Ratanga is an extremely popular theme park and one of the major attractions in Cape Town. Twenty hectares of huge trees, dense subtropical vegetation, and waterways takes you in to another world entirely, one in which merry-go-rounds, rollercoasters and screams of pleasure and excitement are par for the course.
It isn’t all daredevil full loop rollercoaster rides at Ratanga Theme Park, however. There are more relaxing versions such as a boat or train trip, and restaurants provide ‘time out’ zones for frazzled parents and starving kids. There is also a snake and bird show that does its bit to showcase some of the country’s more impressive species.
The park is not open all year round, but over December and January Ratanga pumps it is so busy, and there is something for everyone to enjoy. The cobra ride is 32 metres high with accompanying twists and turns and speeds of close to 100 kilometres an hour, whilst the slingshot freefalls for some 30 metres – not a good ride for just after lunch, if you can help it.
There are rides at Ratanga Junction for the whole family too. Monkey falls boasts the highest log drop in the world at 18.5 metres, whilst crocodile gorge is particularly enjoyable on hot summer days, for those who do not mind getting wet. The bushwacker wends its way through dense foliage on a wildlife adventure, and the diamond devil run mine train has no brakes, and slows for no-one.
The Cape of Good Hope, South Africa’s version of America’s Pentagon, is a five point, star shaped fortress, and South Africa’s oldest building built between 1666 and 1679. A surviving Colonial building it was declared a National Monument in 1936 and as a result is the best preserved fort of its kind. Originally constructed by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) to ward off possible British attacks. The oldest original bell in South Africa with a sound span stretching for 10 km was hung from the Castle’s bell tower in 1684 to warn of danger.
WHERE?Corner of Darling and Buitenkant Streets, Cape Town.
WHEN?Open daily from 09h00 to 16h00. Key ceremony and cannon firing on Monday to Friday at 10h00 and at12h00. Tours from Monday to Saturday at 11h00, 12h00 and 14h00.
HOW?Call +27 (0)21 787-1249
HOW MUCH?Falls into price group R1 to R100 per person. Confirm with the provider.
Perched on the rocks at the end of Harbour Road in Hout Bay, Fish on the Rocks is flanked by the vibrant fishing harbour, wharf and old Naval Heritage site. Here, visitors and locals alike enjoy looking over the beautiful bay to the famed Chapman’s Peak, while tucking into some of the Cape Town’s best fish and chips
It’s an inexpensive visit and popular with all ages – and being surrounded by so many colourful stones is a memorable and uplifting experience. More and more “mainstream” people are starting to believe that gemstones have “powers” – and being surrounded by so many beautiful polished gemstones certainly does have a calming effect on many people – and especially children!
You can purchase a small plastic bag or container ranging in price from R15 (approx US$2) for a small bag to R90 (approx US$13) for a large container. What stones you put in your bag or container is up to you!
Waterworld is situated right on the beaches of Strand (just outside Cape Town), inviting visitors and locals to indulge in both the beach and the water park at their leisure. It is idyllically nestled at the foot of the Hottentots Holland Mountain Range, about 50 kilometres from the Mother City and all that is has to offer (including an international airport).
While the focus at Waterworld is certainly on the slides and rides, there is also plenty more to enjoy. The slides include a speed slide, super tube and kiddies’ double speed slide. In addition, there are a number of swimming pools in which to cool down and play. The pools are solar heated so that, even on a slightly cooler day, they are comfortable and refreshing. Thanks to the layout, the whole water park enjoys relative protection from the wind.
1 Hour water sliding – R80/p
2 Hours water-sliding – R95/p
Full day water sliding – R135/p
Spectator: (with water-sliders only)
1 Hour spectator – R15/p
2 Hours spectator – R20/p
Full day spectator – R85/p
All rates are per person regardless of age and are inclusive of all of the facilities within the Waterworld venue. Children aged 1 and 2 years pay R35/p. Babies under 12 months are not charged. Season tickets are R700/p, with discounted rates when you buy more than one ticket.
Famous for its friendly scarecrows, sweet strawberries and homemade jam, this Stellenbosch Winelands wonder is a great treat for the kids. Once an entry fee is paid, visitors choose the size of containers that work best for their berry appetite: R25 for a strawberry helping of about 800g, R45 for 1.3kg, R120 for 4.5kg or choose the Ultimate Picker option for R170, which is about 6.5kg of plump, ripe strawberries and pickers can dwell in the pastures as long as they like. Not to mention, there are plently of activities to keep the kids busy while the adults enjoy a delicious glass of wine from the cellar.
Opening Times: 9am – 4pm daily (strawberry picking only from October to December)
NOTE: Closed on Christmas
Intaka Island covers 16 hectares of wetland, birds and flora in the middle of Century City and makes for a good day out if the sun is shining. Catch a ferry ride and take a stroll along the 2km of footpaths, (or get one of the experienced field rangers to lead you). There are special kiddie programmes during the holidays too. Adults – R35, Kids (under the age of 12) and Pensioners – R30. Combo tickets also available, which include a boat ride.
Cave golf is an indoor 18-hole putt putt course inside a man-made cave, with an assortment of tricky angles, uneven surfaces, steep hills and awkward obstacles. The last round of golf starts at 4.30pm.
Venue: V&A Waterfront, Dock Rd, Cape Town
Time: Mon to Sun 9am – 5.30pm
Cost: R20 | Groups of 10 + R18 | R20 deposit per putter
Tel: 021 419 9429
U-TAC – or urban tactical – Paintball outside Atlantis is one of the best paintball joints in South Africa and is the perfect place for you and the kids if you’re feeling trigger-happy. What makes U-TAC so special is that it allows you to enact a wide range of military scenarios such as battling it out in a village, in trenches or in the bush. You can also arrange for 48-hour wars or helicopter insertion. The premises also have a tuck shop and braai facilities if you feel like relaxing after an epic family feud.
Contact: 0837789111, email@example.com.