“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



In 1983 Louis and Marilyn (Mal) Marais sold their property in the Klaserie and bought a piece of land in the Sabi Sand on the farm Wallingford. There was nothing on the land at all, no houses, no water and not many animals.

Before any building was done, drilling started to find a suitable well. Eight of the holes drilled were dry and Louis told Mal that if the ninth did not produce water, they needed to sell. They were on holiday at the time and on Christmas Eve, they got a phone call that water had been found and exactly where Louis wanted to build.

Being a master builder and having run a successful contracting company for many years, Louis was able to design and build the Lodge himself. The bush is his passion. Idube is designed and built to perfection. Nothing is removed from the land, he builds around existing termite mounds and rocks and incorporates these into his designs.

After the dams were built, construction started on the swimming pool while the family lived in a caravan. The pool has no steps, so if an animal should fall in, it can walk out easily. Bush maintenance and upkeep has always played a major roll in Louis’ life. He is well versed on bush management. After the devastating fire in 1998, once he had established the damage, he started major soil reclamation and erosion work and replanted the damaged areas with indigenous grasses. After the rains, the bush was unrecognisable from what it had been.

Being the perfectionist that he is, the lawn around the lodge is a source of pride for Louis. It is always lush and green. During the drought of the eighties, there was not enough water to irrigate and the grass was dying off. Louis had been thinking about a water recycling scheme for some time but had not reached a final decision about how this should be done.

He then implemented the present water recycling scheme whereby all the water used in the lodge is pumped into a holding tank. The solids are kept back and water is then pumped into a seep line near the lodge. It is purified naturally through rocks, rhino, elephant dung and reeds and flows into a holding dam. The water is so pure that we have fish living there and a small crocodile has been seen there on numerous occasions. This water is used for irrigation and the lawn became green again. In fact, it was the lawn that kept our resident herd of nyala and the warthogs alive after the fire destroyed the grazing. This nyala herd has grown to such an extent that as many as 80 have been seen round the lodge at the same time.

Idube is situated in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, adjoining the Kruger National Park in South Africa. This world-renowned reserve is known for conservation efforts, particularly in protecting rhino. The reserve is also extending its efforts to the community on the borders of the Sabi Sands, Mpumalanga, in uplifting and improving their conditions, as well as their understanding of the value of the reserve for the future. Idube is proud to be part of these good works. Idube Game Reserve traverses approximately 10 000 hectares of wildlife area and is home to the big 5 animals, as well as a large variety of other animals. A great draw card for guests is the leopards, which are seen frequently


Well known for frequent leopard sightings, Idube Game Reserve also is home to all the Big 5. Excitement is added by the presence of wild dogs and cheetahs. Idube has many different types of antelope and a large variety of smaller animals. Crocodiles travel for long distances to find new dams or move to the river, so it is always a surprise where they will be spotted. And, of course, Idube Game Reserve is a bird lover’s paradise. One of the best things is how close guests actually get to the animals; that is a very special experience.


Idube Game Reserve is a great place to enjoy birds, on drives, walks, or round the camp.  There are approximately 400 different types of birds seen at Idube. From early morning, when you are greeted to the dawn chorus, to the evening when the birds settle down for the night, there is always birdsong to add to the day’s pleasure.  Then at night, the haunting calls of the nocturnal birds add mystery and enjoyment to the sounds of the African bush.


Guests at Idube can go for a short guided walk after breakfast, this gives them a chance to see some of the smaller animals, or, on occasions, enjoy the thrill of coming across big game on foot – a very different experience. There is a wonderful sense of excitement in being able to leave the lodge and stride out with your armed guide to see what you can find in the bush beyond.