South Africa has its fair share of fun water parks and hopefully you are lucky enough to have one nearby. If not, perhaps you should plan your next holiday somewhere near one. It’s a great way for families to spend summer days in the sun. From Body Tornadoes and Kamikaze Speed Slides to Tarantulas and Boomerangos, there’s sure to be an adrenaline rush to suit you. If not, you can enjoy a lazy lunch on the lawn while the kids have their fill.
Here are 20 amazing water parks around the country. Cross your legs and hold onto your cozzie, cause you’re in for a thrilling experience!
1. WET ‘N WILD, USHAKA MARINE WORLD, DURBAN
Enjoy a fun fresh water world of slides and pools at uShaka’s Wet ‘n Wild. The “Body Tornado” is the newest and fastest slide. Other slides include the “Mamba Tunnel Slide”, the “Plunge: Free Fall Slide”, and the “Torpedo: Kamikaze Speed Slide” where you’ll feel as if you’re sliding on air! At 18 metres, the “Drop Zone” is the highest slide in Africa, guaranteed to get the adrenalin pumping and your heart skipping a beat.
Younger kids and the more faint hearted can enjoy the “Jika Jika Family Rafter”, the “Toti Splash Kiddies Slide”, the “Fast River Ride” and the “Dizzy Duzi Adventure Ride”.
Note: Wet ‘n Wild is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays during off-peak season (peak season includes all public and school holidays).
Contact: Tel +27 31 328 8000, www.ushakamarineworld.co.za/wet-n-wild
2. VALLEY OF WAVES, SUN CITY, NORTH WEST PROVINCE
Sun City’s legendary Valley of Waves offers family-friendly water activities that appeal to all ages, as well as a designated children’s area and lifeguards on duty.
The main attraction, the “Roaring Lagoon” is a 6 500 square metre wave pool that generates waves of nearly 2 metres high every 90 seconds. The almost vertical “Temple of Courage” promises an exhilarating rush with a 17-metre drop down a 70-metre slide. There are also two body slides – the “Tarantula” and the “Scorpion”, and two tube rides – the “Viper” and the “Mamba”.
Not an adrenaline junky? Take a gentle tube ride around an island on the Lazy River or soak up some sun at The Royal Baths swimming pool. If you don’t feel like getting wet, you can also meander along the walkways through tropical forests, explore the Spider Web Sway Bridge, hidden cave waterfalls, rare plant varieties and more.
Note: The Valley of Waves closes for a month between May and July for annual maintenance.
Contact: Tel +27 14 557 3444, www.suninternational.com/sun-city/activities/valley-of-waves/
3. WILD WAVES WATER PARK, WILD COAST SUN, KWAZULU-NATAL
Featuring some of the world’s best and latest rides, the Wild Waves Water Park has an exciting assortment of water activities. Thrill-seekers can enjoy the adrenaline-pumping “Aqualoop”, “Superbowl”, the steep Speed Slides or “Boomerango” and those looking for more relaxed fun can enjoy the leisurely Lazy River and regular body slides. The Kidz Zone offers a fun and safe interactive water play area.
Note: The park may close on bad weather days
Contact: Tel +27 39 305 4800, www.suninternational.com/wild-coast-sun/activities/wild-waves-water-park/
4. DIAZ WATER PARK, MOSSEL BAY, WESTERN CAPE
Located next to the Diaz Beach Hotel, the water park has various indoor and outdoor super tubes, as well as a heated pool. The park offers fun for all ages and is a great place to spend a day in the sun. There are braai and picnic areas available for leisurely lunches and you also have easy access to the beach.
Contact: Tel +27 44 692 8429, www.diazwaterpark.co.za
5. SPLASH WATERWORLD, AMANZIMTOTI, DURBAN
Situated on Amanzimtoti’s main beach, Splash Water World offers a mix of speed and body rides. Speed slides include the Coaster Tube Ride, Kamikaze and Stuka free fall. Other body rides are the famous “washing machine” and midi body ride. Small children can enjoy a variety of rides, including a water mushroom and river ride. Pools are kept at 19°C throughout the year. So no matter the weather, the water is always perfect.
The park is wheelchair friendly and there are lifeguards on duty. You can enjoy a game of putt-putt, make use of the braai facilities or have a lazy lunch at the Thirsty Whale family restaurant.
