FOUR GREAT FAM­ILY SA­FARIS

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - CONSUMER ADVICE - Sally Peck

An­i­mals and beaches South Africa

The Kwandwe Pri­vate Game Re­serve in the East­ern Cape is a 54,000-acre haven for the Big Five – and its Ecca Lodge (right) has a great pro­gramme for kids: fam­ily suites come with a plunge pool plus pri­vate ranger, tracker and ve­hi­cle. The ranger’s “bug hunts” and “pooh pa­trols” will keep children amused. Then you’ll head to Tsala Tree­top Lodge, one of South Africa’s most spec­tac­u­lar ho­tels, with tree­house vil­las and suites high in the Tsit­sikamma for­est canopy. Just six miles from Plet­ten­berg Bay, Tsala is ideally sit­u­ated for the Gar­den Route’s golf, hik­ing, scuba div­ing, cy­cling and beaches, though the ho­tel is only suit­able for children aged eight and older.

A seven-night fam­ily sa­fari and beach ad­ven­ture over Fe­bru­ary half-term costs from £4,198 per per­son based on a fam­ily of four. The price in­cludes three nights in a fam­ily suite at Kwandwe Ecca Lodge on a fully in­clu­sive ba­sis, four nights in a two-bed villa at Tswalu Tree­top Lodge on a B&B ba­sis, all in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic flights, pri­vate road trans­fer to Kwandwe and five-day car rental (be­stof­south africa­travel.com)

Cel­e­bra­tions

charm, which work well as a base for groups with children. You have your own space and guide, set your own sched­ule, and the lodge fits in around you. Ex­pert Africa will help choose child-fo­cused guides who know how to bring young peo­ple into the sa­fari. Start with four nights at Luangwa Sa­fari House, which over­looks a wa­ter­hole, where an­i­mals come to drink. Next, you’ll spend three nights at the stylish Chongwe Sa­fari House (be­low left), by a gen­tle river that’s ideal for canoeing – and in­cludes walk­ing sa­faris, and day and night game drives.

A seven-night trip, in­clud­ing all flights, meals and ac­tiv­i­ties, for four adults and four un­der-18s, costs from £5,546 per adult and £4,188 per child/ teenager. Children un­der 12 can­not go on walk­ing sa­faris or ca­noe trips, though younger children can go on short wan­ders in the vicin­ity of camp, search­ing for tracks (ex­pertafrica.com).

Ac­tive Namibia

This com­pre­hen­sive self-drive trip around Namibia, which is ideal for Oc­to­ber or June half-term, in­cludes the coun­try’s main high­lights but is tai­lored for fam­i­lies: Namibia works well be­cause the most dan­ger­ous an­i­mals – ele­phants and li­ons – are con­cen­trated in one area, so in most of the coun­try kids can get out and poke around a bit; they can run up sand dunes in Sos­susvlei (above left), and go kayak­ing with seals in the coastal town of Swakop­mund on this par­tic­u­larly ac­tive fly-drive trip. The fi­nal stop is Etosha Na­tional Park where you’ll stay in a fenced rest camp in the heart of the park. There is a large swim­ming pool and also a flood­lit wa­ter­hole where you can

Madikwe

Sa­faris are ex­pen­sive: there’s no two ways about that. But for fam­i­lies dream­ing of tak­ing their children to Africa, this is a rel­a­tively bud­get­con­scious way to see an­i­mals in the wild. Leave your malaria pills at home when you visit Madikwe, a South African pri­vate game re­serve the size of Lin­colnshire. Base your­self at Le­lapa Lodge (be­low) in a fam­ily suite with its own plunge pool. There is no age limit and children will en­joy the spe­cial ac­tiv­i­ties – in­clud­ing mak­ing piz­zas, star gaz­ing and games nights – as much as the thrill of go­ing on game drives in search of the Big Five.

A five-night sa­fari for a fam­ily of four costs from £1,949 for two adults and two children. The price in­cludes flights and is based on a De­cem­ber 2017 de­par­ture (vir­gin­hol­i­days.co.uk).

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