Recently, my daughter and her friend went to Valley of the Waves in Sun City, a resort in Northwestern South Africa.
Sun City is about 230 km from Johannesburg. The resort is huge, with a number of luxury hotels including Lost City, Cabanas and Cascades.
It offers a variety of activities including drives [in the nearby Pilanesberg Game Park and Bakubung Game Park], gambling, bird watching, hiking, elephant rides / horse riding, golf courses and some water sports.
We didn't want to spend our limited time racing across the resort trying to do it all. So we chose to spend most of our time on the beach, and take part in spring break activities.
For one week in September, a mobile company I follow has hosted a one-week event during which families can play sports, extreme water sports and relax. People can also go on day trips to the event that is broadcasted live on radio and TV.
Unlike her college-associated cousin, this spring break includes clean family fun, with toddlers, toddlers in school and teenagers playing together in different groups that are constantly changing. Parents, grandparents, and other family relationships may choose to swim in the water or participate in organized games.
I wanted to include elephant rides in our show, but the girls outperformed it and insisted that I would be too busy playing in the water to want to bother the smelly elephants. I also suspect that they are too afraid to come close to a "wild animal", so I didn't insist on that. Maybe I will do it next time we come.
Here are some of our activities:
1. Take surfing lessons, then repel waves At first, I felt strange, standing on the beach, knowing that the ocean was hundreds of kilometers away. But man-made surf can be very high on this small pool, and parents and children alike can enjoy underwater diving or wave rides.
2. I learned rock climbing Amidst the natural rocks surrounding the beach area, it is ironic that the area designated for rock climbing must be artificial. But the kids had as much if they were climbing the real deal, so I am not complaining.
3. I played some volleyball, I did some hula hoops – Teens among the various family groups were happy to collect young children, teach them games or run some competitions.
4. I floated over the lazy river – The river trip was calm and smooth, until the stone monkeys on the edge of the river began to spit water at me. The girls thought it was funny to watch my butt crumble, and try to avoid the water. Huh!
5. Go on a water slide below a steep hill The person sliding on a slide should be at least 1.2 meters tall, so my nine-year-old but much shorter daughter-in-law was unable to go. So we did not prolong this activity.
6. I watched the demonstrations – The official program included demonstrations of surfing and windsurfing, as well as encouraging group dances. Dancers, who were mostly college students, were very good; their ornate shapes were well enough to get the heartbeat of many of the teenage boy pumping faster.
7. Read the novel, work a little Reading next to water is a very hard job, especially when the heat hits you, urging you to drift off to sleep for only a minute or ten minutes. I also brought a notebook and pen, so I took a few notes to write about the trip afterwards.
8. Take pictures of some monkeys – On the first day of our stay, we lost our way to our hotel. I don't know how I managed to do that, because resort planning was something I should have pulled from the beach, across the entertainment area to the front entrance of Cascades, where we were staying. But somehow, we found ourselves at the back of the hotel, and we watch monkeys breathe in litter boxes and chase each other between trees. We were very careful not to get close to them, but we took as many pictures as possible without being able to view them.