What you need to know about family safari holidays

Fun, nature-based, immersive, and educational – family safari holidays are a growing market, particularly since the pandemic taught us not to keep putting off those bucket list, once-in-a-lifetime trips. This is a holiday where having your own Travel Counsellor really does make sense in terms of finding the perfect fit for your family, as every family is different.

We’ve showcased a brilliant family itinerary in Kenya below, plus we’ve answered some of the most common questions we get asked about family safari holidays.

What you need to know about family safari holidays

Family safari itinerary in Kenya

Days 1–4: Arrive in Nairobi, fly to Nanyuki, road transfer to El Karama, 3 nights in El Karama Lodge | Days 4–7: Fly to Masai Mara, 3 nights in House in the Wild | Days 7-10: Fly to Ukunda, 3 nights in Kinondo Kwetu | Day 10: Fly to Nairobi, transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

This upmarket, bespoke holiday is one for families looking for the ‘real safari’ experience and includes a stay at the intimate, award-winning El Karama Lodge, built by wildlife sculptor Murray Grant and specialising in family safaris. As well as immersive private experiences, ranging from fly camping to tracking on foot with guides, it offers abundant daily sightings of leopard, lions, elephants, buffalo, zebra, and giraffe. From there it’s on to family–owned boutique lodge, House in the Wild, on the banks of the Mara River in the Enonkishu Conservancy, with activities including bush breakfasts, a rhino sanctuary tour, and community project visits.

Family safari holidays: a guide

How old should children be to best enjoy a safari?

Some camps and lodges are set up for children of any age, but as a rule of thumb, younger kids, age five and over can best appreciate this type of holiday. With younger kids, you need very specific sleeping arrangements, a private vehicle, and an itinerary factoring in plenty of rest time. Private vehicles are also getting more and more popular in general because they allow you to set your own pace.

Family safaris are about much more than game drives. The best safari camps for families now include children’s activities such as bush skills and conservation, making this a great holiday for families who want to be environmentally conscious and also give something back to local communities. 

Safari holidays are never cheap, but on most, kids pay discounted rates (and sometimes those child rates extend up to age 21!). Some places also run ‘kids stay free’ offers outside high season.

What kind of accommodation can I expect?

We’ve entered a new era of safari travel – one in which many lodges are embracing the family market by adding family-friendly accommodation, activities, and lowering age limits. Many have also added swimming pools so families can both cool down and let off some steam.

What are the best countries for a family safari holiday?

Our top recommendations for safaris with kids in tow are South Africa and Kenya, which have a wide choice of lodges and camps set up for families, all with experiences tailor-made with children in mind. We also handpick our destinations based on the availability of direct flights from the UK and focus on offering as many malaria-free destinations as possible.

Are family safari holidays safe?

We only partner with safari firms who pass the most stringent health and safety checks. We also take into account all Foreign Office advice regarding travel to specific counties and regions.

For more advice and inspiration, or to book your family safari holiday, call your Travel Counsellor today.

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