Family Safari in Kenya - Kenya Family Tours Guide, Tips, & Destinations
If you have never treated the special people in your life to a family safari in Kenya? I think it’s high time you do it. Kenya was Africa’s leading safari destination in 2013 & 2015-2021 and is home to a wide variety of world-leading vacation spots.
These include the Amboseli National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Aberdare National Park, and Ol Pajeta Conservancy. Your children will also enjoy visiting the Samburu Game Reserve, Hell’s Gate National Park, Chale Island, and Wasini Island and relaxing on the best beaches in Kenya.
I’m not implying that Kenya safaris with kids are always fun and no stress! The truth of the matter is that traveling with kids can turn out to be very stressful if not properly planned.
For a fun and adventurous family tour in Kenya, you need to know the best family holiday destinations in Kenya. You also need to know the right age to bring your kids for a safari in Kenya, the best time to come to Kenya with kids, what to pack, and do’s and don’ts to ensure your safety and that of the kids.
To state the obvious, we have written this guide to give you all the information you need to visit our country with your children and have a great time.
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Our Most Booked Kenya Family Safari Packages and Other Itineraries
|Our Most Booked Kenya Safari Packages 2023||Price Per Adult Sharing||The Detailed Itinerary|
|1-Day Nairobi National Park & Giraffe Center Tour||From USD 119||See the Itinerary|
|1-Day Nairobi National Park & Nairobi Animal Orphanage Tour||From USD 34||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Camp Packages||From USD 1015||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Christmas Packages||From USD 1010||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Easter Packages||From USD 985||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Festive Packages||From USD 1315||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Lodge Safari||From USD 995||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Packages||From USD 955||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Masai Mara Packages from Nairobi||From USD 995||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Ol Pejeta Easter Safari||From USD 1175||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Africa Migration Masai Mara Packages||From USD 1360||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day L. Naivasha & Masai Mara Easter Safari||From USD 1249||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day L. Naivasha & Masai Mara Safari||From USD 1174||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day L. Nakuru & Masai Mara Safari||From USD 1162||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Masai Mara Camp Packages||From USD 1195||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Masai Mara Easter Packages||From USD 1235||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Masai Mara Migration Packages||From USD 1360||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Mombasa & Diani Safari||From USD 937||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Mombasa & Diani Valentine Safari||From USD 1405||See the Itinerary|
|5-Day Flying Safari to Masai Mara & Ol Pejeta Conservancy||From USD 3777||See the Itinerary|
|6-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari from India||From USD 1730||See the Itinerary|
|7-Day Kenya Christmas Safari||From USD 3093||See the Itinerary|
|7-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari||From USD 1884||See the Itinerary|
|8-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari||From USD 4413||See the Itinerary|
|8-Day Wildlife & Beach Safari||From USD 1585||See the Itinerary|
|12-Day Kenya Wildlife & Beach Safari||From USD 4216||See the Itinerary|
|18-Day Kenya Family Safari||From USD 5849||See the Itinerary|
The Top 7 Tips for a Family Safari in Kenya
Next, we discuss tips and things you must consider when planning a safari to Kenya with kids.
1. Involve Everyone When Planning Your Kenya Family Holidays
One sure way of having a stress-free family safari is to plan together as a family. Involve everyone in your family, research and devise all activities you might want to indulge in, and then consult with your travel agent.
Planning together means that everyone knows what to expect, and they can have all or some of the things they would like to do and see in Kenya in the package. That way, the family trip will be memorable for everyone.
If number one on the bucket list is the Great Wildebeest Migration, then plan to come to Kenya between July-October. Nothing is quite as spectacular as the site and rhythm of thousands of wildebeests and zebras crossing to the Mara while trying to avoid the starving crocodiles!
The Masai Mara, Amboseli, and other national parks in Kenya have walking trails suitable for guided nature walks. This is an excellent way for kids to learn about Africa and its environment.
In some camps, such as Loisaba in Laikipia, nature walks are done on horseback or camelback. What an exciting way to see the beauty of nature! Oh, by the way, mind sharing your breakfast with a super tall friend? Then head to the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.
Spoiler alert, you may even get a wet kiss on the lips! Later, you can let the kids learn a thing or two from Africa’s best (underrated) hunter, Mr. Wild Dog.
You might be looking for a beach family vacation, right? If so, you must head to one of Kenya’s beautiful beaches, Diani. Diani Beach has repeatedly been named one of Africa’s best beaches, and you will instantly see why when you get there.
Its long, white sand beaches are bordered by green, lush forests and clear blue waters on the other. Take a walk along the beach with your kids- barefoot, of course- and feel your feet digging into the sand.
