Planning trip to South Africa

I’m planning a trip to South Africa for me, my wife and my 3.5 yr old son. Found some great deals on bclass flights, now just need some help on where to stay.

We’re planning on seeing:

  • Sun City
  • Cape Town
  • Kruger (or thereabouts)
  • Blue train or Kovos

Have found some amazing places to stay in Cape Town (Cape Grace, Westin) and obviously the trains are all top notch. But I need some help on the safari part.

We want to stay some place where the boy can go on the game rides with us but we prefer the higher-end lodges. Some seem to outright forbid small kids, while others let you take them if you book the entire Land Rover/Jeep.

If anyone has any experience with little kids in the parks staying at nice lodges please post your thoughts here.


Awesome. Sounds like a blast!

Welcome (in advance) to your ancestral home!! :slight_smile:

I’m ashamed to say that I have never visited the Kruger park area, so can’t really advise you at all, but I just wanted to say “howdy”.

Howdy! :slight_smile:

So am I on the right track wrt Cape Town accommodations? And have you ever done the Blue train or Rovos?

I assume you have a decent amount of cash? The Cape Grace & Westin are both pretty high end.

As for trains - there is one train that is of similar standard: the Blue Train. I have not taken it as a mere South African I cannot afford it. The other trains are fun but comparatively primitive, even 1st class is not really luxurious.

I would never visit Sun City voluntarily - kitsch casinos are not my scene, but my colleague grew up there and likes it. Again - pretty expensive.

How old are your kids? Most game reserves I have been to will take kids from age 3 or so up, alongside the other tourists.

As **scudsucker **says, the Cape Grace and Westin Grand are the top end of the market, and if that is your price range for accomodation you’ll have a very nice trip indeed :slight_smile:

Other hotels in that sort of class include the One and Only (new Sol Kursner ultra-luxury) and the Mount Nelson (the mother of all hotels, still has guards in pith helmets at the gates). I’d also agree with scud about Sun City - it tries a bit hard to be “Las Vegas of the South” and can come across very kitsch, but I imagine it would be fun to stay there for a few days.

Blue Train and Rovos are well out of my price range, but I’ve never heard anything but praise for them. I do wonder how much your kid will enjoy the trip, confined to the train for so long - I did the trans-karoo (cattle class) with my family when I was 11 and was bored to tears after the first morning?

If you need any advice on what to do while in Cape Town, fire away…

Thanks very much for the comments.

When I travel I tend to stay in higher end places. To me, it’s part of the fun - staying in luxury hotels and getting pampered. I’ve been a poor student and done the backpacking thing. I’m well over it. :wink:

My son is 3.5 yrs old and obsessed with trains, so I’m hoping that the Rovos will work for him. I think we’ve settled on doing the Pretoria - Cape Town trip, so it’s only two nights.

I’m a bit worried about Sun City - we’re looking at a few nights there, and really it’s just so the boy can play in the water and we can relax after the safaris. But maybe I should limit it to just two nights…?

My biggest concern is finding one or two really nice lodges in Kruger. Struggling a bit to find that perfect combination of luxury and kid-friendly.

For Cape Town, we’re planning on doing Table mountain but that’s about all we’ve got planned for now (except shopping for the missus in V&A of course!). Any suggestions, especially ones that are fun for kids, would be much appreciated.


Going to give this a little bump to see if any more locals or travellers have any further advice on my upcoming trip.