South Africa,  Itineraries

Planning a family itinerary in South Africa: budget guide

The best route to visit South Africa with family is a tour suitable for children without full days spent in the car. The program we recommend is based in Cape Town so you don't have to travel every day. You will discover all the must-see sites of this beautiful region with excursions that will appeal to children: visit the neighborhoods of Cape Town on the roof of a red bus, climb Table Mountain in a cable car that turns 360 degrees, picnic in the Kirstenbosch National Garden, discovery of the Cape of Good Hope and its colony of cute penguins or swimming and sand patties on the beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton. And since there is nothing better than a safari to give children memories for life, this route will take you on the beautiful Garden Route to Addo Elephant Park (the unique West African safari housing the Big 5). This short trip has many stops in grandiose national parks like the Wilderness where you can kayak up the river or Plettenberg Bay which has a must-see monkey sanctuary. To help you with your planning, we have even listed the best activities for families with children at each stage of our tour.

If you are still unsure of what type of tour to do in South Africa, you can always read our article: The best routes to visit South Africa

Why take a family tour in South Africa?

South Africa is THE African country to visit. It offers extremely varied landscapes (sea, mountains, metropolises, desert, savannah, etc.), a fascinating history to discover, safaris counting among the best in the world and delicious gastronomy. On the practical side, the country is stable, it is one of the most developed in Africa, malaria is non-existent and if you stay in tourist areas it is safe. So why deny it !? We are sure you will enjoy this personalised tour in South Africa with your family and children.

Take a tour of South Africa: The best route to visit South Africa with your family

Safety on your itinerary to visit South Africa with your family

Insecurity in South Africa is not a myth but tourists are not affected if they do not venture alone in risky areas like townships or if they do not walk in the evening. deserted alleys. By staying on the beaten track and using common sense, you will never be attacked. Especially if you are staying in the Cape Province as is the case on this tour (the Cape region being the safest region in South Africa)! Our feeling is that we often feel more in danger in certain streets of Paris than in this country! However, if you want to leave with peace of mind, we recommend that you take out insurance with World Nomads. They are leaders in travel insurance and offer very good prices for full coverage (in addition to the medical / accident / sports aspect, they also provide many other things such as lost luggage or passports, cancellation of travel, etc.).

Summary of the “visit South Africa with the family” itinerary

NB: This itinerary to visit South Africa with family can be done as a road trip by sleeping in different places at each stage or you can also choose to come back to sleep in Cape Town from Day 1 to Day 4 and thus avoid having to pack your bags for the first four days (this is probably the most simple with children). In view of short distances, both options are feasible. Then, the circuit will take you on the magnificent Garden Route (called garden route in French) to an unforgettable road trip with your children!

(Click in the map below on 'show map' then on the right arrow to view your journey step by step.)

Where to go on an itinerary in South Africa?

As we said, this itinerary to visit South Africa with family is perfect for touring the essential sites of the country without spending a long day in the car with your children. It's the ideal circuit to enjoy your half relaxing vacation in Cape Town and half road trip on the Garden Route. Unlike our guide to visit the essentials of the Cape Peninsula, this article also takes you from Cape Town to the Wilderness, to Knysna, to Plettenberg Bay and it ends in the only national park in Cape Province that hosts the Big 5: Addo Elephant Park. For those who don't want to miss out on a safari in Kruger National Park, then we recommend a tour that also goes through the North of South Africa (I invite you to read our best routes to visit the North and South of South Africa). As for the travelers who wish to make the complete tour of the country including the region of the Cape in the South, the Kruger and Johannesburg in the North, Swaziland and Durban in the East and the Drakensberg on the South African side and Lesotho in the center, then you will take between 3 weeks and 1 month minimum (we have written articles on the best 3 weeks itinerary in South Africa and those of 1 months).

Where and when to go on an itinerary in South Africa? The best route to visit South Africa with family

When to go on an itinerary to visit South Africa with the family?

Concerning the best time to go on a family itinerary in South Africa, summer is from December to March and the tourist season from mid-December to the end of February. So leaving in November or March seems to us a good compromise to have the fewest possible travelers but always the sun. Those are the equivalents of June and September in France. July and August are the least touristy periods but it is winter so bring warm clothes. Even if it is never very cold, the Cape Province is often windy so a waistcoat and a windbreaker are essential.

