The Top Kid-Friendly Resorts in South Africa for Families

If there is anything that South African holidaymakers can rely on is having a great and wide selection of local child-friendly family resorts to choose from. Whether you are looking to take a break at the coast, in the mountains, in forested or more arid areas or in reserves rich in indigenous game, South Africa has it all!


2min read

Published 28 March 2023


If there is anything that South African holidaymakers can rely on is having a great and wide selection of local child-friendly family resorts to choose from. Whether you are looking to take a break at the coast, in the mountains, in forested or more arid areas or in reserves rich in indigenous game, South Africa has it all!

Where should I take my kids for a local holiday?

KZN's north and south coasts - basically the entire coastline of this province - literally bristles with resorts to suit all pockets and each having a flavour of their own; Umhlanga Rocks and St Lucia to the north and Margate/Ramsgate down south are clear examples of the variety on offer.  Several other South African coastal towns offer you your perfect beach holiday, and after all, children simply love playing around in the surf that the sea provides. Seaside resorts are however just the tip of the iceberg.

What are the best family resorts in South Africa?

South Africa’s rich geographic diversity means that there is bound to be a family-friendly holiday destination that perhaps you have not previously thought of. Flight Centre’s staff has therefore scoured the length and breadth of South Africa to find its top child-friendly hotels and resorts.  We take the opportunity to give you a brief insight into some of them that have stood out somewhat in a long list of top-class destinations.

They are extremely well geared up for family groups, provide all sorts of activities and entertainment for the younger set and, in the long run, provide good value for your hard-earned holiday money.


Alpine Heath

You'll be surrounded by a magnificent mountain when you stay at aha Alpine Heath Resort in the midst of the Picturesque Drakensberg Mountains. Chalet accommodation, accommodating up to six people with full self-catering facilities, makes this an obvious choice for South African families. Too lazy to cook? Simply visit one of the dining options available at the resort's Village Square.

When you can drag yourself away from your epic natural surrounds, consider one of the nearby activities or stay put, relaxing at the pool, or putting for show at the resort's miniature golf course.

Capital Pearls

The Capital Pearls Hotel Umhlanga, Durban, is a new innovative hotel situated on the beachfront of beautiful Umhlanga, just 18 km away from Durban’s Central Business District and the exciting uShaka Marine World. Apart from the self-catering in the apartments, it is also possible to order a full buffet breakfast which gives guests ample time to enjoy the Pearls’ facilities or to travel a little further afield. This hotel’s Halaal-friendly restaurant also serves a buffet lunch and furthermore offers a twenty-four-hour in-room dining meal. The daily serviced apartments are all air-conditioned and have well-appointed en-suite bathrooms.

The kitchens are fitted out with a wide range of appliances. There is a large luxury outdoor swimming pool, with its own pool bar and plenty of space around the pool to enjoy relaxing on the loungers provided. A children’s play area and a spa offering various treatments are available. Free Wi-Fi is supplied throughout the hotel. Pearls apartments are within walking distance to Umhlanga beach, (which is well-known for surfing and boogie boarding), the Lighthouse, Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Trail, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, and Umhlanga Rocks Beach.

Diaz hotel and resort

While it may seem like a far distance to travel from, say, Johannesburg, for a coastal holiday, Mossel Bay (1200+-kms or 13+-hrs road trip) is a coastal destination well worth considering. 

The charming port town of Mossel Bay offers 60 kilometres of irresistible beaches, many hiking trails and whale watching. A boat trip around Seal Island or visits to the Shell Museum and Aquarium and Diaz Museum Complex are highlights. Wine tasting can also be enjoyed here.  The town has a very laid-back vibe, and this is carried through to the Diaz Hotel and Resort. 

The resort offers large self-catering units for the whole family, which can accommodate four to six guests each. If you haven't considered heading to Mossel Bay way in the past, think again - the Diaz Hotel and Resort will gladly welcome you for a thrilling and entertaining holiday experience right in the heart of the picturesque and famous Garden Route. 

There is free under-roof parking for all hotel guests and its outdoor rim-flow pool is reserved exclusively for the use of hotel guests. There are ample deck chairs available at the pool’s edge. The Resort is open for hotel guests and the public and offers a wide range of leisure activities the most fun of which is its extensive water world (a surcharge applies).


