Taking your family on Safari
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Concerned about taking your children on safari? This family safari guide provides you with information on what to look for when travelling on a safari with children.
Accommodation Advisor has the first ever list of Kruger lodges with fences, our top picks of family lodges and tips for families.
Our aim is to make your choices easier and more informed.
A safari is a unique experience for children that can open their eyes to a new world and change their lives forever.
South Africa is perfect for a family safari.
- All major game reserves are easily accessible by tarred or well-maintained gravel roads and air.
- The self-drive option enables the family to set their own agenda and schedule.
- A 24-hour malaria hotline is available on +27 (0)82 234 1800.
- Visit the South Africa malaria website for all you need to know about malaria and children - follow this up with a trip to your doctor.
- If malaria is a worry for you, choose from a variety of malaria -free game reserves.
- There are a number of Lodges specializing in family safaris.
- Small game reserves enable parents with young children to see a wide variety of animals in a short time.
- The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is a great place for children to meet and learn about endangered species.
- Visit the "Health & Safety" page for information on hospitals and health clinics within South Africa.
What about fences?
Many of the private Lodges are unfenced. However most have:
- Elevated walkways
- Elevated suites and decks
- Well-lit surrounds
- Guides to take you to and from your suite after dark
- A guard on duty at night to keep an eye on game movements within the Lodge area
- Strict guidelines regarding movement around the Lodge grounds for day and night.
- Some have electric wire to keep elephants out
- All have telephones to contact reception
Lodges with fences
- Camp Shawu - KNP Concession
- Jock Safari Lodge - KNP Concession
- Lukimbi Lodge - KNP Concession (an electric elephant wire)
- Shishangeni Lodge - KNP Concession
- Elephant Plains - Sabi Sand
- Cheetah Plains - Sabi Sand
- Simbambilli Lodge - Sabi Sand
- Galago Camp - Djuma Game Reserve, Sabi Sand
- Vuyatela Lodge - Djuma Game Reserve, Sabi Sand
- Singita Castleton Camp - Singita Reserve, Sabi Sand
- Masodini Game Lodge - Balule Game Reserve
- Jackalberry Lodge - Thornybush Game Reserve
- Kapama Buffalo Camp - Kapama Game Reserve
- Kapama River Lodge - Kapama Game Reserve
- Baobab Ridge - Klaserie Game Reserve
- Jaci's Lodge - Madikwe Game Reserve
NOTE: This is just a guide, ask your Lodge manager if the camp is fenced.
Our Tips for Families
- Consider choosing an exclusively booked camp or villa ( Lion Sands 1933 Lodge has a children's dormitory and is elevated).
- Exclusively booked camps (like Fitzpatrick's Lodge used to be called 'Little Jock's') have a dedicated game ranger team so you choose how long to stay out and where to go.
- Amukela Game Lodge - family rooms, affordable rates.
- Cheetah Plains has family suites and is fenced.
- Elephant Plains has a family rondavel with 2 en-suite bedrooms & is fenced.
- Jock Safari Lodge has a self-contained family camp.
- Kapama lodges are more affordable than Sabi Sand and welcome children.
- Kapama Karula has a 2 bedroomed suite.
- Kapama Southern Camp (Hongonyi) has 4 family rooms Suites more luxurious.
- Honeyguide Khoka Moya Camp - more child-friendly than Mantobeni.
- Londolozi Varty and Founders Camps have rooms with inter-leading doors.
- Motswari Lodge actively welcomes children - the "Elephants" room overlooks a favourite drinking spot for game on the river.
- Mohlabetsi Lodge in Balule has family rooms.
- Naledi Leadwood Suite is ideal for families - Marula suite is an affordable alternative.
- Ngala Safari Lodge has a children's program and family suites.
- Pafuri Wilderness Camp has 6 family tents
- Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge can fit a family of 4 in one suite.
- Serondella Lodge (Thornybsuh) has a 3 bed family suite.
- Ulusaba Lodges have family suites.
Travelling with teens
- Consider lodges with Wi-Fi or PC facilities.
- Check if the Lodge has mobile/cell phone reception.
- Research adventure activities in the area (quad-biking, horse-riding, canoeing etc).
- Ask your teenager what they would like to do on safari.
- Give them alone time, they need their space to explore or just chill out.
- Arrange for a visit to a local village or recommended curio market to widen their knowledge and experience.
- Treat your teenager with respect - allow them to eat what they want, chill by the pool, sleep-in.
- Involve them in decision-making.
- See info on packing for teens
Our pick of family-friendly Game Lodges
Jaci's Lodges, Madikwe Game Reserve
- Family game drives
- “Jungle drive” for children under 4 yrs.
- Children's menu at specially organized meal times
- Children's Playroom and activity program
Jock's Safari Lodge, KNP concession
- Fitzpatrick's Lodge at Jock's - 3 rooms, personal service, privacy
- Junior ranger training
- Spotlit night walk within camp for children
- Arts, crafts and games
- Child minding on request.
Londolozi, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
- The Cub's Den offers children's activities including: Paper Mache, Candle Making, Baking, Spoor identification, Bird watching, Bug catching, African dance, Bead making, Singing + Drumming, Fishing.
- Bushveld excursions are guided by the Cub Coach who oversees all the children's activities.
- Varty and Founders camp both accommodate children between the ages of 4 and 16 years old.
- Game drives accommodate children of 6 years and older.
Makalali Game Lodge, Makalali Game Reserve
- Children's game drive and ranger
- Two-day mini rangers children's program
- Babysitting service
- Children's menu, food packs and in-room dining available
- Board games
Sabi Bush Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
- Children are welcomed at Sabi Sabi's Bush Lodge EleFun Centre.
- EleFun Centre is a children's facility within the lodge environs which fosters children's awareness and appreciation of nature.
- It was designed by childcare professionals who set about creating a space that is fun, safe and educational.
- Offers hands-on, interactive activities designed for 2 distinctly different age groups.
- The Junior Tracker program is for 4 to 8 year olds.
- The Junior Ranger program is for children between the ages of 9 and 12.
Others we like:
- Bakubang Bush Lodge, Pilanesberg
- Clearwater Kudu Lodge, Welgavonden
- Shumbalala Game Lodge, Thornybush
- Lion Sands, 1933 Lodge, Sabi Sands
- MalaMala Main Camp, Sabi Sands
- Nklenga Tented Camp, Thornybush
- Pafuri Wilderness Camp, KNP concession
- River Lodge, Kapama
- Sarili Lodge, Shamwari
- Singita Castleton Camp, Sabi Sands
- Ulusaba Safari Lodge, Sabi Sands
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Planting a Tree at Jaci's Lodges
Family Game Drive, Jaci's Lodges
Kids program, Ngala Safari Lodge
Children's Dormitory, Lion Sands 1933
Tree climbing at Londolozi