Family Safaris

Family Safaris

Taking the whole family on safari can be a wonderful experience for parents and children alike!

Family Safaris

Taking the whole family on safari can be a wonderful experience for parents and children alike!

Family Safaris

Enjoying a Family Safari in Southern and East Africa

Setting off on a family safari holiday is something really special that you'll all be buzzing about for years to come. After all, an African safari is a huge adventure for both little kids and big kids (commonly known as parents) alike. Catching the pure amazement on your childrens' faces as they encounter their very first elephant or giraffe is an incredible feeling - one that you'll wish you could bottle and keep forever.

If you're planning a family safari, there are a few important things to keep in mind in order to ensure that every member of your family gets the most out of your trip. Safari lodges each have their own set of rules where children are concerned, so it's really crucial that you choose the right lodge for your clan.

Whilst just about every safari lodge accepts older children, many do not cater for children under the age of 12, so this is definitely something to consider when you're initially browsing through your safari options.     

children on game drives

As a general rule, most lodges do not permit children under the age of 5 years to join long adult game drives. This is purely to protect the safety of your kids and ensure that everyone gets a top notch safari experience. Game drives require sustained quiet and patience, which are both big asks from an over-excited child in Africa! Noise and sudden movement can attract unwanted attention from the wildlife or scare it away altogether, so they are real safari-spoilers that can put all the participants at risk. As small children are so wonderfully unpredictable, it's just not a safe environment for them.

Each lodge has it's own rules, so you should be sure to double-check exactly what these rules involve before booking your safari. After all, what could be more disappointing than finding out that your 8 year old cannot join you on game drives when you check in at the lodge?! Of course, we're here to help you find the best safari option for your family and ensure that absolutely nothing of this sort happens to you.

We've compiled a list of family-friendly lodges to set you off in the right direction. Many of these lodges offer brilliant chilldren's activity programmmes for any kids too young for adult game drives, featuring a whole host of fun-filled activities from ‘bush bumbles' and themed picnics to insect walks and traditional storytelling. Other lodges will offer babysitting services to look after your little ones while you're out on safari.

Alternatively, it may be possible for your family to hire a private vehicle and driver so that your whole brood can head out into the bush together on bespoke game drives according to the ages of your kids. This can be a useful way to get around any age restrictions, but please do bear in mind that it will involve additional costs.

Finally, if you're planning a family trip to East Africa, using a private driver-guide could be the perfect solution. Not only does this bring the overall cost of the safari down (as it is booked on a Full Board basis and avoids costly flights between safari destinations) but there are no age restrictions involved. 

 

 
 
 

Savanna Private Game Reserve

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 3 ratings

Savanna has 4 luxury tented suites and 3 spacious executive tented suites. Rustic reed blinds, coir carpets, a draped canvas ceiling and built in lounge area all combine to create the most luxurious tents in Africa.

 
Savanna Private Game Reserve Honeymoon Package
Valid:   1 January 2014  -  31 December 2015.
 

 

Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge
Travel Butlers Award Winner

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 based on 15 ratings

Imagine a seamless blend of authentic African design with eclectic European elegance, and you will conjure up the unique style and character of Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge. Hidden among the lush gardens, 6 individually, artistically styled suites each have a private plunge pool, and exude an air of bygone romance combined with unfaltering luxury.

 
Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge: Stay 4 nights for the price of 3
Valid:   15 January 2015  -  15 December 2015.
 

 

Cheetah Plains

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 based on 2 ratings

Cheetah Plains strives to embrace a contemporary ethnic design, with 8 elegantly decorated chalets nestled into the indigenous gardens of the camp. The traditionally thatched accommodation blends seamlessly into the African bush, creating a harmonious flow between pampered relaxation and the raw South African bushveld.

 

 

Jock Safari Lodge

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 based on 7 ratings

Twelve luxury air-conditioned suites offer guests the unique opportunity to experience the gracious style of old world elegance surrounded by unspoilt wilderness. Each suite has a private sala (outdoor lounge) that overlooks the river.

 

 

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 4 ratings

The 6 ultra luxurious suites at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge all have en-suite bathrooms with outdoor and inside showers, a courtyard, lounge with fireplace, wooden viewing deck, patio and private plunge pool. The bedroom and bathroom area are air-conditioned and overhead fans cool the bedrooms and lounges.

 
Book 3 nights on Safari and get 2 nights free in Cape Town
Valid:   1 June 2015  -  10 January 2016.
 

 

Idube Private Game Reserve

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 2 ratings

The 8 individually decorated chalets are all equipped with air-conditioning, overhead fans and mosquito screens for that touch of safari romance. Outside showers offer the perfect solution to a hot day.

 

 

AmaKhosi Safari Lodge

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 1 ratings

The magnificent regal River Suites offer superb views of the flowing Mkuze River. Each suite boasts a separate air-conditioned bedroom and lounge with fully stocked mini bar and tea/coffee making facilities.

