The best lodges and camps in Africa for families travelling with children looking to go on safari
If you are looking to go on safari in Africa with your family, there are a few safari lodges and bush camps that offer the best facilities, amenities and activities for families travelling with children of all ages. These camps have ideal lodge layouts and generally offer good babysitting services, have children specific dining menus, children’s play centres or activity programmes and game-drives that are tailored to entertain the little ones. All of these enable the parents to enjoy a most relaxing safari or bush holiday.
Kingfisher Lodge is located on the shores of a lake in the Entabeni Conservancy and is tailored to suit families with children. Entabeni is home to the Big 5, which can be seen on guided game drives and helicopter flights. Bird watching, walks, stargazing and a health spa are just some of the activities on offer as well as some kids activities to keep the little ones entertained.
The renowned Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp is a classic tented camp named after the great explorer. The eight tented suites are gathered around a large central sitting and dining area which has magnificent views of the floodplains of the Okavango Delta. Buffalo, giraffe and other plains game can be seen from the swimming pool. At this camp, guests can enjoy the unique experience of going on a walk with a trio of orphaned elephants which will enthral both the older and younger generations.
Umlani Bush Camp is a lovely rustic bush camp found in the Timbavati Nature Reserve. Its simple yet adequately furnished huts have mesh-covered open air windows, which allow a refreshing breeze and and the sounds of the bush to drift inside. The camp is lit by candles and lanterns at night, adding to the rustic feel. The guides and management take great care of children and tailor-make activities to suit.
Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp is an intimate camp that consists of only 6 suites accommodating 12 guests. Each free-standing suite is secluded, with a private viewing deck that overlooks the riverbed in front of the camp. The camp has a swimming pool, bar, spa and curio shop and there is a great children’s activity programme on offer to keep the youngsters entertained whilst the adults enjoy some rest and relaxation.
Rocktail Bay Beach Camp is located in a forest, a short walk away from the beach. The camp is ideal for children and families, with family friendly rooms and a children’s activity room available. The camp also offers scuba diving lessons and snorkelling activities for all levels.
Shamwari Riverdene is a family friendly lodge and is suitable for children of all ages. The lodge consists of nine spacious suites – seven of which have an inter-leading door suited for families. A jungle gym and children’s activity room is available, with children’s DVDs for the little ones to watch. Adults can relax while staff members supervise the children. The kids’ programme also includes a specialised children’s tour of the Born Free Centre and the Animal Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, where kids can interact with certain animals.
Kololo Game Lodge is found in South Africa’s beautiful Waterberg Mountains close to Johannesburg and Pretoria. Both self-catering and full board accommodation are offered at Kololo which is situated on a private game reserve which can be explored on bike or foot (guided or on one’s own). The camp’s restaurant and bar overlooks a waterhole where wildlife, including rhino, elephants and lions, come to drink. The camp offers extensive activities for children and is especially suitable for families due to the fact that there is no dangerous game on the property. Optional big 5 game drives take place on the neighbouring Welgevonden Game Reserve.
Kapama River Lodge is a large camp with multi-level suites offering elegant accommodation and the camp has its own children’s programme to keep children of all ages entertained. The lodge has a spa, pool, gym, bar and media centre. Guests at the camp can dine indoors, outdoors, or out in the bush.
Jock Safari lodge is located on a private concession in the famous Kruger National Park, in an area well known for excellent game viewing. It is designed in a style reminiscent of a bygone era. The camp’s suites overlook a river and each has its own private plunge pool. There is a fantastic kiddie’s programme on offer at the lodge. For the parents the lodge also offers a treatment centre offering a variety of relaxation treatments.
Jaci’s Safari Lodge in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve conists of eight tented rooms, each with an en suite bathroom and outdoor shower. The tents are secluded near a riverine forest. The camp is ideal for families and children, with an entertainment room for teens and a playground for younger children. The camp offers family friendly game drives as well as child friendly game drives. Special meals and dining times are arranged for young children.
Gondwana Lodge is situated in the heart of South Africa’s Karoo region on the Big 5 Sanbona Game Reserve, a malaria-free safari destination. The reserve is within a 2-3 hour’s drive of Cape Town. Gondwana Lodge overlooks a dam in the distance which attracts good quantities of game and birdlife. Several of the lodge rooms have interleading doors, making it ideal for families. The lodge has a children’s programme, and hosts indoor and outdoor play areas. There is also a spa where the adults can relax and unwind.
Kariega Main Lodge is situated on the Kariega Game Reserve and consists of traditional log cabins which are simply decorated in an African theme. The lodge is ideal for families and large groups. A huge amount of safe safari activities are on offer including hiking and mountain biking are among the activities on offer. Kariega is also located in a malaria-free area.
Thendele Lodge is located in the spectacular Drakensberg mountains with views of the sheer wall of the Amphitheatre. The lodge offers accommodation for six people. It has three en-suite bedrooms each with two single beds, a kitchen fireplace and outdoor barbecue area. Hiking, fishing, bird-watching and swimming are all on offer in the region and due to the lack of the Big 5 is a great outdoor destination for families with young children.
Chobe Chilwero Lodge
The Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero lodge is found on the shores of the Chobe River in the Chobe National Park in Botswana. The lodge has a popular children’s programme to keep the little ones entertained. Each suite has a an en-suite bathroom as well as outdoor showers. Elephants are the showpiece in Chobe and can be seen on game drives or boat cruises. The spa at the lodge offers another great way to relax.