If you are still thinking of an amazing destination that is both affordable and full of fun during the yuletide? Let me offer you a suggestion – South Africa!  The orange country is a best-bet for Christmas and New Year holidays. The weather in December and January is simply wonderful, being the peak of summer. Expect warm and sunny weather that’ll help family bond during outdoor activities. That’s just one reason you’d be glad if you decided to travel with your entire family down to the lovely Mzansi.

This spectacularly beautiful country is also an easy choice for a lot of holidaymakers because of, among many others, its breathtaking scenery that excites a lot of nature and non-nature lovers alike, coupled with the presence of plenty of outdoor activities. In this piece, you’ll find 10 interesting activities for the whole family this yuletide. Should you happen to be in South Africa during this Christmas and New Year holidays, make sure you get yourself and your loved ones busy with any of them, you’ll definitely have loads of fun. Enjoy!


1. Go Hot Air Ballooning in Augrabies


Together with your children you can fly in a hot air balloon and see the longest river in South Africa which is called the Orange River. It will be an unforgettable family adventure for sure. By the way, hot air balloons start 10km from the magnificent Augrabies Falls, which is another remarkable landmark in the Orange River Valley. December and January are the best months for taking a hot air balloon ride because of the calm weather.


2. Visit the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve


The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is the oldest nature reserve in Africa. There, your children will see the Big Five – buffalo, elephants, lions, leopards, and rhinoceros. You can have either a self-guided drive (the reserve has a 300-kilometre road network) or a guided walk. It is also possible to have a boat trip along the Hluhluwe dam.


3. Visit the Kruger National Park


The Kruger National Park is one of the largest nature reserves in Africa, and one of the most popular places to visit in South Africa.  What animals will you see here? 500 bird species, 100 reptiles, and about 150 mammals. One day will not be enough for seeing everything in this very unusual safari park, so you and your children will stay for a night either in the tented camp if you are brave enough or in the lodge. You can drive across the Kruger National Park or even fly above it in a hot-air balloon.


4. Go Geckoing along the Sabie River


Have you ever heard of geckoing? It is a kind of rafting which is especially popular with children. You go down the river with beautiful scenery around shooting the rapids and paddling through huge pools of water. The guides will control everything, so you should not worry about the safety of your children. If you want, they will even make a video of you and your children rafting. There is also a possibility of jumping into the water pool from the 8-meter cliff.


5. Visit Blasters Family Entertainment Centre in Mossel Bay


Children will enjoy every second visiting the Blasters Family Entertainment Center. The adults will have a great time too! There is a large indoor play area with many attractions for children.  They will also taste excellent chocolate cake and drinks. While children are playing in the safe environment, their parents can drink coffee in a restaurant. Of course, there are many family activities – you can enjoy karaoke, roller-blading, eating out together, etc. It is definitely a place to visit if you are in Mossel Bay.


6. Visit Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board, Umhlanga

KwaZulu Natal Sharks Board

The Natal Sharks Board protects the swimmers and sunbathers from sharks along the 320 km coastline in KwaZulu-Natal. This organization also researches the dangerous sea animals and offers many interesting educational activities in its headquarters in Umhlanga. Visitors will see the replicas of different fishes and hear many interesting facts about sharks.


7. See Thousands of Flamingo birds in Flamingo Casino


There is a hotel in Kimberley which is called the Flamingo Casino. But it is not actually the casino which attracts thousands of people. Tourists come here to see the popular pink birds. There is a large 400-hectare wetland for the Flamingo birds and hundreds of them nest here. Nearby you will find a leisure centre with entertainment and fun activities for the family. There is also a grill restaurant, a golf course and a hotel.


8. Visit the Johannesburg Planetarium 

Johannesburg Planetarium

If you are in Johannesburg at Christmas time, take along your children to visit the Planetarium. For children (5-8 years old) there is a Space Travel which is the show where children can travel with “Thomas the astronomer in his giant rocket, to the game reserve, then on to the Moon and beyond!”


9. Visit the Gold Reef City Fun Park


A theme park Gold Reef City is located on an old gold mine which was closed in 1971. No wonder that the whole theme park was built around the topic of gold rush that began in 1886. If you are lucky, you will see how real gold is poured into barrels. In the park, children will play many interactive games and take incredible rides. There are also fun rides for adults to partake in.


10. Visit Cape Town, One of World’s Most Beautiful Cities


There are plenty of things to do in beautiful Cape Town. One of the top attractions for the families is a glass-sided revolving cable car which can take you and your loved ones to the top of Table Mountain. There you will eat delicious ice cream and visit the Table Mountain National Park with spectacular views of Cape Town and the ocean.


So, if you are ready for fun,

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance!.


Michael Alvin

Michael Alvin

Creative Writer
Michael Alvin is a lawyer and a UNESCO certified journalist. At Afro Tourism, he blends creativity with his training in telling moving stories about his personal experience on his various trips across Africa.
Michael Alvin
Michael Alvin
Michael Alvin

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