Adventure Travel Blog

  1. Family Friendly Safari Camps in Botswana

    Missing ben on 11th August 2016 | 0 comments

    Family Friendly Safari Camps in Botswana

    Long the jewel in Africa's safari crown, renowned for its vast wilderness and exclusive safari experience, Botswana was never really seen as a particularly family friendly destination. This is probably in part due to the high costs, but also because there is a lot of wildlife about and most camps are open to the bush.

    In recent times though, many of the best camps have opened up for families, reducing minimum ages, introducing family tents and specialist guides. We've picked out our favourite recommendations here, these aren't necessarily those with formal family programs, but those camps we feel work best for families. Of course family friendliness is all relative. Camps are unfenced and open to the wild. Children will need to be accompanied at all times and easily controllable.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list and we would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of the different options with you.

    • First and foremost, we look for camps with excellent guiding teams who are used to looking after families, in our experience this makes all the difference. The ability of guides to spark a love of the bush in the kids and manage the pace appropriately is crucial.
    • Family rooms are very important, allowing parents to sleep together in privacy but with the comfort of knowing children are within reach under the same canvas. The prospect of parents splitting across separate tents to accompany kids is fine for a night or two, but probably not what you have in mind for the whole holiday.
    • Swimming pools can be a welcome relief between game drives. Although not critical, we will always try to make sure at least one of the camps in a family itinerary has a pool (note: swimming pools tend to be small, unfenced and unguarded).
    • Dedicated family programs are all well and good, but can be gimmicky, so shouldn't be seen as a must have.

    Family Friendly Safari Camps in the Okavango Delta

    The Okavango Delta has not traditionally been a very family friendly place. Camps generally have been pitched at a high end adult audience and activities such as bush walks and mokoro (canoe) trips have been limited to over 16s. There are some real exceptions here though. Young Explorers is one of Africa's finest family safari experiences and there are a fast growing array of camps with a strong family friendly approach.

    Young Explorers

    Okavango Delta

    Family Rating

    5/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 3

    Swimming Pool:

    No


    Ages:

    The recommended minimum age for the Young Explorers programme is 7 years


    Family Rooms:

    No Family Tents. The Camp consists of one triple and two twin/double tents. Parents with 2 or more younger children may feel more comfortable splitting the adults across tents.


    Comments:

    Ker & Downey's Young Explorers package is the real deal. With superb guides who are well used to working with families and a real adventurous ethos, this is one of the best family safari experiences in Africa. It is a shame there aren't larger family tents on offer, but don't forget the camp is yours in exclusivity and you are here for the adventure, not the luxury experience.

    Camp Okavango

    Okavango Delta

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 3

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    Minimum age 6 years old. Families with children aged 6-12 must book a private guide and vehicle at extra cost.


    Family Rooms:

    One two bedroom Family Suite consisting of 1 double bedroom and 1 twin bedroom both with en-suite bathrooms and connecting through inter-leading doors. Can accommodate 2 adults & 4 kids with an additional roll away bed.


    Comments:

    The Desert&Delta portfolio has been ramping up its family offering recently and with its pool, well thought out family program and lovely 2 bedroom family suite, Camp Okavango is an excellent family option. The only drawback is that you have to pay for a private guide and vehicle, but rates are competitive and most families will be grateful for the flexibility having a private vehilce gives.

    Okuti Camp

    Okavango Delta

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 3

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    Minimum age 7 years old. Private guide and vehicle optional


    Family Rooms:

    Two family “Masasas” (each sleeping four people in two bedrooms with shared en-suite bathroom)


    Comments:

    There is no specific family program at Okuti, but with its large family tents and Ker & Downey's strong guiding team who are usually excellent with children, this is a very strong family friendly safari option in the Delta.

    Shinde Camp

    Okavango Delta

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 3

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    The minimum age is 7 years when taking Shinda Enclave in exclusivity or minimum age 10 years old in Shinde main camp. Private guide and vehicle optional.


    Family Rooms:

    No Family Tents. The Camp consists of one triple and two twin/double tents. Parents with 2 or more younger children may feel more comfortable splitting the adults across tents.


