Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Namibia?





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  1. #1
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    Default Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Namibia?

    Hello,

    Within two weeks (!) we will kick off in JHB for a three month road trip through South-Africa and Namibia with our three kids (3, 4 and 6 years old). We'll drive a rented Hilux double cab full equipped with two rooftop tents and one ground tent (a Tentco 2.5x2.5m) for sleeping and setting up a base camp.

    This is our first time in Africa and our first time we do such an adventure with our kids. We are still undecided on which route we're gonna take and which sites we'll visit and camp. We just have some general principles and guidelines for choosing the way to go. We hope we can get help from experienced travellers on this forum to add some concrete suggestions on the travel plan that fits in our expectations.

    First, how we like to travel:
    - max. 4 to 5h of driving on a day, know such long drives will always be followed by two or more days either staying on the same spot either doing very short distances in a limited area
    - because of the age of our kids, we think we'll focus the enjoyment of travelling in smaller things of camping life - like cooking together, having a fire, doing discovery walks in the near surrounding of our camp spot and having a swim of course were possible. Longer hikes will not be possible, technical 4WD trails can be done for short time but will soon be boring for kids (and they will annoy the driver while he has to be concentrated), driving for sightseeing might work when looking for wildlife but will not work if there is only landscapes
    - because of the age of our kids, one might think we should look after child friendly-resorts with animation and so on. But hey, this is not how we like to travel and we are often disappointed in activities that are way too expensive or just superficial while we are looking for more authentic experiences. This doesn't exclude we want to do (although exceptionally) some commercial activities when it's worth it. As an example, we got the advice to make a catamaran trip in Walvis Bay and the desert safari in Swakopmund because people assured us it's a great experience for the kids. To illustrate our preferences, we won't visit fenced cheetah parks going to feeding sessions neither we'll do balloon flights over dunes.
    - we like to have the idea of 'almost camping in the wild', but for safety issues we definitely don't want to do any wild camping. This limits us on which camp grounds to go, but I've understood there are quite some options like the smaller camp spots in the national parks. Maybe some lodges do also offer this way of camping on their grounds, we'd like to know them for sure.
    - talking about lodges, every ten days/two weeks we might book a lodge - not for comfort but just to break the rhythm and have some changes. These are the moments to wash our clothes and eventually connect to Wifi to backup our photos and prepare the following weeks of our trip. We think our kids will take profit of such a break too, especially if there is a swimming pool around. Again, we prefer remote lodges and not the crowd ones. We will almost always cook our meals by ourselves, as our daughter has celiac disease and it's often just too difficult to explain how to avoid any trace of gluten in a meal. Just to say we're not depended on catered lodges or campsites.
    - We love wildlife/nature a lot more than visiting cities, musea or busy tourist attractions. I am myself a quite fanatic birdwatcher hoping to do see some species around our camping spots along short hikes with our without kids.
    - We are travelling in summer/rainy season with increased malaria risk compared to the winter season. We discussed about it quite a lot, and decided to visit low to medium risk areas (with malarone and off course using repellent and taking all the necessary precautions) for maximum three weeks so we still can visit places like Etosha and bushmansland without hanging around too much time there (as this will anyhow gives us some stress). We will not visit high risk area like Caprivi strip.

