Luxury Family Holidays Handpicked for Parents

Family-friendly Safari holidays

Safaris, as we’ve said before, may not smack as family-friendly but, in some excellent cases, they are both accommodating and welcoming of children, as well as adults. The fact that safari suites can be mind-blowingly luxurious (not to mention eco-friendly), has made safari much more appealing to previous travel cynics. And today, parents shouldn’t write them off just because they are holidaying with children. This is a far greater way to introduce children to wildlife than in a zoo and the following two are particularly family-frendly.

Abu Camp elephant

Victoria Falls Safari Suites, Zimbabwe

Newly opened in April this year, the Victoria Falls Safari Suites offer sumptuous boutique accommodation from Africa Albida Tourism (AAT), the experts in Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe really may not reign top of your family travel list, but I’m assured by those in the know that Victoria Falls is the one part of the country totally unaffected by the politics and social strife of Zimbabwe, a place where tourism has remained steadfast throughout the years.

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge suite

The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is an iconic property and the six new stand-alone suites now make it an ideal stop for families. Each offer stunning views of the bush, water holes and lots of impressive wildlife. You can choose from either two or three bedrooms; each suite has floor-to-ceiling glass doors that slide open to a patio where sundowners can be sipped before the sunset after a day exploring the Falls. All have en-suite rainfall showers which, let’s face it, may not be a big seller for the kids, but you’ll love such touches. And for the children? Well, there is more than enough to chose from: crocodile farms and supervised bush walks, boat rides through Chobe National Park to Lion walks and elephant back trails, canoeing the upper Zambezi to fishing trips on the Zambezi river – this is the stuff of legendary family holidays.

Abu Camp wildlife

Abu Camp, Okavango, Botswana

The Okavango Delta, one of the most incredible wilderness sanctuaries in Africa, is no less than 15,000 km² of water channels, lagoons and islands. Each year, floodwaters flow from the central African highlands over 1,000 kilometres away straight into the Delta, the result of which is this wondrous wetland within a desert. And nestled at the heart of it all is Wilderness Collection’s Abu Camp, which offers the ultimate experience for elephant lovers, or those wanting to get to know them better. Proudly offering guides who are specially trained for children (aged 6 and upwards), Wilderness Collection has introduced the ‘Bush buddy’ programme, which is available at Abu Camp. Upon arrival, children up to the age of 12 are given a unique Bush Buddy Bag filled with safari keepsakes, (one such example being a bug viewer), ‘My SafariGuide’ booklet, a water bottle, a cap and an eco-friendly wind-up torch. Teenage packs include a mini-Maglite torch and branded cap for those aged between 13 and 18. Activities arranged by guards for the children are always designed around the natural environment and are, of course, absolutely supervised and totally safe.

Abu Camp family and elephantAbu Camp elephant ride

The Elephant Experience

The Elephant Experience is one of the highlights of Abu Camp and offers a rare glimpse at these stunning creatures within one of the few remaining wetland wildernesses on the African continent. Aside from walking with these stunning creatures, you’ll be able to watch them mud-bathing and training and, if your children are up to it, enjoy elephant-back safaris. And after a day in the Delta, the intoxicatingly gorgeous accommodation on offer makes for the perfect place to unwind and relax as a family. Who says safaris and kids don’t mix!?

Abu Camp bar areaAbu Camp swimming pool

The idea of heading to Africa and embarking on a safari with children may not appeal, but the new luxurious adventures being organised by Luxury experiential travel company, andBeyond, offer families exciting, safe and extremely well-curated safaris across Africa. With its new WILDchild programme and, in particular, a new bush and beach itinerary ‘Black Spots and Beach Balls’, a luxury safari holiday that keeps kids well and truly in mind is now an absolute reality. 

andbeyond safari holidays with children

After landing in South Africa, you’ll enjoy a four-night safari at the family-friendly andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge, which is nestled in the renowned Phinda Game Reserve. Boasting the Big Five, over 400 species of bird and even the elusive Cheetah, this is a wonderful way to introduce little ones to the spectacular delights of a safari in a world-renound area of the world. And while you may be in the middle of the African wilderness, this is as luxurious and family-friendly as it gets, thanks to the spacious and comfortable family suites and expertly trained staff. From here you’ll head on to a four-night beach break on the Umhlanga coastline.

andbeyond safari holidays big game

And if your children are too young for a full-on game drive, or you fancy a morning to yourself on a drive of your own, a nature walk or a river cruise, kids are kept captivated and very well entertained with a variety of age-appropriate adventures. From fishing trips and scavenger hunts to shorter (and absolutely safe) game-drives, this is the ideal way to introduce your little ones to the great outdoors. Once at the Umhlanga coast for the second part of your African adventure, you’ll stay at the charming and colonial Oyster Box Hotel for four nights of beachside activity, or relaxation, depending on what you’re after. This scenic stretch of coastline is on KwaZulu-Natal’s spectacular Golden Mile, just 20 kilometres from the bustling port city of Durban. With gentle and balmy ocean waters, this will give you your fix of sun bathing and water sports.  There is a very well organised Kids’ Holiday Club at The Oyster Box, which offers the requisite board games and a playstation, but also boasts face painting, and special events around the holidays such as carol singing at Christmas and Easter egg hunts in the springtime. As well as caring for your children by day, there are professional child-minding services if you want an evening out to yourselves.

andbeyond safari holidays luxury accommodation

And for that extra personal touch, children aged six and up will be made very welcome with andBeyond’s bush-focused WILDchild programme. Available in all of the company’s African lodges, each young guest receives a backpack on arrival filled with goodies designed to prove useful during their African safari adventure, from a special scrapbook to record each day’s sightings, a solar torch, a magnifying glass and a compass. You may think safari holidays are out the question, but there really is no better time to introduce young children to the delights of Big Game without sacrificing your own personal sense of adventure, relaxation and luxury.

andbeyond safari holidays children on jeep
andBeyond’s 8 night “Black Spots and Beach Balls itinerary” starts from £1953 per adult sharing, with children under six staying free.
This itinerary includes one complimentary night at The Oyster Box Hotel and free flights between Johannesburg and andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. Children under six stay free at all andBeyond lodges. Those between six and sixteen pay half price. For more information visit