Kenya

Kenya family safari

For many people Kenya embodies the spirit of Sub-Saharan Africa and a classic Kenya family safari is the ultimate wildlife experience for the kids. This is where ‘Out of Africa’ was filmed, a place of seemingly endless plains dotted with herds of elephant, where solitary acacia trees are silhouetted against a flaming sunset. It’s also the setting for the greatest migration on earth, when millions of wildebeest stampede across the plains in search of sweet fresh grasses.

_Kenya overview page Learning about the Masai

Meet the Maasai

Kenya is a spectacularly beautiful country with many contrasting landscapes. The harsh beauty of the parched semi-desert in the north is offset by the snow-capped splendour of Mount Kenya. There is thick equatorial jungle that cloaks part of the west and the legendary rolling plains of the Masai Mara in the southwest are one of Africa’s most iconic settings. Not to forget the idyllic golden beaches that line the coast, a definite child-pleaser!

Why take the kids?

Children adore the excitement and thrill of a family safari in Kenya. Tourism here is very well organised and they’ll love searching the horizon to be first to spot a cheetah family or a pride of lion. Within minutes of starting your first game drive you will find they become avid ‘species collectors’, scouring the landscape to ensure that they tick off the ‘big-five’ (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, elephant). This is a land that they will have seen a hundred times on film and they will be delighted to actually be in the heart of it, watching the animals as they hunt and play.

The children will love the experience of sleeping in a tented camp in the heart of a game reserve. They’ll enjoy telling their friends at school that they heard the roar of a lion in the night or went on a walking safari to see animals up close.

Reasons for choosing a Kenya family safari include:

  1. Superb game viewing with the chance to spot the big-five
  2. Making a bow and arrow with a Maasai tribesman
  3. Opportunities for camel-trekking, hiking and river swimming
  4. Wide sweeping golden sand beaches and exciting watersports
  5. Learning to track animal spoor across the plains
  6. A wonderful selection of accommodation on safari
  7. Boutique beach hotels many of which have lush gardens and gorgeous pools

Rift Valley - Kenya family safari

The Great Rift Valley

Will the children enjoy a Kenya family safari?

It is important to give careful consideration as to whether your children are old enough to enjoy a safari. This is an expensive holiday and there would be nothing more soul destroying than taking the children on an incredible safari only to find that they are bored and keep asking ‘are we nearly there yet?’!

Every child is different and we have found that there is not simple ‘one size fits all’ answer. However, we generally would not recommend a safari to families travelling with children aged 3 and under. Being cooped up in a safari vehicle when you have just discovered the joy of walking and independent exploration is not going to go down well with any toddler no matter how exciting spotting elephant in the Masai Mara or a rhino at Lake Nakuru should be.

For children aged 4-7 this is very much a personal thing. Many children in this age group would still struggle with the reality of a safari but some children with a real interest in wildlife will be gripped. If they have been glued to episodes of ‘Deadly 60’ and the National Geographic channel then you are probably on to a winner.

Of course do remember that a safari is not just about sitting in a vehicle. Many of our favourite tented camps offer day time activities for children that you can intersperse with wildlife viewing. Always popular is learning to use a bow and arrow with the Maasai or finding out about animal spoor and tracking poo across the savannah! Some lodges or camps will also have a pool, which is a great hit with children and ideal for relaxation during the heat of the day when the animals are less easy to spot.

To discuss whether a Kenya family safari would be suitable for your family do please give us a call.

Masai Mara lion and cub - Kenya family safari

Mum and baby in the Mara

Are family safaris in Kenya safe for children?

Seeing lion, buffalo and hippo up close sounds wonderfully exciting, but in the back of most parent’s minds is the tentative question as to whether it is really safe to be quite so close to wild animals.

Fortunately, it is. All camps and lodges in Kenya’s national parks have strict safety controls, including either electric fences or regular patrols by trained safari staff (sometimes armed with spears or a bow and arrow). There are also strict safety guidelines, which apply in many camps. For example, guests must keep on the camp paths and cannot walk around after dark unless escorted by a member of staff. Safety is of utmost importance and good practice will be explained to you all on arrival.

When out and about in the vehicle, it hopefully goes without saying that you must ensure that the children remain in the vehicle at all times. If a toilet stop becomes necessary your driver will find a safe place to pull over. Generally this will be somewhere that is quite open, so not as great for privacy but perfect for safety!

Example Kenya family itineraries

All of our itineraries are bespoke which means that they are tailor-made for your own specific family, taking into account the ages of your children, your interests, your budget and so on.

However, to give you an idea of what you could do on a Kenya family safari or holiday, have a look at our sample itineraries, Highlights of Kenya (15 days) and Kenya Safari & Beach (10 days).

Also check out some of the other places that you might like to visit on your trip and if you need further inspiration, have a look at our Kenya photo gallery.

Lastly, don’t forget to check what the weather will be like at the time that you want to travel. Or simply give us a ring and we’ll be delighted to advise you on the best Kenya family safari for you and the children.

Kenya family safaris - giraffe in Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park

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Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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