Our favorites during this itinerary to visit South Africa with family

  • Cape Town is the most beautiful city in South Africa and after having stayed there, it will undoubtedly enter your list of the most beautiful cities in the world. We would gladly stay there longer as there is so much to explore and many activities are suitable for children. (see our article on all the activities not to be missed in Cape Town). What we preferred to do in Cape Town with the children was the Two Oceans Aquarium, the cruise in Cape Bay on a pirate ship and the suspension bridge over the canopy of the Kirstenbosch National Garden (it is essential to to do!).
  • Our favorite excursion during this itinerary to visit South Africa with family will remain the discovery of the Cape Peninsula: Chapman's Peak Drive is one of the 5 most beautiful roads in the world, the Cape of Good Hope with its lighthouse on the cliff is legendary and the colony of penguins of Boulders beach near Simon's Town has put stars in children's eyes!
  • The city that we preferred during our family road trip in South Africa was Plettenberg Bay. You absolutely have to hike to the Robberg National Park peninsula! We also had the chance to admire phosphorescent phytoplankton in the lagoon. It was magic for the children as for us!
Our favorites during this itinerary to visit South Africa with family: view of Table Mountain on Cape Town

What we liked least about this itinerary to visit South Africa with family

This itinerary to visit South Africa with family was perfect. The only thing that can be said is that between Knysna, Wilderness and Plettenberg Bay, Plettenberg Bay wins hands down. This was our favorite stop on the Garden Route. You can remove the Wilderness stop sign without remorse if you want to spend more time elsewhere. We suggest adding a day of your choice:

  • in Cape Town to enjoy all the activities for children and adults that the city has to offer such as the superb Lion's Head hike, swimming with seals, paragliding, Ciftons beaches, etc ... (see our article on the subject)
  • to Hermanus to have a better chance of going to see the whales.
  • to Addo Elephant Park to spend 2 days on a safari in the park and have more chance of seeing all the animals or to have fun in a private reserve in the most beautiful safari lodge in the region. (this is the option we recommend)
The best route to visit South Africa with your family: Clifton Beach in Cape Town

Also, if jumping the world's highest bungee jump (Guinness Record approved) doesn't appeal to you (even children can jump from a certain height) then we recommend that you jump on DAY 9 "The Best stops between Plettenberg Bay and Addo Elephant Parc ”. Your best bet is to leave Plettenberg Bay in the late afternoon of DAY 8 and make the 3 hour drive to Addo Elephant Park to sleep there and start the DAY 10 safari in the reserve early the next day.

The best route to visit South Africa with your family: a group of elephants in Addo Elephant Park

The budget to plan for this itinerary and visit South Africa with your family

By being careful, we can have a wonderful trip in South Africa with his family for a budget of € 875 per adult (international flights excluded) or less than € 88 per day (see details of expenses below). The most expensive is the accommodation but if you book all the hotels that we recommend first in this article, then you will only pay around € 600 for 10 nights in double rooms in B&B, or on average € 60 per night. By sharing the room with your spouse, it brings you back the night to 30 € per person (you can often add a bed for your child in the room, but even if this option is not offered our recommendations are always the best value for money. price of each stage, so we recommend that you choose a family room in these guest houses). We strongly advise you to choose this option because quality guesthouses (tested and approved by us) at € 30 per night on average per adult, it's unbeatable!

NB: Be careful though to book well in advance because during the high season these tips are often full ...

Distribution of expenses for this itinerary to visit South Africa with family

To note :

