Do you recall what a normal day in your youth looked like? No, but we bet you can still clearly remember a family vacation that completely blew your mind.
Family vacations result in powerful lifelong memories. Every family looks forward to these moments because they provide an opportunity to spend time together, forge new connections, and share new experiences.
Today might be a great time to make those long-anticipated family vacation plans come true, especially since many of us are thinking about our major travel plans for the year.
Getting a destination that will appeal to the entire family can, however, be tricky. Whereas kids might enjoy mild water sports, teens and adults might fancy a game safari and more culturally inclined excursions.
So, is it possible to have a destination that is bound to thrill your entire brood? Here are five top African destinations that are bound to tick all the right boxes for your family.
- Maasai Mara, Kenya
If ever there was a global wildlife capital, then the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya must be it.
Persons of all ages will be fascinated by the vast array of wildlife the Reserve offers. Get to view elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, and enormous herds of antelope against picturesque savanna landscapes.
Due to the ease with which wildlife may be spotted on the Mara’s broad plains, the exciting drama of the Great Migration scenes, and the abundance of family-friendly lodging options, the park is one of Africa’s top safari locations for families.
While looking into family-friendly resorts, please consider opting for those with child-friendly amenities. Some of the popular activities that kids will enjoy include nature walks, treasure hunts, archery, storytelling, and game drives.
Besides the wildlife activities in the Mara, the park is also renowned for offering visitors interactions with the famous Maasai people- one of Africa’s indigenous tribes. So be sure to schedule a visit to a Maasai village as well.
- Okavango Delta, Botswana
The Okavango Delta boasts a lot of species and activity packed into a limited space. At a lodge in the Okavango, you may schedule boat trips, wildlife drives and guided bush walks for the family.
All safari activities in the Delta have a minimum age requirement, which varies from lodge to lodge but is often between eight and twelve years old. A few resorts also provide youngsters with camp-based activities like fishing, rudimentary bush craft, and identifying animals.
Some camps include especially well-designed child accommodations, including private rooms and family units with their own lounges and play areas. Others just provide bigger family-sized tents or linked tents/rooms that can be reserved as a single unit to accommodate the entire family.
Other benefits could include child-specific tour guides, and staggered mealtimes to accommodate even the most erratic young eaters.
Overall, the Okavango Delta is a pristine region of lush grasslands and lazy lagoons that is home to a wide variety of species. Expect to find elephants, big cats, monkeys, and mongooses. The water in the delta is clear and pure, and the weather is typically bright and dry.
- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
As far as unadulterated scenic beauty is concerned, Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls is sure to take your family’s collective breath away. See the largest waterfall in the world and get doused in mist and spray as you enjoy one of the best travel experiences in the entire globe.
The region is home to a number of exhilarating activities, many of which are appropriate for young children. Teenagers who are 14 or older can participate in exhilarating white-water rafting excursions on the Zambezi River’s rapids, gorge walks, bridge swinging, bungee jumping, and swimming in the most spectacular infinity pool in the world right next to the Victoria Falls.
A host of activities abound for children of all ages. These include scenic trips on the steam train and Victoria Falls tram, river cruises, helicopter tours of the falls, and lessons in African drumming at Victoria Falls’ Boma Experience.
You can easily spot elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, and giraffe on self-guided game drives in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi National Park and Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya Park. You can also track white rhinos on foot, go fishing on the Zambezi River, or go on overnight canoe safaris to see wildlife and birds.
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
The Kruger National Park, is located just a few hours’ drive from Johannesburg, and is one of South Africa’s top tourist attractions.
It is a sizable area of untamed wilderness teeming with wildlife. The park was designed with visitors in mind, making it ideal for family safari vacations.
You may opt to fly directly there from Cape Town, Johannesburg, or even the Mozambique coast. Once there, you’ll understand why this Wales-sized reserve has gained such a reputation around the world.
For starters, the park has generous wildlife populations, including the Big Five (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, and buffalo). Also, thanks to a good road network, navigating around on a self-driven family safari is relatively easy, and generally, game viewing is nonstop.
- Tsavo National Park, Kenya
Mzima Springs is arguably one of Tsavo’s primary draws. It carries water from the Chyulu Hills which has been filtered through volcanic rock and used to fill pools down below.
It is a welcome oasis and a dramatic shift from the dry topography that dominates most Tsavo. For most visitors all thoughts shift to diving into the spring’s cool, welcoming waters.
You might however opt to hold your horses on the diving into the pool, as Crocs and Hippos also enjoy this location.
You can take a wonderful stroll around the springs and stop at a viewing area to peer beneath the pools and see the numerous fish and other creatures that live there.
Witness monkeys flying from tree to tree as crocs laze about the pools. The glistening water, and the dense canopy overhead provide an excellent chill spot for families touring the Tsavo.
Tsavo National Park is also very close to Diani Beach. You can simply hire a vehicle from Tsavo to the beach. Note that you don’t need to use a 4×4 safari vehicle to go from Tsavo to Diani beach. Any vehicle from high end models such as Toyota Prado to small cars such as Honda Fit or a Nissan note are okay.