When we asked Stubborn Mule’s Africa specialist, Claire Gray, what makes travelling to Africa on safari with children such a stand-out family holiday experience, we anticipated a few superlatives, allusions to a unique, all-family bonding experience, the bucket list nature of the adventure.

But her ‘think-out-loud’ impressions of what makes safari SO amazing go way beyond the standard responses.

“It’s impossible to sum up why you should take your family on an African safari in one word or paragraph,” she says. And she should know, having travelled with her own kids to Africa from a young age to older teens.

So, here, fresh-from-the-very-experienced-horse’s-mouth is her list of unforgettable family safari moments. We stopped her at thirty…

Claire’s 30 unforgettable safari moments

1. My son sitting with the driver helping to steer the safari truck

2. Both the children keeping a diary
(and then reading it years later and re-living precious memories)

Drawing of a vulture to illustrate Claire Gray's blog on travelling to Africa with children

3. Ticking off animals and birds in guide book

4. Swimming in the pools at the lodges

5. Holding the spot lights on night drives

6. Handing round sun downer snacks

7. Helping to set up tea stops in the day

8. Identifying animal spoor (poo, footprints, broken bushes etc)

drawing of a rhino with poo

9. Our guide eating ‘poo’ to identify an animal
(actually it was a chocolate but the guide’s sleight of hand fooled us all)

10. Collecting things like feathers, porcupine quills, teeth, bones etc

11. My daughter horse riding in the bush – Namibia and South Africa

12. Picnics in enclosed picnic grounds

drawing of a monkey

13. Trying to stop monkeys stealing our picnic things

14. Feeding birds on the verandas, especially hornbills

15. Outdoor meals, breakfast lunch and dinner!

16. Sitting at the front of the safari vehicle in the spotting chair if there wasn’t a guide

drawing of a desert elephant for Africa with children blog

17. Desert elephant in Namibia

18. My son spotting a leopard missed by everyone else in South Luangwa, Zambia

19. Having their own binoculars

20. Playing the dinner drums at the lodge

21. Chatting round the camp fire at night, usually the only children!

22. Cuddling up under blankets to watch the stars

23. Watching the moon rising in South Africa

drawing of a hyena

24. Spotting hyenas with torches as they lurked in the bushes as we BBQ-ed at night

25. Capturing and releasing a baboon spider away from the camp

26. Christmas in the bush, singing carols on Christmas Eve

27. Elephants round the door of our room Christmas Day

28. Getting up for sunrise and seeing the overnight activity and animal prints

29. Outdoor showers

30. Walking safaris in the teenage years – a whole new ball game!

drawing of a zebra

Find out more about travelling to Africa with children

Feel inspired? Simply ring us and speak to Claire about travelling to Africa with children or get in touch via our contact page. Claire would be delighted to chat about her family safari experiences, from the early days through to tweens and teens.

Want to do more research? Check out our family safari holidays section – it’s full of advice and tips. Or read our country overviews:
Kenya family safaris
Namibia family holidays
Tanzania family safaris 
South Africa family holidays
Zimbabwe family holidays

And don’t miss our Africa blogs:
Kenya with Kids
Tanzania with Kids
South Africa with Kids
Namibia with Kids
Zimbabwe with Kids

Telephone: 01728 752751
Email: [email protected]

Children posing on a safari truck in Namibia - travelling to Africa with children