Family Safaris

Pilanesberg National Park is the most accessible of the family-friendly safaris on the whole African continent. It’s also an easy 2-hour drive from Johannesburg and an hour-and-a-half from Pretoria.

There’s a range of very affordable accommodations inside the park. This includes self-catering chalets that accommodates up to five people. And even the cheapest lodges and camps have swimming pools and playgrounds. Most of the accommodations are fenced in, so you won’t get any unwanted visitors stalking you or your little ones.

There are a number of tar roads through the park and around many of the wildlife hotspots. Pilanesberg gets very busy during the school holidays, but the abundance of Big 5 makes up for that. If you want to really get that sense of “wild Africa” Pilanesberg isn’t for you. In case you want your whole family to see the Big 5 as quickly and painlessly as possible, look no further.

Madikwe Game Reserve is malaria-free and certainly the best private game reserve in South Africa’s North-West Province and great for a family-friendly safari.  Covering an area that used to be abandoned farmland, it is now bursting with big game. A true triumph of conservation. Madikwe is approximately a 4-hour drive from Johannesburg and 2 hours from Gaborone, across the border in Botswana. Or you can fly in from Jo’Burg in an hour.

Madikwe is also close to Pilanesberg National Park and Sun City. Easy to make it a part of an itinerary that includes all three. Jaci’s Lodges, in particular, cater to children of all ages. They provide special “Jungle Drives” for kids under four years old. There is also the “Children’s Safari” – for slightly older kids. The Children’s Safari teaches them valuable lessons about the bush, including survival techniques, tracking and bush medicine. Children are given lots of special attention at Madikwe River Lodge.