We have compiled a list of our favourite family friendly safari lodges that makes travelling with your family a fun affair. There are some things you need to look out for when you go on a safari with your family, so make sure to read this first.
Our favourite malaria-free lodges
Lodges in this area that are malaria-free are for example: The Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West Province is a one-hour flight from Johannesburg. It offers a wide choice for small groups or families. Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is a luxury game reserve near the Botswana border, famous for the black maned lion and Big Five viewing.
Some lodges also offer extra technological amenities that can make the entire family happy. Some lodges even go the extra mile. Gondwana Bush Villas are perfectly equipped to keep everyone smiling with a flat screen TV, a DVD player, a dishwasher and an outside braai. Each villa is a spacious 240 square meters big so that there won’t be squabbling about space. Elephant’s Eye, Hwange also has Wi-Fi at the lodge and a large lounge and pool area that is perfect for older kids.
Our favourite safaris
If you are arriving at CPT International Airport or you live in Cape Town, you can experience a safari only four hours away in Mossel Bay, situated on the beautiful Garden Route near the private Gondwana Game Reserve. That means there’s no connecting flights or day-long car trip to worry about!
Only 2.5 hours away from Cape Town, Inverdoorn Game Reserve is a 10 000 ha park situated in the Ceres Karoo en route two beautiful passes: Bains Kloof Pass at Wellington and Mitchells Pass. Inverdoorn Game Reserve offers you a unique experience of the Karoo Mountains and is home to white rhino, giraffe, lions, cheetahs and blue wildebeest with a large variety of antelopes.
Our favourite safaris that’ll keep the kids busy
Botswana is a beautiful destination and a great place to teach your children all about Africa’s wild animals and rolling landscapes. Footsteps in Africa lodges, located in the Okavango Delta, accept children as young as 6 years, which is very much the exception in the area. Every child receives a special booklet on arrival that will keep them busy during the holiday, featuring tick lists for animals and other fun games.
Footsteps in Africa’s one lodge Deception Valley Lodge has a focus on Bushmen interactions. This is the Kalahari after all – and families can join the Bushmen trackers on walks to spot owls and reptiles. The Bushmen make wonderful tools with young visitors, such as bows and arrows, the Jima man (a puppet) or jewellery for the girls. They are also taught how to make fire with sticks. At night, the entire family can cosy up around the fire to roast marshmallows or make pancakes if the weather is bad.
If you’ve chosen to go to Zimbabwe then consider staying at Ilala Lodge. Your kids can take a tour of the Victoria Falls Nile Crocodile Farm, situated about 5km from the centre of town.
Garden Route Game Lodge offers a completely child-free safari for parents. That means, you bring your kids with you but the friendly childminders keep them entertained. No matter what the weather is like, the little mermaids and seals in your family will be able to go swimming as the lodge has both a heated and normal swimming pool. Kids can go fishing at the nearby waterhole, and there are plenty of non-water activities such as game drives in the reserve, guided bush walk or insect walk.
In the Okavango Delta, Mala Mala Main Camp in Sabi Sands is a great place for families where parents want to enjoy some alone time. Mala Mala welcomes kids of all ages and has a dedicated program for them. Enjoy a quiet meal with your partner, while your children are looked after by an experienced ranger. Kids go animal tracking, learn warning signs in the bush, have a hands-on bush breakfast and learn radio communication. There are wildlife movies and board games available. And the best news of all – babysitters are available in the evenings! So parents, if you’re after rekindling some romance… this is the perfect place to take your kids 12 years and under.
Gondwana Bush Villas, for example, caters for the very little ones with cots and rollaway beds. Kids can enjoy the Junior Ranger program. They get a fun ranger’s backpack, cool safari booklet, learn to identify animals… and they will be quizzed on what they’ve learned by their ranger and receive a level 1 Junior Ranger Patch and completion certificate. Note: Children under 6 are not allowed on game drives but babysitters can be hired!
ANY QUESTIONS, JUST TALK TO US!
At JENMAN we love creating tailor-made and family friendly safari holidays for parents – families have specific needs and we can create a lovely itinerary for you using short travel times and family-friendly lodges. Contact us if you have any questions about what kind of holiday would be perfect for your family!