The Best Family-Friendly Safari Lodges in The Sabi Sands

The Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve has a variety of lodges that specialise in family-friendly accommodation as well as activities. Your child’s idea of fun might not be driving slowly in the car the whole day, looking for wild animals. But with the educational activities offered by the lodges, you will definitely manage to keep the whole family happy.

The activities include interesting bushveld facts and survival skills, as well as an introduction to wildlife conservation. Not only will you build priceless family holiday memories, your children will return home with a wealth of valuable skills and knowledge.

10 Tips for Taking Children on Safari

Before we explore your safari options, here’s a few tips to help you plan the best African family safari.

#1 Build Up the Anticipation

This can be a fun family activity before your trip, especially if it’s the first time your children go on an African safari. Use the opportunity to get everybody excited about the upcoming adventure, and you can also add an educational element to the experience.

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#2 Investigate Sleeping Arrangements

Depending on your choice of lodge, you can request adjoined family rooms to make your children feel more comfortable in the strange environment. Some lodges also offer a sleeping out option in tents, which you can consider as a fun add-on experience.

#3 Create A Game Drive Kit

If your children are old enough to join on the game drives, it’s a good idea to be prepared to keep them busy when they seem to be losing interest in slowly driving around, looking for animals. Consider purchasing a binocular and camera specifically for child use. Another great idea, is buying a few guide books and creating a checklist for kids to work from.

#4 Don’t Plan Too Much

Remember, it will be quite a sensory overload if it’s the first family safari. Rather take things a bit slow, pacing yourself through the holiday, than trying to squeeze in as many things as possible.

Safari Clothes for Children

The choice of clothes will mostly depend on the time of year you travel. Temperatures in this area can be quite extreme. It’s best to pack for both extremes. Even in the summer time, the evenings can become chilly after an afternoon thunderstorm. And in the winter the middle of the day can become almost as hot as a spring or summer day.

  • Zip-off safari pants
  • Shorts
  • Jeans
  • Short and long-sleeve shirts
  • Close-toed sandals
  • Extra pair of walking shoes
  • Sun hat
  • Swimwear and goggles

Top 4 Child Friendly Safari Lodges in The Sabi Sands

Londolozi Kids Program

#1 Londolozi Founders Camp and Londolozi Varty Camp

Londolozi means ‘protector of all living things’ in Zulu, and this lodge lives up to its name, being a leader in the ecotourism industry. They are specifically famous for their special relationship with the leopards in the area.

The reserve is situated in the heart of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, on the Sand River. It is a family-run lodge, with a prestigious Relais & Chateau status. You are guaranteed an amazing luxury safari experience.

Londolozi takes prides in catering for the special needs of families. The Londolozi Cubs programme has been tweaked over the years to introduce children to the wonderful magic of the African bush. With all the fun-filled activities, they won’t even notice that they are learning! The programme will turn your children into little rangers, instilling in them a sense of the delicate balance between people and nature.

The Londolozi Cub’s den includes fish pounds and campout tents for exploring. Children younger than 6 years old are not allowed on game drives, but there are babysitting services available to keep an eye on them while parents and older children are away from the lodge. Activities include bird watching, spoor identification, African dancing, plus arts and crafts such as candle making and Papier Mache.

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Londolozi Kids Program Sabi Sands

#2 Elephant Plains

All children are welcome at this lovely lodge, but only children older than 12 are allowed on game drives. No children are allowed on bush walks. The lodge structures the Mini Tuckers programme according to how many children are present. This ensures that every child enjoys an enriching and unique safari experience.

The passionate staff will keep your children thoroughly entertained with educational activities. These include beading, painting and drawing, as well as more nature-orientated fun. Children can go on special supervised mini bush walks close to the lodge and learn how to construct an ant farm.

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#3 Ulusaba Private Game Reserve

Ulusaba is the private game reserve of the Virgin Active legend, Richard Branson. Only children older than 11 are allowed. The Cub’s Club keeps children busy with a wide range of fun-filled learning activities. They offer a mini ranger course, teaching children bush skills such as tracking and spoor identifying.

A special unique offering, is the children’s spa menu. Treatments include a Choco Boo Hand and Foot treatment, with chocolate. Children can also enjoy special meals prepared for junior palates. The Cub’s Club Backpack is a fun goodie bag filled with games, toys and activities to keep children entertained for hours on end. All the activities aim to teach children more about the African bush, in a fun way. Complimentary babysitting services are available at all times.

