Luxury in Africa used to be an adults-only affair with upmarket lodges applying strict no-children policies. However, during recent years the definition of luxury has gone through a marked evolution. Opulent accommodations with crystal chandeliers have once and for all made way for adventure, authenticity and family experiences. That means: children today have become very much part of the luxury African experience.
Check out the following luxury options for families who want to treat their children to a once-in-a-lifetime experience:
Make a traditional bow and arrow with the Masai Mara in Kenya
Kenya with its luxury safari lodges offers something for every member of the family, from bird-watching and big game sightings to visiting some of the oldest tribes in the world.
Granny and grandpa will love to learn about different cultures and how the elders are being revered in the Masai tribes, whereas teenagers will be fascinated to see how their Masaai peers track wildlife. The younger ones of the family will enjoy learning how to make and shoot a traditional bow and arrow, make a fire, build a hut, learn traditional songs and dances, and herd cattle.
Spend a day with African elephants at Sabi Sands in South Africa
Become a member of the Sabi Sands’ elephants whisper’s herd for a day. Take the kids and spend a wonderful day working closely with six majestic African elephants.
Meet bright and early at the elephant stables, help brush down the elephant and watch their morning exercises. Visitors have the option of ‘rolling up their sleeves’ and helping with the daily care of the elephant, cleaning stables and cutting Bhana grass and invasive plant species for the elephant to feed on during the night. Weather permitting, you might even be able to enjoy watching the elephant delight in their favourite activity; having their mud bath and swim.
Enjoy your own private camp in the Okavango Delta in Botswana
Families can enjoy their own private camp in the middle of the Delta on specialised family-friendly safari. With a professional guide, personal chef, waiter, housekeeper and dedicated Mokoro guides, a family safari in the Okavango Delta is a truly unique experience.
Children can partake in activities such as target practice and archery, tracking lion spoor and campfire cooking lessons. They will learn how to track game – both on foot and in 4×4 safari vehicles. Children can also learn how to make small animal traps and how to start a fire from nothing more than two sticks.
Adventure galore at the Victoria Falls adrenaline playground
Victoria Falls is often referred to as the Adventure Capital of Africa and is home to white-water rafting and bungee jumping. Also for the little ones, there are a great number of activities on offer on both sides of the Zambezi River.
Take a tour of the Victoria Falls Nile Crocodile Farm, situated about 5km from the centre of town, or take a morning river cruise on the Zambezi River. Families can also play golf, go horse riding, bird watching or interact with orphaned elephants.
Play in the largest sandbox in the world at Sossusvlei in Namibia
Play in the largest sandbox in the world and camp out under the stars in the Sossusvlei region in Namibia. The dunes here are the tallest on the planet, but the good news is that they are safe to climb and there are options to stay at the bottom and play in the sand.
Namibia’s Living Culture Museums are one of the best interactive educational experiences for children – as well as adults. They will meet villagers from different ethnic groups, learn how to hunt, track wildlife and create crafts, and really get to experience life in a very different culture.
For active teenagers, the Sossusvlei is a giant, sandy adventure playground, with enough thrilling activities and abundant wildlife to even make them forget about their phones.