Kenya Family Safaris and Vacations

Kenya family safaris and vacations are some of the world's top. With unique natural wonders like the Great Migration and a vibrant culture welcoming travelers big and small – family vacations in Kenya remain one of Scott Dunn’s top attractions.

Kenya for Families

Kenya, the quintessential homeland of safari, evokes romantic imagery of a bygone era. Its splendor is so renowned that it served as the backdrop for the iconic book and film, "Out of Africa". Recognized as one of Africa's premier safari destinations, Kenya is a haven for those seeking an extraordinary adventure. The team at Scott Dunn, many of whom have shared the joy of Kenyan safaris with their own children, understand the profound impact of witnessing the world's wonders through youthful eyes. Customizing experiences with precision, we focus on family safaris in Kenya, ensuring that each journey caters perfectly to the unique desires of each family. For those who are adventurous, active, and culturally curious, Kenya family vacations offer an unparalleled experience.


Family Safaris in Kenya

Lions and African buffalo in the Maasai Mara 

A family safari in Kenya usually begins in Nairobi, and from there, every day is an adventure. In places like the Laikipia plateau, you'll see all sorts of animals and learn about wildlife protection. Then, in the famous Maasai Mara, get ready for some of the best animal sightings you can imagine.

On a Kenya family safari, you'll do more than just spot the famous “Big Five.” Imagine watching flocks of flamingos spread across the shimmering lakes of the Rift Valley, or witnessing a spectacular sunrise over Mount Kenya. One of the most breathtaking experiences is witnessing the Great Migration, which from July to October. It's a spectacle unlike any other, with around two million wildebeest thundering across the Maasai Mara reserve, while predators lurk, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. This natural phenomenon is not just a highlight of your trip; it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave a lasting impression on your entire family.

To wrap up the trip, why not relax by the beautiful Indian Ocean on Diani Beach or the Seychelles? It's the perfect way to end an exciting safari vacation.


Things to Do in Kenya With Kids

Balloon safari in the Maasai Mara with giraffes roaming below 

While a Kenya family safari is renowned for its thrilling wildlife encounters, including the iconic Big 5, Kenya's allure extends far beyond these majestic creatures. Here are some of our favorite things to do on a Kenya family vacations.


Feed a Giraffe

Traveling with little ones? Then your Kenya family safari should include a stop at The Giraffe Center. Founded in 1979 with a focus on conservation and education, it offers a hands-on learning opportunity about wildlife and environmental preservation. The highlight for many families is the chance to interact closely with the Rothschild giraffes, feeding them from raised observation decks. This safe, engaging activity captivates children's curiosity and provides a memorable experience. The center's commitment to sustainable living and nature harmony makes it not just a fun outing, but also an insightful journey into conservation, perfect for inspiring young minds.


Spot The Big Five

Spotting the Big Five in their natural habitat is a bucket-list adventure for all family safaris in Kenya. To make this experience accessible and enjoyable for kids of all ages, we highly recommend arranging a private game drive. Customized to your family's needs, these private tours offer flexibility in timing and pacing, ensuring that even the youngest adventurers can comfortably enjoy the safari experience. Knowledgeable guides can adapt the journey to engage children of different ages, making the adventure both educational and exciting. Whether it's marveling at lions in the morning light or spotting elephants at a watering hole, a private game drive creates a safe, personalized, and unforgettable wildlife encounter for the entire family.


Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

A highlight of a Kenya family vacation is a hot air balloon safari over the Maasai Mara. Launching at dawn, it offers a stunning view of the sunrise over Kenya's diverse landscapes. As you soar above or glide near the treetops, you'll get a unique perspective of the Mara's wildlife and scenery. The adventure concludes with a breakfast in the wilderness (champagne for adults), followed by a scenic game drive back to camp, making it an exciting and memorable experience for families with teens.


Best Places to Stay in Kenya with Family

Deciding where to stay on your Kenya family safari is key to enjoying the trip. We carefully select family-friendly camps and lodges in Kenya that go beyond just welcoming kids - they embrace their energy and curiosity. Our choices offer a variety of accommodations, ensuring a diverse and enjoyable safari experience. We've personally experienced these properties, from the comfort of the beds to the quality of the guides. These lodges cater to families with customized meals for picky eaters, extra beds if needed, and activities that keep children of all ages entertained.

