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Guide sur l'Afrique du Sud: Le Cap Camps Bay

South Africa – Kruger and Cape Town : Family Travel

To the point

Continuation of our Mini Round-The-World story, which we did between the end of 2019 and March 2020. South Africa: from Kruger Park to Cape Town.

Kruger Park

A few words about our first week, the Kruger

We saw beautiful landscapes, travelled almost 1,000 km in the Kruger Park and discovered a friendly and smiling South African population.

We have crossed 2,300 kms in 9 days. Distances that were sometimes long for the children, but they eventually got used to it and were more willing to take the road without necessarily looking at a screen.

As far as the Kruger is concerned, we had not planned to do so many entries and exits. Our plans were somewhat changed, among other things, because of the rain, and also because of our curiosity. We should have taken the Wild card in the end. Miscalculation.

My feeling, I am happy to have been in the Kruger Park, even if I was not quite satisfied. Perhaps my expectations were too high. I was expecting more animals in so much space. We were also not very lucky, it must be said, regarding the Big Five and the weather, and travelling with children does not make things easier.

We will repeat this type of trip without hesitation, certainly in another country of “safaris”!

We could have tried the private reserves too, but our desire was to:

  • Limit expenses
  • Aim for national parks
  • To make children discover animals in a natural environment rather than in a “zoo”.

In addition, few of them accept children under 6-8 years old.

Private reserves can be attractive in their own right, as they have a larger number of animals in a smaller area. This makes tracking easier. These reserves acquire their animals at a high price from the various centres, for example, which rehabilitate them. A matter of money in the end. When you only spend a few days on site, it can be interesting to go to these reserves and benefit from the knowledge of the rangers.

Safaris with children as young as ours are not allowed. It is easy to understand why, as the cries of children can quickly frighten and drive away the beasts.

We were really happy to go to the north of the park where we found that there were many more animals.

If we could go back in time, we would have preferred to stay longer in Hazyview where there are more activities and access to the Orpen Gate is closer.

Indeed, of all the roads we drove, in our opinion, the most beautiful is the one between Satara and Orpen. In addition to being a scenic route, you will have the chance to see the Big Five.

We enjoyed the Lower Sabie side of the camp too as we drove up one of the dirt roads to the north, an area famous for the Big Five too. That’s where we were able to attend, around 2 pm, a beautiful hunting scene: a lion attacked a buffalo, followed by hyenas and many vultures that shared the remains.

When you enter the park, you quickly get caught up in the “hunting game” that begins.

We’re looking everywhere, giving our eyes a hard time. Hours and hours of driving to see, sometimes, no animal in 1h-1h30. Sometimes you get rewarded at a turning point.

You can observe peaceful scenes, hunting, confrontations, mating and touching, in the middle of green landscapes, plains, open or dense forests, crossed in some places by rivers. A real pleasure for the eyes to discover all this.

Our advice

  • Calculate carefully the number of days you plan to spend there, plus the other national parks to see if it is worth taking the Wild Card.
  • Drive slowly, 20km/h in places up to 50km/h on roads. You’ll see better if you take it slow.
  • Leave with an itinerary and know how long it will take you to get out of the park.
  • Check out the maps at the camp entrances; don’t try to do all the roads but focus on the places where animals were seen by others.
  • Track where buffalo were seen, they’re an easy prey for the lion; track footprints on dirt roads.
  • Talk to the people you pass by to see what they saw (we were told about the lion this way).
  • Start early, around 5:00 to 6:00 to give you a better chance.
  • Watch out for large areas of water if it is very hot (if it rains, the animals will still be there, as leopards prefer to stand high up so as not to be in the mud).

The least pleasant part is the driver’s, because he can’t look around as much.

Watch your speed, the fines are steep. It is not uncommon for an animal to want to cross without being seen, so respect the limitations as much as possible.

Go to the camps to see their viewpoint or their museum such as the Letaba Elephant Museum. You can eat in their restaurant but don’t expect great food or exceptional service. Some places are also available for picnics: do your shopping before entering the park (SPARs are never far away!).

