This is a perfect first time safari for all the family in malaria-free reserves: enjoy an exclusive wildlife experience from the comfort of family friendly lodges located at the heart of the action.
Limpopo is a less travelled destination, which offers an incredible diversity of wildlife opportunities and cultural experiences, especially designed for families. We have hand-picked the properties with the best locations in the wilderness, and activities with a real educational content for all ages.
Day1: Depart the UK
Day2: Arrive Johannesburg, drive to Welgevonden Game Reserve; vehicle safaris
On arrival at OR Tambo International airport pick up your rental vehicle and drive north for approximately three hours to Welgevonden Game Reserve. After checking in at your lodge and settling in to your room, enjoy a relaxed lunch before heading out on some wildlife activities with all the family. This will be your first chance to try and spot a lion, or a herd of African elephants.
Days3-4: Drive to Soutpansberg Mountains, Louis Trichard
After a morning wildlife safari, head to Louis Trichardt, near the Soutansberg Mountains - a drive of around three to four hours. his mountainous environment is the perfect location to try to see the elusive aardvark or tiny klipspringer, and over the course of the next couple of days you will have the opportunity to enjoy birding walks, wildlife safaris and mountain biking. Alternatively, join some of the art and craft workshops and learn about the Tsonga and Venda culture, or you may prefer to simply relax with the children by the swimming pool.
Days5-6: Drive to Waterberg Biosphere Reserve; vehicle safaris
Today your drive is only a couple of hours to the malaria free Waterberg Biosphere Reserve where you stay in a private family cottage with plenty of wildlife activities for everyone to enjoy. Special kid’s ‘bugs and spoor’ walks, pony-trekking and horseriding and wildlife safaris are all on offer. Keep a watchful eye open for wild dog or even endangered black rhino.
Days7-8: Drive to Pilanesberg National Park; vehicle safaris
Continue towards Pilanesberg National Park, where you have two days to join in several activities including the special Junior Ranger Programme where the kids can learn new bush skills. This is a good place to see the graceful cheetah or, if you are lucky, a family of endearing meerkats.
Days9-10: Drive to Madikwe Game Reserve; vehicle safaris
After a short drive to Madikwe Game Reserve you will find a wildlife treasure trove for adults and children alike. Here, children have their own wildlife safaris and activities to learn about the wonders of nature, wildlife and our fragile eco-system. You stay in an exquisite small property designed for families. Get your checklist ready as you may see lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, rhino, brown hyena, wild dog and all the traditional African wildlife.
After morning activities and lunch, it is time to head back to Johannesburg international airport. You need to allow approximately five hours for this journey (as well as sufficient time to drop off your hire vehicle before) although there is plenty of interest to see en route. This evening you check-in for your overnight flight to London.
Day12: Arrive UK
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 12 daysfrom £2,895 pp: Child: £1795
Duration and price excluding international flights: 10 daysfrom £1,945 pp: Child: £995
When to go: Jan-Dec
Madikwe Game Reserve, located along the border with Botswana, is made up of vast plains of open woodland and grasslands, ideal for the abundant wildlife. It experienced one of the world's largest translocations in the 1990's and now hosts over 300 bird and 66 mammal species, including a good wild dog population.
Where: Northwest South Africa
Ideal for viewing: African elephant, black rhino, brown hyena, cheetah, Cape buffalo
Excellent for: Wildlife for families, Self-drive, Birdwatching
Welgevonden, meaning ‘well-found’, is a private game reserve, lying on the vast plains of the Waterberg plateau and hosting the largest population of white rhino in Africa. The number of visitors to the reserve is limited, resulting in a truly intimate wildlife experience in a premier sanctuary.
Where: Limpopo Province
Ideal for viewing: white rhino, aardwolf, African elephant, leopard, blue crane
Excellent for: Wildlife for families, Self-drive
The fourth largest park in South Africa, Pilanesberg National Park is malaria-free and set in the crater of a long extinct volcano with a unique geological structure. Standing high above the surrounding bushveld plains, it hosts a healthy population of lion, elephant, both black and white rhino, buffalo, and leopard.
Where: North West Province
Ideal for viewing: brown hyena, cheetah, black rhino, lion, meerkat
Excellent for: Wildlife for families, Self-drive
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
Based in its own private game reserve, within the majestic Waterberg plateau, this private bush home has breathtaking views over the Waterberg. Built using local stone and thatch, Ant's Hill offer flexible accommodation – including a family cottage – and a variety of safari activities.
Tucked inside Pilanesberg National Park, Bakubung offers a true wilderness bush experience for adults and children alike. Accommodation is designed in true African style, with panoramic views of the park and hippo pool, and has all the facilities and comfort one would expect.
Nestled in the northern part of Welgevonden Private Game Reserve and surrounded by the Waterberg Mountains, this intimate lodge has just five bungalows, one ideal for a family. Daily safaris offer the chance to see the area’s abundant wildlife and unspoilt African bush, and there is also a waterhole close by.
Madi a Thavha is a real gem for nature lovers. Located in the valley of the Soutpansberg Mountains with its cool climate, the lodge offers unique accommodation individually designed in bright Tsonga style. Facilities include a restaurant and swimming pool, and the lodge offers nature walks and game drives.
Located on the western side of Madikwe Game Reserve, this elegant lodge is specifically designed for families, with a special Kids Programme and gorgeous swimming pool. Tuningi’s waterhole often attracts a roaming family of elephants, and the reserve is well known for its wild dog population.