Best Safari Lodges for Family Safaris

With so many different options of accommodation on safari, we know that the planning process can be a little overwhelming. Our safari specialists have travelled extensively around the continent, staying in all types of accommodation – from larger, more structured lodges in South Africa, to mobile tented camps in Kenya. They have also travelled on safari with their families, so they understand the concerns and questions that come with booking a family safari.

Your safari accommodation is, in our opinion, the most important part when it comes to planning a family safari. Of course, when and where you go is also high on the list, but it is the safari accommodation that will make or break your safari dream. A safari lodge is responsible for the guiding, the food, the safety and ultimately, the overall experience. With this in mind, we have put together some of our favourite, and highly recommended safari lodges and camps for family safaris. All of our safari itineraries are tailor-made and curated with you in mind.

Banner Image Credit: Hlosi Game Lodge

Olakira Migration Camp, Serengeti National Park
Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge, Tanzania

Family Safari Lodge or Camp?

There are two types of accommodation for a family safari. The first is a safari lodge which is a permanent structure, usually a similar layout and feel to a small hotel. This is usually a preferred type of accommodation for children as it may feel more ‘safe’ and familiar to young children. Safari lodges also have a good selection of facilities, like a swimming pool, games room and several lounge areas. This gives children a little more to do when they are not on a game drive.

The other type of accommodation is a tented camp. These camps, which are more common in East Africa like Kenya and Tanzania, can vary in luxury. Some are more basic, with a canvassed structure and classic ‘bucket showers’, while others are much more luxurious, featuring private plunge pools, chandeliers, mini bars and private butlers. If you have older children, tented camps are a great option for an authentic safari experience. A lot of these tented camps will have family units where two rooms are interconnected, sharing a bathroom or offering ensuites for both.

For first time family safaris, especially with younger children, we would recommend a safari lodge rather than a camp. Whether it is a lodge or a camp, there will always be staff and guards around the area to keep you safe. In East Africa, these are called ‘Askaris’ which in Swahili, translates as Guards. Your Askari will escort you from your room to the main area each morning and evening, so your family will be in safe hands whatever your accommodation.

Image credit: Olakira Migration Camp (left) and Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge (right)

Loisaba Starbeds, Kenya
Naboisho Camp, Kenya

Kenya Family Safari Lodges

Loisaba Star Beds, Kenya

Located in central Kenya, the Laikipia Plateau is known for its vast plains and rolling hills. A lodge that stands out for family safaris here, is Loisaba Starbeds. This lodge is perched on a rocky kopje and offers views across the valley but the main draw is its unique night-time experience. The rooms are built on raised wooden platforms and each evening, your bed is wheeled out onto your private veranda so that you can sleep under the stars. We wouldn’t recommend this for younger children but if you have teenage, or older children, this is a great choice for something completely different! A mosquito net covers the bed and of course, if you don’t enjoy being so exposed, you can opt to stay back in the room. Find out more.

Naboisho Camp, Kenya

The Masai Mara is one of the richest and densest national parks for wildlife in Africa. Located in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy in the Greater Masai Mara is Naboisho Camp. This area has one of the highest concentrations of lions in the world, as well as huge numbers of elephant, giraffe and wildebeest. This is a small and intimate tented camp with nine tents, offering a real authentic and memorable safari experience. The camp accepts children over 5 years old, and with private vehicles available and a swimming pool to enjoy the midday heat, this is a good option for adventurous families. Find out more here.

Image credit: Loisaba Starbeds Elewana (left) and Asilia Naboisho Camp (right)

Impodimo Lodge, South Africa
Jaci's Safari Lodge, South Africa

South Africa Family Safari Lodges

Impodimo Game Lodge, South Africa

This is one of the few affordable lodges in the very upmarket Madikwe Reserve. Impodimo has lovely The 75,000 hectare reserve borders Botswana and is home to the Big Five (Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Buffalo and Leopard) as well as being known for its Wild Dog and Cheetah sightings. This lodge is great for families, the deluxe suites comprises of two bedrooms, a private deck, lounge/dining area with its own kitchen. There is also a private pool which can be fitted with a safety net for young children. The lodge is very child friendly, children over the age of 6 are allowed on the normal game drives, younger children are catered for with shorter ‘kids bumble bee’ game drives. They also have babysitters at the lodge. They also offer a kids program and each child receives a welcome pack on arrival.

Jaci’s Safari Lodge, South Africa

 The safari-style accommodation at Jaci’s Safari Lodge features two exclusive Starbed Suites, six luxury Tented Suites and two private Family Suites. The lodge has an underground hide with a water-level viewing window overlooking the waterhole. The lodge is decorated in vibrate colour and African textures. All rooms have air conditioning, out door showers and raised viewing decks.   The Nare Suite is perfect for families and comprises of two bedrooms, a kids loft area with twin beds, a private pool and deck. The suite is built in front of a water hole so you can watch the wildlife pass you by from your deck. The suite also comes with a private vehicle and ranger.  The lodge has a special children’s menu and the chefs love to get the kids into the kitchen to doing baking and cookie decorating.