Families with Young Kids

A Kenya family safari is a truly exciting experience for little ones. But, many lodges have age limits. Don’t fret, the staff at these lodges and camps are great with children and will arrange flexible and kid-friendly activities to make your family safari in Kenya as enjoyable as possible.

Mara House

Mara House, nestled in the Mara North Conservation area, is a perfect destination for families with young children on a family safari in Kenya. This private, serene abode boasts three en-suite bedrooms, a cozy living area, and a veranda with stunning views, ensuring a safe and comfortable stay. Families can enjoy customized activities including game drives, night safaris, and cultural visits to Maasai villages, making it both educational and entertaining for kids. The house is fully staffed, including a chef and private safari guide, offering a flexible schedule suited to young families. The emphasis on traditional Maasai culture adds an authentic touch to the experience, making it a unique and memorable family getaway.

Lewa House

Lewa House is a family-friendly gem in the conservancy, with stunning views of valleys, hills, and Mount Kenya. Its main house and seven spacious cottages, including eco-friendly earth pods, blend modern comfort with traditional style. Each cottage has its own veranda, offering breathtaking views and privacy. What makes Lewa House ideal for families, especially with young kids, is its welcoming policy for children of all ages. The area teems with wildlife like rhinos, giraffes, zebras, and elephants, making it a thrilling yet safe family safari in Kenya for little explorers. Activities are diverse, from game drives to horse riding and swimming in mountain streams, ensuring fun and educational experiences for kids.

Families with Older Kids

Activity options expand greatly, from guided walks with the Maasai people to canoeing and hiking to the peak of Mount Kenya. And there are plenty of unique accommodation options to wow them as well.

Serian Camp Kenya
Serian Camp

Serian Camp is perfect for families with older kids, offering an exciting mix of traditional safari and Maasai warrior training, like jogging and spear-throwing. The camp's homey feel, with a mess deck overlooking the Mara River and cozy indoor areas, makes it a relaxing retreat. It's ideal for adventurous teens, with large tented rooms and a unique Tree House for an unforgettable night under the stars. The camp provides private vehicles for customized activities like game drives and bush walks. Plus, the cultural experiences and excellent guiding offer a deep dive into the African wilderness and Maasai culture, making it a memorable Kenya family safari.

Kids playing on a plain in front of giraffes at El Karama Eco Lodge
El Karama Eco Lodge

El Karama Eco Lodge is a haven for a Kenya family safari with older children. Here, the excitement never ends with game drives and bush walks, customized for teenage adventurers. The lodge's family cottages offer both space and privacy, perfect for families, and there's more than just wildlife; activities like baking, jogging, and games keep everyone engaged. With over 75 wildlife species, the ranch is a living classroom for curious teens. And for relaxation? A pool awaits, offering a cool respite under the Kenyan sun.

Multigenerational Family Vacations

Kenya is amazing for multi-generational family travel. Many lodges can be taken exclusively providing the most private bonding experience for everyone. These lodges and camps have something to please every member of the family, there are game drives, horseback rides, balloon safaris, wildlife conservation habitats, and visits to villages of the Samburu tribe. If some members of your family prefer to relax, a Kenya family safari has that too.

Acacia House
Acacia House

Acacia House, in the secluded Mara Conservation area, is a fantastic pick for a multigenerational family safari in Kenya. Set in a quiet valley, it's a world away from busy tourist spots, surrounded by stunning wildlife. The house has a relaxing vibe, perfect for all ages. Its large verandah faces a waterhole, great for animal watching. Inside, you'll find a cozy dining and lounge area with a fireplace, ideal for family gatherings. It has two big ensuite bedrooms and a smaller attic room, just right for kids. A team, including a chef, a house manager, and a safari guide, makes your stay comfortable and customized to your needs. There's a shared pool and a barbecue spot for family fun. Plus, activities like day and night safaris, walking tours, and cultural visits offer adventures for everyone.

Kenya Cottars 1920 Tent
Cottar's 1920 Safari Camp

Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp, near Maasai Mara, is a haven for multigenerational families wanting to live out those Hemingway safari dreams. Picture luxury tents with 1920s charm, perfect for any family size. The camp dazzles with unique adventures - think guided walks and night drives! And for those quiet moments? A pool for a cool dip and complimentary massages. It's the little things, like attentive butler service, that make it ideal for everyone from energetic kids to leisure-loving grandparents. In short, it’s a blend of adventure and relaxation, wrapped in timeless luxury.

