Family safari holidays in Botswana

We know from personal experience what an incredible experience it is to go on an African safari with children. Let us help you plan your perfect wilderness escape with the family.

An experience to treasure at all ages

Some of us at Botswana Specialists have travelled to Africa with our children since they were small. We understand what is needed to make a good family holiday depending on the ages of the children.

Whatever the age of your kids though, one thing will never change – the look of wonder on their faces as they come nose to nose with a meerkat, or sit statue-like as a lion walks calmly past the safari vehicle, or sit around the glowing campfire under the African stars. Africa goes deep into their hearts – and stays.

What a gift to give them!

Camp Kalahari Meerkats

Activities to enjoy on a family safari

The key to most family safaris is variety. We all know that bored children are not great to be with – for us or anyone around us! Obviously older children will need fewer activities specifically tailored to keeping them occupied, but youngsters need changes of scene and pace to keep them engaged.

Wildlife viewing from safari vehicles is of course one of the key activities, but this will need to be interspersed with other things to do. Some lodges and camps require you to pay for a private vehicle if you’re with children, and many won’t let children under 6 years join game activities. For more unpredictable activities such as walking and canoeing in the wild, children will usually need to be 16 years old.

Here is a list of suggestions, not all of which are available at all camps, but if any take your fancy we can suggest the right place to go.

  • Bush walks
  • Swimming
  • Animal tracking with an expert guide
  • Learning Bush survival skills
  • Catch-and-release fishing
  • Making bows and arrows
  • Driving the safari vehicle
  • Making objects out of natural things – eg weave leaf baskets, seed necklaces.
  • Exploring in a dugout canoe
  • Help cook in a bush kitchen (on a fire)
  • Using a catapult/sling shot
  • Spotlighting wildlife in the dark

Children with Botswana guide

Children’s safari programmes

A few lodges have a specific programme for children. These programmes centre around good guides who kids tend to adore and who keep them occupied with lots of fun activities such as we’ve mentioned above.

Ker & Downey’s Young Explorers Programme is headed by superb family safari guide Paul Moleseng (for children 7 years plus). It’s possible to do this programme based at the Footsteps Camps in the Delta or the Linyanti.

In Tuli Game Reserve, Mashatu Main Camp has a children’s programme lead by Gaone Ratsoma, who had 2 years training at Disney, so is amply qualified to keep the kids from 4-12 entertained.

Some excellent safaris for families

Botswana campfire

Botswana Family Safari

9 days from £3,060 pp per adult
A real African adventure for the young and young at heart! The excitement of Vic Falls is more than matched by the thrill of a real life safari.

Victoria falls

Botswana Focus

9 days from £2,395 pp
The mighty Victoria Falls, elephants in Chobe and the game-rich Okavango Delta. What more could you want?

Places to Stay

It is true to say that not all of the lodges and camps in Botswana are perfect for younger children. It’s usually a question of safety that prevents them accepting young children, but it can also be the possible effect on other adult guests. Many don’t take children under 10 years, and most won’t accept children under 6 years, though there are exceptions. Some lodges have family suites, and others can accommodate 1 child in a parent’s room, but it’s rare to find a lodge willing to put 2 children into a room with parents. This means that, as a couple, if you have more than one child and you don’t go for somewhere with a family suite, you will have to split up and have one child and one adult per room.

The following accommodation we think are particularly good for families

Chobe-Chilwero

Chobe Chilwero Lodge

All ages welcome. Children’s activities and activity pack. Children’s menu, babysitting.

Footsteps-camp-fire

Footsteps Across the Delta

16 + unless on Young Explorers programme (7+).

lagoon-family-tent

Lagoon Camp

1 family room. 6+ welcome. ( 6-12 yrs private vehicle needed)

Mashatu-main-discoveryroom

Mashatu Main Camp

2 family rooms. All ages welcome.

Seba-camp-maindeck

Seba Camp

2 family rooms (and a sandpit!). All ages welcome.

Selinda-Camp1

Selinda Camp

6+yrs welcome, Young Explorer’s Club, dedicated ‘family host’

More accommodation that welcome families

Camp Okuti
7+ yrs welcome, under 7 welcome in low season (on request please). 2 family rooms

Chobe Elephant Camp
2+ yrs pack, activities have minimum age limits

Chobe Game Lodge
all ages welcome (6-12 yrs private vehicle).

Duba Plains
9+ years welcome, Young Explorer’s club for families with special guides

Duma Tau
2 family rooms.  6+ yrs welcome. (6-12 yrs private vehicle).

Grassland Safari Lodge
all ages welcome, family chalet

Kalahari Plains Camp
2 family rooms. 6+ yrs (private vehicle for 6-12 yrs).

Kubu Lodge
all ages welcome, large family chalet

Lebala Camp
1 family room. 6+ welcome. ( 6-12 yrs private vehicle needed)

Linyanti Ebony Camp
1 family room.

Machaba
2 family rooms. All ages welcome. Private vehicle required if children under 6 years.

Meno a Kwena
8+ yrs welcome

Moremi Crossing
1 family room. Children 8+ welcome. Discounts available.

Motswiri Camp
all ages welcome.

Muchenje Safari Lodge
8+ yrs welcome, large family bungalow, can arrange special family safaris

Nxabega
all ages welcome. 5 years and under cannot join game activities.

Nxai Pan Camp
1 family room. 6+ welcome. ( 6-12 yrs private vehicle needed)

Nxamaseri Lodge
all ages welcome (but under 4 yrs on request please).

Oddballs Enclave
all ages welcome, activities have minimum age limits.

Pom Pom
1 family room.  8+ welcome. 8-11yrs private vehicle needed. Room discounts available.

Sango Safari Camp
2+ years welcome, 12+ years minimum age for bush walks

Stanley Safari Lodge
all ages welcome, family suite, fenced camp.

Stanley’s Camp
all ages welcome, 5+ yrs can join game activities at camp’s discretion, dedicated children’s activities.

Tau Pan
1 family room. 6+ welcome. ( 6-12 yrs private vehicle needed)

Victoria Falls Hotel
all ages welcome, family rooms, cots available

Waterberry Lodge
all ages welcome. 2 family cottages. Board games and colouring activities.

Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge
all ages welcome, triple rooms available, 6+ yrs can join game activities at camp’s discretion.

Health issues on a family safari in Botswana

family-safari-3Malaria: Botswana is a malarial area, so you need to discuss the appropriate malarial prophylactic for your children with your doctor.

Heat: Heat tends to be the other issue which it’s easy to underestimate. We’d advise avoiding the hottest months of the year, such as mid-September to early November which can get up to 40°c on occasions in the heat of the day.