Contact: Tel +27 31 904 2273, www.splashwaterworld.co.za
6. WATERWORLD STRAND, WESTERN CAPE
Situated right next to one of the most attractive beaches in False Bay, this family friendly park boasts a Supertube, Speed slide, Midi slide and Kiddies double speed slide, as well as a double kiddies pool and a jacuzzi pool for moms and dads.
For those who prefer to stay dry, the park also offers dry play areas, a kiddies sandpit, climbing wall, Zipline and Mini action sport.
There are picnic and undercover areas to relax, and the Waterside Café sells hot dogs, pizzas, boerie rolls and more alongside the cold drinks, sweets and cappuccinos.
Note: The park is open from September – April, but is closed on Mondays during school terms.
Contact: Tel +27 21 854 4702, waterslides.co.za
7. WATERWORLD PLETT, GARDEN ROUTE
Like its sister in Strand, Waterworld Plett is a safe and fun play park for the whole family. They offer a supertube slide as well as a mini slide, putt-putt, trampolines, a swimming pool and jungle gyms. The kiosk is available for snacks and drinks but you are welcome to bring your own as well. They have picnic areas and braai facilities.
Contact: Tel +27 82 578 2802, waterslides.co.za/waterslides-plett
8. WILD WATERS BOKSBURG, GAUTENG
Families can spend a day riding the super tubes, Raging Rapids tube ride, Speed hum slide and the Kamikaze board ride. If you’re less adventurous but still want some fun, you can enjoy swimming in the wave pool, playing putt-putt, building sandcastles or playing volleyball in the sand pit. In between all the fun, you can relax with a picnic or make use of the braai facilities. Park facilities include a shop with refreshments and takeaways.
Note: Wild Waters Boksburg is only open in summer.
Contact: Tel +27 11 826 6736, www.wildwatersboksburg.co.za
9. GWEN BALI WATERWORLD, BLOEMFONTEIN, FREE STATE
Gwen Bali Waterworld is the only waterpark in the Free State. The park’s rides include a super tube, the Kamekaze Slide and two-lane racers, as well as a Lazy River that ends in one of the swimming pools.
There are picnic spots and braai areas where you can relax and enjoy lunch. Alternatively, they also have a shop with take-away foods.
Note: Wild Waters Boksburg is only open in summer.
Contact: Tel +27 82 821 9555, sites.google.com/site/gwenbaliwaterworld
10. PINES RESORT, KRUGERSDORP, GAUTENG
Pines Resort is a day resort only and the number of guests are limited on each day. To avoid disappointment, book tickets on-line before the time which guarantees your entrance for the day.
The resort offers waterslides, a swimming pool and a toddler’s pool, as well as a kiddie’s play area with swings, jungle gyms, slides and a jumping castle.
There are no restaurant facilities are available, but they have a tuck shop where you can buy chips, sweets, soft drinks, ice cream and more. They also stock ice, charcoal, firelighters and more. The picnic spots have braai stands and shade umbrellas.
Note: Pines Resort is only open in summer.
Contact: Tel +27 11 955 3845, pinesresort.co.za
11. MAFUNYANE RIVERSIDE WATER PARK, NELSPRUIT, MPUMALANGA
The park features body slides, tube slides, speed slides and kiddies slides, as well as crystal clear pools and fun filled activities for children and adults of all ages. With names such as “Cheetah’s Challenge”, “Boomslang Bungee” and “Leaping Leopard” the slides aim to thrill and challenge you.
If you prefer, you can just cool down or float about in the big pool, visit our kiddies water-activity play area or relax on the lawn. There are two food outlets and braai facilities as well.
Note: The park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except on public holidays and school holidays.
Contact: Tel +27 81 538 9311. www.mafunyane.co.za
12. GOODERSON NATAL SPA HOT SPRINGS & LEISURE RESORT, PAULPIETERSBURG, KWAZULU-NATAL
Although famous for its hot and healing mineral waters, the 3-star resort also boasts boulder slides and a 110 metre long supertube.
Other activities available at the resort include quad bike trails, squash, tennis, hiking, birding trails, mountain bike trails and fishing.
Contact: Tel +27 31 337 4222, www.goodersonleisure.co.za/gooderson-natal-spa-hot-springs-resort
13. MUIZENBERG WATER SLIDES, CAPE TOWN
Situated on Muizenberg Beach, the park offers solar heated pools and three slides. One ‘advanced’ slide, one straight and fast ‘speed’ slide, and one ‘junior’ slide for smaller kids.
