Hotel accommodation suitable for family holidays in South Africa is easy to find in the cities, with most major chains represented, as well as widespread regional chains such as Protea Hotels (proteahotels.com), who have medium-priced mid-range properties all over the country. Inexpensive American-style motels are common in smaller towns, and there’s an increasing quantity of guesthouse accommodation available through agencies such as the Portfolio Collection (portfoliocollection.com).
The 19 wildlife parks run by state-owned Sanparks (sanparks.org; including big names such as Kruger and Kgalagadi) offer a high standard of self-catering accommodation within the park areas, ideal for families, but they do get booked up very quickly. Sanparks also runs official campsites.
The game reserves, whether they are state or private, also have a wide variety of lodges, although a cost-conscious family will find that hotel accommodation outside the park perimeter can be a great deal cheaper than one inside. For example a competitively priced family-friendly lodge such as the Ghost Mountain Inn in KwazuluNatal may be outside Mkhuze park but is well equipped to organize game drives and provide guides.
For more inspiration, see our feature Green Places to Stay with Kids: Africa.