“The biggest lesson from Africa was that life’s joys come mostly from relationships and friendships, not from material things. I saw time and again how much fun Africans had with their families and friends and on the sports fields; they laughed all the time.”Andrew Shue (American actor)

What more could you ask for in a destination like Southern Africa, than to enjoy some family time with your children. 

  • It brings us back to a life we knew growing up
  • 100% natural settings with trees, stars and endless savannas
  •  Install’s an appreciation of the Africa’s natural beauty
  • Educational  
  • Takes away the rush of our daily lives
  • It teach children to respect our wildlife
  • Memories lasting a lifetime , and stories for generations to come
  • Hardly any time to get bored

Southern Africa has many places that accommodate families however there are some hotels and lodges that cater perfectly for families.  Below are just 3 choices that come to mind

Images courtesy of Imvelo Safaris, preferred partners of Personal Collection by Thompsons Africa , experts in Southern Africa

African Bush Camps

The Best Part About Memories is Making Them –  Travel can be a wonderful time for a family to bond and a safari is a great way to connect through disconnecting from the normal routine. Everything is new and exciting; seeing an elephant for the first time, making pizza out in nature, or learning the call of an eagle. Watch  African Bush Camps Family Adventure Safari video to see why their family-friendly camps are the best on offer.

You can see how families become a part of their family, hosts entertain children with games and activities while guides ignite a sense of wonder and curiosity in the kids they teach. Their guides are experts in explaining, in fun and interactive ways, how everything in the ecosystem is interconnected, making it an enriching educational experience. 

“Travelling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”

Leigh Hunt


“We did not inherit the land from our forefathers. We have simply borrowed it from our children.” – NATIVE AMERICAN PROVERB

Samara offers an adventure for all ages. Family-owned and family-run, they are passionate about educating the next generation of conservationists and opening their eyes to the wonders of the wild. Inspiring educational activities combined with a breathtaking malaria-free setting make Samara the epitome of a child friendly safari.

Kids Programme & Babysitting

The Samara Kids Programme, part of our child friendly safari activities, caters to children up to 12 years old.

Experienced staff will engage your children in a variety of age-appropriate, fun and educational activities whilst you relax and unwind.

Activities include:

  • ‘Outdoor classroom’ bush excursions in the lodge grounds
  • Track identification
  • Rock painting like the Khoi-San
  • African crafts
  • T-shirt making
  • Orienteering & navigating
  • Storytelling
  • Colouring-in
  • Board games

When parents are away from the lodge, babies and toddlers younger than 2 years old must be placed under the care of the experienced childminders available. This babysitting is available during game drives and over dinner. A dedicated children’s menu is available at both lodges, and special requests can be accommodated.

Activities for teenagers

Unlikely to take kindly to being grouped in with the ‘kids’, we have a host of activities ideally suited to teens and young adults.

These activities cater to those already into the Big Outdoors as well as those who simply want to get that perfect ‘Insta-worthy’ picture to show friends back home.

These include:

  • Air rifle target practice
  • Bush walks (minimum age 16 years)
  • Sleep-outs (weather dependent)
  • Conservation activities
  • Overnight trail (minimum age 16 years; subject to ranger availability)

The activities described above can also include parents, allowing you to reconnect as a family on an exciting wilderness adventures.

Sabi Sabi


Families with children are always welcomed at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, and children are afforded a bush and nature experience, from the youngest to the eldest members of the family. The EleFun Centre is a fully-fledged children’s facility within the lodge environs, which fosters awareness and an appreciation of nature.The EleFun Centre offer hands-on, interactive activities designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years. Age-appropriate bushveld themed activities are guided, and supervised, by qualified staff, and include bushcraft subjects such as bush survival, bugs & birds, tracks & signs of wildlife – all environmentally sensitive subjects that every child will find fascinating.  

There is time for creative hobbies, while the afternoon sessions are fun-filled with games. Selected rangers lead bush walks and talks, and the childcare professionals provide specially planned midday child-friendly game drives, based on the topics covered in the rangers course, at the time of your visit.

The beautifully designed centre also includes a wonderful, secure outdoor play area. While set itineraries will take place every morning and afternoon, children are welcome to enjoy the facility between formal sessions.  Parents and/or guardians can relax and enjoy the incredible safaris, have a pamper session in the Amani Spa or just kick back and enjoy some private time, knowing that their children are reveling in their own special bushveld experience.



Childcare professionals will introduce the variety of activities that are required in order to qualify as a Junior Ranger. These will of course be based according to their ages.


