Taking the family on safari will inevitably end up one of the most memorable trips you take. The best family vacations are so often all about the special experiences you have together – and Africa has these in bucket-loads. Depending on the age of your children and your travel style and tastes (adventure, relaxation?), there are some destinations more suitable than others. For inspiration, here are just a few of the best family vacations in Africa.
Madikwe, South Africa
South Africa is always top of the list for great family adventures, as it’s such an ease to travel around, and lodges are well used to catering to little ones. Madikwe is particularly good for families on safari, as it’s malaria-free. Here you can see the Big Five from the safety of a game vehicle and older kids (usually 16+) can go on walking safaris to learn more about the land and its smaller flora and fauna that are often missed on drives.
For a fun-filled family beach vacation, Mauritius is a great option – and easy to pair with a South African safari. Many Mauritian beach resorts are set up for families, with family pools, kids’ clubs and babysitting services. It’s a malaria-free area, so no need to worry about medication, and there is plenty to do for those who don’t want to stay by the pool all day: windsurfing classes, rainforest hikes and snorkelling are all options in diverse Mauritius.
Much of Kenya is suitable for family travel and the country has a long history of safari, with ample experience of catering to children. Some of the activities around Nairobi are perfect for kids – not least Giraffe Manor, which is one of the most iconic places in Africa. Here, the giraffes famously join you for breakfast, sticking their heads through the windows to receive treats. The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is also in Nairobi; watching the baby elephant orphans play is an amazing experience for the whole family.
A Serengeti safari is perfect for families, especially when you hire out an exclusive-use camp or lodge. Watch the world-famous wildebeest migration as they stampede across the Mara River, or head out to spot lions and cheetahs on the hunt. For adventurous families with older teens, you might even add on a Kilimanjaro climb to your safari – an iconic vacation your whole family will be unlikely to forget.
Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana
Aside from the wildlife being out of this world, Botswana also offers many learning opportunities for kids. In the pans, there are some special activities suitable for families. Go for a walk with the Bushmen of the Makgadikgadi Pans and discover some of the secrets they have gathered over thousands of years. Quad biking across the pans is also a fun way to explore this striking landscape. You can also spend time with the habituated meerkat colonies of the salt pans – great fun for little ones (and adults!).
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
One of the great things about a safari in Hwange is that you can easily drive there from Victoria Falls. The three-hour drive cuts out the need for light aircraft flights which can be expensive if you’re travelling with a big family. In Hwange, there are some camps dedicated to families, so it’s the ideal place to introduce your family to some of Africa’s most famous wildlife, from lions to elephants.
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