Just waiting until my grandson is old enough…….
For almost a hundred years, Londolozi has organised family safaris in Africa. Located in one of the world’s most popular national parks for game viewing and safaris, the Kruger National Park; Londolozi provides one of the most inclusive, high-end safari experiences in Africa. We’ve come to specialise in offering the best luxury family safari in Africa.
Londolozi is for the whole family. There is no doubt that you will leave with unforgettable memories which you have all shared together. It’s through Londolozi’s specially designed private camps that we are able to accommodate families seamlessly. From experienced Guides ensuring a safe safari for your family, to our Cubs Den children’s programme. A real safari in Africa is the ultimate family holiday.
What questions for a family going on safari?
Planning a family trip comes with much excitement but also many questions. We often get asked about family safaris and how they work. These are the types of questions families ask before taking their children on safari:
- Can children go on safari game drives?
- What is the best age to take children on safari?
- Does Londolozi have children-friendly camps?
- What activities are there for my children?
- What activities can the family do between game drives?
After working as the Cubs Den Manager for a while at Londolozi, here are a few frequently asked questions and reasons why your children need to come on safari in Africa:
When I look back on my childhood, I find that some memories are vaguer than others, some I’ve even forgotten. Then there are clearer memories, the more impactful moments. These memories I am able to relive with a sense of nostalgia every time I re-tell them. For me, these are family holidays. I can almost remember all of our family trips, but for many reasons the safari ones stand out more. I think it’s because a family safari in Africa is a trip that satisfies young, curious minds but equally is enjoyable for the rest of the family regardless of age. Over time I have found that there are not many holidays that tick the boxes for the whole family.
I started my journey with Londolozi working as the Cubs Den Manager. A role that reinforced this by showing me first-hand the magic of a family on an African safari and made me realise why those safari childhood memories of mine are so vivid. If there was ever a holiday which suited an entire group of people, grandparents to young children, then an African Family Safari would be your answer.
1. Can Children Go On Safari Game Drives?
What does a game drive look like with your kids while on your safari?
This is an important question, after all this will be a huge part of why you are visiting Londolozi in the first place. There are two daily game drives, one in the morning and one in the evening, both of about three hours. This being said we’ve never made the mistake of aiming a safari at the adults while the children lose interest.
If a family comes on a luxury safari to Londolozi we believe that it is essential to aim the game drive experience at the children. That means that the six hours a day spent in the vehicle looking for animals becomes a wonderful learning experience for little ones, an adventure, and a place where the family can interact together. Family Land Rovers can stop often for kids to jump out and utilise their senses.
Touching, feeling, smelling, throwing – it all comes into the mix and we recognise that a three hour game drive can be a long time for a child to sit still. We believe it is essential to get the little ones off the vehicle as often as possible, even if it’s just to identify tracks. And then there’s the wildlife!
Let your child’s senses come alive while on a Family Safari Drive…
Childhood storybooks come to life as your family sees the Big 5 only a few metres away. Londolozi is located in one of the highest leopard dense areas in the world, the Sabi Sand Reserve and Greater Kruger National Park boast spectacular wildlife viewing due its life-giving river – the Sand River. It goes without saying that safety when out on game drive is every ranger’s first priority.
The focus of the experience is to enjoy it, to capture unique moments in time that can be shared with friends and family for generations to come, and of course, after all, the purpose of a family safari in Africa is to have FUN, but to do so safely! Our rangers and trackers are an extremely experienced team with an excess of 250 years collective experience among the tracker team, and more than 150 years amongst the guiding team. The team are consequently well equipped to ensure that an experience is enjoyed safely.
2. What Is The Best Age To Take Children On An African Family Safari?
After almost 100 years in the industry we believe that children above six years old are at an age where they can make the most out of an African family safari. From this age and up children are able to enjoy game drives, learn about the animals and have enough maturity to listen to a ranger’s commands. It is also a great age to join the Cubs Den, where your kids can meet other children from across the world and play together between game drives.
It is amazing to see how children at first shy to meet each other soon became good friends and by the end of their stay are swapping email addresses and laughing with one another on the back of the Land Rover. Activities in the bush seem to bridge the gap from shyness to confidence. Opening up the door for friendships between these children.
3. Which Londolozi Camps Are Children Friendly?
Londolozi has three camps which accommodate children on their family safaris.
Varty Camp has some chalets which are inter-leading and is at the heart of Londolozi with many guest activities found within the surroundings. These include the Guest Gym, Cubs Den, the Photographic Studio and Living Boutique as well as the restorative Healing House. The charming “original Sparta Camp” located in the heart of Varty Camp, represents generations of history which echoes a bygone era before Londolozi existed. The accommodation consists of chalets which are inter-leading and allow parents and their children easy access to each other.
Founders Camp also welcomes children and is a camp with a young and vibrant energy that appeals to discerning individuals and modern day families. The Camp has customised different rooms types for families.
- The Superior Family chalet allows families of 3 to stay in one room.
- The Founders Family Suites have interconnecting skywalks, allowing parents quick and safe access to their children in rooms next to each other.
In Founders Camp, one can find the yoga deck – a sanctuary for quiet contemplation. Set beneath the shade of a 500-year-old ebony tree on the banks of the river – there are daily yoga classes under the watchful eye of the nyala, bushbuck and monkeys.
