Spring Break in the Valley of the Waves at Sun City Resort
I recently went with my daughter and her friend to the Valley of the Waves in Sun City, a resort in the northwestern province of South Africa.
Sun City is about 230 kilometers from Johannesburg. The resort is huge, with a number of luxury hotels including the Lost City, Cabanas, and Cascades.
Offers a variety of activities including safaris [at the nearby Pilanesberg Game Park and Bakubung Game Park], gambling, bird watching, hiking, elephant and / or horseback riding, golf courses and some water sports.
We didn’t want to spend our limited time running around the complex trying to get everything done. So we opted to spend most of our time at the beach, participating in spring break activities.
During a week in September, a mobile phone company whose activities I follow organizes a week-long event during which families can come to play, watch extreme water sports, and relax. People can also take part in day trips to the event, which is broadcast live on radio and television.
Unlike its college-associated cousin, this spring break involves clean family fun, with young children, school children, and teens playing together in various ever-changing groupings. Parents, grandparents, and other family members can choose to take a dip in the water or participate in organized games.
I wanted to include an elephant ride in our program, but the girls out-voted me, insisting that I would be too busy playing in the water to want to bother with smelly elephants. I also suspected they were a little scared of approaching a “wild animal” so I didn’t insist. Maybe I will next time we come.
These are some of the activities we carry out:
1. Took surf lessons and then chased the waves – At first it felt strange, standing on what passes by a beach knowing full well that the ocean was hundreds of miles away. But the artificial swell can also be high in this little pond, and parents and children alike can have a lot of fun snorkeling underwater or riding a wave.
2. Learned rock climbing – Amidst the natural rocks that surround the beach area, it is ironic that the designated climbing area is artificial. But the kids had as much as if they were scaling the real deal, so I’m not complaining.
3. I played volleyball, I did hula-hoops – The teenagers from the various family groups were happy to bring the younger children together and teach them games or organize some competitions.
4. Floated on the lazy river – The walk along the river was calm and smooth, until the stone monkeys on the river bank began to spit water in my face. The girls thought it was fun to watch me duck and turn, trying to avoid the water. Hey!
5. I went on a waterslide down a steep hill. – The person who goes to a slide must be at least 1.2 meters tall, so my daughter’s friend, who is also nine years old but is much shorter, could not go. So we did not stop at this activity.
6. Demonstrations seen – The formal program included water skiing and surfing demonstrations, as well as dance routines by a company of cheerleaders. The dancers, who were mostly college students, were pretty good; their slender figures were shaped well enough to make many teenagers’ hearts beat faster.
7. Read a novel, get some work done– Reading by the water is very hard work, especially when the heat hits you, prompting you to fall asleep for only a minute or ten. I also brought a notebook and a pen, so later I took some notes to write about the trip.
8. Took pictures of some monkeys. – The first day of our stay, we got lost on the way to our hotel. I don’t know how I managed it, because the layout of the complex is such that it should have gone from the beach, through the entertainment area to the main entrance to the Cascades, where we were staying. But somehow, we find ourselves at the back of the hotel, watching the monkeys rummage through garbage cans and chase each other through the trees. We were very careful not to get close to them, but we took as many photos as we could without scaring them off.