A safari is an immersive travel experience and children usually love it for this reason. They can spot wildlife, ask the safari guides as many questions as they like, they can take part in nature walks and bush schools, and many more. For these reasons alone, children tend to be kept entertained throughout your safari but, as parents ourselves, we know that this is not always the case!

The safari guides are usually fantastic at keeping the children entertained throughout the safari, even when there is less wildlife to see than usual. They do all they can to make sure the children and family have the best experience. One of our Africa specialists, Gemma, was told by a safari guide that he sometimes hides small frog toys around the safari vehicle or their safari room for them to find when they are getting a little bored. Our other specialist, Elaine, explains that the key to a great family safari is not only to keep the children entertained, but also the parents! At the end of the day, it is their safari too so keeping the whole family engaged and entertained is the main aim. With that in mind, both our specialists have put together some safari hacks for keeping kids entertained together:

Image credit: Young Explorer Ker & Downey

Loisaba Starbeds, Kenya
Loisaba Starbeds, Kenya

Keep the drive times to a minimum

Any parent will tell you that long car drives with children can be hard work. When we design itineraries for families, we really focus on keeping transfer times down, scheduling regular stops on the way, to keep the kids happy. We have put together plenty of wonderful family safaris and from our experience, we would say that three to four nights is the perfect amount of time for children. If you have older children who are more engaged in the safari, then we would recommend two different camps or locations on safari. For example, three nights in one safari camp and then three nights in another, in a different park. This breaks the safari up a little and offers new scenery, accommodation and guiding to mix it up.

Keeping them busy

Children tend to have a lot of energy and a short attention span. While on safari there is some downtime between game drives, we make sure the lodge has a large swimming pool for them to play in. On a full day of sightseeing we keep the pace going and try and get some physical activity into the itinerary, a good example is kayaking with penguins instead of driving to the viewing platform.

Image credit: Loisaba Starbeds, Kenya (left and right)

Impodimo Lodge, South Africa Game Drive
Kwandwe Walking Safari

Activity packs

Many lodges and hotels provide special welcome packs for children filled with age appropriate books and activities for them. These are especially helpful on game drive – Safari Bingo is always a success with children.

Planning ahead

If you let your lodge know in advance that there are children on the booking and what their interests are, the lodge will always try to accommodate their individual needs. Unfortunately, families are usually restricted to when they can travel due to school holidays, which (like summer and Christmas) are peak times on safari. This means that popular safari destinations and lodges do get booked up quite quickly. We would recommend planning ahead at least nine months in advance.

Image credit: Impodimo Lodge (left) and Kwandwe Private Reserve (right)

We can’t wait to start planning your family adventure! Get in touch with our Africa specialists, Gemma and Elaine, today to find out more!

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 [email protected]

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