Family holidays in Kenya
Kenya is a very established and superb family holiday destination for a number of reasons:
- It is easily accessible from Europe with little time difference (no jet lag)
- There are a good variety of family-friendly safari camps and lodges, often with specific family accommodation options
- There is wonderful game-viewing with high concentrations of game (kids don’t get bored)
- There are convenient beach options for combination holidays
- It is easy to move around the country which has a good tourist infrastructure
- Kenya generally offers very good value for money
Whether you are looking for affordable mainstream safari property where your children can meet other children and perhaps join “Adventurers’ Clubs”, a traditional big game safari under canvas, a more exclusive private house safari, or a multi-activity ranch-style safari, Kenya is able to offer something to suit. If you wish to include some time on the beach, the Kenya coast offers everything from affordable resort hotels to private beach houses and exclusive beach retreats.
Safari activities that are suitable for children will vary according to the ages of children and the region you visit. For instance, in big game areas, it is often not safe for young children to walk or horse-ride. In certain lodges, young children will be specifically catered for, with individually tailored activities based on their age group.
Children of all ages will be able to undertake game drives, which is the usual way to see wildlife. Most vehicles in Kenya accommodate 4 to 6 guests so a key part of a family safari could be having your own vehicle for game drives, enhancing flexibility without inconveniencing other guests (paying for sole-use of a vehicle is also available at many properties, and may be necessary if travelling with very young children). Traditional game-viewing times are sunrise to late morning, and again in the late afternoon until sunset. With the heat of the day normally spent in camp, you may wish to consider whether other facilities such as swimming pools are important.
One of the genuine benefits of making the effort to travel with children is the exposure they have to different cultures and peoples. African people are natural lovers of children, and in addition to your children forming bonds with, and learning from, local guides (in Kenya the Maasai and Samburu guides all dress in authentic attire), it is not uncommon to find camp staff entertaining your kids with local games, cooking, or enquiring conversation. Further cultural opportunities visiting local schools or villages can easily be included in most safari itineraries.
Travelling with kids may occasionally seem like hard work. However, with Kenya being so ‘user friendly’, relatively affordable and offering such wonderful opportunities for you and your children, any efforts you make are rewarded many times over.