Ah, the sweet scent of sunscreen and the feeling of adventure can only mean one thing: summer vibes are finally loading! Even the sky has rocked our nation with intense storms, sending us a thundering signal that summer is here. As we count the days (and even the hours) to the festive season, South Africans are all-too ready to pack up their laptops, get the family packed, and head off on a summer Sho’t Left to remember.

We’ve compiled a listicle bursting with exciting activities, family-friendly events, and top-notch self-catering spots, ensuring your summer is packed with unforgettable moments. So, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride of fun in the South African sun!

But what are you planning? If you need some more ideas, take inspiration from the following:

Picnic Perfection: A Family Feast Under the African Sky

Bring out the picnic blankets and load them up with your favourites snacks like boerewors rolls, biltong, and fresh fruit. Then head to one of Mzansi’s countless breathtaking parks or botanical gardens for a laid-back day under the African sky. Make it a family affair by involving everyone in the food prep – the kids can handle the snacks, and the parents can tackle the main course. It’s the perfect recipe for a memorable family day out and a sunny summer vibe.

Splash into Summer: Water Extravaganza

Swimming in the pool is one thing, but going to a water park is a wet and wild adventure like no other. Luckily for us, South Africa boasts some of the coolest water parks on the continent. Take the plunge with the whole family at venues like uShaka Marine World in Durban, Happy Island in Johannesburg, or the – Forever Resorts Warmbaths in Bela-Bela, Wild Waves Water Park at the Wild Coast Sun in the Eastern Cape or Adventure Land Water Park in Plettenberg bay.

Watch as the kids giggle with delight on the water slides and join them for a family float down the lazy river. It’s the ultimate way to cool off and create lasting memories.

If you don’t want the hustle and bustle of water parks, there are plenty of river-based adventures that will get your hair wet and your heart pumping. Sabi river in Mpumalanga is famous for its tubing, the Orange River is a white-water rafters heaven, or kayak up the Storm’s River mouth in the beautiful Tsitsikama National Park in the Eastern Cape. 

The Wild Awaits: Explore Wildlife Sanctuaries Nearby

We are blessed in this country when it comes to the value of our natural bounty. South Africa is teeming with wildlife sanctuaries that offer an unforgettable experience with the country’s incredible animals. Not to mention, you could chose to overnight at one of our numerous national parks courtesy of SANParks or make a day trip out of it with a self-drive and a delicious lunch at one of the rest camps.

Engage in guided tours or self-drive safaris and witness the beauty of our natural wonders. A safari adventure is an experience the whole family will cherish. There are 19 SANParks to choose from scattered across seven of our beautiful provinces, each with their own distinct experience to be encountered.

Self-Catering Serenity: Hidden Gems for Family Retreats

Escape the city buzz by booking a stay at one of South Africa’s charming self-catering spots. Whether it’s a beachfront cottage or a mountain hideaway, there’s a retreat for every family. 

Consider places like the Drakensberg Mountains, Knysna, or the Wild Coast for a tranquil escape. Create lasting memories as a family while enjoying the freedom and flexibility of a self-catering adventure.

Surf’s Up: Family-Friendly Beach Days

Hit the sandy shores for a classic South African summer experience. Pack the beach toys, sunscreen, and a cooler box full of yummies and spend the day building sandcastles and playing in the waves. Or, change things up and enjoy a yoga session on the beach or indulge in a spa treatment. South Africa’s coastline offers a variety of family-friendly beaches, such as Camps Bay in Cape Town or Umhlanga Rocks in Durban.

There’s over 2800km of coastline to explore so dive in and savour the salty air with your loved ones. With 51 blue-flag beaches in the country, pack your umbrella and head on over to beaches like Muizenberg in the Western Cape, Ramsgate in KwaZulu-Natal, or Cape St Francis in the Eastern Cape. 

As summer approaches, embrace the spirit of adventure and family togetherness. From picnics under the South African sun to thrilling water park escapades, South Africa’s summer promises a melting pot of unforgettable moments. 

So, pack your bags, load up the car, and get ready for a summer filled with laughter, love, and a touch of South African magic. The sun is shining, and the fun is loading – let the summer vibes begin!

Find the perfect holiday travel deal with Sho’t Left and get Summer started! Visit – after all, it’s your country, enjoy it! ‘Cause nothing’s more fun than a Sho’t Left. Remember #TravelWiseMzansi

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