When most people think of a safari, they don’t automatically assume that children will be able to tag along. After all, part of the aim of a safari is the thrill of unexpected danger, while knowing that you are actually safe at almost all times. While many safari lodges do not cater for children under 12, there is still plenty of scope to bring older children along, particular in South Africa, part of which is malaria-free and thus safer for smaller children.
Three safari lodges that do an excellent job catering for children:
Kwandwe is one of Africa’s most Southern game reserves and is a malaria free choice for children and parents who would prefer not to take malaria tablets. In addition to the ‘Big Five’ animals you might see, this area is also full of history, as the Great Fish River which runs alongside it was the site of battle between three different factions during the Frontier Wars.
The reserve is a haven for the ‘Big Five’ and for birds as well, including South Africa’s national bird, which is rare and endangered, the Blue Crane. Kwandwe’s accommodation is comprised of the Great Fish River Lodge, which is historic and beautifully restored, with each gorgeously constructed suite having its own private plunge pool and expansive viewing deck.
For families, however, the fun Ecca Lodge will be the suite of choice, which specifically caters to children. The specially designed interpretive centre offers hours of fun for children of all ages, even those difficult teenagers, though children under 6 are not allowed on game drives in this particular camp. There’s an open plan kitchen with fresh farm cuisine, perfect for the eco conscious parent, and each suite has incredible views and the lodge has a rim-flow lap pool.
Phinda is in an enviable position between the lovely turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and the waterways of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park; overall the private reserve spans 17,000 hectares of land with seven unique ecosystems. You’ll struggle to see it all, but what you do see will be magnificent. The resort has four distinct lodges, each appropriate to separate purposes; for children the Mountain Lodge is the most suitable. It’s friendly for families and is also the oldest resort, so has plenty for you to teach the kids.
Phinda game rangers are trained thoroughly and, because of its proximity to water, can show you quite a few different environments. You may not see just traditional safari animals, but take a walk over to see turtles, sharks, and dolphins in the ocean. The air safari is also an exhilarating journey over the freshwater lakes, coastal dunes, and blue waterse of Maputoland.
This private six-room safari retreat caters exclusively to the needs of families or groups. The entire farmhouse will be yours for your stay, and children of all ages are welcome at the camp. Part of the renowned Singita Sabi Sand Reserve, which is located along the western boundary of Kruger National Park, the camp offers exquisite opportunities for game viewing, with early morning and afternoon game drives, guided bush walks, and community tours to the neighboring villages. All guests at Castleton can also head to the nearby Singita Ebony and Boulders lodges for the use of the gym and spa.
It’s the main house that sells this camp, though, with its feeling of home the moment you arrive. You and your family will settle in without worry; you may even find that you spot giraffes or elephants wandering by from your relaxed perspective on the verandah.
For a safari holiday with the family in any of these locations, just give us a call!