Family Fun in Bergrivier: Top Activities for Kids and Parents

Bergrivier

Nestled in the Western Cape of South Africa, the Bergrivier region offers a treasure trove of family-friendly activities. From engaging museums to serene nature reserves, and from exciting markets to breathtaking waterfalls, there is something for everyone.

Nomonde Ndlangisa, CEO of Bergrivier Tourism offers a guide to some of the top attractions in Bergrivier that promise fun and adventure for both kids and parents:

  1. The Fisheries Museum in Laaiplek

A visit to the Fisheries Museum in Laaiplek is a journey through the rich maritime history of the West Coast. This charming museum showcases the evolution of fishing in the area, featuring fascinating exhibits like vintage fishing gear, boat models, and stories of local fishermen. It’s an educational and entertaining stop for families, offering a glimpse into the life of the coastal community. Plus, kids can finally learn where their fish fingers really come from (hint: not the freezer aisle).

Tip: Combine your museum visit with a stroll along the Laaiplek harbour to watch the fishing boats come and go. Kids can wave at the fishermen like they’re local celebrities.

  1. The Historic Walking Route in Piketberg

Piketberg is a town steeped in history, and its historic walking route is a perfect way for families to explore its heritage. The route takes you past beautifully preserved buildings, including old churches, homes, and public buildings, each with its own story. It’s a leisurely activity that combines exercise with education, making it enjoyable for both kids and parents. Imagine the excitement when your little ones realise they’re walking through history – like a real-life treasure hunt, minus the pirates.

Tip: Pick up a map from the local tourism office to ensure you don’t miss any of the highlights. And remember, the promise of ice cream at the end can be a great motivator.

  1. The Piket-bo-berg Market

The Piket-bo-berg Market is a delightful spot for families to experience local culture. Held on the last Saturday of every month, this market offers a variety of wonderful handmade crafts, fresh produce, delicious food stalls, and live entertainment. It’s a vibrant place where kids can enjoy the open space and activities, while parents can browse and shop for unique items. It’s like a treasure trove where the only “X” marks the spot is your kids’ new favourite snack stall.

Tip: Arrive early to avoid the crowds and get the best selection of goods. Early birds might not get worms, but they do get the best pastries.

  1. The 22 Waterfalls in Porterville

Porterville is home to the stunning 22 Waterfalls, a natural attraction that’s perfect for a day of family adventure. The waterfalls are nestled in a beautiful setting, with hiking trails that vary in difficulty, making them accessible to families with children of all ages. The sight of cascading water and the opportunity to swim in natural pools is a highlight of any trip. Prepare for a day of “Wow!” moments and “Can we come back tomorrow?” requests.

Tip: Pack a picnic and plenty of water, and wear comfortable hiking shoes. And maybe a towel – for when the kids “accidentally” fall into the water.

  1. Piekenierkloof Mountain Lodge

For a blend of adventure and relaxation, Piekenierkloof Mountain Lodge is an ideal family destination. The lodge offers various activities, including zip-lining, putt-putt, hiking, and more. For those seeking a more laid-back experience, the lodge’s spa and pool provide a perfect retreat. It’s a great base for exploring the surrounding area while enjoying comfortable accommodation. Think of it as the perfect combo: adventure for the kids, relaxation for the parents.

Tip: Check the lodge’s activity schedule in advance to plan your stay around the most exciting events. And don’t forget to bring a book for those precious moments of peace by the pool.

  1. A Boat Cruise Up the River in Velddrif

Exploring the Berg River on a boat cruise is a serene and scenic experience. Families can enjoy the tranquil waters, observe a huge variety of bird species, and learn about the local ecosystem. It’s a relaxing way to spend a day, with the chance to see the region’s natural beauty from a unique perspective. Plus, there’s something undeniably magical about being on a boat – cue endless “I’m the captain!” declarations.

Tip: Bring binoculars for bird watching and a camera to capture the stunning views. And maybe a pirate hat – just in case.

  1. Exploring Bokkom Laan

Bokkom Laan in Velddrif is a historic area known for its traditional bokkom (dried fish) processing. Families can wander along the lane, watching the process of fish drying, visiting quaint shops, and tasting local delicacies. It’s a unique cultural experience that gives insight into the traditional ways of the West Coast. It’s also a great opportunity to challenge your kids to try something new.

Tip: Try some bokkoms and other local seafood specialities at one of the small eateries along the lane. And don’t forget to pack breath mints!

  1. The West Coast Fossil Park near Langebaan

Just a short drive from Bergrivier, the West Coast Fossil Park offers an exciting trip back in time. The park features a wealth of fossils from millions of years ago, including those of ancient animals. Guided tours provide fascinating insights into the prehistoric era, making it an educational and fun outing for children and adults alike. It’s like stepping into a time machine, but without the need for a flux capacitor.

Tip: Participate in the guided tour for a more in-depth understanding of the fossils and their significance. And encourage the kids to ask questions – they will surprise you with their dinosaur knowledge.

  1. Bird Watching in and Around Velddrif

Velddrif is a haven for bird watchers, with its wetlands attracting a diverse range of bird species. Families can spend a peaceful day observing flamingos, pelicans, and many other birds in their natural habitat. The area offers several bird hides and observation points, making it easy to spot and enjoy the local avian life. It’s a great way to teach kids about nature – and to practice your best “bird whisperer” voice.

Tip: Early morning or late afternoon is the best time for bird watching, as birds are most active during these times. And remember, patience is key – and snacks help too.

Tips for Planning a Family Vacation

Accommodation

  • Family-Friendly Lodges and Hotels: Look for places with activities for kids and amenities that make life easier for parents.
  • Self-Catering Options: Consider renting a holiday home or cottage for more flexibility and the option to cook your own meals.

Dining Options

  • Local Restaurants: The Bergrivier region and the towns within it have a wealth of eateries to suite all ages, tastes and budgets. From fresh seafood to burgers, pizza and everything in between.
  • Picnic Spots: Alternatively, pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful outdoors of the Bergrivier region.

General Tips

  • Plan Ahead: Check opening hours and activity schedules in advance to make the most of your time. A little planning goes a long way in avoiding meltdowns and maximising fun.
  • Pack Essentials: Sunscreen, hats, comfortable shoes, and plenty of water are must-haves for outdoor activities. Also, consider a small first aid kit – because kids.
  • Engage with Locals: Don’t hesitate to ask locals for recommendations—they often have the best tips for hidden gems and family-friendly spots. Plus, it’s a great way to teach kids about the importance of community and making new friends.

“Bergrivier is a fantastic destination for families looking to blend adventure, education, and relaxation. With its diverse attractions and welcoming atmosphere, it promises a memorable vacation for kids and parents alike. So pack your bags, gather the troops, and get ready for a family adventure that everyone will cherish!” concludes Ndlangisa.

For help with where to stay and other things to see and do in the Bergrivier area visit https://bergriviertourism.co.za.