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#4 Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

EleFun Centre Bush Lodge 5 Sabi Sabi Kids

Sabi Sabi lodge aims to create a safari experience that focuses on quality family time. The beauty of the African bush can be enjoyed by young and old alike. Acquiring more information about the bush and animals creates a special appreciation for nature.

The interactive children activities were designed professionally, incorporating knowledge into the entertainment. The Elefun centre offers two programmes. The junior tracker program is suitable for children aged 4 to 8. And the junior ranger program is offered to children aged 9 to 12.

With a strong edutainment philosophy, your children will return home after the safari with a wealth of new knowledge. The activities include, map reading, identifying animals and insects, arts and crafts, bush walks, and more.

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Sabi Sabi Deck

 

Sabi Sabi Kids Program

Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge offers a great kids-friendly safari experience. If you are worried about taking your kids on a safari holiday, thinking they will become bored too easily, this lodge is the perfect choice to ensure that doesn’t happen.

The EleFun Centre was created by childcare professionals. Your kids will have their own special place to indulge in wild fun.

Putting the Fun in Education

The Sabi Sabi Bush lodge was designed with the whole family in mind. The EleFun Centre is a special kids facility situated in the safety of the lodge. It’s not just about keeping the kids out of trouble while the adults relax, the activities aim to instil greater awareness and appreciation of nature.

While designing the space, the childcare professionals kept in mind that it needed to be a safe space, that made learning a fun activity. The interactive activities are hands-on, catering for kids between age 4 and 12.

The various bushveld-themed activities are age-appropriate, hosted by qualified staff who guide and supervise the kids. Subjects include bugs and birds, tracks and signs of wildlife, and bush survival. All the bush craft activities tackle environmentally focused subjects, keeping the kids constructively entertained for hours.

The Perfect Balance Between Play and Learning

Kids can spend the whole day at the Sabi Sabi EleFun Centre if they want to. In the mornings a variety of creative hobbies are explored. And the afternoons are filled with educational games. The kids are also taken on special bush walks and talks with the rangers. There are also scheduled midday kid-friendly game drives hosted by a childcare professional, exploring the topics of the ranger course.

The centre features a secure outdoor play area, perfect for a mini safari adventure within the safety of the Sabi Sabi Bush lodge. While the activities are structured at certain times during the day, kids are welcome to keep themselves busy in the play area when they aren’t participating in the formal sessions.

Related: DHA Children Travel Requirements for overseas visitors

Sabi Sabi EleFun Centre offers families the opportunity to strike the balance between family time and recharge moments for the grownups without the kids around. Book yourself a pampering session at the Amani Spa while the kids are exploring nature.

Programs are designed to be flexible, catering to the needs of kids according to their age and interests. The structured programs change regularly. The learning sessions are balanced with arts and crafts activities.

The Junior Ranger Program

The program is offered to kids aged 4 to 12. It is structed to be age-appropriate. Mini exploration outings are conducted with a ranger creating a little safari walk around the grounds of the lodge. Older kids are taken on an educational game drive into the bushveld.

Kids learn fascinating facts about the Sabi Sabi bushveld and the animals that call it home. When the weather is too cold for playing outside, kids are kept busy with arts and crafts sessions. Without the kids even realising it, they still learn while getting their hands dirty, the natural world and nature is used as themes for the crafts they create.

The centre is closed between 13:00 and 14:00, giving families a chance to have lunch together. Your kids can then also tell you about all the interesting things they had been learning about during the morning activities.

From 14:00 to 15:30 both indoor and outdoor games are offered. Again, the kids won’t even realise that they are learning while having fun, the games were created by the childcare professionals to enforce the classroom learning sessions content.

The outdoor area features a maze, obstacle course, field for ball or water sports, and lots of jungle gyms. To exercise the brains in a creative way as well, the kids can participate in quizzes about African animals, using animal sounds as well.

Book Your Family Safari at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge

Exposing your kids to the wonder of the African bushveld, will open their eyes to an amazing new world. Whether you are a regular visitor to the bushveld, or it’s your first African safari, Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge is a great choice for a family-friendly holiday.

The Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is situated in the world-renowned 65 000-hectare Sabi Sand Reserve, on the South-Western side of the Kruger National Park. You can see the Big Five (rhino, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and lion) as well as more than 200 other animal species that roam the bushveld.

You can reach Sabi Sabi via a direct flight from O.R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) to the Sabi Sabi airstrip. Or you can fly to the Skukuza Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (Nelspruit). It is a 5-hour drive from Johannesburg.

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