School holidays: Plan your outdoor family adventure in SA's parks

2017-12-15 12:35 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town - South Africans are blessed with rich natural landscapes across the country that bring a myriad of activities.

From extreme outdoor adventures and unique hiking trails, to safari rides and the opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat, it's no wonder that SA's national parks are a popular destination during the holidays for local and international tourists.

SEE: SANParks makes access cheaper for locals

This summer, South African National Parks (SANparks) does not only offer experiences for adults, but also has dedicated school holiday programmes at selected parks, that's set to delight the little ones.

Here are the parks with a line-up of special activities to keep kids entertained.

Letaba Rest Camp

Letaba Rest Camp will be offering young guests a number of exciting activities including kids drives, Kruger challenge, night walks, craft activities, orienteering (treasure hunt in camp), puzzles and games (for in vehicles), and film shows (will be shown on public holidays but not Sundays).

“While they are focused on the children, adults are welcome to join all activities with the exception of the kids drive,” says Letaba.

The programme will run from 11 December 2017 to 12 January 2018.

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Skukuza is the Kruger National Park's largest rest camp and administrative headquarters.

From 18-20 December, there are Honorary Ranger activities for kids to delight in. Times and venues to part-take are the living quarters at 9:30, staff village at 9:30 and butchery at 9:15.

Only kids between the ages 6- 17 years are allowed to participate in the parks activities. For more information call the Skukuza center on 013 735 4194 /59.

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Satara Rest Camp

Satara Rest Camp’s holiday programme for kids takes place until 22 December 2017.

Here’s the line-up from 18-22 December, starting from 09:00 (meet outside the Eco-Information).

  • Monday: Environmental games and drawing competition
  • Tuesday: Rare and invasive species
  • Wednesday: Leaf hunt for the kids
  • Thursday: Some practical bush survival skills
  • Friday: Free game drive. All game drives will depart from the parking area.

Only kids between the age of 6 and 16 are allowed to participate. Programmes are attended at own risk and interpretation officers will be present at the programmes. For more information call 013 735-5385.

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Mountain Zebra National Park

Mountain Zebra National Park’s school holiday programme takes place until 18 December.

"The free programme is open to all children between the ages of 6 and 16, as well as adults who may want to join in on the fun and games," says Sanparks, adding that the planned game drives, offered at a reduced rate, are only for the youngsters.

Here's the line-up:

  • Saturday, 16 December (12:00 - 13:00): Know your birds.
  • Sunday, 17 December (10:00 - 12:00): Watching nature DVD’s and playing ecological games. 
  • Monday, 18 December (09:00 - 11:30): A guided walk on the 2.5km Black Eagle hiking trail (inside the fenced area).

Activities may be cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Conservation fees are payable upon entry for all visitors, including holiday programme participants. For bookings call 048 801 5700/1.

SEE: SANParks: Annual tariff increases at some of SA's national parks

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