    Comments:

    There is no specific family program at Shinde. However, the three tents that make up Shinde Enclave are available as an upgrade option for the Ker & Downey's excellent Young Explorers program. Another superb family safari offering from Ker & Downey.

    Chief's Camp

    Okavango Delta

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 4

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    Minimum age 6 years old. Children aged 15 and younger are required to share with their parents.


    Family Rooms:

    There is no family room at Chief's Camp, although a rollaway bed can be added to create a triple room (max one triple room). Families with two or more children under 15 would need to take two rooms splitting the adults across rooms.


    Comments:

    Chief's Camp is a superb quality larger lodge and a great choice for families. Larger lodges can often work well for families, with larger pools, more space and greater independence at meal times. Chief's Camp offers an excellent dedicated family program for 6+ and 11+ children. It is just a shame there are no family tents.

    Sandibe Safari Lodge

    Okavango Delta

    Family rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 4

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    Sandibe has no minimum age. Children aged 6-12 are permitted on game drives at the lodge manager’s discretion. Nature walks are limited to those over the age of 16. Childminders can be arranged for under 6s during activities and at meal times at additional cost.


    Family Rooms:

    Sandibe has one lovely family unit made up of two interconnecting suites, or one additional bed can be set up in a standard room for children 16 years or younger.


    Notes:

    &Beyond is making real efforts to be more family friendly with its wild child program and new family units. Sandibe will appeal to families looking for a higher end contemporary lodge.

    Nxabega Camp

    Okavango Delta

    Family rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 5

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    Sandibe has no minimum age. Children aged 6-12 are permitted on game drives at the lodge manager’s discretion. Nature walks and mokoro (canoe) trips are limited to over 16s. Childminders can be arranged for under 6s during activities and at meal times at additional cost.


    Family Rooms:

    Nxabega Camp has one family unit consisting of two interleading luxury tents make up a family tent, or one additional bed can be set up in a standard room for children 16 years or younger.


    Comments:

    Nxabega benefits from &Beyond's new wild child program and family units. Nxabega is a more traditional safari lodge than Sandibe and unlike Sandibe, offers water based activities (over 16s only).

    Family Friendly Safari Camps in Chobe

    Chobe is a good choice for families in Botswana due to its close proximity to Victoria Falls and excellent wildlife. Accommodation costs are lower here than in the exclusive reserves of the Delta and it costs less to get here as you don't need to take a small aircraft flight. The main drawback of the area is that as a National Park it can get very busy with other tourists as well as the huge herds of elephant, buffalo and large prides of lion. Chobe has some excellent family friendly properties; Sanctuary Chobe Chilwere is one of the only fenced properties in Botswana and has an excellent family program, whilst Chobe Game lodge, Elephant Camp and Muchenje are more down to earth options for families.

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 4

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    Chobe Chilwero welcomes all ages, Children between the ages of 5 and 11 are permitted to participate on the game drives at the discretion of the lodge manager. Children under 5 require the permission of the lodge manager and is subject to the booking of a private guide and vehicle at extra cost.


    Family Rooms:

    Surprisingly, Chobe Chilwero does not offer family rooms. Rooms can only take a maximum one extra bed and under 15s must share with parents meaning families with two or more children under 15 will need to split across rooms with one parent in each room.


    Comments:

    Chobe Chilwero is a great option for families who want a relaxed safari experience. The lodge is fenced, there is a nice pool area and a whole host of children’s programs and activities (adapted game drives and walks, treasure hunts, croquet,...). Given it is such a good family option it is a shame that there are no family rooms.

    Chobe Game Lodge

    Chobe Waterfront

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 3

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    Chobe Game Lodge has a minimum age of 6. Families with children aged 6-12 must book a private guide and vehicle at extra cost.


    Family Rooms:

    Chobe Game Lodge has a variety of family friendly room options including 14 Safari family rooms (double and bunk beds), 2 River family rooms (double and twin beds) and 1 family Rondavel (2 bedrooms).


    Comments:

    Well located in the National Park and with excellent family room options and a nice pool, Chobe Game Lodge is a good option for families. Although there is no dedicated family program, with a private guide and vehicle for every family, you can expect a dedicated experience tailored to the needs of your family.

