Thinking about your next family safari holiday? There’s so much on offer, so it pays to have a reliable guide who knows the best hidden gems for tots to teenagers on safari. Here are a few of our favourite ideas.
Kariega Game Reserve
This is a fantastic malaria free game reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It offers families the chance of an exciting safari experience at an affordable price plus great access to the beach and coastline for a barefoot luxury finale. Kariega Game Reserve offers a combination of big five game viewing and an expansive variety of fauna, flora and birdlife in a landscape that spans across 5 different ecosystems, offering the most dramatic views and vistas.
There are four superb luxury lodges to choose from – The Homestead is ideal for exclusive use family safaris. Main Lodge is a larger and more social environment for children of all ages and the other two, River Lodge and Ukhozi Lodge are ideal luxury safari experiences for families with children aged 10 and above.
IDEAL ITINERARY: Cape Town (sightseeing, recover from jetlag), Kariega Game Reserve, Beach or island finale in South Africa or fly up to Mauritius or Mozambique
Great name to get the kids excited, this owner run gem located in the malaria free region of Limpopo Province on the Waterberg Plateau offersa home away from home in unique bush setting. Owners Ant and Tessa Baber will make you feel welcome the moment you arrive. Their ancestors settled on this land back in 1886 and since then, it has been converted from a range house into a fantastic safari lodge with six bedrooms available individually or for exclusive use. Children love it here because the extensive gardens, heated swimming pool, sandpit, trampoline and badminton court offer endless fun. Plus of course the safari activities with horseriding safaris a must do, game drives and walks. There are horses at the stables suitable for all ages and abilities. Even the under 4s can have fun, led on ponies around the grounds of the lodge. It’s not Big Five territory, but wildlife is abundant here. For Big Five, we recommend you head to a nearby reserve or combine it with the Kruger.
IDEAL ITINERARY: Ant’s Nest, Kruger, Cape Town
Samara Private Game Reserve
This spectacular private reserve is located in the rarely visited Great Karoo of South Africa and a must for those with adventurous kids who love the great outdoors. The Reserve is forged from 11 old farmsteads that have been renovated into fantastic luxury accommodation all fringed by impressive mountains in the Eastern Cape’s remote, malaria free Great Karoo.
Conservation rests at the heart of this reserve and it is home to the endangered cheetah, as well as leopards, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, white rhinos and more. Managers Marnus and Anneke Ochse welcome families, who stay in either the elegant Karoo Lodge or the exclusive-use Manor House.
Kids are offered a program of their own with bush walks, sleep outs under the African night sky, lessons in setting up camp, bush cooking and of course more conventional activities such as table tennis and croquet. Whilst kids have their fun, mum and dad can set off on their own safari game drives. With a team of dedicated babysitters and menus tailored to suit each visiting family, this is a must on anyone’s family safari list.
IDEAL ITINERARY: Samara Game Reserve, Kwandwe (for Big Five experience) or Prana on the Wild Coast with a stop in at Grahamstown for some settler and Xhosa cultural history!