Active families

Kenya is made for active families; there are so many ways to have an off-the-beaten-track experience on a Kenya family safari. And the accommodation options are equally appealing. These are some of our favorites.

Picnic with river views at Beyond Bateleur Camp
&Beyond Bateleur Camp

Bateleur Camp is the perfect spot for active groups looking for an amazing family safari in Kenya. It's tucked away at the base of the Oloololo escarpment, surrounded by lush riverine forests. The big tented suites are comfortable with air conditioning and your very own butler. During the day, you can hop in open-top Land Rovers for exciting morning game drives, go on night game drives, or take guided walks around the camp's grounds. And there's more – you can check out Maasai communities, enjoy hot air ballooning, and attend interesting lectures (for a bit extra). Bateleur Camp offers classic safari style, awesome views of the Maasai Mara, and a taste of those 1920s and 1930s Kenyan explorers.

Family watching sunset next to jeep in Kenya
Elewana Elsa’s Kopje

Elsa's Kopje Lodge, carefully crafted from local materials to blend into the hillside, occupies a special place near the original camp where George and Joy Adamson released Elsa the Lioness into Meru National Park. This park, off the typical tourist path, is a haven for bird enthusiasts, hosting a diverse range of bird species. It's also teeming with wildlife, including elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, and zebras. The lodge boasts nine stone cottages, each offering panoramic views, en-suite bathrooms, and a dedicated family cottage. Furthermore, Elsa's Private House, situated on the site of George Adamson's 'Born Free' camp, accommodates up to four guests and boasts a private pool – making it an ideal retreat for family safaris in Kenya.

For Relaxation

Though the focus of Kenya is safari, it also provides the perfect escape to unplug and unwind. Surrounded by nature and the type of quiet that can only be found far away from metropolitan areas, the unspoiled, rugged feel of Kenya doesn’t mean that there is a lack of modern luxury here. Many camps and lodges offer top-notch spas, lovely pools, luxurious suites with every amenity imaginable, and breathtaking views. Kenya is the perfect getaway for your family to reconnect and relax.

Alfajiri Beach Villa dining with sea in distance
Alfajiri Beach Villa

Alfajiri Villas, renowned as some of the finest private houses on the Kenyan coast, is an excellent choice for families seeking relaxation after a family safari in Kenya. The Beach Villa, perched on a coral cliff with panoramic Indian Ocean views, offers total privacy and attentive service. With its rustic beach chic decor, spacious verandas, and three comfortable bedrooms with air conditioning, it's an ideal retreat. A private pool and a talented chef who blends local ingredients with European delicacies in an Italian-African fusion style add to the appeal. Diani Beach, one of Kenya's best, stretches five miles in each direction, making it a perfect destination for families looking to unwind in a stunning coastal setting.

Manda Bay from the sea
Manda Bay

Manda Bay, a relaxed beachfront haven on Kenya's Manda Island, offers families a laid-back luxury experience after a Kenya family safari. Stay in spacious cottages among coconut palms, acacia, and tamarind trees, boasting large wooden beds, comfy mosquito nets, and private bathrooms. Swing beds outside the cottages are perfect for relaxing and watching dhows sail by. Enjoy exceptional cuisine, water sports, and deep-sea fishing for Marlin and Sailfish. A quick 20-minute boat ride takes you to Lamu, the ancient Swahili town, and nearby you'll find Manda Settlement's historic ruins, surrounded by baobab trees. Keep an eye out for bushbuck and Cape Buffalo nearby. Plus, scenic flights reveal stunning landscapes teeming with buffalo, hartebeest, zebra, eland, and even hippo-filled lakes.

Meet our Africa Travel Specialists

Speak to one of our Africa travel specialists and start planning your dream family vacation to Kenya. 

Bjorn Behlert

Africa & Safari Specialist

I was born in Malaysia where my parents used every opportunity to travel Asia as much as possible. As a child I was taken on canoes through the jungle, on trains or elephants through India and many other countries in the region. After returning to Germany, we still spent every school vacation abroad, often traveling to remote areas, which cemented my ever-growing hunger to explore.

Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your holiday

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