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  • Lisa Martus

FAMILY-FRIENDLY STAYS

School is out for the festive season so it’s time for you to explore this beautiful country and create memories with your family. Head north to Limpopo where you have a great selection of accommodation options that won’t break the bank. Follow the R71 to Magoebaskloof where there are activities for all ages and interests from hiking or biking to birding, fishing, horseriding and adventure sports as well as venues of all kinds.


There’s glamping at the Africamps tents at Cheerio Gardens, with ebikes to explore the area, a dam to fish in, beautiful walks in stunning gardens and a hot tub on the deck if you want to just chill where you are. Next door, Cheerio Trout Fishing and Holiday Resort have eight self-catering, comfortable cottages tucked into a maze of foliage. The kids will love the pool, playground, putt-putt course and games room as well as fishing and mountain biking on site. Further down Cheerio Road, Zwakala River Retreat offers delightful, earthy farm cottages which sleep 6 as well as the Zwakala campsite which is perfect for a family getaway. Think river swims, nature walks and spending quality time together. Zwakala Brewery on site is a very festive place for the kids to romp while you enjoy a laid back afternoon with a chilled Zwakala lager in your hand or if it's more your style, book a treatment at their Noka Spa.


You are spoilt for choice if you like being near water in Magoebaskloof starting with the log cabins at Stanford Lake Lodge where the family can go birding on forest trails, kayaking, swimming or fishing at the lake or Ebenezer Dam. Nearby, there are the Lakeview Cottages near Stanford Lake College with views over towards the water. Misty Crown is a luxurious home on the banks of Ebenezer Dam sleeping 8 people, while Bekkersvlei, on the dam road has a 4 bedroom house on offer. Silver Mist Resort near Haenertsburg has 14 chalets built on the lakes as well as tented camps and caravan sites so is an ideal family venue and a must for horse-lovers. If the family enjoys fishing, a perfect spot is Mountain Fly Fishing with accommodation galore and two campsites alongside the trout dams for the truly dedicated fishermen.


Just across the mountain, Boscobel Cottages can sleep up to 12 people in charming stone cottages with a central social area and a fenced garden with a kids play area. Diggers Rest has plenty of accommodation in a horseshoe around the pool looking out over the lovely views - book out the whole place for your family! Or how about Copperwing Guest House? This historical building built in the 1890’s has been renovated to host up to 19 people across seven self-contained units and is only a stone’s throw away from Haenertsburg. If your family is made up of keen birders, the cottages at Magoebaskloof Birders’ Cottage are a real treat with great birding on your doorstep. Pavetta also has two options which are great for a family - the Forest Residence sleeps up to ten people while the house on the Waters Edge has 3 bedrooms which can accommodate 8 adults and 2 small children.


Heading down to Tzaneen, Boschoek Farm has a fabulous getaway for a family. The roomy farmhouse on a working 160 hectare avocado and macadamia nut farm, 15 km from town, is kitted out with everything you could possibly think of for a comfy stay, including a swimming pool in a spectacular garden with mountain views and a cosy fireplace for those rare rainy-weather days. The Farmhouse easily seats 8 to 10 in the kitchen, lounge and on the large covered patio for a sociable braai. While the kids keep themselves entertained in the garden, play board games or spend the day enjoying the pool, you can take time out to rest, read and recoup from a busy year. Or pack a picnic and head down to the small, scenic dam with a bird hide at the water’s edge.


Take the friendly farm dogs for a morning stroll down to the dam where the hippos hang out or cycle through the extensive orchards of this subtropical farm. There is a fabulous freedom in farm-life where you can just relax with a G&T, knowing that the kids will spend barefoot days on the lawns or swimming until long after the sun goes down. Doesn't that sound like something you should do soon?


Take a look at www.mountaingetaways.co.za or www.magoebasklooftourism.co.za for more information on the options from farm-stays to eco-lodges and resorts to campsites.


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