Family safaris are one of the exciting child-friendly holiday options in South Africa. Several luxury safari lodges provide outstanding offerings to families, with carefully tailored programmes bringing fun and learning to all ages. From bug spotting to mask making, from clay-play to bush Olympics, our lodges have come up with some wonderfully imaginitative activities for the young ones.
At Londolozi’s fabulous Varty and Founders Camps in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, a Cubs Programme brings fun and fascination to young guests aged 4+. Wilderness survival skills, stories about different peoples and cultures – and even blogging, are part of the learning. Kiddies’ turf includes splash-about ponds, campout tents and an educational centre where wildlife is the main event. Activities include spoor identification, bird watching, bug catching, African dance, fishing, bead making, paper mache, baking and bread making.
At its magnificent Rock Lodge (Sabi Sand), Ulusaba welcomes children – or ‘cubs’ as they’re called here – of all ages to a top-of-the-range safari. Rock Lodge is a small, intimate camp, offering personalised care and attention to each child who visits. Cubs receive a welcome pack and special cub’s backpack. They get drawn into a mini ranger’s course, learning to track and identify animal footprints. Treasure hunts, animal stories, movies, swimming and pool games, and birds- and insect-spotting walks keep children thoroughly delighted and entertained.
Children also have an amazing holiday at Sabi Sabi’s Bush Lodge (Sabi Sand), where the EleFun Centre keeps them busy, with the emphasis squarely on nature. Age-appropriate activities are offered, such as bush walks and talks, children’s game drives, tracking, bird identification, bug viewing and map reading. Arts and crafts, and indoor and outdoor games are also part of the fun.
Hidden away deep in the Kruger National Park, Lukimbi is another luxury family safari option. Their kiddies’ programme features face painting, bush Olympics, clay-play, a touch-and-feel walk, art classes, mask making, swimming and wildlife videos. Family activities include informative bush walks, a tracker course, bush theatre by Lukimbi’s creative staff, slide shows, talks, dress-up events and wildlife quizzes. Child-friendly menus are offered, and babysitting is available.
If keeping clear of malaria-risk regions is important to you, Tau Game Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve in North-West is a great family option. The Cubz Club Kiddies’ Programme provides each child with a backpack containing activity booklets and checklists. Tau guides lead bush-oriented activities and shortened safari excursions, which children love. There is ample supervised play and learning for them, leaving parents free to visit the Spa between their own safari activities.