Accommodation

The Protea Hotel at Kruger Gate

Jean-Maximilien will soon share his photo report: the Protea Hotel in Kruger is perfectly located at 200 meters from the park entrance and the facilities are of high quality.

However, the service was very disappointing, and Jean-Maximilien did not hesitate to report it to the hotel and Marriott Bonvoy, but will get compensation. More details to come in his article.

The Protea Hotel in Nelspruit

Check out the photo report here, but I can already mention that we very much liked the service of this hotel.

Our plane was scheduled for the end of the afternoon, so we took the road again after a very good breakfast at the hotel, stopped at the same time at the Sudwala cellars and returned the car to the airport.

As for Sudwala, the place is impressive and worth a visit. An English guide gives you all the information about the rock formations during a one-hour visit. Evenings of entertainment await you.

Flip-flops are not recommended as they slip on the rocks. Open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, admission was ZAR100 for adults and 55 for children, including admission to the butterfly tour. For the sporty ones, you can do a via-souterrata activity (must book).

Flight Johannesburg - Cape Town with Mango

After a visit to JNB’s excellent Priority Pass lounge, our flight went smoothly, despite a slight delay. We were treated to a magnificent sunset.

Cape Town

3 days in Cape Town

To visit the city, what better way than to use the Citysighseeing buses. Apart from their counter service which we didn’t like, we liked the idea of travelling around the city by bus.

It took us a little while to understand what that included. Again, calculate your visits carefully to see what rate is best for you.

We would have liked the red and blue lines to take different paths rather than returning to the coast. Finally, the lines end the service early in some places. For fear of missing the last bus, we made choices.

I was really surprised by the city of Cape Town, which is fabulous for families: everything is thought of for children, to keep them busy, entertained or even educated which is great!

Different museums or places can be visited such as the Robben Island museum, district six, or the World of birds but we did not have time to go there or it was not suitable for the visit because of the weather. I will not go into detail here.

This week, once again, we were not lucky with the weather. Strong winds, fog and even rain prevented us from visiting the city properly, South Africans have rarely seen a summer like that from what we were told!

Our beautiful discoveries

On these 3 days, we visited the Waterfront Victoria & Alfred.

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semaine – mtm-capt wt clock tower
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We liked the place so much that we came back several times, especially since it was convenient from the hotel.

Train, Ferris wheel, restaurants and cafes, boat rides, aquarium, art gallery and local shops, children’s games everywhere: the kids were asking for more!

semaine – mtm-capt wt maquillage
semaine – mtm-capt water shed
Guide sur l'Afrique du Sud: Semaine Mtm Capt Wheel
semaine – mtm-capt wt petit train

The red line of the bus led us to Table Mountain (where we stayed at the bottom, the cable car line was closed because of the violent winds… like for our 4 days there).

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semaine – mtm-capt table mountain

Then to Camps Bay where the beach is magnificent!

Beware of the waves that can surprise many: Alexandra did not see one coming with her grandmother, she found herself soaked from head to toe. Apparently, this happens every day!

Guide sur l'Afrique du Sud: Le Cap Camps Bay

The kids loved spending time there as there was also a park.

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semaine – mtm-camps bay –

And at Green point there is a nice lighthouse, children’s playground and a very nice city park too.

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semaine – mtm-capt green point lighthouse

Finally we stopped at Hout Bay, a small fishing port, where the scenery is magnificent. Take the opportunity to learn more about the local townships if you go there, Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu.

The Iziko museum in South Africa was very interesting, a nice discovery where children can learn a lot about animals and nature. Very nice collections are shown, I recommend it!

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The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is beautiful, with magnificent trees and grounds, a view of Table Mountain and an avenue of ancient trees to see.

The space is large and uphill (for younger children, the stroller can help). Note that free guided tours are available.

It is possible to attend an open-air Galileo cinema, suitable for children. Unfortunately the weather was too cold and windy, so we preferred to spend our evening differently.