  • Car and gas rental costs were cut in half as we were two adults. If you have one or two children, then the cheapest and smallest cars will be suitable because the distances are not immense. On the other hand if you are 5 then you will have to consider a more spacious car.
  • We ate every day for lunch and dinner in classic restaurants (nothing gourmet but it was always very good). Alcohol was not taken into account.
  • The 'activities' budget is calculated per adult. It includes entry to national parks, the ferry to Robben Island, the Addo Elephant Park self-drive safari, etc… In short, we did not deprive ourselves. Children's prices are often free so you can count 2 thirds less for them.
  • The 'Housing' budget has been calculated according to all accommodation recommended first in this itinerary to visit South Africa with family. These are always double rooms in hotels or quality B & Bs where we have already booked. If adding a bed in your room for your child does not suit you, all these accommodations offer family rooms. These guest houses always remain the best value for money at every stage. The other accommodations recommended by following the links give you other options at different prices (from hostel to luxury hotel) and they are recommended either by us or by friends who have stayed there. You can easily reduce your budget to 70 € per day and per adult if you decide to book in the youth hostels we recommend by following these links (they all offer family rooms and are really great).
  • This budget does not take into account the return flight to Cape Town to give you an idea of ​​the budget per day to be expected on site. A flight booked in advance in March or November costs around € 550 round trip. To book a ticket at the best price, it is best to find out about the skyscanner comparator. The internal flight Elizabeth Port-Cape Town to book in advance is included in our budget. At that price, visiting South Africa with the family following this itinerary will cost you € 1425 per adult (550 € of flights + 875 € on site)!
  • This budget excludes souvenirs and shopping.
ROUTE BUDGET TO VISIT
FAMILY SOUTH AFRICA
Per person in euros
CAR (10 days shared by 2)€65
ESSENCE€50
MEAL€130
ACTIVITIES€250
HOUSING€300
INTERNAL FLIGHT Port Elizabeth-Cape Town€80
TOTAL€875

Our tips for renting a car during this tour to visit South Africa with your children

  • It is best to have your rental car to do this. itinerary in South Africa with your children and be free to move around (especially with the family). However, you can also make all the excursions offered in this circuit from Cape Town without having to rent a car thanks to the many tour operators that take you on the wine route, to the Cape of Good Hope or even to Hermanus and thanks to the Baz Bus that takes you from youth hostel to youth hostel along the Garden Route. For each stage of the Garden Route, find the youth hostel served by the Baz Bus that we recommend in the link on other accommodation options at the end of the paragraph.
  • The small family road trip on the garden route is a circuit suitable for children which requires rent a car in Cape Town and return it to Port Elizabeth. Most rental agencies offer it with a small supplement except for Budget Car which does it for free.
  • Don't forget to take your international license. It is free on request at the prefecture.
  • Here, we drive on the left like the English do!

Tip: Hire a car in South Africa at the best price with this car rental comparator.

The best route to visit South Africa with family day by day

You will find below the best route to visit South Africa with family day by day with all essential sites to visit and the best child-friendly activities to do absolutely. For each step, you will find links to access all additional information : the hours of travel to plan per day (very important with children!), the best providers for the excursions not to be missed, the advice to know and especially a list of the best hotels, guesthouses and youth hostels at every stage.

DAY 1: Discover the most beautiful neighborhoods of Cape Town in South Africa

Discover Cape Town's most beautiful neighborhoods thanks to the red bus which is very convenient to move between all the points of interest of the city: Bo-Kaap, Camps Bay, Sea Point, Green point and Waterfront. In the evening, enjoy the sunset above Table Mountain take the cable car (the hike is certainly too hard for children) and end the day on the busy street of Kloof Street.

To stay, La Rose Bed & Breakfast is an excellent central B&B.

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For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa with your family: view of Cape Town

DAY 2: The essential Cape Town excursions in South Africa

Besides Table Mountain, you should definitely visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (its hanging bridge at the top of the canopy is great for the whole family) and the prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was locked up. When you return from the ferry, you can go shopping at the craft market in Water Shed. You will sleep again at La Rose Bed & Breakfast.

For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa with your family: the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

DAY 3: On the way to the Cape of Good Hope, at the tip of South Africa

This circuit to visit South Africa with family continues with the Cape Peninsula tour which includes the legendary route from Chapman's Peak, famous Cape of Good Hope and finally the penguin colony from Boulders National Park. The children will love this day which ends on a beach with cute penguins.

You will end the day at Muizenberg where you will spend the night at The Muize.

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If complete, our second crush is Admiralty B&B.

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You can also decide to return to Cape Town in less than 30 min and sleep again at La Rose Bed & Breakfast or in another of the recommended accommodation.

For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa with your family: the Cape of Good Hope

DAY 4: Discover the magnificent South African wine route

Today you can split the day in two between children and parents. In the morning, we advise you to pet and / or observe cheetahs in a sanctuary near the wine route of South Africa. Children will love it. In the afternoon, you can do tastings in the best vineyards of Stellenbosch and de Franschhoek.

In the evening, the ideal is to sleep on site at theEendracht Hotel.

