You can start your South African beach adventure in the coastal town of Durban. In Ushaka—the local beach—you will find many kid-friendly activities that will keep the entire family entertained.
You will see many, many fascinating creatures
After making a stop at the shipwreck-themed aquarium, let the kids expend some built up energy and have a dip in the Wet and Wild Water-park. Float lazily through the canals on a tube, as a family, or watch from the side as your kids shriek with delight while plunging down daring slides into the water below.
Creepy-crawly enthusiasts should visit Ushaka’s “Dangerous Creatures” with its collection of snakes (poisonous, of course) scorpions, frogs, monitor lizards and other scaly residents. If you can possibly get away with it, encourage your spouse or travel-partner to take the kids in while you sip lattes at a cafe. There is a line all mothers need to draw at some stage or other—and for many of us this is it. You will still hear all about the hairy, ugly monsters they saw inside—and probably have a photo or two inflicted upon you as proof.
If you are ready for lunch, the Cargo Hold is built on a graveyard ship with a massive central shark tank. Get a table as close to the tank as possible so the children can watch the hypnotic swirl of the sharks as they cut through the water; kids will remain transfixed at these creatures move so close to them.
The Shark Nursery is just outside Ushaka, and it is home to seven juvenile hammerhead sharks, which are being raised prior to their ocean release. A gondola ride gets you a good look at these baby predators, and if you feed them fish and agitate the water with your hands, they come even closer. If this isn’t enough of an adrenaline rush for your adventurous little people, there is always the Ushaka shark-cage diving option.
Check out the Golden Mile
Explore further along the promenade by climbing aboard one of the rickshaws on the beachfront. These rickety, open two-wheel carriages are pulled by energetic young men who make the trip an event the kids won’t forget. The rickshaw-pullers propel themselves upwards in joyous leaps which pitch the carriage in a rolling backwards movement—to the excited cheers and encouragement from the children. When traveling along the Golden Mile in this 19th century iconic mode of transport, you can appreciate the tangy fresh air, sounds of the bustling city and the warm caress of the sun.
A short trip from Ushaka along the promenade, is an open-air skate park and bike-hire shop. Kids can hire boards to show off their moves or ride a bike along this flat stretch. The more pedestrians around to “dodge” the more fun to be had on a bike of course! Sit at the Circus Circus Café and watch the antics, or even stretch out on the sand and doze on the beach. When the children are ready they can cool off in the water.
Kid-Friendly Activities In South Africa
There’s about a zillion places that you could visit on the vast continent of Africa, but the kid-friendly activities in this beach town are beyond compare. Head on over for a family beach vacation unlike any other beach vacation in the world.
Michele Wright is a freelance travel writer and a native of South Africa. With family spread across the globe and a deep appreciation for new sights and sounds, travel is in her blood. Michele is mother to two “angelic” boys and blames her hubby for their mischievous genes. You can follow her on Twitter @michcarawright