 

 

Pakamisa Lodge

Safari Lodge

The 8 spacious, tastefully-decorated suites offer the highest standards for comfort and complete relaxation. Each en-suite room, comprising a bedroom, lounge, deluxe-bathroom, wardrobe and veranda, is fully equipped with mini bar and tea/coffee making facilities.

 

 

Notten's Bush Camp

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 4 ratings

With no electricity, candles and lanterns cast an ambient light to the elegantly styled private chalets after sunset. Each chalet has its own private veranda, and en-suite bathroom, some with outside showers.

 

 

Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 based on 5 ratings

The 25 luxurious air-conditioned thatched suites feature ethnic decor in keeping with the bushveld environment. All suites have a fully stocked mini bar and a telephone, and a spacious en-suite bathroom with an outside shower, ideal for cooling off after a hot game drive.

 

 

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge

Safari Lodge

There are only 13 suites at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge. Each is attended by a private butler and is appointed with specially commissioned furnishings, a secluded plunge pool and open air shower.

 

 

Exeter River Private Game Lodge

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 2 ratings

The lodge is intimate, with only 8 suites, and this ensures a truly personal service from the outstanding and friendly staff. The suites are amongst the most luxurious in the Sabi Sand reserve, and each boasts a private sun-deck overlook the game-rich area surrounding the lodge.

 
Sabi Sand Honeymoon Offer
Valid:   1 January 2016  -  31 December 2016.
 

 

Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Travel Butlers Award Winner

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 based on 27 ratings

The lodge offers the choice of 6 luxury air-conditioned suites, which all have large wooden decks overlooking the bush, a spacious en-suite bathroom with double basins, and a private outside shower which is perfect for cooling off after a hot game drive. The glass fronted Honeymoon Suite offers romantic elegance, total privacy and a stunning view, as well as a private splash pool.

 

 

Inyati Private Game Reserve
Travel Butlers Award Winner

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 based on 31 ratings

Each of the immaculately furnished en-suite thatched chalets and executive suites all have glorious river views. Each is equipped with air-conditioning, mosquito nets, telephone, and beautifully appointed bathrooms.

 

 

Gorah Elephant Camp
Travel Butlers Award Winner

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 based on 6 ratings

Your accommodation is in spacious and luxurious tented suites, which are reminiscent of the golden era of safaris in the early 1900s, yet with all the comfort and excellence associated with Africa's finest game lodges. Sumptuous breakfasts and superb lunches are both served in the elegant dining room, or on the veranda overlooking the waterhole.

 
Gorah Elephant Camp: Stay 4 nights for the price of 3
Valid:   8 April 2015  -  30 September 2015.
 

 

Umlani Bushcamp

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 4 ratings

Umlani's traditional African reed and thatch huts will not only provide you with all the comforts you need, but will also provide you with an authentic experience of local tribal (Shangaan) architecture and style, which blends in naturally with the environment.  Each hut has en-suite facilities including an open-air bush shower fuelled by wood fires.

 

 

Kambaku Safari Lodge

Safari Lodge

Accommodation at Kambaku Safari Lodge comprises of 8 thatched, en-suite chalets situated in a semi-circle overlooking a waterhole. To truly immerse yourself in the rustic bush experience, the chalets are equipped with lanterns for light as well as power points for your convenience, which are sustained by the eco-friendly battery bank system.

 

 

Phinda Mountain Lodge

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 1 ratings

25 split-level suites, each with their own private plunge pool, crest the mountain, with raptor's-eye views of the Reserve.Observe the serenity of the South African wilderness from your private deck, surrounded by the indigenous trees and shrubbery of the pristine Zululand bushveld.

 
Free Flights Included
Valid:   1 January 2016  -  31 December 2016.
 

 

Phinda Forest Lodge

Safari Lodge

Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 4 ratings

Wake up to the sight of graceful nyala and duiker browsing in the foliage of the sand forest right outside the glass walls of your private suite. Each suite is decorated in a stone and sand palate, which is accented with Zulu orange.

 
Free Flights Included
Valid:   1 January 2016  -  31 December 2016.
 

 

Phinda Vlei Lodge

Safari Lodge

Fringing Phinda's unique vlei (wetland) system at the edges of the Sand Forest is Vlei Lodge - a study in intimacy and integration with the environment. 6 elegant and exclusive stilted glass and thatch suites overlook the vlei, where you are likely to see herds of grazing antelope and zebra.

 
Phinda Honeymoon Offer
Valid:   1 January 2016  -  31 December 2016.
 

 
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Family Safaris in Southern and East Africa

Kid's Programmes

Many safari lodges, particularly in South Africa, offer special  children's activities for their younger guests.

These obviously vary from lodge to lodge, but in general the majority of the  will include a shortened game drive, bush walks in search of insects, footprints and animal dung, and  traditional story-telling.

You can find out more and see a selection of lodges offering these activities here...

Malaria-Free Safaris

For families with younger children, a malaria-free safari destination may also be preferable, and South Africa offers a wide choice of family-friendly lodges across the Eastern Cape, Waterberg, Madikwe or Pilanesberg.

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