The ultimate outdoor classroom, Africa’s diverse destinations, legendary wildlife and distinct cultures create an opportunity to learn around every corner. One of the most exciting travel experiences a child can have, family safaris invite you to reconnect with your loved ones and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Families and safari have not always gone hand in hand and planning a safari to Africa can seem daunting. Jumbari Family Safaris has research, explored and selected eco-sensitive lodges for families traveling to Southern Africa, East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. Without further adieu, here are Jumbari Family Safaris top 5 family friendly safari lodges in South Africa.
Located in the Big 5, malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, Tuningi Safari Lodge takes the cake when it comes to South Africa family safari lodges and welcome kids of all ages. This exclusive family-run lodge accommodates 16 guests at a time and features 2 luxury family suites with views over the reserve. Tuningi offers a safari with a difference and prides themselves on teaching children the wonders of nature and wildlife first-hand in their Kid’s Programme. If your little ones are older than 5, they are welcome to enjoy daily game drives with their parents with a dedicated ranger. Kiddies under 5 can enjoy shorter ‘bumble’ drives to the local waterhole where they can tick off wildlife that they see from the Tuningi work book. During afternoon game drives, the rangers organize interactive treasure hunts as well as educational talks on the items that they find while out in the African bush. In the evenings, kids can enjoy foodie treats alongside the lodge’s professional chefs or parents can make use of the lodge’s professional childminding services while dining in the outdoor boma.
Less than four hours from the vibrant city of Cape Town you will find the South Africa family safari lodge, Gondwana Game Reserve. Located along the scenic Garden Route, Gondwana Game Reserve is a Big 5 private reserve surrounded by the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountain ranges. Teeming with indigenous fynbos and grass plains, Gondwana offers a unique safari experience with a Western Cape twist. The eco-sensitive Gondwana Game Reserve welcomes kiddies of all ages and offers exclusive-use safari vehicles to families on request. Gondwana keeps the little ones engaged on safari on their Junior Rangers experiences where kids between the ages of 6 and 12 can enjoy educational game drives, interactive activities, junior ranger packs and a special badge upon completion. Gondwana offers professional babysitting services for when parents wish for some privacy while on safari.
Insider tip: Children under the age of 6 stay for free and children rates are applicable for kids under the age of 12.
With a history spanning over 35 years, Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge holds the reputation of a “luxury home in the bush”. The lodge is located in the heart of the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sands. The reserve is home to the Big 5 as well as cheetah and wild dog and your dedicated ranger and tracker ensure close-up experiences with Africa’s epic wildlife on every game drive. The exclusive 25 suites and 2 luxury villas at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge overlook an active waterhole and open plains of the African bushveld. Perfect for families, Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge offers professional childcare minders as well as a fully fledged children’s facility, the Elefun Centre. Here, kids have the opportunity to learn about the diverse ecosystem of Sabi Sands through environmentally themed and hands-on educational activities teaching them to appreciate the natural world and foster environmental responsibility.
If you want to stay at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, check out our 11 day Cape Town, Winelands & Family Safari
Located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, Hlosi Game Lodge offers luxurious accommodation for the whole family in the malaria-free Amakhala Game Reserve. Hlosi caters to kids without compromising on a rejuvenating experience for adults and offers a professional babysitting service as well as a dedicated kiddies room with games, toys and DVDs. Families can expect complete privacy on their safari with two luxury family suites and four luxury family safari tents. The Cubs on Safari Programme offers a wide range of kiddies activities from fishing expeditions to spoor identification. The Cubs on Safari Programme is available to kids from the age of 3 to 12. Children over the age of 6 are permitted for daily game drives through the reserve and kiddies between the age of 2- 5 will be included at the discretion of you dedicated ranger.
Insider tip: children under the age of 2 stay for free when sharing with at least one adult
Located in the Great Fish River Valley, Kwandwe Fort House is an exclusive-use safari villa with all the comforts of home. Featuring 4 spacious bedrooms, Fort House is ideal for families and boasts multiple entertainment areas to spend quality time together. The villa features a wine cellar, spa treatment room, a private terrace and swimming pool overlooking the reserve and a traditional outdoor boma for memorable dinners under the stars. The villa offers a private safari vehicle with a dedicated guide and tracker to ensure complete flexibility for your family safari. Enjoy daily game drives through one of the largest private Big 5 viewing areas in South Africa, professionally guided nature walks and walking safaris as well as visits to the local community. Kwandwe Fort House is one of our top South Africa family safari lodges, offering little ones an exclusive Eco-nect Guide with fun animal checklists, themed games and activities and a pledge to ‘live green’. Families can enjoy fun activities on the reserve from scavenger hunts to kite building or they can choose to get involved by planting indigenous Spekboom and connect with the local community at the Ubunye Foundation.
Get in touch with our expert consultants to start planning your South African family safari.