Lie on a beach bed, indulge in a fruity drink and your favorite book, and contemplate this beautiful piece of paradise, and you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
There are many other activities on your luxury family safari in Kenya. If you want to go off the beaten track, you can run a marathon in the wild where everyone (including children) can participate in Lewa downs.
You just need to check the calendar to align it with your safari.
2. Tell Your Kids What They Should Expect During the Kenya Family Safari
A family holiday in Kenya is all about the kids. Contrary to popular belief, animals are not a danger to human beings unless you provoke them. As long as kids and adults behave and follow the guide’s instructions, you will have the most civil interaction with them.
Before you go on safari, you may want to let the kids know what to expect. They will see the famed jungle king lazing about as he is known, but they cannot scream or shriek because noise irritates him.
The elephant gets even more irked by noises. Instruct them to be quiet while watching the animals and avoid disturbing them. Our tour guides are reliable, and they will keep your family safe. Please listen to them and follow their advice.
Older kids may want to update their social media status often, and the internet in most camps and National parks is usually intermittent. Let them know this in advance so they don’t get frustrated when they can hardly get anything online during game drives.
The upside is that you can carry portal internet when you land in Kenya. You only need a Simcard and are ready to go when you purchase data. Also, the best luxury family safari lodges in Kenya have Wi-Fi.
Kenya is relatively warm, especially so in January and February. Bring light clothing when packing, but remember it gets pretty chilly in the evenings and mornings (perfect time for game drives).
Mosquitoes may be a menace, so bring a repellent to keep them off.
3. The Ideal Food for Your Kenya Family Safari Tours
Now, Africa, in general, is not considered a foodie destination, but that is only because most people have not been here. To start you off after your first game drive or Kenya balloon Safari is a bush breakfast, which gets its name from being served in the wild.
A typical bush breakfast consists of everything you are used to in your country and some tropical fruits. Don’t forget the flavorful Kenyan coffee and chai (tea). To top it off, there will be a free flow of champagne – a champagne breakfast!
You are bound to get hungry during the long game drive through the Masai Mara. So, our guides will ensure freshly squeezed fruit juice, mshikaki (skewered seafood, white and red meat), and beef are coming with you.
Dinner at the family-friendly hotels in Kenya will always be a lavish four or 5-course continental meal affair as you watch the breathtaking African sunset. All the lodges are familiar with the usual little picky eater, so your child will be catered for.
Hosts will post menus of the next meal well in advance. All you need to do is let them know your particular needs. You do not need to worry about meals. We offer all-inclusive family holiday packages.
4. Best Accommodation for Kenya Family Tours
Accommodation is the most critical part of planning a family safari to Kenya with kids. You want to book your stay in Kenya safari lodges that allow you to keep an eye on the young ones, even as you enjoy the remote surroundings.
Unfenced tented camps may not be the best option if you are worried about your child wandering outside without supervision. Such safari lodges, though super luxurious, allow kids below 12 years. Examples include Mahali Muzuri safari lodge, Etim Mara, and the Sala’s Camp in the Masai Mara Game Reserve.
Many camps & lodges have interconnecting rooms. This gives you extra comfort knowing that your kids are in the next room. A good example is basecamp Masai Mara.
On the great side, some Kenya hotels have specific activities geared toward young explorers, such as board games, baby pools, early suppers, nature walks, and more. Such lodges would be ideal as the kids will have a variety of other activities that break the monotony of game drives. So, it’s good to check with us before booking.
El Karama Lodge in Laikipia is an ideal destination. The lodge has lots of kid-friendly activities specially designed for children, including fishing with hand lines, making sculptures with clay, tracking animals (with guides, of course!), keeping travel diaries, and more.
5. The Best Time for Family Safari Holidays
Starting from July to October, Kenya is choked with tourists. Explorers from around the world visit our country to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara. Everyone seems to plan their vacation around this time, and if your children are tiny, you might want to avoid these months.
To avoid the crowds, visit Kenya between January and June, as the first quarter is usually quiet for travel, and March to June is the rainy season. Still, don’t let a little shower keep you away.
Planning your safari with kids around these ‘low season’ months will help you secure the best accommodation at a reasonably low price. During the low season, many camps and lodges will be flexible with their schedules and services.
For instance, if there are not too many people in the hotel, they will be happy to prepare special meals for the children.
6. Choose The Best Destination for Your Family Safari to Kenya
When searching online, you may have seen some Kenya family safari packages marked as ‘best for second timers.’ Avoid them because they are designed for those who already have an overview of what Kenya offers its visitors.
Some national parks (meant for second-timers) are so vast that going around them would take the whole day, and you would still not see all the animals. The children will be bored and tired. After all, they did not come for game drives devoid of wild animals.
Try the Masai Mara for your first family safari holiday. As much as it is crowded, it allows you to interact with nature in the best way possible. You will see various wild animals, including the big 5. You just have to be super smart with the timing to avoid the crowd.
