Best lodges for family safaris
Oddballs Camp, Botswana
Situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta, the quirky and unique Oddballs Camp is perched on the edge of Chief’s Island. The children friendly camp is accessible by light aircraft only, making it an easy 20 minute flight from Maun (offering an exceptional view of the watery wonderland of the Delta).
The camp offers tented accommodation, with each tent set on an elevated wooden deck, shaded by trees. Tents come complete with bedding and ample lighting, with an ensuite outdoor shower and toilet. For many guests showering beneath the canopy of trees in the great African outdoors is a highlight of their safari!
There is an eclectic central bar and lounge area, with comfortable chairs and sofas, a selection of books and games, and raised viewing decks overlooking the emerald sweep of the Delta. We’ve spent many an hour here, sipping on a sundowner and watching a variety of animals and birds traversing the bush.
At Oddball’s you’ll spend your days with your personal guide, on mokoro (dug out canoe) excursions,motorboat excursions, or on foot on game walks. You’ll explore other nearby islands, as well as wind along the reed-lined channels of the Delta (an incredible and exciting experience for kids!).
If water levels are right, a really special experience is heading further afield into the Delta and Moremi Game Reserve with your guide in mekoro, and spending the night camping wild. This is again an exciting experience for the whole family. All equipment and provisions are provided, making for an unforgettable wilderness camping experience.
How to get there: Spend 13 days exploring the highlights of Botswana with your family on a mobile camping safari.
Phinda Mountain Lodge, South Africa
If you are looking for a superb bush and beach destination with a wide choice of activities, this is the place!
Phinda Moutain Lodge, in the Big Five Phinda Private Game Reserve is a great family safari destination with 20 suites in individual rondavels, and a focus on authentic African architecture and ethnic design.
Families can enjoy game drives, bush walks, boating and canoeing, plus many other activities in the nearby vicinity such as snorkelling and seasonal turtle walks. This award winning reserve offers dedicated family friendly safaris, with a dedicated ranger, where activities are carefully planned around your children’s ages and interests.
Both educational and fun-filled, you can expect safaris here to include a private safari vehicle, as well as staff trained to meet the specific needs of children. Your personal ranger will spend time with you on arrival, planning your days to match your kids’ needs, ages and the season.
Just some of the exciting adventures on offer include animal tracking, insect hunts with ultraviolet lights to learn about nocturnal insects, treasure hunts through the bush, specially planned game drives during which youngsters are given the opportunity to feel, smell, listen and see their environment, making animals out of clay, tree bark rubbings, painting with sand, palm frond weaving and traditional beading, basic astronomy, and canoeing, boating and fishing.
How to get there: Combine the best of beach and Big Five country on our seven day family safari.
Somalisa Acacia Camp, Zimbabwe
Set in the heart of Zimbabwe’s flagship reserve, Hwange National Park, Somalisa Acacia has recently under gone a complete rebuild. The elegant camp now comprises two family units with inter-leading walkways between the parents’ and children’s rooms, which are both en-suite, as well as two standard sail tents.
The camp encapsulates the true African safari experience. Each tent includes gauze sliding doors, a glass wood-burner fireplace for cold winter nights, and an overhead fan for the hot summer days, as well as en suite bathroom facilities including flush toilets, an indoor and outdoor shower, as well as a copper slipper-style bathtub. All tents are on slightly raised decks, under the dappled canopy of acacias.
Somalisa enjoys its own private views of a small water hole, frequented by large herds of big game including buffalo, elephant, kudu, zebra, giraffe and lion. A small splash pool allows you and the kids to cool off during the heat of the day. Activities on offer include game drives and walking excursions with the camp’s professional guides, all who are trained to match the needs and ages of your children to specific fun, child-friendly safari activities. Most of the activities are in the Somalisa private concession, but with easy access to other parts of Hwange National Park.
How to get there: Explore the best of Botswana and Zimbabwe with your children on our 12 day family safari.
Situated at the foot of the majestic Sossusvlei dunes, family-friendly Kulala Desert Lodge is located within the arid Namib Desert on the 27 000-hectare private Kulala Wilderness Reserve. With its private entrance to Namib Naukluft Park, Kulala Desert Lodge is the closest location to Sossusvlei, while magnificent views of its famous red dunes, mountainous scenery and vast open plains make it utterly spectacular.
Comprising 23 thatched and canvas ‘kulalas’ with en-suite bathrooms and verandas, each unit is built on a wooden platform and has a deck on the flat rooftop for sleep-outs under the stars. There are three tents which can accommodate a family of four each.
The main area, with northern African-inspired décor, has a lounge, dining area, pool, and wraparound veranda overlooking a waterhole – the perfect location to view and photograph the desert vista and to contemplate the day’s exciting activities.
Activities impress guests with the overwhelming magnitude, solitude and tranquillity of the desert and include private tours to Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and Sesreim Canyon, scenic nature walks and drives to view the desert’s fascinating flora and fauna. It’s also possible to experience the area on a hot air balloon safari, and on horseback. Staff and professional guides will tailor-make activities to suit the needs of your family.
How to get there: plan a tailor-made family friendly safari to Namibia. Speak to one of our safari experts.