TOP SEVEN FAMILY SAFARIS


Big wildlife thrills for little naturalists

A family safari has game drives as its star turn, but with a supporting cast of activities and accommodation that perfectly suits young travelers. It’s a vacation that hops with wildlife, but also offers time to relax, to learn and to meet the people, as well as the animals, that call Africa home. Our top seven family safaris explain how.

1. Tanzania


Tanzania offers a really authentic experience for families, with village visits complementing game drives, and its cluster of attractions in the north make for shorter travel times. Drive between Tarangire, Lake Manyara, the Ngorogoro Crater and the Serengeti, with the chance to spot the Great Migration, too. Family focused accommodation means everyone can relax, and you can crown things with a beach break on Zanzibar or neighbouring islands.

When to go: Any time outside the March to May rainy season
Our top selling trip: Exciting family vacation in Tanzania
See all our trips: Family vacations in Tanzania
Read more: Tanzania travel guide, Serengeti travel guide and Wildebeest Migration travel guide

2. South Africa – beyond Kruger


Kruger steals the limelight, but South Africa is home to other excellent reserves such as Madikwe, created to protect endangered wildlife and provide a sustainable life for local people. There’s great game spotting here, it’s malaria free and handy for Joburg airport, too. Or round off a self drive south coast adventure that takes in Cape Town, Hermanus and Plettenberg Bay with a safari in Kwande.

When to go: Throughout the year
Our top selling trip: Family luxury safari & beach, South Africa & Mozambique
See all our trips: Family vacations in South Africa
Read more: South Africa travel guide

3. Kenya


More affordable than Tanzania, and on a par with South Africa for ease of travel, Kenya has a network of family friendly accommodation, with staff adept at educating and entertaining. The Masai Mara, roared through by the Great Migration in the summer break, and Amboseli, are compact, reducing driving times. The Maasai are truly charismatic teachers. Venture further north to reach Lake Nakuru and Aberdare National Park then relax on the beach near Mombasa.

When to go: Any time outside the March to May rainy season
Our top selling trip: Kenya family vacation
See all our trips: Family vacations in Kenya
Read more: Kenya travel guide and Wildebeest Migration travel guide

4. Kruger National Park & around


Kruger offers some of the finest game viewing in Africa, with the Big Five present, plus you can self drive here, too. Adventurous family safaris sometimes take advantage of its location to visit a national park in Swaziland, such as Hlane, or to dip down into coastal KwaZulu Natal, where Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park has the largest population of white rhino in the world.

When to go: Any school vacation
Our top selling trip: South African safaris for families with teenagers
See all our trips: Family vacations in South Africa
Read more: Kruger National Park travel guide and Swaziland travel guide

5. Kenya & Tanzania, combined


Experience two different countries on a single trip by taking an overland tour through Kenya and Tanzania. Happily, many of the best safari sights hug the border between these two countries, so you can look out for the Big Five, spot the Great Migration and meet the Maasai, all without taking an internal flight. Luxury safaris with a private driver and guide are the last word in family friendly flexibility.

When to go: Any time outside the March to May rainy season
Our top selling trip: South African safaris for families with teenagers
See all our trips: Family vacations in South Africa
Read more: Kenya & Tanzania travel guide

6. Botswana


Botswana is educational and interactive, with well equipped lodges offering family tents and activities. Age matters here, though – bush walks and canoe rides may only be suitable for children aged 10 or even 12+. Internal flights might take you to the Okovango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe, where elephants live in huge numbers. Perhaps check out Victoria Falls or explore Namibia, too.

When to go: Throughout the year although Christmas is wet and hot
Our top selling trip: Botswana family adventure
See all our trips: Family vacations in Botswana
Read more: Botswana travel guide and Okavango Delta travel guide

7. Namibia


Etosha National Park is the best place for wildlife watching in Namibia, where zebra, elephant, giraffe, lion and rhino gather around the waterholes, but family vacations explore far and wind, from the dunes at Sossusvlei to the coast at Swakopmund. Look out for wildlife everywhere: gemsbok or ostrich in the Namib Desert, flamingos at Walvis Bay and desert adapted elephants in Damaraland.

When to go: Any school vacation
Our top selling trip: Family safari in Namibia
See all our trips: Safari vacations in Namibia
Read more: Namibia travel guide
Photo credits: [SA: James Sanders] [Kruger: nh53] [Botswana: Walter Schärer]
Written by Chris Owen
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