Kenya: What to See & Do: Family Friendly: Expert Advice for Family-Friendly African Safaris
Expert Advice for Family-Friendly African Safaris
One of our favorite travel specialists shares advice on favorite lodges for families.
How do you tailor the safari experience for families traveling with children?
Camel and horse rides are always popular with the younger ones. The horses we use are really safe, gentle creatures, and they go out in nose-to-bum fashion. The younger boys in particular like to go out with the Masai men who will teach them how to throw spears, study animal tracks and check the freshness of rhino dung (usually done with one’s fingers)—things little boys like. Our guides will also arrange scavenger hunts for what they refer to as the Little Five: the rhino beetle, the lion ant, the elephant shrew, the leopard tortoise and the buffalo weaver bird.
Selecting the right lodge is also always important when traveling with children and a lot of families like to have their own private lodges. We work with a lot of four and five bedroom properties as well as the ten and twelve room ones (which are great for a group of families traveling together) so you won’t have to book a larger place and pay for the additional unused rooms. The Cottars 1920s Camp, which is one of my all-time favorite places both in Africa and in the world, is a really great lodge for families as the kid-friendly section is separate from the rest of the lodge so parents tend to have a really wonderful experience without worrying about ruining anyone else’s.
What are some other really great kid-friendly lodges?
In Kenya there’s Campi Ya Kanzi, Ol Lentille, Wilderness Trails, Sarara Camp, Ol Seki Mara Camp and Ol Malo. Tanzania has Nduara Loliondo, Serengeti Safari Camp, Sand Rivers Selous and Nomad Tarangire Camp. In South Africa: Garonga Safari Camp, Pafuri Camp, Rocktail Bay Lodge, and Londolozi. Finally in Botswana, I would recommend Chitabe Camp, Kwetsani, Duba Plains, Selinda Camp and Abu’s Elephant Back Camp. Some of these are smaller, villa-like places are ideal for the family (or families) seeking a bit of seclusion, while others are bigger lodges where you will stay among other guests.
What is the cuisine like on your trips?
Most all of our lodges grow or buy their food from organic suppliers and some even have their own meat, dairy and fish farms. The cuisine does vary from lodge to lodge, depending on the owners’ particular backgrounds. Cottars has very traditional—i.e. British—cuisine like roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Swahili influences, such as curry, are often present throughout; one of my favorite dishes is South Africa’s mango cheesecake.
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For information on traveling to Africa or to book, contact our advisory department by calling 212-988-2611 or by sending an inquiry