    Secondly, we have a kind of draft route plan where you might hook in your welcomed suggestions. We think about spending 5 weeks in SA and 6 weeks in Namibia (although this is open for discussion)
    - starting in JHB (first having a 4wd rehearsal in Kungwini and some shopping of food and gear)
    - heading to the South-West in direction of Garden Route (still not sure if that coastline is the best option for our travel desires and young kids)
    - we were attracted by Mountain Zebra NP, the Swartberg Pass area and Cederberg area
    - we want to shortcut the Western Cape (avoiding Kaapstad area) but still not decided which road to take and where to jump in to the Western coastline
    - we anyhow want to do Namaqua land (and the remote 4WD only campsites there) but at the moment we are not sure how attractive these spots are for our children.
    => crossing the border with Namibia (there is a ferry crossing on the West side, that does attract us) making a loop to the North (staying max. three weeks in Malaria risk area) and going back South to cross the SA border at Kgalagadi NP (where we have made our only booking until now in the first week of April - one week before we drive back to JHB)
    - in the very South of Namibia (fish river) we think we should drive through quite quickly as this is mainly landscape sight seeing ('boring', I can already hear my daughter saying) so undecided yet which areas to travel more profoundly knowing our preferences. I've read promising things about camping on informal campsites in the Namib Naukluft NP.
    - Walvis Bay looks like a great destination too, but what about further north of the line Walvis Bay-Windhoek? Any route or camping suggestions around Uis, Twijfelfontein, Brandberg and should we go as far north as the Kunene region and Skeleton coast. As we give ourselves limited time in 'malaria risk area', is anything north of that line (Walvisbay-Windhoek) to be considered as malaria-risk area? Maps seem to contradict eachother following the source.
    - we want to stay a week around Etosha and were thinking about choosing two campsites inside the park. It would be nice to know if there are campsites that are significantly better suited for young children to stay.
    - we got a crush on Bushmansland when reading our Bradt Guide, thinking staying a week in a community campsite and hooking up with locals there (we've read this is a commercial service although still very authentic - and kids might like it a lot to play with other kids). But important to know this is also malaria risk area and will be part of our max. 20 days we reserved for that area.
    - What about the western side of Namibia (south of Windhoek)? Any places we should stay or routes we should take before entering SA again through the Kgalagadi NP (at MateMate)?
    - What about a last region to discover in between Kgalagadi and JHB when we go back there mid of April? We're undecided on that part of our trip too: either finding a hidden gem in the Northern Cape (Witsand or Mokale NP?) or staying at Pilanesberg if we can't get enough of big game life.

    Thanks for those who managed to read such a long topic, but it covers eleven weeks with still quite some uncertainties that needs to be cleared out. We would be very grateful to minimise them with the help of your thoughts or suggestions!

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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    A quick reference to a thread:"Etosha - never again" in the Overland/Namibia section will guide you in that area.
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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    I do not wish to come across in a negative way here.

    However, in my opinion, two weeks is just way too short a time to start planning a trip like this. (Maybe I misunderstand and you have done some research at an earlier time, hopefully.
    As a guideline I usually start planning at least a year in advance for longer trips if they include areas that I have not visited before - but then that is just the way I roll.

    From your comments it would seem that some of the areas you mention may be more "scenic" than your children may appreciate, but it depends on what their interests are, of course.

    As general comment: Try not to travel too far (in time, not necessarily KM) in any one day with small children.
    At this time of year it can be VERY hot in some of those places and even with aircon in the vehicle may become a challenge.

    I think It is essential to get a proper map in addition to any GPS device in the vehicle, more especially given that this is your first trip and being unfamiliar with the conditions and territory.

    If you have a more detailed proposed route plotted then please post it here for more specific and meaningful comment by member who have been there and done that.
    I fear that you have left your planning very late.
    Also, it may assist to read some travel reports from our members covering some or all of the areas that you are considering visiting. That will give you a much better idea of conditions prevailing in each region.

    Hope this helps. I am sure others will have some comments soon.

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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    No Malaria in Windhoek ..My Kids were your kids age once ..and they loved camping in Etosha but standards have dropped big time since then ..Namaqua is beautiful and remote ..Kids will love it ..some hard sand driving in parts

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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1949 View Post
    However, in my opinion, two weeks is just way too short a time to start planning a trip like this. (Maybe I misunderstand and you have done some research at an earlier time, hopefully.
    As a guideline I usually start planning at least a year in advance for longer trips if they include areas that I have not visited before - but then that is just the way I roll.
    No worries, Peter. I understand your reaction. We decided in august to do this long awaited familytrip in SA/Nam instead of in Australia (that was at least a good idea, knowing how terrible it must be there right now) and we read quite a lot to prepare the trip. But I must admit we focussed on technical, administrative and logistic things and less on the precise spots we would visit. We read a lot about national parks too though. As we are travelling in low season, we also thought being lucky not to be forced to book all our campings months ahead and deciding on route and camps to visit when we would be there. Since a couple of weeks, I'm concentrating on destinations and got a bit overwhelmed by what's called (in French) 'l'embarras du choix' - there is just so much to do and we're afraid we would be spending hours on our mobile devices over there to check out which campsites to go to. That's why we want to make a shortlist of them, and than use this list as a guideline during our travel. Hope this gives some background to our question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1949 View Post

