12 Best Family Safaris in East Africa

Of all the destinations in the world, we’ll wager that Africa offers the best family safari vacations. Family safari packages in East Africa offers a range of adventure activities in luxury lodges and private safari villas that are perfect for family vacations. Plus, there are plenty of attractions to please everyone: mom and dad, children, grandparents, and even teenagers. The variety and novelty of a family vacation in East Africa provide a rich setting for you to reconnect with one another and a wonderful way for children to learn about nature, encounter completely different cultures and see wild animals close up in their natural habitat.

Going on a private safari means that your family’s whole itinerary is shaped around their tastes and preferences. It’s the best way to get the most out of a once-in-a-lifetime vacation – nothing beats exploring with a professional guide in a private vehicle at your own pace and focusing on what really interests you all.

 

Something to note: East Africa is a malaria area and we don’t recommend taking young children into areas where malaria is a risk. For the best family vacations when travelling with kids under 8 years, we suggest South Africa’s malaria-free reserves.

 

Travelling with Kids

Travelling with Children 8-14 Years

When travelling with children younger than 15 years old, it’s best to choose a lodge that offers closed or private vehicles, a junior rangers programme and professional guides who enjoy sharing the wilderness with youngsters. Under-15s will love the excitement of nature walks, learning basic tracking skills, picnics in the bush and even getting some time at the beach.

1. A Lion King Adventure for Kids
Duration: 10 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 5

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The original 1994 Lion King film and much of the 2019 remake take inspiration from Kenya’s picturesque, untouched landscape. On this 10-day tour, you and your children will get to explore some of the country’s most game-rich regions, including Amboseli National Park, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Meru National Park and the world-renowned Masai Mara. Spend your days spotting all your favourite African animals featured in the hit Disney film while enjoying quality time with your little ones.

Highlights:

  • See lion, cheetah, hyena & elephant in Amboseli
  • Guided bush walks with Maasai warriors
  • See the Big 5 in Meru National Park
  • Full-day excursion in the Masai Mara with picnic lunch
  • Night drives in exclusive-use areas
  • Up-close encounters with endangered black rhino
  • Stay at award-winning safari camps in stunning locations

2. Family Safari with Pre-teens in Kenya
Duration: 8 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 3

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This eight-day itinerary is designed to keep your older children busy from the minute they wake up right up to bedtime. Each lodge on the trip welcomes pre-teens with open arms and offers a range of activities to keep them entertained and educated on their surroundings. Dedicated adventure clubs offer child-orientated safari activities with local guides and naturalists, while their free time is filled with nature walks, sports, visits to local villages and dips in the swimming pool.

Highlights:

  • Thrilling game drives in the Samburu National Reserve
  • Adventurers' Club for children
  • Mara Intrepids Camp's beautiful riverside location
  • Cultural trips to Maasai villages
  • Witness the Wildebeest Migration (August to November)

3. A Family Bush & Beach Getaway for Young Kids
Duration: 10 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 3

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A getaway that combines both safari adventures and beachside fun is the perfect way to keep parents and kids entertained. This 10-day itinerary offers land-based fun in the form of exciting game drives through the iconic Masai Mara, where children and adults alike will have the opportunity to spot all their favourite African animals in action. Then it’s time for some beachside luxury in Mombasa. Kids are kept busy at the Ozone Kids Club or can play freely on the child-friendly beach while the parents soak up some sun with a chilled drink in hand.

Highlights:

  • Evenly spaced itinerary with easy travel logistics
  • Fantastic game viewing in the Masai Mara
  • Witness the Wildebeest Migration (August to November)
  • Babysitting services, kids’ menus, fishpond & bird sanctuary at Sarova Mara Game Camp
  • Kids' activity club, playground and child-friendly beach in Mombasa

 

For families with children 8-14 years old, we suggest staying at...

Travelling with Teens

Travelling with Teenagers 15-18 years

The teenage years are often depicted as an angsty. Although these can be tough times, there’s no better way to spark joy than with an epic adventure in East Africa. Teens are mature enough to join you for game drives in classic open safari vehicles and encounter the majestic mountain gorilla on gorilla treks in Uganda.

If you have a sensitive teen, it’s a good idea to discuss the possibility of witnessing dramatic predator-prey interactions you might see in the wild, especially in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti during the Great Wildebeest Migration. It’s important that your teen understands that nature is all about balance, where hunters and prey are a necessary and a normal part of the cycle of life.

