Malaria-free & family-friendly safari options

Celebrating a special occasion or dreaming of giving your kids memories that they will cherish for their lifetimes? An African safari has got to be up there with the best experiences the world has to offer. Here are our picks of family-friendly, luxurious but malaria-free safaris to be enjoyed with all of your loved ones.

family-friendly safari

The Tswalu adventure awaits

1. Family-friendly safari: Shamwari

Shamwari is one of the largest private concessions and conservation initiatives in Southern Africa and the likelihood of a Big Five viewing is high. Choose between five luxury lodges on the reserve or, for those looking for something a little more close-up to the wild, take the guided walking experience through the bush and sleep the night under the stars in a tented bush camp. There is also a special kids-on-safari program to keep everyone in the family happy.

family-friendly safari

Sarili family lodge pool, Shamwari Game Reserve 2014

2. Sanbona

If a game experience in close proximity to Cape Town is what you are searching for, Sanbona is certainly worth putting on that list. Situated at the foot of the Warmwatersberg Mountains in the Klein Karoo of the Western Cape, it is just a three hour drive from Cape Town. Malaria-free, you can expect to see the Big 5 as well as the famous white lions. You can choose between three lodges on the reserve as well as a more rustic and adventurous walking safari. Each of the luxury tents at the Dwyka tented camp has its own plunge pool and jaw-dropping view and, should you have the kids in tow, there’s entertainment laid on for them at the Gondwana lodge. There are over 200 bird species on the reserve and also rock art sites dating back 3500 years depicting life and beliefs of the San Bushmen and Khoikoi people.

Dwyka Tented Lodge, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Dwyka Tented Lodge, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

3. Gorah Elephant Camp

Situated within a private concession in Addo Elephant Park, much like Shamwari, Gorah is a superb place to stay if you are taking in the sites of the Garden Route en-route to Cape Town. Addo has the densest population of elephants on earth, so expect many sightings of these beautiful animals. Stay in one of 11 ‘out-of-Africa’ style tented suites and enjoy the fusion of the ‘golden era of safari’ with modern luxury.

Guides here at Gorah, are known to do their very best to make the whole family feel at home and memories that will last a lifetime will no doubt be made whilst you dine in the Boma around the camp fire, or enjoy a romantic, parrafin-lamp-lit, private dinner-for-two. One thing is for sure, Gorah will not disappoint.

See those elephants in their hundreds at the Gorah Elephant Camp.

See those elephants in their hundreds at the Gorah Elephant Camp.

4. Family-friendly safari: Madikwe

This exclusive and mind-blowing reserve, is the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa and is considered to be one of the best big 5 conservation areas on the continent. It lies a few hours from Johannesburg, on the border of Botswana and offers anyone looking for the ultimate safari experience, something they will never forget.

There is nothing on earth like the tranquility that can be experienced in the African bush and here at Madikwe, you have the choice between three luxurious camps that offer you just that – pure peace! You’ll have a high chance of spotting the Big 5 and will be able to enjoy not only game drives, but bush walks, birding (the exotic bird life is every birder’s dream) and wildlife tracking.

We highly recommend the Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge for that unparalleled luxury and views from each of the villas’ decks of the animals in their natural habitat. Meals enjoyed under the African night sky, individual plunge pools with views of the savannah, over 300 bird species, a gym and superb spa, what more could you want?

family-friendly safari

The luxurious Jamala Madikwe

5. Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

Owned by the Oppenheimer family, the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is one of the largest privately owned reserves and is considered one of the last remaining wilderness regions in South Africa. It is a haven of serenity and beauty, with spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities and, of course, it’s also malaria-free.

Only 30 guests can be accommodated at the same time, so exclusivity is the name of the game here. You can fly in from Johannesburg or Cape Town and land at the airstrip, and expect to enjoy not only the magnificent landscape, birds, flora and fauna but also some timeout sipping fine wine by the poolside.


The magnificent Tswalu landscape

Keen to book your next safari? Get in touch and we would be delighted to help.

About the Author
Richard is the Founding MD of Greatest Africa & Richard Hilton Vineyards. He lives in Somerset West with his wife and two daughters. He is passionate about the Cape, travel, global wines, wine education and sharing his experiences of this beautiful country that he calls home.

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