Why I think the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass is totally worth it

The Nelson Mandela Bay Pass is a smart card that gives you access to a range of activities in and around the Bay and costs you between R400 and R800. A few years ago Rob and I used the cards as a way to do more couple activities and this year, with Aidan finally being old enough to appreciate more of what the passes have to offer, we got him one too and are embarking on some #teammeyers family fun.
Nelson Mandela Bay Pass
So why not just do activities around the Bay on our own steam? what makes the Nelson Mandela Bay Pass necessary? I mean no one is stopping me from going the pay as you go route…
I’m going to be frank with you, it’s because it saves me money and I love me a bargain.

Before I tell you how I figure spending R600 per adult and R450 per child on a 5 in 1 Nelson Mandela Bay Pass card is affordable – but practically need to book a session with my therapist every time I buy something that does not have a sale sticker on – let me tell you why I want to do these  #teammeyers things in the first place.

Okay so a million years ago when I was in primary school, my dad used to take me to the airport to watch planes take off. We could not afford to take a flight anywhere,  but my dad wanted me to see that this was a possibility. He wanted me to understand that the situation we found ourselves in (struggling to make ends meet and me not always having what the other kids had) was not where my story had to end. He would ask me where I thought the planes were going and where I would go one day.

It is years later and I have taken many flights, I even have a stamped passport…This is something my dad wanted for me, he wanted me to experience things he never could (It should be said, now that he can afford a flight, he realises he is afraid of flying).

This is what I want for Aidan, I want him to experience things that a young Eleanor could only dream of, be exposed to things that I only learned about when I was grown. I grew up in a small town and spent my formative years in a “previously disadvantaged area” going to the most government of government schools, but my parents worked their behinds off and built a pretty good life for themselves. Holidays were spent exploring, visiting exciting places and making memories and I am so much richer for it.  So how do I do this for my son when the rand is low and people are selling the wheels off their cars to afford petrol.

Well, yesterday Aidan was surrounded by five-star luxury. Friendly, professional staff listened to his questions and patiently answered. They treated him like he was the son of someone who probably does not wear pajamas until 11am

They indulged his lunch request (We are offered a gourmet menu on the deck of a game farm restaurant and he asks for toast) and he got to snuggle up in a soft fur pile blanket on an open game viewing vehicle guided by a professional game ranger, while we tried to spot the Big 5. He was handed a warm scented towel on his return and even offered a hand massage as the therapists indulged his curiosity… No, an excursion like this is by no means a necessity, it was something out of the ordinary, this kid often does my charity work with me, he might as well indulge in luxury with me. I’m slowly building on that archive in the back of his mind, memories of his parents trying to expose him to “more”… like the memory of my dad holding me up so I can get a good look at the planes taking off…

We have a bunch more things planned, a boat trip, zip lining and so forth (well four more for now as we have the 5 in 1 pass. They give you access to a range of activities within a 3 month period)

This experience (not including petrol there) cost us like R90 bucks for Aidan and R120 for each of us (dividing the cost of a pass by 5 activities), that’s a three-hour game drive at Kuzuko Game Lodge, including gourmet lunch, your kids can have pizza, pasta burgers…they don’t have to trade down to toast, hehehe. If we paid cash for Aidan alone this would have been R350.

Another note… they don’t treat you like you have a coupon (is it just me or is this a thing, like sometimes establishments don’t go all out because you did not pay full price – also I did not disclose that I was from “the media” after working in media for 13 years I know you get treated differently so, it was nice to see that they were just professional and friendly, no strings attached…

Big thanks to Kuzuko Game Lodge a full review and family vlog coming up, stay tuned over the next few Monday’s when I share some Nelson Mandela Bay Pass activities and also do the math on whether it’s worth it.

Please note that there are different pass options so go over and see what works for you guys 🙂

PS. I won my Nelson Mandela Bay passes and tourism comped Aidan’s, but I would definitely use my own money on this – high praise since I’m rather thrifty.

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