My parents have been living in Montagu for almost 8 years. At least once a year the kids and go down to visit them. Sometimes we do very little and other times we spend a lot of time going out and exploring but either way, with each visit we discover somewhere new to go with the kids.
Last years big discovery was the Bontebok National Park in Swellendam. We were looking for somewhere to take the kids to swim, the two local resorts with pools were a little outside of our budget. The challenge when you have so many kids is that trips get expensive very quickly and with my brothers two we have a total of 6 kids, plus 6 adults.
My brother found the Bontebok National Park, it was apparently one of the best places to take kids so off we went. It is about 20 minutes outside Montagu in the town of Swellendam. The park is the smallest park in the South African National Parks portfolio.
The park has recently updated the day visitor area called “The Stroom”. It is a lovely area with some braai spots and a lovely deck area with showers, toilets, a kitchen and some chairs and tables. There is also a stunning big tree to sit under right next to the kids play area, making it the perfect picnic spot.
It took us a while to find the right spot but there is entry to the Breede River that is stunning. The water is safe to swim in and there is a large shallow area, ideal for little people. Obviously the further you go out, the deeper it gets but there is a large area that was perfectly safe for Jack and Emma to swim in.
At the end of the day, if I can say I had fun, it was a good day. Simone Biles
We were a little unprepared when we got there, we assumed there would be a swimming pool. I ended up popping into Swellendam to get some tubes and noodles for the kids to swim with. There is also very little shade where the entry to the water is so when we go again then we will take an outdoor umbrella or gazebo with because it gets super hot there.
Our initial plan was to spend a few hours and by the time it got too hot we would leave. We were having so much fun that we ended up leaving after 16h00. The kids didn’t want to leave and we had to drag the kids out. It was a stunning day filled with good, old fashioned fun.
If you are in the area, I would definitely recommend taking the kids here, especially if they haven’t swum in a river yet.
Remember to pack:
- Camping chairs
- Picnic basket – there are braai spots to braai
- Lots of water
- Swimming tubes/lilos/pool noodles
- Shoes for the kids (there are some serious devil thorns in certain areas)
Entry to the park is pretty reasonable at R43 per adult and R22 per child.
If you have a Wild Card then entry is free.