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
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.
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.