    If you have a more detailed proposed route plotted then please post it here for more specific and meaningful comment by member who have been there and done that.
    I fear that you have left your planning very late. Also, it may assist to read some travel reports from our members covering some or all of the areas that you are considering visiting. That will give you a much better idea of conditions prevailing in each region.
    Reading trip reports is a good suggestion, we started already doing this since Christmas. Off course our specific conditions (young children) are much different of those wo reported on their trip. Last August, we also read quite some blogs of families that did travel through Southern Africa with young kids (it made us choose for SA and Namibia too, I remember). We hope to get to a more detailed proposal of route through this tread - I will make efforts to follow it very closely.

    Thanks for your advice

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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    You might find this of interest, courtesy of Mountain Passes of South Africa.

    Suggested camp sites:

    https://www.mountainpassessouthafric...campsites.html


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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    Quote Originally Posted by Estee View Post
    You might find this of interest, courtesy of Mountain Passes of South Africa.

    Suggested camp sites:

    https://www.mountainpassessouthafric...campsites.html


    Cheers
    thanks Estee, two weeks ago I subscribed on Mountain Passes South Africa - what a treasure of information! We got a crush on the Cederberg area from this site and also Gamka's, Swartberg and Price Alfred's pass that we putted on our short list. I love their youtube movies even visiting campsites along the road.

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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    Quote Originally Posted by JohanMaree View Post
    A quick reference to a thread:"Etosha - never again" in the Overland/Namibia section will guide you in that area.
    Wow, thanks for that link Johan.This is really helpful for narrowing our shortlist for Namibian campsites. We haven't booked anything on the NWR-website but we were willing to do that - not anymore since I've read this thread. How sad that is - happily this statement doesn't count for the SA side where Sanparks accomodations often get very good critics.

    => conclusion: we will search now for accommodation options (campsites) outside Etosha doing daily visits to the park. It will be around 10th-15th of march when we'll be there so probably not that crowd to have fluid acces through the gates.

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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    Quote Originally Posted by FreekenGriet View Post
    Wow, thanks for that link Johan.This is really helpful for narrowing our shortlist for Namibian campsites. We haven't booked anything on the NWR-website but we were willing to do that - not anymore since I've read this thread. How sad that is - happily this statement doesn't count for the SA side where Sanparks accomodations often get very good critics.

    => conclusion: we will search now for accommodation options (campsites) outside Etosha doing daily visits to the park. It will be around 10th-15th of march when we'll be there so probably not that crowd to have fluid acces through the gates.
    Certainly most NWR sites are not the finest, but personally we do not write them off entirely. To each their own, you will get a feel for what is important to you as you go along.

    Re: Etosha, since you're traveling in the off season you'll likely be able to inspect the camps in the park yourself and decide on the spot if you'd like to stay. I would recommend Olifantstruss. There is something great about being inside the park, and it allows access to early morning and late afternoon game viewing that you miss out on somewhat if you're always driving into and out of the park. Particularly nice that time of year, as those hours are the coolest and most pleasant of the day. I savor that first hour or two in the car watching animals before the furnace of the day heats up, and if you're busy at the gate and driving then it's not quite the same.

