Guest post from Mahlatini Safaris; UK based tour operator and specialists in travel to Southern and Eastern Africa.
That feeling you get when you awaken to the sunrise over the African savannah is something truly special. There is very little that compares to waking up to the chorus of animals in their natural habitat. Romantic and exciting, safaris invoke images of crimson sunsets, crackling campfires and awe inspiring adventure. It is no wonder that today; more and more families are opting for an African safari experience and sharing this once in a lifetime adventure together as a family.
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to game viewing destinations, with Africa being such a richly diverse and breathtakingly beautiful continent. Families travelling to Africa seek a location which has ease of access and facilities which cater for both children and adults. With that in mind, this post will look at some of the best African safari lodges for families seeking the adventure of a lifetime in Africa:
Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge in Tanzania understands the importance of catering for families on safari. The lodge offers an exceptional range of family friendly accommodation options; children’s dinning and babysitting facilities, as well as plenty of adventure and educational entertainment.
The lodge is sat perched on the verge of the Mto Wa Mbu escarpment and has one of the most majestic views over the Great Rift Valley, it is difficult to imagine a more spectacular setting. The lodges are just a 2 hours’ drive from Arusha and approximately 3 hours from Kilimanjaro Airport or 15 minutes from the Manyara airstrip.
The lodge has tailored their own safari vehicles to accommodate families, which are open sided vehicles that are simply perfect for children and game viewing as a family. Whilst your children are enjoying some of the many entertainment facilities, mum and dad can have their very own experiences at the lodge with a romantic dinner in the African bush underneath a blanket of stars.
Shamwari Riverdene Lodge in South Africa is an ideal spot for your family’s safari adventure. The lodge is located in the malaria free zone in Port Elizabeth; the lodge greets families with open arms with children as young as four being welcome (sadly, they will need to be much older to be allowed on a game drive).
However there is much to be done here beyond your bog standard game drive, including trips to the Born Free Foundation Big Cats Rescue Centre which is home to lions and leopards which have all been rescued from circuses and zoos, and the Shamwari wildlife Hospital which nurses sick animals back to life which is a truly touching experience that your family will never forget.
The lodge has its very own children’s coordinator who will be able to tailor your stay for your family’s unique interests. The lodge has 9 luxury rooms, each coming fully equipped with its own balcony, a BBQ area, lounge and swimming pool are also on site to help you relax and unwind after a day out in the African wilderness.
For the family who want a more tranquil setting and pace of safari how about the private house in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park? It offers all the creature comforts of being at home. If you’re a large family and don’t wish to be split up into different accommodations then don’t worry as the Luangwa Safari House, has a house which can house up to eight people, with four bedrooms and a very spacious living and dining area. The homely touches are nice but the main feature of this lodge is the lodges own private chef and your very own guide and vehicle at your disposal.
The Luangwa Safari house has an incredible children’s program which ranges from child only game drives, to guided walking safaris, to trips to the local Kawaza Village School and the Chimpembele Wildlife Education Centre. At the house the children can get as messy as they want as the house offers children the chance to bake their very own cakes and cookies.