Family and multi-generational safaris have become quite popular in the last few years, and South Africa is certainly one of the most ideal destinations for a family safari. South Africa is comfortable, relatively easy to access, offers an excellent infrastructure (flights, roads and trains), lodges and camps offer family-friendly activities and accommodations and finally, it’s affordable for a family group!
One of our most popular family-friendly options is a customized Cape Town & Kruger combination trip. This gives families the time to acclimate to Africa in the comfort of a traditional “hotel” with the ease of room service and all the amenities of a city-hotel. Kids will love the Cape Town Aquarium, the bustling waterfront and seeing the penguins at Boulder’s Beach. Parents can wine taste in the heart of the winelands at Spier Wine Estate, while kids visit the cheetah sanctuary on site. Parents and kids alike will enjoy Cape Town’s beaches, lively markets and a ride up the famous Table Mountain cableway.
From Cape Town families connect on scheduled daily flights to the Kruger National Park area and private game reserves in the Sabi Sand and Thornybush. Many Kruger area lodges offer family-friendly facilities such as the intimate and welcoming Savanna Private Game Reserve. The two bedroom Savanna Suite is perfect for families with two separate bedrooms and bathrooms and a shared living area. The suite even offers it’s own plunge pool. Guides are kid-friendly and Savanna goes out of their way to prepare meals that kids will enjoy.
Thornybush Game Lodge is another ideal stop for families as the lodge accepts kids of all ages and offers special childrens’ programs including: educational kid-friendly walks with rangers, picnics by the pool, treasure hunts and their own kid’s packet on arrival.
For larger family groups or extended families, the Uplands Homestead (exclusive use of a family up to six people) or Melton Manor (exclusive use villa with four en suite bedrooms) in the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve in the heart of South Africa’s malaria-free Eastern Cape are ideal for families. All services are private for your family, including guides and vehicles and the malaria-free area is perfect for families with kids. Kwandwe boasts thousands of animals including lion, black and white rhino, buffalo, elephant and cheetah.
In the Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, larger family groups are welcomed at the Homestead and Zuka Lodge. Phinda has been described as “Seven Worlds of Wonder” with seven distinct habitats that offer prime Big Five game viewing. Zuka Lodge and The Homestead both cater to groups of 2-8 and offer private services and exclusive use of a safari vehicle and guide–talk about personalized service.
Be sure to plan well in advance for family adventures in South Africa as many of the family-friendly lodges and exclusive use villas book well in advance. Read more on specials to South Africa for the remainder of 2009.