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Top 4 Family-friendly Reserves for Your Winter Holiday

27 Apr 2022

Watch nature come alive this winter by saving 40% on select self-catering cottages and campsites if you make a booking between 1 May - 31 August 2022.

Pack your bags, put the kids in the car, and head towards one of CapeNature’s spectacular reserves for your next family holiday to enjoy a wild array of child-friendly activities such as hiking and walking, bird watching, mountain biking, rock climbing, and swimming if you’re brave enough. After a day of smiles and maybe some mud, warm up next to a fireplace and get cosy for the evening at one of our self-catering cottages.

Whether you’re close to the breathtakingly lush Winelands, or near the rumbling shores of the West Coast, CapeNature has the perfect collection of family-friendly reserves to liven up your winter family holiday (in 2022).

Top 4 Family-friendly Reserves for your Winter Holiday:

If you’re worried about the kids getting the sniffles, or you’re just not up for traditional camping, we recommend glamping in comfort and style at Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve near Swellendam where the magical indigenous forest becomes ever more enchanting under the illuminating winter sky. To make things easier, glamping sites are situated only a few metres from the forest. Whilst immersing yourself in this mystical part of the Overberg, take full advantage of the multitude of winter activities the reserve has to offer. Take your children bird watching and make it a fun learning experience with the chance of encountering up to 196 different bird species. If you decide to go hiking you might see some bushbuck, baboons, emperor butterflies, and possibly catch a glimpse of the aloof ghost frog subspecies. For bigger kids and adventure seekers, the reserve has a 6km mountain bike trail which is perfect for some wet and muddy fun this time of year. After a full day of exploring, you can wash the mud off under your exclusive glamping shower installed with hot water.

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve Galmping Site

Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve and its surrounding towns are one of the most ideal spots for family holidays, jam-packed with easy-going and fun activities for children like putt-putting, tennis, mountain biking, hikes, and bird watching. Located in the heart of the Winelands, Vrolijkheid boasts some of the Western Cape’s rarer indigenous flora species such as guarri, karee and melkbos shrubs, mountain renosterveld, sweet-thorn trees, and a host of mesmerising protea species. To top it off, the reserve also houses around 175 different bird species making its bird hides a must-see spectacle for nature-loving families. With so much to see and do, you will want to consider spending a few nights over at one of the reserve’s authentically named and thatched roof accommodations.

Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve Hiking Trail

If you reside near the Cape Karoo, then Gamkaberg Nature Reserve is the perfect place to enrich your family’s knowledge of South African natural and cultural history whilst relishing in some of the Cape’s most picturesque landscapes and calming yet exciting outdoor winter activities. Gamkaberg derived its name from the Khoisan “gami”, meaning lion, as the reserve was once the hunting grounds of the now extinct Cape Lion. Although it was too late for the lion, the reserve’s conservation efforts have played a critical role in rehabilitating numbers of the endangered Cape Mountain Zebra from just 5 in 1974 to almost 50 today. If walking around and learning history is too boring for the children, head the family towards Tierkloof for some exhilarating trad rock climbing or explore the reserve’s 4x4 trails where you might spot some zebra, various species of buck, and a variety of other wildlife. End the afternoon off on a more relaxed note at the picnic area or do some passive birdwatching. When it’s time to call it a day, Gamkaberg offers a wide range of luxurious and comfortable accommodations as well as a campsite. If Mom and Dad would like a time-out, the Xami luxury glamping unit offers a romantic treat to repair the soul.

Gamkaberg Nature Reserve Campsite

As a reserve truly reliant on winter months to sustain life, Rocherpan is also arguably the ultimate bird-loving destination as of its vast and open bird pan. Positioned in and amongst land, vlei, and sea, this local gem is located directly on the West Coast. Bird lovers can encounter up to 183 different species, of which 70 are water birds, including some of the rarest birds in the world such as the African black oystercatcher. The reserve also has 8 first-class cabins with all the necessary amenities. To top it off, each cabin has a deck overlooking the bird pan from a distance.

For more information on the list of participating reserves click here 

Rocherpan Nature Reserve Cabin