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Kenya safari with kids

Wouldn’t it be nice to see all the animals in their natural habitat, which your kids look at in their picture books? “Yes”, you might say now, “but isn’t a safari with children dangerous and complicated?”. We can understand why you think that way – after all, you’re in a country far, far away and wild animals are everywhere around you. And let us tell you: you’re not alone with these worries! But, and this is a happy but, we can take these worries away from you! In this article, our travel consultants Julia and Laura give you some tips, tricks and insights on how a Kenya safari with kids can be the trip of your lifetime – activities and accommodations included!

Woman and two kids looking at rhinos during a safari

How old do kids need to be for a safari in Kenya?

Kids of any age can enter national parks in Kenya, sometimes you even pay a lower entry fee. A sign? Absolutely! But let’s see what Julia has to say about that:

“Of course, you know your kids the best. We also work with accommodation partners who are accustomed to children. You need an extra bed or a crib? We can book that for you. You want to have one or two hours for yourself? Some lodges have great programmes for younger and older kids!”

But we also want to give you some numbers. When families book a safari with us, the children are mostly at least six years old. That doesn’t mean anything, though: if you think your younger kid will be fine, you can of course go on a family safari as well. Should the opposite be the case, you can always wait a few more years – Kenya isn’t going anywhere 😉

Perfect preparation

As we all know, travelling with children requires a lot of organization!

“If you want to go on a Kenya safari with kids, talk to your doctor or health office about vaccinations and medication. It’s also a good idea to take out a Flying Doctors insurance on top of your travel insurance. If something happens (knock on wood it won’t), you can be transported by helicopter to the closest hospital.”

Another good tip from Julia: “Book accommodation with a swimming pool. After the game drives, they can jump in it and have some fun – and you as well.”

Packing only needs a working system! “You change lodges a few times, so packing can become a bit of a pain at some point. That’s why it’s best if you pick out the outfits at home and pack them as a set. Simply put the clothes of an outfit on top of each other and roll them up, this saves a lot of space. The next morning, you take out another outfit. The dirty clothes go in a separate bag, done!”

5 tips for the perfect child-friendly safari in Kenya

No matter if the Masai Mara, Tsavo East, Tsavo West or Amboseli – thinking of a few little things will make your family safari picture perfect! Also, Kenyans adore kids and our guides know exactly how to make a safari fun the kid-way!

Julia adds: “Since we want you and your children to travel comfortably, we have for example booster seats which you can rent for the safari jeeps. The cars often have a fridge for milk etc. and if you or your kids have any special dietary wishes, simply let us know in advance, and we’ll take care of it.”

Julia has five additional tips for a stress-free family safari:

1. Order Wi-Fi in the car and bring some toys in case the little ones get bored.

2. Bring drinks and snacks or order them to avoid any hangry adventurers.

3. Pack some baby wipes in your bag.

4. Should you need to change nappies, bring a diaper bag, since there might not be a bin close by.

5. And most importantly: sunscreen and insect repellant – these two are absolute must-haves, no matter if you travel with or without kids 😉

 

Where to go and where to stay?

When planning your Kenya safari with kids and picking out the national parks you want to see, make sure that the parks are not too far away from each other. This way you can still see a lot of different landscapes and animals, but don’t spend too much time in a safari jeep. We’ve already put together some ideas.

Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park (2.5 hours)

Besides typical African animals like giraffes, zebras and countless antelope species, these parks are home to the Big Five – elephants, rhinos, buffalos, leopards and of course lions. You can also look forward to views on the famous Kilimanjaro and the Aruba Dam, the home of crocodiles and hippos.

The Salt Lick Safari Lodge, Ngutuni Lodge and Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge have amazing waterholes where countless animals quench their thirst. This means for you and your little ones: safari the easy way! Simply sit on the hotel terrace, enjoy a yummy (alcohol-free) cocktail and marvel at elephants, impala and their friends.

The Severin Safari Camp not only has a pool and a great waterhole for animal-watching, but also offers great walking safaris for kids and grown-ups! Our team member’s daughter is three years old and loves this activity. Get ready to learn everything about footprints and poop.

If you want to go a little further, you can combine these two parks with the famous Amboseli National Park, which is around four hours away.

Lake Nakuru National Park and Lake Naivasha (1.5 hours)

These two national parks at the Great Rift Valley wow you with a diverse landscape: from swamps to mountains, from forests to rock formations. Keep your eyes open for four of the Big Five, antelopes, monkeys and birds. You don’t need to keep your eyes open for flamingos, though: they stick out at Lake Nakuru 😉

Should you not mind travelling a bit further, you can combine these two smaller parks with Ol’ Pejeta Conservancy in the North (around three hours) and stay in Sweetwaters Serena Camp. This accommodation attracts loads of different animals with its waterhole. Just imagine impala sleeping next to your tent and mongoose and guinea fowls running around everywhere.

Three hours South of Nakuru is the Masai Mara National Reserve, probably one of the world’s most famous parks, with the Great Migration being its biggest highlight.

Other highlights

Samburu National Reserve

The Samburu National Reserve is famous for its elephants – more than 900 of them roam this park in big families. Staying here will bring you closer to the gentle giants than you could ever imagine.

Chale Island

If you want to relax a little and avoid the hustle and bustle of Diani Beach, head over to the private Chale Island. Here your kids can jump into one of the three pools, build the biggest sand castles or go snorkelling making new fish friends.

Baobab Beach Resort & Spa

The Baobab Breach Resort & Spa has even more in store for your little ones: special kids’ pools, a kids’ club, entertainment, loads of sports and of course many other kids they’ll be holiday friends with in an instant! But there’s also a lot for you to do, from cooking classes to great evening shows, from a spa area to a gym. Or in other words: this resort is made for family fun!

Giraffe Manor

Imagine the eyes of your children when a giraffe puts its long neck through the window while they’re enjoying their muesli in the morning. This is Giraffe Manor, a wonderful home for humans and giraffes.

Activities for older kids and teenagers

If your children are older, you can of course experience all the already mentioned with them as well! However, as we all know, for teenagers you sometimes have to up the ante. So here are some activities that will get even them excited 😉

Night safari

If a regular safari is “too lame”, a night safari might do the trick. In the darkness of the night, you and your kids head out to the bush. Thanks to superb lights you can discover nocturnal animals like aardvarks, serval cats and porcupines and maybe even witness lions and leopards hunting.

Swim with whale sharks and snorkelling

Between December and mid-March, you can swim with the biggest fish in the world at Diani Beach. Whale sharks are gigantic and breathtaking. However, since they’re vegan, you don’t have to worry and can to deep with them.

Of course, your kids can also go snorkelling: the coral reefs are stunning and home to endless marine life. With a bit of luck, they’ll even spot some dolphins and turtles.

Shimba Hills National Reserve

During a tour through Shimba Hills your teens will not only have the chance to spot a lot of animals like elephants, giraffes, monkeys and leopards, but they can also take a cold shower under a stunning waterfall (Instagram AND TikTok worthy!). If that’s not thrilling enough for them, they can discover all of that with a quad!

You have the feeling that your little ones are going to love all of this? Then get in touch and tell us what you are looking for in a family-friendly Kenya holiday. We can adapt all of our itineraries to your and your kids’ wishes so that you can create memories for a lifetime together.

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