Ruzandri Stoltz, aha Hotels & Lodges Marketing Manager, says the top five family activities near the Kruger National Park are river safaris, animal rehabilitation centres, Blyde River Canyon, The Panorama Route and cultural village tours. Here’s why.
- River Safaris: Not all river safaris are child-friendly, however those that are make an exciting experience for the whole family. This is a great opportunity to get close and personal with wildlife such as elephants and crocodiles. Lodges should be able to make recommendations as to which river cruise will accommodate the age groups required.
- Animal rehabilitation centres: This is always a great educational experience for families. Good examples are Moholoholo and the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.
- Blyde River Canyon: This is considered the largest 'green canyon' on earth, due to its subtropical foliage. It has some of the deepest precipitous cliffs of any canyon on the planet. It is the second largest canyon in Africa after the Fish River Canyon, and is known as one of the great wonders of nature on the continent. The canyon offers everything from family friendly hiking trails, to quad biking, paintball, horseback riding river cruises, micro flights and hot-air balloon rides.
- The Panorama Route: The Blyde River Canyon is part of the Panorama Route. The route starts at the town of Graskop and includes God's Window, the Pinnacle and Bourke's Luck Potholes - top additions to any family holiday. Graskop recently opened a viewing lift that operates daily from 08h30 to 17h00. The lift descends 51m down into the Afromontane forest below, at 1m per second. It offers a panoramic view of the Motitsi waterfall, views of the forest canopy and the Graskop Gorge during the descent. On exiting the lift at the bottom, there is a 600m elevated boardwalk that takes visitors through the forest. Suspension bridges criss-cross the river and along the journey there are interpretation stations explaining the biodiversity.
- Cultural village tours: A variety of tours are available, depending on which region of the Kruger your client is staying in. Two of the most popular are the Kruger Cultural Village in Hoedspruit and Shangana, midway between Blyde River Canyon and the southern Kruger.