    Camps too look at:
    -Abu Huab Community Camp near Twyfelfontein. Or look for a camp in that area that has a pool to cool off in, I don't know if there is one but it wouldn't surprise me.
    -Spitzkoppe
    -Anywhere around Sossuvlei, a must to visit. The NWR camp there is nice because you get in an hour early and they have a pool, but it's more expensive than some of the other campsites in the area and there are good sites inside and less good sites.
    -Namaqua coast is great, and I'd imagine with kids is good since there isn't real wild animal risk and lots of tide pooling and small walks you can do
    -Cederberg - Algeria campsite probably would suit you well. Good hikes right out of the campsite. The drive east from there towards Ceres is spectacular.
    -Camdeboo NP, if you're near, is a good stop. Easy short game viewing drives and a nice short walk for the rocky overlooks.

    Search the forum for posts by Stan Weakley regarding malaria. I think there was a recent thread about malaria risk in Etosha (maybe?). He is a veteran overlander and a surgeon and has written on the topic. Particularly regarding children I understand risks and precautions are different.

    Good luck and enjoy the trip!

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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    Great trip - as you know, it is very hot and it is the rainy season (although the rain usually comes in thunder showers and is over quite fast). Outside of South Africa, it is low season for international travellers, so you can keep your itinerary flexible and when you find a place you like, stay longer. Swimming pools/rivers/springs are an essential for the kids. Carry a 3 metre by 3 metre tarpaulin (cheap at camping shops, or the rental company may be able to provide one) for the kids to play on in campsites - scorpions (a real threat in Namibia) don't like being on plastic/PVC and it also keeps them out of the dirt, away from thorns, and it keeps their toys in one place.
    The Garden Route is beautiful and has a number of very good campsites, mostly run by SANParks or CapeNature. If you want to avoid Cape Town, and cross over to the West Coast, from George, head for Oudtshoorn over the pass and join Route 62 through Calitzdorp, Barrydale, Montagu, Robertson, Worcester, Ceres to the Cederberg. Book a night or two at The Baths outside Citrusdal - hot springs, a nice little restaurant, and good chalets.
    The rainy season is an excellent time for birding as many of the migrant species are present.
    Re "Bushmanland" - I presume you mean the Nyae Nyae Conservancy? A good place to walk/interact with the JuWa San but be aware that it is a semi-wilderness area, that there are lions, elephants and other wildlife free roaming, and that black mambas are a possibility.
    In Etosha, Okaukuejo camp is currently quite run down BUT sitting at the waterhole at night with the kids waiting for the animals to come down and drink is like being in the middle of a wildlife movie. The game viewing in Etosha is exceptional, and can be done in short drives, with a return to the campsite swimming pool in the heat of the day. In Okaukuejo, try and get one of the high number campsites (26 to 35, I think) as the overland trucks congregate around the lower number campsites as close to the ablution blocks as possible. The higher number sites all have good shade, are on the fence so you can game view from your camp, and are a short walk to the waterhole.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2020/01/06 at 05:33 PM.
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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Re "Bushmanland" - I presume you mean the Nyae Nyae Conservancy? A good place to walk/interact with the JuWa San but be aware that it is a semi-wilderness area, that there are lions, elephants and other wildlife free roaming, and that black mambas are a possibility.
    Thanks for the advice, Tony - very valuable. About Bushman land, I indeed mean the area of the Nyae Nyae conservancy. We thought interacting with the San would be a great experience for as well us as for the kids. But indeed, we haven't thought on eventual dangerous wildlife roaming there. Do you think we need to consider it as a real threat as long as we stay close to our guide and to the community we stay with. About camping, I presume there are no fenced campsites but again do you think there is a real threat? We deliberately don't go to unfenced camps in Kgalagadi (we're anyhow not allowed) because of predators wandering in between tents but haven't heard such stories about Tsumkwe. I'll try to find some more information on it - but if 4x4 community members think it would be insane visiting this area with young kids please tell me.

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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    I am super jealous of your trip. However I think you are missing a very great part of South Africa in your itinery. See if you can do the lowveld for a week. Kruger itself is a must. Although you are visiting kgalagadi, kruger is a totally different experience, and will be much more comfortable with the kids. KNP has fenced camps, electricity 24 hours, shops, activities, good roads, bigger variety of accommodation if camping gets too much. Also the big 5, most of the parks you will be visiting does not offer elephants and rhino.

