There’s nothing worse than arriving at your dream holiday destination just to discover that little *Pinkfoot isn’t welcome. South Africa has a lot of child-friendly stop over places that would accommodate the whole family, especially the little ones, with pleasure. Car hire in South Africa can be organised in a jiffy.
Drive South Africa has compiled a list of the best child-friendly stop over places in South Africa that should definitely not be ignored on your next planned route through our beautiful country. In this blog, we look at what the N2 has to offer families with kids. To most people, the N2 is just a means to an end, but as it climbs Sir Lowry’s Pass to enter the Overberg region, you might need to stop over to take a break on your way to the Garden Route. Across the agricultural plains through the towns of Caledon, Riviersonderend, Swellendam and Riversdale that re-approaches the coast at Mossel Bay, which marks the beginning of the Garden Route, there are a few gems that would welcome the whole family with open arms.
Above: The N2 offers many child-friendly stop over places.
Grabouw is the main town of the Elgin valley, one of the most scenic farming areas in South Africa. Children would feel like they are in the middle of Neverland with the picturesque mountain range and diverse fynbos vegetation. This agricultural centre is home to apple and pear farmers and producers of some stunning cold-region wines. Sample freshly squeezed apple juice from a farm stall for the kids to enjoy and a trip to the surrounding apple and rose farms will help them appreciate Mother Nature and all her gifts. Pack a picnic basket and spread the blanket under an apple tree. Pure family bliss.
Caledon has a world-renowned wildflower garden and reserve boasting a splendid display of wildflowers. In the garden, you can go for a 3–4-hour walk that traverses the wider area. Along with this walk, you will find mystical pathways and wooden bridges, lawns, picnic spots, indigenous trees, shrubs and prolific birdlife – you may even be lucky enough to spot the endemic Cape Sugarbird. A wildflower show is held every September and will leave the kids breathless. Accommodation in Caledon ranges from family-friendly hotels, B&B’s, self-catering and award-winning farm accommodation.
Swellendam is just 2-3 hours East of Cape Town. The Greater Swellendam area is situated in the northeast of the Overberg where you can forget the busy city and relax in a country atmosphere. Take the kids to discover the majestic Langeberg mountains. Let them experience real farm life as well as river adventures, hiking and nature reserves. They could also learn some history dating back to the 1700s.
Above: Folks in Swellendam claim this to be the most photographed church in all of Africa.
Mosselbay is a family stop over favourite with its pathways along the seaside and family-friendly restaurants within an arms reach. The bay, with absolutely no waves, gives you peace of mind while your children are swimming in the ocean with lifeguards closeby. Treat the kids to some horse-riding, putt-putt or just a good old animation at the local cinema.
The Garden Route is filled with family-friendly stopovers and will make your car hire expedition worth the effort.
*A baby or toddler.