A perfect first time safari for all the family in malaria-free game 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 UK on an overnight flight to Johannesburg
Day2: Arrive Johannesburg, drive to malaria free Welgevonden Game Reserve, 1-night lodge. Vehicle safaris
On arrival at OR Tambo International airport pick up your rental vehicle. You then drive north for approximately three hours to Welgevonden Game Reserve. After checking in at the 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 malaria free Soutpansberg Mountains, Louis Trichard, 2-nights lodge. Vehicle safaris
After a morning game drive head off to Louis Trichardt, near the Soutansberg Mountains - a drive of approximately 3 ½ hours. Over the course of the next couple of days you will have the opportunity to enjoy birding walks, game drives and mountain biking, or join some of the art and craft workshops and learn about the Tsonga and Venda culture. Of course, you may like to simply relax by the swimming pool in the lush and beautiful gardens. This mountainous environment is the perfect location to try to see the elusive aardvark or tiny klipspringer.
Days5-6: Head to the malaria free Waterberg range, 2-nights family cottage. Vehicle safaris
Today your drive is only 228 kilometres (approximately 2 ½ hours) to the malaria free Waterberg Biosphere Reserve where you stay in a private family cottage with plenty of wildlife activities for all the family members to enjoy. Special kid’s ‘bugs and spoor’ walks, pony-trekking and horseriding and game drives are all on offer. Keep a watchful eye open for wild dog or even endangered black rhino.
Days7-8: Drive to malaria free Pilanesberg National Park, 2 nights resort. Vehicle safaris
After enjoying morning activities,you continue towards Pilanesberg National Park (approximately 3 ½ hours). These two days will be your chance for many activities including the special Junior Ranger Programme where kids 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: Head to malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve, 2 nights lodge. Vehicle safaris
After a short 2 ½ hours drive to Madikwe Game Reserve you will find a wildlife treasure trove for adults and children alike. Here, children have their own game drives 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 you ever dreamed about.
After morning activities and lunch, it is time to head back to OR Tambo international airport in Johannesburg. You need to allow about 4 ½ 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 the 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 of Botswana, is made up of vast plains of open woodland and grasslands; ideal for abundant wildlife including a good wild dog population. Hosting over 66 mammal and 300 bird species, the reserve experienced one of the world’s largest game translocations.
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, malaria-free, lying on Waterberg plateau with vast plains, 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 game 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 malaria-free Waterberg plateau, this private bush home has breathtaking views over the Waterberg. Built using local stone and thatch, Ants 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.
Specifically designed for families, this elegant lodge is located on the western side of malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. Children will love the special Kids Programme and gorgeous swimming pool, and Tuningi’s waterhole often attracts a roaming family of elephants.