Cape Town is a fantastic destination for all the family, whether you have little ones or hard-to-please teens in tow. Here’s our guide to the best family-friendly attractions in the South African capital…
1. Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
Who doesn’t love a cable car ride? Kids and teens of all ages will be champing at the bit to step aboard this aerial cableway up to the top of the world-famous Table Mountain. The views are spectacular all the way up. And if you’re feeling really brave and your kids are old enough, you can even abseil back down again.
Top tip – buy your tickets for the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway in advance and you can avoid the queues. This is especially recommended if you have young children with you, as the queues can be long in peak season. One-way tickets start from 200 ZAR (around £10 GBP) for adults and 100 ZAR (around £5 GBP) for children.
2. Boulders Beach
A trip to the beach is a must for families visiting Cape Town, but one particular stretch of sand has some very special inhabitants. Just under an hours’ drive from the city centre is Boulders Beach, home to around 3,000 African penguins. Walking along the boardwalk by the Boulders Visitors Centre, you’ll get a brilliant view of these charming creatures. You can even walk among them, but it’s a smart idea to keep your distance – as those beaks can be sharp!
3. Two Oceans Aquarium
Aquariums are always a hit with families, but they’re not always as ethical as they could be. The Two Oceans Aquarium is different, as it has a dedicated species conservation program and a strong commitment to sustainability. In fact, it was named ‘Best Responsible Attraction’ in the 2019 African Responsible Tourism Awards.
One of the best attractions at Cape Town’s popular aquarium are its sharks, along with its scuba diving and penguin experiences. Two Oceans is one of the few facilities in the world to tag and release ragged-tooth sharks into the wild every couple of years, and also assists with the rescue and rehabilitation of seals, sunfish and turtles outside of the aquarium.
4. Sandboarding at the Atlantis Dunes
Feeling adventurous? Just a 40-minute drive from the city centre, the whole family can test out their balance and skills on the beautiful white sands of the Atlantis Dunes. It’s great for beginners, as most of the many tour providers offer sandboarding training and equipment for participants of all ages. You’ll end the day breathless, but exhilarated. There’s nothing like it!
5. Exotic Animal World
This unique attraction in Stellenbosch is home to over 700 small animals, all of whom were previously abandoned pets. The amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals and many species of exotic bird are now cared for by expert Exotic Animal World keepers.
The attraction may not be exhibiting butterflies just at the moment (due to pandemic-related delays importing tropical species) but you can still walk among the lemurs, see iguanas up close and personal, and watch beautiful tropical birds go about their day.