The best family resorts to consider this summer

Water parks and fun in the sun with the family are what the summer holidays are all about. Picture: Unsplash

Water parks and fun in the sun with the family are what the summer holidays are all about. Picture: Unsplash

Published Oct 4, 2023


School is out and it’s time to explore and create memories with the kids. Though this holiday may be brief, the summer holidays are still to come and provide ample time for the family to travel together.

This summer, let’s ditch international locations and take the kids closer to home. Mzansi has plenty of fun family destinations to explore right on our doorstep and the beauty is that we don’t have to worry about the costs associated with converting the rand to a stronger currency.

When it comes to choosing the perfect family destination, resorts are the way to go. The advantage about holidaying at a resort is having access to sports and leisure facilities in a natural environment.

Resorts also provide a one-stop shop in terms of entertainment for the whole family. Mom can go for a relaxing spa date, dad can enjoy a round of golf while the kids play in the sun under supervision.

If you’re looking for family fun this holiday, these are some of the best-rated holiday destinations:

Sun City, North West

An aerial view of Sun City Resort. Picture: Instagram

Since its inception, Sun City has grown to become one of the most-loved holiday destination in South Africa.

Sun City has popular attractions, among them the Valley of Waves, The Maze of the Lost City, Break Out, Jump Park and Forest of Lights, to keep the whole family entertained.

The popular destination sprawls across the border of the Pilanesberg National Park, making it the only surf-and-safari destination within a 2-hour drive of landlocked Johannesburg.

You can also embark on a historical and cultural tour to learn about the Bakgatla Tribe at Mphebatho Museum in Moruleng or take a Leeto-Kgolo bicycle tour through Tshilong.

Consider a stay at Sun City Hotel from R6 264 a night for the luxury family room.

Avalon Springs, Western Cape

Day visitors can also enjoy exclusive braai areas and a host of activities to keep the kids busy all da at Avalon Springs. Picture: Instagram

For a quick sho’t left out of Cape Town, consider taking the family for some outdoor fun at Avalon Springs in Montagu. A mere 2 hours' drive from Cape Town, guests can find themselves frolicking in this watery wonderland while enjoying all the benefits of a resort-style holiday.

The service is efficient, the atmosphere effortless and the accommodation plentiful, ranging from hotel rooms and chalets to self-catering flats and wheelchair-friendly garden suites.

The resort also has naturally warm water springs, “Boomslang” supertube slides and entertainment such as children’s and toddlers pool, a play park and jungle gyms. Various braai locations and picnic sites can be found in and around the pool complex.

Consider a stay a Luxury Mountain Chalet at the resort from R2 760 a night.

Buhala Lodge, Mpumalanga

Experience animal encounters from the luxury of your room at Buhala Lodge. Picture: Instagram

Buhala is a five-star lodge perfectly positioned on the southern banks of the Crocodile River, overlooking the Kruger National Park.

The enchanting family-run lodge is the perfect location to escape your busy everyday life and enjoy all the African bush has to offer.

Guests can sit back and spot the Big Five from the comfort of their luxury room, play a round of golf at the exclusive Leopard Creek Country Club, enjoy a safari in the Kruger National Park with their own private guide or take a dip in the pool after a massage at our bush spa.

The family can also arrange a day trip to the Panorama Route, Elephant Whispers and the Skyway Trails.

Meals are served either al fresco at the lodge’s veranda, in its gracious dining room or under the stars. A stay starts from R6 160 a room sharing, including breakfast.

Pumula Beach Hotel, KwaZulu-Natal

Staying at Pumula Beach Hotel is relaxing and peaceful. Guests can sit on the verandah and watched the whales spouting in the bay. Picture: Instagram

The Pumula Beach Hotel, in Umzumbe on the KZN South Coast, offers the perfect family getaway, with plenty of facilities and activities right at the sea.

The family can explore ever-ending golden beaches, protected bathing, rock pools, surfing, excellent fishing opportunities and dolphin or whale watching at the Blue Flag status beach.

The hotel is also the perfect place for a home base if you’re looking to explore the south coast and do horseback and pony riding at Selsdon Park, surfing at the Pumula Surf School, splashing out at Wild Waves Water Park at Wild Coast Sun or visiting Crocworld Conservation Centre.

A stay at Pumula Beach Lodge starts from R1 820 a person a night, including all meals.

Champagne Sports Resort, KwaZulu-Natal

A resort for the whole family. Champagne Sports Resort has a wide range of activities to keep everyone entertained. Picture: Instagram

For a summer holiday in the mountains, Champagne Sports Resort is the perfect destination. Its the ideal base to explore activities and offerings in the Drakensberg Mountains.

When it comes to entertaining the kids, there is Little Explorers, Game On (the teen and adult games room) and coffee shop with adjoining lounge. Little Explorers has a dining room for the younger children wanting to eat earlier.

There is also a wellness centre that features an upmarket spa with a gym and a clubhouse overlooking a hidden golfing treasure.

The resort has 152 hotel bedrooms made up of twin rooms, family rooms and various suites, all with well-appointed bedrooms and either mountain views or garden views. Ninety-one chalets on the estate are used for hotel accommodation.

A stay at the resort starts from R2 790 for a two-bedroom chalet a night.

Garonga Safari Camp, Limpopo

Roam free with Garonga's extraordinary glamping experience and get ready to encounter untamed nature on your doorstep. Picture: Instagram

Garonga, on the Greater Makalali Private Nature Reserve, just North of Hoedspruit in Limpopo, South Africa, is another family-friendly holiday destination.

The reserve boasts the Big Five and is home to cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles and an abundance of birdlife.

Garonga is committed to sustainability, with one of its main contributions being that it runs all its camps on solar power as a primary energy source.

Each of the three camps offer a unique atmosphere while maintaining a luxurious safari experience, aligned with its ethos of “Safari for the Soul”.

Little Garonga is the ideal safari venue to take your family on safari in the greater Kruger National park area. It consists of the Hambleden suite which has an en suite double bed overlooking a pool and the bushveld.

The kids’ room has two single beds and its own bathroom. Both bedrooms feed into a lounge area.

With full exclusivity at little Garonga, your family can enjoy their own safari lodge while being part of all the facilities of the main camp. This includes their own private safari vehicle and guide/tracker team.

A stay at the lodge starts from R14 100 a night.