Planning a family safari vacation in South Africa may feel daunting. But don’t fret! We’ve put together a guide to help you plan your family safari holiday with ease.

How to Plan a Fabulous Family Safari Holiday

The key to planning fun family safari holidays is selecting the game reserve that caters to all your needs. You might not necessarily know when the best wildlife viewing times are, how to keep your kids busy while you’re on a safari or how to include your little ones into an African adventure without them feeling bored. But experienced holiday coordinators, state-of-the-art facilities, and all-inclusive guest service from private game reserves like Shamwari will have you sorted in no time.

Family safari holiday in Africa viewing cheetahs

Read on to find helpful insights into family safari tours, and also discover one of the best malaria-free African safari destinations. Shamwari Private Game Reserve is a mere 75km from the coastal town, Port Elizabeth which is in the Eastern Cape. The eastern part of the country is free from malaria-carrying mosquitoes. It is perfectly safe for bringing your children with you on safari at Shamwari.

Family vacation spot in South Africa going surfing

What to Expect from a Family Safari Holiday in the Exhilarating Eastern Cape

You can plan your trip itinerary in the Eastern Cape exclusively and get a taste of all that South Africa has to offer. The naturally and culturally rich region of the Eastern Cape has much more to offer than safari trips. Here South Africa’s landscape attractions meet. The lush evergreen Tsitsikamma forest, the jagged mountains of the Baviaanskloof, the Drakensberg Mountains, the Great Karoo’s desert and pristine beaches come together to form an impressive range of diverse treats for the senses.


African safari family vacation viewing Giraffes

On safari, your family will experience game drives and bush walks. But on a luxury adventure, you and your loved ones get tasty meals, superior service and awe-inspiring accommodation. Thrilling game drives start early morning or late in the afternoon, to ensure you get a chance to see some of Africa’s most amazing animals.

Family Safari Vacation

Family Safari Packages in South Africa

When it comes to choosing between Africa family vacations packages, there are a few key factors that can make the experience even more enjoyable. In fact, luxury family holiday destinations like Shamwari take care of everything, from early morning coffee, game drives, child entertainment and also a turn-down service. You needn’t lift a finger.


South africa family vacation viewing elephants

What is included in the Best Family Safari Packages?

We get it, as much as you want to spend quality time with your family, you also want to relax and unwind. You want to be able to enjoy all the luxuries of being on holiday while still knowing that your children are in safe hands. Specially designed for families, Shamwari’s family safari lodges are among the best family holiday destinations in South Africa. Let’s get to what is included in luxury family safari holidays.

Family safari holiday with childminding

Caring Childminding Services

Top family African safari vacation packages will include care for your little ones. With childminding services, you can go on a game drive with a calm and clear mind knowing the kids are enjoying themselves.

Family safari holiday with entertainment for kids

Easy Safari Entertainment for kids

You might like looking at wild animals, but an energetic pre-schooler might find it tedious. That’s why the top family safari holiday destinations cater to guests young, old and in-between.

At Shamwari, three centres for kids keep energetic children busy, encourage growing imaginations to bloom and give them plenty of sunshine. Unlimited adventure time at the Kids on Safari Adventure Centre, outdoor playtime and arts and crafts at the Kids Club are all supervised by caring Shamwari assistants.

Luxury family safari holiday all inclusive

Yummy Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Family safari holidays are even better when cooking is taken care of. Expect the best in South African cuisine as professional chefs whip up tasty meals in the morning, afternoon and night. Guests staying at Shamwari during winter get to dig into an indulgent brunch after their daily game drives.

Luxury family safari holiday with family entertainment

Freebies for Young Children

Taking care of children is a great feat. Family holidays should feel like a reward and not a chore, which is why some luxury family vacation packages in Africa offer free accommodation to young children. Kids under the age of eight stay for free at Shamwari family safari lodges during the winter months.

Luxurious family vacation south africa

Cosy and Deluxe Accommodation

Plush bedding, comfy loungers and state of the art creature comforts ensure that guests have all the luxuries they need and more. You can count on clean, beautiful spaces that satiate all five senses at Shamwari.

