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Top 10 Family-Friendly African Safari Lodges

That the kids will love!

For an experience that changes your kids’ perspective on the world in the best possible way, there’s nowhere like Africa.

As families increasingly seek authentic experiences and unique destinations from their travels, all signs point to Africa.

There is little more inspiring than the combination of the continent’s magnificent semi-arid landscape, cultural immersion and, of course, the opportunity to witness the world’s five biggest animals ("Big Five") lion's, leopard's, elephant's, buffalo's and rhino's, as they meander past your doorstep on their journey.

Safari lodges have responded to these elements that seem perfectly aligned to delight both children and parents.

We at Holidays with Kids, with the help of a panel of experts, have selected the best 10 African Safari Lodges, each noteworthy for unique reasons, to guide you on your adventure across the world.


BEST KIDS' CLUB IN AFRICA


Londolozi Game Reserve - South Africa

The noteworthy kids’ club, or Cubs Programme, is designed to fill young guests with fascination and an appreciation of different cultures, the wilderness and friendship.
Little rangers begin in the Den, before progressing to activities led by the Cub Coach, an expert naturalist that oversees all bird watching, bead making, fishing, African dancing and more. The Londolozi Kids’ Club continues long after the safari has ended, with the Cubs Den Blog regularly uploading educational and interactive content for graduate Cubs.

BEST FAMILY SUITE IN AFRICA


Lelapa Lodge, Madikwe Safari Lodge - South Africa

The Madikwe Safari Lodge, a luxurious oasis set among 75,000 hectares of reserve, is an easy drive northwest of Johannesburg on the Botswana border and home to the Lelapa Lodge, the ultimate in kid-friendly safari accommodation. Each of the 12 spacious suites features indoor and outdoor showers, a private plunge pool and wood-burning fireplace, and is decorated with soft furnishings and natural materials, with kids eating free!.

BEST ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS IN AFRICA


Giraffe Manor - Kenya

Giraffe Manor guarantees you an animal encounter that simply cannot be duplicated on the savannah, or anywhere else in the world, for that matter. A stately 1930s building set on private land in Nairobi, the Manor is home to a herd of Rothschild giraffes who are quite accustomed to poking their gangly necks through the windows in the morning and evening in search of a tasty treat. The two suites sleep two adults and up to three children and all meals are included during your stay.

BEST VALUE AFRICAN SAFARI LODGE


Grootbos Private Nature Reserve - South Africa

It's the five-star safari lodge with a family-friendly price tag, boasting an extensive list of inclusions, that makes Grootbos Private Nature Reserve a savvy pick for families. Milkwood Forest and the Cape Floristic Region combine to create the impressive South African backdrop with a twist; the savannah is replaced by vast ocean and the 'Big Five' here consists of whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins. Its accessibility is a major pull for families; only a two hour drive from Cape Town, families can settle into the Garden Lodge sooner, with a restaurant, beauty salon, library, swimming pool, stables and kids' entertainment room. Freestanding Luxury Two-Bedroom Suites are made from the materials of the earth - stone, thatch and timber - and contain canopy beds, a private deck, crackling fireplace and all the mod cons you'd expect from a five-star city escape. All meals and adventures are included.

BEST OVERALL LODGE


Bush Lodge, Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges - South Africa

In the famed Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve lies a lodge that symbolises the mantra, 'yesterday, today and tomorrow', the philosophy of the Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges. The Bush Lodge is one of four (the Selati Camp, Little Bush Camp and Earth Lodge are its companions) but it stands alone in multigenerational suitability. The lodge has recently unveiled two new Luxury Villas, containing two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a lounge, library, dressing room, patio and pool; ample room for an adventurous brood. The lodge itself features an additional two swimming pools and large viewing decks overhanging the Msuthlu riverbed, and the kid-friendly Elefun Centre assures parents can retreat to the Amani Spa without a single worry.

BEST BACK TO NATURE


Singita Sabora Tented Camp - Tanzania

As per the nature of an African safari experience, the majority of lodges immerse guests into the natural surrounds, and a remarkable percentage does it undeniably well. Singita Sabora Tented Camp takes the 'back to nature' approach to a new level in this untouched area of the Grumeti Reserves in Northern Tanzania. This 1920s-inspired explorers' camp is recommended for children aged 10 and over, with safari activities customised to the needs of each family. Nine ensuite tents are integrated into the landscape, as is a swimming pool in the main camp area and gym and spa facilities. One television and intermittent Wi-Fi access create the perfect circumstances to unplug.

BEST SAFARI FOR PARENTS


Royal Malewane - South Africa

With the kids well and truly taken care of at this selection of superior African safari lodges, what makes the Royal Malewane shine for parents? Located in the Thornybush Private Game Reserve at Kruger National Park, the camp's Bush Spa provides the ultimate 'take five with the Big Five' in the most sublime surrounds. Equipped with a gym, heated lap pool, steam room, Jacuzzi, hot and cold African baths and private casitas for relaxation or treatment, this oasis also offers the services of a hair salon, special touches like healthy snacks and juices and full internet access that elevates the experience to a new level.

BEST SAFARI IN AFRICA


Children's Photographic Safari, Jaci's Lodges - South Africa

Of course, the safari is the centrepiece of any trip to Africa. For kids, Jaci's Lodges runs one of the very best, combining the opportunity to spot the Big Five with an educational experience that gives little guests a chance to shine. The Children's Photographic Safari is hosted by photographer David Rogers, and aims to teach basic photography skills with a strong focus on creativity and a minimal focus on rules.


BEST COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMME


Royal Zambezi Lodge - Zambia

A number of African safari lodges operate community outreach programmes, however, the Royal Zambezi Lodge, minutes from the Lower Zambezi National Park, is a standout in the field. Financial and advisory support is provided to the people living in the Chiawa Game Management Area of the Lower Zambezi, with initiatives ranging from an 80 per cent employment rate of local staff, to the education of local communities about sustainable living.

BEST CULTURAL EXPERIENCE


andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp - Kenya

Few places offer a more complete experience of Kenya than the andBeyond Masai Mara Family Safari. The andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp has been designed to showcase views of the spectacular Masai Mara game reserve, with a full itinerary to match. andBeyond's WILDChild programme transforms the camp into a place of discovery, offering activities ranging from fishing and painting to making a traditional bow and arrow. The highlight? The opportunity to meet and engage with the local tribesmen. Three family suites are available, however, an additional bed can be arranged in a triple room for those aged 16 and under.


OUR EXPERTS

HERBIE ROSENBERG - Africareps
Managing Director of Africareps, representing a collection of prestigious African properties.
JOSS KENT - andBeyond
Born in Kenya and the CEO of luxury tour operator andBeyond.
LARA BEHRENS - Bench International
Bench International was established in 1969 and remains a revered specialist for Africa travel in Australia.


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