20 Nov Travel to South Africa with kids
We have been dreaming to travel to South Africa with kids for a long time! But we never found the right moment. When we lived in the USA, we wanted to discover all the beautiful and adventurous highlights North America has to offer. And when we moved back to Amsterdam in December 2017, I immediately got pregnant with Boudewijn. Once Boudewijn had a good age to go, I got pregnant with Mees. So… again, not a great time to go. At least, that’s wat I thought. But my husband had other plans! He suggested to go with our 3 year old & our 3 months old sons to Cape Town. First I thought he was joking, but when he showed me the itinerary, I realised that our dream would become reality!
So, on 21 October 2021 we got into a plane to Cape Town with the following game plan: Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Hermanus, Swellendam, Plettenberg/Knysna, Franschhoek and Cape Town again. I would love to share my tips so you can have a similar wonderful experience when you visit South Africa!
Click here for my tips and the article to Travel to Cape Town with Kids.
Stellenbosch and Franschhoek
We were lucky to visit wine country twice during our road trip in South Africa! When we first visited Stellenbosch, we stayed at Boschendal in the wonderful, secluded and relaxing Trout Cottage. With an emphasis on stylish simplicity, this cottage was ideal for authentic farm living with a contemporary feel. With three bedrooms, a kitchen, dining area and cosy living room, the cottage is an ideal hideout for small groups and families. There was a big lake in front of this cottage and we could use the swimming pool on side. Also, Boschendal is very central so you can go on trips. Click here to watch my Reels on Instagram. We also stayed at Farmstead, which is a very peaceful and quiet farm stay luxury amongst the mountain views to explore the wine country.
On our way to breakfast in The Werf Restaurant, Boschendal
Twinning in Trout Cottage
Lunch at Delaire Graff – make sure to make reservations in advance
5 am morning view from our Farmstead cottage
Lunch at Chef’s Warehouse at Maison
Our expectations for this ‘Whale watching town’ were low, but we were very positively surprised! We rented a brand new, very spacious apartment (Marine square luxury apartments) from where we could walk to multiple coffee hotspots (black medicine was our favorite), bakeries, supermarkets and Marine Drive! Here was a playground on the cliff, offering amazing views over the ocean! Here you could also start a super cool hike over the cliffs with breathtaking views! We had lunch at Lizette’s Kitchen, which is a nicely decorated restaurant with delicious pizzas and they have a playground! Then we went to Ficks Pool Restaurant which had a beautiful terrace in between the cliffs and good wines, but don’t order the calamaris! On Saturdays, there is a really nice farmers market and you can visit different vineyards from here, like Creation wines.
I would not recommend you to stay here as there are more vibrant places in South Africa. But if you travel to the Knysna area, it’s cute little town that offers historic buildings and nice food! Our favorite place in town was Grace & Merci! A nice place to have lunch and coffee in a gorgeous garden, again with playground! Also, Republic is a nice restaurant to go if you like gin! Their kids plates have the greatest names like ‘I’m not hungry’ (pizza margarita) or ‘I don’t like that’ (hamburger). The Drostry restaurant was also nice to local food in one of the oldest houses in Swellendam. We visited bontebok National Park, which was fun to spot zebras, bonteboks and red herots.
Plettenberg & Knysna
Even though it is a bit of a drive from Cape Town, visiting these towns are totally worth it! The area is simply beautiful with stunning woods and beautiful beaches and rough cliffs. Don’t miss lunch at the East Head Café in Knysna! Everybody recommended this place and not without reason. You sit on a beautiful terrace, with a small playground for kids and delicious food! We had the fried calamaris and the Jambolami, Yum!
Hike Robberg! You cannot take a stroller, so take your carrier and put on hiking shoes. It’s absolutely breathtaking! We were told we could see white sharks when there was a south west or east breeze. Unfortunately we missed them, but it was still an amazing experience! Before or after, you can go to Le Fournil in Plettenberg for coffee and croissants! Here, kids are more than welcome. As it cools down at night, and forgot to bring warm sweatpants, we stopped at Salt, a local Surfer brand where I bought a really nice set! Visit Old Nick’s Village for coffee, breakfast or lunch while the kids play at the play ground. But what you really can’t miss is having lunch at Enrico Italian restuarant! Order the Oceana Pizza and enjoy a glass (or bottle) of wine next to the cliffs and the most beautiful sea! The view will take your breath away! After lunch you can follow the wooden path towards a beautiful beach! Play in the water or walk to Arch Rock! It’s truly stunning!
Make sure to have dinner at Simon’s Bar or Emily Moon! Such a romantic setting. They are very friendly to kids but be aware of the pool! On Saturday I would recommend the Harkerville Farmer’s Market and a stop at the kids-friendly Farm cafe. Also, Ice dream land is also a great stop for lunch if you have kids! They have a big playground, pizza and icecream!
Stay at the Trinity farm in the ‘Ocean View Cottage’. This house offers the most stunning views, a pool, a porch, bbq and everything else you can wish for! It’s right in between Knysna and Plettenberg, so very central!
When a baby wakes you up at 4am, it’s better to start the day early in sunny South Africa with a beautiful sunrise, than in rainy Haarlem (the Netherlands).
– As always, thank you for reading! XoXo Susanne! –