Luxurious family safari vacation

Reliable WiFi for When You Need It

An African safari is an excellent opportunity to disconnect from the hustle of everyday life. But, if you need to connect to the outer world, you can. Top family vacation spots in South Africa will have quick and reliable internet in place for when you need it.

Luxurious family safari holiday accommodation

Luxury Family Safari Experiences

When you choose a family safari holiday at a luxury destination, your safari activities are included! No more blind bookings or schedule confusion, because your accommodation will ensure that every part of your trip goes smoothly and fits your intrinsic schedule.

At Shamwari, a game ranger will assist you and arrange your African family tours accordingly. Shamwari includes various luxury family safari activities in their family safari packages like game drives and bush walks.

Best family vacations in South Africa

Conservation Education for the Whole Family

Preserving wildlife is essential to a healthy eco-system. African safari experiences have gone from exploring the landscape and hunting to protecting and appreciating wild animals in their natural habitat. Teaching growing minds about animal conservation is not only a time well spent but also a way to encourage conservation in future generations.

Best family vacations in Africa seeing baby elephants

Going on family safari holiday could inspire your children to be future conservationists

Simply introducing your children to the magic of a safari could inspire their love for wildlife to come to life and perhaps even encourage them to pursue a career in conservation when they are older.

Shamwari has two wonderfully unique facilities, which aid in teaching younger generations about the importance of conservation.

The first is our Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. This registered facility provides expert veterinary care for young, abandoned, orphaned or injured animals. After its extensive renovation, this facility is now among the best in Southern Africa. The design followed a hands-off approach to minimise human involvement with animals in this beautiful setting. Limited contact is pivotal to the successful release of the animals back into the wild.

The second conservation initiative is our two Born Free Big Cat Sanctuaries and education centres. Shamwari, in collaboration with the Born Free Foundation, aims to draw attention to the plight of wild cats, confined in impoverished, captive environments throughout the world. These centres house big cats from around the world, providing a better life. Children get to hear the stories and see these big cats in a happier environment from which they came.

Find Out More about Shamwari’s Conservation Initiatives


Africa family vacation packages

Family Friendly Safari Lodges in South Africa

Shamwari has seven luxury lodges and one explorer camp, two of which are family orientated, offering family-friendly safaris. Luxury child-friendly game lodges in South Africa are scarce. But the ones that we do have are exquisite and operate on an international 5-star level.

Luxury family safari holiday accommodation

Riverdene: The African Safari Lodge that has it All

Riverdene underwent an extensive refurbishment in 2018 to enhance the guest experience and to create a Kids on Safari wonderland for families travelling with children. Riverdene has nine inter-leading rooms, making them ideal for family safari holidays.

The luxurious lodge is an elegant homestead, creating a home away from home. It is the ideal place for families to bond as gentle giants roam in the distance. The lodge has a Kids Adventure Centre which comprises of an indoor and outdoor facility for children. Children’s coordinators look after your little ones so that you can relax by the pool.


Luxury family safari holiday accommodation in South Africa

 Sarili: Unrivalled Views and Privacy

Shamwari’s second family-friendly safari accommodation offering is Sarili. This intimate lodge, with five rooms, is designed for families looking for privacy. Children can still go wild at Riverdene’s Kids Adventure Centre, and enjoy all the benefits of the one of a kind centre while staying at Sarili.

Sarili lodge boasts views of the Bushman’s River as well as the grassy Shamwari plains where wild animals roam. Contemporary comfort inspired by nature makes this family safari lodge the perfect escape for families looking to spend some quality time together at a safe and adventure-filled destination in South Africa.


Family Safari Holiday seeing a big elephant

Snap-worthy Family Safari Trips

Our rangers are experts in the field, providing an enlightening experience for you and your kids on an African safari. The guides help you spot wildlife while inspiring, engaging and teaching kids about the natural wonders of the bush. There are endless opportunities for children to learn more about wildlife; from the Big Five to insects, rare plants and even stars!