This is the time for interactive bush activity. Weather permitting, a Ranger – or the EleFun co-ordinator – will lead the children in and around the lodge grounds on a walk, and for the older children there are additional midday educational drives out into the bush. The young Junior Ranger group will learn interesting facts about the Sabi Sabi bushveld and the animals, e.g. bugs & birds, bush survival or tracks & signs of nature.

12:00 – 13:00 – HOBBIES AND CRAFTS

In cases of inclement weather, children will enjoy an arts and crafts session, where boys and girls can enjoy hands-on projects, all relating to nature and the natural world – this could get messy but they definitely won’t be bored.


14:00 – 15:30 – GAME TIME

We encourage all the children to join us for our indoor and outdoor afternoon games which are really fun as well as educational. There is a spacious outdoor area with an obstacle course, a maze, open field to play soccer or enjoy some water sports and jungle gyms. There are also general knowledge quizzes based on African animals and they learn different animal sounds too. 

Images courtesy of Imvelo Safaris


The Oyster Box is an impressive venue in its own right, and the choice of three bars are no exception for guests and locals alike. Each with an individual identity.

The Oyster Bar, Lighthouse Bar and Chukka Bar offer spectacular interiors, incredible views, cocktails to die for, live music and wonderful menus.

So whether you’re relaxing with a loved one to enjoy cocktails at sunset, partying with friends into the night, or meeting colleagues over a morning coffee or lunchtime dining, there is the right venue to suit the occasion.

The Lighthouse Bar is one of Umhlanga’s hottest spots and offers breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and the iconic red and white Umhlanga lighthouse.

  • Highlights
  • Magnificent terrace with 180-degree views of the coastline
  • The most spectacular spot in KwaZulu-Natal to enjoy live music, sundowners, snacks or a light meal.
  • Try our signature Umhlanga Schling cocktail using ingredients KwaZulu-Natal is famous for – cane sugar and cane spirit.
  • Popular meeting place for sports lovers on match days who come to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and a game of soccer, cricket or rugby on the large plasma screens.



So next time you feel like a lavish cocktail or a G&T, look no further these are the best bars in town..

Trust us, we have been in all 3 many of a time 🙂


Not just any cat, he is from local to celebrity, well let’s say ROYAL celebrity as he resides at the The Oyster box.  Skabenga (which means hooligan or vagabond in Zulu), a Tabby cat, has been a permanent resident at The Oyster Box, for more years than anybody can remember.

Skabenga wondered onto the property as a stray, someone fed him tasty five-star cuisine and he has never left. Becoming a very important team member, guest and of course celebrity.  Skabenga has his own Facebook page.. CLICK HERE so you can follow him.  Get daily updates and see what this gorgeous feline is up too.  He even has his own hashtag #skabengathecat

So next time you visiting The Oyster Box, gently, remember he is royalty, take a pic of him and hashtag him.

When the hotel went through a major renovation and was closed for two years Skabenga was taken cared of by a cat-lover and was he brought “home” when the property reopened. He was quite skittish and nervous and wouldn’t leave the back office. He often hissed at anyone who came near him no matter how the staff tried to make him feel at home.  Eventually giving him his own basket with a bling collar but nothing seemed to work.

Until one day…

He surfaced on the reception desk and has never looked back.

Over the past few years Skabenga has really given meaning to the saying, that a cat has ‘nine lives’. On one occasion, he ‘disappeared’ from the property…and miraculously re-appeared a few days later, in good health, thanks to the contact details on the brass name-tag around his neck. We never did find out where that adventure took him to…if only cat’s could speak!

On another, he arrived back at the hotel, after some late night, off-site adventuring, with a badly broken leg; the vet suspected that he’d been hit by a car. His condition was so bad, that we thought we were going to lose him. He even missed his own birthday party that year, which we know he’d never do, as it’s his favourite day of the year and gives him the chance to see his many fans, both young and old, and share a piece of birthday cake.

Skabenga loves his life at The Oyster Box, I mean honestly have you been there? Its lush!  He as a cat does, lies around all day and is treated by cuddles and loves from people from all over the world.  He is spoilt with a fantastic sea view and gets his regular doses of cat nip! He has his own favourite couch, chair and personally is constantly inspecting the property as he strolls around.

I guess the thing, I personally love about Skabenga and the attitude of The Oyster Box is that it is, ‘a home from home’, where all the bells whistle perfectly on time, but in the back ground you have a fat tabby cat nestled on a couch.  Nothing pretentious at all.

Life is beautiful!

Here a few pictures taken from his own Facebook page..