We recommend choosing lodges that offer multiple activities like walking, boating, cycling or horseback riding in addition to game drives.

4. The Ultimate Luxury Lion King Safari
Duration: 15 Days | Countries: 4 | Locations: 5

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This 15-day itinerary promises a jam-packed adventure from start to finish for you and your teens. See all the animals that inspired the beloved characters of the classic Disney film while exploring some of the continent’s best destinations, including Africa’s Adventure Capital, Victoria Falls and the game-rich Masai Mara. Not only will you be able to enjoy unforgettable experiences like spotting the Big 5 on game drives and kayaking on the Zambezi River, but you’ll also have the lifechanging opportunity to trek through Uganda’s pristine rainforests to see the majestic mountain gorillas up-close.

Highlights:

  • Fun interactions with habituated meerkats in Botswana
  • Guided walking tour of Victoria Falls
  • Track the Big 5 in the Masai Mara
  • See Kenya's famed lion prides
  • Cruises on the Zambezi River
  • Quad biking (ATV) excursions on the Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Gorilla trekking in Uganda (only for ages 15 & above)

5. A Kenyan Safari Designed for Teenagers
Duration: 8 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 3

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Spend eight days collecting unforgettable memories of classic safari experiences on this tour. Spot big game like lions, buffalo and elephants while out on game drives in some of Kenya’s wildlife hotspots, including the Masai Mara and Laikipia Plateau. A definite highlight of this itinerary is having the opportunity to witness nature’s grandest show, the Great Wildebeest Migration, in person.

Highlights:

  • Visit the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Laikipia
  • Incredible game viewing in private concessions
  • See the Big 5 – superb rhino sightings in Laikipia
  • Witness the Wildebeest Migration's river crossings (August to November)
  • Kichwa Tembo's pool has the best view in the Mara

6. Kenya Safari for Families Travelling with Teens
Duration: 9 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 3

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Created with teenagers in mind, this nine-day tour features comfortable en suite lodges with essential facilities like swimming pools and Wi-Fi throughout your journey as well as an itinerary filled with safari-themed activities, from game drives and guided walks to cultural tours and horse riding.

Highlights:

  • Game drives, guided walks, village visits & horse riding
  • Excellent year-round gaming in the Masai Mara & Chyulu Hills
  • Exclusive-use luxury house in the Mara
  • Witness the Wildebeest Migration (August to November)
  • Fantastic views of Mount Kilimanjaro & savannah plains

 

For families with teenagers, we suggest staying at...

Travelling with Adults

Travelling with Adult Children

Even though they’re over 18 and considered adults, they’ll always be your children. Spending quality time together might be a bit more difficult now that you all lead separate lives, but this only makes taking time off together even more special. Make it count by treating your grown-up brood to an unforgettable safari experience in East Africa.

7. Bush & Beach Fun in the Serengeti & Zanzibar
Duration: 9 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 3

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Where Kenya is more suitable for those travelling with children and teenagers, Tanzania is the perfect destination for adult families. This nine-day tour allows you to enjoy both bush and beach experiences in one of Africa’s most popular safari hotspots. The first few days of your trip is spent in the world-renowned Serengeti National Park, best known for its exceptional year-round game viewing and front-row seats to the Great Wildebeest Migration. The latter half of your journey sees you and your family having some classic beachside fun on the idyllic island of Zanzibar. Enjoy snorkelling, sea-kayaking, scuba diving, or simply soaking up the sun on the soft, white sand.

Highlights:

  • Fantastic year-round game viewing in the famous Serengeti National Park
  • Reliable sightings of elephant, hippo, giraffe & all the big cats
  • Witness the dramatic Wildebeest Migration (December to July)
  • Barefoot luxury on Zanzibar’s powdery white-sand beaches & clear-blue water
  • Sensational views of the bush & beach
  • Water-based activities at Matemwe Lodge

8. Explore Tanzania's Highlights
Duration: 9 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 4

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Tanzania is touted as one of Africa’s premier safari destinations. There’s so much to see and do, from witnessing the awe-inspiring Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti National Park to exploring the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater. And this nine-day itinerary covers it all. Not only will you have fantastic game viewing in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, but you’ll also be able to explore other popular destinations like Tarangire and Arusha.