    Other lowveld activities:
    Panorama route - very scenic route with great eating spots in the small towns. Waterfalls and viewpoints galore, you can catch a dip in the pools by the waterfalls. You can also swim and picnic at the mac mac pools. There is bourkes luck potholes and pilgrims rest.
    The Blyde river canyon, 3rd largest canyon in the world (grand canyon USA 1, fish river canyon Namibia 2) it is also the largest green canyon in the world, and it has a dam inside. You can take a guided cruise on the dam, stay at swadini, a safe resort with grassed camping grounds, good shop, swimming pools etc. stuff to do with the kids.
    Sudwala caves and dinosaur park. Oldest dolomite caves in the world and is really quite impressive. Dinosaur park is a bit dumb but kids love it!

    I really hope you have time to fit the lowveld in. Pity you dont have time for Mapungubwe, there are boabab trees for days... but it is way out.

    Anyway, what ever you decide, I hope you have a blast!
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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    Great trip, though agree with LandyLove above - Kruger Park should without doubt be No. 1 on your list if its your first time to Africa/SA. Fantastic bushveld setting, best game-viewing in southern Africa, and great facilities to make it really easy for the family (swimming pools, shops, restaurants etc.). It would be hot, but definitely not hotter than Kgalagadi/Namibia this time of the year. It's also low season, so getting good camping sites at the rest camps shouldn't be an issue.

    I understand that malaria would be your primary concern for the kids, but if you take the right prophylactics and make sure you use a lot of mosquito repellant in the evenings and other mosquito repelling devices, it shouldn't be an issue. If you don't get bitten by the mozzies, you can't get malaria.

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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    Quote Originally Posted by FreekenGriet View Post
    Do you think we need to consider it as a real threat as long as we stay close to our guide and to the community we stay with.
    You should be fine with a guide, but just always be aware when walking in the bush with kids that predators, lions especially, see small kids as prey, much more so than adults. The lion population in the Nyae Nyae is fairly small, and the San are very wary of them. The biggest threat to small kids, especially those who can't properly explain their medical symptoms, is malaria - we kept our kids out of malaria areas until they were old enough to talk properly, and we made sure they were on paediatric prophylaxis.
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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    Difficult to cover all of SA in three months.

    I am actually certain that this family will be bitten by Virus Africanus. A very potent disease that one never recovers from. Don't fear, this virus will bring them back to Africa. Much sooner than later.
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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    Thanks to all community members to get us on track. We've been doing last days several hours of researching our maps, reading trip reports and checking suggestions on this forum and tripadvisor. Today we came to some kind of conclusion on our itinerary were we would concentrate on rather exploring a limited selection of SA regions on a lazy rythm than to hurry from one province to another. That's why we will skip the Lowveld or KZN and instead focus on the Western and Northern Cape before entering in Namibia. Choosing an itinerary in Namibia looks easier as we can make a loop on the western side to Etosha and back on the eastern side to Kgalagadi. Today, we booked all campings for the last week in between Kgalagadi and JHB, with Mokala NP as a last highlight.

