Looking to treat the family to an unforgettable holiday this year? Finding a way to take in the best that Africa offers whilst keeping the children entertained can prove difficult, so we’ve gathered some of our favourite family holiday destinations in Africa that are perfect for providing children of all ages with memories to cherish forever.
A classic beach getaway is a timeless way for families to spend their holidays, and you will struggle to find many beaches as beautiful as those offered by the island of Mauritius. Mauritius is perfect for exploring the ocean whether it’s via the Blue Submarine, learning to scuba dive, or for younger children the Solar Under Sea Walk. There is more to Mauritius than just the beaches though, it also features an intriguing collection of mountains, forests, waterfalls and rivers, meaning that there is certainly plenty to see. The capital of Port Louis Safari is also a must-see as a family, with the market being a perfect place to experience a blend of cultures, go shopping and sample some of the local cuisine.
An ideal place to visit in any season, Mauritius is a tourist hotspot and is home to many luxury family-friendly hotels on the coast. Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort and Spa was voted as the ‘Best Hotel in Africa and the Indian Ocean’ in The Telegraph’s for three years in a row and is ideal for young families with suites located next to kids club for younger children, and plenty of water sport opportunities for older children.
South Africa ticks all the boxes when it comes to finding places to go and things to do on a family holiday. Whether it’s a luxury city break, a beach holiday, or an authentic safari experience, South Africa offers it all. The Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in the Northern Cape province is South Africa’s largest private game reserve and housing dedicated family suites and being malaria-free, is very welcoming towards children. Children will get the chance to take part in specially tailored bush walks and learn how to craft their own bow and arrows, and rare wildlife can be spotted here such as black-maned lions.
There is much that the city of Cape Town offers, with the best of both a luxury city break experience and stunning sightseeing opportunities available. The best views of Cape Town can be found on top of Table Mountain, with a cable-car able to take you and your family to the summit of the mountain within 5 minutes. Other ideal family activities include penguin watching at Boulders Beach, taking a trip to the Two Oceans Aquarium or visiting the laid-back Glen Beach.
Africa’s leading destination in game conservation and protection, Kenya is certainly the place to visit if it’s a true authentic Safari experience that you’re looking for. Kenya offers so many amazing game viewing opportunities; whether you’re visiting the famous Masai Mara game reserve between July and August to witness the great migration, Tsavo National Park, the largest national park in Kenya, or feeding giraffes from your bedroom window at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, there are plenty of options. For a relaxing escape away from the safari, Diani Beach in Mombasa is a must-see with its perfect coral beaches and cheeky colobus monkeys to provide your entertainment.
If you’re looking for safari camps which are particularly catered to young children, the Kicheche Bush and Kicheche Laikipia camps offer a range of activities suited to children of all ages. The kids clubs allow young children to learn how to identify different plants and wildlife, and craft their own spears and bows and arrows with certificates awarded on completion. At Kicheche Laikipia, for children aged 12 and above canoeing along the lake by the camp and days spent with the anti-poaching dog unit on the camps are available.
With the Okavango Delta (the largest inland delta in the world), Chobe National Park (Botswana’s very first national park) as well as several other fantastic game reserves, Botswana is a superb family destination, especially for game viewing whether you’re looking for the big five game or rarer wildlife sightings. Chobe National Park is Botswana’s very first national park and is a must to add to your itinerary. The park is home to over 100,000 elephants, making a sighting of the world’s most intelligent animals a guarantee. They are best viewed when taking in stunning sunset views on a boat ride across Chobe River, watching the elephants play and splash in the water.
No holiday to Botswana is complete without a trip to the Okavango Delta. An ideal place for big five sightings, you can view herds of Antelope making their way through floodwaters, as well as interactions between lions and buffalo. For any keen bird watchers in the family, the delta is one of the supreme locations in Botswana and is home to rare and important species of bird such as the Pel’s fishing owl and the critically endangered Wattled Crane. The Central Kalahari and Savuti Game Reserves are also excellent game reserves for observing a range of wildlife. Fun family activities perfectly suited to teenagers are available, including guided bushwalks through the Kalahari where they will pick up a number of survival tips such as how to get water in the desert, what to eat and how to start a fire. Family friendly accommodation is easy to find in Botswana. There are a number of family friendly camps such as Sanctuary Chief’s Camp and Camp Kalahari which offer two bedroom family tents.
Being home to the iconic Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world, Zimbabwe is a truly unmissable destination for sightseeing. Straddling the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe but best seen from the Zimbabwean side of the border, the falls are an ideal location for sightseeing be it from the land or air via helicopter tour, or for any thrill seekers in the family, bungee jumping and white water rafting are common activities.
With unspoilt wilderness and luxurious camps, Zimbabwe also boasts one of the better safari experiences in Africa. In the west of the country is Hwange National Park which is one of the biggest national parks in Africa and as well as being home to a very large population of elephant, is also one of the finest places in Africa for families with older children to experience game viewing on foot. To gain a fascinating insight into Zimbabwe from a local perspective, it is possible for families to take trips to nearby schools and villages and see the home and school lives of local children first-hand. Some fun activities for teenagers in Zimbabwe are guided safari walks, and the Tribal Trap Escape Room near Victoria Falls.
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