RV-ing South Africa: the top 5 & bottom 5 from the kids’ perspective

We’ve spent the past week in an RV bouncing along bumpy roads while exploring the Elephant Coast/KwaZulu-Natal area of South Africa. Here’s what the girls have to say about it:



Vivi’s RV top 5

1. I like seeing all of the animals while driving

2. I like going swimming at the beach

3. Walking around the towns that we stop in

4. I like watching monkeys run around the campsites

5. Having extra time to read and watch shows on my iPad

Vivi’s RV bottom 5

1. Bumpy car rides

2. Uncomfortable beds

3. Nothing to do

4. Long trips

5. No personal space

6. Bed was not so comfortable and I had to share it with Zara or Dad


Zara RV Top 5:

  1. I like spending time with my family
  2. We don’t have to repack all the time
  3. We have more room when we are driving
  4. We can lay down in the beds while we are driving
  5. We get to go to more parts of South Africa, which is very cool

Zara RV bottom 5:

  1. Gets very tight and crowded in the RV
  2. Banged my head a lot because the ride is so bouncy
  3. Get smelly very easily
  4. Bumpy and loud rides
  5. Got carsick easily
  6. Wasn’t anywhere I could go to blow of steam when I was upset
  7. Not a comfy place to Lounge


Adam RV top 5

  1. Returning it and not needing to drive it again
  2. Camping by the beach with the sound of the waves. (Just because we couldn’t SEE the waves from our site doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy them being so close)
  3. Monkeys. At each site. And lots of signs reminding us to not feed the monkeys. And monkey-proof trash cans.
  4. No need to unpack and re-pack with each location move.
  5. All four of us in one room (which is next to impossible to book at hotels around here!

Adam RV bottom 5

  1. Staring down the African truck drivers who come up very fast on a high speed undivided highway with confusing road markings and plenty of potholes
  2. South African petrol. Not so cheap.
  3. Living in fear of being accosted by a monkey whenever we ate a meal outside at our campsites.
  4. Having to arrive at our final destination by 5pm, because it is pitch black here at night and there are few streetlights and driving the RV on the wrong side of the road in the dark of night just felt too dangerous.
  5. All four of us in one room.



Day 1:

  • Pick up in Johanesburg
  • Overnight in Ermelo (the apparent coal capital of SA)

Day 2:

  • Breakfast & wandering in Piet Retief, where the diner we found inside a car repair place offered surprisingly yummy shakes
  • Lunch in Pongola
  • Overnight at Bonazami game reserve

Day 3:

  • Sunrise game drive at Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve- where we spotted lots of rhinos


  • Worked at the campsite restaurant watching impala and waterbuck pass by
  • Drove to the coastal town of Saint Lucia and ate overlooking the wetlands at the Saint Lucia water boat club

Day 4:

  • Explored the local town and found (finally) a good cuppa coffee
  • Drove through the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and camped on the beach at Cape Vidal. Swam in the Indian Ocean

  • Watched the World Cup 3rd/4th place England & Belgium game from the front porch of a funny little curio shop there.

Day 5:

  • Woke up and hit the Indian Ocean beach at Cape Vidal
  • Drove back through the wetlands park, and took a hike that ended with us spotting a big herd of zebra and impala and warthogs during our hike!
  • Lunch in Saint Lucia and then drove to Richard’s Bay, a not so scenic port town that we must have confused with a different bay – as we spent a bit a time looking for a cute waterfront wharf area that we thought we had read about…but never found it.
  • Watched the World Cup final from a dark & damp communal TV room at the Richards Bay Caravan Park.

Day 6:

  • Weighed the pros and cons of skipping more beach towns and spending a day in the metropolis of Durban. Decided dealing with an RV in a metropolis might not be so wise. So pointed towards the Dolphin Coast town of Ballito.
  • Lined up a surf lesson for the girls. Walked the beachfront promenade boardwalk. Ate a tasty lunch and decided to stay for the afternoon/evening.
  • Final night camping, packing, finishing our bottles of South African wine…

Animals spotted from the RV windows:

  • Zebras
  • Impalas
  • Monkeys
  • Warthogs

Meals we’ve cooked in the RV:

  • Kraft mac&cheese (brought from home!)
  • Cheese with bread
  • Tuna and beans (but the tuna doesn’t taste good because the mayo is weird here)
  • Spaghetti
  • savory pies from the gas station
  • Cereal with banana
  • Bread with peanut butter and cut-up pieces of chocolate bar
  • Local papaya, pineapple and banana bought from a street side stand


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