Exploring Wild Card destinations as a family is a walk in the park this winter – and a lot of fun too. But which hikes are short and easy enough for young and old to enjoy the great outdoors? By Arnold Ras

From refreshing seaside walks to rambles amid mighty mountains, there’s a hike for everyone. Wild’s top five family-friendly hikes – all #wildadventuregoals to be enjoyed in national parks and reserves – are exciting, inspiring and suitable for any age.

Sea and forest for all

Whale watching and climbing rocks

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About: CapeNature’s Goukamma Nature Reserve, just outside Knysna, offers a circular route known as the Buffalo Bay Trail. And you don’t have to pack refreshments (aside from water) as the trail passes though the holiday town of Buffalo Bay, ideal for a quick breakfast or lunch. Explore indigenous forests, enjoy beachcombing along the pristine coastline, and try spotting whales – each year from June to November. What better way for a family to spend quality time together?
Distance: 4,2km
Duration: 2 hours
Conservation fees: R40 per adult, R20 per child (SA citizens). Wild Card members free.
Contact: +27 (0)22 931 2860, [email protected]

A rocky dreamland

About: One of the many scenic highlights of Camdeboo National Park is the impressive Valley of Desolation – yearly some 100,000 people pay the spot a visit. Make your way to the Valley parking area for the Crag Lizard Trail. From here the trail will lead you along several viewpoints to experience those ancient piled dolerite columns from up close. Look for the many dassies (rock hyraxes) basking in the Karoo sun at one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world.
Distance: 1,5km
Duration: 45 minutes
Conservation fees: R35 per adult, R17 per child (SA citizens). Wild Card members free.
Contact: +27 (0)49 892 3453, [email protected]

Discover and learn

#mlilwane #mlilwanewildlifesanctuary #swaziland #swazi #wildfamily #wild #wildlife

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About: Talk about a fun-filled educational getaway! At Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland’s oldest protected area, parents can take youngsters on the Junior Trail within the grounds of the rest camp. Make them fall in love with nature’s many wonders while learning more about the area’s trees, plants and history. Hikers will also receive a handy nature map to stay on track. The trail is open to both day visitors and guests spending the night. Don’t forget your passport – Swaziland is an independent Kingdom.
Distance: 1km
Duration: 1 hour
Conservation fees: R50 per person per day (SA citizens). Wild Card members free.
Contact: +268 2528 3943/4, [email protected]

Wondrous waterfalls

About: The mighty Augrabies Falls and Orange River Gorge should be on everybody’s bucket list. The self-guided Dassie Nature Trail follows a circular route that starts at the rest camp. Hike along the spectacular gorge to Arrow Point, and through the veld passing Moonrock. Have a picnic, take selfies with the plentiful rock formations, and be transported by the sound of masses of water tumbling into the gorge. Nature enthusiasts of all ages will find Augrabies awe-inspiring. Be sure to get a map from reception.
Distance: 5km
Duration: 1 hour
Conservation fees: R44 per adult, R22 per child (SA citizens). Wild Card members free.
Contact: +27 (0) 54 452 9200, [email protected]

Into the ravine

Na 'n styl stappie bo in die #EchoRavine #GoldenGate

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About: Starting and ending at Glen Reenen Rest Camp in Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the Eco-Ravine Hike leads deep into a ravine that will dazzle young minds. Walking between two sheer rock faces is both exhilarating and mystical: who dwelled here hundreds of years ago and are there any hidden treasures? Here the children’s imaginations can run wild. The picturesque hike has a medium level of difficulty making it suitable for young adventurers. Many describe Eco-Ravine as one of the best short walks in this national park, which is situated approximately 320km from Johannesburg.
Distance: 1,8km
Duration: 1 hour
Conservation fees: R44 per adult, R22 per child (SA citizens). Wild Card members free.
Contact: +27 (0)58 255 1000, [email protected]

Year of Adventure & Activity

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