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Our setbacks

Be careful in the city centre. Many refugees and homeless people are squatting in the area, including the Cathedral and the square with a small local market. Two security guards accosted us and told us to take off all the jewelry when we got off our bus. These warnings cooled us, since we had cameras, phones and wallets, we did not stay, especially since Jean-Maximilien was not with us that day: I did not want to test my luck with the children and my mother-in-law and preferred to return.

I went back by myself, alone in the afternoon to get my own idea and did not feel very comfortable. I suggest you take the yellow line to discover the centre and go for example to the Castle of Good Hope or District Six museums if you wish to visit them.

We didn’t like the Sea Point area that much except maybe the Mojo Market. Certainly nice views of the coast, but we preferred Camps Bay.

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Finally, the Zeitz Museum, a museum of contemporary art, was not a success for us, even though it is internationally acclaimed. The children enjoyed playing or drawing in their dedidacted space in the basement, but the spirit of the exhibitions and the atmosphere given by the music meant that we did not really appreciate the exhibitions, which were too offbeat and mystical for us. Arthur got scared and didn’t want to continue afterwards. Still, the place is impressive.

Guided tours in the townships are offered, but being with children, we preferred to avoid these difficult places. The history of segregation of people of colour is very present. The marks left by Apartheid rules are easily discernible in the country.

Cape Point

On our last day of the week, we headed back to Cape Point, the most southwestern point of Africa.

On the way, the sight on Hout Bay is splendid (everyone stops inevitably if not several times), even when one sees it only in the distance, but we were subjugated by Chapman’s Peak Drive: the road is built directly from the rock which is impressive in itself!

Arriving at Cape Point, we saw a crashing ocean and breathtaking coastal views.

A wild landscape, with vegetation beaten by the strong winds of the coast gave the impression that we were at the end of the world. We reached the Cape of Good Hope by car, easier with the children and kept a beautiful memory of this moment.

A wild landscape, with vegetation beaten by the strong winds of the coast gave the impression that we were at the end of the world. We reached the Cape of Good Hope by car, easier with the children and kept a beautiful memory of this moment.

Accommodation

AC Hotel by Marriott Cape Town Waterfront

We booked 4 nights at this hotel, Jean-Maximilien will make a photo report there too. In a few words, we really liked this hotel.

The location was ideal, the shuttle service very convenient, the rooms beautiful and modern, the restaurant for the evening perfect with its tapas (I suggest you try the corn ribs, a nice discovery for us!).

Our stay ended superbly well. During our last evening, there were 2 guitarists in the lounge of the hotel. All in all, a perfect stay for us.

Our rental on booking.com for the next 3 days

Our host, Margie, welcomed us in her beautiful house on the beach. Everything is decorated with care, you feel like you are on holiday.

Airbnb
Airbnb
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The villa is ideally located and again everything in the area aims to please the children. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay, just a few minutes walk from one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen in my life.

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It is not the ideal beach for swimming, but it is impressive for its length and width. Once again, it’s quite windy, but the sand is so fine, clear that one can only be amazed by the place.

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semaine – mtm-maison plage-

Make a stop at this beach if you are going to Cape Point!

Our finds for eating out in Cape Point

The Silo Bar, towards the V&A

Taking advantage of an evening of babysitting by my mother-in-law, we discovered the bar of Le Silo hotel, the most luxurious hotel in Cape Town.

The atmosphere is cozy, the decor beautiful and the food good. We recommend it!

Bar Du Silo Cap Town

Foodbarn restaurant, Noordhoek

We discovered the Foodbarn. Simple, chic, delicious, and affordable: a real pleasure, especially since a children’s park was right next door so we could enjoy our evening even more.

Foodbarn
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We were finally rewarded by a beautiful bright day on this 15th day of travel, the opportunity for us to enjoy what the place has to offer and rest a little from the visits, while the children have fun with their feet in the sand.

Plage Airbnb

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