Pioneer Camp has three interconnected luxury suites which can easily be converted into a bush homestead for private multi-generational family groups of between 6 and 12 people. Pioneer’s intimate family lounge area, fast fibre internet connections, full length lap pool and private interactive kitchen make this camp the ultimate luxury family homestead for shorter visits or longer family safaris.
4. What Activities Are There For My Children On A Family Safari In Africa?
Former Londolozi Ranger and father, Tom Emrie, describes the Cubs Den:
“We’ve discussed and debated a children’s safari program at length at Londolozi. Some people like things set in stone and have demanded from time to time the ‘Program’. Generally at this point we give them a list of activities that children can participate in. While some grudgingly accept this list, others actually still demand ‘the program’. Technically speaking we don’t have a Londolozi Children’s Safari Program. We have a Londolozi Children’s Philosophy and there is a whale of a difference between the two! A Children’s Safari Program is often set out with the intention of keeping little ones busy while the parents relax. It has a fairly rigid timetable and is usually unchanged from season to season, year to year. A Children’s Philosophy embraces the fact that each child is unique and he or she has a different departure point to fun. Our philosophy therefore promises that while the parents relax we’ll find that departure point for your children and maximize their enjoyment in this exciting environment. This philosophy comes, as you can see, from Londolozi’s nearly 100 year history and experience of five generations in the bush.”
What is your child’s departure point to fun?
Londolozi’s Cubs Den is the perfect hide-out for children. It’s where the children, if they’ve opted out of a midday swim, can run around in a safe environment. This is a creative station with tons of arts and crafts to get involved with. It’s a space to be creative, make a mess and have fun in between their game drives with their families. There is a tree painted on the wall which will be familiar to those whose children have been with us.
This Tree of Life, which stands proud in Cubs Den, signifies the growth and importance of children.
Their hand prints (which make its leaves) some small and some big, bring an array of personalities, bright colours and stories to a tree that was once bare against an empty wall. This tree will now live and continue to flourish with every visit of a child to Londolozi.
Londolozi’s Cubs Den is the perfect hide-out for children
The Cubs Den encourages creativity using the natural resources that Mother Nature provides. At Londolozi, we are constantly in awe of the fact that we live in the most wonderful playground a child could dream of. Londolozi’s natural treasures provide us with enough to work with.
From river sand to build castles, fresh water to fill the moat, a wonderful array of grass species to make turrets, driftwood to add bridges and smooth colourful stones to make doors and windows with.
Cubs Den Managers will take good care of your children. From both a safety perspective and from a fun perspective. From learning to cast and untangle fishing lines, creating the perfect plaster of paris mixture for a leopard track, making s’mores on a safari campfire, as well as how to step back and notice the beauty around me at all times, your children will grow tremendously on a safari in Africa.
A child who arrives at Londolozi is always assessed by the ranger and the Cubs Den facilitator and a unique customised plan is drawn up from there. It’s flexible and energetic and done only once we meet the child. In this way we ensure that we’ll never bottle a child into a mundane activity that doesn’t appeal to him or her.
5. What Activities Can The Rest Of The Family Do Between Drives?
I have realised with children is that their energy levels only taper off towards the end of the day. Unfortunately this is not the case with adults. After a game drive you might want to put your feet up. There is something for everyone on safari at Londolozi. After one safari trip you will know what is for you and what’s not. For some, it’s editing their wildlife photography in our studio. For others it might be treatments at the Healing House. Or simply lying by a plunge pool with a drink in hand.
If you are needing to stretch the body and make some room for your next meal, there is a daily yoga class situated on a deck looking over the Sand River. Whatever you top-and-tail your game drive with is up to you and there’s lots to choose from. At the end of each exciting game drive I would whisk the kids away on adventures. This leaves the rest of the family to choose their morning/afternoon activities. A Family Safari in Africa allows for deep family connection during meal times and out on game drives; but also allows for down time or adventurous activities for each member of the family.
The adventure definitely does not stop for your children after their exciting game drive.
For those looking for more, the options are endless for children of different ages to enjoy. From tree climbing, archery, track moulding and baking to fishing, soccer matches, boule and dung spitting contests, it will be hard for them to pick their favourite. Sometimes there is the option for movie nights, photographic walks, for making sand castles in the riverbed, sling-shot competitions and maybe even a Masterchef.
A day on safari for a family will always be a magical one. From observing elusive leopards draped in trees, spotting elephants to enjoying a cup of coffee in a riverbed together. There will be many moments which will remain with you and your family forever. Make sure to pack your camera! Because there will be many moments you’ll want to capture together and remember in years to come.
It’s time to bring your tribe on a family safari in Africa …
For more information about bringing your family on safari in South Africa pop us an email! We would be happy to answer any questions and start planning your trip.
Learn more about Family Safari
At Londolozi, we’re about sharing. Sharing experiences in the sun. Sharing incredible moments with the animals, in the nature. And of course, most importantly, sharing moments with those we love, our family. Over the years we have accumulated extensive experience in family safaris. That’s why we’ve written several articles dedicated to family on our blog. We’ve listed these articles below, so you can enjoy all our expertise on the subject.
- A Family Safari In South Africa ~ 10 Reasons Why You Need To Go
- Making friends on Safari: What Happened when we Went Tracking
- Family Safari in Londolozi: S’more Tradition
- What I Learnt from a 5 Years Old
- Safari Yoga for the whole family
If you want to know what family safari is at Londolozi, check out our Family Safari experience page!
It’s definitely worth the wait – a trip he will never forget.