Game drives are filled with amazing wildlife encounters. Watching a springbok prancing, marvelling at a herd of elephants peacefully roaming in the distance and feeling the thunder from a lion’s roar are all part of the family safari tours at Shamwari.

Something wonderful happens when your kids are on their first safari, and they see wild animals up close, after only seeing them in books. You’ll see your child’s face light up and fill with awe.Unforgettable experiences and beautiful memories are well worth early morning wake up calls typical of family safari holidays in South Africa.

Choose a Safari Package That Suits Your Family


Fun family safari holiday adventure

Make Memories with a Luxury Family Safari

South Africa is the only country in Africa that can offer a malaria-free safari experience in certain parts of the country. In the Eastern Cape of South Africa, there is no risk. You can bring your kids along for an African safari family vacation. Game Reserves in South Africa have incredible wildlife viewing opportunities, and all-inclusive packages ensure that your family safari holiday exceeds your wildest dreams.

Malaria free family safari destinations

Best Malaria Free Family Safari Destinations

South Africa is one of the safest family safari destinations when it comes to malaria. This country has many game reserves in malaria-free areas that are perfect for family safari holidays

Family safari lodge in south africa

Which Family Safari Destinations in South Africa are Malaria-Free?

The larger part of South Africa is malaria free. Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, North West Province, Northern Cape, the Free State and Gauteng are all safe from malaria-carrying mosquitos.

Large areas of South Africa are unaffected by malaria. However, it’s important to note that the northern region of the country, specifically areas that border with Zimbabwe and Mozambique, have had malaria outbreaks.

Family safari holidays in Africa

Which Countries Declared Malaria Free by WHO?

WHO has declared and certified five countries as malaria-free in Africa. These countries are:

  1. Algeria
  2. Réunion
  3. Mauritius
  4. Seychelles
  5. Lesotho

Family vacation South Africa

Where is the Best Malaria Free African Safari?

The best malaria-free African safaris are in the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. These two provinces offer unique wildlife experiences and game reserves are often located within an hour’s drive from the beach. This means you can have the best of both worlds, hassle-free!

Fun family safari holiday game drive

Why a Family Safari Vacation spells FUN for the WHOLE family

Shamwari Private Game Reserve offers the best luxury family safari holiday in South Africa while ensuring parents get a chance to relax and unwind too. Your children will always be looked after at the lodge, should you want to treat yourself to a relaxing spa experience or steal away to a private game drive.

When it comes to dining, families are spoilt for choice. Yummy meals can be served for the whole family, or kids can have their own meals while parents enjoy a romantic dinner for two. The flexibility and diversity are what makes African safari family vacation packages so remarkable.

Fun family safari holiday kids activities

When is the Best Time to take Family Safari Trips to South Africa?

Make your trip even more rewarding by booking your family safari holidays at the best time. At Shamwari, the whole year is prime time for wildlife viewing thanks to the lush evergreen vegetation of the Eastern Cape. However, the winter season has two unique perks: up to two children under the age of eight can stay for free, and because May to October tends to be quieter, you’ll possibly have a game ranger all to yourself.

Fun family safari holiday kids centre

Let the Little Ones Run Wild on a Kids Safari

Little ones can have fun too!Children younger than four are not permitted on game drives, but luckily, there are multiple activities they can enjoy. Climbing towers, rushing on zip lines, making pizza and cookies, enjoying educational books are a few of the kid-friendly safari activities.

African safari family vacation

The safari for kids is a fun-filled educational experience where children discover how to track animals by their dung, identifying dusty wild tracks and much more. Experience the magic of a family safari holidays by making memories with your kids in wild Africa.

Learn More about Shamwari’s Kid Safari Programme


What are you waiting for? Your family safari holiday awaits!

These are all the wonderful reasons why Shamwari Private Game Reserve should be one of your first choices when considering where to go on safari in South Africa. Let us make your family safari trip an unforgettable one!

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