South Africa family safari planning with the experts

South Africa has a huge variety of fantastic things to see and do, most of which is very accessible and affordable. The good infrastructure of the country, along with high quality accommodation, excellent wine for the parents and beautiful delicacies for the whole family to enjoy, it adds up to make South Afirca anoutstanding holiday destination for families.

However old your children and whatever your specific interests, South Africa has an itinerary to suit all. Visit the iconic and vibrant Cape Town, goggle at the magnificent wildlife and participate in every possible activity, from swimming with penguins, to bungee jumping, paragliding and sky diving. For the 'responsible adults', find solitude in some of the most delicious and civilised restaurants in the whole of Africa, and arguably the world. South Africa has it all.

Where to go on a South Africa Family Holiday

South Africa Family Holiday Itinerary Planning


Any South Africa itinerary should include the fabulous must-see Cape Town. Unquestionably one of the most exciting cities in Africa, it has so much to offer for families including a cable car trip up Table Mountain, a fantastic aquarium and a constantly revolving selection of outdoor events, markets, exhibitions and family friendly restaurants.

A little further afield, the wider Cape Peninsula Nature Reserve well merits a day's exploration, including Cape Point and numerous charming little fishing villages and bays. From here, whale watching is also a popular activity at the right time of year.

There are various options for a family-friendly safari, not least in the world-famous Kruger National Park and its adjoining game reserves such as the Sabi Sands. The game here is exceptional and viewings of the big five are virtually guaranteed, sometimes all in one drive! Although the Kruger is malarial, for those who prefer a malaria-free option, Madikwe, Phinda and Tswalu are all very popular choices for families.

We recommend about five days on safari, plus three or four days in Cape Town with the remainder of your south Africa family holiday exploring either the Winelands or the Garden Route, or if you wanted a beach extension, then South Africa combines well with either Mozambique or Mauritius via Johannesburg.


Which are the most family friendly lodges in South Africa?





There are a whole host of fantastic family lodges in South Africa, from those with private houses to those that offer babysitting services, yet we do think there are some that really stand out.

The ultra-luxurious Tswalu  is well off the beaten track at the edge of the Kalahari, offering solitude from the crowds. As well as guaranteeing a private vehicle, tracker and guide for your family, it is malaria free - a big plus - and also lends itself further to families with the junior ranger programme which keeps youngsters entertained throughout the day.

&Beyond have a number of brilliant properties throughout South Africa that cater exceptionally for families. Whether you want to visit the Greater Kruger and stay at Ngala Safari Lodge or venture to the East Coast to stay at Mountain or Forest Lodge at Phinda Private Game Reserve, families can be sure to have a great time.

Many safari lodges have their own private houses or family suites that are ideal for families. Running as their own separate entity from the main lodge, Tintswalo Safari Lodge, Londolozi's Pioneer Camp and the Morukuru Collection in Madikwe are all perfect for families wanting their own exclusive safari experience.

A five-star hotel on the V&A Waterfront of Cape Town, the Cape Grace falls over itself to welcome children and is definitely one of the best hotels in South Africa. Located right where the main restaurants and shops are, the location is ideal for exploring the waterfront and the surrounding areas.

One of Cape Town's larger hotels is Mount Nelson which is not a hotel we would normally recommend for our average guest for this reason, yet for families it is unquestionably one of the best options. The Garden Cottage Suites offer plenty of privacy and the use of a 'family' pool (there is a separate adults-only pool), a children's centre and teen lounge.

With an eight acre formal garden laid out in the midst of vineyards and fruit orchards arching up towards to the craggy wilds of the mountains beyond, Babylonstoren in the winelands is a truly magical place for all the family and one of our absolute favourites. Built around an old farmstead that has been refurbished, it maintains the old running of the farm in combination with a winery, a spa and much more for the whole family.

