStation, this is obviously what mom and dad mean when they say that the outdoors is way more interesting. I have to admit that the nature in these parts is pretty cool too, particularly when they take us hiking or fishing at Warmbaths Dam.

Port Edward

Whenever we’re craving a holiday with equal parts beach and adventure, we always head off to Port Edward. We love going on care-free hikes together through Umtamvuna Nature Reserve and on long walks along the shores of Silver Beach. This beach is our favourite because it’s not just about sun, sea and sand – there’s a splash pool and a supertube ride, too!

Of course, no holiday to Port Edward is complete without a visit to Wild Waves Waterpark. Mom and dad prefer floating along the lazy river, but as the adrenalin-junkie of the family, I always make a beeline for the Boomerang.

Pilanesberg

According to mom, nothing beats the fresh air of the bushveld. Dad’s always keen to tag along because it means he can fire up the braai pretty much every night. But we come for the animals. There’s something exhilarating about being the one to spot the lions lurking in the tall grass or a perfectly camouflaged kudu in the distance.

Almost every time we visit the Pilanesberg National Park, we manage to find the ‘Big 5’ and a whole bunch of other beautiful critters on our game drives and walking safaris. But you simply can’t compare the thrill of floating in a hot air balloon and taking in the stunning sights below. It’s definitely an awesome way to make some lasting family memories.

Stellenbosch

Our parents claim we go to Stellenbosch for the art, culture, and the views but they’re not fooling us. We all know it’s really about the wine! Luckily, we no longer get left to play around at the Kids Club while mom and dad go wine tasting for the tenth time. At Spier wine estate, we get to enjoy the most delicious delights of the grape with a kiddies’ wine tasting of grape juice right alongside them. Our other go-to activities are Scootours through Jonkershoek. What’s super cool is that because we’re now over the age of 10, we’re allowed to pilot our own scooter.

We also never leave Stellies without stopping by Wonderdal – a true kids’ learning paradise. School sucks most of the time but, at Wonderdal, they make learning about science and life skills really fun. Plus, there are trained onsite supervisors around to make sure that we don’t get too mischievous, giving mom and dad the chance to sit down to a romantic meal (eeeew).