You may also want to try some of the child-friendly smaller conservancies. Lewa, Ol Pejeta, and Loisaba are conservancies in northern Kenya in Laikipia. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to over 100 critically endangered rhinos and a chimpanzee sanctuary that kids will enjoy visiting.
7. If Just 1, Let it be the Maasai Mara National Park
When watching Nat Geo Wild and other similar exciting documentaries, your kids must have bombarded you with lots of questions. Some of which you may not have successfully answered.
An all-inclusive family trip in Kenya is the time to let the kids get all the facts right by observing the magic for themselves and getting all the answers they need from the game reservists.
Why do the wildebeests cross the river every year without the fear of being eaten by the crocs? Why are flamingos pink in color? Why does a lake boil with hot water?
These are among the questions that the ever-diligent game wardens will help you answer.
Finding answers to complex questions isn’t the only advantage you gain from visiting game parks and reserves with your kids. Game drives and walks get you up close and personal with the animals.
You get to see animals in their natural habitat and other elusive creatures that the cameras don’t capture often.
Questions to Answer When Booking Kenya Family Safari Packages
The questions you should ask yourself before buying Kenya Safari Packages:
- What if I don’t like the searing heat of Diani (it’s below sea level) after just two days?
- What if I see all the animals I am interested in after just the first game drive?
- Do you want to share the vehicle with someone you don’t know?
Like most of our past clients, I guess your answer is a big NO! The alternative is private tours, but the cost can be high.
The few people I know who have come to Kenya for a private tour are Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie, Will Smith, and a few more. Take it from us, private family holiday to Kenya packages shouldn’t be as expensive as they are.
The packages are usually highly overpriced, mainly because travel companies know travelers don’t have sufficient information to enable them to tour Kenya on their own.
I know you can attest to this. It’s possible to go on a private family trip to Kenya for slightly more than your average expenditure per day in the western world.
The cost of living in Kenya is meager compared to that in the Western world and most Asian countries. For example, a pizza goes for USD 10, bread costs USD 0.5, gas costs USD 1 per liter, and a liter of milk costs USD 0.4.
The Top 12 Best Family Holiday Destinations in Kenya
Now that I have given you a few ideas of what you need to do while in Kenya, it’s only fitting that I give you specific places you need to visit. The following are the 10 most visited places by tourists who come for family vacations in Kenya:
1. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
In this one-of-a-kind sanctuary, your kids will be thrilled to see baby elephants being bottle-fed and bathed. Most calves here were rescued from the wild after being separated from their mothers, mainly due to poaching.
They will see the calves up close as they go for walks and play with toys, like human babies! For about USD 50, your kids will adopt (sponsor) a baby elephant.
2. The Giraffe Center
On arrival at the Giraffe Center, you will be handed food pellets by one of the attendants and given a crash course on how to hand-feed the long-necked boys. All you need to do is spread out your hand, and the giraffe will reach out to take the food from your hand (they are pretty good at this).
Keep the camera ready to capture the giraffes as they thank you or your kids with a kiss! After having fun with the giraffes, go for a walk on the 1.5Km nature trail enriched with over 60 species of birds. Watch out for some dik-dik, squirrels, and warthogs on the track.
3. Nairobi Animal Orphanage
This rehabilitation center is for wild animals rescued after getting sick, injured, or orphaned. Kids will easily interact with the animals in their cages. They will also have a close-up view of lions, jackals, cheetahs, leopards, baboons, and many more.
This is an ideal place for kids to learn more about animals and the threats they face.
4. Masai Mara National Reserve
The reserve is among the top tourist destinations for families in Kenya. Besides that, Masai Mara is also the most popular game park in the country. Thousands of tourists visit the reserve annually to watch the unique population of animals.
Most notably is the annual spectacle dubbed “The Great Migration,” whereby millions of wildebeests and zebras cross the Mara River from the Serengeti in Tanzania. This migration was dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World.
Every family holiday to Kenya should include at least a day or two in the Maasai Mara. Some fun things to do during a family safari in Masai Mara include:
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
Watching wild animals in their natural habitat from a car is undoubtedly exciting, but wait till you watch them from just a few feet above the ground using a hot air balloon! The experience will cost you a couple of hundred dollars per person, but this is a ride you and your kids will love.
Social Visit to Maasai Community
Bringing children for a family vacation to Kenya is a good idea because they get to meet their age mates who live in vastly different circumstances and environments yet are content.
This serves as a real eye-opener and as a life-changing experience for them. Your kids will become more resilient and build positive character by getting outside their comfort zone and familiar surroundings.
They will learn to appreciate and value the little things they may have taken for granted. However, these vital life lessons won’t be learned if you spend your entire family holiday in Kenya at a lodge or a nice hotel.
