|Pack the mortorhome and drive from Cape Town to Wilderness along the N2. Stop at Rolandroosterkoek (Rolandale) for an epic roosterkoek lunch and play time for the kids. Continued to Wildereness in one shot from there.
|We hiked to the waterfall along the Touws River on the first day. Went to Wilderness beach the second day.
|After two great days, we left mid-morning from Wilderness to Addo (Wilderness is a perfect midway stop from Cape Town to Addo. Doing Cape Town to Addo in one day can be a long day, especially with young kids). We had an easy 4-5 hour drive from Wilderness to Addo, stopping to watch the bungee jumpers at Bloukrans. We checked into the Addo campsite around 3/4pm, with enough time to get settled and go for a short game drive
|Addo Elephant Park
|Our 3 full days in Addo comprised of morning and evening game drives, braais, breakfasts at the watering holes (possible in your motorhome!), going for nature walks in the rest camp, kids playing on the jungle gym, visiting the delightful museum, and a few swims at the camp's sparkling clean swimming pool.
|Addo Elephant Park
|Drive to Plett. Spend the next few days relaxing, swimming, playing and exploring the beaches and lagoons in and around Plett. The Keurbooms Lagoon campsite has stunning green grass, lots of trees and shade and direct access to the lagoon. It's simply awesome. Apparently it gets really busy in school holidays.
|Keurbooms Lagoon, Plett
|Drive back to Cape Town
After not travelling anywhere through most of 2020 due to lockdown (and postponing a Greece trip scheduled for July 2020) Andre Van Kets, cofounder of Discover Africa Safaris, planned this 10-day Garden Route road trip in a fully-equipped rental motorhome for his family of four, in the first week of December 2020.
“We wanted to go camping and let our kids (2 and 5 years) experience wildlife up-close for the first time. But we didn’t want to fly to Joburg or Kruger. We also wanted to keep our family in our social distance ‘bubble’, so a motorhome road trip to Addo seemed an obvious choice. The adventure of camping, with the convenience of a fully-equipped motorhome, was great too”.
– Cape Town
– Wilderness (Ebb & Flow, South Camp)
– Addo Elephant NP (Main Rest Camp)
– Keurboom Lagoon (Plettenberg Bay)
– Kam’Bati River Resort (Swellendam) – optional to break up the trip from Plett to Cape Town
– Cape Town
Cape Town to Wilderness (5-hour drive)
Break-up your drive to Wilderness with a mid-way stop at Roland Roosterkoek Farm Stall (just outside Swellendam). Jungle gym, swings, trees to climb and plenty of grass to run around for kids. Not to mention the delicious rooster koeks. Clean, well-aired (for Covid-hygiene) bathrooms.
Wilderness – SANParks’ Ebb & Flow Rest Camp (2-nights min)
Ebb & Flow is popular, so book well ahead. Stay at South Camp, which has electricity points and beautifully maintained rolling lawns and good shade. Enter on the N2 side. Wonderful outdoor adventures in and around Wilderness for families with young children: multiple hikes (Half Collared Kingfisher Trail is my favourite). Cross the Touw River on a hand-propelled pont, spot the elusive Knysna Loerie, swim in the river, or rent a kayak. Go to Wilderness’ (warm-water) blue flag beach. Visit the Woodville big tree. Lots of family-friendly restaurants and coffee shops in Wilderness too.
Wilderness to Addo Elephant National Park (4-hour drive)
The drive from Wilderness to Addo is about 4-hours. You’re spoilt for choice along this stretch of the Garden Route for kids’ activities. We love Radical Raptors near Harkerville, with it’s bird-of-prey sanctuary and daily flight displays.
Addo Elephant NP – Main Rest Camp (4-nights recommended)
The Addo main rest camp has a cosy caravan / camping area with fairly private sites, each separated by overhead-high spekboom trees. We enjoyed morning game drives where we could park off at the waterholes, make breakfast and coffee in our motorhome’s mini-kitchen, and simply watch the elephants come and go. The ability to move around in the vehicle, meant that our kids didn’t get cranky even if we stayed out for 4-hours plus. The rest camp has a crystal clear swimming pool with two resident tortoises to keep the kids busy. Spend your hot afternoons here. Visit the wonderful museum / learning centre where your kids (and you!) will learn a thing or two. We enjoyed our stay so much that we extended our stay twice.
Addo to Keurbooms (2.5-hour drive)
The shortest driving stretch of the trip. We used this opportunity to stock up on supplies at one of the shopping centres around Port Elizabeth.
Addo to Keurbooms Lagoon Caravan Park, Plettenberg Bay (3-nights min)
Keurbooms Lagoon Caravan Park is big. With 200+ sites, manicured lawns, avenues of huge gum trees and thickets of indigenous trees and shrubs – the campsite attracts diverse birdlife. We even saw mongoose and rabbits. I suggest staying on the side farthest from the entrance, for best access to the lagoon’s beach. Campsites along the lagoon edge are preferred by those with fishing rods or boats. The sites further back from the water have more shade and are simply more peaceful. Jungle gyms, tuckshop, well-ventilated and clean ablutions. Even though Plett has so many great activities and beaches, we loved the fact that for our last stop, we just pulled up the handbrake (literally) and didn’t go anywhere for three days straight. Very relaxing.
Keurbooms to Cape Town
The 7-8 hour drive from Keurbooms to Cape Town is the longest stretch of the road trip, but very manageable in a day after packing up camp (that’s what we did). On previous trips we broke-up the return journey from Wilderness at Bontebok National Park (also great for kids) and we’ve heard really good things about the privately run Kam’Bati River Resort near Swellendam — another mid-way stop we want to try out — but I guess we’ll save that for our next family adventure…
Tips for a family motorhome road trip
– Compare and book your motorhome with www.drivesouthafrica.com
– All motorhomes (2-berth, 4-berth and 6-beth options) have seats that secure baby and booster seats. Most models have a bathroom with toilet and shower.
– Collect your car the day before you leave so you can pack in your food, kiddies gear, camping gear, bikes, etc. the day before. Leave early the next day to make the most of your time on the road
– Pack lots of games, books, activities and snacks to keep kids (and Mom and Dad) happy on the drive. Don’t be shy: there’s plenty of room.
– Travel outside of school holidays to experience SANParks and caravan parks with less hustle and bustle. Roads are quieter too.
– Pack in a small tent for the kids to have their own “play room” at your campsites (and to sleep outdoors on a few nights)
– Relax and enjoy the quality family time
All images copyright Andre Van Kets (unless indicated otherwise).
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