March 23

The Ultimate Family Holiday in Africa


March 23, 2023

Attention all intrepid explorers with tiny tots in tow, are you planning a family holiday in Africa? Buckle up for an extraordinary experience because Africa is the ultimate playground for family adventures. With a multitude of options ranging from Big 5 safaris and water-based escapades to outdoor fun and tropical beach getaways, the possibilities are endless. So, let’s look at the top 5 experiences you and your children can enjoy in Africa.

Young girl with ranger learning about nature

Let your little ones connect with nature on a family safari, Image Credit: Shamwari

Big 5 Safaris for Families

First on the list is the iconic Big 5 Safari, where your little ones will see lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalos roaming in their natural habitat. The Kruger National Park is a popular choice, but for a malaria-free safari, we recommend Madikwe Game Reserve and the private reserves in the Eastern Cape, including KwandweShamwariKariega, and Lalibela Game Reserve. 

These Big 5 safari spots have it all for an epic family holiday in Africa, from kiddie-friendly bumble drives (shorter game drives) and guided bush walks to bird and track identification. Plus, we've got fun-filled activities like scavenger hunts, fishing trips, cooking lessons, and even outdoor movie nights to make your family's safari experience unforgettable.

Little children learning how to bake cookies in the lodge kitchen

Baking classes for children are a popular pastime on safari, Image Credit: Kwandwe

Witness the Great Migration in East Africa

Behold the magnificence of the Great Wildebeest Migration, a wild and wondrous spectacle unlike anything else on this planet! With over two million wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles on the move across the Serengeti and Maasai Mara ecosystems, this is nature's greatest performance, and your brood are invited to be front-row spectators. 

La Gran Migración y Zanzíbar, dupla ganadora

The magnificent Great Wildebeest Migration river crossing

Being in East Africa is like seeing "The Lion King" in real life, and the memories will last a lifetime. Many lodges and camps offer family-friendly safaris and fun activities, so your pint-sized adventurers can experience the thrill of the chase up close and personal.

Children on safari with Maasai Guides in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve

East Africa is a perfect destination for a family holiday in Africa, Image Credit: Angama Mara

Outdoor Fun Along The Garden Route

Get ready to buckle up and hit the road because the Garden Route in South Africa is the ultimate family road trip destination that you won't want to miss! Brace yourself for a whirlwind of family-friendly outdoor activities that will get your heart racing, including ziplining, canoeing, and building sandcastles on blue-flag beaches.

Remember to pack your swimwear and sunscreen, as you'll be exploring the breathtaking coastline with water-based activities such as whale and dolphin boat-based ocean encounters, river and lagoon cruises, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, surfing, and even scuba-diving.

Kayaking in Storms River Mouth

Surrounded by nature and outdoor adventure on the Garden Route, Image Credit: Buffelsdam Country House

But wait, there's more! Get up close and personal with some of the most charismatic critters at Monkeyland and Birds of Eden. Here you can meet rescued monkeys, lemurs, over 3,500 birds, and many more fascinating creatures, making it the perfect getaway for a family holiday in Africa.

A monkey balancing on a long rope bridge

Monkeyland is South Africa is the world's first free-roaming, multi-specie primate sanctuary, Image Credit: Plett Tourism

Water-Based Adventures in Botswana

Get ready for some wild and wacky family fun in Botswana! This amazing country isn't just famous for its wildlife – it's also a top spot for water-based adventures. Imagine cruising down the Chobe River and spotting elephants, hippos, and crocs in their natural habitat. Or, for the ultimate family holiday in Africa, hop on a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) and meander your way through the mesmerising Okavango Delta.

Children on a mokoro ride

There's nothing like a mokoro safari in the Okavango Delta to inspire young travellers, Image Credit: Wilderness Seba

Gone are the days when Botswana was a no-go for families. Now, more and more lodges are rolling out the welcome mat for kids. Some of these camps are downright awesome, with private suites and family units featuring their own lounges and play areas. And for the little adventurers in your group, there are tons of cool activities to choose from – think junior ranger training and other fun programs to help them discover Africa's hidden treasures.

Guides will help children gain invaluable insights about nature, Image Credit: Wilderness Seba

Tropical Beach Holiday With the Kids

Are you ready for a family adventure that will blow your socks off? Mauritius and Seychelles are two hotspots in the Indian Ocean that families can't get enough of! You'll find everything from gorgeous beaches and lush nature reserves to kid-friendly activities and mouth-watering cuisine. And with plenty of sunshine year-round, you won't want to leave!

boy sitting on coconut palm on the beach

A tropical island paradise is a great place for children to explore

Mauritius is a wild wonderland for families who love the great outdoors. Your local aquarium won't stand a chance against the tropical fish your kids can see up close as they splash around in the sea. With a range of activities designed especially for the little ones, there's no end to the fun you can have.

And if you're looking for more kiddie excitement, Seychelles has got you covered. Here, you can hang out with giant tortoises, explore the stunning kaleidoscopic reefs by snorkelling in the crystal-clear turquoise waters, and so much more!

Feed ancient Galápagos tortoises

Plan Your Ultimate Family Holiday in Africa!

There you have it, intrepid explorers! With so many exciting experiences to choose from, Africa truly is a wonderland for family adventures! Go on a Big 5 safari, witness the Great Migration, explore Botswana's waters, enjoy outdoor fun and bask in the island sun – or combine them if you wish! 

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning and get ready for a family holiday in Africa you'll never forget!

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About the author 

Michelle Welvering

Growing up, Michelle always wanted to become a world-renowned artist, a kickboxing-champion and an eccentric explorer – aka a Kickboxing Exploring Artist! After pursuing an education in Fine Arts and opening her own Kickboxing gym in Pretoria, an unexpected twist led her to a six-year stint as a travel consultant in South African tourism. She believes that all things happen for a reason and, driven by adventure, she was eager to find a more “wild” and cultural space to call home. This led her to wander the Western Cape coastline, fall in love with the city of Cape Town and, of course, her workplace, Rhino Africa.

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