Family holidays

- Namibia

Family holidays

Family holidays in Namibia

If you are planning to travel with very young children, then Namibia offers malaria free regions and some excellent places to combine relaxation with sight-seeing and some gentle wildlife viewing. However, until children are old enough to cope with lengthy overland travel or internal light aircraft hops, or take malaria tablets in order to visit Etosha National Park, we would not specifically suggest Namibia as an ideal destination for families with very young children.

Once children are of an age to cope with these factors, Namibia becomes a superb family option. Whether you choose to self-drive, travel overland with a private guide (possibly including some camping), or undertake a ‘flying’ safari, there are many options to keep kids interested and happy. Many properties have swimming pools and the warm, dry climate (most of the time) makes it easy to combine amazing safari activities with more traditional family relaxation around the pool. The older your children, the greater the opportunities, and for families travelling with late teenagers (usually 16 or older), Namibia offers fantastic adventure activities such as quad-biking, dune boarding, horse-riding, rhino-tracking, hot-air ballooning and even sky-diving.

In terms of accommodation, some camps and lodges in Namibia have two-bedroomed ‘family units’, and safari tents or lodge rooms which are large enough to include an extra bed. There are also a couple of destinations which offer private safari house or ‘villa’ options. However, quadruple accommodation is difficult to arrange outside of the NWR restcamps.

If your family are keen on adventure and exclusivity, then you could consider a private camping safari (minimum two nights). The best regions for camping safaris are Damaraland and Kaokoland, and the longer you are prepared to camp for, the more remote and ‘off the beaten track’ your safari can be. On these camping safaris, the maximum number per tent would be 2.

Please visit our Family Safaris page for more general information on travelling to Africa with children, or contact us with your specific ideas and questions. 

- South Africa

Family Holidays

Family holidays in South Africa

South Africa is a wonderful family holiday destination. There is so much to see and do, and because the country is so sophisticated in relation to the rest of Africa, visitors are able to see and experience the continent of ‘Africa’ without really leaving their comfort zone of western standard facilities. This opportunity is very attractive to many people, but for families trying to mix an African wildlife adventure with a more general family holiday and some relaxation time, South Africa is the perfect destination.

There are too many activities on offer and places to see to account individually, though everything that the country offers is mentioned within our South Africa pages. Wildlife safaris can be undertaken in non-malarial areas if required, and your safari can represent just a small section of your overall family holiday experience. You might even consider visiting the entirely mad-made Sun City resort, a great ‘one-stop shop’ resort with a multitude of activities available to occupy even the most active child.

In terms of accommodation, many guesthouses, hotels and safari lodges offer two-bedroomed ‘family units’, family suites or have rooms which are large enough to take extra beds. There are also many self-catering apartments and private houses for hire, so there is generally no problem finding suitable accommodation.

Please visit our Family Safaris page for more general information on travelling to Africa with children, or contact us with your specific ideas and questions.

 

- Botswana

Family Holidays

Family holidays in Botswana

Provided your children are old enough, Botswana is an amazing family safari destination to consider. Botswana offers fantastic wildlife, genuine wilderness, varied activities and exclusivity. Families can really enjoy an adventure into the wild, with fantastic guiding and a complete escape from modern facilities and communications. However, if your children are still young (perhaps under 10 years old, but there is no set age) then you may find countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia or South Africa more appropriate.

In terms of accommodation, some camps in Botswana have two-bedroomed ‘family units’ and safari tents are often large enough to include one extra bed. However, quadruple accommodation is rarely possible, especially on more adventurous safaris (private mobile camps or more down to earth properties) and it would be usual for a family of 4 to take two individual units rather than any specific ‘family accommodation’. If you are keen on adventure and exclusivity as a family, then you could consider a private mobile tented safari, either for your whole safari or just for a few ‘adventurous’ days (minimum three nights).

Botswana offers a wide range of safari activities, though many of the more adventurous activities (walking, horse-riding etc) will have lower age limits (normally around 14). In certain camps, or on private mobile safaris, specialist private guides can be arranged and activities can be orientated towards the kids as much as is required.

Please visit our Family Safaris page for more general information on travelling to Africa with children, or contact us with your specific ideas and questions.

- Zambia

Family Holidays

Family holidays in Zambia

For families with children old enough to enjoy the African bush at its best, Zambia is an incredible family safari destination to consider, offering fantastic wildlife, genuine wilderness, varied activities and exclusivity. Families can really enjoy an adventure into the wild, with fantastic guiding and a complete escape from modern facilities and communications.

In terms of safari accommodation, the best family options are a series of private safari houses which can be booked on an exclusive basis. Such houses vary in size and style, but typically cater for up to eight guests at a time. Some camps do have two-bedroomed ‘family units’ and safari tents/chalets are usually large enough to include one extra bed. Quadruple accommodation, however, is rarely possible.

A key reason why Zambia is such a great family safari destination is the variety of activities on offer. As well as standard game drives (by day and night), Zambia offers some of the best walking, canoeing, boating, fishing and microlighting available in Africa. Victoria Falls Town (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia) are known as the ‘adventure capitals’ of Africa, with white-water rafting, elephant-back safaris, bungee jumping, jet-boating, helicopter flights and much more on offer. Swimming in a rock pool on the top of Victoria Falls, canoeing past pods of hippo on the Zambezi or flying over the falls in a microlight are incredible activities for families to experience together. Please note that many of the activities (rafting, walking, canoeing, microlighting, horse-riding etc) will have minimum age limits.

On private safaris, specialist private guides can be arranged and activities can be orientated towards the kids as much as is required.

Please visit our Family Safaris page for more general information on travelling to Africa with children, or contact us with your specific ideas and questions.

- Tanzania

Family Holidays

Family holidays in Tanzania

Tanzania is a very good 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
  • It is usual in the north of the country to travel with a private vehicle and guide, which is not only cost effective for a family of 4 – 6 but also allows maximum flexibility and privacy
  • There is wonderful game-viewing with high concentrations of game (kids don’t get bored)
  • There are convenient beach options for combination holidays

In the north of the country, families can enjoy an amazing all round adventure, combining brilliant game-viewing, wonderful scenery and cultural experiences. Accommodation varies from very comfortable safari hotels and lodges to more authentic tented camps. Although distances between areas are relatively small, if travelling with younger children, you may wish to consider the amount of time spent on the road that such a safari is likely to entail.

In the more remote south and west of the country, lengthy road travel is not a consideration and the parks are usually accessed by air. The experiences in the south and west tend to be a little more wilderness and wildlife orientated, without large ‘safari lodge’ accommodation options, making these regions less suitable for very young children. Teenagers will however enjoy the variety of activities on offer (walking, boating, fishing etc) and as a family you can enjoy a truly wild bush experience.

Many family holidays in Africa will combine a wildlife safari with some beach relaxation, and Tanzania’s main beach destination, Zanzibar, has a wide range of beach hotels to choose from, together with lovely beaches. Larger resort-style hotels are ideal if travelling with younger kids who will thrive on being kept busy and meeting other children, whilst smaller, more boutique-style retreats can offer more exclusive family relaxation. Please see our ‘Beach Extensions’ page for further information, or call us on 01787 888590 to speak to one of our specialists who would be very happy to talk through the different Tanzania family safari options.

You may also wish to visit our general ‘family safaris’ page for more general information on travelling to Africa with children.

- Kenya

Family Holidays

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.

Please visit family holidays for more general information on travelling to Africa with children, or contact us with your specific ideas and questions about Kenya family safaris.