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But if the next day you go to Hermanus early for a whale-watching cruise or a cage dive with white sharks, then we strongly advise you to make the 1 hour journey at the end of the afternoon and sleep on the spot at 6 Stemmet Lodge, which is for us the best value for money in town.

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The best route to visit South Africa with your family: the Cape wine route to Stellenbosch

DAY 5: Spot whales and cage dive with white sharks in Hermanus

Hermanus is THE city to see Whales et cage diving with white sharks. Don't miss it! (You don't need to know how to dive!) With children, we recommend that you go on a whale watching cruise… But they can also stay on the boat while you are in the shark cage!

After an emotional day, you will spend the night on the Garden Route at the inexpensive B&B The Old Trading Post.

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Warning: read our detailed itinerary below to choose a service provider in Hermanus but also to get an idea of ​​the distances because your road trip on the garden route begins now.

For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa with family: diving in a cage with white sharks in Hermanus

DAY 6: Best Wilderness Park Activities on South Africa's Garden Route

Your itinerary to visit South Africa with your family continues with a first stop on the Garden Route at Parc du Wilderness where you can go up the river by kayak to the magnificent waterfall. It is a perfect excursion to do with children. Consider bringing a picnic lunch for the waterfall. At the end of the day, go to Plettenberg Bay via Knysna.

The B&B 113 on Robberg is your best choice for sleeping near the city center.

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The best route to visit South Africa with your family: kayaking in wilderness on the garden route

DAY 7: Visit of Plettenberg Bay and walk in Robberg National Park

Make it the most beautiful hike of the whole garden route at Robberg national park de Plettenberg Bay. At the end of the afternoon, stroll around town until dinner because you sleep again at the B&B of 113 on Robberg.

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The best route to visit South Africa with your family: Plettenberg Bay and stroll through the Robberg national park on the garden route

DAY 8: Enjoy the best activities Plettenberg Bay has to offer

There is so much to do with your children in PlettenbergBay that one more day seems obligatory to us. Today do the activities suitable for children that you prefer: relaxation, beach, kayaking, stroll in the forest, monkey park, birdhouses… In the evening, try to see the phosphorescent plankton in the lagoon before returning to the B&B in 113 on Robberg. Both children and parents will be amazed when the water lights up with each movement.

For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa with your family: Plettenberg Bay and its monkey park

DAY 9: The best stops between Plettenberg Bay and Addo Elephant Park

Your family road trip in South Africa continue with the program the highest bungee jump in the world at the Bloukrans Bridge. Attention to the reckless: children over a certain height are accepted to bungee jumping! Then go see the super tubes of the surf spot of Jeffreys bay and end the day in front of Addo Elephant Park where you will spend the night.

We recommend the B&B Zuurberg Mountain Village which offers a magnificent view of the reserve.

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The best route to visit South Africa with your family: bungee jumping from the Bloukrans Bridge on the garden route

DAY 10: Go on a safari in Addo Elephant Park at the end of the Garden Route

Take a child-friendly safari on the day by auto tour in the reserveAddo Elephant Park at the end of the garden road. If you are lucky you will see the Big 5 but in any case, adults and children alike will leave with memories for a lifetime! When the doors of the reserve close at 18 p.m., turn around to sleep at Port Elizabeth.

We advise you Sir Roys At The Sea to be close to restaurants;

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Or to Treetops Guesthouse to be close to the airport;

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Or at the youth hostel Lungile Backpackers if you have chosen to travel by Baz Bus.

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For more details :

The best route to visit South Africa with your family: safari at Addo Elephant park on the garden route

The next day, you will fly from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town to return to France or elsewhere.

(Book your flight from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town at the best price on Skyscanner comparator)

The best route to visit South Africa with your family: return flight from Port Elizabeth

We hope this itinerary to visit South Africa with family you will like it as much as we liked. He goes around unmissable sites in South Africa with activities always suitable for children and ends in apotheosis in the magnificent Addo Elephant Park reserve!

Find out more about South Africa

If you want to explore other regions, we have also written articles on the best routes to visit only most of the Cape Peninsula, Kruger, Lesotho, or the Swaziland.

In addition, you will find links below that may interest you about South Africa:

Itinéterre is a travel blog written by a team of expatriates and locals. They share their experiences so that you can enjoy the best tours in their countries. Their advice will help you plan your vacation easily as if a local is accompanying you!