- a group of people related by blood or marriage.
You’re never too old or too young to enjoy Africa. But to ensure a harmonious family trip you need to make the right choices – that’s where we can help. We have first-hand experience travelling with our families in Africa and beyond, from tiny tots to teens and multi-generational journeys, so we know what makes a family holiday a success.
Every family is different and that's why every trip we book tends to be different - please do get in touch to discuss your ideas - it's all about getting the right balance for you rather than suggesting a carbon-copy trip.
A quick guide:
South Africa & Namibia
Whatever the age of your children you can't go far wrong with South Africa – as well as offering malaria free reserves, there’s no significant time change to worry about, there are regular direct flights, and you have the option to self-drive and self-cater if you want to, which ensures maximum flexibility and is particularly appealing to families with younger children. There are many good hotels and guesthouses, fabulous safari camps/lodges and you can often enjoy pools and other facilities. South Africa also offers superb value. Add to this the chance to see a wide variety of wildlife (including lion, buffalo, elephant, rhino, leopard) alongside the so-called 'Marine Big Five' (whales, penguins, seals, dolphins and sharks) and you have a destination that will provide a lifetime of very special memories. We love to combine a safari in the Greater Kruger (or malaria-free Madikwe/Waterberg/Eastern Cape) with the beaches of Mauritius or Mozambique, or with Cape Town and the Garden Route. Alternatively you can easily spend a fortnight in the Cape, enjoying marine life and safari. The Cape is optimum October to April. Kruger is at its best May to October so whatever the school holiday there is always somewhere in South Africa that suits!
In Namibia you can self-drive although drives tend to be longer (4-6 hours) because of the geography of the country and as such we think it is better suited to older children/teens. Namibia is more about dramatic landscapes and culture although there is still plenty for families to enjoy with epic wildlife in Etosha, marine life at the coast, sand dunes and canyons to explore.
East Africa - Kenya and Tanzania
Kenya is an outstanding choice - relatively compact (for Africa) it is easy to get to with an 8 hour direct flight from the UK and offers diverse landscapes, warm hospitality and a fabulous density and diversity of wildlife. Kenya excels when it comes to conservation and you can enjoy behind-the-scenes conservation visits from walking with the anti-poaching dog squads to visiting an elephant rehabilitation and release centre. With children we prefer to maximise time on safari and to fly-in to one or two different locations. A combination of the Masai Mara and the coast is an absolute classic. The wilds of Laikipia is another excellent destination worth consideration for families. We work with several camps/lodges offering excellent family tents/rooms. A fully staffed beach house (villa) is a fun option at the coast.
In Tanzania, there are many iconic destinations for you to visit. One or two of the Northern Circuit parks (Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Manyara, Tarangire) combined with one of the Spice Islands (Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia) is a family classic.
As your children grow, you can be even more adventurous with your activities – teenage children love the chance to try out a safari by mokoro, a traditional dug-out canoe, or to experience the suspense of a night drive in private concessions. Tracking, with a expert guide, is also possible and a great activity for older children. Being older and more independent means you have more choice when selecting lodges and camps too – you might consider splitting the family up across two tents rather than all sharing one family tent or room for example. Both Ker & Downey Camps and Desert & Delta Camps, among others, offer family friendly units where you can be accommodated together if you like. Victoria Falls makes an excellent extension to a safari in Botswana.
Zambia in another good option for families seeking something a bit unusual. We have a selection of private safari houses for exclusive use. These are ideal for friends travelling together (two families) or an extended family group and they combine wonderfully with an extension to Victoria Falls with all its exciting excursions or to Lake Malawi for beach time and watersports.
Victoria Falls is a fabulous family stopover with boat trips, helicopter flights and ziplining among the many activities on offer. We like to combine Victoria Falls with a safari in Hwange. Chobe in Botswana can also be reached by road very easily from Victoria Falls - combining all 3 destinations makes for a wonderful family trip. It is also possible to fly between safari destinations, depending on your budget. Lake Kariba and Mana Pools are other incredibly exciting options.
If you are travelling to Africa as a family, chances are, you will be restricted by school/college holiday dates. So, in order to find availability at the most suitable camps and lodges, we recommend booking well ahead of departure. Many of our preferred camps are very small and some may only have one family room or unit. Booking early also helps to secure best-value when it comes to international flights.