Taking your kids on an African safari may sound intimidating and overwhelming, but every family that I have sent to this magnificent continent has come back changed, bonded and claiming this trip to be the best vacation ever! Leave the daunting details to me: I understand kids, I know how to make it happen, and I truly believe it’s one of the greatest gifts that you can give your family.
There list of reasons of why I adore Africa as that is it’s own blog post but these are a few reasons why I believe you and your family, especially your children, will be in awe of this country. Sure, trips to the zoo may work in the beginning, particularly for babies and toddlers, but once they’re old enough (age 6+), nothing is like seeing these exotic creatures roaming freely and naturally in their own habitat at sunrise and sunset. These awe-inspiring, real-life encounters impact your children and their minds in the most magnificent ways.
In a nutshell, a safari may shape your child’s life in ways that may, ultimately, affect how they value the world.
Environmental threats and social factors continue to threaten precious regions and communities. It takes passion and dedication and understanding to conservation and community to ensure that we don’t lose them. Connecting with nature and new cultures face-to-face changes how we relate to the world around us, and this can inspire our next generation to continue protecting it. By exposing your kids early, you’re investing in keeping the planet’s ecosystems clean, and our four-legged friends in good standing.
It’s about learning but most important making unforgettable memories together. This is a trip of serious quality time on once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Going to Africa with your family means no excuse, and often no ability, to scroll through social media, binge the latest Netflix show, or even check in on all those work emails. That means you and the kids can relax around a fire pit, huddle in a cozy game viewing vehicle, or talk at a table over dinner. This time together has true beauty and ever lasting memories!
The Best Countries to Take your Kids on Safari
South Africa is a great first-time spot to Africa, especially Americans. The U.S. dollar is consistently stronger than the Rand, which helps you get more for your money. If convenience, familiarity, and guaranteed English-speaking interactions is what your family wants and needs, South Africa is your best bet.
For local safaris, I love Sabi Sands, which has one of the world’s highest concentrations of leopards. Though malaria is easily preventable anywhere we send our travelers, opting for malaria-free reserves means you can skip the doctor’s visit, forget the hassle of daily pills, and still enjoy the same great bush experience.
No matter the reserve I choose your family the kiddos are sure to be wowed.
One of my favorite things about South Africa is that you can break up your wild adventure by stopping in Cape Town. You can also just have an incredible vacation without ever leaving the coastline. Cape Town, for instance, offers hiking, paddle-boarding as well as sand-boarding, along with Cape Peninsula tours, and many more excursions. For parents who are big on teachable-moments, you’ll love the living history lessons surrounding you in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Kenya & Tanzania
Tanzania holds a special place in my heart! What makes it an ideal vacation for families is its flexibility and variety. You won’t get the city-slicker options of South Africa, but the private conservancy options, which can take the conventional bush experience and personalize it to your family’s day-to-day needs. These privately run camps and lodges don’t operate on strict guidelines or set itineraries. It allows for a relaxed trip making everyone happy. With activities from walking and driving safaris, horseback riding, visiting local villages, bush picnics, and more—there’s something for everyone.
Honestly, at the end of the day the perfect experience is often less about the right country, and more about the right camp. There are camps where you will stay that you will truly feel like family and friends rather than transient guests. There are camps that have no age restrictions, and offers tailored nature walks around camp with dedicated child specialist guides.
One of my favorite camps has a program designed for families with kids. The emphasis is on learning how to track game both on foot and in 4×4 safari vehicles. Children learn how to make small animal traps, start a fire with two sticks, recognize different animal, identify a range of birds, and much more.
Moral of the Story:
Wherever your wild heart wants to wander, I can craft it!