How to choose your family safari

Here at Scott Dunn we send families of all ages to Africa – the thrill of seeing animals in the wild is every child’s dream! But where and what to choose for the different age groups can be confusing, so we hope to give you some help and guidance below.

Africa family safari

Best for children 0 to 5 years

Many families choose a malaria-free area likes South Africa to avoid the need to give little ones malarial medication. The other joy of South Africa is that it offers very little time difference and overnight flights to get you to and from Johannesburg or Cape Town – a perfect choice for younger children. Family friendly lodges offer shorter game drives and interactive experiences to really enthuse and inspire the younger guests! Safari in South Africa works brilliantly in combination with Cape Town.

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge, South Africa
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge - Eastern Cape, South Africa

Kwandwe Ecca is set within the malaria free Kwandwe Private Reserve in the Eastern Cape and is perfect for a first family safari. The lodge has been designed with families in mind and there is a playroom to keep the kids entertained in between game drives. They can also help the chef out in the kitchen baking pizzas or treats for afternoon tea. The guiding here is fantastic and the guides will be sure to make each and every game drive exciting, fun and educational.

Best with children 5 to 10 years

With children a little bit older, options can definitely open up and East Africa becomes a very popular choice for this age bracket. Head to the Maasai Mara and the whole family will be completely overwhelmed by the number of animals over the vast plains. Alternatively head to Northern Kenya and walk with camels, sleep under the stars, visit local villages and schools or hand feed a baby rhino. Being guided and hosted by Maasai or Samburu men in traditional dress is an exciting experience for both children and adults!
Lewa Wilderness, Kenya
Lewa - Laikipia, Kenya

Lewa is a 45,000 acre conservancy in Kenya’s beautiful Laikipia in northern Kenya. With three different accommodation options it is fantastic for families of all ages. What makes it so fantastic for younger children is the huge array of activities on offer from a flight over the conservancy in the yellow bi-plane to horse riding and camel riding to picnics and swimming in the Ngare Ndare Forest. Of course, there is also phenomenal game viewing and Lewa is famous for its black and white rhino population.

Game Drive, South Africa
Tswalu - Kalahari, South Africa

Tsawlu offers a safari experience like none other in Africa. In the heart of the Kalahari, the largest private game reserve in South Africa, it's an incredible location for a first family safari. The two luxurious lodges offer the perfect setting for families and small groups of all ages to enjoy a wildlife rich safari, with a wide range of activities in the spellbinding landscapes. Children will wonder at the majesty of black-maned Kalahari lions and you will have to drag them away from the mischievous meerkats. Children will leave as qualified Tswalu Junior Rangers!

Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa
Madikwe Safari Lodge - Madikwe Reserve, South Africa

Situated in the malaria free Madikwe Reserve, Madikwe Safari Lodge is the perfect lodge for any child fascinated with nature and wildlife. The lodge has been designed with families in mind and everything from the rooms to the menu have been created to give families the perfect safari. The lodge also has its own Eco House Kids Club where the guides and field rangers will carry on the learning experience from each game drive in the Eco House with fun activities such as making plaster of paris moulds of animal tracks and making collages with interesting things collected from outdoors.

Best with children 10 to 15 years

In this age bracket you can travel a little further with the children. One of our favourite places is Zambia, where the guides will sit and tell stories around the camp fire with the children in the evenings. Combine your Zambian safari with some time at the majestic Victoria Falls and the children will love all the activities on offer. Botswana also opens up with incredibly exciting and novel experiences on offer – let meerkats crawl on the children’s heads to look for their prey or quad bike through the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.
Sun Camp , Makgadikgadi, Botswana
San Camp - Makgadikgadi, Botswana

For families who've been on safari before and are in search of a totally unique experience they need look no further than San Camp. The camp is on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the remnant of an extinct super lake that once covered the majority of Botswana. As you look out to the horizon over the lake you can see the curvature of the earth. Along with daily game drives to search for rarer species such as the brown hyena, you can also head out onto the pans on quad bikes or perhaps visit to the semi-habituated meerkats which will often use your head as a vantage point as they look out over the pan!

Somalisa Camp, Zimbabwe
Somalisa Camp - Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Somalisa Camp in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park will blow your mind. A beautiful drive from Victoria Falls, Hwange is amazing during the dry season coinciding with school summer holidays. It's an authentic bush camp with great guides and staff, but wait until you see the swimming pool! Hwange is famous for vast elephant herds and during the dry season nothing tastes sweeter to a thirsty elephant than the freshly pumped spring water in Somalisa’s pool. If you're quiet you can slip into the shallow end and go eye to eye with the largest land mammal on the planet. For any age it's magical, but for kids: just WOW!

Best with children over 16 years

For families with older children you can really head off the beaten track and experience some of Africa’s wildest and remote corners! Experience walking safaris in Zambia led by some of Africa’s top guides, go on a canoe trail in the Linyanti and get very close to animals, or even trek for Gorillas in Rwanda.
Gorilla Safari
One&Only Gorilla's Nest - Virungas, Rwanda

Wild mountain gorilla trekking is definitely something to tick off your bucket list, so what better way to enjoy this incredible once-in-a lifetime trip than to do so with your older children. In Rwanda, children over the age of 15 can join this thrilling experience. The One & Only Gorilla’s Nest tucked away in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanic Range is the ultimate location to indulge in this adventure. The majestic landscape here offers so much to see and explore, aside from gorilla trekking, you can hike to see the playful golden monkeys, try your hand at archery and immerse yourself into the magnetic Rwandan culture with a visit to a local village.

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