South Africa is a heavenly destination for kids on safari. Since most visitors are here to appreciate the outdoors, even the most hardened PlayStation addicts should find something to pique their interest in this wildlife-rich land.

Did you know?

Mother hippos are extremely protective of their young. They have even been known to kill lions and bite crocodiles in half!

Children can do most things adults do on safari, but long game drives aren't ideal for restless kids.

At Riverdene Lodge at Shamwari Game Reserve, age-appropriate children's safaris are discussed with every family group on arrival. Visits can be arranged to the Born Free Foundation Big Cat Rescue Centre and the Wildlife Hospital. Kids can also participate in various social and cultural activities like bead and clay making, stargazing and African storytelling.

Jaci's Lodges at Madikwe Game Reserve also has a host of activities aimed especially at children, including family safari drives.

Of course, depending on the length and budget of your stay, your children may not be able to participate in such extensive activities. Happily, South Africa also has other amazing wildlife experiences for children.

Situated close together at The Crags on the Garden Route are two must-visit destinations: Birds of Eden and Monkeyland.

Birds of Eden boasts the world's largest domed, free-flight bird sanctuary, and while the birds are the star attraction, the suspension bridge and walk-behind waterfall make getting around an important part of the adventure.

Monkeyland is the world's first free-roaming, multi-species primate sanctuary, and visitors can spot an Asian gibbon just around the corner from a South American capuchin. It's possible to buy joint tickets to both locations, and their websites have loads of fun activities for kids as well.

Many of our cities also have hidden surprises, from the Bird Park at Montecasino in Johannesburg, or the Johannesburg and Pretoria Zoos to the wondrous aquariums in Durban and Cape Town, making even a city visit the ideal opportunity for kids on safari.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Shamwari Game Reserve
Tel: + 27 (0)41 407 1000
Email: reservations@mantiscollection.com

Jaci's Lodges at Madikwe Game Reserve
Tel: + 27 (0)14 778 9900
Email: jaci@madikwe.com

Monkeyland and Birds of Eden
Tel: +27 (0)44 534 8906
Email:info@monkeyland.co.za

How to get here

South Africa is serviced by three international airports, and an efficient domestic network.

Best time to visit

The summer months are more pleasant and greener. However it’s easier to spot game in the winter months when the surroundings are more sparse.

Get around

Discuss your options with the relevant game reserve. Some arrange airport pick-ups, others require you to hire a car.

What will it cost

Staying in South Africa’s luxury lodges is expensive but worth the splurge. Many parks and reserves have affordable rates for day visitors.

Length of stay

From a single day trip to a full week of safaris.

What to pack

Binoculars, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen and a good camera.

Where to stay

South Africa has accommodation to suit every budget, but in general it’s pricier to stay inside the game reserves.