Taking in the natural world while on Safari is on many people’s bucket list, however when you add children to the equation planning a safari becomes much more challenging.
Although for many adults a five-star safari lodge is an option most of these lodges do not allow children under the age of 12 and many don’t allow children at all. Finding that perfect safari solution which will keep kids interested and still provide the adults with valuable downtime makes picking the safari destination very important – for the sake of the sanity of both adults and kids.
South Africa is one of the best known Safari destinations on the planet and in this country, there are thankfully a variety of kids friendly safari options. Most of these are self-drive and have accommodation that is often extremely good value for money, kid friendly and packed with amenities.
Here are some of the most popular options for game viewing in South Africa.
#1 The Pilansberg National Park.
Only two hours from South Africa’s financial hub, Johannesburg Pilansberg National Park has it all. Kids will be enthralled by the big 5 and accommodation is plentiful. The only challenge might be finding somewhere to stay in the park during the South African school holiday when the proximity to Johannesburg makes it so popular that it can become a bit crowded. There are well maintained tarred roads throughout the park making game viewing easy and accommodation at a variety of self-catering chalets is perfect for the family with children. The fact that there are swimming pools and play areas at the chalets makes it even more fun for kids to enjoy the fantastic South African weather.
#2 Smawari Game Reserve.
If you’re into a bit of luxury and aren’t afraid to dip into your wallet then Shamwari is an experience that offers the opportunity to enjoy some of the most magnificent game viewings on the continent. Visitors can fly into Port Elizabeth on South Africa’s East Coast and hire a car for the trip to Shamwari which will only take around an hour on great national roads. The reserve’s Riverdene Lodge has been developed to cater to family needs and even young children will be enthralled by the programs aimed at them such as visits to animal rehabilitation centres. As swimming pool, playground and a nanny service mean that adults can really kick back and relax knowing that their kids are in safe hands. An electric perimeter fence means that kids will not be able to wander off to become part of the food chain.
#3 The Addo Elephant Park.
Another great experience for those with families who want to fly into Port Elizabeth. Here visitors bare treated to the sight of vast herds of elephant. There are also ample opportunities to camp or enjoy a self-catering option in one of the chalets. A great value for money option is the Addo main camp with a shop, a restaurant and even easy access to a floodlit watering hole so game viewing is rewarding and requires very little effort.
Safari with kids has never been easier than it is now thanks to South Africa’s numerous options and kid-friendly destinations.