Bush Babies and Tribal Teens: A Kenyan Family Safari

Why this adventure works:

Many lodges and safari camps in Kenya are run by people who’ve grown up in the wilds and raised their own families there. They know how to give you a family safari unforgettable memories you’ll share for a lifetime, and time together you won’t have at home. This itinerary takes in some of the very best of these experiences and can be shortened to fit a half term or extended to fill a longer holiday.

Giraffe Manor


We’ll be straight- it’s a nightmare getting space at Giraffe Manor, and you need to book a long, long way in advance (we’ve got some tips to help with this), but nothing beats having breakfast as a giraffe pops his face through the window.

Ol Malo

LIVE LIKE A KENYAN FAMILY in Laikipia– 3-4 nights

If you want to make your family safari unforgettable, the best way to do it is to stay with another family who live the life all-year round and know what works. Think rope swings, making bows and arrows, tubing on the river and identifying dung. We’d recommend different lodges for different age children, but if we took our own we’d be looking at the Safari Series, Ol Malo or Lewa House.

TAKE A PRIVATE HOUSE in the Masai Mara– 3-4 nights

If there’s one thing that’s better than being on safari, it’s being on your own, private safari. When you can freely leave a lion sighting because the youngest is having a meltdown, or spend 20 minutes helping an Instagram-mad teen get the perfect shot. Mealtimes and game drives work completely around you, and if you’d prefer the wifi to “break down” that can absolutely be arranged!

Kinondo Kwetu

HIT THE BEACH on the Kenyan Coast– 4-6 nights

After such a whopping adventure, it’s nice to take some time to relax and run around at the coast. Kinondo Kwetu is a family-run favourite of ours, where you don’t have to succumb to a huge resort, but there’s still a huge amount for children of all ages to do (and a ludicrously beautiful beach to boot.)

Other ideas for your African adventure:  If you have older, outdoorsy kids, consider a walking safari with Karisia – we went out with Kerry and her twins when they were just toddlers so she knows her stuff. If the private house idea appeals, consider getting really off the beaten track and heading up to Elsa’s Kopje in Meru. Or, with over 15’s, ditch the beach and use the direct flight from the Masai Mara to Uganda for a spot of gorilla trekking.

Make your safari Extraordinary by… sponsoring an elephant at the orphanage and letting us arrange a private visit for you. Consider splashing out and chartering private flights so your family can fly direct. Or ask us about visits to local communities surrounding the reserves- this can be a real eye opener for many children.  Our top tip? If in doubt, take a football- it breaks down all cultural and language barriers!

When to go…? Most family travellers tend to ask us about travelling during school holidays. Easter is likely to be wet, but good value. Peak season holiday times of July/August and Christmas should be fantastic, but if you’re looking for a bargain, US travellers should consider June, right after school is out, and UK travellers might like to take advantage of the long October half term break which is absolutely glorious weather-wise .

Ask the Africa Experts