South Africa Family Safari Activities

Activities in South Africa


When on safari in south Africa the whole family can enjoy some brilliant vehicle safaris. Walking safaris tend to have a minimum age of fourteen due to safety reasons. That said, many of the family friendly lodges have numerous activities for younger children to keep them entertained. Tswalu has its own junior ranger programme and lodges like Richard Branson's Ulusaba in the Sabi Sands has a kids club. 

A handful of lodges also offer horse riding, quad biking and sleep-out experiences. If you are more conservationally minded, then pangolin tracking, elephant dartings and infra-red night safaris are also available for the whole family to take part in.

Private houses on safari are also perfect for families and gives everyone the opportunity of tailoring the day to their needs. Whether the children need a lie in one morning or everyone wants a full-day safari with a picnic lunch, your private guide, tracker and chef will make it happen.

In Cape Town, there is so much to do for all the family. From the aquarium on the V&A Waterfront, to sky diving and horse riding on the outer reaches of the city, there is something for everyone. With a day tour of the Cape Peninsula a firm favourite of ours, as well as a trip up to Table Mountain, spending four or five days in Cape Town will be full of fun and adventure.

How to combine the beach with a South Africa family safari?

South Africa has a whole variety of ways in which a beach extensions can be added onto a South African family holiday. Rocktail Bay, Thonga Beach Lodge and Morukuru Beach Lodge are our favourite lazy beach dwellings on the East Coast and along the Garden Route. Durban also has some fantastic spots for those wishing to scuba dive. The problem however, is that South African beaches are not your typical sunbathing spots. The cold water, strong currents and often high winds make it not your normal rest and relaxation beach stay. Instead, the lodges here are more set up for activity and conservation minded retreats. Hiking in the mountains, moonlit turtle beach walks and kayaking in the sea are all great fun for the whole family.

Alternatively, if you are all lovers of lying by a pool or on the beach for a prolonged period, then you are just a flight away into the heart of the Indian Ocean where Mauritius awaits. It is an ideal spot for action packed beach getaways, with fantastic resorts and activities.

Why a South Africa Family Safari?

Why go to South Africa on a family holiday?


With South Africa hvaing so much to offer, it is hard to pick anywhere else for a family holiday. With exceptional safari experiences in luxurious lodges that cater specifically for families, an abundance of activities in the vibrant city of Cape Town and a relatively weak rand that makes it fantastic value for money.

Where South Africa strives ahead of other African destinations is that it can offer non-malarial safaris. Tswalu in the Northern reaches of the country, Madikwe a few hours North of Johannesburg and Kwandwe near Port Elizabeth all offer non-malarial safaris that are both luxurious and brilliant for the whole family.

Many of the accommodation options in South Africa, unlike other safari destinations, are lodges rather than camps. If you have little ones, the safe confides of a sturdy lodge can make the whole trip a bit more relaxing.

South Africa's infrastructure is advanced, with excellent transport networks, a sophisticated hospitality industry and a fabulous range of accommodation at various price points. In amongst this, the rand is also relatively weak which means you can get a lot for your money in comparison to other African choices - particularly appealing when paying for extra baggage.

The climate is very benign - although South Africans will tell you it gets very cold during their winter (July-September), it is mild by most standard and often t-shirts and shorts are all you need! Great family safari holidays can be had in South Africa year-round, although a few extra layers may be required for chilly mornings and cool evenings.

South Africa has so much going on! You really can, compared to other African countries, explore South Africa via so many different routes and activities. You do not have to stick to the conventional safaris, which can get tiresome for younger travellers. Instead, for the teens and big kids, have a splash around white-water rafting and surfacing, or enjoy hiking and mountain climbing. Across the board, South Africa tailors much of its tourism towards families.


How much does an South Africa family safari cost?

Safaris are not a cheap holiday, but find solace in South Africa being a lot more economical than other African destinations due to easy transportation links, the relatively low value of the rand and the brilliant child friendly deals.

There are accommodation options in South Africa ranging from around $450 per person per night, all the way up to $2,500 per person per night. Bear in mind that children often get lower rates. 

