There is something so unique about going on a safari with kids, it’s a life changing experience especially as the landscape is an enormous outdoor classroom.
If you are looking at planning a Safari holiday with your family then you must checkout our list of everything you need to know and more.
Firtsly it's worth doing some research to find the right kind of safari, in the right destination, so that little ones will be engaged and inspired. You must also take into consideration your child’s age and how long they will be able to sit in a car for as Safari’s are a matter of patience.
Do all camps accept kids?
No not all camps do. You need to check with specific camps to see what their policy is on kids. Some camps allow kids ages six to 12 to attend game. While children younger than six cannot participate in lodge activities, child minders (aka babysitters) can be arranged during activities and at meal times at an additional cost.
Do we need to take any particular jabs when going on a Safari?
The two most important diseases to take precautions against in Africa are and both are spread by mosquitos. Yellow fever is easily combatted via a simple and highly effective single vaccination, which is routinely available from a travel clinic. You must have it at least 10 days before you leave for two reasons: it takes a few days before you are effectively protected, and you may experience light flu-like symptoms, which are unpleasant on a long haul flight.
I don’t want to give my kids anti-malaria pills—where can we go that’s low-risk for the disease?
There are a few game reserves in South Africa that are perfectly suited. “The Madikwe Reserve has wonderful and varied game viewing as well as camps that cater to families,” says Saperstein. Also, he notes, Tswalu is one of the largest private game reserves in Africa—it’s malaria-free and has fantastic activities for children, including Southern Skies stargazing and daytime meerkat tracking.
Where’s the best place to go if my child is obsessed with lions?
The Masai Mara in Kenya is fantastic for lion sightings hence why The BBC documentary series Big Cat Diary has filmed there for many years. If you want to go to South Africa, there are some amazing private gave reserves there as well: Sabi Sand, Madikwe and Timbavati. (see below)
What types of accommodations should I book?
Go for properties that offer large family lodges with swimming pools for the kids to wind down if need be. Be adventurous and try camping too – be it luxury or mid level as there is something about being in the great outdoors and the connection with the wilderness.
Try to book a private car
As a family its best to have your own car so as you can go at your desired pace. There might be areas that you don’t want to do or the kids start to get a bit agitated – you don’t want to be stuck with a photographer who is waiting to capture the perfect moment
Binoculars are essential. Have at least one pair to share amongst the family, even better if your children can have their own pair.
Bring wildlife guide-books with you, children (and many adults) love ticking the wildlife checklist off as they spot them.
Bring a back pack with you complete with:
· Sun protection: long hours in the sun can put skin at risk of burning, so make sure you bring high-factor sun creams, hats for game drives.
· Insect bites: have insect repellents to hand, especially for the evenings and wetter environments. An anti-itch, post-bite balm is also a great idea.
· Food: Every kid needs snacks!
· Motion sickness tablets are good to have on standby.
Below are a few Safari Lodge recommendations, but do contact us directly for more information:
Singita - South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Rwanda
Singita is a conservation brand that has been preserving African wilderness for the past 25 years, offering guests an exceptional safari experience with 12 luxury, award winning lodges and camps across five regions in Africa. in partnership with non profit funds and trusts who implement strategic conservation projects in each region, Singita is preserving and protecting pristine land and wildlife populations.
Emakoko - Kenya
The Emakoko is a beautiful lodge uniquely positioned on the edge of the Nairobi National Park. It is located a 45 minute drive from either of Nairobi’s airports. The drive through the park itself, with its beautiful scenery and abundance of plains game is a spectacular way to start any East African safari.
Madikwe Game Reserve - South Africa bordering Botswana
Madikwe Game Reserve is currently the fifth largest game reserve and is also one of the lesser known parks in SA. This makes it a hidden gem as it is regarded as one of the best conservation areas in Africa and offers the Big 5. The park offers a number of luxurious lodges in a malaria free zone.
Welgevoden Game Reserve - Johannesburg, South Africa
Welgevonden Game Reserve (Dutch for “well found”), is a 34,850ha game reserve in the Waterberg District, of the Limpopo Province of South Africa. A pleasant 2.5-hour drive or an easy 45-minute flight from Johannesburg into one of the airstrips, makes Welgevonden one of the most accessible premier malaria free wilderness reserves in the country. It forms part of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve which was officially declared by UNESCO in 2001 and currently covers an area in excess of 4000 km².
See the beautiful lodges available
Simbavati Safari Lodges - Kruger National Park, South Africa
The is one of the few places in the world where you have the opportunity to see the unique in their natural environment
Hill Top Lodge – Pavilion style luxury tents
River Lodge – Family Friendly luxury tents
Fairmont Masai Mara, Kenya
The Fairmont Mara Safari Club, a luxury Masai Mara resort hotel in Kenya. With four poster, pillow-top beds and a veranda overlooking the hippo and crocodile-filled river, each of the 50 tents at Fairmont Mara Safari Club is superbly furnished with its own private, three-piece bathroom, including a number of “outdoor showers” in select tents.
Four Seasons Serengeti, Tanzania
Perched on a series of elevated platforms and walkways, our Lodge sits next to an animal watering hole, where you can watch a family of elephants stop for their morning drink as you sip your own out on your room’s private balcony. Under the constant protection of local Maasai tribes people, we’ll take you in the bush for an exhilarating game drive
Kapama - South Africa
Nestled between the Blyde River Valley and Kruger National Park, Kapama’s four luxury camps offer an escape for nature lovers from across the globe. This untouched part of Africa is home to some our the countries most endangered, beautiful and fascinating wild life.
Wild Coast Lodge
Closer to home in Sri Lanka is the stunning Wild Coast Lodge.
This remote Safari camp is made up of luxurious cocoon like lodgings. Inspired by the egg shaped boulders found on the beach. The inside of the cocoons ooze luxury with teak floors, leather chairs and a free-standing copper bath. The resort has an open air restaurant, a spa and an infinity pool. But the biggest attraction is right on the door step of the lodge as Yala National Park is rich in wildlife with Cheetah and elephants roaming around.