Christmas Safaris: A Family Affair


The end of the year is fast approaching; traditionally, this means more time for family, more time for getaways, and time for a much-needed escape. This sentiment rings even more true in the case of 2020, with more African countries safely opening up for tourism there are some great specials not to be missed to enjoy quality time with the entire family.

For those wanderers that find themselves in the northern hemisphere, thoughts of migrating to warmer climates are likely top of mind as the days get shorter and the mercury starts to drop. With the sun’s gaze firmly fixed on the southern hemisphere currently, the warm, fresh-air and dreams of African safaris are calling you. If you are reading this on your sunny front porch, fellow ‘Saffa-side’ wanderer, count yourself lucky. With international travel restricted, there are many opportunities for you to unearth. Right now, there are some must-have, one-time offers up for grabs for South Africans now. Ask us more.

A Joyful Noise

©  Tanda Tula Safari Camp

An African safari experience is about discovery and togetherness and is an ideal vacation for those seeking these experiences. Truly, safaris offer an unforgettable, family-friendly ‘time-out.’ A safari never goes out of style because of its unpredictable quality – you never know what will happen next. It is also the kind of getaway that offers fun, learning, and oodles of bonding time.

Encourage your offspring to put down their hand-held gadgets and look away from their always-on blue screens, opting instead for bush TV (read: campfires) and wide-open skies instead. They’ll soon see that there’s no time to get bored and that the door to a whole new world is thrown wide-open to them. The bushveld is where imaginations can run riot. From making shadow puppets on canvas tent walls, toasting sandwiches (‘braai-broodjies’ in Afrikaans) on an open flame, relating tales of adventures around the campfire- we have it all! You’ll find your brood pleasantly surprised by the fact that you need to disconnect from technology to reconnect to what matters most.

Children learn so much about nature, the bush, the stars, animals, fish, and birds no matter their age. A more enriching life experience we challenge you to find. Listen to lions roar and watch silently as leopards leap; there’s nothing that compares to tracking wild animals in their natural habitat. Take a trip where Mother Nature will adore your energetic, curious kids, where her custodians encourage and nurture them.

“I just love how their minds work; some of the most interesting questions I’ve ever had have come from kids on safari” – Ale Olivieri

It’s A Family Affair

We believe a family safari offers many life-changing moments facilitated by the wilderness, safari guides, and the hospitality experience on such a trip—family ties strengthen. Our African Family Explorer is one such trip. Enjoy four nights in Cape Town, an incredibly family-friendly destination full of fun for little people, where you will sail the coast in a pirate boat and even swim with penguins. Then escape to nature for a 3-nights safari at malaria-free Madikwe or Marataba safari. Lastly, marvel at one of the Seven Natural Wonders in Victoria Falls, the perfect show-and-tell material for kids.

The ABC Of Family Safaris

Together with our trusted, hand-picked safari partner, African Bush Camps (ABC), we have a Santa-list approved safari for you. ABC’s Family Safari is adventure-packed, perfectly suited to multi-generational travel across Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia (all currently open for tourism). From wildlife spotting to nature walks; cultural excursions to sunset boat cruises. This trip of a lifetime allows you to enjoy a hassle-free holiday without sacrificing comfort. Aside from supersizing the chill time factor (for parents, mostly), it is an exciting and vibrant experience for children.

There is a wide range of activities on offer, and African Bush Camps’ experienced safari guides will tailor these activities to your children’s age. These activities include game drives, walking excursions, and a seasonal half-hour scenic helicopter ride across the marshes between April – November.

And now, something extra special for the parents out there: the gift of saving. On this 10-night safari, kids stay free at any African Bush Camps’ properties between 1 December and 31 March 2021. Please note, this offer excludes 20 December 2020 – 5 January 2021.

“Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important events in their lives” – Thomas Berry

The most wonderful time

For little ones under the age of twelve years, Africa is a wonderland. Dreams of The Lion King come to life through the Cub’s Den program for kids at Londolozi, offering a game drive experience aimed at children rather than adults, focusing on searching for animals. What a wonderful learning experience. Londolozi is a place where the family can celebrate the splendor of Africa as one big happy family.

EleFun Centre at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge is another excellent option with a fully-fledged children’s facility in the world-famous Sabi Sands Reserve hosting engaging environmentally themed activities and hands-on ‘edutainment.’

Children aged six and up are welcome at Ulusaba Safari Lodge. They will have a broad range of activities to choose from, including joining the safari game drives. Approved by Sir Richard Branson, this children’s safari program is sure to be a hit.

Further afield in magical Kenya, Governor’s camp in the Mara has a new ‘Mongoose club’ for younger guests. Everything from identifying animal tracks and footprints to making charcoal eco-oven pizza is on the little ones’ menu.

© Governor’s Camp

“If I could, I would only do kids safaris.” – Tayla McCurdy

The Lion’s Share

If you and your tribe fancy having the place to yourselves, why not book a ‘safari bubble’? We have some terrific suggestions for private safari camps that can play host to the private safari of your dreams. East Africa remains a popular option for private villa ‘buyouts’ and extended family safaris. Kenya’s accessibility to the northern hemisphere, vast open spaces, and child-friendly safari options makes it an all-time favorite for such.

