Cape Town with Kids

IMG_2606IMG_1651        There is nothing “mystical” or scary about traveling with kids. It doesnt have to take much extra planning and you don’t have to have less fun as you would by yourself – maybe just different kind of fun.

One of my childhood heroes was Phileas Fogg, the well organised character in the 1873 Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days.

Most articles I am reading about traveling with kids make it sound, though, although we all have to be as minutely well prepared as this awesome creature of fiction (whom I thought was stunningly portrayed by Pierce Brosnan in the 1989 TV adaption).

IMG_1670I am by far not an Über-Mom with neat nappy sacks compartmentalized to fit the different routines depending on the hour of the day. I wish, but alas. And we all still survive, and happy.

Definitely rather overspend on the accommodation, depending on your families’ and childs needs. We can always save on other things – but nothing can make up for a good nights rest, especially when the children are small. Who needs expensive restaurants anyway, where you just feel out-of-place with a fussy toddler – and haven’t we all ditched the designer gowns for no-name washables? When you are young and in love (or old and romantic) any of the countless beautiful B&B’s and Boutique Hotels in Cape Town will be fine. With kids and no rental car however you want to be somewhere central, safe and instantly happy! Most South African B&B’s have a “whimsical” feel to them, nicely overstuffed with antiques and ornaments – no fun with kiddos. And Hotels with elegant breakfast rooms cause mommy to get a panic attack considering her oats throwing, on top of his voice singing champion. So an apartment is always a very happy solution.

Most South Africans might want to brave the journey to Cape Town by car, we did too, but not when we came with a 18 months old. We flew down, meeting my mom and a friend at the airport, and went with a taxi to our accommodation of choice, a beautiful apartment at Waterfront Village. Perfect, IMG_1842if you don’t want to rent a car and still have easy access to all Cape Town has to offer. When you come off season there IMG_1971are often great deals for a good price.

Arriving by air plane is great because it prevents you from packing too much stuff. Some people seriously have to bring their own meat along – still can’t get my head around this. In Cape Town you can easily hire a pram and cot if your holiday apartment doesnt have these things. Most hotels will have. We hired from Baby Exchange and a perfect MacLaren pram and Cot were delivered right at our door for 13 Rand a day. What more do you want.

IMG_1821I found the stay at Waterfront Village perfect because I love having fun things within walking distance. The whole V&A waterfront with the Two Oceans Aquarium, life music, restaurants, mall, boat trips etc is within a few scenic walking minutes from the apartment. There is a public bus stop at the Waterfront as well as the classic sight-seeing Hop on Hop off red busses taking you to all of classic Cape Town’s tourism stops. What’s nice is that you can get off the bus and do your thing and get on again afterwards.

Our apartment was stunning, serviced and very comfortable yet “unbreakable” which is important with a toddler. Doing a “walking” holiday is much more fun for the little ones, than constantly being squeezed into a car seat. If you need to be somewhere, you can easily use the taxis that wait for passengers on all the important spots.

Table Mountain will always be windy, but if you are at the ocean you most certainly have a hat and wind jacket for your baby wherever you go.

IMG_1905Babies love beaches, and we tried out every single one of the beaches all around Cape Town.

For the last three days we did rent a car since we wanted to see the Penguins at Boulders Beach and the Cape Point.

Vegetation on Table Mountain
Table Mountain has an unusually rich biodiversity. Its vegetation consists predominantly of several different types of the unique and rich Cape Fynbos. The main vegetation type is endangered Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos, but critically endangered Peninsula Granite Fynbos, Peninsula Shale Renosterveld and Afromontane forest occur in smaller portions on the mountain.
The mountain’s vegetation types form part of the Cape Floral Region protected areas. These protected areas are a World Heritage Site, and an estimated 2,200 species of plants are confined to Table Mountain – more than exist in the whole of the United Kingdom. Many of these species, including a great many types of proteas, are endemic to the mountain and can be found nowhere else. In addition, the Table Mountain range has the highest concentration of threatened species of any continental area of equivalent size in the world.

Cape Town is very child friendly and laid back.   IMG_1782 The Company Gardens provide enough running space for tired little sight seers, Steven’s highlight of the day were definitely the other kids feeding the squirrels with him.

Have a little trip on Cape Town’s only miniature train with a view of the sea, passing ships and Robben Island.

Riding the Blue Train is a fun activity for children from one year old and up. Have a little trip on Cape Town’s only miniature train with a view of the sea, passing ships and Robben Island.
Train tickets are R 10 per person a ride.

Proceeds generate funds for the Rotary Club of Sea Point’s projects, so this is not only fun, but good causes benefit as well. You can also spend quality time in the upgraded safe park, playing on a climbing rock, a jumping castle or the jungle gym as well as ride on our new tricycle track. Group bookings for rides are available. A nominal fee is charged for children to use the park facilities. This is also a great place to celebrate a birthday.

I personally didn’t enjoy going along in this very small train especially after the engineer launched into a 5th round – Steven enjoyed it thoroughly though. I got a thing about space – don’t squeeze me into a small box please. All in good fun.

For more tips on parks, kid friendly tea gardens and great playgrounds please check into Capetownkids, we did most of the stuff they advertised and it was all great.

On top of Table Mountain I find that little ones are less impressed with the classic view, but much more with the little plants growing everywhere and the strange pictures the moss is painting on the rocks. Here is a clear “rock art” of a klipspringer done entirely by the tiny little moss.tablebeach




  1. Reblogged this on Bridging Worlds and commented:

    Hi my highly appreciated followers, what an intersting creative crowd my blogging community is! What many of us have in common is our love for our children and traveling. Today I want to combine both of those by referring you to my other blog which is entirely dedicated to travels (don’t want to bother those who are just interested in learning about different parts of the world with my personal musings right?)… Enjoy a short visit to Cape Town!

  2. Great post, it is true that you don’t have to worry about packing everything you might possibly need when taking children on holiday with you. There are child-friendly holidays that can provide you with all the items you need while on holiday without the stress and hassel.

    1. Hi, thanks for commenting! I used to think that “always be prepared” is a good motto. But since traveling with children I live by “less is more” – you just do not have the energy to carry along much or worry about all that packing. A few plaster strips in your wallet and some wet-wipes, a bottle of water, a snack and you’re good to go. Most important item is the camera, right 😉

  3. Your idea about renting things like strollers etc. is fantastic. I’ve never thought of that before. That’s going to change the way I travel. Thanks for sharing. We are heading to Paris for Christmas and with a quick web-search I found this site to rent baby items in France (in case you ever make it there): Thanks again.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on my post. Yes, sourcing things right at your destination makes traveling so much lighter and easier. If you have to stop over somewhere, many airports such as Dubai have an excellent stroller service for free!
      Maybe you enjoy my post about flying with little ones as well,
      Have a great time in Paris! For now, we are enjoying the African wildlife, but Paris is on the list!

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