Image credit: Impodimo Lodge (left) and Jaci’s Safari Lodge (right)

Ecca Lodge, Kwandwe
Hlosi Game Lodge, South Africa

Ecca Lodge, South Africa

The Kwandwe Reserve is 22, 000 hectares of wilderness in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. This high end family focused lodge comprised of 6 suites and 3 of those are family suites. The lodge has views over the escarpment and is relaxed lodge with a modern feel to it. The family suites have two bedrooms and come with a private vehicle and ranger as well as private plunge pools. The lodge has a play centre for kids as well as a large communal pool. The lodge runs morning and afternoon game drives, nature walks for kids over the age of 12 and there are game walks available for kids over the age of 16 into the reserve. Find out more here.

Hlosi Game Lodge, South Africa 

The reserve is over 7000 hectares and Hlosi Game Lodge overlooks the surrounding plains from its spectacular hillside location. The camp has a busy waterhole allowing you to watch the wildlife from your suite. Suites have a private verandah, air conditioning, full ensuite bathroom and an outdoor shower.Hlosi offers 2 luxury family suites comprising of two bedrooms and a shared lounge. Hlosi also offers a dedicated kids program called ‘Cubs on Safari’ and a children’s playroom. The Children’s Coordinator will meet with the family on arrival to plan children’s activities during your stay. The camp is fenced so is perfect for small children.

Image credit: Ecca Lodge (left) and Hlosi Lodge (right)

Four Seasons Lodge, Tanzania
Lemala Kuria Hills, Tanzania

Tanzania Family Safari Lodges

Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge, Tanzania

This lodge is relatively large in comparison to the other safari accommodation in the Serengeti National Park but, as a result, it offers a wealth of facilities and experiences for family safaris. The lodge is located in the central plains of the Serengeti (Seronera region) which is home to a wealth of resident game including elephants, lion prides, cheetahs and giraffe. During the months of March to June, the wildebeest migration will move through the central plains so you will have the opportunity to see the herds in their millions, from your room, the safari bar or swimming pool. The lodge has various room types, a spa and bar area for parents, and a discovery centre, a mini Maasai kids club and a swimming pool for children.

Lemala Kuria Hills, Tanzania

Located in the northern plains of the Serengeti National Park is this wonderful lodge called Lemala Kuria Hills. All of the Lemala properties (several around Tanzania) offer a great location and value for money, particularly with family safaris. The lodge has 15 glass-fronted tents which are furnished with twin or super-king beds, ensuite bathrooms, an outdoor shower and a plunge pool. The main area offers views of the kopjes and distant views of the Isuria Escarpment in the Masai Mara (Kenya). This lodge is a great choice for families looking for luxury accommodation as it is on the higher price scale. That said, if you come outside of the peak season (July to October), this lodge offers fantastic rates and although you will not see the wildebeest migration, you will still see a huge amount of wildlife. Find out more.

Image credit: Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge (left) and Lemala Kuria Hills (right)

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Zimbabwe
Young Explorers Camp, Botswana

Zimbabwe & Botswana Family Safari Lodges

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Zimbabwe

Many families like to combine another destination or experience with their safari. Victoria Falls is a great option as it separates the safari and gives families a chance to do and see something a little different. Located just 4km from Victoria Falls is a wonderful property called Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. With 72 rooms, several bars and restaurants, a swimming pool and stunning views, it’s no wonder that the lodge has been voted the Best Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe for 23 consecutive years. For families, Victoria Falls offers a huge variety of activities, including Falls walking tours, boat cruises, adrenaline activities (obviously not for younger children) and many more!

Young Explorers Camp, Botswana

This private camp offers families a really special experience. Each family have a private camp for up to six people and each camp comes with its own ranger, chef and guides. Located in the private Shinde concession in the Okavango Delta, you have the wilderness to yourself. You stay in comfortable ensuite tents including a wash basin, porcelain flush toilet and hot bush shower. There are two bedroom tents available if you would like your children next to you with proper beds and bedding. The activities depend on the age and interests of the children but are designed to help children re connect with the wild and engage with their surroundings. The emphasis is on activities like tracking the animals, bush survival skills, bird identification, trying to pole a mokoro (traditional canoe) and how to fish in the delta. Your days are tailor made to your specific requirements, a once in a life time holiday.

Image credit: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge (left) and Young Explorers Ker & Downey (right)

Looking to Book an African Safari for Your Family?

Elaine and Gemma our African safari specialists with over 25 years of experience in the safari sector, are happy to design the perfect trip for you and your family. Please feel free to get in touch today on +1 844 879 7388 or +44 208 004 2345. You can also contact us at info@unforgettabletravel.com

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