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South African Family Holiday Adventure: A Tale of Ivar, Joan, and Lise

We follow Ivar, Joan and 3-year-old Lise on their South African family holiday adventure. Our amazing family holiday in South Africa is nearing its end. We are heading to our penultimate destination: Stellenbosch.

Unexpected Challenges on the Road to Stellenbosch

Unfortunately, our drive to Stellenbosch doesn’t go as planned. We experience some trouble with our rental car and decide to make a short stop at the Chevrolet maintenance shop. After a quick check-up, we are luckily ready to take off again. The wind is picking up rapidly, it’s hard to see the road because of the sand, blown up into the air. In the end, the wind is blowing so hard, we even see trucks blown to one side of the road, scary stuff… As if this isn’t enough, it starts raining as well. We, Dutch people, are used to lots of rain. The South Africans apparently not, no one turns on their lights. What they do is drive really slow, with a very bad view, this isn’t the best solution. When we arrive at Stellenbosch, the view is terrible.

Arriving at Our Stellenbosch Hotel

And the story continues… when we arrive at our hotel we learn they have a power outage, nice! Luckily for us, the receptionist has some good news for us: we receive an upgrade to a junior suite. The suite is amazing, we have a king-size bed and Lise has her own pool view bedroom and we even have our own garden! Because of the rain and the power outage, it feels a little chilly. Perfect reason to light up the fireplace. The hotel owners are a Dutch family with young kids. In the lobby next to the fireplace, Lise finds a huge box of Lego. While Lise plays, we enjoy a wonderful glass of wine. After playing with the same toys for 3 weeks, Lise is utterly happy with the big box of Lego. In the evening we enjoy a wonderful dinner at the hotel. As we love the fireplace and Lise loves the Lego, we eat at the fireplace while Lise keeps building Lego castles. Life can be so simple :).

Changing Our Travel Plan

The next day we decide to change our travel plan a little. As we loved our time in Cape Town, we would like to have some extra time in this amazing city before we fly back again. We book ourselves a hotel at Houtbaai, close to the hotel where we started our amazing family holiday almost 3 weeks ago.

Visiting Wine Estates

We decide to visit two wine estates in the afternoon: The first one, feels quite commercial, lots of people, big groups for the wine tasting and they even have some lions (which Lise loves of course). The 2nd one is called Mulderbosch (similar to Ivar his last name “Mulder”), so our expectations are high. The weather is sunny, Lise explores the playground, Ivar tastes some wines and me? I am walking from the playground (Lise) to the bar (Ivar).. ah well if everybody is happy, I am happy ;).

Returning to Cape Town

After a good night’s sleep, it’s time to drive back to Cape Town. We drive via Bloubergstrand, where we enjoy a wonderful view of the city and Table Mountain. Our journey ends in Cape Town, we are blown away by this amazing country, we love you South Africa and we will definitely see you again!

Tips & Tricks for a Family Holiday in South Africa

  • Most children’s menus are meat/fish and fries. We ordered some veggies on the side, to make sure Lise enjoys a healthy meal as well.
  • We enjoyed restaurant ‘Dunes’ in Houtbaai very much, they have lovely food and there was plenty of room for Lise to enjoy herself.
  • To make sure Lise enjoyed the holiday as well, we divided the day in two: one half “adult” activities and the other half “Lise” activities (playground, swimming and so on).
  • We tried to book accommodations with a kitchen. This way we could give Lise (and ourselves) a nice home-cooked meal.
  • As we were driving a lot, we bought a portable DVD player. This way Lise could watch movies while we were driving.

Do you love travelling with your kids? Check out our inspiring blogs about travelling in Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and our Top 5 holiday destinations with kids

Exploring South Africa

Wine tasting at Mulderbosch

View Stellenbosch hotel

Table Mountain

View from Bloubergstrand


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