Family vacations in Africa


The key to happy family vacations in Africa is a good chat with your vacation company - about your children's ages, your comfort zone, and what you want to get out of it. You can find white-sand beaches; safaris led by superb guides keen to educate little ones; and family-friendly camps with swimming pools, menus to suit the fussiest tastes and age-appropriate activities. Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa are probably the best set up, with South Africa in particular being great for a self-drive vacation. To the north, the madness of Morocco’s medinas highlights exactly what it’s like as a country – fun. Consider how long you want to fly for to get there and take your pick.

Things to do in Africa with kids


South Africa’s Addo Elephant National Park is just a short hop from Port Elizabeth and provides the adventure of an African safari, but without the long drives, the remoteness or the malaria! Much more than its name suggests, Addo is now home to the Big Five, plus you can horse ride, hike and watch whales off the coast.
Get on your bike! We know what you’re thinking: Cycling around Africa? With kids? Are you mad? Trust us though, trips on two wheels – safaris included – are increasingly popular across Africa and are a fantastic way for families with teenagers to spend quality time together, while creating incredible lifelong memories.
Share your safari. "Check out small group tours. I always used to wonder why I'd want to travel with other people’s kids. But when you go on one, you realise you’re not traveling with them – your kids are. They’ve got ready-made playmates, they share, they learn. It’s great to listen to them discussing the lions they’ve just seen." – Tim Winkworth, from our supplier The Family Adventure Company

Tips for family vacations in Africa

responsible travel asks the experts

Simon Mills, from our supplier Native Escapes, shares his advice on family vacations in Africa: “Africa is a great destination for families – however, that does come with a caveat or two. I think that it is better for children over the age of eight and across much of the continent you’ll need to be comfortable giving your children anti-malarial tablets. Game drives can be long so patience is required, and some driving distances in Namibia and Malawi can seem arduous to little ones. In the main though, what is not to like? An introduction to new cultures, some grounded education into how other people live and some of the best wildlife sightings on the planet.”
Tom Harari, from our supplier, Exodus, shares his opinion on Africa for families: “Africa is a large, diverse continent. It may at times have a bad reputation, but numerous countries and regions are very safe to travel. The rewards of visiting these areas are extreme natural beauty, rich traditional cultures and, of course, the best wildlife encounters anywhere on Earth. Going on safari in the Serengeti, Kruger or Etosha is a wonderful experience, from large herds of elephants, prowling prides of lions, lanky giraffes or meerkats standing to attention. Beyond inspiring wildlife, going on vacation in Africa takes families into an environment which is likely to be very different to what they’re used to, and show children that the world is made up of a lot more than what can, at times, appear to be homogenised culture.”
Photo credits: [Top box: andy carter] [Addo Elephant NP: Brian Ralphs] [On your bike: Dom Pates] [Share your safari: Joshua Tabti] [Tom Harari: South African Tourism]
Written by: Polly Humphris
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