3 of the best family safari lodges in South Africa

Safari holidays are an exciting adventure for the whole family. But it’s normal for young children to become bored of driving around looking for animals – especially when they’re not allowed to touch them and are constantly being told to hush and sit still. Here are 3 safari lodges in South Africa that specially cater for the interests of little people with fun and educational kiddies programs and activities.

Shamwari Game Reserve

Shamwari is a Big 5 game reserve in the Eastern Cape. They cater for families in the exclusive Riverdene Lodge, which boasts inter-leading luxury rooms, a rim-flow swimming pool, supervised playroom, spacious lawns, and a jungle gym. Each child receives an age-appropriate gift pack and the children’s co-ordinator will tailor make a family package based on your family size, children’s ages, and the weather conditions. Babysitting services are available for kids under 4 years who are too young for the game drives.

Shamwari game drive

Kids’ activities

  • Big Cat Rescue Centre where activities are focused on the conservation of big cat species and their habitat.
  • Shamwari Animal Rehabilitation Centre where wild animals and raptors are cared for.
  • Star gazing
  • African storytelling
  • Facilitated playroom activities include scrapbooking, puzzles, documentary DVDs, books, board games, and bead and clay making.
  • Babysitting by arrangement
  • Kiddies’ menu

Kids at Shamwari

Emdoneni Lodge

Emdoneni Lodge in Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal, is known for their Cat Rehabilitation Centre where you can interact with cheetah, serval, caracal, and African wild cats. The lodge is equally well known for its wide range of activities for children of all ages. Run by experienced guides who are passionate about both kids and nature, each activity is tailored to suit the children’s interest and attention span. Family accommodation is provided in chalets and rondavels with inter-leading rooms.

Emdoneni cheetah

Kids’ activities

  • Junior Ranger Course (4 – 12 years). Children learn about big cats, resident wildlife, tree identification, animal tracking, and more. Each Junior Ranger receives a canvas backpack with a colouring book or notebook, cap, and completion certificate.
  • Animal Adventure Game Drive
  • Kids’ Night Drive
  • Guided afternoon walks to discover insects, animal tracks, and vegetation.
  • Picnic and Bush Art
  • Spot the Poop is a fun way for children to learn about different animals.
  • Animal Tracks teaches kids about how our ancestors tracked various animals.
  • Educational Bug Scouting
  • Star Gazing
  • Target Shooting
  • Katty Shooting
  • Babysitting by arrangement
  • Kiddies’ menu

Jock Safari Lodge

Surrounded by lush bushveld in the southwestern corner of the Kruger National Park, Jock Safari Lodge offers all the wildlife experiences that can be expected at this legendary game reserve. Ideal for families, Fitzpatrick’s Lodge at Jock is a 3 room stand-alone lodge offering personal service in an intimate atmosphere.Upon arrival the host and/or ranger will suggest family activity optionstaking the family size, children’s ages, and weather into consideration. Each child receives a gift pack with items that can be used during their stay. Children from 7 to 11 join adults on normal game drives in open vehicles, whereas children younger than 4 years are taken on game drives in a closed vehicle.

Jock Safari Lodge

Kids’ activities

  • Visit the Stevenson Hamilton museum in Skukuza.
  • En route to and from Skukuza they will enjoy a closed vehicle game drive, stopping at lookout points to enjoy refreshments.
  • Junior ranger training while on kiddies drive.
  • Night walk within the camp.
  • Arts, crafts, and games include play dough, puzzles, books, board games, painting, scrap books, and more.
  • Mini Chefs
  • Babysitting by arrangement

Jock Safari Lodge gift packs

Which lodge would your children love to visit?

Marcel Van de Ghinste is a Director at TravelGround.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (1)

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  1. Rob says:

    Great article, thanks for the info! I’m always surprised to see how family-friendly (Kid friendly!) a safari actually is. There’s absolutely no reason to leave the little ones at home. I’ve also heard excellent things about Jock Safari Lodge. Will look into them. Thanks again!

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