Mara Bush Houses – tucked away in the tranquil Ol Chorro Losoit Valley in the 30,000-hectare Mara North Conservancy in southwest Kenya. These exclusive-use properties give you the privacy of your home in the bush and enable you to design your private itinerary.

For safari connoisseurs, Rwanda and Tanzania are remarkable as stand-alone options. They can, however, be easily combined, offering a double dose of safari magic.

Tick something off the bucket list when going on a gorilla trek at Singita Kataza House in Rwanda. This stay allows you the privilege to encounter one of Africa’s most majestic and gentle creatures while immersed in the beauty of their pristine natural habitat.

Jabali Private House in Tanzania offers you exclusive use of a private vehicle and safari guide for the duration of your stay. Design your visit as you please, enjoy a delicious breakfast picnic under the shade of a baobab tree, or sip a cold gin & tonic in the heart of the bush as the sun sinks below the horizon at sunset. You decide.

Stunning South Africa

© andbeyond Ngala Safari Lodge

Tanda Tula Nkarhi Homestead in the Greater Kruger National Park has all the makings of a once-in-a-lifetime safari. Nkarhi means ‘time’ in Tsonga and represents the very essence of this off the grid farm-style family home. Enjoying an elevated location above vast plains and winding rivers, Nkarhi Homestead’s position allows guests an uninterrupted view of the sweeping vistas across the Timbavati.

Make tracks through Southern African at Arathusa Safari Lodge. Here, enjoy every comfort and luxury in your own self-catering home on safari. This property has five bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, and can host up to ten people, including kids of all ages. A river-facing deck with a fire pit makes for the perfect sundowner spot. Cheers!

There is a magnificent and somewhat luxurious five-star country home hugged by wild bushveld and endless Kruger vistas in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. A stylish yet comfortable country hideaway, known as Walker’s Bush Villa. A fully-catered four-bedroomed bush dwelling built from scratch with an extensive patio and views of the wilderness beyond – it’s nothing short of an African paradise. 

Tswalu Tarkuni, a luxurious 5-suite bush villa deep in the iconic Kalahari, offers you a run of house experience replete with a personal chef, ensuite bathroom with outdoor shower, private sun deck with star bed, broadband Wi-Fi access, direct-dial telephone, and complimentary bar.

Game drives are exceptionally unique because guests have a dedicated vehicle, guide, and tracker for exploring the Kalahari wildlife. The reserve itself is over 100 000 hectares in size, which means you’re virtually alone all of the time. You’ll leave here with a profound admiration of the Kalahari’s stunning ecosystem

Shimmering sandbars, turquoise lagoons

© Blue Safari Seychelles

The becalming element of water offers an idyllic way to round off your nature immersion. We’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you, hand-picking a few of our stunning seaside destinations below.

Azura Benguerra is an unspoiled island within a National Park, deserted beaches of pure white sand, sparkling turquoise seas crisscrossed by local dhows plying their trade, swaying palms, sunny days and starry nights. It has just twenty hand-built villas blending modern chic with all that is traditional in Mozambique. Experience magnificent reefs for diving and snorkeling and turtles that nest on the island’s outer shores.

A luxury eco-friendly lodge lies on a remote and wild part of the beach along the Inhambane coastline in tropical Mozambique called Sava Dunes. An authentic, off-the-grid secret immersed in tranquility, Sava Dunes brings luxury to an otherwise untamed coast. You may spot humpback whales or event bottlenose dolphins as an ocean safari is on your doorstep if you time it just right. While it is possible to self-drive to this fantastic part of our world, only seasoned 4×4 drivers should do so.

Santorini Mozambique commands panoramic bay views from its private, elevated position much in the same way its Greek counterpart does. Santorini has a 38-foot Supercat Catamaran and 27-foot fishing and leisure boat available for charters. Almost every water activity imaginable is possible in this Mozambican paradise.

The Lux Collective boasts a unique set of hotels and resorts apt for families and couples looking to indulge in an all-inclusive retreats across the Indian Ocean. From Mauritius to Reunion Island to the Maldives if you’re in need of some family time but also battling a serious case of wanderlust, search no further and bring the whole family! Lux offers your kids and teens clubs, PLAY and Studio 17, gives them a sense of adventure and freedom. Their delicious, nourishing menus will keep the little ones happy. And as a parent in need of some downtime, you can head off to the Banyan, to the grown-up area, while the kids have plenty of fun in the sun.

Venturing further up the shimmering East Coast of Africa, we dive into a rich history at the Matemwe Beach House, located on Unguja Island, Zanzibar. Built using traditional materials complemented by handcrafted furniture and locally woven Zanzibari fabrics, the beach house quickly connects you to the island. Feast of the local fishermen’s daily catch and indulge in a profusion of traditional Zanzibari and international flavors. All this, drink in hand, gazing over glittering waters of the Indian Ocean.

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There are plenty of options for family getaways reach out to us today to start planning your ultimate South African safari adventure to suit your dream destination and budget. We can’t wait to share the power of connecting out in nature with you and your family.


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