A really great value trip including Cape Town, the Winelands, safari and beach can cost around $5,500 per person including internal flights. Depending on what you choose in include or exclude of course, and what style of accommodation you are after, this cost can vary hugely.


Introducing Odyssey Explorer


Welcome to our new itinerary-building app! Odyssey Explorer allows you to browse a range of popular itinerary templates and tailor them to suit your budget and tastes. Once you are happy with your route template, Odyssey Explorer gives you the freedom to select and change your accommodation in each destination. It is an excellent tool for you to get an instant price for your dream trip before you work with a Tanzania expert to fine-tune it and make it into a reality.

When to go on a South Africa family holiday?

South Africa is a year-round destination, giving your family wonderful flexibility when it comes to booking. Although the best game viewing tends to be in their winter, from June to October, the game viewing is fantastic all year round.

During the dry season, the weather is cool and crisp in the mornings and evenings whilst the days are beautifully warm. The foliage is thin and the animals tend to congregate around the depleting water sources.

Their summer months bring a huge change. The rains come in short, sharp bursts which changes the landscape into an explosion of colour. Migrating birds return and the grasses and flowers flourish. The temperature and humidity does increase, however this isn't generally a problem when there is a swimming pool to enjoy!

South Africa Family Safaris - Africa Odyssey Tips

For a real added luxury, book a private vehicle which allows flexibility and freedom for your family to enjoy a holiday completely catered to you. Sometimes there is no need to do this as depending on your accommodation, a private vehicle may be included.

Avoid taking malaria medication by going to an amazing malaria free destination such as Tswalu, Kwandwe or Madikwe.

For younger children and teenagers alike, a really fun day is exploring the Cape Peninsula, including the penguins of Boulder's Beach

Rent a car and explore South Africa on an epic family adventure.

Rent an apartment like those at More Quarters in Cape Town. Make this your base whilst you explore the city properly.

South Africa Family Safaris FAQs

Is it safe to take children on safari?


Safari naturally has added potential danger as you are staying in close proximity to wild animals. However, we only work with established, well organised and well-funded safari lodges and camps with a great safety track records. If you follow the instructions from the camp managers and guides then your safari will just as safe as any holiday you will take. Speak to us about which safari camps we believe are best suited for families. 

Is South Africa Safe?


As with every country and every city, nowehere is 100% crime free. That said, we have had countless clients travel to South Africa with their families and not have any problems at all. As with every city, petty crime still occurs and there are areas where crime rates are higher than others. The best thing to do is to always remain vigilant and not to draw attention to yourselves.

South Africa Family Safari vs Botswana Family Safari


Both a South Africa and a Botswana family safari will offer you and your family the trip of a lifetime. Botswana is an incredible safari destination, but then again, so is South Africa for its own unique reasons. Importantly, a South Africa safari is generally cheaper due to the weak rand and when you have added people to pay for, this can make or break the trip. South Africa also has some of the best guides on the continent who will go that extra mile to revolve completely around your children's every need. South Africa is more accessible than Botswana in general and for beach destinations.

Client Reviews

[100% BASED ON 9 REVIEWS]

South Africa family safari holiday - Reviews

We thank you for your attention to detail and for always answering our questions and being so responsive and personal. We feel like you are a friend!

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Our trip... perfect. Everything was perfect. Organisation, people, accomodation, safaris, guides… 

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Many thanks for a superb holiday – unforgettable.

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We had a FANTASTIC experience and I cannot thank you and your colleagues enough for your help in making it so. Each and every place we stayed were wonderful.

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All of us agree that our trip could not have been better! If there might be in the future a repeat of a trip to Africa, it goes without saying that it would be organized by you.

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I don't normally write reviews but I was genuinely blown away with the holiday but also the level of support from you and the team.

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The trip was a 100% success and we could not be more pleased.

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The experience was simply great! It worth every single GBP we paid. All arrangements ran fantastically.

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We had a wonderful time and we will definitely refer you to those interested in a safari. We had an amazing time and will never forget it! 

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