You must visit the locals in their villages, homes, schools, or social centers.
Cultural Tours in a Maasai Village
The Maasai community is probably the most notable tribe for tourists on family vacations in Kenya. Many people from foreign countries assume that all Kenyans are Maasai.
Although this is inaccurate, no Kenyan travel magazine is complete without photos of people draped in red clothes adorned with brightly colored beads – the Maasai.
The Maasai people are famous due to their unique culture and the fun activities they engage in. Your kids will be very excited to interact, jump and dance with these super-friendly people who are proud to call Kenya their home.
There are also morans (Maasai young men), brave enough to take a lion’s kill, who will be kind enough to teach your kids how to throw worriers’ spears, make fire without a lighter, etc.
After such an expedition, your kids will come out of Africa with skills that will make them feel good about themselves.
Find a Volunteer Placement
The main aim of going for a vacation may be to get away from the busy schedules at work or school and go somewhere you can relax, enjoy and have fun. While in Kenya, you will get to do all that and even more.
However, you can also use it as an opportunity to make an outstanding contribution to humanity. And I do not necessarily mean money, as there are many other ways of impacting the lives of the local people.
Some of the things that you can do are participate in environmental awareness sessions, help out orphans at orphanages, and more. If qualified, you can volunteer to work in the healthcare sector or visit schools and volunteer to teach the students in the classroom or coach them in sports.
If you have teenage kids with skills they can share, you can encourage them to do so. Sharing and helping the less privileged is another valuable lesson your kids can learn while on a family vacation in Kenya.
5. Lake Nakuru National Park
Known as the home of the flamingos, Nakuru is the fourth biggest city in Kenya. Not far from the town stretches Lake Nakuru, also marked as a national park.
This park is home to over 450 species of birds and many wild animals. Some animals you will see here include lions, white rhinos, leopards, warthogs, and waterbucks.
6. Tsavo National Park
Tsavo is the largest park in Kenya. It is divided into two – Tsavo East and Tsavo West. These two parks comprise about 4% of Kenya’s total area and encompass a massive lava-rock plateau, volcanic hills, savannah, waterfalls, rivers, and an extraordinary variety of wildlife.
If you want to view large herds of elephants rolling and bathing in red dust, then Tsavo East is the park to go to. You may not be able to view much wildlife in Tsavo West as it is dense vegetation.
7. Amboseli National Reserve
This reserve is also among the most popular tourist parks in Kenya. It is also one of the best places in the African continent where you can view large herds of elephants at a close range.
Besides the elephants, the park is also home to big cats, such as cheetahs and lions. Other wildlife in the Amboseli National Reserve includes gazelle, impala, waterbuck, eland, and giraffe.
There are also over 600 species, thus an ideal tourist site for bird lovers.
8. Hell’s Gate National Park
This small park was named after a narrow break in the cliffs. This park was once a tributary of a prehistoric lake in the Rift Valley. Unlike other wildlife parks in Kenya, tourists who visit Hell’s Gate National Park are allowed to cycle or walk without a guide.
The beauty of this park lies in the dramatic scenery with gorges, cliffs, and basalt columns.
A wide range of wildlife can be found here, including warthogs, zebras, cheetahs, leopards, and lions. It’s one of the best family holidays in Kenya destination that never disappoints.
9. Samburu National Reserve
Located in Northern Kenya, Samburu National Reserve is among the most peaceful reserves in the country. It attracts a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, hippos, buffalos, leopards, cheetahs, and lions.
10. Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya is Kenya’s highest mountain and Africa’s 2nd highest mountain after Kilimanjaro. This mountain presents beautiful scenery with its series of peaks crowned with snow and slopes covered with thick forest.
Trekkers and climbers have a fantastic experience climbing and exploring this high mountain.
Mombasa is Kenya’s second-largest city after Nairobi. It is hard for tourists who come for family vacations in Kenya to miss an opportunity to visit the beautiful beaches of Mombasa.
Being an island, this city has many beautiful beaches you and your family can explore. Besides swimming in the clear waters, vacationers can partake in deep-sea fishing and dolphin watching.
Besides the beautiful sandy beaches, there is also a historical site known as Fort Jesus.
12. Lamu Town
This is a small island situated northeast of Mombasa. Within the island is Lamu Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Kenya’s oldest constantly populated settlement with origins dating back to the twelfth century.
Tourists see the town’s rich trading history, which is generally reflected in the buildings. Other popular attraction sites that you can explore during your family holiday in Kenya include Lamu Museum, Lamu Fort, and the Donkey Sanctuary.
13. Malindi Town
This beautiful town along the Kenyan coast attracts millions of tourists each year. The town presents breathtaking scenery with extensive beautiful beaches and coral reefs.
Malindi is a perfect location for deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, surfing, and other exciting water sports.