An African family safari and a family holiday have little in common.
The best family safaris are renowned for achieving the unexpected:
🐘 ENTERTAINMENT ON TAP – A safari for kids will ensure children (of all ages) are never bored. At the same time, an African family vacation will give parents sufficient downtime and some alone time while youngsters are safely entertained, often by learning about the world around them in a fun way.
© Martin – stock.adobe.com
🐘 BESPOKE AT EVERY TURN – Accommodation, itinerary, and location are carefully planned as special consideration is taken of various aspects. It is essential to review distances of travel involved and how family-friendly the accommodation, activities and meals will be. When young children come on safari, parents want to have them close at night, and we choose all our family accommodation carefully to ensure everyone is safe and cozy. Interests and ability can vary significantly when generations of a family travel together, and a successful safari never compromises precious time for any guest.
© Leora Rothschild
🐘 AN EFFORTLESS EDUCATION – Great safaris are always an education. Everyone who has enjoyed more than one family safari package will know that you will continue to learn new ideas and always have novel experiences whenever you revisit extraordinary places and properties.
© Leora Rothschild
🐘 ELEVATED SOCIAL MEDIA – The internet and social media is standard on most holidays, and it has undoubtedly crept onto the safari circuit. There are, however, many aspects of an African family vacation, like engaging in a shared cultural immersion or adventure, that allows for a special connection between family members. This unique aspect of a safari can be very difficult to recreate out of Africa. Something as simple as candles replacing electric lights at night can change the atmosphere entirely and encourage deeper communication. It will undoubtedly change how your family views social media (but if you have to combine commitments with your safari that is also possible).
© Leora Rothschild
More flexibility makes for a better family safari every time and the most beautiful way to indulge in a multi-generational family holiday is to stay in one of our favorite exclusive-use properties along the Safari trail.
Arijiju in Borana
The discerning traveler knows pure luxury is finding a retreat where you can recreate yourself. When a property promises to deliver sanctuary for every member of a multi-generational family, we are in the presence of perfection.
Set within the malaria-free Kenyan Highlands, Arijiju is your family’s exclusive date with adventure under living grassed roofs.
The home has been sculpted into the Kenyan hillside, a Swahili inspired space that undulates and unfolds slowly in the midst of a rare, true wilderness of almost 100,000 acres dedicated to conservation. Here you can collect a flamingo feather and stand in an elephant footprint.
Arijiju has five bedroom suites around a lovely interior green courtyard like a Moroccan riad. The bathrooms have copper bathtubs and large showers.
Use the home cinema or the office and sleep out on the roof terrace.
Guests can enjoy dinner in a different place each night (the bar has a pizza oven!)
Arijiju has an elegant spa and hammam, a gym, clay tennis, and squash courts, quad bike safaris, helicopter flips, horse riding, a pool hanging over the wild Sieku valley and a library.
We love it because:
There is so much to do, BUT it is also the perfect place to end your safari in exquisite peace.
Arijiju is the most incredible place we have visited. Everything is meticulously designed and built. The staff is lovely, and the property is mind-boggling. We recommended the property to several friends and all who have visited agreed. I would say that this is a “once in a lifetime” place, but we are headed back this summer.
Did you know Sabi Sand Game Reserve is the oldest private reserve in South Africa?
It has consistently over-delivered on conservation and great wildlife sightings since 1934.
The latest addition to this gorgeous corner of the world, next to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, is the exclusive-use luxurious bushveld houses of Cheetah Plains. And this property isn’t only brand new out of the safari lodge box, the concept and design is also excitingly uncommon, making for a superb African family safari.
Where most properties aim to disappear into the wild surroundings, Cheetah Plains is more like a bold, state of the art frame.
Locally sourced linen and heated swimming pools are among the many touches of spoiling and luxury comfort set within the brutally contemporary architecture. Every four-bedroom villa accommodates eight guests with a private chef, private spa therapist, and twice-daily game drives in whisper-quiet electric vehicles.
The wildlife is extraordinary, and the guiding is nothing short of spectacular. Cheetah Plains management is passionate about conservation, community upliftment, eco-friendly initiatives, and sourcing products, produce and infrastructure locally, while still maintaining the highest possible standards.
Three exclusive-use Plains Houses with sumptuous private suites accommodate a minimum of four and a maximum of eight guests per house.
Every house has a dedicated guide team, host, chef, and massage therapist as well as a formal lounge, living room, dining area, expansive sun deck, heated swimming pool, wine gallery, chef’s kitchen.
Deliberate design can be found everywhere, from the Dyson hairdryers to Philip Stark urinals.
We love it because:
This is the ultimate exclusive eco-family safari experience.