Facilities include shaded seating with tables for picnics and a tuckshop where you can buy refreshments such as chips and sweets, as well as hotdogs and drinks.
Note: The park is open from mid September to April.
Contact: Tel +27 82 454 5023, www.muizenbergslides.co.za
14. WAVEHOUSE, DURBAN
You’re in for a thrilling experience with SA’s biggest supertube, the 180 metre Spaghetti Junction supertube. Other water rides include a super fun-filled speed racer, the surf-like flow rider and kiddies slides. Little ones can play or cool off at the splashpad water play area.
Wavehouse Durban also offers a 250m asphalt pump track for push bikes, BMX bikes, mountain bikes, skateboards, scooters and roller skates.
The toddlers zone is a super safe indoor play area for kids under six and offers a wavy slide, softer and smaller toys and obstacles to climb on.
Contact: Tel +27 31 584 9413, www.wavehouse.co.za
15. GRACELAND VENUES, PAARL, WESTERN CAPE
Graceland Venues in Paarl has numerous fun activities for families, including large waterslides, a play park, jungle gym and farm animal encounters.
Day visitors are accommodated on availability and booking is preferred.
Contact: Tel +27 72 264 4009, www.graceland-venues.co.za
16. MCARTHUR’S POOL AND LEISURE CENTRE, PORT ELIZABETH
The complex offers two open-air warm freshwater pools, a bigger swimming pool, changing rooms, a children’s water chute and splash pool, as well as two up-market restaurants. Nearby King’s Beach is a glorious 1, 6 km stretch of golden sand, extending from the harbour wall to Humewood, and provides safe swimming, body surfing, sunbathing and long beach walks. The promenade offers children’s playgrounds and toddlers’ paddling pools as well.
The pools are open in-season, seven days a week, from September to the following April.
Contact: Tel +27 (0)41 582 2285, www.facebook.com/Mc-Arthur-Pools
17. OPEN SKY ENTERTAINMENT PARK, PORT ELIZABETH
Open Sky offers numerous activities, including a large playground area, a kids carousel, convoy cars, an 18 hole putt-putt course and a large water park with two pools for kids up to 12 years.
The park also a wonderful animal farmyard where kids can interact with bunnies, guinea pigs, ducks and much more. For horsie lovers they offer pony rides.
Opening hours are from Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm.
Contact: Tel +27 41 372 1235, www.openskype.co.za
18. SPLASH WATERWORLD, PORT ELIZABETH
Located on a beautiful, safe, enclosed grass area on Kings Beach, the park offers a supertube, speedslide and a Lazy River Ride, as well as a kiddies supertube, kiddies stuka and a kiddies speedslide. They have braai facilities and Credence Coffee serves Barista Coffee and take away meals. As shade is limited, it would be wise to take and umbrella or gazebo.
Note: During school terms, the park only opens on week days for school groups or large groups (min 60 swimmers).
Contact: Tel +27 73 238 6364, splashwaterworldpe.co.za
19. ADVENTURE LAND, PLETTENBERG BAY
For the little ones there is a 25 metre mini supertube, a mini free fall slide and a mini kamikaze slide that plunges into a kiddies pool. For bigger kids and adults they offer a 75 metre long supertube, the kamakazi slide and a 12 metre high free fall slide, sure to make you scream. Not for the faint hearted the “raging rapid” tube ride will definitely get your heart pumping!
The Park also offers a play area with swings, trampolines, jungle gym and lots more. For the hungry ones there is a takeaway kiosk and braai facilities.
Note: The park is closed during winter (May to August).
Contact: Tel +27 (0)44 532 7869, www.adventurelandplett.co.za
20. WARMBATHS FOREVER RESORT, WARMBAD, LIMPOPO
Although famous for its mineral baths and Hydro, the resort offers a variety of outdoor activities and day visitors are welcome at the resort. The water park features a main pool, baby pool, wave pool, super slide and speed slide. Other on-site activities and facilities include a river ride, cable water ski, fu-fi slide, go-karts, mini quads, a kiddies play park, outdoor chess, pedal boats and putt-putt. For the hungry there is a Spur, a number of kiosks and a shop.
Contact: Tel +27 (0)14 736 8500, www.foreverwarmbaths.co.za