A little time goes a long way when you spend it outdoors, so why not plan a day trip during the winter break? These parks are perfect for day trips with kids.

Addo National Park, near Port Elizabeth

Forget about the Big Five, this park boasts the Big Seven (lion, elephant, rhino, leopard, buffalo, great white shark and southern right whale). But it is also about the little things: dung beetles have right of way and there are signs warning motorists to watch out for them. Little people will enjoy the ellie gym, while the interpretive centre has interesting exhibits for all ages.

Addo-Play gym

Kids will delight in the elephant-shaped play gym.

Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town

What could be more exciting than a cable car ride to the top? Even better, this winter kids ride free when accompanied by a paying adult. Kids will receive a treasure hunt map, which they can use to explore the top of the mountain. See if you can pick out Cape Town landmarks from this bird’s eye view and look for dassies, rock agama and beetles bustling about. Visit the Cableway’s home page to buy tickets and check visibility.

Table Mountain-Riaan Vermeulen

Picture by Riaan Vermeulen

Albert Falls Game Reserve, near Durban

Less than an hour from Durban and Pietermaritzburg you can go on a big game safari. White rhino, springbok, zebra, giraffe and oribi can be found in this lush reserve. If you like, you can also explore on foot or by bike. Pack a picnic basket so you can have lunch next to the dam.

Malelane Gate, Kruger National Park, near Nelspruit

A drive through the game-rich southern part of the park is always an experience. Have a competition to see who is the first to spot giraffe, kudu, elephant… Visit the Jock of the Bushveld memorial and tell your kids the story of this brave dog.

Mokala National Park, near Kimberley

There’s no end to the fascinating sightings at Mokala: rare roan antelope, unusual tsessebe and even black springbok. The unfenced Matopi picnic area is surrounded by unspoilt nature and is a great spot for a picnic or braai. Stofdam waterhole has a spacious new hide where you can look for impressive birds like martial eagle and marabou stork.

Mokala National Park-Yoland Irwin

Picture by Yoland Irwin