Safaris are the best for family travel. For wildlife-loving clans, game drives offer something for every age group; it’s the perfect opportunity for a tech detox; everyone learns something; and it’s great for bonding as a unit. But some places are better suited to kids that others; as a country, South Africa is our pick for a family safari. Here’s why.
South Africa is home to some of the best safari lodges and camps in Africa. The standard of service and facilities is excellent, which is something that particularly benefits families. You might be able to take advantage of babysitting or childminding services, or the lodge may have a special programme for kids. Guides are also used to entertaining children of different ages, knowing what they’ll find interesting and how to keep them engaged for the duration of a drive or bush walk.
Plenty of game
There’s no chance of anyone getting bored on safari in some of South Africa’s most popular parks and reserves, such as the Kruger National Park and the adjacent Sabi Sands Private Reserve. Here, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see the Big Five (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalo) in 24 hours, plus lots more. It means less time tracking – which might not appeal to younger kids with short attention spans – and more time with the animals, learning about their habits, and inspiring a lifetime of enthusiasm for wildlife and nature.
Loads of activities
It’s not just game drives that safaris in South Africa offer. Depending on where you travel, you and your family can take on all sorts of activities, including bush walks, horseback safaris, quad biking, helicopter flights, fishing and even paintballing! Lots of lodges also have conservation centres and animal rescue and rehabilitation sanctuaries, where kids can learn about protecting wildlife and respecting the planet.
One of the joys of visiting South Africa is that it has a brilliant infrastructure that makes travelling around very easy. From Cape Town or Johannesburg, it’s a quick, easy domestic flight to the most popular safari areas, with plenty of lodges running direct flights right to their properties. This removes the need for multiple flights and long, bumpy road transfers, which lots of kids will find tiring. It also means you can spend more of your holiday on safari, enjoying family time.
It’s common to have to take anti-malarial medication when travelling in Africa, but South Africa has plenty of reserves that are malaria free. This doesn’t mean missing out on the best game, either. Madikwe Private Game Reserve, in the north west of South Africa, is malaria free and is home to the Big Five, wild dogs, cheetahs and much more. Other malaria-free reserves include Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape and Waterberg in Limpopo.
Want to find out more about taking your family on a South African safari? Get in touch!