    So this is how the trip will roughly be scheduled. I say roughly because we will not book everything ahead (only when availability is scarce) so we are flexible for last minute ideas.
    - JHB arrival on the 15th of january (two days with training course in Kungwini and a staying in Johan's place - thanks again for inviting us)
    => Mountain Zebra - 2/4 days, depending if we choose to skip Addo Elephant park were camping doesn't look that appealing as Mountain Zebra)
    => not sure yet about Addo Elephant or Baviaanskloof to make another stop of two days (needs further research)
    => 4/6 days drive to the mountainous area between Oudtshoorn and Ceres , where we are tempted by some passes (and campsites) that are described in SA Mountain Passes website (Swartberg, Gamkas,...) - focus will be on shorter drives and enjoy camping life and staying at guest farmhouses. Needs further finetuning
    => 7/10 days for camping in Kagga Kamma (swartrug), Tankwa Karoo (love the informal campings) and one camping spot to choose in Cederberg. In between, we'll charge our batteries for a couple of days in that lovely looking Enjo Nature Farm.
    => we'll be around 10th of february when we'll head to Namaqua NP were we'll stay 5 days. Further research if there is any nice spot in between Cederberg and Groenrivier where we can add a couple of nights (Lambert's Bay?) or if we stretch out some days on following the coastline from Lamertsville/Lutzville to Groenrivier (need to know if this would be too ambitious for a novice 4x4 driver)
    => 2/3 day drive towards Namibian border (anything interesting/different along the West Coast Diamond Area after spending good time in Namaqua?) with one or two stopovers
    => if we're ahead on our schedule, we might stay some days in the Richterveld NP along the Orange river (further research where exactly we would like to stay)
    => Go through Fish River Canyon area without staying there (too ambitious for the kids)
    => first stop in Aus , skipping Luderitz
    => 3/4 days easy travelling to reach Sossusvlei (Sossus oasis camp) with 2 stopovers to be further researched (have received some good suggestions)
    => Sossusvlei 2 nights
    => 6/7 days to cover the stretch from Sossusvlei to Walvisbaai (we'd think on camping on the Namib Naukluft 4x4 trail + 2/3 more stopovers
    => 5/6 days spending in Walvisbay and Swakopmund, focussing on kids activities and guided tours
    => Cape cross (stopover)
    => Skeleton coast and stopover at Springbok Gate
    => further research where we can spend 2/3 days in Damaraland before we head to Etosha
    => arrival around 13-15th of marsh at Western part of Etosha, spending 4/5 days over there
    => 2/3 days drive from eastern part of Etosha to Tsumkwe with one stopover
    => 4 days staying in Tsumkwe area (arranging a guide through conservancy project)
    => 3 days drive with two stopovers to Mata Mata (will research on doing the Eastern alternative road via Gobabis, Leonardville, Aranos)
    => arrival at Mata Mata on 30/3 (booked) untill 2/4
    => stopover at Twee Rivieren on 2/4
    => 2 days drive to Mokala where we'll stay untill 7th in the morning
    => drive back to JHB and back home on the 8th of april.

    Google-maps is counting such a trip around 8000 km (without day drives) so still quite ambitious on distance but spread out over 11 weeks and rather rare long distance drives it should be feasible for the kids (and for us). Time to sleep now and further detail this for the next days...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    We have visited many of the areas you are going to and they are all beautiful places. We also travelled Southern Africa extensively with 4 young children, although that was over many trips and years and up to 15 years ago. After one 8000km round trip through Botswana to Chobe and Vic Falls and back through Zimbabwe, we asked the children what they enjoyed most. Their reply? " . . . the trampoline at Ghwai River Lodge!" Aah well, at least we have now just had the pleasure of taking our 4 young grandchildren, aged 2 to 5, on their first safari day. So I would like to suggest some practical tips if I may.

    Considering the remote places you plan to visit, it will be worth investing in Tracks4Africa, both the GPS version and the paper map book.

    I would split the time equally between the Mountain Zebra NP and Addo. Yes, the MZNP campsite is better, but they are very different ecosystems. The attraction of Addo is that it is the best place to get up close and safe viewings of elephants - and dung beetles - both of which the children love.

    The Garden Route is beautiful and think of visiting Tsitsikama NP at Storms River Mouth and the Ebb and Flow camp in the Wilderness Lakes NP. After that you are visiting very dry and hot areas and you will be thankful to have spent time in the green forests and coastline of the Garden Route.

    Generally speaking all the National Parks campsites are clean, comfortable and safe and worth a visit; as too are the many guest farms.

    Stop at farm-stalls along the road. These are pretty unique Southern Africa experiences; and you can get both local products and local knowledge.

    Game viewing is challenging for small children. We always tried to get our children interested in the small things as well; flowers, seeds, leaves, insects, birds, trees, projects and games. Then when the odd lion or elephant comes along it is a great bonus and an exciting time.