    Muchenje Safari Lodge

    Chobe Waterfront

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 3

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    Chobe Game Lodge has a minimum age of 8.


    Family Rooms:

    Muchenje Safari Lodge has a family suite with a large double in the open main area and 2 single beds on a mezzanine for children. Please note, the stairs upto the mezzanine are a steep ladder and although there is plenty of space there is not privacy between the parents and children's sleeping area.


    Comments:

    Muchenje is a lovely down to earth option for families. There may not be a specific family program, but staff are great and tailor the experience to all guests, and there is a pool and family suite.

    Chobe Elephant Camp

    Chobe Waterfront

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 2

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    Chobe Elephant Camp has a minimum age of 2.


    Family Rooms:

    Chobe Elephant Camp has a 2 bedroom family chalet, both bedrooms with en-suite and situated either side of a lounge area.


    Comments:

    Chobe Elephant Camp is rustic and friendly and in a great location. With its family unit and small pool it will suit more adventurous families on a more limited budget. There is no specific family program but the Camp welcomes children and looks after them well.

    Family Friendly Safari Camps in the Linyanti

    The exclusive Linyanti Marshes area is one of Africa's most prestigious and expensive safari areas featuring some of the finest Camps around. Several of the better Camps have two bedroom family tents and with such an exclusive tailored experience children's needs are easily accommodated. Like the Delta, this is a very wild area and camps are unfenced, so it is critical that children are accompanied by parents at all times and aren't likely to run off. King's Camp is one of the best Camps in the area and has a lovely 2 bedroom tent, however it is only usually for children over 12. Linyanti Ebony, Selinda Camp, Kwando Lagoon and Kwando Lebala all accommodate children 6 plus and have 2 bedroom family tents.

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 4

    Swimming Pool:

    Small Plunge Pool


    Ages:

    Kwando Lagoon Camp has a minimum age of 6.


    Family Rooms:

    Kwando Lagoon Camp has a two bedroom family tent.


    Comments:

    Kwando Lagoon is a good option in the Linyanti for families with its beautiful waterfront location, tailored specialist family safari programs and its 2 bedroom family tent. Kwando Lagoon offers a specialist family safari experience with specialist dedicated guide and vehicle for the family, an individually tailored programme and flexible meal times. The experience is an additional cost but strongly recommended.The pool is only a small plunge pool, but that is typical for this region.

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 4

    Swimming Pool:

    Small Plunge Pool


    Ages:

    Kwando Lagoon Camp has a minimum age of 6.


    Family Rooms:

    Kwando Lagoon Camp has a two bedroom family tent with rooms either side and inter-connected via the bathroom.


    Comments:

    Like Kwando Lagoon, Kwando Lebala is a good option in the Linyanti for families. Both Kwando lebala and Lagoon both offer a specialist family safari experience with specialist dedicated guide and vehicle for the family, an individually tailored programme and flexible meal times. The experience is an additional cost but strongly recommended. Again the pool is only a small plunge pool.

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 4

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes

    Ages:

    Selinda Camp has a minimum age of 6, but families with children aged under 15 will need to book a private vehicle and guide at extra cost.


    Family Rooms:

    Selinda Camp has a two bedroom family tent.


    Comments:

    Selinda Camp is a real favourite and with its two bedroom family tent and a dedicated guide and vehicle can make for an excellent family safari. There is no specific family program organised, but the experience will be tailored to the needs of your family.

    Family Friendly Safari Camps in the Kalahari

    The Makgadikgadi Pans in the Kalahari offer a fascinating counterpoint to a more traditional wildlife based safari that we find works very well for families who can afford it. The Pans cover an area of 10,000m2 with salt pans interspersed with grass lands and islands of trees. Activities range from bush walks with the local San people to ranging over the Pans on quad bikes and interacting with the habituated meerkats (Jack's Camp only). Most families will be visiting in the July / August dry season so would miss the zebra migration. Camp Kalahari is usually our first choice for families in the Kalahari, but all of the fabulous Unchartered Africa properties (Jack's, San and Camp Kalahari) work well.

