In this article we help you discover the lesser-known gems of South Africa. It’s not in Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban. It’s also not in Hermanus, Franschhoek or Plett. These are places that even some South Africans don’t know about, but we think they definitely merit a visit! Naturally all the accommodation we recommend is family friendly for kids of all ages.

De Hoop Nature Reserve

Where is it?

Located 3 hours’ drive from Cape Town in the Overberg Region. About 50km from Witsand and 85km from Agulhas. You have to really want to get here. It is remote.

Why go?

It is a magnificent nature reserve where you can enjoy 34000 hectares of pristine nature. There are endless white beaches where you can whale watch in season. Cycle between bontebok, zebras and eland. Snorkel, hike or simply sit back and watch the stars.

Where should we stay?

We can recommend the De Hoop Collection or if you are looking for an ultra luxurious stay then Morukuru Ocean House will fulfill your every need.

De Hoop
Morukuru Ocean House

Morgan Bay

Where is it?

Morgan Bay is a coastal village in the Eastern Cape, approximately 80km from East London.

Why go?

This is the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape. The beach is magnificent, the people are friendly and the vibe is distinctly down to earth and relaxed.

Where should we stay?

We recommend a stay at the Morgan Bay Hotel, which is perfectly suited for a family seaside vacation. Lots of activities and special menus for kids, as well as a spa, restaurant, pub and it is on the beach.

Morgan Bay Hotel

Dullstroom

Where is it?

A small village situated in Mpumalanga, approximately 50km from Lydenburg and 35km from Belfast.

Why go?

Traditionally, people come to Dullstroom for fly fishing. Bring the kids, cast a line in the water and feel yourself decompress. There are also excellent restaurants, art galleries, shops and spas in town. However, to get the best out of Dullstroom, we recommend a farm stay.

Where should we stay?

We recommend a stay at either Millstream Farms or Eland’s Valley. Both cater extremely well for kids and you can enjoy a range of activities such as fishing, hiking and tennis.

Millstream Farms
Eland’s Valley

Pongola

Where is it?

About 370km north of Durban and 400km south east of Johannesburg and located only 10km from the Swaziland border.

Why go?

Subtropical and wild, with a beautiful lake and river. This is Africa at its best. You can visit the Pongola Game Reserve and see 4 of the big 5, go tiger fishing or experience the thrill of a horseback safari.

Where should we stay?

Shayamoya Tiger Fishing and Game Lodge overlooks lake Jozini. Kids are well catered for and there is a child minder available. If you want to experience an authentic horseback safari, Pakamisa Private Game Reserve is the right place. Kids under 4 stay free and they also have a babysitter available.

Lake Jozini at Shayamoya
Pakamisa Private Game Reserve

We hope our recommendations give you renewed wanderlust to keep exploring this amazing country. Happy travels!