Going on safari as a family is one of the most amazing experiences. It opens up a whole new world to everyone and it is an experience that will stay with the whole family forever. The energy and excitement that children bring on safari with them is wonderful and highly contagious! Kenya is well equipped to cater for families on safari, as many lodges and camps have family accommodation and special activities to entertain children and give the whole family an unforgettable holiday.
El Karama Lodge, Laikipia
El Karama is situated on a working cattle ranch north of Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The accommodation includes two beautifully designed cottages that are perfect for families. The Lodge is family run and will set up special activities to suit children of all ages. The land that makes up the ranch holds four of the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. All the guides are very knowledgeable and experienced, and all the staff at the Lodge are very friendly and welcoming.
Governors’ Main Camp, Maasai Mara National Reserve
Governors’ Main Camp is the best place to stay as a family inside the Maasai Mara National Reserve. This well-established camp has a long history with all of the local prides of lions – you will be told wonderful stories by your guide about Scar the male lion and his pride, which brings safari to life for young children. This is a slightly bigger camp, with 37 tents, which gives families the space to relax and enjoy being together. There is a wonderful atmosphere and the staff are well used to having children of all ages in camp so they have many tricks to keep the youngsters entertained! The camp often has great family offers, which makes it the perfect place for value family safaris.
Sosian Lodge, Laikipia
Located in the foothills of Mount Kenya, Sosian is a thriving cattle ranch with an impressive range of activities and is perfect for families. As well as the game drives, which offer you the chance to see lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and elephant, you can enjoy horse riding, fly camping and walking safaris. One of the best activities for older children with a sense of adventure is tubing down the local river and jumping off its waterfalls. The Lodge is well designed to cater for families, with versatile accommodation, large communal areas and a first-rate swimming pool.
Ol Seki Hemingways Mara Camp, Naboisho Conservancy, Greater Mara
Situated in the Naboisho Conservancy to the north of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Ol Seki has panoramic views over the surrounding woodland and plains. It has two fantastic family suites that allow families to get away and be completely by themselves if they wish. However, you are equally welcome to join all the other guests, as all meals are communal – this gives the camp a great traditional safari feel. Ol Seki is especially well suited to families with older children, as it has two separate en-suite tents within each family unit. On game drives you have the chance of seeing the Big Five, and a visit to the local Maasai community is highly recommended.
Saruni Samburu Lodge, Samburu National Reserve
Saruni Samburu Lodge is located in the Kalama Community Wildlife Conservancy, just north of the Samburu National Reserve. It has a stunning position on top of an enormous red rock, with views that will take your breath away. This is a small lodge that enables you to get away from the crowds. There is a broad range of exciting activities – for example, children can learn the ways of the bush and Samburu warrior skills, while the adults visit the spa! Boasting luxurious family villas that have very dramatic vistas, Saruni provides family safari at its best. Offering the opportunity to game drive in both the Kalama Conservancy and the Samburu National Reserve, the Lodge ensures you have access to some awesome game viewing, including the Samburu’s own famous Big Five.
Julian Carter-Manning is a Co-founder and MD at Yellow Zebra Safaris.
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