Summer has arrived in South Africa, which means that the December school holidays are right around the corner – and as we all know, summer holidays in South Africa are a real treat!
Besides having fun in the sun (and eating way too much!) summer holidays are meant to be spent with those nearest and dearest to you. Friends and family from far and wide.
However, we believe that this special time should also be spent with the four-legged members of our family – and luckily, with Pet Places’ variety of pet-friendly accommodation across the Western Cape, you needn’t leave your pet behind this holiday – making sure you enjoy an unforgettable December holiday with the whole family.
So, with the holidays just over a month away, we decided to put together a list of pet-friendly holiday destinations, perfect for a summer holiday to remember.
What’s to Love about Langebaan?
The question should be, what’s not to love about Langebaan? This easy-living town on South Africa’s stunning West Coast is a rejuvenating escape for the whole family over the December holidays.
With a host of activities to do, places to explore and true, West Coast-style culinary experiences to indulge in, it’;s no surprise that the West Coast has long since been revered as a family-friendly holiday destination – and by family-friendly, we mean that your furbabies will enjoy the West Coast wonderland just as much as you will!
Spend your days lazing on the sandy white beaches scattered across Langebaan. Calypso Beach – Langebaan’s main beach – spills into the famous Langebaan lagoon, and is a mecca for watersport aficionados. The long stretches of beach also make it ideal for dogs to chase after a ball to their heart’s content. And then a quick splash about in the shallows of the lagoon’s crystal clear water.
However, if you want to avoid the sand and saltwater with your pooch, Langebaan and the surrounding areas, including Saldanha Bay and even Jacobs Bay a little further out, is home to some of the most beautiful nature trails on the West Coast.
Take the family on a hike through the beautiful fynbos-filled trails and bring your pooch with, too! Most of these trails allow for dogs, given that they are on a leash.
If total relaxation is on the agenda for your holiday, then you can simply retreat to the rejuvenating air of the West Coast at any of the amazing pet-friendly accommodation options in Langebaan: from cottages to studio apartments, to rooms in the charming and beautiful Farmhouse Hotel.
It’s up to you (and your furbaby) how you’ll spend a breakaway to the serene and stunning West Coast.
Family Time in the Mother City
Ah, Cape Town. The most-visited city in South Africa. The heart of the Western Cape. The Mother City.
Cape Town is an ever-popular family holiday destination – and in some cases, also a favourite for a staycation! Locals love this city just as much as tourists, so its often that you’ll fins Capetonians will suck it up and bear with the influx of tourists over the December holidays in order to bask in the buzzing vibe that engulfs the Mother City in the summertime.
Naturally, with so much to so and so much to see in Cape Town, it’s the perfect place to bring your beloved pets along to on a family holiday.
Cape Town is home to dozens of pet-friendly beaches, pet-friendly restaurants, coffee shops and wine farms, and, of course, pet-friendly accommodation.
Should you be more of the adventurous type, you can even bring your four-legged friend along on a hike up the iconic Table Mountain, a jog through the Winelands’ many nature trails or simply to play on the gorgeous, dog-friendly beaches.
But, just as Cape Town offers exciting (and in some cases) daring activities for humans and their pets, it equally offers them the chance to relax and fully unwind. Cape Town is home to some of the most luxurious and indulgent spas and wellness centres in South Africa, and in turn, also home to a slew of dog parlours and doggy spas that will pamper your pooch.
It should come as no surprise that Cape Town has been voted as the best city in the world or the best city to visit on numerous occasions. And we agree; the best city in the world for man and man’s best friend.
Homely, Hearty Hermanus
When you think of Hermanus, you would instinctively think of it as the seasonal home of the majestic Southern Right Whale. But just as much as Hermanus is a home for the whales, it’s a homely escape for the whole family.
Relaxed and village-like, Hermanus truly offers a getaway for all. Spend the day exploring the village with all of its interesting bookshops, art galleries, markets and restaurants, or enjoy a day wine tasting in the stunningly beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde Valley.
One of the biggest attractions for pet owners in Hermanus is the enormous Grotto Beach – a stretch of about 18 kilometres and a haven for dogs to play in the sand and shallow waves.
Besides the obvious whale watching excursions (a few whales may still linger in December), Hermanus offers a boat-load (excuse the pun) of other water-based activities to enjoy. From surfing and bodyboarding to kite surfing, paddle boarding and boat excursions in the harbour. While these may not be suited to all furry friends, they will certainly entertain both young and old humans.
The Fernkloof Nature Reserve which stretches through Hermanus offers the opportunity for beautiful walks or hikes in the Overberg. No matter the fitness level of you or your pet, you’ll certainly be able to enjoy the views and fresh air from a walkabout in these parts.
Pet-friendly accommodation in Hermanus is also as luxurious as it is convenient, with accommodation available at Harbour House Hotel – ideally situated in the heart of the Old Harbour village and opposite the famous Walker Bay.
Homely, hearty even for hounds; Hermanus is a seaside paradise.
Glamorous on the Garden Route
Family (and pet-friendly) holidays don’t get more glamorous than at the breathtaking Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa on the Garden Route. The hotel itself, and the beautiful, lush estate it’s located on in Knysna, is undeniably one of the most beautiful on the Garden Route, and, if you didn’t know: it’s pet-friendly!
The Garden Route in itself is the ultimate destination for family holidays – especially in the summertime. An endless list of family-friendly activities are on offer in this magical region of South Africa.
From bungee jumping and paragliding for those not so faint of heart, long beach days on the multitude of beaches in the area, animal encounters, boating trips, wine tasting or culinary experiences to simply relaxing and absorbing the electric energy of the area – the Garden Route is an unforgettable holiday destination, whether you are young or old, human or someone’s beloved pet.
A family holiday truly isn’t a family holiday without the whole family there. So make the most of this December school holidays and treat the fam to a holiday they’ll never forget – and one that will have your four-legged friends wagging their tail at every turn.
P.s did you know that Pet Places donates 10% of every booking received to animal welfare NGO, Sidewalk Specials?!