    Family Rating

    5/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 4

    Swimming Pool:

    Small Pool


    Ages:

    Camp Kalahari has no minimum age. Families with under 8s must take a private guide & vehicle at extra cost. Children are able to do all the activities, but must be over 12 to drive quad bikes (and then at the manager's discretion). Under 12s share a quad bike with an adult driver.


    Family Rooms:

    Camp Kalahari has a two bedroom family tent.


    Comments:

    We find Camp Kalahari works very well for families and combines well with a more wildlife centric exprience elsewhere in Botswana. The experience is tailored to each family, there is a family tent and the lower rates and more low key atmosphere is arguably more family friendly than Unchartered Africa's other camps.

    Jack's Camp

    Kalahari

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 5

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes


    Ages:

    Like Camp Kalahari, Jack's Camp also has no minimum age. Families with under 8s must take a private guide & vehicle at extra cost. Children are able to do all the activities, but must be over 12 to drive quad bikes (and then at the manager's discretion). Under 12s share a quad bike with an adult driver.


    Family Rooms:

    Jack's Camp does not have a family tent. Standard tents can take a family of three, whilst a family of four must split with one parent in each tent.


    Comments:

    Jack's Camp is a good family offering, with a more sophisticated atmosphere than its sister camp, Camp Kalahari. We would usually recommend Camp Kalahari first and foremost for families, defaulting to Jack's or San Camp if availability demands.

    San Camp

    Kalahari

    Family Rating

    4/5

    Price guide

    Price rating 4

    Swimming Pool:

    Yes

    Ages:

    Like Camp Kalahari, San Camp also has no minimum age. Families with under 8s must take a private guide & vehicle at extra cost. Children are able to do all the activities, but must be over 12 to drive quad bikes (and then at the manager's discretion). Under 12s share a quad bike with an adult driver.


    Family Rooms:

    San Camp does not have a family tent. Standard tents can take a family of three, whilst a family of four must split with one parent in each tent.


    Comments:

    San Camp is a good family offering, with a more sophisticated atmosphere than its sister camp, Camp Kalahari. We would usually recommend Camp Kalahari first and foremost for families, defaulting to Jack's or San Camp if availability demands.

  2. Online Itineraries and Trip Management

    Missing ben on 5th August 2016 | 0 comments

    Great news. Our gorgeous online itineraries are now available to all our clients. No more boring pdf documents, our tailor-made itineraries are now live and available on any device, and we think they look great, see for yourself.

    Digital Itineraries


    Trip Management

    After booking, your trip management page allows you to pay your balance online, review insurance detail and of course countdown to your holiday

    Trip Management Page

  3. Family Holidays at Christmas 2016

    Missing ben on 7th January 2016 | 0 comments

    Christmas and New Year is peak season in Southern and Eastern Africa. South Africa is in the peak of summer and very busy with domestic tourism. Kenya and Tanzania are not quite as busy but peak pricing does kick in. It really is a fantastic time of year to head to this part of the world, but do book early. One country that seems to buck the trend of hyper inflated prices over Christmas and New Year is Morocco, flight prices tend to be lower than usual for school holiday periods, there is usually reasonable availability outside of the best Marrakech riads and there is plenty of winter sunshine to warm even the coldest heart.

    Morocco

    Temperatures in Morocco over Christmas and New Year tend to hover around 20 Celsius in Marrakech, the Sahara Desert and on the Coast and 5-10 degrees cooler in the Atlas Mountains, depending on altitude. Night time temperatures tend to cool down quickly so you will need to pack a jumper. It isn’t quite sun bathing temperature, but you would swim in a heated pool. A lovely combination for families is to take a whole riad rental for 3-4 days over Christmas, giving you the run of the place for a family house party with staff! Riad Tzarra works really well to this end. From Marrakech you can then either combine with a trip out to the Desert or to the Atlas Mountains.


    South Africa

    South Africa, and the Cape in particular is in full summer holiday swing over Christmas and New Year. South Africans decamp en-masse to the Coast with a determined party mood. Away from the Coast, things tend to be a little saner and there is no doubt this is a wonderful time to be in South Africa, with fantastic weather, dramatic scenery and incredible wildlife.


