What could be more exciting to a child than stroking a baby elephant, feeding a giraffe, watching lions rest after a meal, spotting your first leopard, learning how to make fire, rafting along a scenic river, accomplishing your first waterski, catching your first fish, following game across the savannah with a warrior as your friend… these are the joys of an ‘old fashioned’ yet exciting childhood.
Kenya and Tanzania are amongst the best African destinations for family holidays because of our welcome approach to children of all ages – with specific accommodation designed for families, fun child-friendly activities, cultural interaction.
Young Children up to 5 Years
At this age, attention span is short, so children can get tired quickly and they have a different “wildlife viewing” ability or schedule to adults. We therefore recommend that families opt for ‘exclusive use of vehicle’ (extra cost), so that they can sit back and relax watching a troop of baboons for 30 minutes and leaving a slumbering lion after 15 minutes!
6 – 12 Year Old Children
The right age to be on holiday since the days are filled with fun activities – identifying animal tracks, line-fishing, identifying ‘dung’ and insects, and making bows and arrows with tribal warriors. We also recommend a day in Nairobi at the beginning or end of your safari so that you can visit Daphne Sheldrick’s baby elephant orphanage, and feed the giraffes at The Giraffe Centre; memories which will last forever.
13 – 16 Year Old Children
These young adults fully appreciate and enjoy the animals and the outdoors - they are now becoming interested in more complex topics such as conservation, cultural diversity, and have developed their own collection of biodiversity facts. They love spending time with the traditional guides, who in turn enjoy chatting and explaining their own lives, cultures and traditions.
From experience, we have found that some teenagers are much happier if traveling with a same-age companion – so this may be something to think about when planning who will travel.
Children love animals, and to find and be close to the largest and most spectacular beasts in the world is a thrill for any age group. Evening game drives are also fun, not only because of finding some of the more unusual species, but being out in the bush using a spotlight to light up the darkness is probably the most exciting bit!
Take your time to identify tracks, dung and animal movements. Look a bit closer at the bush, and learn about the smaller creatures, insects, and animals. Learn which plants local tribes use for medicinal purposes, as you are led through the wilderness accompanied by your guide, a true African warrior.
Your guides will happily spend hours entertaining and being entertained by children of all ages. Whether your children want to fully immerse themselves in a culture, or if they’re just interested to learn more about different cultures and traditions, Kenya and Tanzania are the ideal destinations for learning and appreciating how different communities live in today’s world.
Maasai / Samburu / Tharaka Village Visits
To fully appreciate and comprehend how local tribes live and carry out their daily traditions, without any need for luxuries (or owning very much at all), is a truly a humbling and often life-changing experience. It is also fascinating to learn how they build their homes and their livestock compounds, how often they move, how family structures work. And don’t forget the all important tradition of dance!
Food and Eating Times
Children’s meals – most safari camps and lodges can arrange early dinners and/or children’s menus.
Below are some of the itineraries we would recommend for Family Safaris:
Laikipia (Lewa Safari Camp) ~ Masai Mara (Elephant Pepper Camp) ~ Diani (Kinondo Kwetu)10 day flying safari – from US$8,700 per person sharing
Amboseli (Tortilis Camp) ~ Laikipia (Lewa Safari Camp) ~ Masai Mara (Elephant Pepper Camp))10 day flying safari – From US$6,100 per person sharing
Laikipia (Loisaba Tented Camp) ~ Masai Mara (Elephant Pepper Camp)7 day flying safari – from US$4,655 per person sharing