Cheetah Plains was absolutely amazing. We can’t even find the words to describe our magical our time was there. The accommodations, guides, and staff more than 1st class. Wish we had been there for more days!
We usually have to choose between the mountains, the forest, and the sea… but at the eco-paradise of Grootbos, you don’t have to play favorites on your African family vacation.
In a Grootbos Private Villa, the flora and marine life at the southern tip of Africa await as soon as you step from your door. The two villas are both remote and expertly appointed. One home has six elegant suites that blend seamlessly into the surroundings, and the other one boasts four.
Every generation will enjoy progressive tourism through a harmonious and responsible connection to nature. From adding the Marine Big five to your have-seen list to shark cage diving, there is an activity for every personality and every mood.
World-class culinary excellence prepared from locally sourced ingredients, courtesy of a personal chef.
A private guide and driver at your fingertips.
Why we love it:
An experience that is curated to your tastes and individual needs. A safari that runs according to the schedule of your family.
I had high expectations of Grootbos, and I am very pleased to write that it exceeded on all accounts. The lodge is beautifully designed, the views over Walker Bay are mesmerizing, the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and extremely passionate about the reserve, the food is exquisite, but most importantly the whole experience touches you. I left feeling privileged to have stayed somewhere so special. I loved the approach that Grootbos takes to looking after what’s in their back garden – from training and employing people from the local village of Gansbaai, to a wine list and menu of locally-produced food and wine.
Jack’s Camp – Mobiles
Jack Bousfield founded the legendary Jack’s Camp on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans in the 1960s. It has become an icon of old-world glamour set within a shimmering expanse of salt pan. Currently undergoing a redesign, we can’t wait to see what is next as Jack’s Camp is famous for quirky forties-style interiors and much decadence.
When you are not busy enjoying being treated like royalty within a setting fit for kings you may venture out with San Bushmen, while away an afternoon draped in wild meerkats or indulge in a game-drive, on the prowl for desert-adapted species. When the pans are bone dry, you can also go quad biking. And in the rains, you will be entertained by the zebra and wildebeest migration.
There is nothing like it anywhere in Africa. Jack’s Camp is quite simply exquisitely eccentric.
Why we love it:
One of three camps in the one-million-acre private game reserve it is the only camp with a swimming pool tent in the world. The museum holds the most comprehensive collection of ancient artifacts in Botswana, the game is splendid and 50,000 zebra and wildebeest move through the area during their migration between January and April.
A beautiful, old-world camp with antiques, a little museum, and charm galore. (Soon to be overhauled, I hope they keep the charm.) Great tents, outdoor shower, hot pots of real coffee delivered with the wake-up call.
Chemical was our man, a great guide, driver and meerkat wrangler! Charlie was the manager, fabulous and charming. Everyone went out of their way to make us comfortable.
The highlight of the stay was a couple of sessions sitting in the desert and having meerkats kick dirt in our faces and use us as lookout towers. Fabulous!
When you love dining with bare toes snuggling into the sand and enjoy having every luxury on an idyllic island. When you especially adore visiting a trendy area but having the option of retreating to a very private property at night… then Sindabezi Island will seem like it was made for you.
Victoria Falls is only a short boat ride away, and all the adventure and activities await.
The entire island has only five chalets, all with swathes of privacy and incredible views.
The true bush idyll offering the best of all worlds. Sindabezi Island has dining decks, comfortable lounges, and picturesque campfires.
Why we love it:
The true bush idyll offering the best of all worlds.
Incredible experience. Staff was unparalleled. Activities were so well run and enjoyable. The location is beautiful. Food was excellent. Cannot recommend Tongabezi enough. It was relaxing, exciting, insightful, and cultural all in one. Absolutely amazing.
It might be the most exclusive house in all of Cape Town. Generous hospitality and refined service among an extensive collection of representative South African art, Ellerman has celebrated over a quarter of a century of excellence and grandeur.
The impeccable bloodline of this property stretches back into the history of Africa and the grandeur of bygone times, but Ellerman House has certainly moved with the times. Guests do not find any creature comforts wanting, and the attention to detail and personalized service is astounding.
Thirteen individually styled rooms and two incredible House Villas spread out on the slopes of Lions Head. Panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean reign supreme, and it is the epitome of the glamorous beach lifestyle. The House Villas are the perfect choice for multi-generational family safaris with spacious entertainment and relaxation areas, complete privacy and flexibility.
Why we love it:
Ellerman House will curate the perfect visit to Cape Town on any African family vacation.
Our first trip to South Africa and the hotel and staff made it amazing. The service and setting of the hotel are extraordinary, and our whole family had a great experience.