Kenyan Family Adventure | Fauna Travel

Kenyan Family Adventure

House in the Wild / Courtesy of House in the Wild

14 Days

This all-ages itinerary is perfect for the adventurous family looking to take an extended African safari. Kenya has more kid-friendly camps than most countries along with some of the best wildlife on the continent. Start with the iconic Giraffe Manor before heading to the scenic Laikipia Plateau and Samburu country. Then finish your trip with a longer stay on the vast plains of the Maasai Mara.

Peak season during the Great Migration (August-September) books up quickly, so it’s best to plan 1.5 years out. Late April-June and mid-November-December are the rainy seasons. Outside of these times, you can find more options, better prices, and still see great wildlife.

Kenya has more kid friendly camps than most countries along with some of the best wildlife on the continent.

✧ Your travel playlist includes Fadhili William’s “Malaika”
Fadhili William was a 1960’s Kenyan singer and composer. He is famous for writing “Malaika”, which is perhaps the world’s most famous Swahili love song. It was later performed by artists such as Harry Belafonte, though he never made any profits from it. Most of his later life was spent performing at a Nairobi hotel.

Day 1-2: Nairobi

Giraffe Manor

Breakfast at Giraffe Manor, luxury Kenya safari / Courtesy of The Safari Collection
Breakfast at Giraffe Manor / Courtesy of The Safari Collection

A visit to Giraffe Manor is a storybook experience for both children and adults. Nowhere else can you have breakfast and tea in a historic manor house with a family of towering giraffes. Friendly staff and delicious food only add to the experience. It is the perfect place to relax for a couple of days after a long flight to Nairobi before setting off on your Kenyan safari. We recommend visiting the nearby Giraffe Center and taking a private tour of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage while you’re here.

Day 3-6: Laikipia Plateu

Solio Lodge

After settling in, take a chartered flight north of Nairobi to the high altitudes of the Laikipia Plateau around Mount Kenya. The Solio Private Game Reserve is a 45,000-acre conservation area that is famous for its rhino conservation program.

Solio Lodge / Courtesy of the Safari Collection
Solio Lodge / Courtesy of the Safari Collection

Solio Lodge is a luxury safari property owned by the proprietors of Giraffe Manor. You are required to book at least one of their other camps to secure a spot at the ever-popular Manor, but we would love Solio even if it weren’t obligatory. The six cottages are spacious and modern, with secure picture windows and wide grassy lawns–perfect for families. They are surrounded by a classic savannah landscape with Mount Kenya and the Aberdares looming on the horizon.

There is a diversity of fauna on the reserve, but the rhinos are undoubtedly the highlight. Over 500 of the horned giants are on the property, and the breeding program here has sent hundreds more around Kenya. Seeing a dozen rhinos in a crash (group) is a rarity across most of Africa, but it’s just another day at Solio.

Day 7-9: Samburu Country

Ol Lentille

As you fly further north the Kenyan landscape becomes increasingly arid. This is the country of the friendly and beautiful Samburu people, cousins of the Maasai. Your destination is the Ol Lentille Conservancy, a 40,000-acre property with only four luxury villas.

Ol Lentille / Courtesy of Ol Lentille
Ol Lentille / Courtesy of Ol Lentille

This part of Kenya has some of our favorite camps, including Sasaab and Saruni Samburu, which are both all ages. They are all good options for families, but we are partial to Ol Lentille if you are traveling with young children. The villas are more secure, and the day’s activities are completely unscheduled giving you the freedom to pick and choose activities depending on the mood of the day.

Options to fill your day here include game drives, walking safaris, camel treks, Samburu village visits, children’s warrior camp, and ATV rides.

Day 10-13: Maasai Mara

House in the Wild or Angama Mara

The climax of your Kenyan safari will surely be on the plains of the Maasai Mara. The plains of the Mara are famous for the Great Wildebeest Migration, but there is plentiful game here year-round. What time of year you travel will determine where we suggest you stay. In peak season, between August and September, visitors following the migration can make the reserve unbearably crowded. During this time, we like to book private reserves adjacent to the Mara, because the crowds will be significantly smaller.

Outside of peak season, you will miss the migration, but the wildlife viewing is still great and the weather will be more dramatic for photography. Angama Mara has one of the most spectacular views in Africa and it becomes all ages outside of the high season, making it a perfect fit for families traveling in shoulder season.

View over the Maasai Mara at Angama Mara / Courtesy of Angama luxury Kenya safari
View over the Maasai Mara at Angama Mara / Courtesy of Angama

Angama Mara is perched high atop the Mara escarpment overlooking the Maasai Mara reserve. The 30 tented suites are divided into two smaller private camps. The rooms are spacious with massive picture windows and large sitting decks to take in the view. They are decorated in a contemporary style with classic safari accents. Guests can spend their time on game drives, hot air ballooning, or relaxing in the large infinity pool.

House in the Wild is our favorite option outside of the reserve in the private Mara North Conservancy. Their thatched safari cottages are perched along the Mara River and are suitable for children of all ages. For families with older kids, they also run three of the most luxurious villas in Kenya. We love their community and conservation programs, as well as their wide variety of activities for kids.

Day 14: Departure

International flights almost always leave Nairobi late at night, so it’s a good idea to book a day room to unwind before your departure. The retreat at Giraffe Manor is the nicest option in town. You can spend a few hours relaxing by the pool or at the spa and revisit your giraffe friends before departing.

Pool at the Retreat at Giraffe Manor, luxury Kenya safari / Courtesy of The Safari Collection
The pool at the Retreat at Giraffe Manor / Courtesy of The Safari Collection

Extension: Zanzibar

If you’d like to stay in Africa a little longer, Zanzibar is only a short flight from Nairobi. We love dusting off in the waters of the Indian Ocean at &Beyond Mnemba Island. You can spend a few days enjoying water-based activities with the kids such as snorkeling or stand-up paddle boarding. Their luxury bandas are also great for just reading a book and enjoying your private island.

Family vacation at &Beyond Mnemba Island / Courtesy of &Beyond luxury Zanzibar beach resort
Family vacation at &Beyond Mnemba Island / Courtesy of &Beyond

We’ve sent you some reading material including, National Geographic Readers: Roar!
We love selecting a thought-provoking book for your journey, but we don’t want to leave out the kids. These National Geographic fact books are great for curious young minds and will get the whole family excited about seeing wildlife on safari. View on Amazon

Contact us to start planning your journey into the wild.

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