    Don't discount completely the cheetah and other animal rehabilitation projects and farms. We have often taken our children to some of them, and they have all been very interesting and educational and have helped the children make the connection to the wild animals, where sightings are often very fleeting.

    There are few resort-type camp sites on the route you are taking, so you need not worry about that too much; but perhaps be aware of the security of the campsites, especially in and around the towns. In the more wild campsites, be aware of monkeys and baboons. Always ask at the gate what to expect, otherwise you will soon lose your lunch! In the wild they are mostly not a problem; only around campsites.

    De Hoop in the Richtersveld is a great campsite along the Orange River and worth a few days stay. Then you can cross on the pontoon into Namibia at Sendelingsdrift.

    Not sure where else you have travelled, but beware of the very long distances between towns and traveling after sunset is never recommended in these parts.

    Well, this is an ambitious trip and I wish you and your family well and look forward to the trip report one day.
    PedroD

    Toyota Prado TX 3.0D & Bush Lapa Boskriek

  18. #18
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    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    drive the D707 from Aus to sossusvlei. for me this was a high light on my trip
    Pajero Gen2 1996 2.8TDi LWB

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    deleted
    Last edited by Paul Dold; 2020/01/09 at 03:27 PM.

    ďAfrica changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: Which campings/route to choose for remote travelling with young kids in SA & Nami

    +1

    Excellent suggestions by PedroD!

    Quote Originally Posted by C View Post
    We have visited many of the areas you are going to and they are all beautiful places. We also travelled Southern Africa extensively with 4 young children, although that was over many trips and years and up to 15 years ago. After one 8000km round trip through Botswana to Chobe and Vic Falls and back through Zimbabwe, we asked the children what they enjoyed most. Their reply? " . . . the trampoline at Ghwai River Lodge!" Aah well, at least we have now just had the pleasure of taking our 4 young grandchildren, aged 2 to 5, on their first safari day. So I would like to suggest some practical tips if I may.

    Considering the remote places you plan to visit, it will be worth investing in Tracks4Africa, both the GPS version and the paper map book.

    I would split the time equally between the Mountain Zebra NP and Addo. Yes, the MZNP campsite is better, but they are very different ecosystems. The attraction of Addo is that it is the best place to get up close and safe viewings of elephants - and dung beetles - both of which the children love.

    The Garden Route is beautiful and think of visiting Tsitsikama NP at Storms River Mouth and the Ebb and Flow camp in the Wilderness Lakes NP. After that you are visiting very dry and hot areas and you will be thankful to have spent time in the green forests and coastline of the Garden Route.

    Generally speaking all the National Parks campsites are clean, comfortable and safe and worth a visit; as too are the many guest farms.

    Stop at farm-stalls along the road. These are pretty unique Southern Africa experiences; and you can get both local products and local knowledge.

    Game viewing is challenging for small children. We always tried to get our children interested in the small things as well; flowers, seeds, leaves, insects, birds, trees, projects and games. Then when the odd lion or elephant comes along it is a great bonus and an exciting time.

    Don't discount completely the cheetah and other animal rehabilitation projects and farms. We have often taken our children to some of them, and they have all been very interesting and educational and have helped the children make the connection to the wild animals, where sightings are often very fleeting.

    There are few resort-type camp sites on the route you are taking, so you need not worry about that too much; but perhaps be aware of the security of the campsites, especially in and around the towns. In the more wild campsites, be aware of monkeys and baboons. Always ask at the gate what to expect, otherwise you will soon lose your lunch! In the wild they are mostly not a problem; only around campsites.

    De Hoop in the Richtersveld is a great campsite along the Orange River and worth a few days stay. Then you can cross on the pontoon into Namibia at Sendelingsdrift.

    Not sure where else you have travelled, but beware of the very long distances between towns and traveling after sunset is never recommended in these parts.

    Well, this is an ambitious trip and I wish you and your family well and look forward to the trip report one day.
    Last edited by Paul Dold; 2020/01/09 at 03:30 PM.

    ďAfrica changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

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