Kingdom Resort

The resort is located within an easy 2-hour drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria and is situated less than 5 minutes drive from the entrance to Sun City and adjoins the Pilanesberg Game Park, offering both a luxury hotel and self-catering accommodation. The resort provides a free shuttle service to the iconic Sun City. 

It’s an ideal family-friendly destination as it offers a wide range of facilities and activities for both parents and children. These facilities/activities include a splash-tastic water park, adventure golf, day spa, a café for light meals and pizzas, game drives, swimming pool, trampoline and the recently introduced jumping pillow, kid’s play area, archery, a rock-climbing wall, a seasonal outdoor cinema, a boma for communal braais and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Merry Pebbles Resort

This very popular family-friendly holiday resort is on the banks of the Sabie River in the Mpumalanga province and boasts a few self-catering chalets, bungalows, cottages, and lodges each with up to four bedrooms, as well as camping sites.

Facilities at the resort include swimming pools (both cold and heated), water slides, tennis courts, a play park (with a jungle gym, trampolines, and swings), and an indoor entertainment hall with a tennis table, pool tables and video games. Tubing and canoeing on the river are always just so much fun.  If you feel up to a bit of hiking, the Loerie Day Trail beckons. There is also a popular (with the locals as well as residents) fully licensed a la carté restaurant on site.

The Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa

The Drakensberg Mountain Range is a stunning destination for a school holiday getaway and the Cavern is well-known as being "The Resort of Many Happy Returns." It's quiet, stunningly beautiful, and brim full of things to do and see. This hotel has many suites, including three superior family suites, eight family rooms, and 10 inter-leading rooms. The whole family will love the many walking, hiking, and horse-riding trails. 

For parents with toddlers and young children, there’s a playroom staffed with nannies, safe and exciting playgrounds and a range of educational games and fun activities. Furthermore, the area is a haven for kids keen on fishing, horse riding, tennis, swimming and exploring. The Adventure Centre provides endless fun. This resort is specially set up for families of all ages, from toddlers to teens, from parents to grandparents and encourages outdoor activities.

Waterfront Village

Situated in Cape Town's world-famous Victoria and Albert (V&A) Waterfront situated in a working harbour this destination is a collection of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, providing ultimate luxury and spacious comfort.  The village provides its guests with secure underground parking, a gym and no less than five swimming pools.  What makes this destination rather juicy is that everything at the V&A is accessible by foot from the village!  The waterfront is Africa’s most visited tourist destination featuring over 400 stores, award-winning restaurants, boat trips (including those to Robben Island), sunset cruises, an amphitheatre, numerous cinemas, an aquarium and a very special vibe that visitors of all ages will enjoy.

Wild Coast Sun

Set on 750 acres of lush, natural bush, the Wild Coast Sun is a very family-friendly resort overlooking the Indian Ocean where the KZN province meets the Eastern Cape province. It has rooms and suites to suit every family.  This extensive resort has superb restaurants and boasts a world-class 24-hour casino.  Family-friendly experiences include trips upriver on a double-decked boat, water park, ten-pin bowling, surfing, bodyboarding, and deep-sea fishing. 

There is even scuba diving on offer for the more adventurous guest.  Its golf course is famous for being one of the best championship courses in the country.

It has been our pleasure to take you on an all-embracing tour of just some of South Africa’s top family-friendly holiday destinations.

From trout fishing in Magoebaskloof in the far north, to an exciting water park in Mossel Bay, from a holiday farm in the Karoo to a lush bush resort and casino on the east coast, from a Big 5 luxury private game reserve to the splendour of the Drakensberg Mountain Range, it just goes to show the variety on offer in this wonderful and diverse country.

There are of course many other great family-friendly hotels and resorts out there, far too many to cover, even briefly, in this article. Our friendly and expert travel consultants, therefore, look forward to hearing from you so that together we can find you the ideal getaway.

So, what’s stopping you?  Book your local family holiday today!





Flight Centre

© Flight Centre Travel Group (Pty) Ltd. Registration No. 1994/000253/07.

*Prices are in ZAR and subject to availability. Please refer to specific product’s terms and conditions.