    Safari

    What better way to spend Christmas than to be thoroughly spoiled in a stunning wilderness location on safari. It certainly beats another Christmas of TV, wet weather and over indulgence. We’d recommend safari in a homely owner run camp such as Laikipia Wilderness, Ekorian or El Karama followed by some much needed beach time on Zanzibar or the Kenyan Coast.

  4. Family Holidays in October Half Term 2016

    Missing ben on 7th January 2016 | 0 comments

    If you are looking for some sunshine in October and November, then you do need to look beyond the Med, which is more often than not subject to stormy, windy and wet spells. Instead, Morocco is the perfect answer and incredibly popular over October Half Term, you will get plenty of sunshine, warm (but not too hot) temperatures, and the opportunity to explore buzzing Marrakech, the tranquil Atlas Mountains and the magnificent Sahara Desert. Further afield, October and November are a great time to visit Southern and Eastern Africa, particularly if you can squeeze in more than a week’s holiday.

    Morocco

    Come the end of October, the high temperatures of the summer months have subsided to something altogether more civilised with temperatures usually in the high 20s Celsius in Marrakech and the Sahara and low 20s Celsius in the Atlas Mountains. The mountains turn a beautiful orange and gold as the villagers rush to collect their walnut harvest. A relaxing two centre week combining an atmospheric small riad in Marrakech’s old Medina with a beautiful Mountain hotel with stunning views, fresh air and traditional Berber hospitality is the perfect antidote to the onset of winter at home.


    South Africa

    October brings the onset of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. In South Africa and the Cape, temperatures are perfect for exploring and the dramatic landscapes are bursting with fresh colour, the whale watching season is usually still in full swing and it is a great time to be on safari in the Eastern Cape, Kruger or KwaZulu-Natal.


    Kenya & Tanzania

    Late October brings the end of the busy summer season, the migration herd has moved on from the Mara back into Tanzania, taking with it the hordes of tourists and peak prices. November is synonymous with the short rains season in Eastern Africa, but as the name suggests, this usually means only a short rainfall each day, with plenty of sunshine to go around.

  5. Family Holidays in May Half Term

    Missing ben on 6th January 2016 | 0 comments

    With the weather warming up, only a week’s holiday available and exam season kicking into full season, May Half Term can be a hard one to get right. This is, though, a fantastic time to be in the Mediterranean, it is quiet and the weather is barmy. For something further afield, Kenya and Tanzania can offer some superb value green season safari options at the tail end of the long rains.

    Croatia

    The Adriatic is warming up nicely, the hordes haven’t arrived and temperatures are effortlessly civilised. This is one of our favourite times to be in Dubrovnik. A week’s break at the gorgeous Hotel Bozica or superbly equipped Sun Gardens is the perfect way to start the summer. Our family kayaking week is a fantastic option for more active families.


    Turkey

    For similar reasons to Croatia, May is a fantastic time to visit Turkey. It isn’t quite as hot as it gets in the summer and there are less crowds. Cappadocia is a beautiful region of Turkey famous for its incredible landscapes and heritage with some fantastic walking and ancient cave monasteries to explore. Cappadocia combines perfectly with a couple of nights in Istanbul.


    Morocco

    From May to September, temperatures in Morocco tend to be around 30 Celsius inland and closer to 20-25 Celsius in the Mountains and on the Atlantic Coast. May tends to be a lot quieter than Easter, so is a nice time to experience the Atlas Mountains and to hit the beaches. For luxury lovers, Kasbah Tamadot is hard to beat, with a stunning Mountain location, swimming pools and tennis courts, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, the new Ouirgane EcoLodge is a fantastic find, with gorgeous views, a lovely pool area and a genuinely local feel. On the Coast, you’ll need to get in early for Rebali Riads, a lovely small collection of villas near the wild beach at Sidi Kaouki, whilst Paradis Plage is a great option for a more traditional beach resort.


    Kenya and Tanzania

    May Half Term usually coincides with tail end of the long rains in Kenya and Tanzania, and on the face of it, this isn’t a place we would usually recommend you visit at this time of the year. However, if you are on the lookout for a deal, we have managed to source some incredible value safaris for families in Kenya and Tanzania during the May Half Term, and the rains, although daily, tend to be short and clear up for some sunshine each day.