Highlights:

  • An itinerary designed to showcase the Wildebeest Migration
  • Excellent Big 5 & wildlife viewing throughout the tour
  • Game drives, bush dining, guided walks & night drives
  • Explore the Ngorongoro Crater
  • Experience farm life at Gibb’s Farm
  • See red-dust coated elephants & upside-down trees in Tarangire

9. Bush & Beach Fun in the Mara & Diani Beach
Duration: 9 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 3

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Can’t choose between bush and beach? Then don’t! Like Tanzania, Kenya’s diverse landscape makes it possible to combine a classic safari with a beachside getaway. Spend three nights in the world-famous Masai Mara, enjoying game drives, guided walks and cultural tours of local villages before unwinding on the pristine beaches of Diani Beach. You’ll even get the opportunity to indulge in some retail therapy while enjoying your last day of the trip in Nairobi.

Highlights:

  • Witness the seasonal Great Migration (August to November)
  • Game drives, guided walks & cultural tours
  • Explore the iconic Masai Mara
  • Barefoot luxury & beachside fun in Diani Beach
  • See the sights & visits the shops of Nairobi

 

For families with adult children, we suggest staying at...

Multi-generational Families

Multi-generational Families

Families come in different sizes and ages, and your vacation should cater for every member of your brood, from your busy four-year-old and active teens to the doting grandparents tagging along. East Africa is an exciting and versatile region that offers something for every type of traveller, including hot-air balloon rides of the Masai Mara for the older members and age-appropriate safari-themed programmes for the children. And of course, you’ll be able to spend some quality time together and bond over a common activity when on game drives in the wildlife-rich national parks and reserves.

10. A Family Trip to the Masai Mara & Laikipia
Duration: 9 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 3

safari-10_sanctuary-at-ol-lentille

Travelling with a multi-generational family can be tricky. Every member has their own idea of how they’d like to spend their vacation. Fortunately, this nine-day itinerary offers something for every type of traveller. Children are kept thoroughly entertained with big, open spaces for play and nature-based educational activities. While older members of the family explore the Masai Mara and Laikipia on guided bush walks, scenic helicopter flights or on horse- and camelback. And, of course, you’ll come together to spend quality time on game drives through these game-rich regions, spotting lion and elephant as you traverse the rugged African plains.

Highlights:

  • Witness the Wildebeest Migration (about June to October)
  • Personal chef & private wildlife guide at Topi Mara Bush House
  • Children’s activities
  • Exclusive-use accommodation in Masai Mara & Laikipia
  • Guided bush walks, horseback & camelback safaris in Laikipia
  • Trout-fishing excursion to Mount Kenya via helicopter
  • Convenient fly-in transfers between destinations

11. A Luxury Lion King Safari for All Ages
Duration: 8 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 4

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No matter the age, every person loves the Lion King. It has remained a firm favourite for decades and its recent revival has done nothing but reaffirm its place as a Disney classic. This eight-day tour brings the beloved film to life. Young and old can enjoy seeing all the animals that their favourite characters were based on while exploring the Kenyan landscape from which both the original and new film took inspiration – you’ll even get to see the inspiration for Pride Rock when staying at Borana Lodge.

Highlights: 

  • Have breakfast with giraffes at The Giraffe Manor
  • Borana Lodge, home to the inspiration for The Lion King’s Pride Rock
  • Track lion with Samburu warriors
  • See the Wildebeest Migration (July to September)
  • Fly between destinations – no long drives!
  • Optional quad biking & hot-air balloon safaris
  • Game drives, bush walks, biking & horse riding

12. Culture in Samburu & Migration in the Masai Mara
Duration: 7 Days | Countries: 1 | Locations: 2

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This itinerary perfectly combines fun, adventure, wildlife and culture for parents, children and teens. There’s something for every member of the family, from the youngest member to the oldest. Older kids and teenagers participate in the entertaining yet educational Warriors Academy when in Samburu, while the parents enjoy hot-air balloon rides over the magical Masai Mara or explore their surroundings on scenic nature walks. And what would a safari be without seeing some animals? Both the Masai Mara and Samburu are game-rich areas that offer fantastic wildlife viewing year-round.

Highlights:

  • Private villa accommodation in the Masai Mara & Samburu
  • Warriors Academy – an interactive programme for families with children
  • Discover the Samburu Special 5: reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, beisa oryx, Somali ostrich and gerenuk
  • Excellent game viewing in the Masai Mara
  • Witness the Wildebeest Migration (July to September)
  • Optional hot-air balloon rides & biplane flips

For multi-generational families, we suggest staying at...