Flying-Dutchman

Often rainy and a bit cold, July in Cape Town can be a frustrating time for parents and children alike. The V&A Waterfront offers plenty of activities, regardless of the weather, but if you want to venture further afield we suggest waiting for one of those gorgeous blue-skied, wind-free winter’s days. Head out straight after a hearty hotel breakfast, finished off with hot chocolate, a cappuccino or a pot of tea.

The whole family will enjoy the exercise, fun and challenge of swinging from tree to tree, Tarzan style, at Acrobranch, located at Constantia Nek in a forest of tall trees. To reach Constantia Nek, you can either take the coastal route from Camps Bay into Hout Bay and head towards Constantia Nek or take the route above Bishopscourt, past Kirstenbosch.

There are three well-planned courses, suitable for different age groups and skill levels. Each course consists of a series of zip lines, swing bridges and other climbing apparatus designed to get you from A to B. The easiest route, the yellow course, is for children ages three and up while the intermediate route, or green course, is for children seven years and older.

When you purchase a ticket for the more challenging blue course, it includes the other two courses – it’s ideal for brave tweens, agile teens and adults. The cost is R80 for children ages three to six, R110 for children ages seven to 12, and R140 for teens and adults. Tel: 021 851 1765.

Cape Point Nature Reserve, at the very tip of the Cape Peninsula (60km southwest of Cape Town) is part of the Table Mountain National Park – a declared Natural World Heritage Site. The indigenous fynbos, always so beautiful in winter, comprises the smallest but richest of the world’s six floral kingdoms.  With breath-taking ocean and mountain scenery, there is plenty to see and do in the reserve.

Ride the Flying Dutchman funicular up to the viewing point, below the old lighthouse; photograph over 1000 indigenous plant species that grow nowhere else in the world; scan the ocean for whales moving past Cape Point on their annual migration; do a game drive, and spot Cape mountain zebra, Eland and lots more. Walk the shipwreck trail to view a few of the 26 recorded shipwrecks around Cape Point – it was not known as the Cape of Storms for nothing.

The reserve is running a special during the school holidays that will appeal to families. For every adult return ticket purchased, a child gets a complimentary ride on the Flying Dutchman. The Two Oceans Restaurant is offering a free kid’s meal for each adult meal purchased. Access to the national park costs R105pp (only R50pp for kids aged 2 to 11 years). A return adult ticket on the Flying Dutchman funicular costs R52pp.

Blog Post by Jane Broughton

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