South Africa Family Safari | Fauna Travel

South Africa Family Safari

Lion at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge / Courtesy of Kwandwe

13 Days

South Africa is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries on earth. You can spend time in dynamic cities, scenic wine regions, and dramatic coasts–not to mention the plethora of safari options. This diversity combined with multiple direct flights from the United States, and a good selection of kid-friendly safari camps, makes it one of the best places in Africa to visit with kids. This itinerary is suitable for all ages. Safaris can be surprisingly kid friendly and are a magical experience that your children will carry with them throughout their lives.

Safaris can be surprisingly kid friendly and are a magical experience that your children will carry with them throughout their lives.

✧ Your travel playlist includes Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s “Rain, Rain, Beautiful Rain”
Grammy award-winning South African choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo gained worldwide attention on Paul Simon’s 1986 Graceland, but they have been performing since the 1960s. They were the sound of peaceful protest against the Apartheid government and continue to spread their message of hope. This song happily plays in our minds every time it starts to rain.

Day 1-4: Cape Town & Cape Winelands

Arrive in Cape Town via direct flights from the United States or Europe. Cape Town is a picturesque cosmopolitan city that is the cultural epicenter of South Africa. It is best known for natural landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point, but there are a plethora of culinary and family-friendly adventures to enjoy here.

We recommend that families stay at the One & Only Cape Town, which has a large pool, and a lovely view of the harbor, and is minutes away from the popular Two Oceans Aquarium. Other family-friendly activities include guided hikes of Table Mountain or surfing lessons at the beach. Families with older children may enjoy a motorcycle sidecar tour of the area.

Part of your stay in the Western Cape should also include the scenic Cape Winelands, about an hour outside of town between Franschhoek, Paarl, and Stellenbosch. There are several charming hotels in the area, but we are partial to the impeccable Babylonsoren. Parents will enjoy tasting some of the best South African wines around, and children will love a visit to the hotel farm, taking cooking lessons, or riding bikes through the countryside with the family.

Day 5-7: Grootbos Nature Reserve

Drive two hours east of Cape Town along the Atlantic coast, through dramatic fynbos landscapes and charming towns such as Betty’s Bay to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

Whale watching at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve / Courtesy of Grootbos luxury South Africa Beach resort
Whale watching at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve / Courtesy of Grootbos

The reserve is comprised of two luxury lodges and over 8,500 acres of dramatic Cape Floral coastline. Garden Lodge welcomes guests of all ages and describes itself as a water safari. Whales can be seen from both boats and the beach between June and October. Great white sharks, seals, and penguins are also found in these coastal waters, and excursions to see them can be organized by the hotel as well. Other activities include horseback riding, quad biking, and floral safaris.

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

Day 8-12: On Safari

We’ve saved your safari for last. Despite a fun-filled start to your trip, nothing will compare to encountering a lion or elephant in the wild for the first time. Outside of the popular Kruger National Park, you can find safari lodges that welcome kids of all ages and are malaria free. One of our favorites is Kwandwe Private Reserve. Return to Cape Town from Grootbos to fly to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) or charter a flight directly to Kwandwe Private Reserve in the Eastern Cape.

Rhino at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge / Courtesy of Kwandwe luxury South Africa safari
Rhino at Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge / Courtesy of Kwandwe

The reserve is comprised of 54,000 acres on either side of the Great Fish River and is home to thousands of animals, including elephants, giraffes, and lions among others. There are two lodges and three villas for a total of only 26 rooms on the property, so you won’t encounter any crowds here. Ecca Lodge is one of our favorite choices for a family safari in South Africa. There are no age restrictions, flexible game drive times, private plunge pools, and plenty of children’s activities. We hope to send the whole family home from their safari with dust still on their boots and plenty of profound animal memories.

Day 13: Return Home

Fly home via Cape Town or Johannesburg. If you aren’t flying direct from New York or Atlanta, we recommend stopping in London or Amsterdam for a couple of days on the way home to break up the flight.

Contact us to start planning your journey into the wild.

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