Home > FAQ > Best places for family safaris with kids


Your child’s first safari is not only exciting but takes planning to be memorable for all the right reasons. To decide if your kids are old enough to come to Africa, read more about the appropriate age, safety precautions and points to consider here.

What’s covered in this guide

Explore the highlights of this post with ease by using the table of contents below to navigate to sections of interest.

Considerations for a Family Safari

Once you’ve decided this vacation is right for you and your family, check out our suggestions for the best places for a safari with kids based on:

Productive sightings

Safaris comprise many hours a day on a vehicle and some game drives have better sightings than others – there is no way to predict this in advance. This can be tedious for children so it’s best to visit areas with high wildlife densities and where guides have trackers and share the locations of sightings so you don’t go for too long without seeing much.


Peak, high or dry season occurs over Africa’s mid-year winter (from about June to September). Cooler temperatures and no rain are more comfortable for little ones, and you don’t generally need to take precautions against mosquitoes or malaria. This time of year is much dustier, though, so bear that in mind if your child has a dust allergy.


Itineraries that are extremely complex (with many road and light aircraft transfers to very remote locations and where you change lodges every few days) can be tiring for children. After a long-haul international flight, aim to be settled as quickly as possible and build in some downtime for recovery. A typical safari has pre-dawn wake-up calls and nights around the campfire.

It is also important to consider how long it will take you to get from your regional hub airport to your bed for the night.

Age-appropriate activities

By law, some activities have age restrictions (such as trekking and walking). If the adults in your group want to take part in these, ensure that your lodge or camp has a kids’ club, nannies, a play area and so forth. Even if you only want to do game drives, we will help you select accommodation with babysitters so you can have peace of mind if the children prefer to stay back at the lodge.

Private vehicles

If you are travelling with children under six, it may be mandatory to hire a private vehicle with your own guide. Although this is pricier, it also gives you the freedom to come and go as you please rather than having to join a group of other guests. Since not all lodges have this option, we’ll connect you with those that do.

Many lodges offer activities like baking biscuits or pizzas to keep the kids entertained.

Greater Kruger – South Africa

‘Greater Kruger’ is an umbrella term for the private game reserves that border the Kruger National Park such as Sabi Sand, Londolozi, MalaMala, Timbavati, Thornybush, Klaserie and so on.


  • Phenomenal game viewing with regular sighting of the Big 5 (rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo).
  • Guides almost always work with trackers and share sightings so drives are generally productive.
  • Reserves are smaller so distances are shorter.
  • Easy air and road transfer to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
  • Almost all lodges have Wi-Fi and many have among the best kids’ clubs in Africa.
  • Babysitters, nannies, private vehicles and family rooms are among the easiest to procure because more are available.

Add on: Cape Town, South Africa

  • Short-haul flight from OR Tambo International Airport
  • Vast number of child-friendly hotels to choose from
  • Exciting activities like taking the cable car up Table Mountain, seeing African penguins on Boulders Beach and visiting the Two Oceans Aquarium

Movies and popcorn in the Kruger bush while mom and dad are having sundowners.

Madikwe Game Reserve – South Africa

Madikwe is a private conservation area that is slowly turning old agricultural land back into a thriving wildlife zone.


  • Great Big 5 game viewing plus more unusual species like wild dog.

  • Very easy drive from Johannesburg (our own drivers will transfer you to the airport and back).
  • Guides often work with trackers to find sightings.
  • Shorter distances mean you see more and are less fatigued.
  • Lodges are well set up to cater for children with amenities like swimming pools and Wi-Fi plus services like babysitting.

Add on: Sun City

  • Easy drive from Madikwe and back to Johannesburg

  • Fun resort where kids can blow off steam before or after a safari
  • Plenty to see and do including two pro golf courses, water park with ‘beach’ and huge swimming pools at The Palace of the Lost City

Okavango Delta and Chobe – Botswana

A classic combination that serves up exciting activities in two of Botswana’s most beautiful areas.


  • Easy flights to Maun or Kasane in Botswana from Johannesburg or Cape Town in South Africa.

  • Great game viewing, especially of elephant (rhino are not generally seen).
  • Some highly family-friendly lodges with excellent guides.
  • Boating on the Chobe River is huge fun for all ages.

Add on: Victoria Falls

  • A short drive or flight over the border to Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe or Livingstone in Zambia.
  • Africa’s adrenalin capital with plenty of soft adventure sports for older children
  • It’s worth seeing the world’s largest waterfall when you’re just a few hours’ away

Picking water lilies and finding spotted reed frogs is all part of the fun in the Okavango.

The Serengeti – Tanzania

Another classic safari destination that has to be seen to be believed and should be on every wildlife lover’s bucket list.


  • Wide open plains make it very easy to spot animals (except rhino).

  • A great place to see cheetah and the Wildebeest Migration.
  • Many lodges have junior rangers’ programmes to teach little ones about the bush and Swahili culture.
  • Unique activities like archery or learning how to throw a spear (safely!).

Add on: Zanzibar

  • Short flight to a tropical island to relax after your safari and before your long-haul flight home

  • Water Indian Ocean water (check for hotels with pools or swimming beaches)
  • Fun excursions to places like historic Stone Town and Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park to see myriad monkey species

The Masai Mara – Kenya

Sharing the same ecosystem as the Serengeti, the Mara is another must-see for any family who enjoys nature and the outdoors.


  • As in the Serengeti, the landscape lends itself to easily finding animals

  • One of the most exciting parts of the Migration – crossing the Mara River – is best viewed from the Masai Mara
  • A wonderful place to learn more about Kenyan culture (such as how warriors famously jump so high)

Add on: Nairobi

  • Your entrance and exit point to Kenya via Jomo Kenyatta and Wilson Airports
  • Small boutique hotels and guesthouses in areas such as Karen with large gardens and swimming pools
  • Visit the elephant and rhino orphanage at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Giraffe Centre, a home to endangered Rothschild’s giraffes

Safaris are an exciting way to learn about other cultures, like that of the Maa people of Kenya.

PHOTO CREDITS Wilderness Safaris, Thornybush Game Lodge and &Beyond