04 December 2011 by Denise Slabbert

Active family holidays

Traditionally family holidays mean dad heads off on his own to play golf while mom spends the day in the hotel spa and the kids head for the pool or holiday club.

However today’s families are anything but traditional and why should family holidays conform to convention. A vacation can not only be a great time to spend time as a family, but be an opportunity to have fun while trying a new activity and have the added benefit of taking you off the regular tourist path.

A little online searching will turn up a number of active options from mountain bike trails in nature reserves, horse-riding holidays and safaris, to sports resorts where families can join in activities like golf, basketball, swimming and tennis. For more information, check out Champagne Sports Resort in the Drakensburg, which has recently been revamped (www.champagnesportsresort.com) and Fancourt in George (www.fancourt.com). The Garden Route is a great place to get active and even if Plett is chock-a-block full of visitors from Gauteng and the Western Cape, there’s still plenty of space to get out there and get active.

The country’s national and provincial parks offer unique opportunities to view and even interact with wildlife. Ocean-side resorts like Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa on the Wild Coast (www.umngazi.co.za) give visiting families the chance to make the most of the fantastic climate by trying out beach activities like dune surfing, while mountain lodges offer hikes that cater for energetic families - or those who just prefer to take it easy.

Mpumalanga province is a great place to spend the summer holiday and there’s no shortage of activities from quad-biking to paragliding to abseiling and scenic walking trails. Places like Hoedspruit, Sabie and White River have a host of trusted operators who will organise your family outing with ease.

In terms of information, a great reference is the Dirty Boots adventure guide which includes all the top adventure activities in the country.

Whatever option you choose you’ll find South Africa is a family-friendly destination that offers value for money and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.



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